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    Dumbass NY Times Article: “The Elusive Big Idea”

    A recent article in the NY Times is getting buzz and making rounds.

    Its crap.

    Just off-hand, here are some big idea innovations that are and will change the world:

     

    The Evolution Machine [ref] == Radical Health and Biological Science driven advances

    It is a strange combination of clumsiness and beauty. Sitting on a cheap-looking worktop is a motley ensemble of flasks, trays and tubes squeezed onto a home-made frame. Arrays of empty pipette tips wait expectantly. Bunches of black and grey wires adorn its corners. On the top, robotic arms slide purposefully back and forth along metal tracks, dropping liquids from one compartment to another in an intricately choreographed dance. Inside, bacteria are shunted through slim plastic tubes, and alternately coddled, chilled and electrocuted. The whole assembly is about a metre and a half across, and controlled by an ordinary computer.

    Say hello to the evolution machine. It can achieve in days what takes genetic engineers years. So far it is just a prototype, but if its proponents are to be believed, future versions could revolutionise biology, allowing us to evolve new organisms or rewrite whole genomes with ease. It might even transform humanity itself.

    Thorium Powered  Vehicles [ref]  == Replacement of Fossil Fuels for mobile vehicles

    “Thorium, an abundant and radioactive rare earth mineral, could be used in conjunction with a laser and mini turbines to easily produce enough electricity to power a vehicle. When thorium is heated, it generates further heat surges, allowing it to be coupled with mini turbines to produce steam that can then be used to generate electricity. Combining a laser, radioactive material, and mini-turbines might sound like a complicated alternative solution to filling your gas tank, but there’s one feature that sells it as a great alternative solution: 1 gram of thorium produces the equivalent energy of 7,500 gallons of gasoline.”

    The Space Shaft [ref] == Cheap Orbital Lift Capacity

    A private European organization has a proposal for creating 100-300 kilometer high multipurpose towers. The towers would be composed of moveable lighter-than-air rings stacked upon each other. Modules would be added from the bottom up and filled with a light gas. Shuttles within the shaft could take people and payloads to the top, slowly but inexpensively. In an interview with Sander Olson, Patrick Vankeirsbilk describes how the first towers could become operational within a decade, and could be used both for tourism and for getting payloads inexpensively into space.

    Universal Anti-Viral[ref] == Better health and Quality of Life for all

    Too good to be true? You might think this is impossible.

    “Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.”

    It works against 15 viruses tested so far.

    Cure for Cancer via Applied Genetic Engineering [ref] == Increased Human Longevity and Quality of Life

    Cancer Cured By Injecting White Blood Cells that had been genetically altered by a modified/harmless version of HIV

     

    Applying Economic Thinking and Quantitative thinking to Everything!

     

    3D Printing [ref] Manufacturing only limited by our imaginations

    Think: 3D Printing + Semi-autonomous Robots + Interplanetary Internet + Cheap Space Launch/Lift Costs + off-planet atomic power

     

    Abundant and Cheap Energy for all should be our goal [ref]

    I want to drive an affordable electric or gas/electric or some sort of flex-fuel vehicle as a mobility device. I want to take a train once a month to Madison or the Fox River Valley. I want to see a new nationwide network of smart electrical grids powered by small scale nuclear plants, municipal plasma furnaces, wind and solar (where the make sense) or whatever else entrepreneurs can dream up and successively execute. I long for the day of orbital solar power.

    I love the idea of (and the change it will make) of Russia and Saudi Arabia and the others of their ilk being deprived of their ability to make mischief  and misery for the rest of the world. I welcome their fall. This will be a good thing for the world.

     

    Micro Robots For Health Care [ref] == Loner and Healthier Lives

    They look like spirals with tiny heads, and screw through the liquid like miniature corkscrews. When moving, they resemble rather ungainly bacteria with long whip-like tails. They can only be observed under a microscope because, at a total length of 25 to 60 µm, they are almost as small as natural flagellated bacteria. Most are between 5 and 15 µm long, a few are more than 20 µm.[…]

     

    What are your ideas?

