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blinkBL_NK #22

Event Details

Date: Wednesday, June 20
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Blu Jaz, 11 Bali Lane (Entrance on Ophir Road)
Cost: $5 donation

Talk Summaries

Talk 1: A Flat Fee Suffices: A Theoretical Physicist’s View on Taxi Cabs in Singapore
by Bernard Leong

Description: Have you ever wondered why you are never able to get a taxi during certain times of the day in Singapore? Have you ever wondered why the taxi drivers are always complaining? Are the incentives really that bad for them? Gathering some anecdotal evidence coupled with economics and physics, Bernard Leong seeks to analyze the cultural phenomenon of taxi cabs in Singapore. At the end, he presents a solution based on free market and competition to how the problem might be solved.

Speaker: A theoretical physicist in his past life, Bernard is always observing the world around him through the lenses of economics and theoretical physics. He just shut down his company, Chalkboard, but you can still find him writing in & chatting with tech pundits around Asia on or just follow him on @bleongcw or read his blog.

Talk 2: The Cognitive Revolution
by Shaun Martin

Description: In September 1956, at a short conference at MIT, three lectures marked the beginning of what is now known as the “cognitive revolution”. The cognitive revolution, roughly speaking, describes the mind as a computational machine, running an interacting set of functionally-adapted algorithms. From just a few papers, the cognitive revolution has grown into a huge scientific movement, producing around a hundred thousand publications every year. In this talk, Shaun Martin will introduce some of the key discoveries that make up the cognitive revolution, and describe some directions that he and his colleagues are pursuing in applying these discoveries in real world settings.

Speaker: Shaun is CEO of Applied Cognitive Research, an innovation and strategy research firm he co-founded in 2000. Prior to founding Applied Cognitive Research, Shaun taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a research member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Shaun holds a Doctorate in Mathematics from the University of Oxford.

Talk 3: The Rise of the Foldies: How Singaporeans are re-discovering the freedom of cycling
by N. Sivasothi and Kevin Lim

Description: Cycling was a liberating experience of our childhood, made possible by a safe environment available to young and unsupervised riders. Through scraped knees and elbows, our skills developed organically with time. Urbanization has since robbed our streets of their nurturing role in communities. Increasingly crowded roads with fast and large vehicles saw cyclists fade with loss of safe spaces even as we became more sheltered. But in the past few years, there has been a dramatic change, brought about by the rise of foldies and the extension of the PCNs. Thousands have returned to the saddle and we now ask “how ready is our city to embrace this evolution?

Speaker: N. Sivasothi (@sivasothi) aka Otterman is a lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences and a research associate of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at the National University of Singapore. He maintains several blogs including “Cycling in Singapore”, leads a longstanding cycling group called the Zen Dogs, and is working with his student on a nature cycling tour on the north-eastern PCNs called the “Otter Trail”.

Speaker: Kevin Lim (@brainopera) is an Assistant Director, Strategy & Experience at The National Art Gallery, Singapore. In his previous life at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), he was known for his “social cyborg” experiment in memory, privacy and cybernetics, Nowadays he’s examining the bicycle as a timeless, sustainable form of personal transportation.

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