06 July 2019

Ike's Road Trip ~ 1919's American Expedition!

Today is the centennial of the start of America's "worst but most important" road-trip! Engineering News-Record writes Eisenhower's 1919 Trip Helped Pave Way for the Interstate and shares archival footage showing the...
"Grueling 1919 trek [which] helped shape then-Army officer Eisenhower’s later views that played a part in launching the Interstate system during his presidency."

Cognitive Bias Codex ~ Live-Linked Infografic

The live-linked Cognitive Bias Codex on Wikimedia!

Connected World ~ International Collaborations

Nature shares Connected World infographic spotlighting patterns of international collaborations from 1 February 2018 to 30 January 2019 as captured by the Nature Index...

04 July 2019

Liberty ~ Increasingly AWOL from US... WTF!


As this amazing country celebrates its birth -- an epic achievement made possible ~230 years ago by righteous, civic-minded, and wise men who despised and indeed fought the grotesque evil, "political correctness", and geopolitical stupidity of their day -- let's think earnestly about the subsequent violations of the US Constitution and seemingly neverending erosion of and painful decimation of hard-won liberties, including...
  • Gerrymandering and Illegitimate Non-Representation 
  • Illegitimate Warfare, Invasions, and Offensive Actions
  • Unwarranted Searches and Seizures in both Physical and Digital Realms
  • Unfunded Mandates, Conscription, and Similar Unconstitutional Equivalents to Slavery
  • Taxation without Proper Representation or Proportionality including Rapacious Income and Wealth Taxation
  • Criminalization of Victimless Vices including Drug Use, Prostitution, Gambling, etc 
  • Unequal Treatment of Voting Age Citizens via Drinking, Smoking, Driving, and other Illegitimate Age-based Discriminatory Laws 
  • Myriad Unconstitutional Impositions upon peoples Freedoms of Religion, Speech, Commerce, Migration, and Choice 
  • An enormous Governmental Bloatocracy, endless Illegitimate Entitlements, and increasingly Outrageous Debt
  • Absence of Reason, Facts, Evidence, Logic, and Thought in far too much of what the Government does
The list goes on and on and it's painful to recite all the evil incarnate that left and right wingnuts in office have perpetrated. It's urgent to return ASAP to the moral middle, the sensible center, the authentic pro-freedom libertarian core of America.

28 June 2019

Women in Space ~ Astronautical Advantages...

Nadia Drake in NatGeo writes Here’s why women may be the best suited for spaceflight...
"Physically and mentally, women have the right stuff for lengthy missions in space. So why send men when you can send just their contributions to the next generation, collected and cryopreserved in tiny vials? Sending an all-female crew and a sperm bank lets a space program economize while also increasing the genetic diversity of the parental pool."

01 June 2019

PV Potential ~ Mapping Sunpower Worldwide...

The Sun is a giant thermonuclear reactor in the sky powerbeaming 24x7. A tiny sliver hits the daily rotating Earth and then you have to discount for angles and overcasts. When all's accounted for, here's the resulting worldmap of terrestrial potential for PV or photovoltaic sunpower... Curiously enough, most maps like this only show land incidence. But surely we could float massive solar panels out on swathes of ocean? In fact, perhaps we should hoover up the massive ocean gyres of waste plastic and convert these into floatation for PV paneling.

27 May 2019

Protected Planet ~ Goal of 50% of Earth by 2050

I'm particularly interested in seeing half of Earth be protected by 2050.  Towards this goal, Protected Planet shares the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) covering both terrestrial and marine protected areas and tracks progress... The IUCN has a half dozen so-called "Protected Area Management Categories" -- and those are important and worth adding to directly, but I hope we can especially push for enhancement of Category VI "Sustainable Use" with particular eye on private conservancies, land banks, forestry reserves, flood management zones, and potentially even the careful extractions of natural resources. Finally, I hope that we figure out how not to ravage the other half of Earth but rather we green it appropriately (e.g. our cities), share it with nature, and refrain from eco-devastation generally.

