off grid

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pages: 398 words: 100,679

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch by Lewis Dartnell


agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, clean water, Dava Sobel, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of movable type, invention of radio, invention of writing, iterative process, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, mass immigration, nuclear winter, off grid, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, technology bubble, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route

I suspect, therefore, that you’ll find it far easier to leave the cities for good and move to a more appropriate site: a rural location with fertile, cultivable ground and older buildings better suited for off-grid habitation. The sort of location that would be good for settling again would be coastal—although be mindful of the inevitable sea-level rises due to continuing climate change—allowing access to sea fishing, and near woodland. As we will see, trees have an enormous number of different uses, not just as firewood or timber for construction. You’ll be able to send foraging parties and salvage crews into the dead cities, but you’ll find it much easier living in the countryside. And once you’ve resettled, you’ll want to resurrect basic technological infrastructure as far as possible, beginning with a localized electricity network. OFF-GRID ELECTRICITY Unlike food or fuel, electricity cannot be stockpiled—it is provided as a continual flow, and so will disappear when the grid goes down within a matter of days after the apocalypse.

OFF-GRID ELECTRICITY Unlike food or fuel, electricity cannot be stockpiled—it is provided as a continual flow, and so will disappear when the grid goes down within a matter of days after the apocalypse. To retain an electricity supply, the community of survivors will need to generate their own, and we can learn a lot about what is needed by looking at those choosing to live in a self-sustaining “off-grid” way today. The simplest short-term solution will be to scavenge a bunch of mobile diesel-powered generators from roadwork or construction sites. You may also be able to jack in to any tall wind turbines dotted along nearby hills to keep a renewable power grid going as fuel runs out. Just one of these can provide over a megawatt of power, enough for around a thousand modern homes, until it requires maintenance that you are unable to perform without dedicated equipment or precision spare parts.

In fact, one of the first places you’ll probably want to head to after the apocalypse is the golf course, not for a relaxing 18-hole round to help ease the stress of the end of the world as we know it, but to gather a crucial resource. Car batteries are very reliable, but are designed to give a high-current, brief burst of power to spin the starter motor. They’re poorly suited to providing the sustained, steady supply of electrical energy that you would need for powering your new off-grid life; in fact, they are easily damaged if persistently allowed to discharge by more than about 5 percent. An alternative design of rechargeable lead-acid battery, known as a deep cycle, discharges at a much slower rate and can have almost its entire capacity repeatedly drained and recharged without problems. It’s this kind of battery that you want to forage for in the immediate aftermath. Try caravans and other RVs, motorized wheelchairs, electric forklift trucks, and golf carts—hence the recommended trip to the course.

pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson


23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

A truly national grid would be prohibitively expensive, which is why the country is experimenting with rural off-grid solar, as are Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Ecuador, Tanzania, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, Ghana and numerous other countries. China is also forging ahead with ambitious grid-solar projects. The new world power is building a thin-film solar power plant in the Mongolian desert that’s larger than Manhattan. When completed it should power three million homes. A few months after I meet Tracy, Larry and Rick, something catches my eye. The town of Fowler, Colorado (the same state where Xcel got into trouble over its proposed solar power surcharge), announces plans to go off-grid with a combination of solar power, homegrown biofuel and gas derived from manure. ‘The primary goal is to stabilise utility costs and then to reduce them,’ says Wayne Snider, the town manager, ‘but our ultimate goal is to become our own utility.’

A major advantage is that Konarka’s films can be made thin enough to see through, which means they can be used to coat windows and turn them into power generators. It’s not a flexible application, but because the material can be put in the vacuum between double glazing it enjoys a lifetime of between fifteen and twenty years, allowing a building to generate power as long as there’s light hitting the windows. It’s one example of something your electricity supplier probably doesn’t want you to think about – going off grid.’ ‘Phones went wireless and Internet went wireless and the only thing that’s left that you have to find a wire for is power,’ says Rick. ‘You think about the developing world and what happened with communications. They skipped wires and went straight to wireless. I think for power they’re going to do the same thing.’ A few months after my visit, the company began working with one of their customers to create solar-powered lanterns for developing countries, devices which store up charge in the day and can be used at night for study or work, as well as improving personal safety.

Solarbuzz, a solar industry research and consultancy firm, estimates demand for solar energy ‘has grown at about 30 per cent per annum over the past 15 years.’ But these figures come from a world where ‘grid parity’ has yet to be achieved. What happens when solar starts to get cheaper than the alternatives? It’s not unreasonable to speculate that in a decade, solar will get much cheaper, possibly stimulating a radical shift to local off-grid energy generation, and achieve grid parity in many countries. Would we then see solar demand growing not by thirty per cent per annum, but fifty per cent? An annual growth rate like that would see solar quickly match all our needs, turning a sideshow today into the main feature tomorrow. It’s instructive to look at the growth rate in Japan – one of the countries pretty much all analysts think will see grid parity in the near future.

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

You might barter for your groceries on the street, or join the “full-time scavengers living off food retrieved from supermarket bins.” As Rosen admits toward the end of his article, many of his suggestions will strike people as comical. I guess that’s the point. We have allowed our lives to become open books for marketers and snoops, so much so that resistance at this point seems ridiculous. To go “off grid” now, you pretty much have to turn yourself into a counterespionage operative, a secret agent living in a yurt and nibbling the bruised leaves of a discarded cabbage. THE SOCIAL GRAFT November 6, 2007 “ONCE EVERY HUNDRED YEARS media changes,” boy-coder turned big-thinker Mark Zuckerberg declared today at the Facebook Social Advertising Event in New York City. It’s true. Look back over the last millennium or two, and you’ll see that every century, like clockwork, there’s been a big change in media.

