Daniel Pinchbeck, an author and journalist by trade, some think of him as a contemporary McKenna or Leary, I would agree to the extent that he is an evolved manifestation of those modern day ‘philosophers’ IMO he is better at bringing his concepts down to earth for us to use to actually create positive change. He recently wrote this article for the new statesman. I like when he uses language like ‘a new “operating system” for human society.’ rather than calling for revolution he’s talking about evolution.
Back in the Sixties, the visionary scientist Buckminster Fuller foresaw only two outcomes for humanity: utopia or oblivion. Either we continue our present social and political arrangements until we destroy ourselves, or we rapidly transition to a new social system, allocate resources rationally, and elevate the human community, as a whole, to an abundant state of being. I remain convinced that Fuller was right. Our civilisation is a planetary suicide machine, rapidly annihilating the biosphere that sustains us. We are spewing more than a million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every hour. Our oceans have become 30 per cent more acidic in the past 40 years, as they absorb excess carbon. Climate change is proving to be an erratic and complex process, but the great danger remains that we will soon hit a tipping point where we unleash rapid, unstoppable warming. We face other ecological problems that are equally severe – a quarter of mammalian species, perhaps all species, will disappear within the next 30 years. We can’t predict when our industrial monoculture’s radical assault on the biosphere will induce feedback loops that cause the ecosystem to shut down, like a planetary heart attack, but the prospect is neither distant nor implausible.
Arizona solar plant continues to extract energy from atmosphere six hours after sun goes down.
Abengoa’s Solana plant in the desert near Gila Bend, Arizona, passed commercial testing this week The 280-megawatt Solana solar thermal power plant producing electricity without direct sunlight made the announcement on Wednesday. Abengoa said Wednesday that the facility, about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, can store the sun’s power for six hours via thermal energy. The three -square-mile facility near Gila Bend uses concentrated solar power (CSP) technology to collect the sun’s heat. Thermal energy storage is Solana’s distinctive feature. At 280 megawatts, Solana is one of the largest plants using parabolic mirrors. Its 2,700 parabolic trough mirrors follow the sun to focus heat on a pipe containing a heat transfer fluid, which is a synthetic oil. The heat transfer fluid flows to steam boilers, where it heats water to create steam. The steam drives 140-megawatt turbines to produce electricity.
These Advances in 3d Printing are bringing us closer to being able to build fusion reactors among other things.
BBC SCIENCE | James Morgan
The European Space Agency has unveiled plans to “take 3D printing into the metal age” by building parts for jets, spacecraft and fusion projects.
The Amaze project brings together 28 institutions to develop new metal components which are lighter, stronger and cheaper than conventional parts.
Additive manufacturing (or “3D printing”) has already revolutionized the design of plastic products.
Printing metal parts for rockets and planes would cut waste and save money.The layered method of assembly also allows intricate designs – geometries which are impossible to achieve with conventional metal casting.
Parts for cars and satellites can be optimized to be lighter and – simultaneously – incredibly robust.
Tungsten alloy components that can withstand temperatures of 3,000C were unveiled at Amaze’s launch on Tuesday at London’s Science Museum.
At such extreme temperatures they can survive inside nuclear fusion reactors and on the nozzles of rockets.
Finally, some news on the ColfFusion/LENR front. Apparently the Ecat Works? This could be big.
Mark Gibbs | Forbes
While a few commentators have raised criticisms concerning how the measurements were made and sources of error others have argued that the energy produced is so significant even knocking off an order of magnitude on either axis still portrays a process with insanely valuable output.
‘If we consider the whole volume of the reactor core and the most conservative figures on energy production, we still get a value of (7.93 ± 0.8) 102 MJ/Liter that is one order of magnitude higher than any conventional source.’ -Independent university researchers findings on Rossi’s LENR device.
Alleged photo of device reaction during testing in December 2012
This is not, of course, the last word or even one anywhere near the end of this story but unless this is one of the most elaborate hoaxes in scientific history it looks like the world may well be about to change. How quickly will depend on a host of things.
WIRED | Natalie Wolchover
Physicists plan to create a “time crystal” — a theoretical object that moves in a repeating pattern without using energy
Now, a technological advance has made it possible for physicists to test the idea. They plan to build a time crystal, not in the hope that this perpetuum mobile will generate an endless supply of energy (as inventors have striven in vain to do for more than a thousand years) but that it will yield a better theory of time itself.
NASA opening up about the potential of LENR devices for the home.
NASA | Bob Silberg
How would you like to replace your water heater with a nuclear reactor? That’s what Joseph Zawodny, a senior scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, hopes to help bring about. It would tap the enormous power of the atom to provide hot water for your bath, warm air for your furnace system, and more than enough electricity to run your house and, of course, your electric car.
If your thoughts have raced to Fukushima or Three Mile Island or Chernobyl, let me reassure you. Zawodny is not suggesting that you put that kind of reactor in your house. What he has in mind is a generator that employs a process called Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions. (The same process is sometimes called Lattice Energy Nuclear Reactions. We’ll just call it LENR.)
A Fiscal Drama unfolds Rip Empson | TechCrunch
Hang around in the tech industry long enough and you or someone you know will be heard saying, “that’s so crazy it just might work.” Two years ago, if you’d have told me that an open-source, P2P currency would soon be a thriving, billion-dollar market, I would’ve told you that you were on a lonely bus headed to CrazyTown, U.S.A. But today, Bitcoin officially became a crazy idea that’s actually working.
Henry Blodget | Business Insider
One of the things that’s most fascinating about Bitcoin, I have leaned, is that it entrances fanatical conspiracy theorists and clear-eyed pragmatists.
The fanatical conspiracy theorists love it because, at least theoretically, Bitcoin represents a “store of value” that is out of reach of the meddling hands of evil currency-debasing central banks and deficit-spending governments–and because it allows them to transact anonymously.
The clear-eyed pragmatists love Bitcoin for a similar reason: Over a long time horizon, the value of paper-based currency gets inexorably destroyed. ($0.04 in 1913 bought as much as $1.00 does today). So the world really does need a good store of value. And if Bitcoin’s promise is fulfilled, it might be one.
The FBI gave a press release this week regarding the now infamous “Guy Hottel” document. It has been on the FBI Vault public archive for over a year.
Lee Speigel | Huffington Post
According to the original memo and reiterated by the FBI this week, the saucers “were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.”
If this memo had already been released as part of the Vault files two years ago, why did the FBI decide to focus attention on it again this week?