Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Elon Musk

Tidbits and notes posted on FB and Twitter. Part 244

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page of backlog opinions and events is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory

Zappos empire started off as a dropshipper. “We didn’t carry any inventory; instead we relied on shoe manufacturers to ship products directly to our customers,” founder Tony Hsieh told the Harvard Business Review. “That system never worked very well. We didn’t have 100% accurate information about our vendors’ inventory, and because their warehouses were all over the country, delivery times weren’t predictable.”

So did Amazon empire. “Order a CD from CD Now, Music Boulevard or Amazon.com, and your order is electronically transmitted to Woodland, Calif.-based Valley Media, the country’s largest audio wholesaler, which picks, packs and ships the disc straight from the warehouse,” Forbes reported in 1998.

“Until Amazon recently began building its own book warehouses, the online booksellers sole task was to transmit orders to two of the country’s biggest book distributors, Ingram Books and Baker & Taylor, which then drop shipped to customers.”

Israel did it again in less than a week: Israel live bullets injured 1,100 Palestinians and killed 8 on the borders with Gaza.Values and human emotions have been redirected to futile events in the western culture. Western “civilization” has decided that Zionism and Israel constitute an integral parts of their culture of colonial behavior and blatant apartheid and occupation processes.

Israel is back at its genocide activities withing a week: 1,100 Palestinians injured by mostly live bullets on Gaza borders. 10 dead martyrs. And western civilization Not that concerned.

Here we go again: a car plowed through a crowd in Munster, Germany. 3 dead and 20 injured. We’ll cover this event for an entire week on all western channels. This Friday, Israeli snipers injured 1,100  with live bullets and killed 10. Any coverage of that slaughter-hood by any State?

A 2017 study by Italian consumer rights group Codacons found no less than 25% of the entire Italian adult population—or about 13 million people—visited astrologers, fortune tellers, and the like, making an estimated 30,000 daily visits to experts who charge fees ranging from 50 to 1,000 euros.

Excellent news: Lebanon just received only $11 bn instead of expected $17 bn: the Lebanese can save interest on the expected $6 bn more.

Je compris que dans certain milieu on ne devient Ame que lorsque la rente est elevee’.

In 1748, Montesquieu in  “Of the spirit of laws” wrote: “There are a few financial specialists disseminating the concept that public debts multiply wealth and increase circulation of money and internal trade.  Facts are, the real revenues of the State, generated by the activities of industrious citizens, are transferred to idle classes.  The consequences are that we make it more difficult on the industrious citizens to produce profit and worst, extending privileges to the passive classes.”

In 1781, Jacques Necker, France minister of finance, proclaimed that “There can be no peace in Europe unless public debts are reduced to the bare minimum:  Public debts are sources for increasing the military capabilities designed for destructive activities; and then more debts are accumulated for the reconstruction phase.  A devilish cycle that is anathema to prosperity and security

If almost all States (the developed countries first of all) have incurred public debts then, who are the creditors? China economy has saved 2.5 trillion and Brazil and Turkey less than 500 billion.  All these savings cannot cover the amount of necessary public debts required by the debtor nations. Even Saudi Kingdom and the Gulf Emirates are currently borrowing money. Only the northern European countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland) managed to maintain a Sovereign Fund. Syria was debt-free before the war in 2011.

Fact is, world finance is functioning on worthless paper money and other financial tools transmitted here and there to give the illusion that the system is functioning. Transferring trillion of dollars every day!

The militarily weaker creditor will suffer now or later; it is a matter of delayed punishment for loaning a more powerful debtor, whether voluntarily or after coercion. The same is true for militarily weaker debtors: Excuses for military intervention.

Elon Musk (SpaceX and Tesla) is a case of Not earning much to pay taxes. He is relying on heavy investment through the prodding and urging of the government and the military to investors (sort of guaranteed loan. No matter is the balance sheet, investors will Not lose money)

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Mark Zuckerberg Thinks Elon Musk’s Views on Artificial Intelligence Are ‘Pretty Irresponsible’
The Facebook CEO sounded off during a Facebook Live chat.

Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have some major things in common: They’re both CEOs of prominent Silicon Valley companies, and both of those companies rely heavily on artificial intelligence.

But the two evidently diverge when it comes to their opinions on the technology.

Musk has become an increasingly vocal critic of A.I. in recent years, going so far as to call it “the biggest threat we face as a civilization” earlier this month.

During a Facebook Live chat on Sunday, a viewer asked Zuckerberg what he thought about the future of A.I., citing Musk’s comments. Facebook’s CEO didn’t hold back, though he refrained from calling out Musk by name.

“I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios–I don’t understand it,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s really negative, and in some ways I think it’s pretty irresponsible.”

Zuckerberg cited some of the ways A.I. is already improving lives, like aiding in the diagnoses of illnesses and assisting in drug discovery. (Beside the point)

In general terms, he brushed off the criticisms people have about the technology.

“I have pretty strong opinions on this. I’m really optimistic,” Zuckerberg said from his backyard while waiting for his dinner to slow cook.

“Technology can always be used for good and bad, (and this is the rub: mostly it ends up being used for the bad) and you need to be careful about how you build it, and what you build, and how it’s going to be used.

People are arguing for slowing down the process of building A.I.–I just find that really questionable. I have a hard time wrapping my head around that.”

In his defense of A.I., Zuckerberg specifically called out self-driving cars.

“One of the top causes of death for people is car accidents still,” Zuckerberg said. (And will continue to be, if we try to ignore the long-term fatalities of decades of atomic bomb testing in open air)

“If you can eliminate that with A.I., that is going to be just a dramatic improvement in people’s lives.”

Tesla’s vehicles already can assist drivers with highway driving, and the company has said its goal is for its cars to be fully autonomous by the end of this year. (Never allow such cars without a driver in control, at all time)

Earlier this month, Musk cited his closeness to A.I. as a reason for his fears–and a reason that others should find them credible. “I have exposure to the most cutting edge A.I., and I think people should be really concerned by it,” he said. “A.I. is a rare case where I think we need to be proactive in regulation [rather] than be reactive.”

Last month, in response to a survey that revealed experts believe A.I. will surpass human skills on all tasks by 2060, Musk tweeted that he believed it would be more like 2030 to 2040. “I hope I’m wrong,” he added.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook has relied more and more on A.I. in recent years. Its software is capable of identifying the objects in images, producing captions for the visually impaired.

Its Messenger service can detect when people are in need of services, such as a taxi ride or a marketplace listing, by scanning their written communications. Last month, the company announced that it’s training chatbots to negotiate–and that they’re already just as good as humans.

“If you’re arguing against A.I., then you’re arguing against safer cars and being able to better diagnose people when they’re sick,” Zuckerberg said Sunday. “I just don’t see how in good conscience some people can do that. So I’m just much more optimistic on this in general than I think a lot of folks are.”

Mark Zuckerberg Says These 5 Technologies Will Completely Change How We Live
PUBLISHED ON: JUL 24, 2017

Notes and comments on FB and Twitter. Part 52

I want to accompany Elon Musk on his daily work “randonnés”: I like to be first to observe the onset of his Insanity

If a massive solar gamma ray charge does Not ravage earth in the next 50 years, it is inevitable that data cloud will crash completely before then.

We will have to restart saving our lousy knowledge accumulation

If a meteorite fails to crash on earth within a century, it is still  inevitable that a massive wild fire will burn the land.

Our crazy species survived near extinction several times, but it was due to Natural calamities. This time around, we will Not survive extinction from man-made chain reactions of catastrophes.

The moment we try to “Control” one chain reaction, we ignite another one.

Instead of giving me a lift, they wave to mean: “No one in his right head walks in this hot weather”

“Ton rêve est une Egypte, mais toi une momie avec son masque d’or”

L’étique de la quantité? Le nombre limite (red line) óu la quantité des experience équivalentes déborde le sens de l’étique des régles du jeu d’une société.

