Futurology

Thousands of people are demonstrating across Europe on Saturday to urge leaders to make the fight against climate change a priority. Sixty marches were organised across the Old Continent on Saturday with the vast majority taking place in France.

Thousands of people are demonstrating across Europe on Saturday to urge leaders to make the fight against climate change a priority. Sixty marches were organised across the Old Continent on Saturday with the vast majority taking place in France.

‘The Old Continent’.

Could just call it Europe. Uses less letters too.

Well, there was a massive demontration in Hambach Forest, in Germany, about a week ago where 50000 people attended. A small detachment of about 8000 protesters took over the forest peacefully, as the police literally ran out of cops. Also, that protest was coupled with a judicial resolution that protects the forest for at least another 2 years, and probably forever, lost by the massive coal and power corporation RWI.

Some of my friends were there, it was amazing. The tide is changing in the climate change fight, at least in Europe. Big actions do matter, they acomplish more than you think. Instead of lamenting that it was "just" a few thousand, let's paint our banners and join them to make millions, not thousands.

Have hope, my friends!

But then it sounds less cool.

Sounds awfully demoralising too.

Japan To Add 17 Gigawatts Of New Solar By End Of 2020

Japan To Add 17 Gigawatts Of New Solar By End Of 2020

I really wish we could start using some meaningful measurements when speaking of new power generation. Gigawatts don't really mean anything when we talk about wind/solar.

It is easy with fossil, nuclear and hydro. 1GW of these produces 1GWh of power every hour pretty much 24/7 year around.

When we talk about solar 1GW produces 1GWh in hour for couple hours at noon if there is no clouds. At morning and evening it produces less. At night is produces nothing. 1GW of solar also produces vastly different amount of power in year depending whether it is built in Japan or Australia. Wind is similar. When talking about GW it tells nothing about actual production of solar/wind.

We should at least talk about yearly amount of GWh produced. That way different powerplants could actually be somewhat compared.

That's actually been built on top of a sewage lagoon. The reason being is it helps reduce the smell and also prevents evaporation.

Meanwhile, my disgraceful president is going all in on coal.

The president is but the economy isn't. Coal plants are shutting shut down at an increasing rate as well are the mines. The free market demands green energy.

He can say what he wants but coal fired power has dropped by 10% in the past several years and the trend continues. Hell, Texas rejected 8 of 11 proposed projects of new coal fire plants in 2007.

The president is nothing but a talking bubble head and that's coming from a conservative.

'No downside': New Zealand firm adopts four-day week after successful trial - Perpetual Guardian says staff were more focused and productive after the experiment and better able to manage work-life balance

'No downside': New Zealand firm adopts four-day week after successful trial - Perpetual Guardian ...

I would love to think this would start to be implemented everywhere, but as someone has already stated, the culture has to change. People still believe that more hours is the only way to work, when in reality that isn't always the case

Man, imagine working at a place that cared about your work life balance

I live in NZ, I work 4 days per week as a carpenter/builder,, no more than 32 hours, never past 5pm, never past 4pm on a Friday. I make about $80k NZ. I am very productive and have a very high standard of work, my terms for negotiation are simple: These are the only hours I will work and if you don't like it you can get fucked because I am not your slave.

Humans come together to release ourselves from the burden of work, it isn't the other way around.

I am not grateful to be offered 50 plus hours a week work, I am not grateful for the opportunity to make you richer, and I am not grateful for the lies I get told that this is the way we should be living.

Samuel Parnell, a carpenter from London who came to NZ in 1840, refused to work more than 8 hours a day.

"I will do my best, but I must make this condition, Mr. Hunter, that on the job the hours shall only be eight for the day ... There are twenty-four hours per day given us; eight of these should be for work, eight for sleep, and the remaining eight for recreation and in which for men to do what little things they want for themselves. I am ready to start to-morrow morning at eight o'clock, but it must be on these terms or none at all"

I’m not optimistic about this in the US. I’m getting a hard time from my employer right now for using all three (heaven forbid) bereavement days after the death of my grandmother.

They understand, it’s just a busy time right now.

How about I couldn’t give a fuck less about the insurance industry at the moment?

(I’m looking for a new job, btw.)

A peptide from an Australian funnel-web spider has been found to kill both human melanoma cells and cancerous Tasmania devil facial tumours that are threatening the survival of the species

A peptide from an Australian funnel-web spider has been found to kill both human melanoma cells a...