., 226 video games and, 94–97 Merholz, Peter, 21 Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, 300 Merton, Robert, 12–13 message-automation service, 167 Meyer, Stephenie, 50 Meyerowitz, Joanne, 338 microfilm, microphotography, 267 Microsoft, 108, 168, 205, 284 military technology, 331–32 Miller, Perry, xvii mindfulness, 162 Minima Moralia (Adorno), 153–54 mirrors, 138–39 Mitchell, Joni, 128 Mollie (video poker player), 218–19 monitoring: corporate control through, 163–65 of thoughts, 214–15 through wearable behavior-modification devices, 168–69 Montaigne, Michel de, 247, 249, 252, 254 Moore, Geoffrey, 209 Morlocks, 114, 186 “Morphological Basis of the Arm-to-Wing Transition, The” (Poore), 329–30 Morrison, Ewan, 288 Morrison, Jim, 126 Morse code, 34 “Most of It, The” (Frost), 145–46 motor skills, video games and, 93–94 “Mowing” (Frost), 296–300, 302, 304–5 MP3 players, 122, 123, 124, 216, 218, 293 multitasking, media, 96–97 Mumford, Lewis, 138–39, 235 Murdoch, Rupert and Wendi, 131 music: bundling of, 41–46 commercial use of, 244–45 copying and sharing technologies for, 121–26, 314 digital revolution in, 293–95 fidelity of, 124 listening vs. interface in, 216–18, 293 in participatory games, 71–72 streamed and curated, 207, 217–18 music piracy, 121–26 Musings on Human Metamorphoses (Leary), 171 Musk, Elon, 172 Musset, Alfred de, xxiii Muzak, 208, 244 MySpace, xvi, 10–11, 30–31 “Names of the Hare, The,” 201 nanotechnology, 69 Napster, 122, 123 narcissism, 138–39 Twitter and, 34–36 narrative emotions, 250 natural-language processing, 215 Negroponte, Nicholas, xx neobehavioralism, 212–13 Netflix, 92 neural networks, 136–37 neuroengineering, 332–33 New Critics, 249 News Feed, 320 news media, 318–20 newspapers: evolution of, 79, 237 online archives of, 47–48, 190–92 online vs. printed, 289 Newton, Isaac, 66 New York Public Library, 269 New York Times, 8, 71, 83, 133, 152–53, 195, 237, 283, 314, 342 erroneous information revived by, 47–48 on Twitter, 35 Nielsen Company, 80–81 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 126, 234–35, 237 Nightingale, Paul, 335 Nixon, Richard, 317 noise pollution, 243–46 Nook, 257 North of Boston (Frost), 297 nostalgia, 202, 204, 312 in music, 292–95 Now You See It (Davidson), 94 Oates, Warren, 203 Oatley, Keith, 248–50 Obama, Barack, 314 obsession, 218–19 OCLC, 276 “off grid,” 52 Olds, James, 235 O’Neill, Gerard, 171 One Infinite Loop, 76 Ong, Walter, 129 online aggregation, 192 On Photography (Sontag), xx open networks, profiteering from, 83–85 open-source projects, 5–7, 26 Oracle, 17 orchises, 305 O’Reilly, Tim, 3–5, 7 organ donation and transplantation, 115 ornithopters, 239 orphan books, 276, 277 Overture, 279–80 Owad, Tom, 256 Oxford Junior Dictionary, 201–2 Oxford University, library of, 269 Page, Larry, 23, 160, 172, 239, 268–69, 270, 279, 281–85 personal style of, 16–17, 281–82, 285 paint-by-number kits, 71–72 Paley, William, 43 Palfrey, John, 272–74, 277 Palmisano, Sam, 26 “pancake people,” 242 paper, invention and uses of, 286–89 Paper: An Elegy (Sansom), 287 Papert, Seymour, 134 Paradise within the Reach of All Men, The (Etzler), xvi–xvii paradox of time, 203–4 parenting: automation of, 181 of virtual child, 73–75 Parker, Sarah Jessica, 131 participation: “cognitive surplus” in, 59 as content and performance, 184 inclusionists vs. deletionists in, 18–20 internet, 28–29 isolation and, 35–36, 184 limits and flaws of, 5–7, 62 Paul, Rand, 314 Pendragon, Caliandras (avatar), 25 Pentland, Alex, 212–13 perception, spiritual awakening of, 300–301 personalization, 11 of ads, 168, 225, 264 isolation and, 29 loss of autonomy in, 264–66 manipulation through, 258–59 in message automation, 167 in searches, 145–46, 264–66 of streamed music, 207–9, 245 tailoring in, 92, 224 as threat to privacy, 255 Phenomenology of Perception (Merleau-Ponty), 300 Philosophical Investigations (Wittgenstein), 215 phonograph, phonograph records, 41–46, 133, 287 photography, technological advancement in, 311–12 Pichai, Sundar, 181 Pilgrims, 172 Pinterest, 119, 186 playlists, 314 PlayStation, 260 “poetic faith,” 251 poetry, 296–313 polarization, 7 politics, transformed by technology, 314–20 Politics (Aristotle), 307–8 Poore, Samuel O., 329–30 pop culture, fact-mongering in, 58–62 pop music, 44–45, 63–64, 224 copying technologies for, 121–26 dead idols of, 126 industrialization of, 208–9 as retrospective and revivalist, 292–95 positivism, 211 Potter, Dean, 341–42 power looms, 178 Presley, Elvis, 11, 126 Prim Revolution, 26 Principles of Psychology (James), 203 Principles of Scientific Management, The (Taylor), 238 printing press: consequences of, 102–3, 234, 240–41, 271 development of, 53, 286–87 privacy: devaluation of, 258 from electronic surveillance, 52 family cohesion vs., 229 free flow of information vs. right to, 190–94 internet threat to, 184, 255–59, 265, 285 safeguarding of, 258–59, 283 vanity vs., 107 proactive cognitive control, 96 Prochnik, George, 243–46 “Productivity Future Vision (2011),” 108–9 Project Gutenberg, 278 prosperity, technologies of, 118, 119–20 prosumerism, 64 protest movements, 61 Proust and the Squid (Wolf), 234 proximal clues, 303 public-domain books, 277–78 “public library,” debate over use of term, 272–74 punch-card