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Parmin Sedigh

Why (You and I Think) Billionaires Suck

Hating billionaires has been a favourite pastime of us lowly mortals for a long time—and for good reason. “Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg agree to hold cage fight.”¹ There go the uber-wealthy doing ridiculous things once again. But where does this strong dislike come from? Are the one percenters truly different than the rest of us? Or is there something in the perception of the other 99% that fuels the dislike? It might be a bit of both.

Two sentient neuron tissues attached to wires are sitting on dishes opposite of each other, depicted on diagonal corners of the illustration. They each have ghostly arms holding a board and hitting a ball toward each other, like the game Pong. The far right neuron tissue has an exclamation mark above it, while the close left neuron tissue has three marks above it, depicting liveliness.

Organoid Intelligence: Can Neurons in a Dish Become Computers?

How good are you at the arcade game Pong? I don’t think I’ve ever played it, but playing the game has become a rite of passage for machines or systems trying to display their “intelligence.” Google-owned DeepMind mastered it in 20151, and training artificial intelligence (AI) models to play it is even a bonus assignment in a computer science course at the University of Toronto2. We’ve all become used to AI performing human-like tasks. But can you imagine a group of cells in a dish also being capable of playing the game?

Political Polarization: How Did We Become So Divided ?

In romance novels, opposites supposedly attract. The polar opposite is true in politics. Disagreements are a fundamental part of politics, but the existence of some common ground between people with differing opinions should be as well. Yet we’ve all heard anecdotes of increasing polarization, especially online. And in many people’s eyes, the pandemic particularly highlighted our growing differences. So, it’s time to take a moment and analyze, scientifically, why we should care about polarization and why it may be happening.