Zach Schonbrun is a senior editor covering business and technology at The Week. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, ESPN the Magazine, SB Nation Longform, Vice, The Athletic, and Yahoo! Sports, among other publications. Zach is the author of The Performance Cortex, which explores the neuroscience of motor skills, and was published by Dutton/Penguin Books in April 2018. Before joining The Week, Zach covered five Final Fours, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA postseason, US Open tennis and championship golf — among numerous other events — for the Times, as well as other business and sports features. Six of his articles have appeared on the front page of The New York Times. Zach received a B.A. in Economics from Syracuse in 2009 and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia in 2011.
In today’s podcast, we talk with Zach about his book, how the brain — not the body — may be responsible for athletic prowess, and the implications for future Soldiers. The following bullet points highlight key insights from our interview:
Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next episode of The Convergence, featuring Karen Kaya, Senior Turkey/Middle East Analyst for the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO), within the TRADOC G-2. Karen will be discussing the Bayraktar TB-2 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle, its employment in recent conflicts including Nagorno-Karabakh and Russia-Ukraine, as well as the implications of Turkey becoming a global drone manufacturer and distributor.
If you enjoyed this post, check out the following related content:
The Future of Learning: Personalized, Continuous, and Accelerated, as well as proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. Tristan McClure-Begley‘s presentation and video on Targeted Neuroplasticity Training, from the Mad Scientist Learning in 2050 Conference, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, on 8-9 August 2018
Proclaimed Mad Scientist Dr. James Giordano‘s presentation and video on Neurotechnology in National Security and Defense, from the Mad Scientist Visioning Multi Domain Battle in 2030-2050 Conference, at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, on 25 & 26 July 2017; and his Neuroscience and the Weapons of War podcast, hosted by our colleagues at Modern War Institute (MWI), 2 August 2017
Top Ten Bio Convergence Trends Impacting the Future Operational Environment, Bio Convergence and Soldier 2050 Conference Final Report, and the comprehensive Final Report from the Mad Scientist Bio Convergence and Soldier 2050 Conference with SRI International at their Menlo Park campus in California on 8–9 March 2018
Fight Club Prepares Lt Col Maddie Novák for Cross-Dimension Manoeuvre, by COL Arnel David, U.S. Army, and Major Aaron Moore, British Army, along with their interview in The Convergence: UK Fight Club – Gaming the Future Army and associated podcast
The Last Frontier, by PFC Peter Brenner
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Army Futures Command (AFC), or Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).
In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with Dr. James Giordano, of the Georgetown University Medical Center. Dr. Giordano is the author of over 300 papers, 7 books, 21 book chapters, and 20 government white papers on brain science, national defense and ethics. In this episode, we break down the COVID-19 virus, the effect this pandemic has on the Nation, the impact on national security, and the potential implications on future bio-security. Highlights from the conversation include: This is an interesting virus in its evolution. It adapted from a mammalian species, a bat, to an intermediate species, to a human as many viruses will tend to do. I think what’s important to make available and understandable to the listening audience is that there is the likelihood that this will continue to occur and occur with some increasing frequency. On Ecological Intrusion - Humans are spreading into a variety of different niches that heretofore were primarily simply occupied by animal species and the extent of human-animal interaction is increasing. As well, environmental factors such as global warming and climate change may also precipitate the shift from animal interactions with humans to more direct interactions and may also cultivate the generation and perhaps evolution of a variety of different microbial species. On state and non-state actors using bio-weapons in the future….But one of the things that keeps coming up over and again irrespective of whether there’s a neurological function or there’s a non-neurological target, is the increasing ease at which organisms might modifiable through the use of currently available and developing gene-editing techniques. If I were an actor, or if I were working for a nation state, and I really didn’t care what ...
In the fifth episode of “The Convergence” we talk to Zachery Tyson Brown, who is an Army veteran, analyst, consultant for the DoD, and Security fellow at the Truman National Security Project. Zach is a career intelligence officer now working at the intersection of emerging technologies, organizational structures, and strategic competition. Zach is most recently a graduate of the National Intelligence University, where his thesis, Adaptive Intelligence for an Age of Uncertainty, was awarded the LTC Michael D. Kuszewski Award for Outstanding Thesis on Operations-Intelligence Partnership. In this episode, we discuss conflict and competition, how to create intelligence from the onslaught of data, and structural and process changes to the Intelligence Community (IC). Highlights from the conversation: We have all this data that the IC collects. We spend billions of dollars on it every year, and a lot of it is left on the cutting room floor. We have a clog in the system that gets worse as the amount of information out there keeps increasing and we still have this outdated mechanism of delivery…we can’t keep pace with the volume of information that’s growing out there every day. The amount of data out there is going to very rapidly, probably already has, eclipse the ability of un-augmented humans to keep up with it. I really think we have to disaggregate that whole system. Move about to a federated sort of network architecture. Push autonomy down to the units at the forward edge of the battle area. We’re not focusing on that competition aspect involving the whole of government to use another buzzword. The commerce, treasury, state department. Because that information space is where the competition is happening today and it’s not just ...
The second episode of The Convergence features Dr. Margarita Konaev, Research Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Dr. Konaev is an expert in Russian military innovation in emerging technologies and her research on international security, armed conflict, non-state actors and urban warfare in the Middle East, Russia, and Eurasia has been published by the Journal of Global Security Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the French Institute of International Relations, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Lawfare, War on the Rocks, Modern War Institute, Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a range of other outlets.Previously, she was a Non-Resident Fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point, a post-doctoral fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Before joining CSET, Dr. Konaev worked as a Senior Principal in the Marketing and Communication practice at Gartner. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Brandeis University. In this episode. Dr. Konaev provides her opinions on the role of technology in warfare, autonomous systems in the military, the ethical questions that arise, and the importance of diversity. ...