All Energy Is Solar Energy

August 25, 2012 at 11:06 am (Alternative Energy, Cool Tech, Entertainment, The Economy) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Long time since the last post, I know. This has been another busy year. So I’ll try to make this interesting.

I was visiting my father recently, and having a nice chat, as we often do. We got to discussing cars, and then electric cars. It’s an open secret that I’d like to build one someday. (After all, gasoline is not going to get any cheaper, now is it?) I mentioned that an actor – Robert Llewellyn – who had a role in one of my favorite TV shows ever (“Red Dwarf”) now has a very cool show on YouTube, called Fully Charged. In this series, he reviews electric cars, and discusses other issues & events related to electric vehicles and energy in general. Fun and funny. Here’s a recent episode, as an example:
 

Mr. Llewellyn does a marvelous job of covering some of the details and advances that are under-reported in the American main-stream media. In short, there is a lot more going on these days than you might think, especially in Europe, where energy costs have historically been much higher than in the USA.

But back to the discussion I was having with my dad. I pointed out to him that ultimately, all energy is solar energy. This caused dad to give me that look. The one that I remember from my youth. (You may know that look too!) The one that says, “What the hell are you talking about, kid?” So I explained what I meant.

I began by asking where the oil and coal came from. Of course, they are composed of old plant and animal material that got buried and transformed into coal or petroleum. And what caused those plants to grow? Sunlight. Solar energy.

And what about nuclear? Where does the uranium come from? Yes, out of the ground. But before that? In fact, where do all the elements come from, that make up our planet Earth? From other suns! Yup. All elements, aside from hydrogen, were fused together in the hearts of ancient suns – suns which eventually used up their hydrogen, and exploded, scattering their star-stuff throughout the galaxy. That stuff re-condensed into our Earth, our moon, and the rest of our solar system. And here we are – we’re made of stardust.

Any other energy you care to mention – wind, tidal, even geothermal – all of it can be traced back to the energy from our sun, or from ancient suns which burned billions of years ago. Think it through. It’s another inconvenient truth. And it’s why I like renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and so on. It cuts out the middleman.

Feel free to refute me, below. More soon, fellow Netizens!

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China Is World’s #2 In Billionaires

October 17, 2009 at 12:58 am (General, Politics, The Economy, The Environment) (, , , , , , , , , )

Word is out this week that China now has the second biggest concentration of dollar billionaires, with the United States having the most.  The story (from Reuters) reports that:

“China’s rich are getting richer, with the average wealth on the list $571 million, up almost one-third from last year…”

And how has that happened?  Could it be because America has exported millions of our manufacturing jobs to China?  Huh.  Do ya think?

Not to mention every other “developed” country in the western world.  What’s wrong with this picture?

Well, one thing that’s wrong is that once upon a time America used to have assembly and manufacturing jobs that were good entry-level jobs, with an opportunity for advancement.

That’s how I got my start in high-tech electronics back in the mid-1970s.  I started as an assembler, and eventually – through perseverance and learning on-the-job – I worked my way into engineering support and design positions.

Now, the only entry-level assembly jobs left in America are at McDonald’s, assembling burgers. Where’s the promotion path from there? Manager?  Ugh.  Sign me up – not.

What’s happening in China right now seems to be a recapitulation of what America experienced in the 20th century – urbanization, dramatic growth, massive amounts of construction, a growing middle class, a rise in consumerism as a lifestyle, and all the pollution that goes with it.  China also seems to be going through all the stages of development more quickly than America did.

And what have been the benefits? Loads of cheap Chinese crap for us to by at WalMart, and this:

China’s new wealthy need to spend all that money on something, don’t they?  Might as well be lucky pears in the shape of babies.  Lord knows, we Americans also have a taste for the tasteless.  Check out this USB accessory for your computer:

It can be embarrassing being a geek.  Sometimes.

But the real issue here – in my mind – is the cost. There is a real cost that hasn’t been reckoned, or factored into the headlong rush to “development”.  Right now, America is seeing the downside of growth – when growth is not sustainable, the result is a cycle of booms and busts. Growing and shrinking. This is a normal process in organic systems.  We’re seeing that as autumn begins here in the northern hemisphere, and plants go dormant.

However, when it happens to economies and cities, you get decay and blight, and city managers suggesting that US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive.

Tough times.  Scary times.  I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we need to be asking questions, and trying to find some answers.