Priver les gens des illusions (terre promise…) et la nuit toute noire les ensevelie

On appelle un homme “absurd” s’il fixe la mort avec une attention passionée, sans illusion et sans espoir

Le malheur naturel de notre condition de mortel que rien ne peut nous consoler, sauf le divertissement et les coutumes

L’équilibre de l’évidence et du lyrisme est nécessaire pour accede a la clarté de l’émotion? Peut-etre que nos generations modernes qui entende la musique en boucle ont cessé de réflechir aux evidences proposes par le lyrism

Netherlands’ refugee integration: 10,000 Euro to learn the language within 3 years, otherwise you have got to pay back this sum. Question: If those who learned the language cannot secure a job, how can the failed refugee pay back?

Incarcerate the refugee in a camp until the political situation is stabilized back home for repatriation? Does this mean that Syria should Not expect any normalcy within these 3 years condition by the Netherlands?

I’ll be happy to spend 6 months in the Netherlands to learn their awkward language if paid 10,000 Euro

Hassan Kamel el Sabba7 Lebanese electrical genius found dead in his car on March 31, 1935 at the age of 41. He was about to return to Lebanon from the USA in order to transform arid regions in the Arab World in Green Sahara after he discovered solar cell in 1930. He received 11 Prizes for Excellence and registered 52 scientific patents. Among his achievements are alternative currents, photovoltaic pannels, Hertzien transmission and synchronous motors

Quand l’economie decline et le souverain et sa class de noblesse recourent a la force come seul moyen: “Le peuple prend peur, devient deprime, cherche protection contre le souverain en recourant au mensonge, le ruse, la fraude. Cela influe sur le caractere des sujets qui se gate…” (Ibn Khladoun). Saudi Kingdom fits this description.

Nothing changed in the Arab World in the last 600 years. Les etats rentiers sont caracterises par une forte concentration du pouvoir. Le veritable noblesse de base n’appartient qu’a ceux qui ont l’esprit de clan. les revenus des butins sont difficiles a distinguer parmi le souverain et la classe de nobles. (Ibn Khaldoun)

La puissance politique du souverain depend du niveau des richesses produites par le travail de l’homme et des conditions de la repartition de la richesse generee. The Assabiyya (loyalty to the tribe) deteriorate with the decline of the economy (Ibn Khladoun)

“Les Francais font des revolutions: Ils ne savent pas faire des réformes” Alexis de Toqueville in 1848. Les Libanais ne savent faire aucune de ces 2 alternatives

This Email From Elon Musk to Tesla Employees Is a Master Class in Emotional Intelligence
When the going gets tough, true leaders take action.

The boring future we’re building? Elon Musk

Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars in conversation with TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson

Elon Musk. Serial entrepreneur is the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and the CEO/CTO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). Full bio

Filmed April 2017

Chris Anderson CA: Elon, hey, welcome back to TED. It’s great to have you here. In the next half hour or so, we’re going to spend some time exploring your vision for what an exciting future might look like, which I guess makes the first question a little ironic: Why are you boring?

0:32 Elon Musk EM: I ask myself that frequently. We’re trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to create the beginning of what will hopefully be a 3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion. So right now, one of the most soul-destroying things is traffic. It affects people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life. It’s horrible. It’s particularly horrible in LA.

CA: I think you’ve brought with you the first visualization that’s been shown of this. Can I show this?

EM: Yeah, absolutely. So this is the first time — Just to show what we’re talking about. So a couple of key things that are important in having a 3D tunnel network. First of all, you have to be able to integrate the entrance and exit of the tunnel seamlessly into the fabric of the city. So by having an elevator, sort of a car skate, that’s on an elevator, you can integrate the entrance and exits to the tunnel network just by using two parking spaces. And then the car gets on a skate.

There’s no speed limit here, so we’re designing this to be able to operate at 200 kilometers an hour. So you should be able to get from, say, Westwood to LAX in six minutes — five, six minutes.

 CA: So possibly, initially done, it’s like on a sort of toll road-type basis.

 EM: Yeah.  I don’t know if people noticed it in the video, but there’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnel you can have. You can go much further deep than you can go up. The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall, so you can alleviate any arbitrary level of urban congestion with a 3D tunnel network. This is a very important point.

So a key rebuttal to the tunnels is that if you add one layer of tunnels, that will simply alleviate congestion, it will get used up, and then you’ll be back where you started, back with congestion. But you can go to any arbitrary number of tunnels, any number of levels.

CA: But people — seen traditionally, it’s incredibly expensive to dig, and that would block this idea.

EM: Yeah. Well, they’re right. To give you an example, the LA subway extension, which is — I think it’s a two-and-a-half mile extension that was just completed for two billion dollars. So it’s roughly a billion dollars a mile to do the subway extension in LA. And this is not the highest utility subway in the world. So yeah, it’s quite difficult to dig tunnels normally. I think we need to have at least a tenfold improvement in the cost per mile of tunneling.

Actually, if you just do two things, you can get to approximately an order of magnitude improvement, and I think you can go beyond that. So the first thing to do is to cut the tunnel diameter by a factor of two or more. So a single road lane tunnel according to regulations has to be 26 feet, maybe 28 feet in diameter to allow for crashes and emergency vehicles and sufficient ventilation for combustion engine cars.

But if you shrink that diameter to what we’re attempting, which is 12 feet, which is plenty to get an electric skate through, you drop the diameter by a factor of two and the cross-sectional area by a factor of four, and the tunneling cost scales with the cross-sectional area.

So that’s roughly a half-order of magnitude improvement right there. Then tunneling machines currently tunnel for half the time, then they stop, and then the rest of the time is putting in reinforcements for the tunnel wall.

 if you design the machine instead to do continuous tunneling and reinforcing, that will give you a factor of two improvement. Combine that and that’s a factor of eight. Also these machines are far from being at their power or thermal limits, so you can jack up the power to the machine substantially.

I think you can get at least a factor of two, maybe a factor of four or five improvement on top of that. So I think there’s a fairly straightforward series of steps to get somewhere in excess of an order of magnitude improvement in the cost per mile, and our target actually is — we’ve got a pet snail called Gary, this is from Gary the snail from “South Park,” I mean, sorry, “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

So Gary is capable of — currently he’s capable of going 14 times faster than a tunnel-boring machine. He’s not a patient little fellow, and that will be victory. Victory is beating the snail.

CA: But a lot of people imagining, dreaming about future cities, they imagine that actually the solution is flying cars, drones, etc. You go aboveground. Why isn’t that a better solution? You save all that tunneling cost.

6:09 EM: Right. I’m in favor of flying things. Obviously, I do rockets, so I like things that fly. This is not some inherent bias against flying things, but there is a challenge with flying cars in that they’ll be quite noisy, the wind force generated will be very high. Let’s just say that if something’s flying over your head, a whole bunch of flying cars going all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation.

You don’t think to yourself, “Well, I feel better about today.” You’re thinking, “Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?” Things like that.

CA: So you’ve got this vision of future cities with these rich, 3D networks of tunnels underneath. Is there a tie-in here with Hyperloop? Could you apply these tunnels to use for this Hyperloop idea you released a few years ago.

7:13 EM: Yeah, so we’ve been sort of puttering around with the Hyperloop stuff for a while. We built a Hyperloop test track adjacent to SpaceX, just for a student competition, to encourage innovative ideas in transport. And it actually ends up being the biggest vacuum chamber in the world after the Large Hadron Collider, by volume.

So it was quite fun to do that, but it was kind of a hobby thing, and then we think we might — so we’ve built a little pusher car to push the student pods, but we’re going to try seeing how fast we can make the pusher go if it’s not pushing something. So we’re cautiously optimistic we’ll be able to be faster than the world’s fastest bullet train even in a .8-mile stretch. It’s either going to smash into tiny pieces or go quite fast.

8:20 CA: But you can picture, then, a Hyperloop in a tunnel running quite long distances.

8:26 EM: Exactly. And looking at tunneling technology, it turns out that in order to make a tunnel, you have to — In order to seal against the water table, you’ve got to typically design a tunnel wall to be good to about five or six atmospheres. So to go to vacuum is only one atmosphere, or near-vacuum. So actually, it sort of turns out that automatically, if you build a tunnel that is good enough to resist the water table, it is automatically capable of holding vacuum.

CA: And so you could actually picture, what kind of length tunnel is in Elon’s future to running Hyperloop?

