Tag Archives: research


Imagine what we could achieve if our society was as collaborative as these ants. If only… Teamwork is KEY to innovation.


Google: Isolation, Transparency, Overload, or Selective Encyclopedia?

This month the European Union Court of Justice ruled that Google has to remove their search results if demanded, and hereby granted the ‘right to be forgotten online.’

Google responded that, “This is a disappointing ruling for search engines and online publishers in general.”

While Google is the nr. 1 resource for major parts of the world, it has had – rightly so – quite some questioning over the past years because of its ‘search personalization.’ Your search results are tailored by previous searches you have performed. Many people, still, don’t know this. While in many cases effective and relevant for both searcher and content out there, this search personalization also resulted in a certain degree of ‘bubbliness’ in searching. People who are, for example, very interested in Christianity will mostly find information from sources related in someway to their earlier (Christian) searches, and thus only get more entangled in related believes, opinions, and information, both restraining them from different perspectives and giving them a crooked world-view — resulting in a degree of isolation.

Yet, if you search through a different google account or from a different computer, you could still easily access the other information out there.

However, with this new development in Google’s rights this selectivity is taken to a whole other level. In a way this would mean the end of the Internet as we know it. Just as news-agencies now a days (greatly) determine how we see the world (e.g. we only know and see the conflicts in the Middle East through the images and texts the media present us with — news agencies are the lenses through which we view the world ‘out there’), this next step will close our access to the ‘real world’ even further down.

Although I strongly believe that the internet and technology are very powerful tools that we should treat and use with care, I am also convinced that transparency to a certain extent, despite the overload of information it’s currently resulting in, is crucial.

Have you ever given your search results a second thought? What do you think about this development?


Continue reading Google: Isolation, Transparency, Overload, or Selective Encyclopedia?

Light Producing Plants as Future Streetlights

Genetic modification, in my eyes, has besides far-reaching possibilities possibly even more far-reaching concerns. However, over the past years scientists used our knowledge of genetic modification in a very innovative way, and this year Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde takes their results to another level — looking into possibilities to light our world with glowing trees instead of street-lights (Article).

This is one of those simple ideas that is just genius. Someone came up with the idea of using genetic engineering techniques to insert genes from e.g. glowing jellyfish or fire flies into the DNA of plants, and over the past years several research groups  (bioglow, glowingplants) ‘simply’ did this, which resulted in literally glowing plants.

This new definition of natural sustainable light is hard not to consider as a ‘break-through,’ and it may very well dictate our street-view within the next 15 years or so.

Check this video in which Daan Roosegaarde shortly talks about glowing plants and his ideas at South by Southwest.

This could potentially save tons of money considering the cut on electricity, not to mention the pros nature-wise — more trees, less waste; more oxygen, less CO2.

What do you think? Are these ideas with realistic potential?