A Real Smart City Lacks Smart Technology


A few years ago Silicon Valley mega corps thought all cities should be made “smart” by tracking all citizen data. There was a concentrated effort by Google to violate privacy rights in Toronto and bullying the city into a finance deal which only benefit the advertising giant. Torontonians protested and the company backed out.

In Columbus, they ran a well funded research project into the smart city only to discover that the “smart” aspects showed mediocre results. We already have solutions to most problems cities face like mass transit and better funded health services. It’s time to fund the boring, old, not “smart” solutions in our cities.

Now it’s clear that private firms can’t predict the future of cities and may not have their best interests in mind. Davis says Columbus’ selection led to a flood of proposals from companies that ultimately proved difficult to manage, and “at times distracting.” Meanwhile, Uber (and Lyft) have pulled out of autonomous vehicles, notably after an Uber testing vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. Google sibling Sidewalk Labs promised in 2017 to construct a sensored-up neighborhood of the future in Toronto. But it killed the project last year amid the pandemic and a bitter political battle with privacy advocates and local groups and developers.

Read more.

Eat Fruit to Judge Intelligence

Meat eaters are really good at denying the intelligence of other living beings according to a new study. When people were told to eat fruit their assessment of an animal’s intelligence was higher, with meat eating people they denied that the animal could be intelligent.

In a study that excluded vegetarians, psychologist Brock Bastian of the University of Queensland in Australia and his colleagues first asked par­ticipants to commit to eating either meat slices or apple wedges. Before eating, everyone wrote an essay describing the full life cycle of a butchered animal and then rated the mental faculties of a cow or a sheep. Participants who knew that they would have to eat meat later in the study made much more conservative assessments of the animal mind, on average, denying that it could think and feel enough to suffer. The study was published last October in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“People engage in the denial of mind in animals to allow them to engage in the behavior of eating animals with less negative effect,” Bastian says. The re­searchers argue that although humans have the ability to imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes—or hooves—doing so is not always helpful. People living in carnivorous cultures may have developed this strategy of denial to better align their morals with their traditions so they may continue to consume meat without being consumed by guilt.

Read some more here.

It’s Possible to Increase Your IQ

Yes, we’ve seen that you can increase your IQ before but isn’t it always a nice reminder that it’s possible? I think so!

Yet another study has been released that has demonstrable ways that anybody can increase their IQ. I think it’s also worth noting that IQ has a measurement is not the best way for people to compare their true smarts.

The take-home points from this research? This study is relevant because they discovered:

1. Fluid intelligence is trainable.

2. The training and subsequent gains are dose-dependent—meaning, the more you train, the more you gain.

3. Anyone can increase their cognitive ability, no matter what your starting point is.

4. The effect can be gained by training on tasks that don’t resemble the test questions.

Read more at Scientific American.

Vegetarians are Smart

Today’s good news is about me being smart because I’m vegetarian, OK, that’s a stretch, but the higher your IQ the greater the chances are that your vegetarian. Smart people eat well and being vegetarian is a healthy diet for you and the planet.

British researchers have found that children’s IQ predicts their likelihood of becoming vegetarians as young adults — lowering their risk for cardiovascular disease in the process. The finding could explain the link between smarts and better health, the investigators say.

“Brighter people tend to have healthier dietary habits,” concluded lead author Catharine Gale, a senior research fellow at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre of the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital.

Recent studies suggest that vegetarianism may be associated with lower cholesterol, reduced risk of obesity and heart disease. This might explain why children with high IQs tend to have a lower risk of heart disease in later life.

Read more at Now Public.

Be Less Angry by Getting Educated and Ageing

Researchers from the University of Toronto have found out some the primary reasons people get angry. Thanks to their research we now know what one can do to lower their anger levels: get an education and keep on living.

It was found that younger people experience more frequent anger than older adults. This is mainly due to the fact that younger people are more likely to feel time pressures, economic hardship, and interpersonal conflict in the workplace (three core stressors that elevate anger levels).

Feeling rushed for time is the strongest predictor of anger, especially the “low-grade” forms like feeling annoyed, revealed the study.

Having children in the household is associated with angry feelings and behaviour (i.e., yelling) and these patterns are stronger among women compared to men.

As compared to people with fewer years of education, the well educated are less likely to experience anger, and when they do, they are more likely to act proactively (e.g., trying to change the situation or talking it over).

Read more at the India Times.

Scroll To Top