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March, 20 2018

Innovation Ecosystem: 050 – Hacking Flow: How to Make Outperformance a Habit with Steven Kotler

Check out the podcast here: http://innovationecosystem.com/podcast/hacking-flow-steven-kotler/ What Was Covered Understanding flow as the peak state of consciousness in human performance and how it is the signature of commitment and performance in domains as varied as business and sports How flow is one of the most important skills for employees to have in the 21st century, its importance in driving creative problem solving in the VUCA world, and why companies like Patagonia embed it into their cultures and processes. The four stages of…

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February, 10 2018

Who’s In Charge Here: The Surprising Science of Self Control

Who’s In Charge Here: The Surprising Science of Self Control   You are not running the show—that’s one of bigger lessons from the cutting edge of biology.   In recent years, scientists have identified over 100,000 viral elements in your genome, compared to the 20,000 human protein coding genes. Eight to nine percent of our DNA belongs to them and not us. Or, as science writer Carl Zimmer explains: “You’re six times more virus than human.”   Moreover, the average human body…

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February, 10 2018

The Passion Recipe: Four Steps To Total Fulfillment

The Passion Recipe: Four Steps To Total Fulfillment Over the past few decades, “passion” has been declared everything from the secret to successful entrepreneurship to the foundation of a meaningful life. It’s the magic pill alright, which is exactly the problem. Now, sure, if you already know what you’re passionate about, well, this isn’t much of a problem. But for anyone who wants to, say, build a passion-driven business, not knowing what you’re passionate about is quite a hurdle. This…

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February, 10 2018

The Science of Peak Human Performance:

The science of ultimate human performance has a bad name–literally. “Flow” is the term used by researchers for optimal states of consciousness, those peak moments of total absorption where self vanishes, time flies, and all aspects of performance go through the roof.   Unfortunately, even though research in this area holds considerable promise, unless you’re studying toilet bowl dynamics or lubrication theory, “flow” doesn’t sound like a sober scientific topic. And who hasn’t used the term colloquially, thinking that “going…

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February, 10 2018

Hacking the President’s DNA

The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace.   This is how the future arrived. It began innocuously, in the early 2000s, when businesses started to realize that highly skilled jobs formerly performed in-house,…

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February, 10 2018

The Human Operating System Gets an Overhaul

The Human Operating System Gets an Overhaul Forget editing genes. This guy wants to write brand-new ones. The boldest science project currently in the works? It’s not Elon Musk’s race to Mars or the the next iteration of the Large Hadron Collider. Instead it’s something many people haven’t have heard of. Think of it this way — right now, around the globe, synthetic biologists are building novel organisms from scratch for an array of purposes in medicine, energy, agriculture, and other fields. The project I’m…

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February, 10 2018

Vision Quest

A HALF CENTURY OF ARTIFICIAL-SIGHT RESEARCH HAS SUCCEEDED. AND NOW THIS BLIND MAN CAN SEE.   I’M SITTING ACROSS FROM A BLIND MAN — CALL HIM PATIENT Alpha — at a long table in a windowless conference room in New York. On one end of the table there’s an old television and a VCR. On the other end are a couple of laptops. They’re connected by wires to a pair of homemade signal processors housed in unadorned gunmetal-gray boxes, each no…

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February, 10 2018

REENGINEERING THE EVERGLADES

REENGINEERING THE EVERGLADES   For decades, the world’s largest wetlands have been diked, dammed, diverted, and drained. Here’s how massive earthmoving, underground plumbing, and statistical modeling are getting South Florida back to nature – new and improved.   The Everglades are dying. Nearly half of their 4 million acres has been swallowed up by sprawl and sugarcane. Almost 70 plant and animal species hover on the brink of extinction. Since 1930, the wading bird populations – egrets and herons and…

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February, 10 2018

WHY YOU SHOULD BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE

WHY YOU SHOULD BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE   It’s a blizzard of bad news out there: an ongoing economic crisis, a burgeoning education crisis, healthcare turmoil, energy poverty, water scarcity — to name but a few of our fears. So pervasive is our sense of doom and gloom, that those telling a different story can rarely be heard. And there’s a very different story worth hearing.   Currently, thanks to the incredible, exponential rate of growth of technology, combined…

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February, 10 2018

Next Stop, Europa:

THE MOST PROMISING PLACE in the solar system to find life isn’t Mars – it’s Europa. One of 16 moons orbiting Jupiter, Europa (nine-tenths the size of Earth’s moon) has both surface ice and clear signs of a subsurface ocean. An ocean means water, and water means life – especially if, as we suspect, there’s a heat source at the moon’s core. To get a better look, NASA is planning the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter mission to survey Europa and two…

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February, 10 2018

The Heidi Chronicles

If you get on the freeway in Los Angeles and drive east into the dead heat of the Mojave Desert, take a left past the red rock spires of the Spring Mountains, then continue down lonely roads, past a string of one-horse towns and barren landscapes and a wide sky that will not quit, you’ll eventually find yourself at the ass-end of a forgotten highway, in the town of Crystal, Nevada, population 100 — no kids. Since this is just…

