TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 9

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Take a data dive to see how a ring of suburban poverty is appearing around America’s revived cities.

By Luke Juday at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia

2. Don’t worry about Russia giving up on nuclear cooperation and the International Space Station.

By Lisa Saum-Manning in U.S. News & World Report

3. Scientists reverse-engineered social networks to learn how to fight HIV among homeless youth by word of mouth.

By Jessica Leber in Fast Co.Exist

4. A Pyrenees pipeline could weaken Putin’s grip on European energy.

By Paul Ames in Global Post

5. For developmentally disabled kids, the benefits of organized sports are huge.

By Darrin Steele in Quartz

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Will.i.am Warns of a Future With 3-D Printed Humans

'Humans – as great as we are – are pretty irresponsible'

Rapper and entrepreneur Will.i.am warned in a new interview that the world will need “new morals” to deal with the advent of 3-d printed humans.

The Black Eyed Peas founder predicted that the technology will exist within “our lifetime,” in an interview with Denizen magazine, and will push “humanity to have to adhere to new responsibilities.”

“New morals, new laws and new codes are going to have to be implemented,” he said. “Humans – as great as we are – are pretty irresponsible. Ask the planet. Ask the environment.”

3-D printing technology has been used to create human organs in the recent years—a development that Will.i.am says suggests that printing a full human is around the corner.

Will.i.am, once of the Black Eyed Peas, serves as the creative director of a 3-D printing company.

[Denizen]

TIME Science

Songs That Give You the Chills

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You can try experimenting with the songs yourself

A good number of scholarly studies have examined the enigmatic ability of music to sometimes induce ‘The Chills’ in humans. See, for example : ‘Musical Piloerection’ (by Björn Vickhoff, PhD, Rickard Åström, MFA, Töres Theorell, MD, PhD, Bo von Schéele, PhD, and Michael Nilsson, MD, PhD) in Music and Medicine, April 2012 vol. 4 no. 2 82-89.

For those who wish to experiment (possibly even self-experiment) with such things, another group of researchers, from the Centre of Interdisciplinary Research on Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) of McGill University, US (Valorie N. Salimpoor, Mitchel Benovoy, Gregory Longo, Jeremy R. Cooperstock, and Robert J. Zatorre) have compiled a list of musical excerpts which they found can sometimes induce The Chills (listed here in ascending order of chilliness):

• Holst, First Suite in E Flat, Classical, score 9:07
• Shostakovich, Symphony No. 11 – Mov. 4,Classical, score 10:00
• Phish, You Enjoy Mylsef, Jazz Fusion, score 10:50
• Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Static, Post-Rock, score 11:20
• Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 – Mov. 1, Classical, score 12:32
• Mahler, Symphony No. 2 – Mov. 1, Classical, score 13:00
• Shostakovich, 11th Symphony – Mov. 2, Classical, score 13:45
• Mahler, Symphony No. 1 – Mov. 1, Classical, score 14:00
• Shostakovich, Symphony No. 11 – Mov. 2, Classical, score 14:00
• Copland, Appalachian Spring Suite, Classical, score 20:00
… and, at number 1, chillwise,
• Shostakovich, Symphony No. 4 – Mov. 3, Classical, score 20:30

See: ‘The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal’, PLOS | ONE, October 16, 2009.

Note: The list included Liszt, whose ‘Danse Macabre’ (a.k.a. Totentanz), scored a relatively low 0.27

Also see (and hear): Kiss On My List’ (which may or may not induce The Chills)

This article originally appeared on Improbable Research.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Economy

Why Finance Is Still a Problem

TIME.com stock photos Money Dollar Bills
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Inequality, tepid job growth, lack of innovation are partially the result of finance's warped incentives

Warren Buffett warned investors that bankers were still up to their old tricks in his recent investor letter. Vanguard founder Jack Bogle is writing about how high fee mutual funds are ripping off investors and endangering retirement security. And Fed Chair Janet Yellen is touting new, tougher capital rules for “Too Big to Fail” banks. Despite the recovery and strong jobs numbers last week, the re-regulation of the financial sector isn’t yet finished. But a deeper worry, and one that’s taking center stage amongst academics, is the fact that finance has yet to be re-moored to the real economy. That may be dampening the recovery for many.

