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Bionic Eyes, Space Junk, and a Super Mario Speedrun: Lux Recommends #247

By Sam Arbesman, PhD

Welcome to Lux Recommends #247, this week’s edition of what we at Lux are reading and thinking about (want to receive this by email? Sign up here).

Doctors Are Preparing to Implant the World’s First Human Bionic Eye: “The same implants could potentially treat paralysis as well.” — Adam K

A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human? “We asked GPT-3, OpenAI’s powerful new language generator, to write an essay for us from scratch. The assignment? To convince us robots come in peace” — Deena

When Math Gets Impossibly Hard: “Mathematicians have long grappled with the reality that some problems just don’t have solutions.” — Sam

Scientists Advance on One of Technology’s Holy Grails: “Designer proteins could help us build new materials, clean up the environment, and even fight COVID-19.” — Deena

I am a 38-year-old man who had never watched a minute of Star Wars — until I binged all of them on Disney+ over quarantineAdam K

How Climate Migration Will Reshape America: “Millions will be displaced. Where will they go?” — Friend of Lux Jeff Cooper

These 120,000-year-old footprints offer early evidence for humans in ArabiaDeena

A scientific first: How psychedelics bind to key brain cell receptorAdam G

On This Island, Everyone Knows Your Name (if You Have Covid-19): “When someone tests positive in a small, close-knit community on a Greek island, privacy is the first thing to go.” — Lux friend Nicky Sid

The Elusive Peril of Space Junk: “Millions of human artifacts circle the Earth. Can we clean them up before they cause a disaster?” — Deena

The Finalists for the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography AwardsSam

Amp It Up!Alex

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff: “The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy.”— Sam

Away: “Away follows the first crewed expedition to Mars, the Mars Joint Initiative.” — friend of Lux Jeff Cooper

Reprogramming a Game By Playing It: an Unbelievable Super Mario Bros 3 SpeedrunSam

US population density over timeAdam K

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