Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mr. Robot, Please Take My Job

Since the advent of the integrated circuit in 1958, about every eighteen months computer processor speeds have doubled. How long this exponential trend will continue into the future is anyone's guess, but one thing for certain we are still far away from exploiting the pure computational power that physics is capable of delivery to us if we can only figure out how to do so.

With each jump, the feats our computational machines have been able to perform have expanded accordingly, to the point today where they are now steadily closing the gap on many tasks that were not long ago thought of as the sole domain of the human intellect. With recent examples like IBM's Watson besting the top champions of Jeopardy to Google's self-driving vehicles to ASIMO we are experiencing a transformation of unprecedented magnitude that is fundamentally redefining humanity and in a manner that is already setting off tectonic economic & societal shifts that we are only just beginning to fathom. TRANSLATION: We're in for a wild ride folks!

On the topic, these next two presentations may either fill you with delight at the incredible possibilities opening up before us or fill you with dread contemplating a future that will radically differ from the world we find ourselves in today. Either way the future will not be boring. This I guarantee you. ;)

Federico Pistono - Robots Will Steal Your Job

J├╝rgen Schmidhuber – When Creative Machines Overtake Man

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Government Explained

WARNING: After viewing this you might question what planet you were born on. ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Re-Envisioning Money

We don't usually think of it as such, but money is a technological invention. One that has been with us now for so many centuries and has infused & driven our collective consciousness to such a pervasive degree we rarely if ever stop to fully comprehend that money, when it is all said and done, is simply... an abstraction – a social agreement.

If tomorrow all of humanity woke up and believed the pieces of paper in our wallets & purses imprinted with numbers, presidents & other miscellaneous historical figures were simply that and the digits flying about in our computerized bank accounts were just that – electrons zipping through silicon – and the gold & silver coins just globs of shiny metal, the power of money from one moment to the next would cease to exist. Kinda spooky when you stop and think about it!

Well, evaporating money is not the point of this post, but is only being thrown out here to hopefully provide a bridge to viewing the stuff outside the "normal" context we typically do and to provide a little bit of space for us to hold this particular piece of technology out at arm's length and with a discerning and dispassionate eye ponder how it can be enhanced & reformed to better serve our needs.

With those thoughts in mind I leave you in the extraordinary capable and wise hands of economist & author Charles Eisenstein, whose timely message of recapturing our "gift economy" roots, but in a 21st Century context, offers many cogent solutions & values for steering humanity away from the impending social & ecological storms now bearing down upon us.

Sacred Economics – A Short Film

Interview for Money & Life Film

This film is currently in post-production and brings together several of the new groundbreaking economic thinkers from across the world. If you would like to find out more, see the preview or contribute to their efforts click here. Oh, and if you would like to be in the credits with me a tax-deductible donation of $100 or more will land your name in the film. Now that is pretty cool!

Re-Envisioning Money

For more from Charles Eisenstein and to learn about the dreaded Taotie click here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Our Home

Behold the majesty of our precious and fragile world and contemplate what really matters.

TROM – Earth

NOTE: Some international viewers are unable to view the YouTube version of this video, but looks like the Vimeo version is working just fine – CLICK HERE TO GET IT!

Watch full screen in HD for maximum awe.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The End of Growth

War is upon us – not a war between nations, though there are plenty of examples of that, but one for the very survival of the entirety of human civilization. As estimated by the 2010 Living Planet Report we are currently using our planetary resources 50% faster than what the Earth can renew. If we extrapolate into the future from our rates of growth up to this point in history, by 2050 when populations are expected to reach an estimated 9.3 billion human beings, we will require around two and a quarter planet Earths worth of resources.

One doesn't need a PHD in mathematics – or a degree in anything for that matter – to understand that extending ourselves that far above a sustainable level with no convenient planet Earths waiting in the wings is a recipe for collective disaster and untold misery.

And for those techno enthusiasts – I counted myself as a member of this group until very recently* – who believe the ingenuity of our scientists, inventors & entrepreneurs will rise to the occasion and create an ever-increasing bounty for all (I certainly hope they pull some techno-rabbits out of their hats!) holding such beliefs in the face of what we are up against now is a dangerous position to take when considering the very large downside that more likely will come by ignoring the evidence and keeping the gas pedal pressed to the floor.

Damn, looks like another grim post from me! Sorry folks!

Considering the spine-chilling information above, all is by no means lost and why this next TED presentation from Paul Gilding is a must see for every man, woman and child on the planet – not just to fully comprehend what we are now all up against, but also what we can do together to move past our destructive adolescence and into a responsible sustainable adulthood.

Paul Gilding – The Earth is Full

* If you are wondering why my techno enthusiasm has tapered off as of late, I refer you to the extraordinary insightful blog from University of California, San Diego Physics Professor Tom Murphy who over the past few months has detailed the very stark realities & tradeoffs of moving to sustainable sources of energy. Check out these posts specifically: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. ← Come on! There's not that many. You can do it!