I'm also still working on the details of how you can get a Boutique for your store on KDL... watch this space!
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Silicon Valley could save the planet. All they need to do is combine their entrepreneurial brilliance with an enormous infusion of cash, and, more importantly, have our society grant them the cultural permission to lead us to a green future.
But we don't want that. And, frankly, that's why we peons annoy the titans of tech so much.
Why won't we hand our environmental challenges to our top technologists to solve? After all, these are among the world's most successful people at identifying unsolved problems and tackling them. And they're loaded with enough money, resources, and cache to get things done.
The reason is simple: We're afraid.
Instead we demand solutions from policymakers — not because we think they're the biggest geniuses, but because we think only the government has the legitimate authority to do big binding things that affect us all, which is what stopping climate change requires.
What's more, many of us think that only government can do the right thing in a divided world. Regardless of our partisanship or our policy preferences, we're increasingly doubtful that big goals can be met except by coercive force. In fact, we suspect that, at bottom, everything is a matter of coercive force.
Consider, for a moment, Jeb Bush. After teasing environmentalists with dreams of a "moderate" Republican — as opposed to yet another "denier" — Bush recently laughed off restrictive policymaking as a solution to our climate challenges, enthusing instead over, well, Silicon Valley.
Innovation and technology, said Bush, are "the source of a lot more solutions than any government-imposed idea and sometimes I sense that we pull back from the embrace of these things." Instead, Americans should "tear down the barriers," allowing new inventions to "accelerate in our lives to find solutions" to our humanity-wide problems.
Speaking for a host of green activists at their wits' end, Salon political writer Simon Maloy called Bush's vision "an impossibly vague nothingburger […] that gives the impression that Jeb cares about climate change as he advocates for the status quo." And indeed, that's one way the story Bush tells could wind up.
Here's another real possibility: Bush's vision could actually make enormous progress toward soliving our environmental struggles.
Why not trust our technologists to actually tackle the difficulties our scientists warn us about? Why do we put our faith in government not even to compel us to do great things, but to stop us from doing little things that add up, such as emit carbon?
We are setting our sights too low, envisioning a government that just skims some value off the top of our emissions in the form of taxes and fees. This is not nearly enough. And our government is incapable of doing the big things that actually need to be done.
At Vox, David Roberts warns that reversing the trend line of net emissions requires us "to imagine all of human society turning on a dime, beginning in 2030, deploying massive amounts of nuclear, bioenergy, wind, and solar, and doing so every year for decades." That public effort "may not violate the laws of physics," says Roberts, "but it is unlikely, given what we know about human beings, path dependence, and political dysfunction."
It's almost as if the best approach is to set aside our lawmakers' climate policy agendas and focus on rendering our old energy technologies ridiculously obsolete. That would take a ton of work, yes. It would probably take government subsides on a massive scale. But if we really wanted to, we could create an energy-industrial complex every bit as powerful, wealthy, and supreme as the military-industrial complex that grew out of World War II. Just look at what one person, Elon Musk, has been able to achieve with even modest government subsidies.
Humanity has a simple problem: We are not good enough at making and using energy. We're slow, inefficient, fearful, and unserious about how plentiful energy can be.
Why don't we turn Washington into the biggest venture capitalist in the world, and hand Silicon Valley a blank check marked "climate"? Because it makes them masters of the universe. Yes, it's all about our fear again. Even worse than lining their pockets with "public money" we envision going to poor people instead, letting our tech titans lead would make them a civilization apart: plainly higher and better than us, in a way that cuts to the heart of our egalitarian envy and pride.
Unless we get over that resentful queasiness about the new ruling techno-class we're winding up with anyway, we'll just keep choking on climate.
A new study may have discovered the nature of a class of objects that have been mysterious for decades. The objects in question are Ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs), which are named for their incredible brightness at those wavelengths.
ULXs are understood to be black holes (though some are known to be pulsars, we're not sure what percentage), but their properties challenge our understandings of these objects. Many of the black holes seem to be taking in matter (accreting) faster than their Eddington limits, which describes how much matter can be ingested in a given time. At that accretion rate, the light produced by the friction of the infalling material should push new material away, slowing the process down.
Since it’s not known how much mass the ULX black holes have, models have proposed a variety of scenarios. It could be that the ULXs are mostly intermediate-mass black holes (black holes with masses between 100 and 100,000 times the mass of the Sun), which have higher Eddington limits. Or maybe they’re stellar-mass black holes (black holes that formed out of a collapsed star) that are accreting faster than their Eddington limit by some unknown mechanism.
Ottawa artist and carpenter Drew Mosley paints forest-dwelling characters encased in wooden bowls filled with layers of resin. Each scene is further embellished with found bits of flora and fauna: twigs, leaves, eggs, and more, creating artworks that walk a fine line between storybook illustration and sculptural dioramas. Mosley has an extensive studio practice and also pursues a wide range of building and woodworking projects around Ottawa Valley. His paintings have been exhibited throughout Canada and Greece and he currently has a show at the Ottawa Art Gallery through July 27, 2015. You can follow him on Instagram and Flickr. (via Colossal Submissions)
A video posted by @drewmosley on Mar 21, 2015 at 12:21pm PDT
A trio of Earth’s cities come to life like never before with yesterday’s (June 17) publication of the
The post Exquisite Views of Earth’s Cities Featured in First Ultra HD Videos from Space Station has been published on Technology Org.
An aluminium plate, ripped inwards by a single sand grain-sized fleck of aluminium oxide shot at it during