Or, like Arthur Dent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, start lying in front of the bulldozers.

Oh, I almost forgot.  The most disturbing quote from the Reuters article:

“With the greatest wealth destruction in the west of the last 70 years, we’ve seen China buck the trend and the wealth seems to be still growing,” [Rupert] Hoogewerf told Reuters…

No, it’s not our imagination.

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What Are They Thinking At GM?

October 8, 2009 at 2:16 am (Cars & Trucks, Damn funny, Die Rat Bastard, The Economy) (, , , , , , , )

Holy Zarquon’s Singing Fish. I just saw a commercial for the new 2010 Chevy Equinox SUV, and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.  Whatever they are smoking in the styling department at Chevrolet, it must be pretty righteous shizzle.  Take a look:

2010_Chevy_Equinox_front

And now, take a look at the 2002 Pontiac Aztek, widely considered to be one of the ugliest cars ever made:

2002-05_pontiac_aztek

Wow.  Wow, wow, wow.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Can you imagine a more clear example that people don’t learn from history, and are therefore doomed to repeat it Is it any wonder that GM is about to pass into history like the Studebaker and the DeSoto?

There.  I feel a little better now.  See you all in a few days.

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Capitalism – American Dream, or Nightmare?

October 1, 2009 at 12:05 am (Damn funny, Entertainment, Media, Politics, The Economy, The Environment) (, , , , , , , , )

Tomorrow, Michael Moore’s self-described magnum opus, Capitalism: A Love Story, hits theaters all over America. And I’m really looking forward to seeing it.  Perhaps it’ll help make sense out of the last year.  Check out the trailer:

Looks pretty good to me!  Moore’s new film promises entertainment, education, and aggravation in equal parts, rather like Fahrenheit 9/11 did.  And here’s my recommendation for a second film that would make a good companion on a double bill – The Corporation:

I encourage everyone to sit down and watch The Corporation.  You can rent it on DVD, buy it, or even watch it online.  The important thing is – watch it. Some of the things you may think you know about corporations aren’t necessarily so.

As someone who has worked in small to medium-sized corporations throughout my working life, this film came as a real eye-opener.  The premise behind The Corporation is this – if a corporation really were a real person, and underwent psychoanalysis, what kind of person would it turn out to be?

The answer isn’t very pretty.  Corporations are, by and large, the kind of person that gets locked up for sociopathic behavior on an epic scale. That simple diagnosis may go some ways towards explaining the events of the last year.

Enjoy your popcorn, and see you at the movies.

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United States Welcomes Barack Obama

January 20, 2009 at 12:17 am (Alternative Energy, Politics, The Economy, The Environment) (, , , , , , , )

…and bids a long overdue farewell to George W. Bush. Boy, it’s good to say goodbye to that smirking chimpanzee. I was hoping to have done that four years ago.

Anyhow, in the spirit of the Presidential Inauguration, now mere hours away, I’m going to post a little video, for your enjoyment.

(In the interest of disclosure, this video was created by XPLANE, a client of RichContent, for whom I work. But it’s still pretty cool, and that’s why I included it here.)

Now as you may know, I’m cautiously optimistic about the incoming Obama administration, even though he’s facing an uphill battle of epic proportions. A lot of campaign promises got made. Alternative energy, get us out of Iraq, create more jobs, revive the economy – the list is long, and the money is short.

Solar Photovoltaic PanelsChange is going to take some time to achieve, and patience is to be counseled. And I really do hope that America can add new jobs, such as installing solar panels, converting vehicles to electricity or natural gas, or upgrading structures to be more energy-efficient. These are all useful, cool things that could really help our economy.

But will these things get done? Too soon to tell, kids. Too soon to tell. Eight years ago this week, supporters of W were whooping it up like someone had invented a replacement for sliced bread. And we can see what we actually got. Something much less appetizing than a ham sandwich.

The hoopla over Barack Obama is “Reaganesque”, in the words of local radio producer, Kristen Bowie. She got that very, very right. And that’s what scares me, just a little. I remember the Reagan years, all too well.

Charisma is no substitute for real leadership. But it can lead troops into Poland, France, Austria…

And Obama has buckets – nay, boxcars – of charisma. Check this clip from The Daily Show, starting at about 3:45. Jon Stewart asks Obama to “hope up” some common phrases.

Tell me what you think.

