Pas de livre sans sous-vêtement, Musk impose le net aux Taliban, batterie en béton, lampe à urine, théorie sociale des OVNIs & more !

Bonjour à vous,

Vous recevez la newsletter Parlons Futur : une fois par semaine au plus, une sélection de news résumées en bullet points sur des sujets tech, science, éco pour mieux appréhender le futur.

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Et si vous avez des questions, des remarques, des suggestions, n’hésitez pas à me les partager en répondant simplement à cet email, j’en serai ravi :)

(Je m'appelle Thomas, plus d'infos sur moi en bas d'email)

Voici donc ma sélection de la semaine !

L’apéro

  • Vision (dystopique) de ce que pourrait être un monde vécu en réalité augmentée

    • Voir la vidéo intitulée Hyper-Reality, déjà vieille de 5 ans, sur viméo

  • Parlons Passé : incroyable thread twitter qui explique à quoi on doit le format du livre d'aujourd'hui :

    • “Cheese is one of the 5 things the Western book as we know it depends on. The other four are snails, Jesus, underwear and eyeglasses. If even one of these things was absent, the book you hold in your hand today would look completely different. I'll explain why.”

    • Arguments du fromage et escargot, un peu tirés par les cheveux, mais celui des sous-vêtements est fascinant (le papier était au départ confectionné en Europe à partir de fripes blanches, et la principale source en était les sous-vêtements…)

  • Une IA protège les océans en identifiant les navires qui déversent leurs eaux de cale (source)

    • SkyTruth a développé avec le concours d'Amazon Web Services une intelligence artificielle capable d'interpréter des données satellites et d'indiquer la date et l'heure à laquelle un bateau déverse ses eaux usées.

    • L'algorithme s'appuie sur les données radar de satellites d'observation mis en orbite par l'ESA, l'agence spatiale européenne. L'imagerie permet en effet de voir à l'œil nu les longues traces laissées en surface par les eaux de cales. Grâce à la méthode du deep learning (apprentissage profond), SkyTruth a alors entraîné l'IA à identifier cette source de pollution maritime.

  • La saviez-vous : La définition du mille marin est basée sur ce principe :

    • prenez la circonférence de la Terre : 40,075 km

    • divisez par 360 (pour 360 degrés), divisez encore par 60 (car il y a 60 “minutes” d'arc par degré)

    • et voilà, un mille marin est, à peu près, la distance à la surface de la Terre qui permet de couvrir un angle d'une minute d'arc, soit 1852 mètres (différent du mile anglosaxon : 1609m )

À table !

Starlink d'Elon Musk pourrait distribuer internet en Afghanistan que les Taliban le veuillent ou non !

  • Suite à la suggestion "Frankly, I would love it if SpaceX would just flood Afghanistan with Starlink so that there is a way for us to maintain communication with our Afghan partners."…

  • …Elon Musk a tweeté ici et : "Our satellites launching in next few months have inter-satellite laser links” “Lasers links alleviate ground station constraints, so data can go from say Sydney to London through space, which is ~40% faster speed of light than fiber & shorter path. Also, no need for ground stations everywhere. Arctic will have great bandwidth!"

  • Et si les Taliban ne sont pas d'accord, il répond : "They can shake their fist at the sky"

  • Imaginez un instant la portée de cette possibilité technique : apporter un internet non censuré à un pays qui le refuse, comme la Chine ou la Corée du Nord... j'avais publié une tribune sur ce sujet en 2014 dans le Journal du Net : Quand la démocratie tombera du ciel (grâce à Internet)


Des médecins auraient découvert comment "inverser" le vieillissement des cellules de notre système immunitaire, nous promettant de vivre mieux et plus vieux (source)

  • A team of scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology says it’s found a way to reverse the natural aging of immune system cells — and potentially make the elderly far more resistant to infections.