9:12 EM: I think there’s no real length limit. You could dig as much as you want. I think if you were to do something like a DC-to-New York Hyperloop, I think you’d probably want to go underground the entire way because it’s a high-density area. You’re going under a lot of buildings and houses, and if you go deep enough, you cannot detect the tunnel.

Sometimes people think, well, it’s going to be pretty annoying to have a tunnel dug under my house. Like, if that tunnel is dug more than about three or four tunnel diameters beneath your house, you will not be able to detect it being dug at all. In fact, if you’re able to detect the tunnel being dug, whatever device you are using, you can get a lot of money for that device from the Israeli military, who is trying to detect tunnels from Hamas, and from the US Customs and Border patrol that try and detect drug tunnels.

So the reality is that earth is incredibly good at absorbing vibrations, and once the tunnel depth is below a certain level, it is undetectable. Maybe if you have a very sensitive seismic instrument, you might be able to detect it.

10:28 CA: So you’ve started a new company to do this called The Boring Company. Very nice. Very funny.  How much of your time is this?

10:42 EM: It’s maybe … two or three percent.

10:48 CA: You’ve bought a hobby. This is what an Elon Musk hobby looks like.

EM: I mean, it really is, like — This is basically interns and people doing it part time. We bought some second-hand machinery. It’s kind of puttering along, but it’s making good progress, so —

11:11 CA: So an even bigger part of your time is being spent on electrifying cars and transport through Tesla. Is one of the motivations for the tunneling project the realization that actually, in a world where cars are electric and where they’re self-driving, there may end up being more cars on the roads on any given hour than there are now?

11:33 EM: Yeah, exactly. A lot of people think that when you make cars autonomous, they’ll be able to go faster and that will alleviate congestion. And to some degree that will be true, but once you have shared autonomy where it’s much cheaper to go by car and you can go point to point, the affordability of going in a car will be better than that of a bus. Like, it will cost less than a bus ticket. So the amount of driving that will occur will be much greater with shared autonomy, and actually traffic will get far worse.

12:11 CA: You started Tesla with the goal of persuading the world that electrification was the future of cars, and a few years ago, people were laughing at you. Now, not so much.

12:23 EM: OK. I don’t know. I don’t know.

12:29 CA: But isn’t it true that pretty much every auto manufacturer has announced serious electrification plans for the short- to medium-term future?

12:39 EM: Yeah. Yeah. I think almost every automaker has some electric vehicle program. They vary in seriousness. Some are very serious about transitioning entirely to electric, and some are just dabbling in it. And some, amazingly, are still pursuing fuel cells, but I think that won’t last much longer.

13:00 CA: But isn’t there a sense, though, Elon, where you can now just declare victory and say, you know, “We did it.” Let the world electrify, and you go on and focus on other stuff?

13:12 EM: Yeah. I intend to stay with Tesla as far into the future as I can imagine, and there are a lot of exciting things that we have coming. Obviously the Model 3 is coming soon. We’ll be unveiling the Tesla Semi truck.

13:31 CA: OK, we’re going to come to this. So Model 3, it’s supposed to be coming in July-ish.

13:38 EM: Yeah, it’s looking quite good for starting production in July.

13:42 CA: Wow. One of the things that people are so excited about is the fact that it’s got autopilot. And you put out this video a while back showing what that technology would look like.

13:57 EM: Yeah. There’s obviously autopilot in Model S right now. What are we seeing here? Yeah, so this is using only cameras and GPS. So there’s no LIDAR or radar being used here. This is just using passive optical, which is essentially what a person uses. The whole road system is meant to be navigated with passive optical, or cameras, and so once you solve cameras or vision, then autonomy is solved. If you don’t solve vision, it’s not solved. So that’s why our focus is so heavily on having a vision neural net that’s very effective for road conditions.

14:42 CA: Right. Many other people are going the LIDAR route. You want cameras plus radar is most of it.

14:47 EM: You can absolutely be superhuman with just cameras. Like, you can probably do it ten times better than humans would, just cameras.

14:55 CA: So the new cars being sold right now have eight cameras in them. They can’t yet do what that showed. When will they be able to?

15:07 EM: I think we’re still on track for being able to go cross-country from LA to New York by the end of the year, fully autonomous.

15:17 CA: OK, so by the end of the year, you’re saying, someone’s going to sit in a Tesla without touching the steering wheel, tap in “New York,” off it goes.

15:27 EM: Yeah.

15:28 CA: Won’t ever have to touch the wheel — by the end of 2017.

15:33 EM: Yeah. Essentially, November or December of this year, we should be able to go all the way from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York, no controls touched at any point during the entire journey.

CA: Amazing. But part of that is possible because you’ve already got a fleet of Teslas driving all these roads. You’re accumulating a huge amount of data of that national road system.

EM: Yes, but the thing that will be interesting is that I’m actually fairly confident it will be able to do that route even if you change the route dynamically. So, it’s fairly easy — If you say I’m going to be really good at one specific route, that’s one thing, but it should be able to go, really be very good, certainly once you enter a highway, to go anywhere on the highway system in a given country. So it’s not sort of limited to LA to New York. We could change it and make it Seattle-Florida, that day, in real time. So you were going from LA to New York. Now go from LA to Toronto.

CA: So leaving aside regulation for a second, in terms of the technology alone, the time when someone will be able to buy one of your cars and literally just take the hands off the wheel and go to sleep and wake up and find that they’ve arrived, how far away is that, to do that safely?

17:06 EM: I think that’s about two years. So the real trick of it is not how do you make it work say 99.9 percent of the time, because, like, if a car crashes one in a thousand times, then you’re probably still not going to be comfortable falling asleep. You shouldn’t be, certainly.

It’s never going to be perfect. No system is going to be perfect, but if you say it’s perhaps — the car is unlikely to crash in a hundred lifetimes, or a thousand lifetimes, then people are like, OK, wow, if I were to live a thousand lives, I would still most likely never experience a crash, then that’s probably OK.

17:53 CA: To sleep. I guess the big concern of yours is that people may actually get seduced too early to think that this is safe, and that you’ll have some horrible incident happen that puts things back.

18:04 EM: Well, I think that the autonomy system is likely to at least mitigate the crash, except in rare circumstances. The thing to appreciate about vehicle safety is this is probabilistic. I mean, there’s some chance that any time a human driver gets in a car, that they will have an accident that is their fault. It’s never zero. So really the key threshold for autonomy is how much better does autonomy need to be than a person before you can rely on it?

18:38 CA: But once you get literally safe hands-off driving, the power to disrupt the whole industry seems massive, because at that point you’ve spoken of people being able to buy a car, drops you off at work, and then you let it go and provide a sort of Uber-like service to other people, earn you money, maybe even cover the cost of your lease of that car, so you can kind of get a car for free. Is that really likely?

19:02 EM: Yeah. Absolutely this is what will happen. So there will be a shared autonomy fleet where you buy your car and you can choose to use that car exclusively, you could choose to have it be used only by friends and family, only by other drivers who are rated five star, you can choose to share it sometimes but not other times. That’s 100 percent what will occur. It’s just a question of when.

19:32 CA: So you mentioned the Semi and I think you’re planning to announce this in September, but I’m curious whether there’s anything you could show us today?

19:42 EM: I will show you a teaser shot of the truck. That’s definitely a case where we want to be cautious about the autonomy features. Yeah.

CA: We can’t see that much of it, but it doesn’t look like just a little friendly neighborhood truck. It looks kind of badass. What sort of semi is this?

EM: this is a heavy duty, long-range semitruck. So it’s the highest weight capability and with long range. So essentially it’s meant to alleviate the heavy-duty trucking loads. And this is something which people do not today think is possible. They think the truck doesn’t have enough power or it doesn’t have enough range, and then with the Tesla Semi we want to show that no, an electric truck actually can out-torque any diesel semi. And if you had a tug-of-war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill.

CA: That’s pretty cool. And short term, these aren’t driverless. These are going to be trucks that truck drivers want to drive.

 EM: Yes. So what will be really fun about this is you have a flat torque RPM curve with an electric motor, whereas with a diesel motor or any kind of internal combustion engine car, you’ve got a torque RPM curve that looks like a hill. So this will be a very spry truck. You can drive this around like a sports car. There’s no gears. It’s, like, single speed.

