Popular expectations for the future are helplessly colored by present trends. The assumption is always that whatever’s going on now can be safely extrapolated into the future along a linear (or, per Kurzweil, logarithmic) curve. So it was that during the space race, baby boomers took for granted that we’d have fully colonized the solar system by the year 2000.
Likewise, during the dawn of information age when computers began appearing in homes across the US, then connecting to one another by way of an internet still in its infancy, people envisioned a cyberpunk future. …
This article covers many topics, but is primarily a response to recent articles decrying legal challenges to teaching CRT in public schools, and using it as a basis for policy. It is their contention that opponents of CRT simply don’t understand what they’re opposing, because they describe it differently than critical theorists would. Without further delay:
When I was a kid, there were a few occasions where I had negative experiences with individuals from other races and religions. There was a black boy we’ll call Darnel at my elementary school who was constantly talking shit about white people. Saying we’re…
For those not in the loop, the Kardashev Scale is a system of measurement invented by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964. It quantifies how advanced a civilization is according to how much energy they’re able to harness.
Type 1 civilizations have harnessed 100% of the accessible energy of their own planet. Type 2 has harnessed 100% of the accessible energy in their solar system. Type 3 has harnessed 100% of the accessible energy in their galaxy. …
A bold claim, I know. It won’t surprise you to find out that I want to stick some qualifiers on it. For the purposes of this article, “futurists” means educated industry analysts and hard science fiction authors with a comprehensive knowledge of physics.
Now to address the elephant in the room, no, obviously the world we inhabit now doesn’t look like what futurists from prior generations predicted. But this is to say only that they didn’t predict fashions accurately. Architectural styles, clothing trends, industrial design flourishes and whatnot.
Those are all matters of human whimsy and preference, so of course…
There’s an idiom that goes “It’s expensive to be poor”. The illustration usually given is that a cheap pair of boots that will last for six months costs $20, while an expensive pair of boots that will last a decade costs $100. If you simply can’t afford the upfront cost of the second pair, you’ll buy the first, because that is what your meager but consistent rate of pay allows. You then wind up paying more for replacement boots over a ten year period than it would’ve cost to buy the longer lasting boots, if you could’ve afforded them.
If you’re a space nerd like I am, odds are good news has long since reached your ears about Blue Origin filing a 175 page protest with the Government Accountability Office over NASA’s selection of SpaceX as the sole provider of lunar lander solutions for the Artemis program.
The short version is that with the level of funding approved for Artemis under the 2020 budget, NASA simply couldn’t afford more than one lander, and in fact couldn’t afford either of SpaceX’s competitors (Blue Origin and Dynetics) even if they went solely with either.
SpaceX was able to fit their proposal…
We’re living in an interesting time in which China, Russia and the US are preparing to build bases on the Moon. But while space race 2.0 grabs headlines and the public’s attention, progress is also being made on the settlement of the blue frontier.
Jacques Cousteau, grandson of famed undersea explorer and filmmaker turned conservationist Jacques Cousteau, is fundraising for a state of the art submerged research base. Back in June of 2014, he spent 31 days living and working beneath the waves at Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s last open ocean underwater research station.
Long time followers may recall Project Hydronaut, as I reported on its construction a few years ago. Built on a shoestring budget by a diving club in the Czech Republic (now Czcechia), the Hydronaut H03 Deeplab is primarily intended as a demonstrator; The creators hope it will make the case to the ESA that a NEEMO style underwater astronaut training program would be a good use of taxpayer money.
In what many have long regarded as an inevitability, the government of the Maldives announced recently an ambitious plan to establish floating streets, neighborhoods and associated infrastructure within the natural breakwaters furnished by the shape of the islands in that chain.
Certainly there’s a time and a place for anticlerical polemic. Thanksgiving with Grandma and Grandpa isn’t it. Nor are funerals, weddings or birthday parties. We’ve all heard anecdotes about atheist teenagers being insufferable at times like this, though oddly enough, footage is never forthcoming.
The average Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness or even Scientologist is probably a fine enough person who keeps to him or herself, too. Perhaps, assuming they’re representative of their brethren, they sometimes wonder how anybody could have a problem with their religion. After all, simply holding a set of beliefs in your mind affects nobody.
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