  • “We found specific hormonal signals produced by the old B cells, the memory cells, that inhibit the bone marrow from producing new B cells,” Melamed told The Jerusalem Post. “This is a huge discovery. It is like finding a needle in a haystack.” B cells are used by the immune system to identify and produce antibodies against new pathogens.

  • Typically, your body stops making as many B cells later in life, but suppressing a particular hormone can trigger production, theoretically giving an older person’s immune system the same robustness it had earlier in life, according to research published last month in the journal Blood.

  • While the team still needs to conduct clinical trials, their work hints at a future in which the elderly can fight off pathogens just as well as younger generations, enjoying better health well into old age.


Plans for $400-billion 5-million-people new city in the American desert unveiled (CNN)

  • Billionaire Marc Lore has outlined his vision for a 5-million-person "new city in America" and appointed a world-famous architect to design it,  Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

  • BIG famously installed a ski slope on top of a Copenhagen power plant and has co-designed Google's new headquarters in London and California. In January 2020, Japanese carmaker Toyota revealed that it had commissioned BIG to create a master plan for a new 2,000-person city in the foothills of Mount Fuji.

  • eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy production and a purportedly drought-resistant water system.

  • A so-called "15-minute city design" will allow residents to access their workplaces, schools and amenities within a quarter-hour commute of their homes.

  • reaching its target population of 5 million within 40 years

  • Bon... " Now, he just needs somewhere to build it -- and $400 billion in funding.”


Prêt(e) pour la viande cultivée in vitro ? (source)

  • In 2013, the first cultured meat patty grown from cells was unveiled on television. Seven years later in 2020, Singapore became the first country to approve lab grown chicken bites.

  • Unlike meat grown on an animal, tissue-culture meat can be grown in just a few weeks (and that number may come down).

  • Tissue-culture meat is far less likely to be infected by bacteria, parasites, and so on, and it’s much better for the environment.

  • And theoretically, the cost of producing muscle tissue directly, without also having to produce bone and skin and brains and all the rest — not to mention the savings in terms of land use — seems like it could be lower for tissue-culture meat than for animal farming.

  • And crucially, tissue-culture meat is real meat. These are animal muscle cells, without the animal. Of course, getting fat into the muscle in a realistic way — reproducing the marbling in your steak — is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.


Cette lampe peut fournir de la lumière pendant 45 jours avec juste 500ml d'eau de mer (ou de l'urine) et est plébiscitée par l'OMS

  • 840 millions de personnes n'ont pas encore accès à l'électricité, en attendant ce gadget pourrait en aider quelques uns

  • WaterLight works through ionisation. Electrical energy is produced when salt water electrolytes react with magnesium inside the device.

  • In emergency situations, it can be powered by urine.

  • « WaterLight peut être plus efficace que les lanternes à énergie solaire car elle se régénère instantanément […] Une fois remplies d’eau, la livraison d’énergie est immédiate tandis que les lanternes solaires doivent transformer l’énergie solaire en énergie alternative pour charger les batteries et elles ne fonctionnent que s’il y a du soleil. »

  • an expected lifetime of around 5,600 hours which equates to two or three years of use

  • Voir la vidéo, ici l'article

  • Bon, la lampe ne produit pas beaucoup de lumière et son prix n'est pas communiqué, mais c'est un prototype intéressant


Le programme AlphaFold de Deepmind en passe de révolutionner la biologie (Nature)

  • The human genome holds the instructions for more than 20,000 proteins. But only about one-third of those have had their 3D structures determined experimentally. And in many cases, those structures are only partially known.

  • AlphaFold neural network produced a ‘totally transformative’ database of more than 350,000 structures from Homo sapiens and 20 model organisms.

  • researchers say the resource — which is set to grow to 130 million structures by the end of the year, nearly half of all known proteins — has the potential to revolutionize the life sciences.

  • “It’s totally transformative from my perspective. Having the shapes of all these proteins really gives you insight into their mechanisms,” says Christine Orengo, a computational biologist at University College London (UCL).

  • “This is the biggest contribution an AI system has made so far to advancing scientific knowledge. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that,” says Demis Hassabis, co-founder and chief executive of DeepMind.

