Filtered by author: Brett Dawson

Complex issues
Posted: 18 April 2008

This MB touches on some complex issues that deserve to be unpacked in more detail. There are two issues here. 1 the world's food production capacity taking strain because of weather, unsustainable water management and pressure from growing populations. The closing remark sums up the essence of the message 'this is a war about food and water'. 2. The fuel vs food (FvF) debate (which is ...

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MindBullet logo FUEL VS FOOD: THE WAR SPREADS
Strikes and riots become bloody and lethal
Dateline: 12 November 2013
Fueled by continued growth and prosperity, the world's food shortage has been likened to a war for survival. Now officially in its second year, the 'war' has turned into a real conflict with big casualties on all sides. The huge demand for bio-fuels has turned corn-fields from producing foodstuff to producing the inputs to the ethanol process. The result: less corn and wheat for ...
It's just a jump to the right...
Posted: 23 May 2007

I agree that there is a looming issue around energy security and political complications. I like this MB because it highlights that the issue is deeper and more widespread than just the US and Iran/Iraq. You could easily write similar scenarios for Japan/Korea/China and the energy power balance that Venezuela holds in South America.

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MindBullet logo FRANCE CHAMPIONS INVASION OF UZBEKISTAN TO SECURE OIL
Sarkozy rejoins NATO to sideline Russia
Dateline: 2 January 2008
Nicolas Sarkozy, new president of the French Republic, has wasted no time in building bridges with the world's most powerful nation. When the most recent ultimatum with Uzbekistan passed with no signs of their acquiescing to the EU’s demand that they unblock gas supplies to Europe, France’s response was swift. "The time has passed when rogue nations can rely on the disagreements of ...
Transhumanism is inevitable
Posted: 27 March 2007 3 Comments

I have no doubt that transhumanism is the future evolutionary path of humans. I recall someone was running a institute for transhumanity in Hawaii but I can't seem to find the link. I did find a reference to a transhumanity scenario called "Blue Hawaii"
See http://digitalcrusader.ca/archives/2006/09/hawaii_2050_fou.html
and http://hawaii2050.org/images/uploads/futures_scenarios.pdf
...

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MindBullet logo 'DISABLED' RUNNER BEATS THREE WORLD RECORDS BUT NOT CRITICS
Uproar over "unfair advantage" and "immoral surgery"
Dateline: 12 May 2012
A disabled athlete has disrupted the annual Paralympics in London by setting new world records in the 100m, 200m and 400m distances - faster than any able-bodied athlete, laying down a challenge for athletes at the 2012 London Olympics in July. This year's events have been dominated by Li Lo, a relatively unknown Chinese athlete who first competed as an 'able-bodied' athlete and then, after ...
Water
Posted: 16 May 2007 1 Comment

There is a direct relationship between plant growth and water. To turn a desert around you'd also need water, so I'm wondering where this would come from or how it could be moved over a long distance inland? The concept of mist/fog harvesting nets could be applied to the fungus (see http://www.springerlink.com/content/w1w2004511816024/) but I am not sure this would help further inland. Maybe ...

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MindBullet logo VISIT THE SAHARA NOW - WHILE IT'S STILL THERE
Hydroscopic fungus turns deserts into bushland and forests
Dateline: 14 March 2017
The simple application of a fungal cocktail to arid soils in Southern Africa has enabled small shrubs and trees to take root where no plants have grown for over 50 years. The fungi live in a symbiotic relationship with plant roots and attract the necessary nutrients and moisture towards the roots. As the detritus from these scrubby plants decays and adds to the organic content of the ...
Oil & Water
Posted: 4 September 2006

It sounds a bit strange to compare water to oil, considering that they don't mix. I'm not sure whether the paradox is intentional so as to grab the readers attention? The first sentence implies the link is based on the value of oil, following the boom in prices. Oil used to be called "black gold", maybe the world has entered a new standard in value: the oil standard?

What's ...