tabulator, 188 punk music, 63–64 Quantified Self Global Conference, 163 Quantified Self (QS) movement, 163–65 Quarter-of-a-Second Rule, 205 racecars, 195, 196 radio: in education, 134 evolution of, 77, 79, 159, 288 as music medium, 45, 121–22, 207 political use of, 315–16, 317, 319 Radosh, Daniel, 71 Rapp, Jen, 341–42 reactive cognitive control, 96 Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, 91 reading: brain function in, 247–54, 289–90 and invention of paper, 286–87 monitoring of, 257 video gaming vs., 261–62 see also books reading skills, changes in, 232–34, 240–41 Read Write Web (blog), 30 Reagan, Ronald, 315 real world: digital media intrusion in, 127–30 perceived as boring and ugly, 157–58 as source of knowledge, 313 virtual world vs., xx–xxi, 36, 62, 127–30, 303–4 reconstructive surgery, 239 record albums: copying of, 121–22 jackets for, 122, 224 technology of, 41–46 Redding, Otis, 126 Red Light Center, 39 Reichelt, Franz, 341 Reid, Rob, 122–25 relativists, 20 religion: internet perceived as, 3–4, 238 for McLuhan, 105 technology viewed as, xvi–xvii Republic of Letters, 271 reputations, tarnishing of, 47–48, 190–94 Resident Evil, 260–61 resource sharing, 148–49 resurrection, 69–70, 126 retinal implants, 332 Retromania (Reynolds), 217, 292–95 Reuters, Adam, 26 Reuters’ SL bureau, 26 revivification machine, 69–70 Reynolds, Simon, 217–18, 292–95 Rice, Isaac, 244 Rice, Julia Barnett, 243–44 Richards, Keith, 42 “right to be forgotten” lawsuit, 190–94 Ritalin, 304 robots: control of, 303 creepy quality of, 108 human beings compared to, 242 human beings replaced by, 112, 174, 176, 195, 197, 306–7, 310 limitations of, 323 predictions about, xvii, 177, 331 replaced by humans, 323 threat from, 226, 309 Rogers, Roo, 83–84 Rolling Stones, 42–43 Roosevelt, Franklin, 315 Rosen, Nick, 52 Rubio, Marco, 314 Rumsey, Abby Smith, 325–27 Ryan, Amy, 273 Sandel, Michael J., 340 Sanders, Bernie, 314, 316 Sansom, Ian, 287 Savage, Jon, 63 scatology, 147 Schachter, Joshua, 195 Schivelbusch, Wolfgang, 229 Schmidt, Eric, 13, 16, 238, 239, 257, 284 Schneier, Bruce, 258–59 Schüll, Natasha Dow, 218 science fiction, 106, 115, 116, 150, 309, 335 scientific management, 164–65, 237–38 Scrapbook in American Life, The, 185 scrapbooks, social media compared to, 185–86 “Scrapbooks as Cultural Texts” (Katriel and Farrell), 186 scythes, 302, 304–6 search-engine-optimization (SEO), 47–48 search engines: allusions sought through, 86 blogging, 66–67 in centralization of internet, 66–69 changing use of, 284 customizing by, 264–66 erroneous or outdated stories revived by, 47–48, 190–94 in filtering, 91 placement of results by, 47–48, 68 searching vs., 144–46 targeting information through, 13–14 writing tailored to, 89 see also Google searching, ontological connotations of, 144–46 Seasteading Institute, 172 Second Life, 25–27 second nature, 179 self, technologies of the, 118, 119–20 self-actualization, 120, 340 monitoring and quantification of, 163–65 selfies, 224 self-knowledge, 297–99 self-reconstruction, 339 self-tracking, 163–65 Selinger, Evan, 153 serendipity, internet as engine of, 12–15 SETI@Home, 149 sexbots, 55 Sex Pistols, 63 sex-reassignment procedures, 337–38 sexuality, 10–11 virtual, 39 Shakur, Tupac, 126 sharecropping, as metaphor for social media, 30–31 Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 88 Shirky, Clay, 59–61, 90, 241 Shop Class as Soulcraft (Crawford), 265 Shuster, Brian, 39 sickles, 302 silence, 246 Silicon Valley: American culture transformed by, xv–xxii, 148, 155–59, 171–73, 181, 241, 257, 309 commercial interests of, 162, 172, 214–15 informality eschewed by, 197–98, 215 wealthy lifestyle of, 16–17, 195 Simonite, Tom, 136–37 simulation, see virtual world Singer, Peter, 267 Singularity, Singularitarians, 69, 147 sitcoms, 59 situational overload, 90–92 skimming, 233 “Slaves to the Smartphone,” 308–9 Slee, Tom, 61, 84 SLExchange, 26 slot machines, 218–19 smart bra, 168–69 smartphones, xix, 82, 136, 145, 150, 158, 168, 170, 183–84, 219, 274, 283, 287, 308–9, 315 Smith, Adam, 175, 177 Smith, William, 204 Snapchat, 166, 205, 225, 316 social activism, 61–62 social media, 224 biases reinforced by, 319–20 as deceptively reflective, 138–39 documenting one’s children on, 74–75 economic value of content on, 20–21, 53–54, 132 emotionalism of, 316–17 evolution of, xvi language altered by, 215 loom as metaphor for, 178 maintaining one’s microcelebrity on, 166–67 paradox of, 35–36, 159 personal information collected and monitored through, 257 politics transformed by, 314–20 scrapbooks compared to, 185–86 self-validation through, 36, 73 traditional media slow to adapt to, 316–19 as ubiquitous, 205 see also specific sites social organization, technologies of, 118, 119 Social Physics (Pentland), 213 Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise, 243–44 sociology, technology and, 210–13 Socrates, 240 software: autonomous, 187–89 smart, 112–13 solitude, media intrusion on, 127–30, 253 Songza, 207 Sontag, Susan, xx SoundCloud, 217 sound-management devices, 245 soundscapes, 244–45 space travel, 115, 172 spam, 92 Sparrow, Betsy, 98 Special Operations Command, U.S., 332 speech recognition, 137 spermatic, as term applied to reading, 247, 248, 250, 254 Spinoza, Baruch, 