  • the availability of so many protein structures is likely to mark a “paradigm shift” in biology, says Mohammed AlQuraishi, a computational biologist at Columbia University in New York City

  • "3-D folding structure is what matters for enzyme function. Working it out for just one protein used to be worth a Nobel Prize. Now can be PREDICTED from 1-D sequence in a weekend." says biologist Richard Dawkins


Cette "batterie" stocke de l'énergie en empilant des blocs de béton ! (source)

  • L'essor des énergies renouvelables mais intermittentes rend nécessaire de pouvoir stocker le surplus d'énergie produit quand il y a beaucoup de vent et de soleil pour pouvoir ensuite en profiter quand on n'en a pas assez (le coût de l'électricité solaire a baissé de 89% en 10 ans!)

  • Les batteries électrochimiques sont encore trop chères et pas encore assez "scalable" pour répondre au problème

  • Un autre moyen est d'utiliser le surplus d'énergie pour pomper de l'eau dans des réservoirs artificiels ou naturels, puis de la laisser redescendre pour faire tourner des turbines et générer de l'électricité à la demande (utilisé depuis les années 1920 !)

  • Un nouveau moyen sur lequel travaille la startup Energy Vault qui vient de lever 100 millions de $ : utiliser le surplus d'énergie pour motoriser une grue et empiler des blocs de béton, à faire redescendre ensuite pour faire tourner un générateur à la demande...

  • “Heavy” blocks in this case means 35 tons. The blocks are made of a composite material that uses soil and locally-sourced waste, which can include anything from concrete debris and coal ash to decommissioned wind turbine blades (talk about coming full circle).

  • Besides putting material that would otherwise go into a landfill to good use, this also means the blocks can be made locally, and thus don’t need to be transported

  • Energy Vault says the towers will have a storage capacity up to 80 megawatt-hours, and be able to continuously discharge 4 to 8 megawatts for 8 to 16 hours.

    • cela signifie qu'une tour pourra "relâcher" en une dizaine d'heures l'équivalent de la consommation d'énergie de près de 100 foyers américains en un mois

  • The technology is best suited for long-duration storage with very fast response times.

  • The company will roll out its first platform in the US late this year, moving on to fulfill contracts in Europe, the Middle East, and Australia in 2022.

  • Voir la vidéo d'animation de 2 minutes sur viméo


Une raison de plus de penser que nous pourrions "venir" de Mars : on a la preuve que des bactéries ont pu survivre 3 ans à l'extérieur de la station spatiale internationale, dans le vide et les radiations de l'espace

  • the team’s results show that a pellet of bacteria just half a millimeter deep could survive for up to eight years in space

  • “Deinococcus is known to have several mechanisms to survive in harsh environments,” says Akihiko Yamagishi, a professor at Tokyo University and the lead scientist for the Tanpopo mission. “We tested which mechanisms are responsible and found, among others, that its DNA repair system is important for surviving in the space environment.”

  • When protected deep inside a rock, calculations have shown that bacteria can survive up to millions of years,” says Avi Loeb, a physicist at Harvard University.

  • in 2018, Yamagishi and his colleagues conducted a series of high-altitude experiments on Earth using planes and weather balloons and found traces of Deinococcus bacteria nearly 13 km up in the atmosphere. That’s well above the cruising altitude of a passenger jet.

  • as Loeb detailed in a paper he coauthored earlier this year, it may be possible that asteroids and comets that graze Earth’s atmosphere, like a stone skipping on a pond, pick up some microbes in the atmosphere and carry them into interstellar space.

