Blog

Archive for the ‘environmental’ category

Jul 19, 2017

If you were a tree — By Xin Liu and Yedan Qian | MIT Media Lab

Posted by in categories: environmental, ethics, innovation, media & arts, virtual reality

“This work is based on our belief that VR offers new methods for storytelling and engagement.”

Read more

Jul 19, 2017

No More Metal: Airstream Goes Fiberglass With ‘Nest’ Camper — By Nate Mitka | Gear Junkie

Posted by in categories: environmental, fun, transportation

The Airstream Nest, expected early 2018, will be constructed from fiberglass, a lightweight and durable material.”

Read more

Jun 29, 2017

New study explores plant adaptations to drought and cold stress | Phys.org

Posted by in categories: complex systems, environmental, science

“Understanding interactions between different gene networks, which are evolved to respond to different stressors, and understanding natural variation in these responses could have important agricultural applications in challenging environments.”

Read more

Jun 26, 2017

Dickson Despommier: Urban Agriculture and the Vertical Farm // Economy, People & Planet 2015

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, science

Read more

Jun 2, 2017

Reaction: Trump Decision to Withdraw from Paris Accord

Posted by in categories: business, climatology, Elon Musk, environmental, geopolitics, government, policy

One of the missions of Lifeboat Foundation has always been to contemplate the protection of our fragile Spaceship-Earth and to contemplate a day when we may need to migrate from this tiny stage. Yesterday, that day may have been moved a lot closer. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday, I had a fantasy. One that I passionately hoped would become reality. Minutes before Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, I began to daydream…

  • I dreamt that Trump might listen to his top science advisors and his daughter
  • I dreamt that he might not gamble our existence on his minority opinion that humans cannot help rescue the environment.
  • I dreamt that he would recognize that clean energy jobs trump legacy coal mining
  • I dreamt that he would avoid export tariffs for failing to respect international norms
  • I dreamt that he would stop pandering to Yahoos and stand for something worthy and undeniable

No such luck! The USA has lost its Mojo—at least while it is led by a man with no grasp of science, history, morals or a global perspective. As Trump begun to speak, I was sucked into a cruel nightmare. But this nightmare is reality. It’s the reality of a buffoon representing you and me in our nation’s highest office.

Question: Time for a thought experiment. Can you guess the answer?…

Continue reading “Reaction: Trump Decision to Withdraw from Paris Accord” »

May 19, 2017

What is Plant-Based Meat?

Posted by in categories: environmental, ethics, food, futurism, health, science

A type of food that has been around for centuries, but is primed to be increasingly relevant to the future: Plant-Based “Meat.”

In this video series, the Galactic Public Archives takes bite-sized looks at a variety of terms, technologies, and ideas that are likely to be prominent in the future. Terms are regularly changing and being redefined with the passing of time. With constant breakthroughs and the development of new technology and other resources, we seek to define what these things are and how they will impact our future.

Continue reading “What is Plant-Based Meat?” »

Apr 21, 2017

How Global Value Chains Push and Pull U.S. Companies on Climate Action — By Emilie Prattico | Business for Social Responsibility

Posted by in categories: business, energy, environmental

“But for most companies operating within global value chains, the pull and push of climate action also comes from abroad, and many U.S. companies now understand the potential to demonstrate global leadership through climate action.”

Read more


Apr 14, 2017

Entrance to Mars: How this fascinating Dome-Space-Elevator grows in all directions

Posted by in categories: engineering, environmental, space, sustainability

Architecture has evolved and has become much more than just a design realized in concrete and modern building material. It has been transformed to help humanity in achieving all kinds of sustainability.

The eVolo Magazine for Architecture has been organizing another round of Skyscraper Competition in 2017 to honor those visionaries that try to realize a future that benefits humanity and the one Earth we all need to cherish and sustain.

A team from Spain with aspiring architects Arturo Emilio Garrido Ontiveros, Andrés Pastrana Bonillo, Judit Pinach Martí and Alex Tintea is thinking of a hybrid solution, that ensures Humanity’s survival in the early days of Mars’ colonization. The skyscraper design is both clever and beautiful, combining existing technologies with many practical ideas to open up and terraform more red soil as we understand the planet. It’s a genesis of Mars and a revival of form following function.

Continue reading “Entrance to Mars: How this fascinating Dome-Space-Elevator grows in all directions” »

Apr 11, 2017

What is a city? The SDGs depend on an answer — By Brendon Bosworth | GreenBiz

Posted by in categories: business, economics, environmental, governance, sustainability

“This month, urban thinkers from the United Nations, the European Commission and other organizations are meeting in Brussels to continue a curiously complex attempt: developing a universal definition of the “city.””

Read more

Apr 11, 2017

Limits to the Nonparametric Intuition: Superintelligence and Ecology

Posted by in categories: environmental, existential risks, machine learning

In a previous essay, I suggested how we might do better with the unintended consequences of superintelligence if, instead of attempting to pre-formulate satisfactory goals or providing a capacity to learn some set of goals, we gave it the intuition that knowing all goals is not a practical possibility. Instead, we can act with a modest confidence having worked to discover goals, developing an understanding of our discovery processes that allows asserting an equilibrium between the risk of doing something wrong and the cost of work to uncover more stakeholders and their goals. This approach promotes moderation given the potential of undiscovered goals potentially contradicting any particular action. In short, we’d like a superintelligence that applies the non-parametric intuition, the intuition that we can’t know all the factors but can partially discover them with well-motivated trade-offs.

However, I’ve come to the perspective that the non-parametric intuition, while correct, on its own can be cripplingly misguided. Unfortunately, going through a discovery-rich design process doesn’t promise an appropriate outcome. It is possible for all of the apparently relevant sources not to reflect significant consequences.

How could one possibly do better than accepting this limitation, that relevant information is sometimes not present in all apparently relevant information sources? The answer is that, while in some cases it is impossible, there is always the background knowledge that all flourishing is grounded in material conditions, and that “staying grounded” in these conditions is one way to know that important design information is missing and seek it out. The Onion article “Man’s Garbage To Have Much More Significant Effect On Planet Than He Will” is one example of a common failure at living in a grounded way.

In other words, “staying grounded” means recognizing that just because we do not know all of the goals informing our actions does not mean that we do not know any of them. There are some goals that are given to us by the nature of how we are embedded in the world and cannot be responsibly ignored. Our continual flourishing as sentient creatures means coming to know and care for those systems that sustain us and creatures like us. A functioning participation in these systems at a basic level means we should aim to see that our inputs are securely supplied, our wastes properly processed, and the supporting conditions of our environment maintained.

Continue reading “Limits to the Nonparametric Intuition: Superintelligence and Ecology” »

Page 1 of 1512345678Last