Archive for category: Futurism

Diversity Is A Good Thing, As Long As You Know What To Diversify

19 Apr
April 19, 2018

Reason put out this article earlier this week on the dangers of Silicon Valley’s burgeoning ideological conformity. Let’s look at the first couple of paragraphs:

quote When it comes to software, Silicon Valley understands the threat of monocultures. If 100 percent of computers run the same code and malware authors discover an exploit, 100 percent of computers will be vulnerable to the same attack. Fortunately, the way to reduce such risks is straightforward: Increase diversity.

quote Alas, this insight seems limited to software. Technology executives have yet to fully recognize the risks posed by the potent political monocultures forming inside their own companies.

The problem is that so many who push “diversity” fail to understand what they need to diversify. For these tech companies – and other places pushing diversity for diversity (cough, universities, cough, literary circles) – they are mistaking the biological for the mental. In essence, they are saying because they have both golden labradors and chocolate labradors, they are diverse – and they don’t see the problem when large numbers of their dogs die off. For tech companies, the biggest threat from this failure to recognize they are not really diverse is going out of business because they’ve alienated enough customers.

However, the same issue is impacting the RKBA. I keep hearing how we do we get more women, POCs, young people, etc. involved in the gun rights battle. Too many times, I see the RKBA making the same mistake of substituting outward diversity with inward diversity. You can’t invite people with one breath, and with the next demand they immediately conform to every thing you believe outside of RKBA – such as God, abortion, economics, and/or the current issues of the day.

We’re not breeding stronger livestock, so we shouldn’t be looking for biological diversity. We’re trying to breed stronger ideas, so we need ideological diversity.

Ignoble End to an Upstart?

09 Apr
April 9, 2018

At the grocery store this week, The Brother and I saw a Tesla 3 in the wild for the first time. The Brother wants a Tesla for his next car, and to be honest, they tempt me as well. I wish there was a version of the Chevy Volt’s electric with gasoline backup system that was built into an SUV. Both The Brother and I believe that electric vehicles will phase out the internal combustion vehicles, but that’s going to require time for the infrastructure to be built up.

I’ve also been a fan of Tesla in its history of disrupting the market. Tesla has done a lot to “mainstream” the electric vehicle – much in the same way Apple mainstreamed the smartphone. For me, I’ve enjoyed them working to fight back against the franchise car dealership system.

Which makes this analysis of Tesla’s cash crisis from the Economist disappointing. My read is Tesla is burning through cash because there is a corporate culture of chaos and letting the better get in the way of the good.

Tesla received four hundred thousand $1,000 deposits for the Tesla 3’s. That’s an initial investment of $400 million. I can’t see any of the big car firms not being able to set up a new line for that sort of initial capital.

I’m really hoping Tesla manages to push through, but I have a suspicion that it will revert to a boutique manufacturer of innovative EVs while the big firms bring the electric car revolution to the masses.

Early Days for Self-Driving Cars

22 Mar
March 22, 2018

Borepatch helpfully linked to this article regarding to the pedestrian killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona. According to the cops, who reviewed the Uber car’s dash cam, it’s unlikely a human driver would have been able to avoid the pedestrian.

I understand why Borepatch distrusts them, but I still believe that the self-driving car will be as revolutionary as the car itself was. Yes, it will destroy some industries. If history is any teacher, the technology will also lead to the rise of brand new industries.

And maybe finally kill the stupid passenger/commuter rail proponents.

Challenger, 30 Years Later

28 Jan
January 28, 2016

Thirty years ago, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight. Seven were killed.

This is perhaps the first memory where I remember where I was when I heard the news. I was in sixth grade, coming back from PE, when a teacher burst into the hall to tell us what happened. We watched the coverage for pretty much the rest of the day. A friend of mine was in Nature’s Classroom and actually saw the Y-shaped cloud.

  
Image is from CBS news.

Friday Quote – J. Robert Oppenheimer

07 Aug
August 7, 2015

The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project

Friday Quote – R. Buckminster Fuller

26 Dec
December 26, 2014

For the last Friday Quote of the year, I give you a quote of hope for the future:

It is now feasible to take care of everyone on Earth at a higher standard of living than have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting high technology from weaponry to livingry.

R. Buckminster Fuller

I don’t think we, as a species, have quite reached this point. Still, I have hope that one day humanity will reach it.

Friday Quote – Neil deGrasse Tyson

12 Sep
September 12, 2014

I’m optimistic. I see no longer people accepting fuzzy thinking in the world. The change is not that people aren’t still saying under-informed things. The change is that if you’re in power and you say something under-informed, there are people out there with a voice who will take you to task for saying so.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson

The marketplace of ideas is truly a wonderful thing.

A HUD For Your Car

06 Aug
August 6, 2014

This looks interesting. Very interesting.

I wonder if one of the apps would give you cool reticles, so you can pretend to get missile lock on that annoying car in front of you. FOX TWO, MF’ER!

Personally, I’d like to play with it before dropping $300-$400, but I’m still cleaning up drool.

H/t Alan

Navy Rail Guns Closer to Reality

08 Apr
April 8, 2014

According to this article from Ars Technica, the U.S. Navy is set to field test its new rail gun in 2016 aboard the USNS Millinocket. The video in the article is pretty nifty as well.

It makes me wonder if/when we’ll be switching out our chemically-propelled small arms for hand-held versions of these. FSM, I love living in the future.

Friday Quote – 1/24/13

24 Jan
January 24, 2014

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those that cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Alvin Toffler, writer and futurist

This is “react, adapt, and overcome” raised to the next power.