  • Cela renforce l'idée que la vie ait pu apparaître ailleurs, sur Mars, et été ensuite acheminée sur Terre, ou l'inverse, c'est ce qu'on appelle la panspermie, un concept que j'aborde aussi dans ma réponse à la tribune de l'astrophysicien Louis d’Hendecourt


La maîtrise de la fusion sera la condition de l'exploration humaine de la galaxie, explique l'ingénieur Robert Zubrin

  • Around the world, well-funded entrepreneurial efforts have begun to make fusion power a reality. Indeed, many of them are now outpacing official government programs. At this rate, there is an excellent chance that the first controlled thermonuclear fusion reactors will be ignited before this decade is out

  • fast-moving private efforts, such as the British Tokamak Energy, the Canadian General Fusion, the Australian HB11, and the American Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Tri Alpha Energy, Helion Energy, EMCC, CT Fusion, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Helicity Space, Lockheed Martin, and others.

  • fusion does not simply represent unlimited energy — it is a new kind of energy with which we could do things that we simply can’t do now. With fusion power, for instance, we could create fusion rockets, which could attain speeds up to 10 percent the speed of light, opening our path to the stars.

  • The amount of deuterium fusion fuel present in one litre of water contains as much energy as that produced by burning 350 litres of gasoline. That’s all water on earth, fresh or salt. A litre of water from Mars contains deuterium with the energy content of 2,000 litres of gasoline. Other planets or asteroids may offer more still.

  • In the entire history of human civilization we have not used up a single kilogram of iron or aluminum. We have just degraded some matter from more convenient to less convenient forms. With enough energy, we can rearrange it back, recycling it faster and faster from one form to another. We will never run out of anything.


Les drones turcs bon marché sont en train de révolutionner l'art de la guerre (tribune du vénérable Francis Fukuyama lui-même)

  • Turkey has developed its own domestic drones and has used them to devastating effect in several recent military conflicts: Libya, Syria, in the Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and in the fight against the PKK inside its own borders. In the process, it has elevated itself to being a major regional power broker with more ability to shape outcomes than Russia, China, or the United States.

  • Drones are, however, not that hard to manufacture, and the most recent Turkish ones are quite impressive. The TB2 can stay aloft for 24 hours, and can perform both reconnaissance and attack missions.

  • The effectiveness of these weapons was first demonstrated beyond Turkey’s borders in Syria in March 2020, where in retaliation for a Russian-backed Syrian attack that killed 36 Turkish soldiers, Ankara launched a devastating attack on Syrian armored forces that were moving into Idlib province along the Turkish border. Video footage showed them destroying one Syrian armored vehicle after another, including more than 100 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and air defense systems.

  • The Syrian offensive was brought to a complete halt, and Idlib province secured as a haven for refugees. Then in May, Turkish drones were used to attack an air base in Libya used by UAE-backed Libyan National Army of General Khalifa Haftar, which ended the LNA’s offensive against Tripoli.

  • Finally, during the Nagorno-Karabakh war in September, Turkish drones intervening for Azerbaijan against Armenia destroyed an estimated 200 tanks, 90 other armored vehicles, and 182 artillery pieces, forcing the latter to withdraw from the territory. This has become a point of nationalist pride in Turkey

  • It seems to me that Turkey’s use of drones is going to change the nature of land power in ways that will undermine existing force structures, in the way that the Dreadnaught obsoleted earlier classes of battleships, or the aircraft carrier made battleships themselves obsolete at the beginning of World War II. ( the Dreadnaught was a revolutionary British battelship introduced in 1906 with an unprecedented number of heavy-calibre guns, and steam turbine propulsion)

  • Drones have done much to promote Turkey’s rise as a regional power in the year 2020. The country has now decisively shaped the outcomes of three conflicts, and promises to do more of the same.

  • Many American critics of U.S. drone policy are still living in a world where the U.S. and Israel were the main users of this technology. But that world has already disappeared and is quickly giving way to one in which drones become central battlefield weapons. What that will look like in ten years’ time is anyone’s guess.


