William Softky

William Softky is a biophysicist who was among the first neuroscientists to understand microtiming, and among the first technologists to build that understanding into algorithms. Thousands have cited his scientific work, his PhD in Theoretical Physics is from Caltech, his name is on 10 patents and two of the companies he inspired were acquired for $160 million total.
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Virtual Reality is Impossible, Like Perpetual Motion

Over a hundred years ago, most scientific evidence pointed toward an impending invention which would change the world, encapsulated in the paradoxical expression “perpetual motion.”  Ultimately that invention proved to be impossible because of the brand-new scientific discovery that energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Nowadays, a similarly profitable fantasy builds on a similarly... Continue Reading

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Facebook Rebrands Itself After a Fictional Dystopia

By rebranding itself as Meta, Facebook named itself an evil empire. It did so on purpose, and quickly enough to express its long-time motto, “Move fast and break things,” which, investors take note, is the antithesis of a long-term strategy. Moving too fast is probably why Facebook used open-access security protocols, a systematic sloppiness enabling whistleblowers to swipe top-secret papers... Continue Reading

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Neurohacker Today, Smarter Tomorrow

“How do I upgrade my brain?” In an ever more inhuman world, ever more humans seek answers to that question. But the right answer depends on what you mean by the question. If by “upgrading” you mean upgrading the nervous system according to its own needs and functions (my expertise), your answer would be a recalibration program, which looks a lot like yoga or dancing, involving very... Continue Reading

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The Unbearable Shallowness of “Deep AI”

Since people invented writing, communications technology has become steadily more high-bandwidth, pervasive and persuasive, taking a commensurate toll on human attention and cognition. In that bandwidth war between machines and humans, the machines’ latest weapon is a class of statistical algorithm dubbed “deep AI.” This computational engine already, at a stroke, conquered both... Continue Reading

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17 Physics Reasons Pole Dancing Benefits Humans

By some weird fluke, I may be the most famous male pole dancer in the world this month. Not by any means the best, strongest or most graceful. Maybe the oldest and certainly the most unlikely. Being the opposite of a typical pole enthusiast gives me the perfect stage, in brief, to sing the objective scientific praises of one of the most unscientific, touchy-feely practices that people swear... Continue Reading

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The Science of Rebuilding Trust

During his inauguration, President Joe Biden appealed to us, American citizens, repeatedly and emphatically, to defend unity and truth against corrosion from power and profit. Fortunately, the bedrock tensions between unity, truth, power and profit have newly-discovered mathematical definitions, so their formerly mysterious interactions can now be quantified, predicted and addressed. So in... Continue Reading

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What If Humans Really Could Fly?

Since hindsight is always 20/20, and now we thankfully have 2020 in hindsight, it’s time to celebrate. In particular, to celebrate a commercially irrelevant but wondrous technology that might allow humans to fly through the air under our own power, like birds. This is the stuff of dreams. One of the few virtues of the “Wonder Woman 1984” film I saw recently is that it shows a woman... Continue Reading

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Can We Build Social Trust in an Online World?

For every reader who bothers to write to the author, there must be a hundred others. One reader, Paritosh, wrote to Fair Observer regarding one of my articles that invoked well-understood principles of neuroplasticity to explain how any learning system, child or artificial intelligence (AI) can be damaged by artificial inputs, like screens and online interruptions. For children to learn to trust... Continue Reading

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Monetizing Children’s Brains Means the End of Our Species

Fair Observer’s Atul Singh told me of his own friend, Pankaj, a father of three daughters. Pankaj was concerned that his daughters have been subjected to around three to seven hours a day of online classes, and he felt it was deeply wrong. I was invited by Fair Observer to write an article addressing Pankaj’s heartfelt concerns, which are shared by many parents worldwide. Children are... Continue Reading

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Hate Makes More Money Than Love… and Moves Faster

Everyone in business knows that as a general principle, the fastest-spreading, most revenue-positive ventures and messages wind up having the most influence. That's true not just for individual people, but for businesses, business models, technologies, communications protocols, you name it. Fast replication and copious resources have always been the keys to evolutionary advantage in any... Continue Reading

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