September 27th, 2007
Recently, I have been struck by the number of anniversaries of significant events that have been acknowledged this year. This past summer was the 40th anniversary of the â€œSummer of Loveâ€. August was the 60th anniversary of the independence of India and Pakistan. This week marked the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public schools in Little Rock Arkansas. This year is also the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain. Next week is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. All of these events were very significant events.
Why is a column with the tag line â€œA Future Look at Todayâ€ taking a look back on significant events? The accelerating speed of change is the reason. It is clear that, in the past 200 years, the speed of change has been accelerating. During the 1800s, the first full century of the industrial revolution, the rate of change was noticeably faster than the 1700s. The amount of change that occurred in the 1900s dwarfed that of the prior century. The speed of change coming into the current century is much faster than it was coming into the last century, perhaps ten times faster. In the Shift Age we are now in, the speed of change has literally become part of our environment.
What all this means is that the next 10, 40, 50 and 60 years will all encompass more change, more innovation, more acceleration than in the same amounts of time looking back to the …
September 25th, 2007
Through out the entire course of human history, there has been consistent reference to happiness. Many philosophers have basically come to the conclusion that the fundamental goal of a human life is to be happy, to find and share happiness. This thread exists from the earliest writing to the present day Dalai Lama. Perhaps the most succinct advice came from the great 20th century spiritual teacher Meher Baba who said â€œDonâ€™t worry, be happy!â€ Of course, twenty years after Babaâ€™s death, Bobby McFerrin recorded a wonderful song in honor of this simple reduced prescription for how to lead oneâ€™s life.
The quest for happiness, the definition of happiness, the enjoyment of happiness, the meaning of happiness is a through line of cultures all around the world. In just the last two years there have been several best selling books published on the subject, and a number of magazine cover articles. Happiness as a subject is more popular than ever. It seems pretty obvious that people want more than they have. Type the word â€œhappinessâ€ into Amazon.com and the response is that there are 214,554 titles (as of today). So people are on the hunt for happiness.
It has always struck me as odd that current cultures and governments do not focus on happiness. If happiness is what we all …
September 21st, 2007
In this eighth installment of our on-going series of interviews with some of the leading thinkers and scientists on the subject of energy, we interview Dr. Thomas Valone.
Facing and solving the multiple issues concerning energy is the single most pressing problem that we face as a species. There is a lot of media coverage about energy, alternative energy and global warming, but what has been missing is the knowledge and point of view of scientists, at least in the main stream media. If you have missed the first seven interviews, please scroll down the right side of the page and click on â€˜Scientists â€” Interviewsâ€™.
Dr. Thomas Valone is a physicist and licensed professional engineer with 30 years professional experience, is a patent examiner, research engineer, instrumentation designer and also an author, lecturer, and consultant on future energy developments. He is President and founder of Integrity Research Institute and formerly a community college teacher and a Research Director for Scott Aviation-ATO, Inc. He helped design the HullCom® for naval intraship communication, a 60 Hz gaussmeter without harmonic distortion, two bioelectric therapy devices, and a dental mercury vapor ionizer-precipitator. He is editor of Future Energy, Energetic Processes Vol. I & II, Turning the Corner: Energy Solutions for the 21st Century and a few conference proceedings, as well as author of Zero Point Energy: The Fuel of the Future, Practical Conversion of Zero-Point Energy, Homopolar Handbook, Electrogravitics Vol. 1 & II, Bioelectromagnetic Healing, Bush-Cheney Energy Study, Clinton Administration Energy Study and about 100 …
September 19th, 2007
There were three reported news stories last week that taken together point to clear trend lines. In a court ruling, the state of Vermont won the right to set auto emissions and MPG standards that are stricter than those of the Federal government. The dollar reached an all time low against the Euro and oil crossed over the $80 a barrel price barrier.
Vermont is one of twelve states where the state government is going to court to gain the right to institute lower emission standards. Most of these initiatives are patterned after a policy already signed in California. This points to the continued lack of any leadership whatsoever regarding energy in Washington D.C. The states are where the leadership is to do what is necessary regarding energy. Neither the Federal government nor the auto makers are leading the way toward lower emissions in any meaningful way. This case precedent will most likely affect the court battles in the other states. [Note: since the Vermont decision, there was a court decision in California where a suit blaming automakers over emissions and requesting damages was thrown out. In that case, the judge ruled that it was not a proper task for the courts to rule in this area, therefore sending it back to the other two branches of state government to institute laws regarding damages due to greenhouse gas emissions].
The long term trend in oil prices is up. In early 2006 and again at the beginning of 2007 I predicted that …
September 13th, 2007
To quote from one of the four prior posts with this title:
â€œWhile in many areas it might be difficult to see into the future, in the area of technology the future can be readily seen. The speed of technological invention and innovation moves so quickly that we have barely assimilated a recent breakthrough when another shows up to knock us back on our heels again. While these innovations do provide a glimpse of our future, they can be disorienting in that they show us that the Present that we are struggling to accept and assimilate will soon be outdated.â€
Cloud computing is the name given to the rapidly growing movement of software and storage onto the web. Rather than having all of onesâ€™ software, documents, pictures and email files stashed on the hard drive of a desk top or notebook computer, it will soon be possible to have all of ones digital life reside on a secure place on the web. While on-line back-up has been around for a while, the breakthrough for cloud computing is that the software one uses will be on the web, not in the computer. This is the high level battleground between the decadesâ€™ old PC model of Microsoft and the more recent Net-centric vision of Google.
Perhaps Bill Gateâ€™s most famous quote is his founding vision for Microsoft: â€œA PC on every desktopâ€. The manifestation of that vision is the world domination of the Microsoft Empire. Whether one likes Microsoft or not, this manifested vision helped …