    “The most important country to the United States is…” and a bit more (strategy and energy)

    I started writing this as a comment on a post at Coming Anarchy, but it is a bit too long for that.

     

    So in answer to their question…not really an answer but a steam of thoughts…

     

    The USA long peaceful border with Canada makes it an important relationship. They are a no problem neighbor.

    The USA should want the Mexico relationship to evolve into the same type  of thing. The relationship matters economically and because a failed Mexico impacts the security of the US. Even longer term, the US goal should be to integrate (peacefully and voluntarily) Mexico fully into the USA in the next 100 years.

    The UK had been the most important USA overseas ally. The decline of the UK (and NATO), the rise of the EU, and the actions of the current US President have reduced that relationship. Our challenge with the EU is to both prop up Europe slowing/preventing it from turning in Eurabia, and to at the same time benefit from an exodus of smart/innovative/entrepreneurial/motivated Europeans (with their brains and capital) from pre-Eurabia Europe to the US.

    India needs to be targeted as a future most important relationship – Economics/Security/Democracy – it all comes together for the USA with India. The US should also support India getting a permanent UN Security Council seat (good for Obama on this).

    The USA relationship with China is important because of the economic interrelationship (for better or worse), China’s rise toward superpower status, and because the PRC leadership is clearly positioning China as the alternative/opponent/adversary of the US. China is essentially waging a 5GW against the US now. The US needs to step up to it or face it that US decline is coming sooner rather than later/never.

    Russia matters because it has nukes, oil, and KGB/Active-Measure skills a plenty. Russia is not the USSR. Russia is in decline. The challenge here is to manage the relationship so that while declining, Russia doesn’t hatch any Black Swans. The US also wants to avoid the creation of Russia/Turkey/Iran Axis of Mischief.

    Iran matters to the US because they have oil, can effect access to lots of oil, will have nukes soon, has revolutionary Islamic expansionary activities, and has leadership that seems hell-bent on future war with the US. The US goal here must be regime change – hopefully without massive Iranian population/infrastructure destruction. One way or another, this is going to get ugly since most of the non-ugly options have been disregarded/ignored by the US ostrich strategy.

    Japan matters to US right now because it is distinct (not Europe, not China, not Muslim) and for its partner potential. The US should support Japan’s JDF expanding and getting expeditionary (lots of US officers and SNCO’s should be detailed to the JDF). We should support this capital rich nation getting involved with financing/engineering stuff in Eastern Russia and Africa. The US should encourage Japan and India to become better friends. and to inter-operate.

    Saudi Arabia only matters because of oil, and because (along with Egypt and Pakistan) it is at the heart of the 4GW Islamofascist War by Al-Qada et all against the US/West and of the Muslim Brotherhood/Salafist et all 5GW against the US and the West.

    As for the nations that matter in a big way because of Oil (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, Venezuela), the US should have as a major strategic goal that of breaking the world’s dependence upon oil for energy. The way to do that is:

    1) Adopt something like Zubrin’s Flex-Fuel requirement for all new vehicles sold in the US (which means it would be adopted everywhere);

    2) Easing/promoting/financing next-generation nuke and min-nuke power in the US and abroad (the US should want to be a world leader in this);

    3) Adopting/promoting/financing Municipal Plasma Furnaces to generate electricity efficiently from trash in the US and abroad (the US should want to be a world leader in this);

    4) Updating the US power grid into a network of smart grids and financing/deploying/promoting this around the world (the US should want to be a world leader in this);

    5) The US should be making a major push for Orbital Solar Power systems and the related technology and processes. The US must be the world leader in this;

    Note I am not calling for so-called hippy-friendly green energy (e.g earth-based solar, wind, etc, hemp/organic burning). Hippies can have an upside, just not on energy. There just isn’t potential enough of that at a reasonable costs to be the answer. Also, conservation isn’t the answer. I want more energy usage not less. I also want a future where Africans and Chinese, and Indians and everybody can have AC, bright lights in every corner of their homes and all of that. The happy future I want has more energy in total and more energy per capita, not less.