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MindBullet logo BOOM IN WATER - THE NEW OIL
We can no longer rely on natural water sources says World Bank
Dateline: 11 August 2016
Since oil prices peaked with political uncertainty in 2006, the next big boom industry turned out to be water - and it’s now worth more than US$ 1 trillion. There seems to be no limit to the heights that water can reach. “Water is hot property and world demand is insatiable,” says Standard Chartered economist Gluckman Ho. Exploding urban populations are driving global water shortages and a ...
Look and Feel
Posted: 5 September 2006

I love the look-and-feel of this MB with content contribution from third parties "living" in the scenario in the form of quotes. It's a lot more personal than a traditional analysis.

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MindBullet logo 'SUPER-PASSPORTS' CAUSE PROTESTS AT JFK AND LAX
Passengers demonstrate against new travel elite
Dateline: 20 May 2007
"It's discrimination and it's un-American!" So says Elizabeth Negroponte of the American Association for Civil Liberties. Over the past two months a new travel elite has emerged. If a passenger chooses to volunteer and join the 'Super-Passport' queue at major airline departure points around the world, they are treated with the kind of respect normally accorded to visiting heads of state and ...
Virtual Data
Posted: 5 September 2006 1 Comment

I suspect the need to transport data will be replaced by a rush to build personal websites (for those who aren't already corporately empowered) with content managers, where information and work can be kept on a server for access from anywhere in the world. Your laptop hard-drive gets replaced by ftp servers.

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MindBullet logo 'SUPER-PASSPORTS' CAUSE PROTESTS AT JFK AND LAX
Passengers demonstrate against new travel elite
Dateline: 20 May 2007
"It's discrimination and it's un-American!" So says Elizabeth Negroponte of the American Association for Civil Liberties. Over the past two months a new travel elite has emerged. If a passenger chooses to volunteer and join the 'Super-Passport' queue at major airline departure points around the world, they are treated with the kind of respect normally accorded to visiting heads of state and ...
Commercial aviation in trouble
Posted: 5 September 2006

There is no doubt in my mind that some people are going to start thinking twice about travelling by air, especially with major improvements in wireless communication, VOIP, and virtual conferencing. As it is flying regularly is more of a bane than a pleasure. High speed trains are also staring to look attractive in places like Europe, Japan & China. The aviation industry is going to ...

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MindBullet logo 'SUPER-PASSPORTS' CAUSE PROTESTS AT JFK AND LAX
Passengers demonstrate against new travel elite
Dateline: 20 May 2007
"It's discrimination and it's un-American!" So says Elizabeth Negroponte of the American Association for Civil Liberties. Over the past two months a new travel elite has emerged. If a passenger chooses to volunteer and join the 'Super-Passport' queue at major airline departure points around the world, they are treated with the kind of respect normally accorded to visiting heads of state and ...
End of 'jumbos'?
Posted: 13 August 2006

I also wonder if this latest development won't open the way for a new airline targeting 1st class - smaller planes, that use smaller runways from different locations that don't go through public hot spots like Heathrow/Gatwick/JFK etc.

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MindBullet logo CARRY-ON BANS CREATE BOOM IN NEW TRAVEL AND HOTEL SERVICES
PC makers in a frenzy as the rules-of-the-game change
Dateline: 1 August 2007
In the aftermath of last year's chaotic holiday season at British airports, and the incident a few months later when a Blackberry was used to detonate a bottle of 'baby milk' aboard a US-bound airliner, IATA was forced to introduce a world-wide ban on carry-on items. The initial frustration at carry-on luggage restrictions has turned to guarded pleasure as business travelers have realized ...
Transgenic Slide in Ethics
Posted: 25 August 2006

This MB hits one of the classic dilemmas of genetic engineering right on the head. There are many potentially ethical issues and it is realisations like this that make the points most effectively. The closer to the bone, the harder it hits home. The challenge is to find a balance between the beneficial attributes of technology and the other side of the coin (unintended negative consequences ...

