Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Forest City": $100 billion bet next to Singapore

Ghost city or $100 billion paradise adjacent to Singapore? Chinese developers build gigantic "Forest City" in Malaysian Special Economic Zone. 10 km of coastline! 2 bedroom apartments for < $200k.

The mental model is Shenzhen: a city that barely existed 25 years ago, across the border from Hong Kong. Population today: 10 million.


Bloomberg: The landscaped lawns and flowering shrubs of Country Garden Holdings Co.’s huge property showroom in southern Malaysia end abruptly at a small wire fence. Beyond, a desert of dirt stretches into the distance, filled with cranes and piling towers that the Chinese developer is using to build a $100 billion city in the sea.

While Chinese home buyers have sent prices soaring from Vancouver to Sydney, in this corner of Southeast Asia it’s China’s developers that are swamping the market, pushing prices lower with a glut of hundreds of thousands of new homes. They’re betting that the city of Johor Bahru, bordering Singapore, will eventually become the next Shenzhen.

“These Chinese players build by the thousands at one go, and they scare the hell out of everybody,” said Siva Shanker, head of investments at Axis-REIT Managers Bhd. and a former president of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents. “God only knows who is going to buy all these units, and when it’s completed, the bigger question is, who is going to stay in them?”

The Chinese companies have come to Malaysia as growth in many of their home cities is slowing, forcing some of the world’s biggest builders to look abroad to keep erecting the giant residential complexes that sprouted across China during the boom years. They found a prime spot in this special economic zone, three times the size of Singapore, on the southern tip of the Asian mainland. ...

A decade ago, Malaysia decided to leverage Singapore’s success by building the Iskandar zone across the causeway that connects the two countries. It was modeled on Shenzhen, the neighbor of Hong Kong that grew from a fishing village to a city of 10 million people in three decades. Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. unveiled a 20-year plan in 2006 that required a total investment of 383 billion ringgit ($87 billion).

Singapore’s high costs and property prices encouraged some companies to relocate to Iskandar, while JB’s shopping malls and amusement parks have become a favorite for day-tripping Singaporeans. In the old city center, young Malaysians hang out in cafes and ice cream parlors on hipster street Jalan Dhoby, where the inflow of new money is refurbishing the colonial-era shophouses. ...

Monday, November 28, 2016

Drones at War: Lessons from Ukraine

Russian forces seem to have integrated both Electronic Counter-Measures (ECM) and real-time artillery targeting into drone warfare. To a technologist, this seems quite easy and predictable -- the main challenges are training and organization. Nevertheless, opposing militaries such as NATO might be unprepared for these new tactics.
Land Warfare in Europe: Lessons and Recommendations from the War in Ukraine: Shortly before dawn on the morning of July 11, 2014, elements of Ukraine’s 24th Mechanized Brigade met a catastrophic end near the Ukrainian border town of Zelenopillya. After a mass rocket artillery barrage lasting just three minutes, the combat power of two battalions of the 24th Mechanized Brigade was gone. What remained was a devastated landscape, burning vehicles and equipment, 30 dead and 90 wounded. According to multiple accounts, the Ukrainians were on the receiving end of a new and dangerous Russian weapon: the 122-mm Tornado Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). Capable of covering a wide fire area with a deadly combination of Dual-Purpose Improved Conventional Munitions (DPICMs), scatter mines and thermobaric warheads, the attack had not only destroyed the combat power of the Ukrainian forces, it offered a glimpse into the changing nature of Land Warfare in Europe. The battlefield was becoming deadlier.

... NATO armies should prepare to fight an ECM battle to keep their drones aloft in addition to the Anti-Access/Area Denial fight for the skies.
Phillip A. Karber, Lessons Learned from the Russo-Ukrainian War (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory & U.S. Army Capabilities Center (ARCIC)):
The surprising thing about the Russian use of drones is not in the mix of vehicles themselves or their unique characteristics, but rather in their ability to combine multiple sensing platforms into a real-time targeting system for massed, not precision, fire strikes. There are three critical components to the Russian method: the sensor platforms which are often used at multiple altitudes over the same target with complimentary imaging; a command-and-control system, which nets their input and delivers a strike order; and, an on-call ground-based delivery system which can produce strikes within short order.