     

    I want the Science Fiction Future of my youth.

     

    Bill Whittle Gets “It” – “This is a once-in-history idea” – Now what?

    I came to this by Bill Whittle via a post by Zombie:

    In fact, in all of human history, there has been only one genuinely progressive, genuinely liberating idea: a lightning bolt across the pages of history – the why in 1776, the how in 1787 – the idea of limited government, god-given rights, personal liberty and rule by the vast collective wisdom and industry of the common man, and not by the bored, pampered and self-hating elites that have run everything before and since. This is a once-in-history idea. This is why we have to conserve it. We have to conserve this fundamentally liberal idea.

    Brilliant! I don’t think it would be possible to sum things up with less words without loosing clarity.

    So if that is “It”, what is the opposite?

    When a society – after generations of hard work, sacrifice and hardship – reaches a certain level of prosperity, “Progressives” like Bill Maher, Janeane Garofolo, Rosie O’Donnell and Gaius Gracchus – that last Progressive died in 121 BC – assume that the prosperity is endless, and push for more and more people to get more and more goods and services for less and less work. Why? Because – as today, in America, as with the British Empire, the French Empire, the Spanish Empire, the Ottomans, the Mongols, Rome, Greece, Eqypt, Babylon… They do it for political power. They live for political power. This “Progressivism” is ancient, recurring, tyrannical and ruinous.

    And we voted for it. Just like the Romans did.

    It is not just the opposite of “It”. The opposite is the norm course of events.

    Whittle explains how the USA got to where it is in terms that made me think of 5GW:

    And so they asked themselves: if the vanguard of the revolution wasn’t going to be the worker, then who would it be? And the answer they came up with was: the dispossessed.

    The Neo-Marxist revolution would not attack the capitalist economy – that was too successful. The target of the new Marxist revolution would be the Culture.

    Marxist philosophers like Antonia Gramsci, and later, Saul Alinski – personal hero to such present-day fellow travelers as Chris Matthews, Hillary Clinton and, of course, The President of the United States – started to create narratives – stories – about America. This rapidly evolved into a philosophy called “Critical Theory” and the idea of Critical Theory was to attack the dominant culture – that would be us – from all sides, simultaneously.

    […]

    The objectives of the Frankfurt School, of Gramsci and Alinski in their assault on the culture, were laid out in detail and were very clear: Eliminate not only the voice, but the very idea of reason. Destroy history. Delegitimize shared morality. Medicate instead of discipline children. Promote the idea that problems are so complex that only elitists, experts and academics can discuss, let alone solve them. A later pair of American Marxist philosophers developed what became known as the Cloward-Piven strategy: overwhelm America’s social systems – welfare, health care, immigration, etc. by telling people they were owed things, and by intentionally overwhelming them, cause them to collapse – leaving nothing but smoking wreckage, and no where to turn but to the government.

    This is certainly “Secret War” or “War of Hidden Movements”. Most of us don’t even know it is going on. Whittle calls even says:

    we are in an information war, a battle of narratives…We are, together, soldiers in this narrative war for America and for civilization

    The first part sounds like Memetic Engineering. The second part sound like Strategic Citizen 5GW.

    So…how do “we” win? Using a Titanic analogy he gets to:

    We need to ram the iceberg. We need to hit it head-on. We need to put in all the power we have – all of the power – and go right at the heart of that monster. Because everyone talks about what the iceberg did to Titanic, but no one talks about what Titanic did to the iceberg.

    That sounds like degrading the 5GW into a 4GW. Maybe.

    Any Specifics?

