Category Archives: Technology

Earth: galactic laboratory

Here’s an alternative “Zoo” hypothesis regarding a solution to the Fermi Paradox. We’ll call it the Lab Hypothesis.

If you’ll recall, the Zoo Hypothesis is the idea that intelligent, space-faring cognizants exist and they, either a single species or a collective, have intentionally isolated Earth (we’re effectively quarantined) in order to allow humanity to sink-or-swim, as it were.

The Lab Hypothesis is similar, however, the determining factor is that outside intervention is not forbidden, only restricted. And that Earth is “mined” for the myriad lifeforms and organic compounds and molecules that are produced by those lifeforms.

Think, autonomous chemistry laboratory, which haphazardly creates and/or evolves millions of chemicals which are rare in the galaxy. These fabrications are collected by aliens (which might explain the errant sightings of spacecraft), and then sold/traded/used by other populations of intelligent races in the galaxy.

Consider that life is rare (so far — very rare). And that life itself is more capable when it comes to producing strange new chemicals. Even the most advanced AI-computers in the galaxy cannot calculate the working, stable combinations of elements that make up, say, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, banana, okra, or cannabinoids, millions of chemical and drug compounds the corp-pharma industry searches for in the jungles of the world.

Life, nature, is just too good at making stuff up that works, on some level, to affect living beings, psychotropically, physically, or materially (spider silk for example).

So, Earth is a lab, and we’re lab-rats, and the thousands of spices, fragrances, liquids, intoxicants, etc. that we enjoy — our alien neighbors do too.

But they want to keep it a secret — and not risk polluting the petri-dish.


Oligarchs are evolution

While watching a In a Nutshell episode (below), I extrapolated the concept that intelligent life consumes all of a planet’s resources. It’s like a machine that eats until everything it can eat — gets consumed. But, the oligarchs know this, and plan for lifeboats which are escape pods shot from a planet’s surface out to the solar system to create, and control, life there.

Oligarchs rule a planet’s resources. They can control what gets built, what gets sequestered, what gets jettisoned. What if folks like Elon Musk are actually aware of this and are planning for humanity’s demise. Not their demise. They will survive. They will rule New Earth. They will control the AIs and robots that create the food and build the starships.

What if humanity actually IS evolving, but not genetically, but financially. In the end, if an apocalypse does not kill off all of humankind, then the only folks who will survive the coming resource collapse, will be the rich.

The Content Economy: update

In the spirit of full disclosure the following sites/services were found which may or may not apply to this concept of the Content Economy.

Some strange ones:

Wikipedia has a minimalistic post on the topic:

Unfortunately, none of these so called micropayment solutions address the situation in a way that makes sense; which is, to allow content economy participants to both earn and spend from the same account. These solutions get close. But they miss the one massive, all important piece of the puzzle: content consumers are contributors too.

We’re all creator/consumers.

Any real solution should all have a single account into which payments can accrue. And from which payments can be distributed.


Additional article on the topic, but one that uses blockchain technology (something I don’t see as being necessary for the Content Economy to flourish):

The internet divides us

In concert with mobile devices, the internet has ushered in a social malady we may not cure but for the arrival of calamity.

The “living” room used to be a place of congregation. Handicrafts, garment repair, reading, conversation, music, then radio and then the single family television, all of our favorite social pastimes took place in the living room. No more.

Now-a-days this room might host a single denizen, someone who has commandeered the large screen. The rest of his/her family is cast to their private chambers and their private devices where they exchange private messages with private eyes.

I recall Sunday nights, the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and then the Wonderful World of Disney. All of us, despite homework demands, or illness, or whether we finished our dinner or not, gathered in the living room to become collectively entranced as Marlin Perkins fumbled his grandfatherly way with the creatures they portrayed. And then ol’ Walt would come on…

Today, despite a house full of people, I’m sitting here, alone, in the living room, wishing the internet had never been invented. Or, if nothing more, that a CME might descend, wipe the grid and save myself from another lonely night passing the time, by myself. Maybe I’ll check my phone for notifications….



AI to build AI

The end of the world is nigh. Well, yours and my world at least…

From Google:
“a Google project called AutoML.  […] With it, Google may soon find a way to create A.I. technology that can partly take the humans out of building the A.I. systems that many believe are the future of the technology industry.”

I know that’s a little “Inception” sounding… But it has always been a goal of computational scientists, that is, AI that can build AI. Which, unfortunately, sounds quite a bit like the Eric Drexler’s quote regarding Grey Goo. (Nanobots that build nanobots.)

You all realize that this is the beginning of the end right? Have you all called and told your loved ones that you love them? Recently…? (Really, you might want to.)

One could be forgiven for not fully understanding (or internalizing) the implications of this path of reasoning. But it’s a thing now. And the reason comes from an odd angle: Because AI engineers are so scarce (and expensive) instead of growing (educating) more AI engineers to fill the needs of all the corporations that suddenly feel that they need AI technology to support their businesses, no, what Google (and undoubtedly others) have decided to do is to create software that can create software.

Yes, a circular, self-referential algorithm within a data center full of this algorithm that is trying to make itself better at making itself better!

Google Goo.

Now, I’ve always thought that the ultimate purpose of a computer was to build one such that it could build itself and thereby become vastly smarter than any human — for the ultimate purpose of allowing US TO ASK IT QUESTIONS! Hitchhikers Guide and all that…

  • “Computer, how should we build a fusion reactor?”
  • “Computer, how can we best protect the planet yet provide for every animal’s, and humans’s needs?”
  • “Computer, how can we build a better space/star ship?”
  • “Computer, how can we cure cancer, heart disease, old age?”

It appears we’re on the brink.

The only question is, will it WANT to help us?

“Computer, make me a paperclip.”




My Google – search me?

I’d like a personal Google.

I’d like my own big bucket where I could throw everything (digital everything) and MyGoogle would allow me to find it through search.

Yeah I can search my gmail accounts. But what about all the wordpress posts and comments? Aeon, Medium, Ello, fadebook, twitter, instagramOfCoke, etc.?

I have oodles of software code I’ve collected/written over the last 20+ years.

I have hundreds of tech-specs, whitepaper’esque documents.

I have thousands of pictures and home-movies.

MyGoogle would let me either dump all of this into a big-ol’-bucket — someplace — and let me search it all. I could add very specific “” to that bucket for content that MyGoogle wouldn’t have access to except through the front door.

I’d even PAY to have a MyGoogle. It would be nice if I could keep much of my data private and locally stored. Like my own GoogleDrive cached right here on a simple 10terrabyte server, like maybe a MyGoogleDataSafe.

Hey Google! Make it so.

A robot could do that

Automation engineer son having a Saturday afternoon beer in the back yard of his parents home. His mother is on her knees digging in the well manicured flower and vegetable garden.

Son: “Mom, you know there are robots that can do that for you.”

Mom: “Mm, hmm.”

Son: “I mean we could have one delivered that would tend your garden, do your shopping, do your washing.”

Mom: “Why?”

Son: “To save you time. So you could do the things you want to do.”

Mom: “Like what?”

Son: “Oh, I don’t know…”

Mom: “You mean like tend the laundry, shopping in town and cultivating my garden?”

Son: “Uh…”


Sing it with me: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a robot factory…”