... The author personally witnessed a fire-strike east of Mariupol in September 2014 in which an overflying drone identified a Ukrainian position, and destroyed it with a “GRAD” BM-21 MLRS [ range: 20-30 km ] within 15 minutes of the initial over-flight and then returned shortly after to do an immediate bomb-damage assessment. Last month when hit by a “GRAD” fragment in a similar strike, there were two UAVs over us – a quad-copter at 800ft and small fixed wing drone at about 2,500ft.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Three Lectures on AdS/CFT

MSU postdoc Steve Avery explains AdS/CFT to non-specialists (i.e., theoretical physicists who do not primarily work on string theory / quantum gravity). Steve is applying for faculty positions this fall -- hire him! :-)

AdS/CFT on this blog. See also Entanglement and fast thermalization in heavy ion collisions: application of AdS/CFT to collisions of heavy ions suggests that rapid thermalization occurs there due to quantum entanglement.

As an example of the versatility of theoreticians, Steve has also been working with me on machine learning and genomic prediction. He just wrote a very fast LASSO implementation in Julia that includes some automated capability to set L1 penalization and detect phase boundaries.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Annals of Machine Learning: differentiation of criminal faces?

I don't know whether this will replicate, but if the result holds up it is quite interesting. The higher degree of variability in criminal faces is fascinating. It suggests somewhat rare genetic variants of negative effect on behavior and cognition, with pleiotropic effects on facial morphology. Facial morphology is almost entirely heritable (see, e.g., identical twins).
Automated Inference on Criminality using Face Images

Xiaolin Wu, Xi Zhang

We study, for the first time, automated inference on criminality based solely on still face images. Via supervised machine learning, we build four classifiers (logistic regression, KNN, SVM, CNN) using facial images of 1856 real persons controlled for race, gender, age and facial expressions, nearly half of whom were convicted criminals, for discriminating between criminals and non-criminals. All four classifiers perform consistently well and produce evidence for the validity of automated face-induced inference on criminality, despite the historical controversy surrounding the topic. Also, we find some discriminating structural features for predicting criminality, such as lip curvature, eye inner corner distance, and the so-called nose-mouth angle. Above all, the most important discovery of this research is that criminal and non-criminal face images populate two quite distinctive manifolds. The variation among criminal faces is significantly greater than that of the non-criminal faces. The two manifolds consisting of criminal and non-criminal faces appear to be concentric, with the non-criminal manifold lying in the kernel with a smaller span, exhibiting a law of normality for faces of non-criminals. In other words, the faces of general law-biding public have a greater degree of resemblance compared with the faces of criminals, or criminals have a higher degree of dissimilarity in facial appearance than normal people.

Von Neumann: "If only people could keep pace with what they create"

I recently came across this anecdote in Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory: From Chess to Social Science, 1900-1960.

One night in early 1945, just back from Los Alamos, vN woke in a state of alarm in the middle of the night and told his wife Klari:
"... we are creating ... a monster whose influence is going to change history ... this is only the beginning! The energy source which is now being made available will make scientists the most hated and most wanted citizens in any country.

The world could be conquered, but this nation of puritans will not grab its chance; we will be able to go into space way beyond the moon if only people could keep pace with what they create ..."
He then predicted the future indispensable role of automation, becoming so agitated that he had to be put to sleep by a strong drink and sleeping pills.

In his obituary for John von Neumann, Ulam recalled a conversation with vN about the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue." This is the origin of the concept of technological singularity. Perhaps we can even trace it to that night in 1945 :-)

How will humans keep pace? See Super-Intelligent Humans are Coming and Don't Worry, Smart Machines Will Take Us With Them.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Trump Triumph Viewed From China

This is from a blog that tracks Chinese public opinion, mainly via the internet. I don't agree with everything in the original post, but here's something sourced from the crowd:
... a widely-read Weibo post (again originated from Zhihu) summarizes what Trump’s win has “taught China”, generating tens of thousands of retweets.