    We, for the first time in human history, have an example of what a free society looks like. We, for the first time in history, are children of the only real progressives in all of human history. And we, for the first time in history, have the technology that allows common people to talk to each other, to encourage and inform each other, and to make an end run around the suicidal elites and their suicidal, dying media organs.

    Is that it? I think (and it sounds right to me) he is suggesting every meme/false-story/false-narrative on the  must be challenged whether it it is in public or in our institutions with four intermediate ends in mind:

    • Slow/prevent/rollback the memes opposed to “It”
    • Convince the undecided to join on the side of “It”
    • Discourage those opposed to “It”
    • Encourage those on the side of “It”

    What is the end goal for “It”? How about this blast from the past:

    […]that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    So now what?

    Dont Tread On Me Flag

    Blog Link: “PALEO-FUTURE”

    The tagline is A look into the future that never was.

    It looks interesting.

    http://www.paleofuture.com/

    Thinking About Apollo 11

    I was too young to remember it, but I was inspired by it and the subsequent missions. I didn’t want them to stop. I wanted the Orbital stations, the moon colony, and the mars mission. I wanted my Science fiction future. I don’t want humans stuck on Terra Firma waiting for a natural or self-created extinction event. We need to get moving and get off this rock. The power of human imagination and ingenuity must be unleashed to fill the heavens. I still want a science fiction future for all of us.

    “…scientists in Australia have found a way to stop the body from attacking organ transplants…”

    This is awesome news if it works out.

    Now we just need to allow folks or estates to be compensated for Organ Donation to increase the supply/availability.

    The Coming Dark Days

    The American Left is getting in the mode for what is to come in January.

    Smitten Eagle has a post with videos of what they are even doing to the you. Disgusting.

    Dark Days are ahead for my country. The forces of the left are rising and have become the default narrative.

    Here is what I thought of seeing those videos.

    Others have made similiar comparisons on youtube:

    Our Dumbass 60’s hippies-turned-soft-maoist are coming to power. Dark Days are ahead.

    Here is what my brain is screaming: How do we make the next version of the USA?

    I am pretty pissed. This is all I can think of right now.

    It is time to put this statist / Marxist / corrupt-elites crap behind us once and for all.

    Update: Read this at Amicablecollisions

    Is it going too far to conclude that our political class is a greater threat to America than Al Qaeda? Yeah, but it’s hard to see how whatever good they do outweighs the bad. I guess the only consolation is that as I read more political history I realize that this is not a unique problem of our time and that the US has done pretty well for itself despite our politicians.

    The above is a great comment – despair and hope tied together – and just what I need to read about now..

    Entrepreneurship Opportunity? “Farming in the Sky”

    From Popular Science:

    The choice is clear—rethink how we grow food, or starve. Environmental scientist Dickson Despommier of Columbia University and other scientists propose a radical solution: Transplant farms into city skyscrapers. These towers would use soil-free hydroponic farming to slash demand for energy (they’ll be powered by a process that converts sewage into electricity) while producing more food. Farming skyward would also free up farmland for trees, which would help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Even better, vertical farms would grow food near where it would be eaten, thus cutting not only the cost but the emissions of transportation. If you include emissions from the oil burned to cultivate and ship crops and livestock in addition to, yes, methane from farm-animal flatulence, agriculture churns out nearly 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions.

    The US Policy should be…nothing.

    Get out of the way, let Entrepreneurs go at it and discover if this can be done and how to make it happen. If they can profit from it, great…because the rest of “profit” from advance and innovation too. Onward to the future! Hey…it would be fun setting up the network system for a vertical farm…call me…I’m available.

    More here at: http://www.verticalfarm.com/

    Concept photos: here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

    Cringley touches upon the emergence of Super Empowered Individuals

    Cringley is a documenter/pundit of computer geeks and their world. He does calls them “nerds” though which shows he does not have a full understanding and is apart from them.

