Saturday, September 27, 2008
The people on the inside own nothing, except a piece of cloth that they wrap around their body as a garment. They sit around and read and write books and think about philosophy and mathematics and science, and they do other kinds of scholarly activities. The landscape on the outside is - coast to coast, oceans to oceans - walmarts, casinos, big box retail stores. Over the Millenia, dark ages, renaissance, world wars, have come and gone and so on, but it doesn't affect the people in the inside. It turns out that the two cultures have found out to get along pretty happily.
The people on the outside have pretty darn short attention spans. They can't tear themselves away from their cell phone-like devices. The people on the inside look upon them with a certain amount of horror, and simply can't understand how anybody could live that way. If you're interested in these topics, you could do worse than picking up this book as maybe an entry point for thinking about those kinds of issues, and carrying that conversation forward.'
- Neal Stephenson, @ Google on September 12th 2008, Mountain View, CA
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
"The amount of ice remaining in the polar ice caps will most likely be gone in the next 5 years. Some of it might come back, but will come back as thin ice."
How much trash do you generate? How long are your daily showers? How much gas do you burn? Do you use halogen light bulbs, or the old school, rob-you-out-of-your-beer-money kind? Have you looked into solar panels to power your house and make money by providing energy back into the grid? Is your house insulated properly? What exactly is the correlation between buying and consuming animal based protein (meat, eggs, dairy) and the impact of cow grazing, domestication, breeding, etc.. on our atmosphere? How much flying do you do? What the hell is a carbon footprint and what does it have to do with our planet eventually looking like Venus (same size as earth, same amount of CO2) where the average temperature is enough to kill you in minutes?
How much do you know about climate change and what effects it will have on your children and the rest of us? If I made you think, this video will make you think some more.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Why don't we use most of this OPEC money towards third world agricultural sector ethanol production to fuel our cars? Why don't we have Congress mandate that every car sold in the US be flex fueled cars so they can run on ethanol as well as petroleum, hence creating a world standard and creating a tremendous win for world development? This would also make it much easier to lift international trade barriers, and fund tractors for low income families instead of helping Saudi princes buy stake in American Media.
Dr. Robert Zubrin argues the points above in his new book, and offers quite an intriguing solution.
Energy Victory: Winning the War on Terror by Breaking Free Of Oil.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Once we reach a tipping point in applied nanotechnology, to the point where your average joe can pick up a nanoelectric device as they would now an iPhone, this world will look a whole lot different. Touring the new nanotech research labs in UC Santa Barbara, I was mesmerized and humbled as to what's being worked on, and at the scale that is being worked on. 10,000 transistors capable of fitting into a SINGLE FLY hair? Nanograss capable of harvesting sun's energy? Buildings completely encapsulated by nanosolar cells to harvest solar energy? Needless to say, this doesn't mean we needn't watch our carbon footprint and pollute carelessly, yet it goes to show that it's becoming extremely challenging to predict the future reasonably. As Kurzweil argues, the rate of change of technology growth is increasing; technology builds upon itself. The result is an exponential curve.
I implore you to take all future predictions [by political pundits, news 'analysts', etc..] with a massive grain of salt. Not every author is an expert, and not all experts write bestsellers. Support your representatives and presidential candidates who are not afraid to take generous steps to support scientific research to the best of their capabilities. Most breakthroughs happen by accident, but it's up to us to foster that kind of environment where these noble accidents can take place. This quote fits nicely within this context: "undergrads think they know everything, graduates know they know nothing and phds know everyone else knows nothing." Let's not believe everything we think.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
"2/03/2008 11:45:00 AM
Posted by David Drummond, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer
The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! -- possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place.
So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation.
Could Microsoft now attempt to exert the same sort of inappropriate and illegal influence over the Internet that it did with the PC? While the Internet rewards competitive innovation, Microsoft has frequently sought to establish proprietary monopolies -- and then leverage its dominance into new, adjacent markets.
Could the acquisition of Yahoo! allow Microsoft -- despite its legacy of serious legal and regulatory offenses -- to extend unfair practices from browsers and operating systems to the Internet? In addition, Microsoft plus Yahoo! equals an overwhelming share of instant messaging and web email accounts. And between them, the two companies operate the two most heavily trafficked portals on the Internet. Could a combination of the two take advantage of a PC software monopoly to unfairly limit the ability of consumers to freely access competitors' email, IM, and web-based services? Policymakers around the world need to ask these questions -- and consumers deserve satisfying answers.
This hostile bid was announced on Friday, so there is plenty of time for these questions to be thoroughly addressed. We take Internet openness, choice and innovation seriously. They are the core of our culture. We believe that the interests of Internet users come first -- and should come first -- as the merits of this proposed acquisition are examined and alternatives explored."
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
“No amount of coordination will be successful unless it's designed with the needs of the customer in mind. Microsoft believes that a good user experience is a requirement for adoption” — Microsoft.
“The PC industry is committed to providing content protection on the PC, but nothing comes for free. These costs are passed on to the consumer” — ATI.
“How do I put all these companies in a position where, regardless of what they see is in their best interest, they have to adopt your technology? […] I realized that a major part of my job was to figure out how to use technology control to create economic force, or leverage, such that money and business flowed in Microsoft's direction” — Alex St.John, father of DirectX.
“I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are” — Jim Allchin, Platform Products and Services Group, Microsoft.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
"The 32nd annual Banff Mountain Film Festival, presented by National Geographic and New Balance, brings you the world’s best mountain films and speakers. Experience the adventure of climbing, mountain expeditions, remote cultures, and the world’s last great wild places — all brought to life on the big screen.
Films are at the heart of the festival. From the over 300 films entered into competition, the top 50 or so are screened throughout the festival. Competition winners are[were] announced on Sunday evening."
Back in Santa Barbara, Campbell Hall is usually packed, every year, with UCSB students and other zealous outdoorsy free-spirited types to watch the 3-4 hour Banff Award winning movies. Some of the best outdoors footage you'll see before your eyes are shown in the festival. I'll be going again next year... Tuesday & Wednesday 27th, 28th of February, in Campbell Hall, Santa Barbara, CA. Well worth your $12. Here's the trailer; buckle up...