A growing slew of research, including several just-published papers, has found that over a multi-decade period, the rise of finance is associated with lower capital investment in the real economy, greater inequality, and the demise of more productive industries. Brandeis International Business School professor Stephen G. Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi, a senior economist at the BIS, recently published a paper entitled “Why Does Financial Sector Growth Crowd Out Real Economic Growth?”

The answer: because finance looks for quick growth rather than long-term rewards. And because finance wants to invest in industries like real estate and construction where there are tangible assets to be collateralized, rather than intangible assets like the ideas and intellectual property that typically power more productive sectors like, say, technology, pharmaceuticals, or advanced manufacturing. What’s more, the disproportionate pay of bankers (they still make about three times what their similarly well-educated colleagues in other sectors do, even post crisis) continues to lure talent away from areas that create more and better jobs for the population as a whole. “When I was at MIT many years ago,” says Cecchetti, “everyone wanted to work in cold fusion or recombinant DNA. By the 1990s, nobody wanted to do that.” Solution? “I think we should take some proportion of the smartest people in the room and make sure they don’t go into finance,” says Cecchetti, only half joking.

Part of the problem with the rise of finance is that it encourages the culture of shareholder value over all else. That means CEOs focus more on buoying stock prices rather than making the best long-term decisions. The effects can be seen in the fact that since the 1980s, share buybacks and dividend payments have increased in direct proportion to a decrease in productive capital investment, according to a recent Roosevelt Institute paper entitled “Disgorge the Cash: The Disconnect Between Corporate Borrowing and Investment.”

What’s more, says JW Mason, a Roosevelt fellow who authored the paper, the low interest rates that have prevailed particularly since the 2008 crisis have sped up the trend as firms actually borrow money at lower rates to do more buybacks, rather than invest in the real economy. (The later is, by the way, what the Fed’s easy money policy was intended to encourage.) In fact, business investment dropped 20 % since 2008, as almost all borrowing went back to investors in the form of such payments. “It may be that we need to move to a more active control of investments to make sure that useful projects get funded,” says Mason, who says a kind of “World Bank for the US” might be one answer.

All this dovetails with the country’s inequality problem, which is an issue that will be big in the 2016 election cycle. As Wallace Turbeville, a Demos fellow who has done yet another influential paper on financialization points out, both the Republican and Democratic positions on inequality are lacking. Conservatives believe in bootstrapping, and liberals in redistribution of wealth. But if the very structure of our capitalism is designed to reward mainly elites (something Thomas Piketty’s best seller Capital in the 21st Century pointed out so well last year), then no amount of redistribution or hard work can fix the problem.

We need to fix the structure of capitalism itself and, in particular, figure out a way to make it work better for the masses. Turbeville has some of his own ideas about how to do this, including incentivizing long-term share ownership over high-speed trading, and limiting the use of derivatives. I hope that the economic debate in the primary season will be filled with many more.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the surname of Brandeis International Business School professor Stephen G. Cecchetti.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 6

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. India has banned a documentary on the 2012 gang rape that rocked the country. That was a huge mistake.

By Shashi Tharoor at NDTV

2. Berkeley decided to give campus departments a real incentive to cut power consumption by charging them directly — and energy use went down.

By Meredith Fowlie in The Berkeley Blog

3. Pakistan is helping Afghanistan’s president make peace with the Taliban. Other powers should back him.

By the Economist

4. Ukraine’s military will never be strong enough to beat Russia outright. But it doesn’t have to be.

By Alexander J. Motyl in Foreign Policy

5. Micro-bubbles — guided with magnets, deployed with sound waves — could revolutionize the delivery of medicine and even chemotherapy.

By Charvy Narain at the Oxford Science Blog

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Science

Science Finally Explains Why Coffee Spills More Easily Than Beer

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It's all about the foam

The research on why foamy liquid (such as beer or latte) is less likely to slosh out of a cup than non-foamy liquid (such as black coffee), has now been formally published. The study is:

Damping of liquid sloshing by foams,” A. Sauret, F. Boulogne, J. Cappello, Emilie Dressaire and H.A. Stone, Physics of Fluids, vol. 27, 022103 (2015).

