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Archive for the ‘economics’ category: Page 98

May 31, 2013

There is no war other than the one we are fighting with ourselves

Posted by in categories: economics, education, human trajectories, open source, sustainability

Just five years ago, anybody who spoke of technological unemployment was labeled a luddite, a techno-utopian, or just simply someone who doesn’t understand economics. Today things are very different – anybody from New York Times columnist Tom Friedman to CBS are jumping on the bandwagon.

Robots-Will-Steal-Your-Job-front

Those of us who have been speaking about the tremendous impact of automation in the workforce know very well that this isn’t a fad about to pass, but that it’s a problem that will only exacerbate in the future. Most of us agree on what the problem is (exponential growth of high-tech replacing humans faster and faster), and we agree that education will play a crucial role (and not coincidentally I started a companyEsplori – precisely to address this problem); but very few seem to suggest that we should use this opportunity to re-think our entire economic system and what the purpose of society should be. I am convinced this is exactly what we need to do. Published in 2012, my book, Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That’s OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy – which you can also read online for free shows we might go about building a better tomorrow.

We have come to believe that we are dependent on governments and corporations for everything, and now that technology is ever more pervasive, our dependence on them is even stronger. And of course we don’t question the cycle of labor-for-income, income-for-survival and the conspicuous consumption model that has become dominant in virtually every country – and that not only is ecologically unsustainable, but it also generates immense income inequality.

Well, I do. I challenge the assumption that we should live to work, and even that we should work to live, for that matter. In an age where we already produce more than enough food, energy, and drinkable water for 7 billion people with little to no human labour, while 780 million lack access to clean water and 860 million are suffering from chronic hunger, it follows that the system we have in place isn’t allocating resources efficiently. And rather than going back to outdated ideologies (i.e. socialism), we can try new forms of societal structure; starting with open source philosophy, shared knowledge, self-reliance, and sustainable communities.

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Apr 19, 2013

Bitcoin’s Dystopian Future

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, cybercrime/malcode, economics, ethics, finance, futurism, information science, lifeboat, open source, policy

I have seen the future of Bitcoin, and it is bleak.


The Promise of Bitcoin

If you were to peek into my bedroom at night (please don’t), there’s a good chance you would see my wife sleeping soundly while I stare at the ceiling, running thought experiments about where Bitcoin is going. Like many other people, I have come to the conclusion that distributed currencies like Bitcoin are going to eventually be recognized as the most important technological innovation of the decade, if not the century. It seems clear to me that the rise of distributed currencies presents the biggest (and riskiest) investment opportunity I am likely to see in my lifetime; perhaps in a thousand lifetimes. It is critically important to understand where Bitcoin is going, and I am determined to do so.

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Mar 3, 2013

Petition for Americium Emergency Stockpile

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, business, chemistry, counterterrorism, defense, economics, engineering, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, physics, policy, polls, rants, robotics/AI, space, transparency, treaties

I continue to survey the available technology applicable to spaceflight and there is little change.

The remarkable near impact and NEO on the same day seems to fly in the face of the experts quoting a probability of such coincidence being low on the scale of millenium. A recent exchange on a blog has given me the idea that perhaps crude is better. A much faster approach to a nuclear propelled spaceship might be more appropriate.

Unknown to the public there is such a thing as unobtanium. It carries the country name of my birth; Americium.

A certain form of Americium is ideal for a type of nuclear solid fuel rocket. Called a Fission Fragment Rocket, it is straight out of a 1950’s movie with massive thrust at the limit of human G-tolerance. Such a rocket produces large amounts of irradiated material and cannot be fired inside, near, or at the Earth’s magnetic field. The Moon is the place to assemble, test, and launch any nuclear mission.

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Jan 13, 2013

Water, Bombs, WE CAN GO NOW

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, business, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, existential risks, military, nuclear energy, nuclear weapons, policy, space, transparency

I was recently accused on another blog of repeating a defeatist mantra.