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McCain picks running mate, asks “What was that bang, and why does my foot hurt?”

August 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm (Die Rat Bastard, General, Politics, The Economy, The Environment, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

McCain = IdiotUnexpectedly good news from the political front today. Sen. John “Duffer” McCain chose freshman Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

What a wonderfully stupid move. He would have been better off choosing Michael Palin. At least then he could have sewn up the votes of all the Monty Python fans.

Ms. Palin, whose lack of political experience makes Barack Obama look like a rugged, callused, seasoned elder-statesman by comparison, has made an impression nonetheless with her wretched environmental record in Alaska, and apparent willingness and desire to drill for oil anywhere and everywhere, wolves and polar bears be damned (and shot, and drowned). Yeah, okay, she’s hot – for a Republican chick. I hear she’s a former Alaska beauty queen. Anyhow, she’s way hotter than Ann Coulter.

Do we really want or need Ms. Palin, who is apparently somewhere to the right politically of even George Bush, sitting in D.C. literally a heart-beat away from the presidency? Yikes. I’d say – big, huge, echoing “no”. Considering McCain’s age and health, this is not a world-class idea. Well, like even electing McCain in the first place is anything remotely like a good idea.

The reason that I believe this is good news, is that the choice of Ms. Palin as candidate for VP will sink the GOP in November like an elephant wearing a concrete overcoat, cast-iron top hat, and lead galoshes. We clearly do not need another 4 or 8 more years of failed Republican “leadership”, and this bonehead move by McCain will essentially hand the election to Obama.

Finally. The Republicans have well and thoroughly shot themselves in the foot, and now they’ll be standing around wondering where all the blood is coming from. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again – idiot.

This is the kind of news that makes me smile. Hell, I’ve been giggling all day.

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Attention, Alternative Energy Enthusiasts!

July 13, 2008 at 9:56 pm (Alternative Energy, Cars & Trucks, Cool Tech, General, Media, Politics, The Economy, The Environment) (, , , , )

Friends, neighbors, and fellow geeks – this is the most exciting news I’ve heard all year. The legendary oil man T. Boone Pickens has started an online effort to help get America off imported oil, and onto renewable domestic energy. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Quite a small one, in fact. Here’s a video that explains why the plan is needed:

So – go right now to his web site – it’s free to join. It’s a social / Web 2.0 sort of site, with all sorts of options for participation. I’ve only had time to explore a small part of the site, but I was so impressed and excited, I had to get to blogging about it.

Not to toot my own horn, but he’s saying some of the same things I have been trying to communicate for years. That there is no way to drill our way out of this mess. That we need to move on to other energy sources, and lose the petroleum habit.

National Geographic cover - Peak Oil

Pickens has also acknowledged that the peak of world oil production (known as peak oil) occurred in 2005, and from here on, it’s going to be more expensive and more scarce. For more information on peak oil, and the petroleum crisis, check out a film called Crude Impact. Ask me, and I can loan you my copy. It’s an important documentary, and extremely serious. I want as many people as possible to see it.

It’s kind of nice to be vindicated, to be sure. But it’s truly exciting to know that there are some smart, well-regarded people willing to stand up and put their names & fortunes on the line for a future where America isn’t sending all its money out of the country, impoverishing ourselves for no good reason.

Now – let’s do this. The stakes are too high to just sit back and wait for the hammer to fall, because when it does, it’s going to fall hard.

View my page on PickensPlan

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The 8 Words That Can Save Your Marriage, Ladies

June 25, 2008 at 12:39 pm (General, Media, Politics, The Economy, The Environment) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Yes, this is blatantly ripped off from the Tom Leykis show. Why? Because it’s completely valid, and I have a few words of my own to add, thank you very much.

What are Tom’s eight words?

  • Stay thin
  • Long hair
  • Sex anytime
  • Shut up

And I would add 5 more words – “Don’t Spend All His Money“.

So what’s the deal, anyhow? Here’s the deal. Women in our modern, Western world seem to have developed (Tom’s phrase) a “sense of entitlement“. (And to a certain degree, men have as well, but that’s a subject for later. This is about the 51% of the population that has no Y chromosome.)

Women have been told that they can “have it all”. And in my opinion, they have taken that concept far too literally, to mean the bank account, the house, the cars, the 401k… Money (and fighting about money) is a huge issue in marriage and divorce. Why? In my experience (and that of several of my divorced male friends) it’s because women seem to feel they can spend stupid amounts of money on all kinds of rubbish.

