Cries in Greek, Re-education, Scary Stories 😿

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Re-Education, 1984 Style 

Prisons are getting overcrowded. The conditions inside most of them are sub-human, to say the least. Sustaining prisoners on life-sentences puts a big strain on public funds. 

Solution? A creepy AI tech, obviously. Only this time, it’s more sci-fi and mind-bending (literally)

A speculative technology, called Cognify, was conceived by Berlin-based filmmaker and scientist Hashem Al-Ghaili. It involves placing prisoners in AI-powered pods that implant artificial memories into prisoners' brains. What kind of memories? The kind that forces offenders to experience their crimes from the victim's perspective. Watch the video here

How does it work? 

  • Cognify creates and implants synthetic memories, allowing prisoners to feel the emotional and physical pain their victims endured. 
  • AI-generated content, displayed through a VR-like device, stimulates both visual and emotional responses, making the experience deeply immersive.
  • The system meanwhile scans prisoners’ brains to map neural pathways, targeting areas responsible for memory and emotion. 
Cognify's prison pods

Goes without saying that this technology draws inspiration from sci-fi movies and shows (The Avengers, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Blacklist). But it is also based on real scientific advancements, such as memory implantation in animals. 

Proponents argue that Cognify could significantly reduce incarceration times and costs, fostering genuine remorse and understanding in offenders. 

But implanting fabricated memories into peoples’ brains is dystopian stuff. Critics raise ethical concerns about consent and the potential for misuse in biological warfare or capitalism

Basically, Cognify could either make you realize your evils and become a productive member of society again. Or it could program you to become a sex slave for the elite.

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Overworked *cries in Greek*

While several European nations are trialing a four-day work week, Greece is taking the opposite approacha new measure introduces a six-day work week for some private businesses to aid economic recovery.

Reason? Shortage of skilled workers and an aging population. 

Despite Greece's projected 3% economic growth in 2024, unemployment remains above 10%, and the average monthly salary is 20% lower than 15 years ago. So while the measure seems counterintuitive to the current work trends, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis argues that the legislation is worker-friendly and growth-oriented.

The new rule only affects private businesses that provide 24-hour services, such as retail, agricultural or manufacturing, where workers are already putting in long hours and weeks regularly. So as per the new rule, employees working an extra eight hours will receive a 40% pay increase, and 115% if the hours fall on a holiday.

The measure has sparked strong opposition from Greek unions, who view it as a deterioration of workers' rights. They argue that workers are more productive with a better quality of life, which comes from working fewer hours, not more. Aris Kazakos, a labor law professor, warns that instead of forcing such businesses to reduce work hours, they are being given a thorough excuse to eliminate the five-day work week altogether, giving them upper hand in negotiations.

Another Interview, You Say?

Have job interviews really gotten worse? According to 58% of respondents of a recent survey, the answer is a definite “yes”. Another 24% say it’s hard to tell since it’s always been bad, and 14% say they lack enough data as getting an interview itself is nearly impossible. Only 4% find it not so bad.

The respondents revealed frustrating experiences: interviews spanning six to eight rounds, eventually ending in ghosting, shifting job requirements, and extensive take-home assignments.

Here are a few freaky, real instances:

  • One respondent described a Zoom interview where the director began making a sandwich, unmuted, during the interview.
  • Another endured 28 days and three interviews with repetitive questions, only to be rejected.
  • Another has been job hunting for over two years with 99% radio silence, despite applications being viewed.

These tales highlight a troubling trend in the interview process, with many finding it more frustrating and demoralizing than ever.

Shorts ⏳

🧨 Fiery Independence - A 2020 study by Mietkiewicz et al., found that the number of human-caused wildfires often spikes in the days around July 4th - thanks to fireworks. 

🤫 Quiet Stealing - You may not have noticed, but Meta has begun quietly using any info you’ve uploaded to your Facebook account to train its AI models.

💨 Fastest Commute - In Denmark it takes only an average of 17 minutes of commute time to work. Check out typical commute times around the globe. 

🌂 AI - The Weatherman - United Airlines will now use AI to text you about the weather. 

🏥 Walmart Clinics - Walmart is planning to sell its defunct health centre business.  

Stash Recommends: Tools to Explore
Claris: A low-code application development platform that enables non-technical individuals to quickly create and publish easy-to-use apps.

Zeplin: Friction-free design to devs. Handoff designs and style guides with accurate specs, assets, code snippets—automatically.

Little Big Details: A curated collection of small design elements and subtle details that enhance user experiences across various digital platforms.

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