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Archive for the ‘geopolitics’ category: Page 29

Dec 15, 2012

The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, finance, geopolitics, 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.

On April 19, 2012, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that limited a spaceflight entity’s liability for spaceflight participants and paved the way for Spaceport Colorado’s development. The Front Range Airport Authority situated on 3,900 acres will allocate 900 acres towards the development and construction of Spaceport Colorado and ancillary facilities. The next steps are the completion of an environmental assessment, and feasibility and marketing study. This is expected to be completed by end of 2013.

In the 1995–96 I was Head of Corporate Planning at Westport, a $1 billion seaport infrastructure project in Malaysia, where I created and deployed the 7-hour port strategy, streamlined financial controls, container handling and container tariffs, reducing incoming (wharf to gate) dwell time to zero hours compared to the then world’s largest container port, Port Authority of Singapore’s (PSA) 18-hours. Westport was able to grow substantially, to the point where, in 2011, Westport handled 6.4 million TEUs compared to PSA’s 29.9 million TEUs. (TEU = Twenty-foot Equivalent Units or half a container)

So it caught my attention when Dennis Heap said Spaceport Colorado will be 33 miles (53 km) east of the city of Denver and about 6 miles (10 km) south of Denver International Airport (DIA).

Continue reading “The Fabulous Spaceport Colorado (Part 1)” »

Oct 25, 2012

Bad Year for Security Issues

Posted by in categories: defense, ethics, existential risks, geopolitics, homo sapiens, particle physics, policy, rants

2012 has already been a bad omen when it comes to humankind solving the dangers ahead. Perhaps an early review will make next January 1 brighter.

There has been strong information questioning the existence of Hawkins Radiation, which was a major reason most scientists think Black Hole Collider research is safe, without any increase in a call for a safety conference. Once, due to classification keeping it away from the general public, there was a small debate whether the first atomic explosion would set off a chain reaction that would consume the earth. On March 1, 1954 the Lithium that was, for other purposes, put in what was intended to be a small Hydrogen Bomb test, created, by far, the dirtiest atomic explosion ever as the natives on Bikini Island woke up to two suns in the sky that morning. History would be different had the first tests gravely injured people. Eventually people in the future will look back at how humankind dealt with the possibility of instantly destroying itself, as more important, than how it dealt with slowly producing more doomsday-like weapons.

With genetic engineering the results are amazing, goats with hair thousands of times stronger than wool would offer some increased protection from its predators. Think what would happen if, 1 foot long, undigestible fibers possibly with some sharp spots gets accidental inbreed in goat meat, or very un-tasty animals spread in the wild throughout the ecosystem. In 2001 Genetic Insecticide intended only to protect corn to be used in animal feed spread by the winds and cross breading to all corn in the northern hemisphere. Bees drinking corn syrup from one discarded soda can can endanger an entire hive. Now there is fear of this gene getting into wheat, rice and all plants that don’t rely on insects in some way. The efforts to require food to be labeled for genetically modified ingredients doesn’t address the issue and may actually distract from warning of the dangers ahead.

There are some who say bad people want to play God and create a god particle, likewise some say evil Monsanto,with bad motives, is trying to prevent us from buying safe food. This attitude doesn’t help create a safer future, or empower those trying to rationally deal with the danger.

Continue reading “Bad Year for Security Issues” »

Oct 23, 2012

The Witch-Hunt of Geophysicists: Society returns to the Dark Ages

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, events, geopolitics, information science, physics

I cannot let the day pass without contributing a comment on the incredible ruling of multiple manslaughter on six top Italian geophysicists for not predicting an earthquake that left 309 people dead in 2009. When those who are entrusted with safeguarding humanity (be it on a local level in this case) are subjected to persecution when they fail to do so, despite acting in the best of their abilities in an inaccurate science, we have surely returned to the dark ages where those who practice science are demonized by the those who misunderstand it.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/10/20121022151851442575.html

I hope I do not misrepresent other members of staff here at The Lifeboat Foundation, in speaking on behalf of the Foundation in wishing these scientists a successful appeal against a court ruling which has shocked the scientific community, and I stand behind the 5,000 members of the scientific community who sent an open letter to Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano denouncing the trial. This court ruling was ape-mentality at its worst.

