1. I wrote the following after the Old Man of the Mountains in NH collapsed on May 3, 2003:
I was in Montreal over the week-end and turned on the hotel TV to learn that the Old Man of the Mountains had fallen into Franconia Notch. Sad event, although I remember an article in “Whole Earth Review” which talked about the history of the “restoration” efforts on the Old Man for the last hundred years and the probability that none of them would work.
I also remembered the prophecy associated with the Old Man of the Mountains.
Driving back to…
This is a video of a magnetic model of the Cube and the Tetrahedron broken down into its smallest symmetrical tetrahedra, what Buckminster Fuller called the A and B Quanta or mathematicians call Schläfli orthoschemes (I think).
The A and B Quanta make the equilateral triangle Tetrahedron (4 sided solid), square Cube or Hexahedron (6 sided), and equilateral triangle Octahedron (8 sided)
The A Quanta is 1/24th of a Tetrahedron, the smallest symmetrical tetrahedron to make up a Platonic solid. …
The content committee for the MIT Energy Hackathon, November 3–5, has accepted my challenge on “Rebuilding Energy Infrastructure in the Caribbean After the Hurricanes.” With luck, an extremely
knowledgeable and expert team of MIT and other students will study this question and propose solutions.
My cunning plan is to see whether Hackathon weekend can snowball into a global brainstorm on the topic, sorta kinda like a World Game or World Peace Game for all those who want to participate, “for the benefit of all who will allow the benefit of all,” as my friend Milt Raymond used to say. I…
Solar lights and cell phone chargers are now $1or less production costs and selling around the world for $5 or less retail. Add bicycle generators and you have independent indigenous emergency power now, day or night. AA battery to car battery and better microgrids.
It is conceivable that we could crowd fund a basic emergency electrical system (lights, cell phones or radio, computers) for Puerto Rico (as well as the other islands destroyed by the recent hurricanes) within less time than the established grid can come back on line.
There are examples of islands which are planning and working toward…
Science Fiction, the Tragedy of the Tragedy of the Commons, and the Delusions of the Rich
I read two recent science fiction novels and was surprised to find the same objection and a similar observation in both of them. The two novels were Walkaway by Cory Doctorow and New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson. Both of them are neither utopian nor dystopian but imaginings of life in, respectively, a post-scarcity open source society of “walkaways” versus million, billion, trillionaires called “zottas” and New York after two climate collapses and sea level rise to where just about everything south of…
In my political fantasy life (no resemblance to persons living or dead), I like to play with the idea of deep conspiracies wondering, “What if?” from different directions, a variation of umpteeump dimensional chess. I don’t believe any of it but just like to consider the possibilities.
What if Ivana Zelníčková Trmp was the original Russian/Soviet/espionage honeypot?
What if the Trmp’s are actually “The Americans,” deep cover sleeper agents like the ones in that show?
What if Ivanka and her siblings are the second generation of the operation? (Hello, Jared.)
That’s one thread.
What if Fred Kch, father of the…
According to The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It… Every Time by Maria Konnikova (NY: Viking, 2016 ISBN 978–0–525–42741–4), there’s a structure to the con.
“In the put-up, he picked us out of the crowd with care.”
“In the play, he established a bond through some emotional wrangling and expert storytelling.”
“In the rope, he laid out his persuasive pitch for our already-willing ears.”
“In the tale, he’s told us how we will personally benefit, relying on our belief in our exceptionalism.”
“In the convincer, he’s let us win, persuading us that we’d been right in going along with…
Nathaniel Stinnett launched the Environmental Voter Project http://environmentalvoter.org in 2015 with the mission of “identifying inactive environmentalists and then turning them into consistent activists and voters.” He spoke on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at MIT and at Tufts on Thursday, September 22 on the topic of “Modern Environmental Politics: big data, behavioral science, and getting environmentalists to vote.”
You can see his Tufts presentation at
The Environmental Voter Project concentrates on one thing and one thing only, increasing environmental turnout . Their polling data shows that environmentalists are “awful voters”: they don’t vote. They estimate 15.78 million environmentalists did…
Phineas Taylor (PT) Barnum was not only a show business producer and early mass marketeer but also a politician. He was elected to two terms in the Connecticut state legislature (1865 and 1866) representing the town of Fairfield as a member of the Republican Party. A decade later, he was elected by acclamation as mayor of Bridgeport, CT. His political career was very different from the candidate he is being compared to this 2016 Presidential season.
At the end of the Civil War, Barnum ran for the state legislature expressly to ratify the 14th Amendment to the USA Constitution and…
I like direct action, positive protest that has immediate, practical, social and economic use.
That’s why I say, Solar IS Civil Defense — light, phone, battery can be supplied by a few square inches of solar electric panel. The solar bike lights on my backpack over the last decade have proven the concept to my satisfaction (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/30/352476/-).
Light, phone, battery are also entry level electricity for the 1.4 billion or so of us around the world who don’t yet have access to reliable electric power. …
I was born/ Someday I'll die/ Soon after I'll be forgotten/ Good!