Following is a list of short descriptions of topics Alex has been working on over the years:
- Discovery (2011)
- DNA Evolution (2004)
- Our brain and invention - (2003)
- History of digital and analog communications (2001)
- Migration from cell based DNA communication to Engineered DNA (1997)
Alex's thoughts on exchanges, VOIP, routing and traffic management have been published in :
- Alex prediction of the collapse of the telecom sector and its need for consolidation and profitability was published in 2001 SG&A White Paper for the Price Waterhouse Coopers InfoComm Review.
- VOIP White Paper from IEEE
- Bandwidth Trading White Paper
- The fund raising process related to Arbinet fund raising was published in 2001 in n a Harvard Business School case study, number 9-201-006
- Alex Mashinsky was selected to write the chapter on managing communications in the Telecommunications industry book published in 2002, to be found at www.insidetheminds.com
Discovery (2011) The process of discovering something new is extremely unique and satisfying. We get great joy learning new things but discovering something you think no one knows has extreme exhilaration and such strong and unique feeling that after you have experienced it once you are willing to go to the end of the world to experience it again. Its hard to explain why it is so and I am sure this is more true for some than for others but its a special feeling that for me will always count among the best moments of my entire life.
I was lucky enough to have experienced these moments several times as I explored new industries and ideas. Many times even before such ideas were verified as correct or checked for prior art or other similar discoveries my gut already knew them to be so and I knew I was facing the truth, I got to see gods work in pure and simple formulas or process of how something works or behaves.
When you read about some of the greatest discoverers of all times and their passion and dedication to solve a single riddle its hard not to admire such man and women of science and want to be one of them. Most of us think that we are not capable of such discoveries or that the ideas we have cant be correct but when an idea comes to us in the middle of the night or when facing something new we mostly let such moments of discovery pass us by. We all have the skill but we don't all have the patience or the attention it requires and we need to develop these skills to explore and discover.
When I give talks I often hear that most of what was there to be discovered was already discovered, I can assure you that this is not correct. We double our knowledge faster than ever before which means we discover and invest faster than ever before. all it takes to recognize such change is to watch a 10 year old movie and see how far we have come in such a short time.
DNA Evolution (2004)- It is a proven fact that both simple one cell and multicell creatures gain knowledge and new ideas from one another by exchanging DNA. They also adopt DNA from the food they eat. Over time as species evolved and became more complicated they had less to gain from other species and began to only exchange within their own hierarchy, eventually narrowing the exchange even further to sub species with higher intelligence. To date the key difficulty in the DNA evolution remains to be how to transfer the fundamental memories and patterns each creatures genes has created and perfected to defend themselves to the next generation in order for the evolution process to perpetuate itself.
Species of higher intelligence use Protein-based stored procedures in addition to DNA-based instincts which are essentially stored pre programmed patterns encapsulated in different levels of the brain that transfer basic knowledge from one generation to the next. Mitochondrion DNA, a symbiotic companion of humans, generating cells from the dawn of civilization is doing the same thing but in its own separate evolutionary world by transferring itself from one generation to the next via the female gender without sex and based strictly on mutations generated by a single strain of family heritage.
Our brain and invention - (2003) The human brain’s single most important function is to predict the immediate next event through one of our six senses. When a person reads something or listens to someone, their brain is instinctively making a prediction of what the idea or conversation is going to be about. If what is then heard or seen is not what the brain had predicted the brain is surprised and instantly works to rationalize or accept the new input. The filter we apply at this critical step is the differentiating factor between creative people and those who just follow others. Most people, instead of accepting the new input, will work harder not to diverge from the original idea, immediately reverting back to the idea or topic presented , thereby preventing their brain to continue to predict other new outcomes or solutions. Should the person allow their brain to continue to accept the new information and put aside what was predicted, new solutions and ideas emerge.
The brain will then test such ideas against what it believes is possible to make sure it observes the variety of rules and restrictions the brain currently possesses. These new ideas are then added to the pool of possible predictions for future scenarios enabling a person to have a greater source of possible outcomes.
The vast majority of people do not do anything with such inventions or unique predictions and will not let their brains go the distance and truly invent new things. The few that do venture that far do not have the confidence to believe that they may be on to something completely new. The majority of the remaining people do not believe they are the first ones to think of the idea and just let it fade away after a few minutes. A small subset of mostly determined, self-confident people are hit by the invention bug and do not let such thoughts die until they find a way to implement them or test them out.
Invention is very different from discovery. The discovery process involves mostly gathering enough facts or using new tools to explain or observe something no one has seen before such as with the discovery of the elements in the periodic table or discovering the genome. Invention requires the highest level of cortex based thinking and is only effective if you create something very different from anything that already exists. Our brains are not programmed to do that because we routinely train them to do the same tasks again and again and again.
History of digital and analog communications (2001) – The invention of the telegraph heralded the world’s first form of digital communications, surpassing the Morse code which consisted of only two type of signals, 0 and 1. With the additional development of the microphone and speakers as well as switching systems, the network transitioned to analog communications until the semiconductor and software caught up with it in the late 1970s and the networks started to digitize. Today almost all communications systems are digital but our input is still analog and will stay so for quite a while. The slow progress made in creating digital interfaces between the brain and our computer input sources is the main stumbling block to move computing to the next level.
Migration from cell based DNA communication to Engineered DNA (1997)– For the past 4 billion years transferring information from one living cell to another was done via genetic mitosis which included intentional and unintentional changes in the genes. Over the past 3000 years, humans evolved to transfer information verbally as well as through the written word, thus shortening the cycle dramatically. More recently digital communications have allowed us the ability to instantly transfer information to any point in the globe. Each step in this evolutionary process was a ten-fold improvement on the previous generations ‘ best solution and was adopted rapidly. Today we are the first generation to be smart and knowledgeable enough to redesign and improve our DNA based formulation and to have computers that are powerful enough to simulate the results of such improvements. This advanced development will eventually lead to an environment where organic and electronic systems merge, taking advantage of the strength of each system and moving our existence for the first time to a bio-electric state, breaking mental and intellectual barriers and elevating mankind’s abilities to new levels.