Oct 8, 2012

We are as Gods and have to get Good at it [video]

Posted by in categories: climatology, complex systems, engineering, ethics, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, homo sapiens, human trajectories, philosophy, sustainability

The shift that has happened in 40 years which mainly has to do with climate change. Forty years ago, I could say in the Whole Earth Catalog, “we are as gods, we might as well get good at it”. Photographs of earth from space had that god-like perspective.

What I’m saying now is we are as gods and have to get good at it. Necessity comes from climate change, potentially disastrous for civilization. The planet will be okay, life will be okay. We will lose vast quantities of species, probably lose the rain forests if the climate keeps heating up. So it’s a global issue, a global phenomenon. It doesn’t happen in just one area. The planetary perspective now is not just aesthetic. It’s not just perspective. It’s actually a world-sized problem that will take world sized solutions that involves forms of governance we don’t have yet. It involves technologies we are just glimpsing. It involves what ecologists call ecosystem engineering. Beavers do it, earthworms do it. They don’t usually do it at a planetary scale. We have to do it at a planetary scale. A lot of sentiments and aesthetics of the environmental movement stand in the way of that.

Continue reading “We are as Gods…” and watch the video interview

Sep 28, 2012

The Social Sciences Revolution

Posted by in categories: biological, complex systems, economics, geopolitics, philosophy, policy

Scientific discovery in the natural sciences has proceeded at an exponential rate and we are now seeing the social sciences experience a profound transformation as a consequence of computational social science. How far computational social science will reinvent social science is the big question. Some of the themes I’ve explored in my own work have been about the relationship between political philosophy and science and whether the computational sciences can help formulate new conceptions of societal organisation. Many in the field seem to think so.

These three things—a biological hurricane, computational social science, and the rediscovery of experimentation—are going to change the social sciences in the 21st century. With that change will come, in my judgment, a variety of discoveries and opportunities that offer tremendous prospect for improving the human condition. It’s one thing to say that the way in which we study our object of inquiry, namely humans, is undergoing profound change, as I think it is. The social sciences are indeed changing. But the next question is: is the object of inquiry also undergoing profound change? It’s not just how we study it that’s changing, which it is. The question is: is the thing itself, our humanity, also changing? (Nicholas A. Christakis, A NEW KIND OF SOCIAL SCIENCE FOR THE 21st CENTURY)

A biological understanding of human nature combined with new insights derived from computational social science can potentially revolutionise political, social and economic systems. Consequently there are profound philosophical implications. Secular political philosophy specifically emerged out of the European experience of Church and monarchical rule, and socialism emerged out of the experience of industrialisation and capitalist ideology. Therefore is it possible that a new political philosophy could emerge out of the reinvention of the social sciences?

One question that fascinated me in the last two years is, can we ever use data to control systems? Could we go as far as, not only describe and quantify and mathematically formulate and perhaps predict the behavior of a system, but could you use this knowledge to be able to control a complex system, to control a social system, to control an economic system? (Albert-lászló Barabási, THINKING IN NETWORK TERMS)

Continue reading “The Social Sciences Revolution” »

Sep 6, 2012

Flexible Path Flim Flam revised

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biotech/medical, business, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, nuclear weapons, open source, physics, policy, space, transparency

I do not regret voting for this President and I would and will do it again. However.……I am not happy about our space program. Not at all. One would think there would be more resistance concerning the privatization of space and the inferior launch vehicles being tested or proposed. Indeed there would be objections except for a great deception being perpetrated on a nation ignorant of the basic facts about space flight. The private space gang has dominated public discourse with very little answering criticism of their promises and plans.
This writer is very critical of the flexible path.

It is a path to nowhere.

Compared to the accomplishments of NASA’s glory days, there is little to recommend the players in the commercial crew game. The most fabulous is Space X, fielding a cheap rocket promising cheap lift. There is so little transparency concerning the true cost of their launches that one space-faring nation has called the bluff and stated SpaceX launch prices are impossible. The Falcon 9, contrary to stellar advertising, is a poor design in so many ways it is difficult to know where to begin the list. The engines are too small and too many, the kerosene propellant is inferior to hydrogen in the upper stage, and promising to reuse spent hardware verges on the ridiculous. Whenever the truth about the flexible path is revealed, the sycophants begin to wail and gnash their teeth.