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MindBullet logo WE'RE ALL CANNIBALS NOW!
'Human' flesh back on the menu as 'long pig' re-classified as pork
Dateline: 15 October 2027
Queues at McDonalds are undiminished today. "It tastes good and it's not like they're real people," says seven-year-old Anita Jeffries. Fourteen years ago scientists at Genzyme unveiled a transgenic pig. Every organ of the pig can be used as substitutes for human organs in transplant operations. These pigs revolutionized surgery and dramatically extended lives, while reducing medical cost ...
Market Instruments
Posted: 7 August 2006

If we assume that different companies use different Nuclear technologies, and we assume that utility markets are deregulated (which won't happen in South Africa very soon thanks to the Electricity Regulation Act) then there is a possibility that consumers could vote with their socially responsible and environmentally conscious "dollars/euros" to support companies which produce very ...

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MindBullet logo THORIUM - THE NEW URANIUM
Indian breakthrough changes focus of nuclear frenzy
Dateline: 11 October 2009
Indian engineers seem to have set the cat amongst the pigeons of the nuclear energy industry. Yesterday, in a Mumbai press briefing hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the newly-formed INEF announced that a new breakthrough would make nuclear reactors fuelled by thorium a commercial reality within three years. India's growth in nuclear energy has always been constrained due to their ...
Extra Links
Posted: 7 August 2006

Thorium Power Inc
http://www.thoriumpower.com/

Thorium Fuels Safer Reactor Hopes
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,68045,00.html

"Bombs away: Startup aims to defuse nuclear warheads"
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/fsb_archive/2006/03/01/8370335/index.htm

"Conference Article: An overview of world thorium resources, incentives for further exploration and forecast for ...

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MindBullet logo THORIUM - THE NEW URANIUM
Indian breakthrough changes focus of nuclear frenzy
Dateline: 11 October 2009
Indian engineers seem to have set the cat amongst the pigeons of the nuclear energy industry. Yesterday, in a Mumbai press briefing hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the newly-formed INEF announced that a new breakthrough would make nuclear reactors fuelled by thorium a commercial reality within three years. India's growth in nuclear energy has always been constrained due to their ...
Nuclear Technology Competition
Posted: 7 August 2006

Seems like many countries are putting two and two together in the climate debate and looking at the energy demand vs. supply balance and are coming up with the nuclear conclusion. There are a huge number of different reactor designs out there; some haven't even got off the drawing board yet. We're into the third generation of reactor designs at the moment (incl. PBMR design). Just like the ...

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MindBullet logo THORIUM - THE NEW URANIUM
Indian breakthrough changes focus of nuclear frenzy
Dateline: 11 October 2009
Indian engineers seem to have set the cat amongst the pigeons of the nuclear energy industry. Yesterday, in a Mumbai press briefing hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the newly-formed INEF announced that a new breakthrough would make nuclear reactors fuelled by thorium a commercial reality within three years. India's growth in nuclear energy has always been constrained due to their ...
Lucrative Industry
Posted: 19 July 2006

The industry is under-performing but I am confident that technology developments and lots of "tech-billionaires" will want to fund what must be everyone's dream - to get out there! I think we're going to see a lot more activity in this area.

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MindBullet logo SPACE OUTPOST ALL BLOWN UP
Bigelow pips Branson as leading space tourism pioneer
Dateline: 16 July 2015
The final module of the Bigelow 'Last Outpost' space entertainment center was successfully inflated and attached today. This brings the space station to a stage of completion, and preparations can begin to make it habitable for tourists. Ten years in the making, this is the first commercial space destination for would-be astronauts. All previous trips to orbit have been to government owned ...
Political power and stability
Posted: 30 May 2006 2 Comments

Politicians effectively make the rules by drafting legislation & floating it in a peer review process, where it is either accepted or rejected (usually for re-work). One of the problems with gov is that it's difficult enough having to live with a four- to five-year election term (especially when long-term decisions need to be made). Inevitably these guys need to make tough decisions and ...

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MindBullet logo GOVERNMENT GETS REAL
Democrats propose to vote someone out of government each month
Dateline: 1 April 2008
The traditional run-up to the presidential election is being heavily influenced by the seventh season of American Idol. Yesterday's final garnered more than 100 million votes - almost twice the number of any presidential election. The Democrats have been quick to pounce on these lessons from reality television. "Big Brother showed us how to get real democratic participation and now we have ...
Sci-Fi vs reality
Posted: 13 June 2006

Like most new tech things coming out of labs the scale and potential of the application is not always as perfect as the theoretical potential purported by the researchers. They are fighting for research grants and have to do their own marketing. I expect there are "invisible attributes" which will have interesting commercial applications beyond the "magic cloak" image.

