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238 – Societal Complexity, Part II: Today’s Perspective

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(average: 4.21)
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In October 2015, Joseph Tainter was my guest in omega tau 184 to discuss his concept of increasing complexity and eventual collapse of societies. In this episode, our guest Paul Arbair discusses these concepts in the light of today’s rising populism in several countries. The episode is based on two articles Paul wrote on his blog: one on Brexit and one on Trump.

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237 – Synthesizers

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(average: 4.81)
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Late 2016, during a trip to the Netherlands, I visted Rutger Vlek of River Creative Technology in his home studio to record an episode about synthesizers. We talked about the basics of sound generation, various enveloping and filtering techniques, sound design, the different fundamental approaches of sound synthesis, as well as a couple of classic synths. Rutger illustrated lots of approaches with samples from some of his many synthesizers.

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236 – Space Flight Software

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(average: 4.33)
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Last fall I visited ESTEC, ESA’s space research and technology center. In this first of three episodes, I talk with Maria Hernek, who heads the Flight Software Systems section. We talk about the challenges of space flight software, the development processes used by ESA and its vendors, as well as means of ensuring the required quality attributes. This episode can be seen as a continuation of the conversation with Andreas Wortmann in the OHB episode.

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235 – A Walk in the Woods with Miami Rick and the Big Boeings

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(average: 4.48)
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Rick Ruiz is a pilot for Atlas Air where he flies various versions of the Boeing 747 freighter. Previously he flew the 767 and the 777 for LAN Chile, primarily cargo as well. Rick is also a crew member of the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, where he is known as Miami Rick. In this episode, we stroll through the woods around Landstuhl, Germany, where I visited Rick while he was on a layover. We geek out about flying the Big Boeings.

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233 – Bio-Inspired Systems at EPFL

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(average: 4.24)
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Last fall I visited EPFL for a programming languages workshop when I saw a poster on bio inspired systems. Darja’s name was on the poster because she coordinates the programme; I sent her an email and asked if she wanted to talk a bit with me about this field while I am at EPFL. Her calendar had some free time, and so we met. In the episode we discuss why it makes sense for system designers to look at biology and nature as an inspiration and then explore lots of examples that are currently being researched at EPFL.

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