“1. We should retain our college entrance exam system that ensures a pathway for poor kids to move up the social ladder. The American election shows how a lack of upward mobility tears apart the society;

2. China should protect its manufacturing sector and prevent it from being outsourced. America’s deindustrialization only benefits capitalists, not workers;

3. China should forcefully resist immigrants and reject political correctness. Illegal immigrants usually compete with lower working class people for jobs, not professional middle class. When the daily safety of working class residents is threatened, they should be able to protect themselves without fear of being politically incorrect.

4. China should be adamantly against excessive care for the LGBT community. Their values and choice should be tolerated, not advocated, especially not at the expense of suppressed mainstream values.”
... It is hard to pinpoint exactly when a much more favorable view about Trump starts to bloom in the Chinese cyberspace. Through that lens, he is viewed as a truth-talker, a pragmatist, a fixer, and most importantly, a strong counter-voice against what is believed decadent Western liberal values.

Before we can properly explore the “Chinese support for Trump”, it is important to separate it from Chinese Americans’ rooting for the Republican candidate, which is based on more substantive issues for people who actually live in the US. A considerable amount of what’s written on Chinese-language sites about the election is actually by Chinese Americans, especially first generation Chinese immigrants. Their opposition to Hillary, and Democrats in general, often centers around issues such as the Affirmative Action which is believed to hurt hard-working Chinese American kids. ...

... The unveiled, intense disdain for American (and European) liberals demonstrated by a substantial segment of the Chinese social media is the key to understanding Trump’s popularity here, and something that ties the “intellectual” side of Trump’s Chinese support with his apparent lack of any intellectual appeal.

On, the Chinese equivalence of Quora, where enthusiasm about Trump is particularly strong, multiple top posts under the “Donald J. Trump” tag center around the theme of liberal hypocrisy and weakness. For a site that pride itself with informed discussions and a respect for expertise, the overall hostility towards Western liberal ideas deserves a moment of reflection. One of the posts that garners more than 18,000 likes is a broad stroke thesis about the decline of Western civilization under the pressure of Muslim immigration. “There are towns in Britain that are completely under the control of Muslim extremists, who are openly using white girls as sex slaves under the eyes of gutless British policemen***. Trump was right when he said there were no-go zones for French policemen in their own country. Western countries are in such a degree of self-deception that politicians like Obama and Merkel can be praised for their appeasement with Islamists while political correctness deters people from talking about the existential threat to Western civilization.”

It is one thing to be critical of the liberal ideas of multiculturalism and freedom of religion, it is quite another when a Chinese shows that level of concern for the demise of the West. ... Deep down they still see the West as something to aspire to, and they feel frustrated when “weak” liberal leaders squander their full hand of good cards. “Angry about them not putting up a fight” (怒其不争), as one Chinese saying goes. ...
*** Shocked readers who are not following events in Europe can learn more here: Rotherham Scandal. It's beyond doubt that political correctness kept these crimes from being investigated for years. It is sad that netizens in China are more likely to be aware of these events than members of the democratic party in the US who consider themselves "high information voters" and deride red state Trump supporters.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bannon, the Alt-Right, and the National Socialist Vision

What, exactly, is Trump advisor Steve Bannon's relationship to the Alt-Right? Is he a white nationalist, or merely a nationalist? There is no need to trust secondary media sources when we can go to the primary material.

Over the weekend, the Alt-Right held a conference in Washington DC. The event was live streamed and included a press conference. Richard Spencer, one of the leaders of the Alt-Right and its de facto public face, answered these questions rather directly in the clip below. Neither Trump nor Bannon are part of the Alt-Right as it defines itself, although the Alt-Right certainly supports Trump enthusiastically.

(Should start @4h29min and run for 90 seconds.)


Here is the NYTimes take on the conference and Spencer:
NYTimes: By the time Richard B. Spencer, the leading ideologue of the alt-right movement and the final speaker of the night, rose to address a gathering of his followers on Saturday, the crowd was restless.

In 11 hours of speeches and panel discussions in a federal building named after Ronald Reagan a few blocks from the White House, a succession of speakers had laid out a harsh vision for the future, but had denounced violence and said that Hispanic citizens and black Americans had nothing to fear. Earlier in the day, Mr. Spencer himself had urged the group to start acting less like an underground organization and more like the establishment.