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MindBullet logo PRIVATE EYE ARRESTED FOR INVISIBLE SURVEILLANCE
Invisibility cloaks declared illegal in private hands
Dateline: 26 May 2011
Since the development of 'metamaterials' that can bend electromagnetic waves - such as light - around an object, the hottest item for geeks and pranksters has been the invisibility cloak, which hides the wearer in plain sight. But use of such devices to invade other people's privacy has always been taboo. Now efforts are being made to tighten up control of invisibility cloaks, making them as ...
GreenScan
Posted: 21 June 2006 3 Comments

I love the GreenScan idea. One of the philosophical and thus debatable issues that arises with any green initiative is "how green is green enough?" This GreenScan service could be the market feedback mechanism that informs business & policy makers what the consumers think. This offers a heuristic learning cycle that could inform the decision-makers whether Greenbucks will be a ...

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MindBullet logo GREENBUCKS FOR GREEN TECH
Sweden leads the race to go green as consumers shun 'dirty' products
Dateline: 8 June 2012
Carbon credits are dead - long live greenbucks! It finally dawned on eco-conscious consumers in the West that their old habit of outsourcing polluting production processes to the East was backfiring on their ideals. At the same time the EU dropped the unworkable carbon tax - carbon credit scheme in favor of direct support for green industries. The shift has caught some manufacturers by ...
A few concerns
Posted: 15 April 2007

My biggest problem with H2 is that it is only an energy carrier. You still need a primary energy source to generate H2 and this MB doesn't answer that question, which is probably the most important. The carbon footprint of the primary fuel is one key issue. There are energy losses with each conversion process and so even though fuel cells have high efficiencies (currently in the lab) it ...

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MindBullet logo WORLD POWERS JOIN CHINA'S ‘NO FOSSIL FUEL’ STRATEGY
Europe appears to be left on the fringe of a new green revolution
Dateline: 10 January 2009
Less than a year after China’s bold move to marginalize fossil fuels, India and the USA have released similar strategies, within hours of each other. This seems to leave Europe on the fringe of the new clean air revolution, after having championed a green future for decades. Dr. Chetan Maini, India’s minister of energy and transportation, launched Project Green/Blue in Mumbai last night with ...
Fantasy
Posted: 30 May 2006

One of the challenges I am always faced with is how to make something sound convincing enough without being accused of science-fiction or fantasy. This is a lovely idea, but is a bit close to fantasy - even if it is dated way out in the 2020-30's. I'd believe the "breathing fire" part only if it was developed and funded by the military!

GeneTech sounds too commercial to get ...

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MindBullet logo DRAGON BURNS DOWN HOUSE
GeneTech's new fantasy pets set the world on fire
Dateline: 8 July 2025
It was a scene out of some fantasy epic that greeted Reginald Dobbs as he arrived home last night. His house was on fire and a dragon was perched on the roof, belching flames. It looked embarrassed. “It’s my fault,” said Dobbs. “He gets lonely when I’m away too long and misbehaves.” This is one of a new breed of fantasy pets created by GeneTech based on mythological creatures. The Green ...
One dimensional approach - Part 2
Posted: 16 November 2005

Also to have a relationship you need to be able to make contact so the network architecture, communication methods, the rate and quality of communication is also important. What motivates people to do things will also play a constructive or destructive role.
Finally for networks to dominate over hierarchical structures there would need to be some form of self-organising work group mechanism. ...

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MindBullet logo IT'S OFFICIAL: PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER YOUR BUSINESS' MOST IMPORTANT ASSET
Global HR conference endorses a new role for HR
Dateline: 24 September 2015
What started out as a gradual realization that corporate hierarchies were going the way of the dodo, has turned into a fashionable new embrace of the 'business network'. Now the world's most highly-regarded HR organization, CIPD, has formally endorsed this new 'world view'. The Global HR Conference in Harrogate, England, confirmed the stark realities: fragmented and interconnected global ...

Filtered by author: Brett Dawson