CA: There’s a great movie to be made here somewhere. I don’t know what it is and I don’t know that it ends well, but it’s a great movie.

EM: It’s quite bizarre test-driving. When I was driving the test prototype for the first truck. It’s really weird, because you’re driving around and you’re just so nimble, and you’re in this giant truck.

21:52 CA: Wait, you’ve already driven a prototype?

21:56 EM: Yeah, I drove it around the parking lot, and I was like, this is crazy.

21:59 CA: Wow. This is no vaporware.

22:02 EM: It’s just like, driving this giant truck and making these mad maneuvers.

22:06 CA: This is cool. OK, from a really badass picture to a kind of less badass picture. This is just a cute house from “Desperate Housewives” or something. What on earth is going on here?

22:17 EM: Well, this illustrates the picture of the future that I think is how things will evolve. You’ve got an electric car in the driveway. If you look in between the electric car and the house, there are actually three Powerwalls stacked up against the side of the house, and then that house roof is a solar roof. So that’s an actual solar glass roof.

EM: That’s a picture of a real — well, admittedly, it’s a real fake house. That’s a real fake house.

CA: So these roof tiles, some of them have in them basically solar power, the ability to —

22:56 EM: Yeah. Solar glass tiles where you can adjust the texture and the color to a very fine-grained level, and then there’s sort of microlouvers in the glass, such that when you’re looking at the roof from street level or close to street level, all the tiles look the same whether there is a solar cell behind it or not. So you have an even color from the ground level. If you were to look at it from a helicopter, you would be actually able to look through and see that some of the glass tiles have a solar cell behind them and some do not. You can’t tell from street level.

23:42 CA: You put them in the ones that are likely to see a lot of sun, and that makes these roofs super affordable, right? They’re not that much more expensive than just tiling the roof.

23:50 EM: Yeah. We’re very confident that the cost of the roof plus the cost of electricity — A solar glass roof will be less than the cost of a normal roof plus the cost of electricity. So in other words, this will be economically a no-brainer, we think it will look great, and it will last — We thought about having the warranty be infinity, but then people thought, well, that might sound like were just talking rubbish, but actually this is toughened glass. Well after the house has collapsed and there’s nothing there, the glass tiles will still be there.

CA: I mean, this is cool. So you’re rolling this out in a couple week’s time, I think, with four different roofing types.

24:44 EM: Yeah, we’re starting off with two, two initially, and the second two will be introduced early next year.

24:50 CA: And what’s the scale of ambition here? How many houses do you believe could end up having this type of roofing?

24:58 EM: I think eventually almost all houses will have a solar roof. The thing is to consider the time scale here to be probably on the order of 40 or 50 years. So on average, a roof is replaced every 20 to 25 years. But you don’t start replacing all roofs immediately. But eventually, if you say were to fast-forward to say 15 years from now, it will be unusual to have a roof that does not have solar.

25:36 CA: Is there a mental model thing that people don’t get here that because of the shift in the cost, the economics of solar power, most houses actually have enough sunlight on their roof pretty much to power all of their needs. If you could capture the power, it could pretty much power all their needs. You could go off-grid, kind of.

25:55 EM: It depends on where you are and what the house size is relative to the roof area, but it’s a fair statement to say that most houses in the US have enough roof area to power all the needs of the house.

26:10 CA: So the key to the economics of the cars, the Semi, of these houses is the falling price of lithium-ion batteries, which you’ve made a huge bet on as Tesla. In many ways, that’s almost the core competency. And you’ve decided that to really, like, own that competency, you just have to build the world’s largest manufacturing plant to double the world’s supply of lithium-ion batteries, with this guy. What is this?

26:43 EM: Yeah, so that’s the Gigafactory, progress so far on the Gigafactory. Eventually, you can sort of roughly see that there’s sort of a diamond shape overall, and when it’s fully done, it’ll look like a giant diamond, or that’s the idea behind it, and it’s aligned on true north. It’s a small detail.

27:04 CA: And capable of producing, eventually, like a hundred gigawatt hours of batteries a year.

27:11 EM: A hundred gigawatt hours. We think probably more, but yeah.

27:14 CA: And they’re actually being produced right now.

27:17 EM: They’re in production already.

CA: You guys put out this video. I mean, is that speeded up?

27:21 EM: That’s the slowed down version.

 CA: How fast does it actually go?

27:27 EM: Well, when it’s running at full speed, you can’t actually see the cells without a strobe light. It’s just blur.

CA: One of your core ideas, Elon, about what makes an exciting future is a future where we no longer feel guilty about energy. Help us picture this. How many Gigafactories, if you like, does it take to get us there?

27:52 EM: It’s about a hundred, roughly. It’s not 10, it’s not a thousand. Most likely a hundred.

27:59 CA: See, I find this amazing. You can picture what it would take to move the world off this vast fossil fuel thing. It’s like you’re building one, it costs five billion dollars, or whatever, five to 10 billion dollars. Like, it’s kind of cool that you can picture that project. And you’re planning to do, at Tesla — announce another two this year.

28:24 EM: I think we’ll announce locations for somewhere between two and four Gigafactories later this year. Yeah, probably four.  We need to address a global market.

CA: This is cool. I think we should talk for — Actually, double mark it. I’m going to ask you one question about politics, only one. I’m kind of sick of politics, but I do want to ask you this. You’re on a body now giving advice to a guy —

29:18 EM: Who?

29:20 CA: Who has said he doesn’t really believe in climate change, and there’s a lot of people out there who think you shouldn’t be doing that. They’d like you to walk away from that. What would you say to them?

29:31 EM: Well, I think that first of all, I’m just on two advisory councils where the format consists of going around the room and asking people’s opinion on things, and so there’s like a meeting every month or two. That’s the sum total of my contribution. But I think to the degree that there are people in the room who are arguing in favor of doing something about climate change, or social issues, I’ve used the meetings I’ve had thus far to argue in favor of immigration and in favor of climate change.

And if I hadn’t done that, that wasn’t on the agenda before. So maybe nothing will happen, but at least the words were said.

CA: So let’s talk SpaceX and Mars. Last time you were here, you spoke about what seemed like a kind of incredibly ambitious dream to develop rockets that were actually reusable. And you’ve only gone and done it.

30:46 EM: Finally. It took a long time.

30:47 CA: Talk us through this. What are we looking at here?

30:50 EM: So this is one of our rocket boosters coming back from very high and fast in space. So just delivered the upper stage at high velocity. I think this might have been at sort of Mach 7 or so, delivery of the upper stage.

CA: I thought that was the sped-up version. But I mean, that’s amazing, and several of these failed before you finally figured out how to do it, but now you’ve done this, what, five or six times?

31:28 EM: We’re at eight or nine.

31:31 CA: And for the first time, you’ve actually reflown one of the rockets that landed.

31:35 EM: Yeah, so we landed the rocket booster and then prepped it for flight again and flew it again, so it’s the first reflight of an orbital booster where that reflight is relevant. So it’s important to appreciate that reusability is only relevant if it is rapid and complete. So like an aircraft or a car, the reusability is rapid and complete. You do not send your aircraft to Boeing in-between flights.

32:07 CA: Right. So this is allowing you to dream of this really ambitious idea of sending many people to Mars in, what, 10 or 20 years time, I guess.

32:17 EM: Yeah.

32:19 CA: And you’ve designed this outrageous rocket to do it. Help us understand the scale of this thing.

32:24 EM: Well, visually you can see that’s a person. Yeah, and that’s the vehicle.

CA: So if that was a skyscraper, that’s like, did I read that, a 40-story skyscraper?

32:40 EM: Probably a little more, yeah. The thrust level of this is really — This configuration is about four times the thrust of the Saturn V moon rocket.

32:55 CA: Four times the thrust of the biggest rocket humanity ever created before.

33:00 EM: Yeah. Yeah. In units of 747, a 747 is only about a quarter of a million pounds of thrust, so for every 10 million pounds of thrust, there’s 40 747s. So this would be the thrust equivalent of 120 747s, with all engines blazing.