300–301 Spotify, 293, 314 “Sprite Sips” (app), 54 Squarciafico, Hieronimo, 240–41 Srinivasan, Balaji, 172 Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 68 Starr, Karla, 217–18 Star Trek, 26, 32, 313 Stengel, Rick, 28 Stephenson, Neal, 116 Sterling, Bruce, 113 Stevens, Wallace, 158 Street View, 137, 283 Stroop test, 98–99 Strummer, Joe, 63–64 Studies in Classic American Literature (Lawrence), xxiii Such Stuff as Dreams (Oatley), 248–49 suicide rate, 304 Sullenberger, Sully, 322 Sullivan, Andrew, xvi Sun Microsystems, 257 “surf cams,” 56–57 surfing, internet, 14–15 surveillance, 52, 163–65, 188–89 surveillance-personalization loop, 157 survival, technologies of, 118, 119 Swing, Edward, 95 Talking Heads, 136 talk radio, 319 Tan, Chade-Meng, 162 Tapscott, Don, 84 tattoos, 336–37, 340 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 164, 237–38 Taylorism, 164, 238 Tebbel, John, 275 Technics and Civilization (Mumford), 138, 235 technology: agricultural, 305–6 American culture transformed by, xv–xxii, 148, 155–59, 174–77, 214–15, 229–30, 296–313, 329–42 apparatus vs. artifact in, 216–19 brain function affected by, 231–42 duality of, 240–41 election campaigns transformed by, 314–20 ethical hazards of, 304–11 evanescence and obsolescence of, 327 human aspiration and, 329–42 human beings eclipsed by, 108–9 language of, 201–2, 214–15 limits of, 341–42 master-slave metaphor for, 307–9 military, 331–32 need for critical thinking about, 311–13 opt-in society run by, 172–73 progress in, 77–78, 188–89, 229–30 risks of, 341–42 sociology and, 210–13 time perception affected by, 203–6 as tool of knowledge and perception, 299–304 as transcendent, 179–80 Technorati, 66 telegrams, 79 telegraph, Twitter compared to, 34 telephones, 103–4, 159, 288 television: age of, 60–62, 79, 93, 233 and attention disorders, 95 in education, 134 Facebook ads on, 155–56 introduction of, 103–4, 159, 288 news coverage on, 318 paying for, 224 political use of, 315–16, 317 technological adaptation of, 237 viewing habits for, 80–81 Teller, Astro, 195 textbooks, 290 texting, 34, 73, 75, 154, 186, 196, 205, 233 Thackeray, William, 318 “theory of mind,” 251–52 Thiel, Peter, 116–17, 172, 310 “Things That Connect Us, The” (ad campaign), 155–58 30 Days of Night (film), 50 Thompson, Clive, 232 thought-sharing, 214–15 “Three Princes of Serendip, The,” 12 Thurston, Baratunde, 153–54 time: memory vs., 226 perception of, 203–6 Time, covers of, 28 Time Machine, The (Wells), 114 tools: blurred line between users and, 333 ethical choice and, 305 gaining knowledge and perception through, 299–304 hand vs. computer, 306 Home and Away blurred by, 159 human agency removed from, 77 innovation in, 118 media vs., 226 slave metaphor for, 307–8 symbiosis with, 101 Tosh, Peter, 126 Toyota Motor Company, 323 Toyota Prius, 16–17 train disasters, 323–24 transhumanism, 330–40 critics of, 339–40 transparency, downside of, 56–57 transsexuals, 337–38 Travels and Adventures of Serendipity, The (Merton and Barber), 12–13 Trends in Biochemistry (Nightingale and Martin), 335 TripAdvisor, 31 trolls, 315 Trump, Donald, 314–18 “Tuft of Flowers, A” (Frost), 305 tugboats, noise restrictions on, 243–44 Tumblr, 166, 185, 186 Turing, Alan, 236 Turing Test, 55, 137 Twain, Mark, 243 tweets, tweeting, 75, 131, 315, 319 language of, 34–36 theses in form of, 223–26 “tweetstorm,” xvii 20/20, 16 Twilight Saga, The (Meyer), 50 Twitter, 34–36, 64, 91, 119, 166, 186, 197, 205, 223, 224, 257, 284 political use of, 315, 317–20 2001: A Space Odyssey (film), 231, 242 Two-Lane Blacktop (film), 203 “Two Tramps in Mud Time” (Frost), 247–48 typewriters, writing skills and, 234–35, 237 Uber, 148 Ubisoft, 261 Understanding Media (McLuhan), 102–3, 106 underwearables, 168–69 unemployment: job displacement in, 164–65, 174, 310 in traditional media, 8 universal online library, 267–78 legal, commercial, and political obstacles to, 268–71, 274–78 universe, as memory, 326 Urban Dictionary, 145 utopia, predictions of, xvii–xviii, xx, 4, 108–9, 172–73 Uzanne, Octave, 286–87, 290 Vaidhyanathan, Siva, 277 vampires, internet giants compared to, 50–51 Vampires (game), 50 Vanguardia, La, 190–91 Van Kekerix, Marvin, 134 vice, virtual, 39–40 video games, 223, 245, 303 as addictive, 260–61 cognitive effects of, 93–97 crafting of, 261–62 violent, 260–62 videos, viewing of, 80–81 virtual child, tips for raising a, 73–75 virtual world, xviii commercial aspects of, 26–27 conflict enacted in, 25–27 language of, 201–2 “playlaborers” of, 113–14 psychological and physical health affected by, 304 real world vs., xx–xxi, 36, 62, 127–30 as restrictive, 303–4 vice in, 39–40 von Furstenberg, Diane, 131 Wales, Jimmy, 192 Wallerstein, Edward, 43–44 Wall Street, automation of, 187–88 Wall Street Journal, 8, 16, 86, 122, 163, 333 Walpole, Horace, 12 Walters, Barbara, 16 Ward, Adrian, 200 Warhol, Andy, 72 Warren, Earl, 255, 257 “Waste Land, The” (Eliot), 86, 87 Watson (IBM computer), 147 Wealth of Networks, The (Benkler), xviii “We Are the Web” (Kelly), xxi, 4, 8–9 Web 1.0, 3, 5, 9 Web 2.0, xvi, xvii, xxi, 33, 58 amorality of, 3–9, 10 culturally transformative power of, 28–29 Twitter and, 34–35 “web log,” 21 Wegner, Daniel, 98, 200 Weinberger, David, 41–45, 277 Weizenbaum, Joseph, 236 Wells, H.

pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin


3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Unfortunately, the United States is playing directly into the hands of cyberterrorists by championing a centralized smart grid. The European Union and other governments, by contrast, are deploying a distributed smart grid—or Energy Internet—that lessens the potential threat and damage that can be inflicted by a massive cyberattack. Even if the electrical transformers were to flame out, if a fully functioning Energy Internet were operational across every region of the country, local communities could go off-grid and continue to generate their own green electricity, sharing it with their neighbors and businesses on microgrids, keeping the power and lights on, at least long enough to keep society functioning. Interestingly, a similar concern about the vulnerability of America’s communications network inspired, at least in part, the creation of the Internet. In the 1960s, Paul Baran and other researchers at the Rand Corporation began to ponder the question of how to ensure the continued operability of the nation’s communications network in the event of a nuclear attack.

The reason this is done is so power and utility operators can control how the power is dispersed along the grid. They worry that with dynamic pricing monitoring meters available at every micropower site—alerting the owner about moment-to-moment changes in the price of electricity—small generators of electricity might program their system to only sell to the main grid when the price is high and go off-grid and use their electricity when they choose. The shortcomings of this system became apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, when electrical power on Long Island and in the New Jersey coastal towns went out. Many homes and offices with installed solar panels on their roofs were unable to deploy them. Ed Antonio, a homeowner in Queens, equipped his home with a $70,000 solar system powered by 42 solar panels; it went unused, as did similar green micropower systems in the region.

pages: 526 words: 155,174

Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson


dumpster diving, energy security, full employment, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, off grid, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, urban decay, Works Progress Administration

Or—could it be stopped? Could they go to Phil Chase and lay out the whole story, and get him to root out Caroline’s ex and his whole operation, whatever it was? Root it out from the top down? Were the spy agencies so imbricated into the fabric of the government (and the military) that they were beyond presidential control, or even presidential knowledge? Or inquiry? If it weren’t for his going-off-grid status, he would have called up Edgardo to ask his opinion on this. As it was he could only continue to think, and worry, and drive. Somewhere in New Jersey it occurred to him that as he was on the road north, he must therefore have decided to go. He had decided something! And without even trying. Maybe decisions now had to occur without one really noticing them happening, or wondering how. It was so hard to say.

Show up to work, work, disappear, then show up again the next day. This was important, given the things that were happening. What would happen if he got Edgardo’s help to take all the transponders out of his van? But that would alert Cooper that Frank knew the chips were there and had removed them. It was better the way it was, perhaps, so that he could find them and remove them when he really had to, and then travel off-grid. He might need the van if Caroline went back to Mount Desert Island and he wanted to drive up to see her. In general it was an advantage. That was what Edgardo had meant. He didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t figure it out, and he had no place to stay. What to do, how to live. Always a question, but never more so than now. He could do this, he could do that. Anyone could; no one had to. Do the duty of the day.

pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, off grid, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

These activities, the tinkering as much as more formal constructions, are collectively known as grid edge, a term that encompasses everything from hooking up a generator to a house or adding some solar panels to the garage roof or using a 50-MW acronymically named S.P.I.D.E.R.S. microgrid for your base, to building a wind farm, a substation, and private lines into your corporate headquarters. It is here, at the thick black border between being on-grid (and thus reliant upon an infrastructure that belonged solely to the electric company) and being off-grid (and thus having no power, as my own father did during the 1970s), that alternative visions and structures for power production are taking root. It is here, at the grid’s edge, that microgrids blossom and grow. It is here that unstable environments are reworked into stable ones and that brittle is being remade in the idiom of resiliency. In the case of the military, this means standardized electric power regardless of the circumstances.

any piece of it: A couple of the Straws’ neighbors to the south, the Yoxulls, have been off the grid since they built their house eighteen years ago because they didn’t want to pay the utility $20,000 to extend the existing system of lines to a new pole. “of a typical tactical operations center”: Adams III et al. (2010), 46. “meet power requirements”: According to Adams III et al., “[the] inherent advantage of [renewables for deployed off-grid operations] over conventional petroleum-fueled systems is that combined with demand reduction, they greatly reduce and even eliminate the need to provide fuel logistic to remote sites, saving manpower, funds, and most importantly decreasing the risk to forces delivering supplies over contested lines of communication.” They go on: “In addition, solar-PV and wind technologies offer significant inherent security features in that they are quiet and have low thermal signatures” (2010), 44–45.

pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

Monika, who I think has persuaded herself I’m deeply impressed with Tamera, agrees to give me a final tour of the whole place before I leave later today. ‘Our applications for building permission are stuck with the authorities,’ she says, as we walk through constellations of wooden shacks and run-down caravans. ‘Therefore we still have to live very temporarily.’ Everyone is fed up with living in caravans. People have few possessions: some have battered television sets, a few books and second-hand clothes. They aren’t completely off-grid here, but everything is just a little worn out. In addition to living in temporary accommodation, the typical Tamerian day can be long and hard. It often starts with some form of meditation (although some attend God Point). Then, depending on the role, it’s on to the day job. Monika shows me the pottery workshop, with two people hard at work designing a sculpture for the community centre. In the sewing workshop, three women are repairing clothes and making new ones from scraps.

Otherwise we’ll just ship in the coal from further away and that’ll be even worse for the environment.’ ‘I’ll bet some of them used steel to bike here,’ added the second miner. ‘Hey, you know what? We could have done them a deal!’ replied the first. ‘Haha!’ Activists are always caught in this hypocrite-or-fanatic bind. It’s difficult to unplug entirely from the modern world. They want to have a holiday and also need a laptop. When they do they’re hypocrites. If they go off-grid or refuse to fly, they’re fanatics. The activists understood Merthyr Tydfil’s problems. They knew it used to be a bustling, successful centre of iron mining and that it now ranks as one of the worst places to live in the United Kingdom. They knew that Ffos-y-fran has created jobs and a community fund.13 The coal industry is dying, and the activists chanted that they want better (greener) jobs for these miners and called for more government investment in the region.

pages: 204 words: 67,922

Elsewhere, U.S.A: How We Got From the Company Man, Family Dinners, and the Affluent Society to the Home Office, BlackBerry Moms,and Economic Anxiety by Dalton Conley


3D printing, assortative mating, call centre, clean water, commoditize, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, feminist movement, financial independence, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, late capitalism, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, McMansion, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, off grid, oil shock, PageRank, Ponzi scheme, positional goods, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, principal–agent problem, recommendation engine, Richard Florida, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War