L'économiste et sociologue américain Robin Hanson propose dans un bref article une théorie sociale pour expliquer les OVNIs, si celles-ci sont bien d'origine extra-terrestre

  • Robin Hanson est un universitaire reconnu pour ses idées audacieuses sur le futur, il a un solide background scientifique

  • Il a par exemple écrit un livre très fouillé pour tenter de décrire les conséquences que la capacité à uploader sa conscience et son intelligence dans le cloud aurait sur l'économie (entre autres) dont voici son résumé en vidéo le temps d'un TED talk

  • Les questions qu'il pose en préambule :

    • 1. In a vast universe that looks dead everywhere, how is it that advanced aliens happen to be right here right now?

    • 2. Even if aliens did travel to be here now, why would they act as UFOs do: mute and elusive, yet still noticeable?

  • Pour expliquer 1, il explique qu'une de ces 2 assertions doit être exacte :

    • A. Aliens are common and travel everywhere, but enforce rules against visible changes, or

    • B. Aliens arise rarely, but in small clumps; the first in clump to appear can control the others.

  • Il disqualifie le point A. d'entrée ("seems too much a conspiracy (i.e., coordinate to hide) theory for my tastes.") et propose de retenir le B., rendue possible par la panspermie

  • "Now, to explain the fact that these aliens have not visibly changed our shared galaxy, even though they can travel to here, we must postulate that they enforce a rule against making big visible changes, probably enforced by a strong central government. A rule against mass aggressive expansion, colonization, and disassembling of planets, stars, etc. Maybe due to environmentalist values, maybe to enable regulation, or maybe just to protect central control and status. Yes, this is something of a conspiracy theory, but being smaller, it seems easier to swallow."

  • Et pour le 2., il précise qu'il faudrait postuler ces 2 conditions :

    • 2.1. they want us get us to comply with their rule against making big visible changes to the universe

    • 2.2  they are reluctant to just kill, crush, enslave, or dominate us to get this outcome (or they’d have already done one of these)

  • "Aliens, if UFOs are aliens, somehow value something about us independent of their influence, and thus prefer us to organically and voluntary comply with their rule."

  • Son explication :

  • "To induce our voluntary minimum-change compliance, their plan is put themselves gently at the top of our status ladder."

  • "if these aliens hang out close to us for a long time, show us their very impressive abilities, but don’t act overtly hostile, then we may well come to see them as very high status members of our tribe."

  • "But why not just land on the White House lawn, meet with our leaders, and explain their agenda?"

    • Because once they start talking to us, we will have a lot of questions. Such as on their nature, practices, history, and future plans. And many of us would surely hate some of their answers.(...) They reasonably guess that we are just not as open-minded as we like to think.

  • " Sure, maybe if they understood us really well they could just say “no comment” when a discussion got near something likely to offend us"

    • But we’d then reasonably infer that they were hiding bad news near there, make a guess at what it is, and get somewhat offended at that. Far simpler and more robust to not talk at all, except in dire emergencies

  • This strategy works best if they carefully limit what they show us. Just give us brief simple impressive glimpses that don’t let us figure out their tech, or even the locations of their local bases. The package of simple geometric shapes, crazy accelerations, no sounds or other local side effects, clear intelligent intent, and avoiding harms to us seems to do the trick.


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Quelques mots sur le cuistot

  • J'ai écrit plus de 50 articles ces dernières années, à retrouver ici, dont une bonne partie publiés dans des médias comme le Journal du Net (mes chroniques ici), le Huffington Post, L'Express, Les Échos.

  • Je suis CEO et co-fondateur de l'agence digitale KRDS, nous avons des bureaux dans 6 pays entre la France et l'Asie. Je suis basé à Singapour (mon Linkedin), également membre du think tank NXU.

  • Retrouvez-moi sur twitter en cliquant ici : je tweete des faits et infos contre-intuitives, brèves, à consommer sur place (et non pas des liens sans contexte vers des articles interminables), Jacques Attali est un de mes followers par exemple.

  • Retrouvez ici mon podcast Parlons Futur (ou taper "Parlons Futur" dans votre appli de podcast favorite), vous y trouverez entre autres des interviews et des résumés de livres.

C'est tout pour cette semaine !

Merci, et bon week-end !

Thomas