33:25 CA: And so even with a machine designed to escape Earth’s gravity, I think you told me last time this thing could actually take a fully loaded 747, people, cargo, everything, into orbit.

33:37 EM: Exactly. This can take a fully loaded 747 with maximum fuel, maximum passengers, maximum cargo on the 747 — this can take it as cargo.

33:51 CA: So based on this, you presented recently this Interplanetary Transport System which is visualized this way. This is a scene you picture in, what, 30 years time? 20 years time? People walking into this rocket.

34:08 EM: I’m hopeful it’s sort of an eight- to 10-year time frame. Aspirationally, that’s our target. Our internal targets are more aggressive. While vehicle seems quite large and is large by comparison with other rockets, I think the future spacecraft will make this look like a rowboat. The future spaceships will be truly enormous.

34:42 CA: Why, Elon? Why do we need to build a city on Mars with a million people on it in your lifetime, which I think is kind of what you’ve said you’d love to do?

34:55 EM: I think it’s important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. I just think there have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Like, why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? And if we’re not out there, if the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multiplanet species, I find that it’s incredibly depressing if that’s not the future that we’re going to have.

 CA: People want to position this as an either or, that there are so many desperate things happening on the planet now from climate to poverty to, you know, you pick your issue. And this feels like a distraction. You shouldn’t be thinking about this. You should be solving what’s here and now. And to be fair, you’ve done a fair old bit to actually do that with your work on sustainable energy. But why not just do that?

35:58 EM: I think there’s — I look at the future from the standpoint of probabilities. It’s like a branching stream of probabilities, and there are actions that we can take that affect those probabilities or that accelerate one thing or slow down another thing. I may introduce something new to the probability stream. Sustainable energy will happen no matter what.

If there was no Tesla, if Tesla never existed, it would have to happen out of necessity. It’s tautological. If you don’t have sustainable energy, it means you have unsustainable energy. Eventually you will run out, and the laws of economics will drive civilization towards sustainable energy, inevitably. The fundamental value of a company like Tesla is the degree to which it accelerates the advent of sustainable energy, faster than it would otherwise occur.

So when I think what is the fundamental good of a company like Tesla, I would say, hopefully, if it accelerated that by a decade, potentially more than a decade, that would be quite a good thing to occur. That’s what I consider to be the fundamental aspirational good of Tesla.

Then there’s becoming a multiplanet species and space-faring civilization. This is not inevitable.

It’s very important to appreciate this is not inevitable. The sustainable energy future I think is largely inevitable, but being a space-faring civilization is definitely not inevitable. If you look at the progress in space, in 1969 you were able to send somebody to the moon. 1969. Then we had the Space Shuttle. The Space Shuttle could only take people to low Earth orbit. Then the Space Shuttle retired, and the United States could take no one to orbit. So that’s the trend.

The trend is like down to nothing. People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does Not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very hard to make it better, and actually it will, I think, by itself degrade, actually. You look at great civilizations like Ancient Egypt, and they were able to make the pyramids, and they forgot how to do that. And then the Romans, they built these incredible aqueducts. They forgot how to do it.

38:39 CA: Elon, it almost seems, listening to you and looking at the different things you’ve done, that you’ve got this unique double motivation on everything that I find so interesting.

One is this desire to work for humanity’s long-term good. The other is the desire to do something exciting.

And often it feels like you feel like you need the one to drive the other. With Tesla, you want to have sustainable energy, so you made these super sexy, exciting cars to do it. Solar energy, we need to get there, so we need to make these beautiful roofs. We haven’t even spoken about your newest thing, which we don’t have time to do, but you want to save humanity from bad AI, and so you’re going to create this really cool brain-machine interface to give us all infinite memory and telepathy and so forth. And on Mars, it feels like what you’re saying is, yeah, we need to save humanity and have a backup plan, but also we need to inspire humanity, and this is a way to inspire.

39:44 EM: I think the value of beauty and inspiration is very much underrated, no question. But I want to be clear. I’m not trying to be anyone’s savior. That is not the — I’m just trying to think about the future and Not be sad.

 CA: Beautiful statement. I think everyone here would agree that it is not — None of this is going to happen inevitably. The fact that in your mind, you dream this stuff, you dream stuff that no one else would dare dream, or no one else would be capable of dreaming at the level of complexity that you do. The fact that you do that, Elon Musk, is a really remarkable thing. Thank you for helping us all to dream a bit bigger.

40:33 EM: But you’ll tell me if it ever starts getting genuinely insane, right? 

Patsy Z shared this link

“I think it’s important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. I just think there have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Like, why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? And if we’re not out there, if the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multiplanet species, I find that it’s incredibly depressing if that’s not the future that we’re going to have.” – Elon Musk

#TED #TEDTalks #TEDx #SKE #TEDxSKE #Salon #TEDxSKESalon #Space #Solar #Sustainability #TechSolutions #Tech

The boring future we’re building? Elon Musk
Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars in conversation with TED’s Head Curator, Chris Anderson.
ted.com

Next generations of kids on Mars. Here’s how they’ll survive

Note: This talk was supposed to explain how kids will survive on Mars, but it didn’t.

It sounds like science fiction, but journalist Stephen Petranek considers it fact: within 20 years, humans will live on Mars.

In this provocative talk, Petranek makes the case that humans will become a spacefaring species and describes in fascinating detail how we’ll make Mars our next home. “Humans will survive no matter what happens on Earth,” Petranek says. “We will never be the last of our kind.”

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
By Stephen Petranek. Technology forecaster
Stephen Petranek untangles emerging technologies to predict which will become fixtures of our future lives — and which could potentially save them. Full bio

Strap yourselves in, we’re going to Mars.

00:16 Not just a few astronauts — thousands of people are going to colonize Mars. And I am telling you that they’re going to do this soon. Some of you will end up working on projects on Mars, and I guarantee that some of your children will end up living there.

 That probably sounds preposterous, so I’m going to share with you how and when that will happen. But first I want to discuss the obvious question: Why the heck should we do this?

12 years ago, I gave a TED talk on 10 ways the world could end suddenly.

We are incredibly vulnerable to the whims of our own galaxy. A single, large asteroid could take us out forever. To survive we have to reach beyond the home planet.

Think what a tragedy it would be if all that humans have accomplished were suddenly obliterated. (It will be, no matter where is your next destination)

And there’s another reason we should go: exploration is in our DNA. (No kidding)

Two million years ago humans evolved in Africa and then slowly but surely spread out across the entire planet by reaching into the wilderness that was beyond their horizons.

This stuff is inside us. And they prospered doing that. Some of the greatest advances in civilization and technology came because we explored.

Yes, we could do a lot of good with the money it will take to establish a thriving colony on Mars.

And yes we should all be taking far better care of our own home planet.

And yes, I worry we could screw up Mars the way we’ve screwed up Earth. (No doubt about that Mr. DNA explorer)

01:53 But think for a moment, what we had when John F. Kennedy told us we would put a human on the moon. He excited an entire generation to dream.

Think how inspired we will be to see a landing on Mars. Perhaps then we will look back at Earth and see that is one people instead of many and perhaps then we will look back at Earth, as we struggle to survive on Mars, and realize how precious the home planet is.

 So let me tell you about the extraordinary adventure we’re about to undertake. (Mr. Jules Verne)

But first, a few fascinating facts about where we’re going. This picture actually represents the true size of Mars compared to Earth. Mars is not our sister planet. It’s far less than half the size of the Earth, and yet despite the fact that it’s smaller, the surface area of Mars that you can stand on is equivalent to the surface area of the Earth that you can stand on, because the Earth is mostly covered by water.

 The atmosphere on Mars is really thin — 100 times thinner than on Earth — and it’s not breathable, it’s 96 percent carbon dioxide.  (We destroyed even our much thicker atmosphere)

 It’s really cold there. The average temperature is minus 81 degrees, although there is quite a range of temperature.

A day on Mars is about as long as a day on Earth, plus about 39 minutes. Seasons and years on Mars are twice as long as they are on Earth.

And for anybody who wants to strap on some wings and go flying one day, Mars has a lot less gravity than on Earth, and it’s the kind of place where you can jump over your car instead of walk around it. (I just reserved a ticket, just to jump over my car)

 Mars isn’t exactly Earth-like, but it’s by far the most livable other place in our entire solar system.