But now his tone changed as he began to tell the audience of more than 200 people, mostly young men, what they had been waiting to hear. He railed against Jews and, with a smile, quoted Nazi propaganda in the original German. America, he said, belonged to white people, whom he called the “children of the sun,” a race of conquerors and creators who had been marginalized but now, in the era of President-elect Donald J. Trump, were “awakening to their own identity.”

... Mr. Spencer’s after-dinner speech began with a polemic against the “mainstream media,” before he briefly paused. “Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German?” he said.

The audience immediately screamed back, “Lügenpresse,” reviving a Nazi-era word that means “lying press.”

Mr. Spencer suggested that the news media had been critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign in order to protect Jewish interests. He mused about the political commentators who gave Mr. Trump little chance of winning.

“One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem,” he said, referring to a Jewish fable about the golem, a clay giant that a rabbi brings to life to protect the Jews.

Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Spencer said, was “the victory of will,” a phrase that echoed the title of the most famous Nazi-era propaganda film. But Mr. Spencer then mentioned, with a smile, Theodor Herzl, the Zionist leader who advocated a Jewish homeland in Israel, quoting his famous pronouncement, “If we will it, it is no dream.”

The United States today, Mr. Spencer said, had been turned into “a sick, corrupted society.” But it was not supposed to be that way.

Should start @1h29min. Spencer really gets going after 1h31min on the theme of America as a "normal country"...

Does History repeat? Spencer evokes Nietzsche, Weimar, and the fiery oratory of a young Austrian named Hitler.

See this autobiographical Q&A from 2011 for Spencer on the origins of the Alt-Right.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Glenn Loury and John McWhorter on Trump and the election (

The clip above is set to start at 17:37 of the episode, with Loury decrying hyperbolic claims about Trump's character to the neglect of discussion of actual policy positions. Subsequently, they arrive at BLM vs ALM, identity politics, and political correctness.
Glenn Loury (Brown University) and John McWhorter (Time, Columbia University)

The violent fallout from the election 9:43
How much does Trump’s character matter? 15:19
Did political correctness cost the Democrats the election? 12:19
What does it mean to be white in America? 9:22
Did Obama fail or was he a victim of circumstance? 4:01

Friday, November 18, 2016

Identity Politics is a Dead End: Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword

To those on the Left that pushed identity politics too far: Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword.

Congratulations, whites now feel they have to vote as a bloc to protect their own interests.

How is this good for America?

Marshalltown, Iowa is about 40 minutes from where I grew up.
NYTimes: ... Gretchen Douglas is a corrections officer from Marshalltown. The 53-year-old had been a Democrat her entire adult life and describes herself as a social liberal and fiscal conservative. She’s a supporter of unions and gay rights and abortion rights and said she doesn’t want to breathe dirty air. She proudly talked of her daughter’s success as a chemist, mentioning that not long ago the only options for women were teaching and nursing. She holds a degree in accounting and can tell you exactly the share of the national debt she and her husband carry.

Even as the recession caused Iowa to shed hundreds of state jobs, Douglas managed to hold onto hers. But in 2012, for the first time in her life, she registered as a Republican, and last week she voted for Trump. Douglas told me she had switched parties because she felt Obama had been irresponsible with spending, causing the national debt to soar. She said Democrats were spending too much on social programs for people who did not need them.

“I don’t want to throw Granny out in the snow, and I think the least of our brothers should be taken care of,” she said. “But I think that those who can work should.” Douglas said there was a time in her life where she was struggling, and so she applied for welfare for herself and her young children but was denied. She didn’t think that was fair, but she worked hard and turned her life around. But these days, she said, “I kind of think for some social programs there is no stigma.”

Douglas never mentioned race, but polls including a recent one of Trump supporters have shown that white Americans’ support for entitlement programs declines if they think black people are benefiting. And the longer Douglas talked, the more she revealed other reasons she had voted for Trump.

When Obama was elected, she hoped he would “bridge race relations, to help people in the middle of Iowa” see that black people “are decent hardworking people who want the same things that we want.” She said people in rural Iowa often don’t know many black people and unfairly stereotype them. But Obama really turned her off when after a vigilante killed a black teenager named Trayvon Martin, he said the boy could have been his son. She felt as if Obama was choosing a side in the racial divide, stirring up tensions. And then came the death of Michael Brown, shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Mo.

