Category Archives: Technology

Why progress always ‘puts people out of work’

Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation, Adjunct Professor(ret.), Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

Let’s refine our definition of “the employment problem” by understanding that the biggest, most labor-intensive companies—the kind that absorbed all those farm laborers and created the 20th-Century middle-class—were inevitably destined to become not “centers of employment,” but centers of unemployment.

Here we begin by recounting my Grand Rapids speech and go on to explain the Vector One and Vector Two phenomenon, the entire phenomenon of ever-more-efficient companies and organizations (or entire sectors, like our friends the farmers) becoming smaller and smaller in terms of employment. Meanwhile, new technologies and new products and new market forces breed “job creation” elsewhere in the economy. A company or even an entire sector must do things better and more efficiently, or die. They eventually will die anyway unless they reinvent themselves as producers of new goods and services rather than inevitably obsolete goods and services.

Continue reading

An ancient Greek algorithm could reveal all-new prime numbers


FIONA MACDONALD is a Journalist and digital media specialist with 10 years experience across print and online media.
Looks after content strategy and partnerships for, and occasionally freelances when she should be sleeping.
Her writing has appeared in GQ, Elle, Marie Claire, Popular Science, and Australian Geographic.

In Science Alert, 28 SEP 2016

In case you missed it, mathematicians are pretty obsessed with prime numbers – the limitless ‘atoms’ of the mathematical world that are only divisible by themselves and one.

People are so into them, in fact, that there’s a continual push (and even financial incentive) to compute larger and larger new prime numbers.

But one of the world’s top mathematicians thinks the key to taking things to the next level could come from an ancient Greek algorithm, called the sieve of Eratosthenes.

The sieve of Eratosthenes is pretty much what it sounds like – a mathematical sieve that helps people filter out prime numbers.

Developed by Eratosthenes of Cyrene, a Greek mathematician and astronomer (and former director of the famed Library of Alexandria) back in around 240 BC, the sieve allows people to determine all the primes between a certain set of numbers.

It works by having you write all the numbers out (say 1 to 100) and then you start crossing numbers off in a particular order – the multiples of 2 (other than 2) are first to go, then the multiples of 3, etc. starting from the next number that hadn’t been crossed out.

Continue reading

Quantum Computers Are Coming. The World Might Not Be Ready

Bloomberg View published this article on September 6, 2016
The Editorial Board, Bloomberg.

Quantum mechanics, Carl Sagan once observed, is so strange that “common sense is almost useless in approaching it.” Scientists still don’t understand exactly why matter behaves as it does at the quantum level. Yet they’re getting better at exploiting its peculiar dynamics — in ways that may soon upend the technology business.

One of the most interesting applications is in computing. In theory, quantum computers could take advantage of odd subatomic interactions to solve certain problems far faster than a conventional machine could. Although a full-scale quantum computer is still years off, scientists have lately made a lot of progress on the materials, designs and methods needed to make one.

Continue reading