Shut Up and Hang UpSuch as? Oh, how about $90 worth of hair scrunchies at one shot? Or $150 for a haircut? Perhaps huge long distance phone bills, yakking about gods-know-what with out-of-state friends and relatives? Don’t give me that look. These are all real world examples, from my personal experience.

And I’m not alone. Search Google for “my wife spends too much“. Today, I got over 800,000 hits on that phrase.

So, girls, if you want to save your marriage, lay off the charge card. (Do you really need those slutty-looking French manicure acrylic nails?) Realize that every time you swipe that hunk of plastic through the reader, it increases the pressure on your man to produce.

He’s got enough on his plate, babe, especially now that it costs more than $100 to refuel that damn SUV you talked him into buying, not to mention that it also costs an absurd amount to clothe and feed those kids you talked him into fathering. (Did you know he would have preferred to keep that sporty car he had when you met him? You told him you thought it was ‘sexy’. Oh, and odds are, he would have been just as happy without kids.) And since the rugrats are always underfoot, he’s not getting laid any more, and with you lopping your hair off and dressing like his mom, he’s even less interested in sex with you anyway.

Soccer Mom Thinks She\'s HotOh, and give him a little peace & quiet, would you? He really doesn’t need to hear all about your day with the other soccer moms, in mind-numbing detail, and he doesn’t give a rip about the conversation you had with your mom about your sister’s latest boyfriend. He’s got to concern himself with keeping his job, in the face of global competition and downsizing. If you don’t shut the hell up, and let him think, he’ll lose that job that’s paying your bills. Then where will you be? In divorce court, because you drove him to shag his secretary?

Get a grip, women. Stop talking for a moment, and look, and listen. Ask some important questions about yourself, about him, and about your relationship. About your place in the world. And ask yourself if your expectations are reasonable in today’s world of rising energy prices, melting ice caps, and a 50% plus divorce rate.

Remember those wedding vows, sugar? Seems to me the general idea was to make each other happy, helping each other realize their fondest dreams, and not so much about taking out the trash, or filling the kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Maybe it’s time to refocus…

Maybe ask yourself how you can make your situation better by rethinking the situation, instead of stubbornly sticking to your position. Maybe even get dad and the kids involved in the discussion. You may get a huge, wonderful surprise out of having that kind of conversation.

I remember that my family had some very useful discussions when I was a kid. We made some family decisions, after group discussions, that led to real improvements in our lives together. We found ways to cut expenses during the first Arab Oil Embargo, we explored our values, agreed certain things were crap, and we wouldn’t be involved with them, we began recycling… we pulled together.

It\'s Up To YouOr go ahead.

Stick to your guns.

Be a b*tch, and pull it all apart.

Your choice.

Enjoy.

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Philippe Starck says it’s all been wasted time.

March 30, 2008 at 4:36 pm (General, The Economy) (, , , , , )

Last week, French designer Philippe Starck gave an interview to the German news magazine, Die Zeit. I was rather stunned to find that Mr. Starck considers that everything he has designed has been unnecessary.

Here is a link to the original article, in German, and below I present a Babelfish translation, augmented a bit by my own limited ability with German. All materials remain copyright of Die Zeit and Getty Image.

“I am ashamed of it”

© Zeit magazine LIFE, 27.03.2008 NR. 14

Philippe Starck is a star designer of the past two decades. Nevertheless, he says today: “everything that I designed is absolutely unnecessary.” An interview.


Philippe Starck looks through his Louis chairImage © DIANE Bondareff/i Saloni via Getty image

Zeit magazine: Mr. Starck, you have designed everything; from the toothbrush to the spaceship. What do people really need?

Philippe Starck: The ability to love. Love is the most marvelous invention of mankind. And then one needs intelligence. Mankind is ahead of the animals in that we, based on intelligence, created a civilization. Therefore no person can afford not to work on its own intelligence. And humor is important.

Zeit magazine: Nothing material occurs to you?

Starck: We do not need anything material. It is much more important that one develops one’s own ethics. And that one also adheres to these rules. Otherwise one must worry oneself about nothing.

Zeit magazine: That is not your serious [concern]. There are nevertheless probably all kinds of things one needs for survival.

Starck: If you talking about objects like: one surely needs something, in order to make fires.

