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A View From the Edge

New Year Lesson: Connections & Redundancy

This is a story like none ever before in human history. More radical than the Industrial Revolution. Let’s imagine you have a plastic bottle of Tropicana orange juice in your fridge. There is a chain of events and people needed to put it there. Until you understand that chain, you can have no understanding whatsoever of how the economy works and what the future holds. And if we look at this backwards, it may be easier to understand.

We’re talking more than AAA batteries here

Battery power needs to be much more capable in order to change how everything works: your cell phone, a car, airplanes, drones and a host of uses just waiting for electric power to be more compact and transportable. Of course, only a fool would think that DARPA and the folks at advanced technology labs around the world have not already cracked this. But their inventions are mostly under wraps, useful only for those devices where a return on investment (ROI) is never measured.

A trillion dollars+ per year

Putting aside the sleight-of-hand accounting that results in defense programs actually costing many hundreds of billions of dollars each year more than the budget calls for, the fact is that the United States spends more on defense and armaments than the next six big spenders combined. 

Why do we do this? Is it to promote democracy? Is it to protect the American Way against all comers? Is it to enforce our political and diplomatic will on others?

Countdown to Tomorrowland

If you could turn back the clock to, say, 1990, if you knew then that the world wide web would allow you to become a global merchandiser, would allow you to wipe out Sears and others with your powerful “digital shop” and that manufacturers would be lining up to place their product on your “platform” what would you do? Answer? Become a multi-billionaire.

Humans bring greatest change to Earth

This era on our planet is called the Anthropocene – meaning the time of man (yes, and woman). And here’s the truly incredible news: humans have—and have had—more effect on the changes of the planet than earthquakes, glaciation, tides and all the rivers in the world. Yes, you read that right. We’ve collectively changed the planet more than anything nature previously provided.

100 years after World War I

November the 11th, last Sunday, was the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. To start with the original name was The Great War and only got called the First when we started the Second. And words from that time have lasted throughout the century since.  And some are very apt especially today.

Manned space, Mascot and Hayabusa2

While NASA waits for the Russians to test and reprove their launch vehicle for putting astronauts/cosmonauts on the International Space Station (the last flight was aborted and the two crew safely returned to Earth) ... the crew of three in orbit will have to extend their stay for at least four months. Why? Because the ISS cannot be left unattended, it would fall or destabilize in orbit. 

Why and wherefore on voting

The vote across the United States in November will be a watershed moment beyond the normal. 

• It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, if you have one.

• It doesn’t matter if you like or dislike incumbent candidates.

• It doesn’t matter if you are old or young.

• It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor.