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Peter Riva

Technology update — space and aviation

Like with most things, if you keep an eye on the most advanced processes and product, you can better plan for the future. You watch cooking shows to advance your knowledge even if, currently, some of those skills and tastes are a bit ahead of where you are. You watch NASCAR or Formula 1 even though the thought of reprogramming your car’s computer sends you into a sweat. Why do we want to know about things we can’t currently do? Because only by learning what’s to come can we plan for our own future or enjoyment.

When and when not to drill

A View from the Edge

The strange thing about human need is that we are always looking somewhere else for what we feel we need. If money is getting tight, don’t economize on expenses, don’t buy energy-saving bulbs, don’t downsize (unless forced out of your home), instead find a way to work extra hours, or ask for a raise or get a loan. In short, find what you need somewhere else as a first choice.

When and when not to drill: some economic basics

A View from the Edge

The strange thing about human need is that we are always looking somewhere else for what we feel we need. If money is getting tight, don’t economize on expenses, don’t buy energy-saving bulbs, don’t downsize (unless forced out of your home), instead find a way to work extra hours, or ask for a raise or get a loan. In short, find what you need somewhere else as a first choice.

What’s good in communal research and development

A View from the Edge

What is good for the goose is good for the gander and, to take the metaphor a little further, good for the flock.

Well then, what authority can we really rely on?

A View from the Edge

The written word, the true facts we are given, authoritative pronouncements — our lives are governed by authority, by a promise that what we are being told is the real deal, the whole truth, the gospel for our lives. The problem is we are never given all the facts, we are never allowed to share the process of establishing the authority of written material, and we are certainly not educated enough to begin to fully, completely, assess the veracity of someone’s pronouncements.

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On your mark, get set — no, wait

A View from the Edge

Ever feel like life wants to get going but there is always something that crops up to delay?

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Shameless promotion of violence

A View from the Edge

Imagine a photograph showing seven teenagers posted on Facebook, showing three of them holding guns or assault rifles, proudly displaying a T-shirt of President Obama riddled with holes.

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The Army had a policy on borrowed land: Do no harm

A View from the Edge

My father was a top sergeant in World War II. He had rules of behavior on borrowed land (that did not belong to the Army) that boiled down to do no harm. Bivouac in a farmer’s field? Leave it in better condition than you found it. Strip those cigarettes; never leave a can, butt, spent ammo, boxes, in short anything that was not there before. He used to explain that this American philosophy perhaps started with Jefferson who had the same idea for government of the people, by the people and for the people ...

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Living in the unreal world of 3D

A View from the Edge

According to the giant media companies, everything is better in 3D. All the big movies open up in what they call 3D, although there is nothing physically substantial enough to actually be three-dimensional. It’s a trick of the eye. Like airbrushing of photographs for a century or more, now replaced by the verb “photoshopped,” the reality you think you are seeing is not real, it is just a better facsimile, a better-looking copy. The original is always better.

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Rough road to recovery

A View from the Edge

The developed world is divided into two plans for recovery: double down and invest for the future or allow the numbers of poor to rise dramatically. The problem with the former is that debt builds until prosperity begins. The problem with the latter is that the way governments pay off debt is from income taxation based on more people being in gainful work. It is a race against time in either case.

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