“I’m not saying that the struggles of black Americans aren’t real,” Douglas told me, “but I feel like the Michael Brown incident was violence against the police officer.”

The Black Lives Matter movement bothered her. Even as an Ivy League-educated, glamorous black couple lived in the White House, masses of black people were blocking highways and staging die-ins in malls, claiming that black people had it so hard. When she voiced her discomfort with that movement, she said, or pointed out that she disagreed with Obama’s policies, some of her more liberal friends on Facebook would call her racist. So, she shut her mouth — and simmered.
See also:
SlateStarCodex: Stop making people suicidal. Stop telling people they’re going to be killed. Stop terrifying children. Stop giving racism free advertising. Stop trying to convince Americans that all the other Americans hate them. Stop. Stop. Stop
The End Of America’s Racial Détente?
The Federalist: ... The clearest example is the Judge Gonzalo Curiel drama. By the rules of the détente, saying a judge cannot fulfill his duties because of his race or nationality counted as a firing offense. Indeed leaders on both the Left and Right assumed Trump could not overcome it.

But not only did many white voters break the rule of disqualifying a person based on a racist statement, they broke the second rule too. They began to ask why Trump couldn’t say a Mexican judge might be unfair, when we hear all the time about the danger of all white juries and white police officers. The white acceptance of legitimate racial double standards had dissipated, and without it the détente could not stand.
I went to see Bruce at the LA Coliseum in 1985 (Born in the USA Tour) with a bunch of guys from Page House (Caltech). He performed this beautiful version of Woody Guthrie's This Land is Your Land. If it doesn't give you goosebumps, you're wired up differently than me.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Shift Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology (New America Foundation and Bloomberg)

I spent yesterday at this event. If you look carefully you can see Tim O'Reilly in one of the photos below.
New America and Bloomberg are convening the Shift Commission on Work, Workers, and Technology to bring together a community of leaders from different disciplines — technology, business, policy, civil society, academia, and others — who want to understand the transformation of work and the lives of workers. The Shift Commission’s approach — imagine, not predict; look beyond next year; assume no villains — will provide a new way to think about the future of work and workers. The Shift Commission is co-chaired by Anne-Marie Slaughter, President & CEO of New America, and Roy Bahat, head of Bloomberg Beta.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Mind Out of Time: Arrival, Ted Chiang, and Sapir-Whorf

Arrival is based on a short story by Ted ChiangStory of Your Life.

Despite what some have said, the main plot idea (as I remember from the story; I have yet to see the film) goes well beyond the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis -- it also requires that human consciousness (potentially) extend beyond the confines of the usual time span we perceive. This is a modification of fundamental physics, not just of cognitive linguistics.

See also A Modern Borges? and Beyond Human Science.

Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis on American Gigolo

Highly recommended to readers with literary or cinematic interests. Paul Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis discuss American Gigolo. (Best brief summary of the movie and its impact is @5-12 min.) Ellis is the author of Less Than Zero and American Psycho. Schrader wrote and directed American Gigolo (1980), which had a huge cultural impact and made Richard Gere a star. (Intro soundtrack is Blondie's Call Me.)

This is an old interview with Ellis (translated from the French):
ALEX ISRAEL - We've spoken about your interest in Paul Schrader's American Gigolo. Tell me about your relationship to the film.
BRET EASTON ELLIS - I Was 16 when it came out and back then it seemed very shocking. It was Paramount's big spring movie of 1980 and it reverberated through our cultivation and started to change things. What Was shocking Was That there HAD never-been movie That Looked at a male beauty in the way American Gigolo DID. We'd seen women bed, Addressed, and undressed fait que fashion, we aim'd never seen a movie about Essentially male beauty. It was the first metrosexual movie. I think it has Anticipated changes in culture, That Would Be seen with more clarity later on in Calvin Klein ads and in the photographs of Herb Ritts.