    Anyways, in a recent article he wrote:

    There is a technology war coming. Actually it is already here but most of us haven’t yet notice. It is a war not about technology but because of technology, a war over how we as a culture embrace technology. It is a war that threatens venerable institutions and, to a certain extent, threatens what many people think of as their very way of life. It is a war that will ultimately and inevitably change us all, no going back. The early battles are being fought in our schools. And I already know who the winners will be.
    […]
    Here, buried in my sixth paragraph, is the most important nugget: we’ve reached the point in our (disparate) cultural adaptation to computing and communication technology that the younger technical generations are so empowered they are impatient and ready to jettison institutions most of the rest of us tend to think of as essential, central, even immortal. They are ready to dump our schools.

    Note the part I bolded again:

    …younger technical generations are so empowered they are impatient and ready to jettison institutions most of the rest of us tend to think of
    as essential, central, even immortal.

    Narrow it down more:

    …impatient and ready to jettison institutions…

    Therein lies future 4GW, 5GW, and civil Wars.

    Happy Easter!

    [cross-posted to Dreaming 5GW]

    Note to MySelf: 6GW as Post-Singularity Warfare?

    While reading a new-ish Dreaming 5GW post, I followed this old link to Shloky’s blog where the idea of Sixth-Generation Warfare (6GW) came up.

    I am posting it here as a reminder to myself to post on the issues.

    It is too soon to be thinking 6GW. The post-singularity world can be glimpsed though.

    Here is my comment:

    I think what you are describing as 6GW and 7GW requires that the technological singularity has occurred. I don’t think I can look to well past that point. Human society would become very chaotic as it reorganizations into new organizational forms I think. Economics would be radically different. Hmmm…speculation on this post-singularity world (warfare, governing, economics, language, art, culture,) would be very interesting.

    Here is Shloky’s reply:

    Purpleslog – You’re right, this is a singularity based argument. And I’m on board for a post-singularity discussion.

    “Blue on Blue” Lawfare

    Wolf Pangloss writes about an incident:

    The kill had already been approved by the American command. And the main job of soldiers in war is to kill the enemy, which Buntangyar was. So, the American soldiers shot him.

    And now the lawyers have decided to prosecute them for murder.

    Some quick Thoughts:

    1. Why the fuck are the JAGs running tactical decisions?
    2. How can we expect to win and keep morale high if rules for the trigger-pullers are changed retroactively?
    3. Why wasn’t Frank H. Kearney fired by SecDef or POTUS? Jeez, he was promoted!
    4. WHy haven’t more generals been fired? Lincoln did. Roosevelt/Marshal did.
    5. The US needs to revamp its the National Security institutions and legal framework. Fellow bloggers, let’s start writing for the next congress a National Security Act of 2009.

    “Huge penis engines are the answer”

    How to generate cheap energy is the question.

    Scott Adams writes:

    As you can see from the story, big companies are building Stirling engine farms to capture the sun’s energy more effectively than photovoltaic panels. This could work, but it’s not the economic model that will set us completely free. Let me tell you what is: Giant penis engine co-op investments.
    […]
    Let’s say the next president of the United States fast-tracks the following concept: Any company can buy a bunch of land in the desert, and start building Stirling engine farms that connect to the country’s electrical grid. The genius part of my idea is that individual investors can own one specific penis engine and the profits from it. The organizer of the venture just rents the space and provides maintenance, insurance, administration, and installation for the devices

    I like the idea. Would work? Maybe, maybe not. That’s entrepreneurial capitalism: give it a shot, let the market decide, get rewarded for success, get weeded out for failure.

    More on Sterling Engines here.

    Spacepot Concept Photo link

    Check out the photo and link at Instapundit. This is a private venture too!

    The Futurist Covers “The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies”

    It is worth reading.

    6GW?