The latest craze is the Falcon “heavy.” The space shuttle hardware lifted far more, though most of the lift was wasted on the orbiter. With 27 engines the faux heavy is a throwback to half a century ago when clusters of small engines were required due to nothing larger being available. The true heavy rocket of the last century had five engines and the number of Falcon engines it would take to match the Saturn V proves just how far the mighty have fallen.

Continue reading “Flexible Path Flim Flam revised” »

Sep 6, 2012

GENCODE Apocalypse

Posted by in categories: biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, complex systems, counterterrorism, defense, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, open source, policy, space, supercomputing, sustainability, transparency

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120905134912.htm

It is a race against time- will this knowledge save us or destroy us? Genetic modification may eventually reverse aging and bring about a new age but it is more likely the end of the world is coming.

The Fermi Paradox informs us that intelligent life may not be intelligent enough to keep from destroying itself. Nothing will destroy us faster or more certainly than an engineered pathogen (except possibly an asteroid or comet impact). The only answer to this threat is an off world survival colony. Ceres would be perfect.

Sep 2, 2012

Verne, Wells, and the Obvious Future Part 3

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, counterterrorism, defense, education, engineering, ethics, events, futurism, geopolitics, life extension, media & arts, military, policy, robotics/AI, space, sustainability, transparency

A secret agent travels to a secret underground desert base being used to develop space weapons to investigate a series of mysterious murders. The agent finds a secret transmitter was built into a supercomputer that controls the base and a stealth plane flying overhead is controlling the computer and causing the deaths. The agent does battle with two powerful robots in the climax of the story.

Gog is a great story worthy of a sci fi action epic today- and was originally made in 1954. Why can’t they just remake these movies word for word and scene for scene with as few changes as possible? The terrible job done on so many remade sci fi classics is really a mystery. How can such great special effects and actors be used to murder a perfect story that had already been told well once? Amazing.

In contrast to Gog we have the fairly recent movie Stealth released in 2005 that has talent, special effects, and probably the worst story ever conceived. An artificially intelligent fighter plane going off the reservation? The rip-off of HAL from 2001 is so ridiculous.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) was a not so good story that succeeded in spite of stretching suspension of disbelief beyond the limit. It was a great movie and might succeed today if instead of miniaturized and injected into a human body it was instead a submarine exploring a giant organism under the ice of a moon in the outer solar system. Just an idea.

Continue reading “Verne, Wells, and the Obvious Future Part 3” »

Sep 1, 2012

Lunar Space Station vs. Asteroid Mission

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, engineering, geopolitics, habitats, military, policy, space, transparency

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48869943#.UELWXqD0SXY

The glacial pace of NASA’s human spaceflight program –even with the glaciers melting- may possibly see human beings leave Earth’s gravitational field in 2025. Possibly.

The missing piece of the puzzle is a radiation sanctuary massive enough to protect a crew from a major solar event on such a journey.

http://www.nasatech.com/NEWS/Nov05/who_1105.html

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Sep 1, 2012

Christian Astronomers

Posted by in categories: asteroid/comet impacts, biological, biotech/medical, business, chemistry, climatology, complex systems, counterterrorism, defense, economics, education, engineering, ethics, events, evolution, existential risks, finance, futurism, geopolitics, habitats, homo sapiens, human trajectories, life extension, lifeboat, media & arts, military, nuclear weapons, open source, physics, policy, space, sustainability, transparency

“The more anxiety one produces, the more the discussion there would be about how real and how possible actual existential threats are.”

John Hunt recently queried me on what steps I might take to form an organization to advocate for survival colonies and planetary defense. His comment on anxiety is quite succinct. In truth the landing on the moon was the product of fear- of the former Soviet Union’s lead in rocket technology. As we as a nation quelled that anxiety the budget for human space flight dwindled. But the fear of a nuclear winter continued to grow along with the size of our arsenals.

Interestingly, at the height of the cold war, evidence of yet another threat to human existence was uncovered in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico in 1981; Chicxulub. But even before the dinosaur killer was discovered, perhaps the greatest threat of all to humanity was born in 1973 when Herb Boyer and Stanley Cohen created the first genetically modified organism. The money to answer both of these threats by going into space continues to be expended by the military industrial complex.

Mile wide rocks in space and microscopic organisms on earth are both threats to our existence, but the third and undoubtedly greatest threat is our own apathy. Why do we expend the tremendous resources of our race on everything BUT keeping it from going extinct?

Continue reading “Christian Astronomers” »

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