Personal Electric Mobility ~ Market Size & Share

Very interesting to see adoption of personal electric vehicles in Europe and Asia. Curious how much of the advantages are State subsidy and tax relief? Norway, for example, offers substantial tax benefits, the right to drive in carpool lanes solo, and free charging, which kind of distorts market action. Also, China has endless ways of State subsidies for both personal and mass transit electrification. Which all may make environmental sense. In any case, here's share and size info from Statista...

14 March 2019

Tectonics in the Tropics ~ Ice Age Triggers!

Jennifer Chu of MIT News spotlights recent research indicating that Tectonics in the Tropics Trigger Earth’s Ice Ages...
"Over the last 540 million years, the Earth has weathered three major ice ages [each] preceded by tropical “arc-continent collisions” -- tectonic pileups that occurred near the Earth’s equator -- in which oceanic plates rode up over continental plates, exposing tens of thousands of kilometers of oceanic rock to a tropical environment.  [The] heat and humidity of the tropics likely triggered a chemical reaction between […] the rocks’ calcium and magnesium […] pulling the [CO2] out of the atmosphere and permanently sequestering it in the form of carbonates such as limestone [cooling] temperatures globally and ultimately [setting] off an ice age."
https://eapsweb.mit.edu/news/2019/tectonics-tropics-trigger-earths-ice-ages-study-finds

Beyond the Cradle ~ Media Lab x Outer Space!

Excellent to see the third year of Beyond the Cradle organized by the Space Exploration Initiative at MIT Media Lab today! Great talk by Nobel physicist Prof Sam Ting this morning plus SF panel featuring Daniel Suarez (of Daemon, FreedomTM, and Influx fame, with Delta-v coming soon!) among others! See live video!
https://www.media.mit.edu/events/beyond-the-cradle-2019/

19 February 2019

Civilizational Endurance ~ Causes of Collapse...

Luke Kemp at the BBC asks Are we on the road to civilisation collapse?
"If the fate of previous civilisations can be a roadmap to our future, what does it say? One method is to examine the trends that preceded historic collapses and see how they are unfolding today. [...] The collapse of our civilisation is not inevitable. History suggests it is likely, but we have the unique advantage of being able to learn from the wreckages of societies past. [...] We will only march into collapse if we advance blindly. We are only doomed if we are unwilling to listen to the past."
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190218-are-we-on-the-road-to-civilisation-collapse
"Collapse is a tipping point phenomena, when compounding stressors overrun societal coping capacity. We can examine these indicators of danger to see if our chance of collapse is falling or rising. Here are four of those possible metrics, measured over the past few decades:"
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190218-are-we-on-the-road-to-civilisation-collapse

Medieval Trade Routes ~ Well Beyond Silk...

Medieval Trade Routes zoomable map! https://easyzoom.com/imageaccess/ec482e04c2b240d4969c14156bb6836f

18 February 2019

Marine Protected Areas ~ Conserving the Seas

The BBC's Ade Adepitan visits the coast of Gabon which has implemented a substantial Marine Protected Area off its coast. I've been moved by the idea that half of Earth should be set aside in nature protection reserves. That is, half for animal kingdom, half for humanity. Right now, there's a lot more work to be done. Here's the biggest of the MPA's... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_protected_area

09 February 2019

AI for Impact ~ Spring'19 @ MIT Media Lab...

Together with colleague Ramesh Raskar, I'm co-teaching the AI for Impact seminar this Spring 2019 every Mon afternoon starting Feb 11th from 2:30-4:30a in E15-341, the heart of the MIT Media Lab! Our goal is to bring computational, analytics, and AI techniques to bear on solving problems in the high impact realms of health & wellness, cities & sustainability, across scales of action from each of us as individuals to embracing all of humanity, in both developed and emerging markets alike, all broadly understood.  We want to help students identify top AI opportunities for impact and help make progress towards building prototypes, planning action ventures, and/or better understanding the emerging technology and impact trendscape.  Formerly known as "Imaging Ventures" or “AI Ventures”, this “AI for Impact” class seeks answers to the question:  If you could make almost anything, what's actually most worth making, i.e. what problems are most worth picking?  We believe starting with the right problem is 90% of what makes for great projects and ultimately epic, worthy solutions.
http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/MAS/sp19/MAS.533/