The slosh team presented their work in public a few months ago, at the Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics.

A few years, earlier, that annual meeting went gaga, to a very limited degree, for a research presentation about why a cup of coffee is so very easy to spill (or, looked at from the other direction, why it’s so difficult to NOT spill a cup of coffee). That coffee-spill research was eventually honored with the 2012 Ig Nobel Prize for fluid dynamics. Here’s the Ig Nobel citation for that prize:

Rouslan Krechetnikov and Hans Mayer for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.

REFERENCE: “Walking With Coffee: Why Does It Spill?” Hans C. Mayer and Rouslan Krechetnikov, Physical Review E, vol. 85, 2012.

In 2013, that coffee-spill research was the subject of a dramatic demonstration by Karolinska neuroscientist Gustav Nilsonne, at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

A month from now, Gustav Nilsonne will perhaps repeat that demonstration, with both coffee and beer, when the 2015 Ig Nobel Eurotour descends on the Karolinka Institute, on Monday afternoon, March 30. (There will be a second show in Stockholm, at Boulevardteatern, in the evening.)

(Thanks to investigator Mason Porter for bringing this to our attention.)

This article originally appeared on Improbable Research.

More from Improbably Research:

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 5

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. 2.7 million American children have a parent in prison. We can learn from South Africa’s belief in a “right to childhood.”

By Lauren Lee White at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy

2. Imagine handling an ancient artifact or typing on a virtual keyboard. Holograms you can feel are here.

By Anthony Cuthbertson in International Business Times

3. One school district is bringing down the silos between art, computer science and technology education to give kids skills for the future.

By Todd Keruskin in EdSurge

4. They cost less and give patients a better experience. It’s time to drop the barriers on nurse practitioners.

By Matthew Yglesias in Vox

5. To keep their labs supplied with cheap labor, universities are churning out PhDs. But there’s no work for them after graduation.

By Brenda Iasevoli in The Hechinger Report

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 4

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. We’re measuring family poverty wrong. We should measure access to opportunity to find out what’s really working.

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

2. Anxiety, depression and more: “Four to five times more” high school athletes struggle with mental health issues than concussions.

By Gary Mihoces in USA Today

3. They provide social order and an economic structure. What if prison gangs actually make life better behind bars?

By Shannon Mizzi in Wilson Quarterly

4. Scientists have released the genetic sequence of the 2014 Ebola virus to crowdsource solutions to future outbreaks.

By Fathom Information Design

5. If new technology really cut jobs, we’d all be out of work by now.

By Walter Isaacson in the Aspen Journal of Ideas

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 3

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. What if a microbe could solve the fracking wastewater problem, all while generating additional clean energy?

By Michael Casey at CBS News

2. Thank your dog: A new paper credits domesticated wolves with giving humans the evolutionary advantage over Neanderthals 40,000 years ago.

By Robin McKie in the Guardian

3. With all their innovation, apps on tablets can’t give kids the experience of building with blocks.

By Eric Westervelt at National Public Radio

4. This device could revolutionize childbirth. It was created by a car mechanic.

By Ed Stocker in GlobalPost

5. The old models for statecraft don’t account for the power of networked communications. Welcome to Netpolitik.

By Charlie Firestone and Leshuo Dong in the Aspen Journal of Ideas

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: March 2

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. “Whenever there is conflict, the women and children are the first victims.” Here’s why we need more female peacekeepers.

By United Nations Peacekeeping

2. ISIS is raising money and hatching plots on the “dark web.” The NSA is watching closely.

By Patrick Tucker in Defense One

3. Schools in one South Carolina town want to extend their supportive environment to school buses. It’s paying off.

By Sam Chaltain in the New York Times

4. Eyewitness testimony is the “number one cause of wrongful convictions.” We can make it better.

By Kevin Hartnett in The Boston Globe

5. Data centers consume and waste massive amounts of energy. So Microsoft is powering one with methane from wastewater.

By Leigh Paterson in Inside Energy

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

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