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February, 10 2018

The Final Frontier

Irv Weissman‘s home is about 20 minutes from Stanford University, hidden from the road by a tall stand of trees. Inside, all of the rooms are spacious, but the living room is more so. The ceiling is high and broad-beamed; the furniture, Western chic: chairs hewn from tree branches, tables built from tree trunks. The couch is a curving affair that looks a little like a giant, gold earthworm caught in a pillow fight. Spread out in front of the…

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February, 10 2018

The God of Sperm

The God of Sperm STEVEN KOTLER | SEPTEMBER 26, 2007 | 2:00PM   The world’s largest collections of stored genetic material are found in Sussex, England, Spitsbergen, Norway — and Los Angeles.   Sussex hosts the Millennium Seed Bank, which houses some 750 million species of plant seed. Spitsbergen, an island less than 600 miles from the North Pole, is the site of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which safeguards — inside a tunnel, inside a mountain — every variety of all of the…

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February, 10 2018

Oh So Natural

Oh So Natural STEVEN KOTLER | APRIL 15, 2004 | 12:00AM     For a long time there have been two paramount arguments against homosexuality. The first came from the Bible. The King James Version of Leviticus 18:22 is quite clear: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: It is abomination.” Then again, in that same Bible, Exodus sanctions selling one’s youngest daughter into slavery. In fact, elsewhere in the Good Book, we’re told that a woman caught wearing garments made from two…

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February, 10 2018

Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil STEVEN KOTLER | JULY 28, 2005 | 12:00AM The road to the future is paved in blood — my own. Not too long ago, a nurse went a little crazy with my hemoglobin. Somewhere in the middle of the second vial, I got too dizzy to pay attention, but it felt like she took pints, quarts, gallons, whatever comes after gallons, gleefully mining my veins for any secrets they might conceal. The blood was sent to a medical lab that ran…

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February, 10 2018

Under My Tongue

For almost as long as people have been chasing the dragon, people have been trying to slay it as well. The list of heroin-addiction cures comes in all forms. Urban legend says light-bulb inventor Thomas Alva Edison came up with a multispiced detox wonder called either “Poly-Form” or “Golden Liquid Beef Tonic,” the historical records being a little unclear. Just past the turn of the 19th century, two New York doctors, Alexander Lambert and Charles Towns, doled out a wondrous…

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February, 10 2018

The dog rescuer

The dog rescuer   Damien has heart problems, Chow is deaf, blind and obese, Otis has epilepsy… Three years ago, Steven Kotler set up a sanctuary for canines plucked off “death row”. The dogs are doing well, but it is their owner who has undergone the most profound change.   Steven Kotler and friends at the Rancho de Chihuahua Dog Sanctuary. Photograph: Steven Kotler for the Observer It’s May 2007 and I’m driving from Los Angeles, California to Chimayo, New…

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February, 10 2018

The Genius Who Sticks Around Forever: Downloadable consciousness here we come.

Tech 2010: #32 Everlasting; The Genius Who Sticks Around Forever By STEVEN KOTLER JUNE 11, 2000 They say that wisdom accumulates, that perhaps it is not subject to the same ticktock corrosion that renders bones frail and hair thin. They say it is our one real treasure, this thing to be passed on, generation to generation, to grant us a stay against a dark, dim future. And so we have Greek lectures transcribed by diligent pupils; sketches by Leonardo; a collection…

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February, 10 2018

Wave Rider: How surfing saved my life

Wave Rider Lives By STEVEN KOTLER JUNE 4, 2006 My earliest childhood belief was a sneaking suspicion that the world was more mysterious than people were letting on. It’s hard to say how much of this was suburban boredom and how much heartfelt sentiment, and in the end it didn’t matter. By the time I got to college, that little notion had grown into a bad case of Jonathan Livingston Seagull-itis. When two semesters of philosophy failed to satisfy, I dropped out…

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February, 10 2018

Ecopsychology in Ten Easy Lessons

Ecopsychology in Ten Easy Lessons by STEVEN KOTLER   1. What are the trees saying? I am listening closely. Listening, as I have been advised, with the whole of my being. Trying to hear a voice, this voice of the trees, this voice I’ve traveled so far to hear. And it has arrived, finally, wandering up through the branches, carried by the wind, this voice so very old. What is it saying? The message is simple and clear. It’s saying: “Hey…

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February, 10 2018

As Madagascar is Plundered, A Staunch Defender Fights Back

Primatologist Patricia Wright has spent the past 25 years studying — and protecting — Madagascar’s rich yet highly threatened biodiversity. Now, as many of the island’s remaining forests are being felled in the wake of a 2009 coup, Wright describes how she is helping organize the local residents and international conservation organizations to fight back. BY STEVEN KOTLER • JULY 1, 2010   Patricia Wright has devoted most of her professional life to working on Madagascar, home to a remarkable collection of plants and animals, more…

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