My “mantra” has always been WE CAN GO NOW. The solutions are crystal clear to anyone who takes a survey of the available technology. What blinds people is their unwillingness to accept the cost of making it happen.
There is no cheap.

Paul Gilster comments on his blog Centauri Dreams, concerning Radiation, Alzheimer’s Disease and Fermi;

“Neurological damage from human missions to deep space — and the study goes no further than the relatively close Mars — would obviously affect our planning and create serious payload constraints given the need for what might have to be massive shielding.”

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Jan 5, 2013

Gravity Modification – What Is The Record?

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, lifeboat, particle physics, physics, policy, space, transparency

If, we as a community, are intending to accelerate the development of interstellar travel we have to glower at the record and ask ourselves some tough questions. First, what is the current record of the primary players? Second, why is everyone afraid to try something outside the status quo theories?

At the present time the primary players are associated with the DARPA funded 100-Year Starship Study, as Icarus Interstellar who is cross linked with The Tau Zero Foundation and Centauri Dreams is a team member of the 100YSS. I was surprised to find Jean-Luc Cambier on Tau Zero.

Gary Church recently put the final nail in the Icarus Interstellar‘s dreams to build a rocket ship for interstellar travel. In his post on Lifeboat, Cosmic Ray Gorilla Gary Church says “it is likely such a shield will massive over a thousand tons”. Was he suggesting that the new cost of an interstellar rocket ship is not 3.4x World GDP but 34x or 340x World GDP? Oops!

Let us look at the record. Richard Obousy of Icarus Interstellar and Eric Davis of Institute for Advanced Studies claimed that it was possible, using string theories to travel at not just c, the velocity of light but at 1E32c, or c multiplied by a 1 followed by 32 zeros. However, Lorentz-FitzGerald transformations show that anything with mass cannot travel faster than the velocity of light. Note that Lorentz-FitzGerald is an empirical observation which was incorporated into Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity.

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Dec 31, 2012

13: The Year of The Comet

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, counterterrorism, defense, economics, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, lifeboat, military, philosophy, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

A happy new year to the human race from it’s most important member; me. Since self-worship seems to be the theme of the new American ideal I had better get right with me.

With my government going over the fiscal cliff it would appear that the damned soul of Ayn Rand is exerting demonic influence on the political system through worship of the individual. The tea party has the Republicans terrified of losing their jobs. Being just like me, those individuals consider themselves the most important person on the planet- so I cannot fault them.

As Ayn Rand believed, “I will not die, it’s the world that will end”, so who cares about the collective future of the human race? Towards the end of 2013 the heavens may remind us the universe does not really care about creatures who believe themselves all important. The choice may soon be seen clearly in the light of the comet’s tail; the glorification of the individual and the certain extinction of our race, or the acceptance of a collective goal and our continued existence.

Ayn Rand made her choice but most of us have time to choose more wisely. I pray for billions, tens and hundreds of billions of dollars- for a Moonbase.

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Dec 27, 2012

Gravity Modification – What is it?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, economics, engineering, general relativity, particle physics, physics, policy, space

OK, why do we need a different technology to achieve commercial viability (as in mass space tourism) for either interplanetary or interstellar travel?

In many of my previous posts I had shown that all the currently proposed technologies or technologies to be, are either phenomenally expensive (on the order of several multiples of World GDP), bordering on the impossible or just plain conjecture. This is very unfortunate, as I was hoping that some of the proposals would at least appear realistic, but no joy. I feel very sorry for those who are funding these projects. For a refresher I have posted an updated version of the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) here which documents 5 of the 11 inconsistencies in modern physics. I give permission to my readers to use this material for non-commercial or academic uses.

I recently completed the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravity modification published under the title An Introduction to Gravity Modification, 2nd Edition. For the very first time we now have a scientific definition for gravity modification:

Gravity modification is defined as the modification of the strength and/or direction of the gravitational acceleration without the use of mass as the primary source of this modification, in local space time. It consists of field modulation and field vectoring. Field modulation is the ability to attenuate or amplify a force field. Field vectoring is the ability to change the direction of this force field.