ALEX ISRAEL - So it offered a new way of thinking about male sexuality's role in mass culture?
BRET EASTON ELLIS - A lot of movies-have Dealt with male sexuality. Purpose Does American Gigolo really deal with male sexuality? Richard Gere plays a prostitute in it. It's a film noir. Regardless of what Paul Schrader Was going for at the time, it: has a heavy homoerotic element. Purpose It Was not a gay film. It was Saying, look, this is Where We're headed as a culture male beauty in straight Culture is going to be Embraced in this way - not as it is in gay culture, in order --other this way. I remember seeing the movie a number of times, Knowing That It Was not a great film, That goal It was very suggestive. Now, 30 years later, it's a key THE movie.

ALEX ISRAEL - An Especially key movie for you, right?
BRET EASTON ELLIS - Completely, right down to the fact That I named Julian in Less Than Zero after Gere's character in American Gigolo. For better or worse, in 1980 I Began working on Less Than Zero. There Was not really a character Julian in the first draft of That book. When That character Began to announce Itself in subsequent drafts He Was named Julian - in homage to American Gigolo.


ALEX ISRAEL - What you Influenced When You Were writing Less Than Zero, other than American Gigolo?
BRET EASTON ELLIS - I Was a Southern California kid Who wanted to write about youth culture and about the people I Knew. The language of movies and it cam from punk rock and from Joan Didion. I do not know if There Was a specific cultural influences That inspired Less Than Zero. I do not know what it Would Have been. I knew that I wanted to write a novel, and I Was That very much Influenced by Joan Didion and Ernest Hemingway, not that much profit by Fitzgerald.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump Trauma Talk Therapy

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore joins Morning Joe for a wide-ranging discussion on the election of Donald Trump and what it means for the country.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump Triumph: Yes, it can happen here

Trump coverage on this blog. My advice: take Trump seriously, but not literally. The media and the Left took him literally but not seriously.

Trump on Trump: Playboy interview from 1990.
You categorically don't want to be President? I don't want to be President. I’m one hundred percent sure. I'd change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes.
Crazy like a Fox: Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone.
It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average. ...

Trump: "The war in Iraq was a big f ... fat mistake, all right?" he snorted. He nearly said, "A big fucking mistake." He added that the George W. Bush administration lied before the war about Iraq having WMDs and that we spent $2 trillion basically for nothing.
Trump on carried interest and hedge funds: "They didn't build this country."
“The hedge fund guys didn't build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky." He went on: “They’re energetic, they’re very smart. But a lot of them, it’s like they’re paper pushers. They make a fortune, they pay no tax... The hedge funds guys are getting away with murder.”
Foo Camp 2016: A Silicon Valley startup engineer from a working class white background told me about his family and the friends he grew up with in Ohio -- "Trump is going to win and it isn't going to be close."
I ran a session TRUMP 2016? CAN IT HAPPEN HERE? (a few people in the session caught the Sinclair Lewis reference) to get a feel for whether the tech community understands what's happening in our country. At another meeting earlier in the year I concluded
Everything at this meeting is off the record, so I can't say much about it. The one comment I'll make is that among this group of elites almost no one I've spoken to groks Trump or his appeal to a large number of Americans.
Michael Moore: Trump Will Win. Michael Moore understands America.
Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.”

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Decoding Genius podcast

I'm interviewed in episode 2 of this podcast.

What exactly is a Genius? Are they born that way or can you become a genius?

The world is now so interconnected that a single genius, whether a young Aussie creating mind-controlled machines or a ten year old building a high tech microbiology lab in her basement in Canada, can dramatically and instantly affect the way we live. So who are these exceptional people, and how did they become geniuses?

We travelled the world to talk to some of the most interesting young geniuses who are solving puzzles with their exceptional minds and trying to change the world; identifying them with this description, laid out a century ago by Thomas Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors: “Genius,” he said, “is 1 per cent inspiration and 99 per cent perspiration.”

We also deconstruct the paths that led them to greatness and made them stand out among their peers, whether it's a single 'lightbulb' moment, a complicated mix of natural talent, inspiration, or years of ‘perspiration’ that allowed their genius TO come alive.

We’ll also spend time with world leading experts, trying to unlock the secrets of high intelligence.

Genius: is it inspiration, perspiration, luck, or a complicated mix? That’s the formula we will put to the test as we travel the world… Decoding Genius.

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