Zeit magazine: What still occurs to you somewhat?

Starck: A pillow perhaps and a good mattress.

Zeit magazine: Why did you then become an industrial designer?

Starck: That is an interesting question. And I have not really answered it for myself yet. See, I have designed so many things, without really being interested in them. Perhaps all the years were necessary, so that I could recognize in the long run that we do not need anything for that reason. We always have too much.

Zeit magazine: Everything you’ve created – is redundant?

Starck: Everything that I designed is absolutely unnecessary. Structurally seen, Design is absolutely useless. A true occupation is an astronomer, biologist or something like that. Design is not anything. I tried to give meaning to products, some sense and energy. Even if I gave my best, it was senseless.

Zeit magazine: That is the balance of your work?

Starck: People who are smarter than I, would perhaps have understood faster. Perhaps I was not intelligent enough and had to take the difficult way. I had from the outset the suspicion that product Design is in the long run useless. Therefore I tried to transform the job into something else. Into something, which is more politically, more rebelliously, subversive. Perhaps the most important thing which I created is not a new object, but a new definition for the word designer.

Zeit magazine: They say that we are moving into the age of post-office-materialism. (not sure about this part of the translation -dlock) What is that called?

Starck: Society pursues a strategy of de-materialism. It always concerns more intelligence and fewer materials. Take the computer. First a computer was as large as a house. Now there are computers of credit card size. In ten years they will be in our bodies, bionic. In 50 years the concept “computer” will have dissolved.

Zeit magazine: What are designers then to design?

Starck: There will be no more designers. The designer of the future is a personal coach, the coach in the Gym, the diet consultant. That is everything.

Zeit magazine: It has been said that your goal is more and more to destroy Design. How far did you come?

Starck: I have achieved it! When I began, Design articles were only beautiful things. No one could afford them. Design meant elitism. But elitism is quite vulgar. The only elegance lies in the duplication.

Zeit magazine: You must explain that.

Starck: If one has the luck to have a good idea one has the obligation to share it with others. Thus democracy functions. When I began, a good chair cost about $1000. Is a family, which needs six chairs and a table, to pay 10,000 dollars to be able to eat each evening? I found that obscene. Within four years I sketched a chair which cost less than ten dollars. If one takes three zeros away from the price, one changes the entire concept of the product.

Zeit magazine: Why did you then recently create an motor yacht for a Russian millionaire?

Starck: Even that belongs to my Robin Hood concept. I use such a project like a laboratory. I can try new technologies out and make them usable for the mass-market. For the yacht I developed a hull which does not make a bow wave at 20 knots. I will use the concept for a solar boat: perhaps the prototype for a water taxi in Venice.

Zeit magazine: But you do not want to stop designing?

Starck: In any case. In two years I will definitely stop. I will make something different. I do not know what yet. It will be a new kind of the expression. A new attack, which will be faster and more enormous and easier than Design. Design is a terrible kind of expression.

Zeit magazine: Thus you will only change the job.

Starck: Exactly. I was a producer of Material [goods]. I am ashamed for it. I want in the future to be a producer of concepts. That will be more useful. (emphasis added – dlock)

Zeit magazine: Is there any object which you like?

Starck: No.

Tillmann examiner placed the questions

Philippe Starck: The 59-year old Frenchman designed objects for the mass-market beginning in the eighties. Among other things, the lemon press Juicy Salif for Alessi and the motorcycle Motó 6.5 for Aprilia excited attention.

So. This is bound to provoke a great deal of thought within the design community. There are certainly some designers and architects who agree with Mr. Starck that design is not, and cannot be, a function done in a vacuum. (See Dwell magazine for some great examples of contextual housing & furniture design.)

And I’m no designer, but do I know what I like, and I can’t help but agree with Mr. Starck. Looking at design from the 30,000 foot viewpoint is long overdue. There are so many products in the marketplace that are poorly, haphazardly designed (see my earlier entries on the Jeep Compass and Subaru Tribeca); or are simply designed to look great but fail to function properly.

Human civilization on this planet is getting to a point where we may no longer be able to afford the wastefulness that goes with our current “traditional” way of life. And I think that is part of what Mr. Starck is trying to address in his comments. We have to become more thoughtful, more deliberate, more conscious when using our creative energies. It behooves us all to consider the entire picture – the ramifications of our each and every action, because we do not act alone. John Donne wrote that “no man is an island” and that has never been more true than in this overcrowded global economy.