 Here’s the problem. (Here we go)

Mars is a long way away, a thousand times farther away from us than our own moon. The Moon is 250,000 miles away and it took Apollo astronauts three days to get there.

Mars is 250 million miles away and it will take us eight months to get there 240 days. And that’s only if we launch on a very specific day, at a very specific time, once every two years, when Mars and the Earth are aligned just so, so the distance that the rocket would have to travel will be the shortest. 240 days is a long time to spend trapped with your colleagues in a tin can.

 And meanwhile, our track record of getting to Mars is lousy. We and the Russians, the Europeans, the Japanese, the Chinese and the Indians, have actually sent 44 rockets there, and the vast majority of them have either missed or crashed. Only about a third of the missions to Mars have been successful. (My spacecraft is insured)

And we don’t at the moment have a rocket big enough to get there anyway. We once had that rocket, the Saturn V.

A couple of Saturn Vs would have gotten us there. It was the most magnificent machine ever built by humans, and it was the rocket that took us to the Moon. But the last Saturn V was used in 1973 to launch the Skylab space station, and we decided to do something called the shuttle instead of continuing on to Mars after we landed on the Moon.

The biggest rocket we have now is only half big enough to get us anything to Mars.

So getting to Mars is not going to be easy and that brings up a really interesting question … how soon will the first humans actually land here?

05:36 Now, some pundits think if we got there by 2050, that’d be a pretty good achievement.

These days, NASA seems to be saying that it can get humans to Mars by 2040. Maybe they can. I believe that they can get human beings into Mars orbit by 2035.

But frankly, I don’t think they’re going to bother in 2035 to send a rocket to Mars, because we will already be there.

We’re going to land on Mars in 2027. (The prediction of a journalist enamoured with Elon Musk)

And the reason is this man is determined to make that happen. His name is Elon Musk, he’s the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

Now, he actually told me that we would land on Mars by 2025, but Elon Musk is more optimistic than I am — and that’s going a ways — so I’m giving him a couple of years of slack.

 Let’s put a decade with Elon Musk into a little perspective. Where was this 10 years ago? That’s the Tesla electric automobile. In 2005, a lot of people in the automobile industry were saying, we would not have a decent electric car for 50 years.

And where was that? That is SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, lifting six tons of supplies to the International Space Station.

10 years ago, SpaceX had not launched anything, or fired a rocket to anywhere. So I think it’s a pretty good bet that the person who is revolutionizing the automobile industry in less than 10 years and the person who created an entire rocket company in less than 10 years will get us to Mars by 2027.

Now, you need to know this: governments and robots no longer control this game. Private companies are leaping into space and they will be happy to take you to Mars.

And that raises a really big question. Can we actually live there?

NASA may not be able to get us there until 2040, or we may get there a long time before NASA, but NASA has taken a huge responsibility in figuring out how we can live on Mars.

 Let’s look at the problem this way. Here’s what you need to live on Earth: food, water, shelter and clothing. And here’s what you need to live on Mars: all of the above, plus oxygen.

So let’s look at the most important thing on this list first.

Water is the basis of all life as we know it, and it’s far too heavy for us to carry water from the Earth to Mars to live, so we have to find water if our life is going to succeed on Mars.

And if you look at Mars, it looks really dry, it looks like the entire planet is a desert. But it turns out that it’s not. The soil alone on Mars contains up to 60 percent water.

And a number of orbiters that we still have flying around Mars have shown us — and by the way, that’s a real photograph — that lots of craters on Mars have a sheet of water ice in them. It’s not a bad place to start a colony.

Now, here’s a view of a little dig the Phoenix Lander did in 2008, showing that just below the surface of the soil is ice — that white stuff is ice. In the second picture, which is four days later than the first picture, you can see that some of it is evaporating.

09:19 Orbiters also tell us that there are huge amounts of underground water on Mars as well as glaciers. In fact, if only the water ice at the poles on Mars melted, most of the planet would be under 30 feet of water.  (Not to worry, we will have the poles on Mars melt in no time)

So there’s plenty of water there, but most of it’s ice, most of it’s underground, it takes a lot of energy to get it and a lot of human labor.

This is a device cooked up at the University of Washington back in 1998. It’s basically a low-tech dehumidifier. And it turns out the Mars atmosphere is often 100 percent humid. So this device can extract all the water that humans will need simply from the atmosphere on Mars. (Why wait to land on Mars to use these devices? Billions of people are drinking totally polluted water)

Next we have to worry about what we will breathe. Frankly, I was really shocked to find out that NASA has this problem worked out. This is a scientist at MIT named Michael Hecht.

And he’s developed this machine, Moxie. I love this thing. It’s a reverse fuel cell, essentially, that sucks in the Martian atmosphere and pumps out oxygen. And you have to remember that CO2 — carbon dioxide, which is 96 percent of Mars’ atmosphere — CO2 is basically 78 percent oxygen.

 the next big rover that NASA sends to Mars in 2020 is going to have one of these devices aboard, and it will be able to produce enough oxygen to keep one person alive indefinitely.

But the secret to this — and that’s just for testing — the secret to this is that this thing was designed from the get-go to be scalable by a factor of 100. (What that mean again?)

Next, what will we eat? Well, we’ll use hydroponics to grow food, but we’re not going to be able to grow more than 15 to 20 percent of our food there, at least not until water is running on the surface of Mars and we actually have the probability and the capability of planting crops. In the meantime, most of our food will arrive from Earth, and it will be dried. (So only trained soldiers will be dispatched first?)

And then we need some shelter. At first we can use inflatable, pressurized buildings as well as the landers themselves. But this really only works during the daytime. There is too much solar radiation and too much radiation from cosmic rays. So we really have to go underground.

 it turns out that the soil on Mars, by and large, is perfect for making bricks. And NASA has figured this one out, too. They’re going to throw some polymer plastic into the bricks, shove them in a microwave oven, and then you will be able to build buildings with really thick walls. Or we may choose to live underground in caves or in lava tubes, of which there are plenty.

 And finally there’s clothing. On Earth we have miles of atmosphere piled up on us, which creates 15 pounds of pressure on our bodies at all times, and we’re constantly pushing out against that. On Mars there’s hardly any atmospheric pressure. So Dava Newman, a scientist at MIT, has created this sleek space suit. It will keep us together, block radiation and keep us warm. (No fashion industry on Mars?)

 So let’s think about this for a minute. Food, shelter, clothing, water, oxygen … we can do this. We really can. But it’s still a little complicated and a little difficult.

that leads to the next big — really big step — in living the good life on Mars. And that’s terraforming the planet: making it more like Earth, reengineering an entire planet.

12:59 That sounds like a lot of hubris, but the truth is that the technology to do everything I’m about to tell you already exists.

First we’ve got to warm it up. Mars is incredibly cold because it has a very thin atmosphere. The answer lies here, at the south pole and at the north pole of Mars, both of which are covered with an incredible amount of frozen carbon dioxide — dry ice. If we heat it up, it sublimes directly into the atmosphere and thickens the atmosphere the same way it does on Earth. (Fooling around again)

13:31 And as we know, CO2 is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas. Now, my favorite way of doing this is to erect a very, very large solar sail and focus it — it essentially serves as a mirror — and focus it on the south pole of Mars at first. As the planet spins, it will heat up all that dry ice, sublime it, and it will go into the atmosphere. It actually won’t take long for the temperature on Mars to start rising, probably less than 20 years. (Please, don’t let this journalist land on Mars)

on a perfect day at the equator, in the middle of summer on Mars, temperatures can actually reach 70 degrees, but then they go down to minus 100 at night.

What we’re shooting for is a runaway greenhouse effect: enough temperature rise to see a lot of that ice on Mars — especially the ice in the ground — melt. Then we get some real magic.

14:27 As the atmosphere gets thicker, everything gets better. We get more protection from radiation, more atmosphere makes us warmer, makes the planet warmer, so we get running water and that makes crops possible. Then more water vapor goes into the air, forming yet another potent greenhouse gas. It will rain and it will snow on Mars. And a thicker atmosphere will create enough pressure so that we can throw away those space suits. We only need about five pounds of pressure to survive. Eventually, Mars will be made to feel a lot like British Columbia.

