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
I never stop marveling at the sophisticated complexity of modern technology. The fine performance of that flathead V-8 engine in my 1951 Ford when I was in high school was fully understandable by the average teenager at the time. Today, most of us do not have a clue about how the technologies we use every … More Simple Complexity at ten thousand five hundred feet
(continued from January 11, 2019 post) After a few days and a couple of back-and-forths with Seff Ramirez, locating a source of Huanacaxtle near La Peñita didn’t work out, so I tried another tack. I’d seen what appeared to be a tiny carpinteria in Los Ayalas, a small nearby beach town dominated by hotels and condos. I went … More On the Road Again: Huanacaxtle and Martín
La Peñita, I shall return! Well, I would not equate myself with that eccentric WWII general, but I do plan to come back to La Peñita next winter – how could I not? To return to that vibrant little village by the sea has too many reasons to list – most of them too complicated … More On the Road Again: Hasta La Vista, La Peñita
One of the many drawbacks of living in the intermediated world of industrial consumerism is that we have pretty much abandoned aesthetics. Form and function are mostly industrial products too. Marketing psychology drives them, like almost everything else. Diverse commercial and political interests present a pre-formed world to us on the flat digital screens of … More Aesthetics Abandoned
Looking forward into the future is no easy task. It is hard to decide what to believe will happen next, and nearly impossible to predict a few years or decades down the line. So many variables, so many viewpoints, so many things are just not the same as we had expected them to turn out … More Dystopia, Utopia, or Drift?
It is always unnerving yet comfortably familiar to fly into LAX. I will need to do so again in a month or so. The vast urban landscape from Palm Springs westward to the Pacific shore is amazing to behold, if you really look at it. For about 125 miles, the mostly low-lying “built environment” stretches … More Over the Ultimate City: To Live or Die in L.A.
It seems that little effort to understand fully the costs and benefits of the transition from fossil fuel to PV energy production has accompanied the rush to install utility scale solar and wind farms. However, it is very important to examine the environmental costs of achieving the environmental benefits of low carbon emissions energy production, … More Hidden Costs Constrain the Benefits of Transitioning to Renewable Energy
Someone quoted Jeff Bezos as saying that the biggest mistake is not to evolve. But what exactly does it mean to evolve? In the case of Amazon.com, it has always meant to grow Amazon by growing sales above all else, including profit. Well, the entire history of the industrial era has focused on growth as … More How to Evolve
On the Necessity of the Inconceivable to Engage the New Great Transformation Most of us who have lived through the decades since World War II understand the advancements of the industrial age to be the essence of human progress. First, we lived in an energy-driven mechanical world involving a series of innovations and new “labor-saving” processes … More The Radical Turn