    I just had a 6GW though as a comment on a TDAXP post:

    Here is a 6GW thought: 6GW will be the peaceful competition between citizens after the states has withered away and the world is pure peer-to-peer. There is no kinetic war at all (complete dispersion).

    I just wanted to capture this before I forgot where it was.

    The Mission For Our Generation and The Next

    TDAXP writes (and cross-post at Dreaming 5GW):

    The anti-Communist 5GW that was built up at the beginning of the Cold War is still functioning in spite of widespread recognition that is has been obsoleted by its own success.

    The anti-Disconnectedness 5GW that must be built up at the beginning of this Long War must be similarly durable. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, globalists and internationalists, they come-and-go. They’re electoral defeats and victories are as rational as which town is hit by which tornado, which Senator uses an anti-asian slur that was current among North African Jews a lifetime ago, and other quirks of fate. Shrinking the Gap is too important to be left to chance.

    Rather than decry a “money/fantasy machine” we need to build our own.

    “The clear implication from this report is that any political or religious group that expresses opposition to the atheistic and dictatorial agenda of the state will be collectively demonized as terrorists and targeted for elimination and ethnic cleansing.”

    EmptyStreets has an interesting post entitled: “the future is bright because it’s burning…“.

    It has as its starting point a scary/bad future scenario by the UK, and goes right to the logical ramification of belief in that kind of future by the state:

    This is the very new world order that the establishment have sought to create by allowing rampant immigration, using the progress of technology to enslave us, launching endless war and shaping the course of history to construct a prison planet.

    The elite are deliberately steering world events and engaging in psychological warfare to achieve this self-fulfilling apocalypse. They are hell-bent on manufacturing an end-times scenario similar to that described in Revelations, and whether you believe in the Bible or not, our future is being decided by maniacal psychopaths sworn to destroy humanity.

    I don’t think the “elites” really want an end-time, unless they think they will be better off.

    I think people do to often look to the future and see only their fears: Death, misery, destruction impulses, and loss of status.Yeah, sometimes I feel this way.

    Really, The future is ours to build though. We have opportunities and human capital and creative impulses unleash.

    “Science Fiction in the National Interest”

    Excellent news!

    Airships!

    The Aeroscaraft Airships (via NT Nerd):

    This is not a Blimp. It’s a sort of flying Queen Mary 2 that could change the way you think about air travel. It’s the Aeroscraft, and when it’s completed, it will ferry pampered passengers across continents and ocean s as they stroll leisurely about the one-acre cabin or relax in their well-appointed staterooms.

    Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two-thirds of the craft’s weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic body-driven by huge rearward propellers-generates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.

    Read it all.

    My dreams of the Future always have had Airships.

    SLOE/Future (Security, Liberty, Opportunity, Enrichment for the Future)

    Zenpundit writes:

    Should the major parties fail to generate some new, creative and relevant ideas in a short time horizon – something that is not likely to happen in my view – it means that 2008 is wide open for somebody “outside” the system who can bring both vision and financial wherewithal to the table as an independent candidate. And of the two, the former is far more important because via the internet the vision will attract the financial muscle.

    I left a long comment which I am now also using as my own post:

    A visionary could organize around something like:

    SLOE/Future

    Security
    Liberty
    Opportunity
    Enrichment

    –> Future Oriented

    Security –> from bad guys: transnational, national and local

    Liberty –> free to organize and associate etc as one wants (includes religion, contracts, etc)

    Opportunity –> all humans should have lots of opportunities to achieve there potential (opportunity creating stuff = good stuff)

    Enrichment –> of wealth, knowledge, experience etc, for all members of ones community (local, national, global). All humans should be uplifted by the exercise of liberty and opportunity maximization

    Future Oriented –> No status Quo! I want 200 year life spans, cheap limitless energy, asteroid mining, orbital communities and mars settlements – a better future of all humanity!

    I will give a listen to any pundit with ideas for a SLOE/Future.

    Update: This older post of mine should also be checked.