15:05 We’ll still be left with the complicated problem of making the atmosphere breathable, and frankly that could take 1,000 years to accomplish. But humans are amazingly smart and incredibly adaptable.

15:16 There is no telling what our future technology will be able to accomplish and no telling what we can do with our own bodies. In biology right now, we are on the very verge of being able to control our own genetics, what the genes in our own bodies are doing, and certainly, eventually, our own evolution.

We could end up with a species of human being on Earth that is slightly different from the species of human beings on Mars.

15:49 But what would you do there? How would you live? It’s going to be the same as it is on Earth. Somebody’s going to start a restaurant, somebody’s going to build an iron foundry. Someone will make documentary movies of Mars and sell them on Earth. Some idiot will start a reality TV show. (Listen, people running hotels in the Congo barely step outside the air-conditioned confine of the hotel and for fear of diseases)

 There will be software companies, there will be hotels, there will be bars.

 This much is certain: it will be the most disruptive event in our lifetimes, and I think it will be the most inspiring.

Ask any 10-year-old girl if she wants to go to Mars. Children who are now in elementary school are going to choose to live there.

16:35 Remember when we landed humans on the Moon? When that happened, people looked at each other and said, “If we can do this, we can do anything.” What are they going to think when we actually form a colony on Mars?

16:49 Most importantly, it will make us a spacefaring species. And that means humans will survive no matter what happens on Earth. We will never be the last of our kind.

Era of Abundant Information and Fleeting Expertise

And how could we deeply learn anything of value?

How to learn is changing, and it’s changing fast.

In the past, we used to learn by doing — we called them apprenticeships.

Then the model shifted, and we learned by going to school.

Now, it’s going back to the apprenticeship again, but this time, you are both the apprentice and the master.

This post is about how to learn during exponential times, when information is abundant and expertise is fleeting.

Passion, Utility, Research and Focus

First, choosing what you want to learn and becoming great at it is tough.

As I wrote in my last post, doing anything hard and doing it well takes grit. (It takes 10,000 hours of doing to become talented in anything you like)

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years to help choose what you want to learn:

  1. Start with your passions: Focus on something you love, or learn a new skill in service of your passion. If you want to learn how to code because it will land you a high-paying job, you’re not going to have the drive to spend countless, frustrating hours debugging your code. If you want to become a doctor because your parents want you to, you’re not going to make it through med school. Focus on the things YOU love and do it because it’s YOUR choice. (Money is second in rank. The first is the passion that no money can buy. Adonis49 quote)
  2. Make it useful: Time is the scarcest resource. While you can spend the time learning for the sake of learning, I think learning should be a means to an end. Without a target, you’ll miss every time. Figure out what you want to do, and then identify the skills you need to acquire to accomplish that goal. (And the end of learning?)
  3. Read, watch and analyze: Read everything. Read all the time . (The writing of just the experts in the field?) Start with the experts. Read the material they write or blog. Watch their videos, their interviews. Do you agree with them? Why?
  4. Talk to people: Once you’re done reading, actually talk to real human beings that are doing what you want to do. Do whatever you can to reach them. Ask for their advice. You’ll be shocked by what you can learn this way. (Connectivity part of the learning process?)
  5. Focus on your strengths: Again, time is precious. You can’t be a doctor, lawyer, coder, writer, rocket scientist, and rock star all at the same time… at least not right now. Focus on what you are good at and enjoy most and try to build on top of those skills. Many people, especially competitive people, tend to feel like they need to focus on improving the things they are worst at doing. This is a waste of time. Instead, focus on improving the things you are best at doing — you’ll find this to be a much more rewarding and lucrative path. (When it becomes an automatic reaction, there is no need to focus much?)

Learn by Doing

There is no better way to learn than by doing. (After you learned the basics?)

I’m a fan of the “apprentice” model. Study the people who have done it well and then go work for them.

If they can’t (or won’t) pay you, work for free until you are good enough that they’ll need to hire you. (For how long? Slaves get paid somehow)

Join a startup doing what you love — it’s much cheaper than paying an expensive tuition, and a hell of a lot more useful.

I don’t think school (or grad school) is necessarily the right answer anymore.

Here’s one reason why:

This week I visited the Hyperloop Technologies headquarters in Los Angeles (full disclosure: I am on the board of the company).

The interim CEO and CTO Brogan Bambrogan showed me around the office, and we stopped at one particularly impressive-looking, massive machine (details confidential).

As it turns out, the team of Hyperloop engineers who had designed, manufactured, tested, redesigned, remanufactured, and operated this piece of equipment did so in 11 weeks, for pennies on the dollar.

At MIT, Stanford or CalTech, building this machine would have been someone’s PhD thesis…

Except that the PhD candidate would have spent three years doing the same amount of work, and written a paper about it, rather than help to redesign the future of transportation.

Meanwhile, the Hyperloop engineers created this tech (and probably a half-dozen other devices) in a fraction of the time while creating value for a company that will one day be worth billions.

Full Immersion and First Principles

You have to be fully immersed if you want to really learn.

Connect the topic with everything you care about — teach your friends about it, only read things that are related to the topic, surround yourself with it.

Make learning the most important thing you can possibly do and connect to it in a visceral fashion.

As part of your full immersion, dive into the very basic underlying principles governing the skill you want to acquire.

This is an idea Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla, SpaceX) constantly refers to: “The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it’s like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths … and then reason up from there.”

You can’t skip the fundamentals — invest the time to learn the basics before you get to the advanced stuff.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

Experiment, fail, experiment, fail, and experiment. (The problem is that few disciplines teach you Experimental Designing Mind and fundamentals)

One of Google’s innovation principles and mantras is: “Never fail to fail.”

Don’t be afraid if you are really bad at the beginning: you learn most from your mistakes.

When Elon hires people, he asks them to describe a time they struggled with a hard problem. “When you struggle with a problem, that’s when you understand it,” he says, “Anyone who’s struggled hard with a problem never forgets it.”

(You struggle because you fail to listen to the new perspectives of other people to tackle the problem)

Digital Tools

We used to have to go to school to read textbooks and gain access to expert teachers and professors.

Nowadays, literally all of these resources are available online for free.

There are hundreds of free education sites like Khan Academy, Udemy, or Udacity.

There are thousands of MOOCs (massive online open courses) from the brightest experts from top universities on almost every topic imaginable.

Want to learn a language? Download an app like Duolingo (or even better, pack up your things and move to that country).

Want to learn how to code? Sign up for a course on CodeAcademy or MIT Open Courseware.

The resources are there and available — you just have to have the focus and drive to find them and use them.

Finally…The Next Big Shift in Learning

In the future, the next big shift in learning will happen as we adopt virtual worlds and augmented reality.

It will be the next best thing to “doing” — we’ll be able to simulate reality and experiment (perhaps beyond what we can experiment with now) in virtual and augmented environments.

Add that to the fact that we’ll have an artificial intelligence tutor by our side, showing us the ropes and automatically customizing our learning experience.

Patsy Z shared this link via Singularity Hub

As usual, the best advise on “Learning” from the man himself Peter H. Diamandis.

Learning in an Era of Abundant Information and Fleeting Expertise?
How to learn is changing, and it’s changing fast. In the past, we used to learn by doing — we called them apprenticeships.
Then the model shifted, and we…
singularityhub.com

Elon Musk wants to put a million people on Mars

Labor force to harvest the minerals on Mars: What could be the salary?

If a human colony of just five or six people on Mars still sounds like a distant future dream, just wait till you hear about billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Mars colony plan.

Musk is thinking much bigger, like closer to one million people bigger.

Sending a handful of people to Mars every few years will never make a thriving colony.

If we want anything close to the industry and infrastructure that’s on Earth, we’re going to need a huge labor force, Musk said in an interview with Ross Anderson for Aeon Magazine:

Even at a million, you’re really assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth.

There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.

A million people sounds crazy right? Just wait, it gets better.

Even assuming you could carry 100 people at a time (and that’s assuming a lot since most of the manned spacecraft currently under development are designed to seat about six people), you’d need to find the money for 10,000 launches.