I look forward to your comments.

UPDATE: April 2, 2008

For a guy who believes his design work has been “useless“, Philippe Starck is going to be awfully busy designing things over the next few years.

According to a story published on France24.com, Mr. Starck has been appointed the “Chief Artist” of France’s upcoming EU Presidency. Apparently, the designer will be in charge of the “look” of events, objects, and materials related to France’s activities in the EU.

In a phone interview with Mr. Starck, France24.com quotes him as saying that the idea was to show “a very modern, very creative France of high technologies, not France wearing a beret, but an avant-garde France.”

Hmmm. Well, Emerson said: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Who are we to expect it of anyone? I expect rationality, consistency, and logical behavior all the time, and people (including myself) disappoint me all the time.

Welcome to the Human Experience.

UPDATE: August 28, 2008

Wired Magazine recently featured a short interview with Philippe Starck on the subject of his latest chair design, Mr. Impossible.  Mr. Starck also touched on his views of the future, and creating products that last, supporting sustainability:

“The stupidity of the ecological movement is that people kill trees for wood. It’s ridiculous. The best ecological strategy is to make products of a very high creative quality, so you can keep them for three generations. I prefer to make a very good chair in the best polycarbonate than make any shit in wood that will be in the trash one year later.”

I have to agree with him there.  I have always favored creating things that are built to last, not built to trash.  A good chunk of my energy is devoted to keeping things like cars and computers out of the landfill, and extending their useful lives.   That’s not only because I was raised to “take care of my toys” (we didn’t have tons of money when I was growing up) but because I like old things.  What some people call “obsolete”, I call “classic”.

And if it still does what you need it to do, it is certainly not obsolete.

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Don’t live by the old rules.

January 5, 2008 at 2:33 pm (General, Internet tech, Politics, The Economy) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The old rules no longer apply, and if you try to live by them, the least you can expect is some discomfort.

Bold, sweeping statement, Dave. What do you mean by that?

I mean that, unless your residence is a remote cave or the underside of a large stony object, you should have noticed that there have been a lot of changes in the last 20 years or so.

Those of us who are baby boomers were raised with certain rules, goals, expectations, beliefs, and societal framework. Trouble is, those conditions no longer exist, and many of us are still operating as though they did. (Maybe to a lesser or greater degree. It depends on the individual or the issue.) After all, it’s human nature to expect things to stay as they were when we were growing up.

They didn’t.

The list of disruptive technologies could easily fill a page. Perhaps even a book. Just think about these:Robotics

  • Containerized shipping
  • Robotics
  • Personal computers
  • The Internet
  • Cellular phones

That’s just a start. Can you imagine life without them? 40 years ago, container ships were still a new idea, and the others? Merely a gleam in the eye of science fiction writers such as Asimov or Clarke.

So what, you may be saying? Unintended consequences, says I.

Containerized shipping, robotics, and cheap oil led to American manufacturing jobs being lost to Asia.

Personal computers, the Internet, and cell phones have completely changed social interaction. MySpace, Match.com, chat rooms… completely new ways to “hook up” that never existed before. Add that to the sexual revolution of the ’60s, and it’s small wonder that more than half of all marriages end up in divorce court (mine included).

So, what are the new rules? Got to tell you, I’m still figuring that out myself. Here’s what I believe are some of the latest rules, to the best of my ability to discern them:

Job security is extinct. Corporations view employees as interchangeable, disposable, exploitable commodities, and you’d better conduct your career accordingly.

There’s nothing in it for a man to get married any more, unless he wants to raise kids. Dating – like jobs – has also become commoditized. If your partner is boring you, go get another. Welcome to the consumerist philosophy, extended to human relationships.

The only constant is change, more than ever before. The pace of change seems to have increased, so it’s vitally important to stay abreast of the latest cultural and economic trends.

Dave, SimpsonizedCredibility is the new currency. You can do or be whatever you like, as long as you have credibility. Sometimes, that credibility is earned. Sometimes, credibility is simply declaimed, self-announced and self-reinforced. Guard and build your credibility. It’s solid gold in the Information Economy.

These are the first four New Rules that come to mind. Anyone out there have more? Let me know – comment below!

(Good lord. Has it really been more than two months since my last post? I really must rant more often.)

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