Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the center of current buzz among techies, business people, and economists these days. Why? Well, recently developed AI software appears to be able to generate increasingly human-like ‘intelligence,’ at least on the surface. Vastly improved voice recognition software allows human language to be processed by AI software in order … More The Buzz on ChatGPT vs the Original A.I.
The other day someone told me that a Tesla is just a toy for those rich folks who identify with the ‘environmental movement.’ I’m sure that’s true for some and not for other buyers of the leading electric car today. They certainly are not cheap, nor are most innovative products. It does have some slick … More What’s Wrong with Old Cars? The Appeal of Electric Conversion
I was a teenager in Southern California in the late 1950s at the height of the California Car Culture. I distinctly remember the fact that all the important trends in automotive styles and technology originated with the people I knew or knew about, mostly in the Los Angeles area. Detroit slowly tried to catch up, … More Confessions of a Reformed Technophile
The COVID-19 pandemic is not so much about the characteristics of a virus as it is about the organization of modern societies. The modern infrastructure of hyper-mobility allowed the virus to move rapidly all over the world. Without that infrastructure, the pandemic could not have happened. The Black Plague in the Middle Ages, when mobility … More Rethinking Modern Infrastructure: The Vulnerability of Complex Systems
I don’t remember where I read the “Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn,” but it made enough of an impression that I saved it. I guess it was the contrast with our modernist illusions that got my attention. We live in a world that is culturally detached from the factual world of physical, … More The Allegory of the Best Farmer and Community Corn versus the Modernist Dilemma
Mobiliy, it would seem, is king. I have always loved to ride, drive, fly, and travel. Early on, racing my bicycle around the neighborhood or taking a longer trip through the orange groves in the foothills sufficed. Soon enough I wanted more. Those Boy Scout camping trips in the mountains and deserts of Southern California … More The Mobility Illusion
Where is your heart? Apparently, for many Americans today, it is not at home. The old saying, “Home is where the heart is,” retains little meaning these days. The heart seems located at our next destination. When the COVID-19 disease went pandemic, one of the first things I noticed was how crazy people were becoming … More Home is Where the Home Is
I spend a lot of time during the winter in a small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It makes more sense to a jubilado who grew up around California beaches than staying where Skiing is popular. The snow-covered Sangre de Cristo Mountains overlooking Santa Fe, are not a draw for this old surfer. … More Engineering and Experience: Professionals and Us
Yes, yes, and yes. From its claims at least, Delta Airlines appears to be ahead of the crowd in progressive thinking about the huge contribution airlines make to carbon emissions, and their failure to curtail them. Yet, does Edward H. Bastian, Delta’s CEO, really believe that Delta can reduce jet aircraft emissions from burning jet … More Is Delta Airlines Progressive, Delusional, or Deceitful?
The global corporate economy of perpetually growing extraction, production, consumption, and waste, has already produced far too much. It has done so for a very long time, with increasingly inequitable distribution. Consumption and waste not only exhaust non-renewable resources; they contaminate the complex adaptive living systems we call ecosystems, that is, our habitats. The only … More To Transform Society for Survival, We Must Liberate Ourselves from the Endless Growth Economy