All those people will need a lot of supplies too, Musk said. He estimates about 10 cargo trips for every human trip. So that’s 100,000 supply launches.

Here’s the real kicker though: Musk says all this could happen within a century.

Rumor has it that Musk already has a design for a giant spaceship carrier that could seat 100 people. It’s part of what’s called the Mars Colonial Transporter plan — a fleet of spaceships and rockets designed for Mars travel.

Musk has said he hopes to reveal some of these plans by the end of the year.

Even if Musk can produce these giant ships, the cost of 100,000 launches will be astronomical — if we are doing it in the traditional way. Musk has a plan for that too — he’s not the traditional type.

His company SpaceX is working on developing 100% reusable rockets, and after only a few test landings he’s getting incredibly close to success:rocket landing 

Flickr/SpaceX PhotosFirst stage Falcon 9 attempting to land on ocean barge.

“Rockets are the only form of transportation on Earth where the vehicle is built anew for each journey,” Musk said. “What if you had to build a new plane for every flight?”

Reusable rockets would drive the cost down to just tens of thousands of dollars per pound of weight, Musk has estimated. That’s about two orders of magnitude cheaper than the current cost. It would make it possible to launch people and supplies much faster.

Instead of one launch every few months, reusable rockets mean we could be launching multiple times in a day.

Making all this happen within a century is… optimistic, to say the least.

But dreaming big has made Musk a billionaire and one of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the world.

If someone can pull it off, it’s probably him.

 

 

Caution: Artificial Intelligence is a Frankenstein

In the late 1980’s, Artificial Intelligence programs relied on practicing experts in practical fields in order to extract the “How to, and how to go about when a problem hits the system” using a series of questions: “What if“. These programs were designed to foresee going many experts into retirement  and the need to train new comers with the least cost and hire the minimum numbers of new employees.

Artificial Intelligence has progress and branched into many fields and this time around it is the professionals in labs who are designing the sophisticated software.

An open letter calling for caution to ensure intelligent machines do not run beyond our control has been signed by a large and growing number of people, including some of the leading figures in artificial intelligence.

“There is now a broad consensus that (AI) research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society is likely to increase,” the letter said.

“The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civilization has to offer is a product of ; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of disease and poverty are not unfathomable,” it added.

“Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls.”

How to handle the prospect of automatic weapons that might kill indiscriminately, the liabilities of automatically driven cars and the prospect of losing control of AI systems so that they no longer align with human wishes, were among the concerns raised in the letter that signees said deserve further research

Scientists urge artificial intelligence safety focus

Jan 12, 2015

Roboy, a humanoid robot developed at the University of Zurich,at the 2014 CeBIT technology trade fair on March 9, 2014 in Hanove
Roboy, a humanoid robot developed at the University of Zurich,at the 2014 CeBIT technology trade fair on March 9, 2014 in Hanover, Germany

Scientists and Engineers Warn Of The Dangers Of Artificial Intelligence

January 13, 2015 | by Stephen Luntz

Fears of our creations turning on us stretch back at least as far as Frankenstein, and films such as The Terminator gave us a whole new language to discuss what would happen when robots stopped taking orders.

However, as computers beat (most of) us at Jeopardy and self-driving cars appear on our roads, we may be getting closer to the point where we will have to tackle these issues.

In December, Stephen Hawking kicked off a renewed debate on the topic.

As someone whose capacity to communicate depends on advanced computer technology, Hawking can hardly be dismissed as a Luddite, and his thoughts tend to attract attention.

The letter was initiated by the Future of Life Institute, a volunteer organization that describes itself as “working to mitigate existential risks facing humanity.” The letter notes:

“As capabilities in these areas and others cross the threshold from laboratory research to economically valuable technologies, a virtuous cycle takes hold whereby even small improvements in performance are worth large sums of money, prompting greater investments in research.

There is now a broad consensus that AI research is progressing steadily, and that its impact on society is likely to increase. The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of disease and poverty are not unfathomable.

Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls.”

The authors add that “our AI systems must do what we want them to do,” and have set out research priorities they believe will help “maximize the societal benefit of AI.”

Anyone can sign, and at the time of this writing well over a thousand people have done so. While many did not indicate an affiliation, names such as Elon Musk and Hawking himself are easily recognized.

Many of the other names on the list are leading researchers in IT or philosophy, including the IBM team behind the Watson supercomputer.

So much intellectual and financial heft may make their prospects good for conducting research in the areas proposed. Musk has said he invests in companies researching AI in order to keep an eye on them.

Musk worries that even if most researchers behave responsibly, in the absence of international regulation, a single rogue nation or corporation could produce self-replicating machines whose priorities might be very different to humanity’s, and once industries become established they become resistant to control.

Earth outer-space crowded with 17,000 space manned debris: And how Island of Man is contributing?

In 2012, earth outer spaces, constituted of the suborbital (less than 2,000 km high), the Global Positioning System satellites (20,000 km up), and the TV and fixed telecommunication satellites (36,000 km)…is crowded with over 17,000 artificial debris, and not counting the natural debris of asteroids….

To make the situation worse, China destroyed in 2007 one of its satellites by missile, to be emulated by the US in 2008.

Only 7% of the orbiting space vehicles are operational. The remaining rotating debris are waiting for private space companies to collect them and ship them back to the polluters.

About 1,800 launching rockets are left as debris in space.

Over 3,000 are fragments of rockets

Over 4,000 are space vehicles

And more than 8,000 are parts of over 10 cm in length

There is a dividing region between earth and the Moon called Lagrange L1 point where space vehicle are not submitted to any force of attraction, and where gravity is nil…In this point the vehicle need minimal energy to be maintained there, an ideal point for “stationing” space vehicles. This point is closer to the Moon, about 1/6 of the distance from earth to the Moon, corresponding to the respective proportion of the masses of earth to the Moon…

Since equilibrium is unstable in L1, there are no debris (artificial or natural): Debris either fall to earth or on the Moon.  Ken Murphy, president of The Moon Society, explains:

“As we reach the L1 point, space activities will dilate outward. The Moon will be a kid game to land on and to exploit…”

Naveen Jain, an ex-Microsoft billionaire, said:

“The Moon has 20 times more platinum and titanium than anywhere on earth. It has helium 3, a rare isotope estimated to be the future for energy. The Moon is going to be the 8th continent to earth…”

There are currently 23 missions to observing earth, and the projected numbers in 2020 will be reduced to about only 7 missions. Consequently, State funded missions are being phased out to be compensated by private space companies, companies heavily financed by State and Federal contracts, or public money…

For example, Space X of Elon Musk (PayPal founder) signed a contract for $1.6 bn in order to launch 12 missions for re-supplying the International Space Station of 450 kilo of materials and foodstuff, and bring back the wastes…

Space X has already successfully tested a first launch using Falcon 9 rocket (at a cost of $60 million compared to about $700 million by NASA for each launch). Most probably, this low-cost is a bait, waiting for the government to completely stop being a competitor in launching space vehicles and prices will skyrocket…

Orbital Sciences (Virginia) signed a similar contract with NASA

XCOR Aerospace of Richard Bronson is focused on the suborbital missions

Blue Origin is going for inhabited missions

Masten Space Systems and Armadillo Aerospace are planning for non-inhabited missions…

It is estimated that many wealthy people are ready to pay $200,000 to observe earth from the stratosphere. In the medium term, it is expected that the stratosphere, in a reduced gravity environment, will be used for quick transport from New York to Tokyo in just 2 hours.

And what of the Island of Man, situated between Ireland, Scotland and England? This Isle has 85,000 inhabitants and vying to be the preferred choice for launching commercial missions and inhabitant missions to the moon, at a cost of $20 million per client.

Of the 54 societies working on satellites, 30 have subsidiary on the island.

Christopher Stott, who worked for Lockheed Martin and Boeing, has decided to set his island into orbit, by reserving Space Parking Lots since the year 2000, in a private/public partnership ManSat. Stott has founded Excalibur Almaz for space tourism and acquiring second-hand Soviet station of the Salyut type.

Note: Inspired from an article in the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatic number 701 by Philippe Reviere


adonis49

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