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The Conversation #46 — Mark Mykleby

Today, in America right now, we only can think of growth in quan­ti­ta­tive terms. And in a resource-constrained envi­ron­ment, how frickin’ stu­pid is that? You’re actu­al­ly impos­ing your own death sen­tence by not being able to get over the grip of this quan­ti­ta­tive dynam­ic.

The Conversation #41 — John Fullerton

I actu­al­ly think you can trace many many of these big sys­temic crises to being symp­toms of the flawed idea that eco­nom­ic growth can go on indef­i­nite­ly, expo­nen­tial­ly, on a finite plan­et. That’s sort of my North Star. And then as a finance per­son, why do we think we need eco­nom­ic growth? Well, because the way our cap­i­tal sys­tem works is that cap­i­tal demands that growth.

The Conversation #40 — Mary Mattingly

It’s inter­est­ing and scary to think about an Earth that could be com­plete­ly con­trolled by humans, but it seems like it’s def­i­nite­ly pos­si­ble. I could find fun think­ing about liv­ing under the sea or all the places that humans real­ly haven’t been able to sus­tain them­selves in very well. Like, if we could real­ly get con­trol of that. I mean, it’s def­i­nite­ly a dark future, but I think some­thing that I could embrace if we did go there.

What Will Cybersecurity Look Like in the Next Decade?

Sure, cyber­space is about peo­ple and data. But it is also about appli­ca­tions. And devices. And the indi­rect and non-obvious rela­tion­ships between all of this. It cre­ates a very com­pli­cat­ed and excit­ing ecosys­tem. One that is capa­ble of dra­mat­ic inno­va­tion, and dra­mat­ic exploita­tion.

The Conversation #37 — David Keith

There are biol­o­gists who’ve spent their careers work­ing on some species of bee­tle in the trop­i­cal rain­for­est, and they just love the rain­for­est in their bones And they feel that when they go tes­ti­fy in Congress to some com­mit­tee, that they can’t just say, I love it in my bones and you guys will love it too, if you share it with me.” They have to say, Oh, we’ve done all this math and com­put­ed that there’s an ecosys­tem ser­vice here.” And I think that that has real­ly impov­er­ished our debate about envi­ron­men­tal issues.

Douglas Rushkoff WebVisions Portland 2016 Keynote

Google just has to grow. It has to keep grow­ing. But Google grows at its own per­il. Google grew so much that what hap­pened? It out­grew Google. Google had to become what? Alphabet. Now what is Alphabet? Alphabet is not Google. Alphabet is a hold­ing com­pa­ny. So Google’s new busi­ness as Alphabet is to do what? It’s to buy and sell tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies. So, once a com­pa­ny becomes just too big to flip any­more, it becomes a flip­per of oth­er com­pa­nies.

Holistic Heat Management

Machines gen­er­ate waste heat when they do work for us. And this year, sev­en bil­lion of us will use twenty-five tril­lion kilo­watt hours of elec­tric­i­ty. An awful lot of that will end up as waste heat. So, we treat waste heat as a prob­lem. We see it as a chal­lenge to design how we can man­age it. We don’t think of it as a resource. If we thought of it as a resource, that would be results we are just throw­ing away.

David Chang & Jim Yong Kim: The Future of Food

I think we need to take a look at what we find to taste good. And I think a lot of peo­ple throw away food. As Juergen men­tioned, we throw away 1.3 bil­lion tons of food a year. That’s a third of the food that is pro­duced. Which is just prob­a­bly the eas­i­est way to reduc­ing hunger in the world. Being more resource­ful, much more fru­gal about it.

The Conversation #22 — Wes Jackson

You’re deal­ing with timescales that are beyond humans’ inter­est. I mean, it’s sor­ta like glob­al warm­ing. The heat that we have now built up, that car­bon was burned thir­ty years ago. It’s going to take a while for the cor­rec­tion process. So, if you have the ele­ments of the phos­pho­rus, the potas­si­um, the man­ganese, and so on, it can be built back pret­ty fast. But a short­hand way of putting it is that soil is as much of a non-renewable resource as oil. And, more impor­tant than oil. I mean, we’re talk­ing about stuff we’re made of. So that’s why I’ve said that the plow­share has destroyed more options for future gen­er­a­tions than the sword. 

The Conversation #19 — Joseph Tainter

I see a set of con­straints fac­ing us in the future, and they’re all going to be very expen­sive. First is fund­ing retire­ments for the Baby Boom gen­er­a­tion. Second is con­tin­u­ing increas­es in the costs of health­care. The third is replac­ing decay­ing infra­struc­ture. The fourth is adapt­ing to cli­mate change and repair­ing envi­ron­men­tal dam­age. The fifth is devel­op­ing new sources of ener­gy. The sixth is what I see as in all like­li­hood con­tin­u­ing high mil­i­tary costs. The sev­enth is the costs of inno­va­tion.

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