Quote of the moment - By all means email any worthy quotes

    What does a fish know of water in which it swims all its life? What does a man know of nature of which he is an integral part? The ancient answer is: he knows and he knows not. (cited in Saraswati, 1995 (Ed) Man in Nature)

    The more I have learned in life, and I have learned a lot, the less confident I am in what I know. From this, I conclude that adamancy is a sign of ignorance. M. Ferguson 2010- Polymathica

Saturday, 21 February 2009

A technological phoenix emerges from the ashes

Okay, now this TED-talk offers something to think about

Unless it is how One makes their living, It can be difficult amidst the day-to-day hum drum to really take an holistic long-view; Without this kind of vision we risk becoming egocentric and arrogant about our own position in contrast to other groups of people; being bigoted about the way other's have and do live; and we might be blind to the unfolding possibilities occuring under our noses.

In the 1950s or thereabouts there were some scholars considering the emergence of transhumanism- This talk shows it is all becoming a reality in our life-time. Though events and things rarely occur exactly as expected in detail however, a robust perspective can offer principles and patterns of things to be expected.

There is an issue to consider. That the insidious influence of industrialised thinking on education systems has trained, and NOT educated, consecutive generations preventing them from perceiving and making wise judgments about the future. And as this talk shows, we may be on the verge of new evolutionary stage where humans use their technology to control their own evolution.

To survive the impending era may require a new way of thinking and educating about technology, to see it as a complex and dynamic activity occurring at various scales. I would argue that technacy offers a means to educate young minds to understand technology for this impending future.

Its not about whether its right or wrong [though it is an issue to consider] but its about enabling young minds to have the mental tool-box to navigate this future safely and comfortably, without being naive and/or bigoted.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Exploring natural disasters with technacy: first of a new theme

Now this news article below is an interesting idea. Thanks to an increase in human technological capability, human activity is able to modify the natural environment on a larger scale than was possible in time past.  Indeed it might be possible to list numerous similar events throughout history.  This will be the first of a theme where the logic of technacy can be followed in human influence on natural events. As articles and cases are found they will be posted under a similar heading.

Scientist says dam may have triggered China quake

(AP) -- Pressure from a dam, its reservoir's heavy waters weighing on geologic fault lines, may have helped trigger China's devastating earthquake last May, some scientists say, in a finding that suggests human activity played a role in the disaster.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Solar Powering the way forward

Some interesting observations about the future for Solar power as a source of energy.  The comparison is being made with the computer chip; increase in power and reduction in cost over time.

Whereas alternatives such as "clean coal" and "next generation" nuclear have yet to be costed in reality, solar provides real-time evidence of its reducing costs and increasing capacity.

The figures cited in this science alert [Solar power's steep learning curve]  indicate that in california during the 1980s the cost reduced on average 11% per year from 25cents/kWh [energy] to around 12 c/kWh.

IT it also cited that prices from 1980- 1995 for Photovoltaic energy dropped 35%, wind power 18% in contrast to Coal at 3% per year.

"In both concentrating solar power and solar photovoltaics, three factors are at work. The first is research and development of better technology. The second is manufacturing economies of scale. The third is the drive toward ever larger installations. Taken together, the three create a juggernaut of lower prices."