Several Japanese TV networks have recently broadcast features on Taiwan’s “digital minister,” Audrey Tang, who makes for a stark contrast with her aging Japanese counterparts. What makes Tang, who is on her way to becoming something of a legend in Taiwan, just so popular?
One of the world’s top open source software developers, she started her own IT company at the age of 19. In 2014, she became a digital advisor to Apple, where she was involved in high-level artificial intelligence projects, such as the development of Apple’s virtual personal assistant, Siri. Under Tang’s contract with Apple, she was paid at the hourly rate of 1 bitcoin: the equivalent of around ¥50,000 when Audrey joined Apple in 2014, and a whopping ¥900,000 today. The skyrocketing bitcoin price, combined with the money from Tang’s earlier ventures, made her extremely wealthy.
Audrey announced her retirement at the age of 33, saying that she would spend the rest of her life doing what she enjoyed. This extends to her current role as Taiwan’s digital minister, which she undertook at the invitation of President Tsai Ing-wen.
Having led a very different life from most people, characterized by purposeful disobedience of social norms, she is now something of an idol for young Taiwanese, who are attracted to her unique life story and worldview.
and here's a great interview of her by tyler cowen (two savants conversing in an almost robotic style
i'm assuming this is the same conversation that i listened to via podcast (it is and the visual awesome)
The Nobel Prize Committee announced today that UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her research in developing CRISPR-Cas9. Berkeley’s Journalism School aired a video news conference and interview with Doudna this morning. Watch it here! (UC Berkeley video)
Recently, historic news of the successful birth of an endangered Przewalski's Horse foal conceived through cloning technology was announced. Remarkably, the nuclear material used for the purpose of expanding the genetic diversity of this managed species was from a genetically underrepresented stallion that has been deceased for many years. The stallion's DNA had been preserved at what is colloquially called the Frozen Zoo located at the San Diego Zoo Global's Institute for Conservation Research. Ryan Phelan, co-founder of Revive & Restore and lead scientist Ben Novak discuss the use and future promise of technology to increase biodiversity of vulnerable populations in what they deem "genetic rescue."
The annals of science brim with researchers who pushed the boundaries of sense and good taste in a laudable quest for knowledge. With the unveiling of the 30th annual Ig Nobel awards, another case shall be added.
To test the validity of a story in a work of ethnographic literature, Metin Eren, an anthropologist at Kent State University in Ohio, made a knife from his frozen faeces. He then set about butchering an animal hide, an endeavour that ended in failure.
âItâs an honour to be recognised,â Eren said, before the ceremony in which he was honoured for his work on Thursday. âIâve followed the Ig Nobels my entire life. Itâs a dream come true. Really.â (...)