The next ruling class for our time is probably not at the bottom of our economic pyramid but rather off to the side somewhere. No-border activists? Wikipedia contributors? Perhaps we should look to who inhabits the abandoned spaces (social or physical) of the information economy once it starts to recede. Or, following the logic of the Coal Era and the Oil Century, maybe we should look to the next energy source for our clues. Increasingly, many individuals will be looking to move “off grid”—providing as much as possible of their own, self-sufficient power through wind, solar, and other means. So, the pendulum from our networked society may swing back from intravidualism to individualism once again. But who knows? It is hard enough trying to divine what is happening now, without making predictions about an economy yet to come. Author’s Note It’s the job of the sociologist to show us how, in the words of C.

pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna


Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, labour mobility, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

Berlin has contracted companies to green fifteen hundred buildings, reducing the city’s carbon footprint by 25 percent. The greening of the Empire State Building presently under way in New York City is self-financing through savings in utility bills and will achieve the emissions reduction equivalent of taking nineteen thousand cars off the street. Even poor cities can change citizen and consumer behavior, leapfrogging to low-carbon, off-grid solutions such as distributed power networks that draw from multiple sources of energy. In Mexico City, the World Resources Institute ran a program mostly funded by the Shell Foundation to retrofit diesel metro buses with catalytic converters. All the efforts under way to control Western emissions will be a quaint sideshow if they aren’t copied in China, where hundreds of state-owned companies shun environmental regulations and are impervious to external scrutiny and shame as each year they build enough coal-fired plants to power Italy.

pages: 238 words: 75,994

A Burglar's Guide to the City by Geoff Manaugh


A. Roger Ekirch, big-box store, card file, dark matter, game design, index card, megacity, megastructure, Minecraft, off grid, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, smart cities, statistical model, the built environment, urban planning

He had driven up from Philadelphia that morning with his partner, who goes by the nickname Lady Merlin. Dev is on the board of directors of TOOOL. He was dressed in a black polo shirt, a TOOOL logo prominently displayed on his chest, with dozens of laser-printed “love picking” leaflets slipped neatly into the pockets of his cargo shorts. Wrapped on one wrist was a magnetic bracelet to which he could affix his picks, swapping one tool out for another in an instant, a performative mix of off-grid survivalist gear wed with the quirks of urban maker culture. “Love picking,” as I was shortly to learn, is by no means universally sanctioned among the lockpicking crowd. A vigorous and far from polite discussion had been developing on the social news website Reddit for the past month. The event on the Brooklyn Bridge had initially been proposed as a kind of antigraffiti gesture by an otherwise anonymous Redditor called Bobcat; Bobcat is a get-off-my-lawn, gun-rights type who had been roused to anger by what he considers a blatant misuse of city infrastructure.

pages: 289 words: 112,697

The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris


back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, index card, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, off grid, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

It could also go a long way towards meeting a greater portion of the state’s energy needs from local resources while simultaneously strengthening the local economy. It’s a win-win proposition. Almost every city and town in Vermont has the potential for one or more Community Supported Energy projects. Perhaps you can get one started in your community. 134 chapter 6 : Small is Beautiful Dave Smith, the “Smith” in Smith & Hawken, presently runs an independent bookstore and lives off-grid. Friends Meeting by Dave Smith W hile the Vietnam War was still in its infancy, two little old ladies arrived at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, every Saturday morning at 11:00 and stood silently at the entrance for an hour protesting the war. They were there every Saturday without fail, and they were alone in their protest for months. But as the war became an issue in the press, others began joining them, and in 1968, the year Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated and the Tet Offensive in South Vietnam had exposed the futility of the war, hundreds stood with them in protest.

pages: 313 words: 92,907

Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen


A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game

Indeed, this second transition is already well under way all over the world, with environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences yet to be fully reckoned. Supplies of those fuels are finite, too, and they are subject to the same peak effects as oil, but their current relative abundance will allow the party to go on for some time. A full transition to renewables will have to take place at some point, but we have a very long way to go. As of the end of 2007, the installed generating capacity of all the photovoltaics in the United States, both off-grid and grid-connected, added up to less than half of the generating capacity of the Hoover Dam. Some economists dismiss the notion of catastrophic energy peaks. Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, in the revised and expanded (2006) edition of their best-selling book Freakonomics , write:What most of these doomsday scenarios have gotten wrong is the fundamental idea of economics: people respond to incentives.

pages: 305 words: 73,935

The Cohousing Handbook: Building a Place for Community by Chris Scotthanson, Kelly Scotthanson


Buy land – they’re not making it any more, card file, index card, off grid, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl

• Conditional use requirements ✦ daycare, for instance • Development permit requirements ✦ site plan review ✦ design review Utilities If we expect to use local utilities, what utilities are available at what cost and what schedule? • Sewer • Municipal system timing and/or requirements • Individual or site specific system requirements • Potential for neighborhood collaboration • Water • Municipal system timing and/or requirements • Individual or site specific system requirements • Power • Local system • Off grid • Communications ☞ 87 THE COHOUSING HANDBOOK 88 You wouldn’t want to do a full Feasibility Analysis on land you have not yet tied up (completed an agreement to purchase) because it can be both time consuming and costly. If you do enough of them, and they don’t result in land that works, it will also get frustrating. The Feasibility Analysis is a way of reducing risk. The more you know about the land, and the sooner you know it, the lower the risk that you will waste your time and money, or that you will fail.

pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart,, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

His idea soon grew into the Global Village Construction Set, which aims to demonstrate step-by-step how to build from scratch 50 universally useful machines, from tractors, brick makers and 3D printers to sawmills, bread ovens and wind turbines. The designs have so far been recreated by innovators in India, China, the US, Canada, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Italy and France. Based on these successes, Jakubowski and his collaborators have since launched the Open Building Institute, which aims to make open-source designs for ecological, off-grid, affordable housing available to all.81 ‘Our goal is decentralized production,’ he explains. ‘I’m talking about a business case for efficient enterprise where the traditional concept of scale becomes irrelevant. Our new concept of scale is about distributing economic power far and wide.’82 Open-source design also promises large social benefits and vast cost savings for state-funded institutions in every country, says Joshua Pearce, a leading academic and engineer in free open-source hardware.

pages: 476 words: 132,042

What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly


Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller,, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer vision, Danny Hillis, dematerialisation, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, George Gilder, gravity well, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John Conway, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, life extension, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, out of africa, performance metric, personalized medicine, phenotype, Picturephone, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, Richard Florida, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Kaczynski, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Vernor Vinge, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

He then quickly added that he worked for the local volunteer fire department, which was why he had one. (Sure!) But, his dad chimed in, if cell phones are accepted, “there won’t be wires running down the street to our homes.” In pursuit of their goal to remain off the grid yet modernize, some Amish have installed inverters on their diesel generators linked to batteries to provide them with 110 off-grid volts. They power specialty appliances at first, such as an electric coffeepot. I saw one home with an electric copier in the home office part of the living room. Will the slow acceptance of modern appliances creep along until, 100 years hence, the Amish have what we have now (but will by then have left behind)? What about cars? Will the Old Order ever drive old-fashioned internal combustion clunkers, say, when the rest of the world is using personal jet packs?

pages: 443 words: 112,800

The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World by Jeremy Rifkin


3D printing, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, borderless world, carbon footprint, centre right, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate governance, decarbonisation, distributed generation,, energy security, energy transition, global supply chain, hydrogen economy, income inequality, industrial cluster, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, knowledge economy, manufacturing employment, marginal employment, Martin Wolf, Masdar, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, Yom Kippur War, Zipcar

Green mortgages could also help facilitate the building conversions. Banks and other lending companies could provide lower interest rates for businesses and homeowners that install solar panels. Assuming an average of eight to nine years for payback on the energy savings from the installation, businesses and homeowners holding a twenty-year mortgage would be generating all of their own electricity off grid for the last eleven to twelve years of their loan. The monthly savings on the electricity bills could be leveraged against the monthly mortgage payment and be the basis for a reduced interest rate. The reconfiguration of the building as a power plant, in turn, appreciates the assessed value of the real estate holding. Some banks are already beginning to offer special green mortgages. In the years ahead, green mortgages are likely to restructure the mortgage lending business and help create a building boom in countries around the world.

pages: 1,064 words: 114,771

Tcl/Tk in a Nutshell by Paul Raines, Jeff Tranter


AltaVista, iterative process, off grid, place-making, Silicon Valley

If newGeometry is omitted, window's current geometry is returned. wm grid window [baseWidth baseHeight widthInc heightInc] Request that window be managed as a gridded window. BaseWidth and baseHeight specify the number of grid units that the current requested size of window represents. WidthInc and heightInc specify the number of pixels in each horizontal and vertical grid unit. Specifying all values as empty strings turns off gridded management for window. If the arguments are omitted, their current values are returned (or an empty string if window is not gridded). wm group window [pathName] Add window to the group of related windows led by window pathname. The window manager may use this information to unmap the entire group of windows when the leader window is iconified. If pathname is the empty string, window is removed from any group with which it is associated.

pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein


Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, lump of labour, McMansion, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail

In my travels, firstly my inward journeying and then as a speaker and writer, I have oft encountered a deep anguish and helplessness borne of the ubiquity of the world-devouring machine and of the near-impossibility of avoiding participation in it. To give one example among millions, people who rage against Wal-Mart still shop there, or at other stores equally a part of the global predation chain, because they feel they cannot afford to pay double the price or to do without. And what of the electricity that powers my house—coal ripped out of the tops of mountains? What of the gas that gets me places and gets deliveries to me if I go “off-grid”? I can minimize my participation in the world-devouring machine, but I cannot avoid it entirely. As people become aware that merely living in society means contributing to the evils of the world, they often go through a phase of desiring to find a completely isolated and self-sufficient intentional community—but what good does that do, while Rome burns? So what, if you are not contributing your little part to the pollution that is overwhelming the earth?

pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos


3D printing, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

Far from banning drones—the precursors of tomorrow’s warbots—countries large and small are busy developing them, presumably because in their estimation the benefits outweigh the risks. As with any weapon, it’s safer to have robots than to trust the other side not to. If in future wars millions of kamikaze drones will destroy conventional armies in minutes, they’d better be our drones. If World War III will be over in seconds, as one side takes control of the other’s systems, we’d better have the smarter, faster, more resilient network. (Off-grid systems are not the answer: systems that aren’t networked can’t be hacked, but they can’t compete with networked systems, either.) And, on balance, a robot arms race may be a good thing, if it hastens the day when the Fifth Geneva Convention bans humans in combat. War will always be with us, but the casualties of war need not be. Google + Master Algorithm = Skynet? Of course, robot armies also raise a whole different specter.

pages: 366 words: 123,151

The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover


airport security, Atahualpa, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Google Earth, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, Ronald Reagan, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal

Fifteen years later, for reasons involving a girlfriend named Margot, my work as a writer, and perhaps a strain of counterphobia in my personality, I became a resident of Brooklyn. One cold weekend in January, my friend Seth came to town and, to get some fresh air, we decided to walk the length of Manhattan. Broadway seemed the logical route. On a sunny Sunday morning, we rode the subway to the financial district downtown. Its off-grid, short streets would have been more congenial to pedestrians 150 or 200 years earlier; on this frigid morning, the high-rise office buildings channeled the wind and blocked the sun. The most imposing of these, of course, were the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. They stood a block west of Broadway between Liberty and Vesey streets, just about ten minutes into our fourteen-mile walk. Around City Hall Park, the open space and trees provided a respite from all the giant buildings, as well as a good view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend


1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

During peak use, over two hundred transactions per second and 20 percent of Kenya’s GDP streams through the M-Pesa network.23 It is being rolled out across India, where it could eventually bring banking to hundreds of millions of poor people. Most of the world’s cities are now lit up by some kind of wireless service. But as Ericsson, a leading supplier of network equipment, points out, “Reaching the next billion subscribers means expanding to rural off-grid areas.”24 The company has developed highly efficient solar-powered cell towers for use in outlying areas where there is no electric-power infrastructure. On the consumer side, in 2010 Vodafone launched a $32 solar-powered phone in India.25 Presumably, the arrival of modern telecommunications in the countryside might provide new local economic opportunities and slow migration to cities. But it could just as likely accelerate migration by plugging ever-larger rural areas into the social and economic life of the city.

pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna


1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Telecom companies spent $2 trillion on mobile infrastructure between 2009 and 2014 and will deploy another $4 trillion by 2020 to expand access and raise connectivity speeds worldwide.1 Connective infrastructure companies are expanding into digital empires. Google began as a Web browser but has become a global data utility. In the race to provide pervasive and low-cost connectivity, Internet service providers are effectively becoming telecoms themselves, with Google launching Wi-Fi Zeppelin blimps to connect off-grid populations to its services; meanwhile, Internet-based telephony such as Skype or WhatsApp has all but eliminated calling charges; there is no “roaming” on the Internet. No matter how much they compete for eyeballs and data, Google and Facebook agree that there is no higher virtue than expanding connectivity, hence their partnership to launch more satellites to serve the “Other Three Billion.”*1 In the most remote corners of the world where there are neither hospitals nor electricity people have solar or motion-powered mobile phones.

pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet


Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

Global freshwater requirements could increase by as much as 50 percent, creating the need for new technologies to conserve water, tap new sources where feasible, and make large-scale desalinization cost-effective. Energy requirements in developing countries will more than double over the next thirty years, and meeting this demand will be central to raising incomes and reducing poverty. Developing countries need to find cleaner, more abundant, and cost-effective energy sources, including technologies aimed specifically at their particular circumstances (such as small-scale off-grid hydro, solar, or wind sources for remote regions). New advancements in health will be needed to continue to fight disease and halt the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Climate change adds to the urgency and complexity of each of these issues. Technology alone will not solve these problems. New technologies will bring progress only in conjunction with strong global leadership and effective institutions and governance within developing countries.

pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott


Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

Triple-Entry Accounting: Privacy Is for Individuals, Not Corporations Triple-entry accounting is not without skeptics. Izabella Kaminska, a Financial Times reporter, believes mandating triple-entry accounting will lead to an increasing number of transactions moving off balance sheets. “There will always be those who refuse to follow the protocol, who abscond and hide secret value in parallel off-grid networks, what we call the black market, off balance sheet, shadow banking.”69 How does one reconcile non-transaction-based accounting measures, particularly the recognition of intangible assets? How are we going to track intellectual property rights, brand value, or even celebrity status—think Tom Hanks? How many bad films must this Oscar winner make before the blockchain impairs the Hanks brand value?

pages: 405 words: 117,219

In Our Own Image: Savior or Destroyer? The History and Future of Artificial Intelligence by George Zarkadakis


3D printing, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, anthropic principle, Asperger Syndrome, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, British Empire, business process, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, continuous integration, Conway's Game of Life, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Snowden, epigenetics, Flash crash, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, index card, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, millennium bug, Moravec's paradox, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, off grid, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, post-industrial society, prediction markets, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

These are questions that will increasingly become pertinent to the debate about our future, and which I will discuss at the end of the book. But what about the technology itself? If the increased complexity of computer systems means increased insecurity and unwanted interdependency, what can we do about that? There are two ways to deal with the problem of computers running human affairs. One is to make things simpler. Some of us may aspire to go ‘off grid’, simplifying our lives by going back to nature, throwing away our smartphones or unplugging from the Internet. I suspect, however, that only a few would choose that path, and those who did would soon discover the huge challenges of practically cutting themselves off from the civilised world. For better or for worse, humanity can only move forward and deal with such complexities by using the only realistic means available.

pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman


23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Uploading a virus into the space station as it flies 220 miles above our planet seems a bit akin to the scene from Independence Day where Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum transfer a virus into the aliens’ space network to save earth, but when asked about computer malware infecting the ISS spacecraft, a NASA spokesman replied, “It’s not a frequent occurrence, but this is not the first time either.” Soon criminals, terrorists, hacktivists, and rogue governments will no longer need to commandeer the satellites of others; they will be able to just launch their own. New technologies, such as miniature CubeSats, are about the size of a shoe box and don’t cost billions or millions of dollars but rather can be built and launched for under $100,000. These devices could be operated “off grid,” meaning that they could be launched and controlled outside the purview of government, opening up channels for private encrypted satellite communications. Already the Chaos Computer Club in Berlin has announced its plan to take the Internet “beyond the reach of censors by putting their own communication satellites into orbit.” While it is clear that the future of space exploration holds great potential for humanity as well as some risks, back down on earth there are other emerging technologies that demand a closer review.

pages: 879 words: 233,093

The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis by Jeremy Rifkin


agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, British Empire, carbon footprint, collaborative economy, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, distributed generation,, energy security, feminist movement, global village, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, labour mobility, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, off grid, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, supply-chain management, surplus humans, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, transaction costs, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, working poor, World Values Survey

The fourth pillar, the reconfiguration of the power grid along the lines of the Internet, allowing businesses and homeowners to produce their own energy and share it with each other, is just now being tested by power companies in Europe, the United States, Japan, China, and other countries. The smart intergrid is made up of three critical components. Mini-grids allow homeowners, small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), and large-scale economic enterprises to produce renewable energy locally—through solar cells, wind power, small hydropower, animal and agricultural waste, and garbage—and use it off-grid for their own electricity needs. Smart metering technology allows local producers to more effectively sell their energy back to the main power grid, as well as accept electricity from the grid, making the flow of electricity bidirectional. The next phase in smart grid technology is embedding sensing devices and chips throughout the grid system, connecting every electrical appliance. Software allows the entire power grid to know how much energy is being used, at any time, anywhere on the grid.

USA Travel Guide by Lonely, Planet

1960s counterculture, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, edge city, El Camino Real, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, global village, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information trail, interchangeable parts, intermodal, jitney, license plate recognition, Mars Rover, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, Menlo Park, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, off grid, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, stealth mode startup, stem cell, supervolcano, the built environment, The Chicago School, the High Line, the payments system, trade route, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, young professional, Zipcar

Taos Ski Valley SKIING ( 866-968-7386;; lift ticket adult/teen 13-17 & senior/child $71/60/42) With a peak elevation of 11,819ft and a 2612ft vertical drop, Taos Ski Valley offers some of the most challenging skiing in the US and yet remains low-key and relaxed. The resort now allows snowboarders on its slopes. Sleeping Earthship Rentals BUNGALOW $$ ( 575-751-0462;; Hwy 64; r $120-160) Experience an off-grid overnight in a boutique-chic, solar-powered dwelling. A cross between organic Gaudí architecture and space-age fantasy, these sustainable dwellings are put together using recycled tires, aluminum cans and sand, with rain catchment and gray-water systems to minimize their footprint. Half-buried in a valley surrounded by mountains, they could be hastily camouflaged alien vessels – you never know.