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Dec 19, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 4)

Posted by in categories: business, economics, engineering, geopolitics, philosophy, policy, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 4.

In Part 4, I dwell more into the economic concepts necessary for a spaceports’ long term success. The single most important concept one has to understand with any type of port, airport, seaport and spaceports is the concept of the hinterland economy. The hinterland economy is the surrounding local economy that the port services, either by population demographics, commercial & industrial base or transportation hub per its geographic location.

The Sweden-America model, like Westport Malaysia requires that a hinterland economy will eventually be built close to the port. Westport’s then Vice-Chairman of the Board, Gnanalingam (we called him ‘G’) whom I reported to, had the foresight, the influence and the connections within the Malaysian public sector, to encourage the infrastructure development within Pulah Indah and the neighboring locations.

The hinterland is critical to the success of the port. Therefore the key to a port’s success is the clarification of the term ‘local’ in the definition of the concept of the hinterland. When I joined Westport in 1995, a hinterland was defined as within approximately a 15 mile (24 km) radius of the port. In my opinion that was too small a segment of the economy to facilitate the success of Westport. That definition did not match up with Westport’s ambition to be a world class seaport and transshipment hub that could give PSA (Port Authority of Singapore, then largest container port in the world) a run for its money.

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Dec 18, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 3)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, education, engineering, geopolitics, policy, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 3.

In my last post I had mentioned that there were 2 business models for spaceports. I’ll name the first Sweden-America model after spaceports Sweden & America. The second, I’ll name Colorado-Singapore model after (yet to be) spaceports Colorado & Singapore.

The Sweden-America model basic premise is that spaceport ought to be built in remote locations, and then a hinterland economy is eventually built around the spaceport. This approach was originally driven by safety concerns and the need for a rocket range or vacant land for launching rockets to crash back to.

The basic premise of the Colorado-Singapore model is that launch vehicles are safe and that spaceports ought to be built close to centers of commerce and intermodal transportation networks. That is, spaceports are to be built in an existing hinterland economy.

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Dec 16, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 2)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, economics, engineering, policy, scientific freedom, space

Last month a colleague of mine and I visited with Dennis Heap, Executive Director of the National Front Range Airport, at Watkins, CO, the location of the future Spaceport Colorado, and Colorado’s contribution to getting into space. Here is Part 2.

What is a spaceport?

Wikipedia gives a very broad definition of a spaceport, that anything and everything that is used to launch vehicles into orbit, space and interplanetary missions are now termed spaceports. ICBM sites are termed launch sites. There is, however, a distinction between a military site and a commercial site. In the aviation world a military site is termed an ‘airbase’ while a commercial civilian site is termed an ‘airport’. Similarly in the marine world the respective terms are ‘naval base’ and ‘seaport’. In that vein there are ‘spacebases’ and ‘spaceports’. So bear in mind that not everything that is labeled a ‘spaceport’ is one.

As far as I can remember the term ‘spaceport’ caught the public’s imagination only recently with the advent of Spaceport America at Las Cruces, NM. So let’s clarify. A spaceport is port for launching vehicles into suborbital, orbital and interplanetary space whose primary mission is to support and manage commercial activities, not military, not government sponsored launches. And therefore, in the United States there are only 10 existing or proposed spaceports. They are (1)Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, VA (2)Cecil Field Spaceport, Jacksonville, FL (3)Spaceport Florida, Cape Canaveral (4)Spaceport Oklahoma, Burns Flat, OK (5)Spaceport America, Las Cruces, NM (6)Mojave Air and Spaceport, Mojave, CA (7) California Spaceport, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompac, CA (8)Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak Island, AK, (9) Spaceport Colorado, Watkins, CO and (10)Spaceport Hawaii, HI.

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