Killing cancer cells is easy. Killing only cancer cells is hard. Killing only and all cancer cells is really really hard.

That spider looks like it can kill just about anything, so I'm not surprised it can kill cancer.

And the article addresses that

The research, started at Brisbane's QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, also found that the funnel-web compound had almost no negative effects on surrounding healthy cells in either case

What if it's supplemented with other treatments? Less cancer seems like a better option than not less cancer.

Scientists Have Connected The Brains of 3 People, Enabling Them to Share Thoughts

Scientists Have Connected The Brains of 3 People, Enabling Them to Share Thoughts
Scientists Have Connected The Brains of 3 People, Enabling Them to Share Thoughts

The thought of sharing my thoughts to anyone not only terrifies me but it will horrify them.

Pretty much my thoughts on the subject.

Oh, wait ...

Imagine if this had a positive, mitigating effect, on traits of psychopathy. Hook up someone with that cognitive profile to a group of neurotypical subjects and see what happens.

Would things average out?

Would the mind favor new pathways?

​

More importantly, if the brain is plug and play, as has been suggested in the comments, that means a robot body is a much more realistic prospect than we first thought. It wouldn't be about hooking up nerves but, instead, letting the brain, over a period of time, reconcile the inputs. The same might also be true for a brain/body transplant, if you could keep the subject alive long enough...

I don't even have to read this to know that no, they did not.

California Law Bans Bots From Pretending to Be Human - Effective July 1, it will be illegal for bots interacting with California consumers to pretend they're human if they're trying to sell goods, services, or to 'influence a vote in an election.'

California Law Bans Bots From Pretending to Be Human - Effective July 1, it will be illegal for b...

Can we ban companies from pretending to human as well?

Welcome first move. I wonder how effective this will be at just being State law, not Federal. In the EU, lots of the tech giants are HQ'd in Ireland, and fall under Irish law for much of the EU.

California is by far the biggest US state, by population & economy. I suspect what the tech giants will be forced to do here, they'll just do by default for the rest of the US.

Well technically they aren’t human and aren’t pretending, the court ruled they are legally a person

I keep getting these bot calls, sounds pretty real until you ask something. Some of them are even in Chinese..

3-day weekends would make people happier and more productive, according to a new Oxford University study

3-day weekends would make people happier and more productive, according to a new Oxford Universit...

Not having to work at all and do whatever I want would make me happier and more productive, according to a new self study.

I'd much rather work 4 10s. Seems like I have been working 6 10s instead though..

I work at a software company that adopted a 4-day work week. Four 8 hour days. Every 4th Friday is supposed to be devoted to professional development or community work. Most times this 4th Friday is used for catch-up. Overall it's been successful though.

This reminds me of the episode of The Office where Michael starts movie Monday. His argument to Jan is that it makes people more productive.

Jan: "How can watching a movie make people more productive?"

Michael: "Well they have to work harder to make up for all the time they missed watching the movie."

Something like that.

Tesla big battery defies skeptics, sends industry bananas over performance. It has given a glimpse of the future, how a grid can be effectively managed with a very high share of wind and solar – not just faster, but also cleaner, smarter and more reliable than the dumb and ageing fossil fuel grid.

Tesla big battery defies skeptics, sends industry bananas over performance. It has given a glimpse of the future, how a grid can be effectively managed with a very high share of wind and solar – not just faster, but also cleaner, smarter and more reliable than the dumb and ageing fossil fuel grid.
Tesla big battery defies skeptics, sends industry bananas over performance. It has given a glimps...

I always enjoy when scientific articles use the word dumb in them. But in all seriousness, we need to step up and step up fast to reduce that carbon footprint.

The point is the new right wing government in South Australia has been trying to rubbish the battery (and the previous government that made it happen) - calling the delivery of the battery 'incredibly messy and overly expensive'.

They don't like that it's made a big impact on the excess profits that the existing power generators were getting, and is thus paying for itself. That goes double for their federal cousins, who are trying to give taxpayer money to those generators to build new coal power stations - which everyone but them agrees is monumentally dumb.

Basically the throwbacks are still fighting for the old order; they haven't accepted that the like of solar, batteries, pumped storage are the future - mainly because they get cash for keeping the status quo.

The classic example of this is the phenomenon in the UK called "TV pickup" in which the power companies have to plan their power production around the tv schedule as nearly the entire nation will turn on their electric kettles to make tea at the same time during commercial breaks of major sporting or television events.

Without pre-planning the power grid would falter under the heavy load as they can't spin up power production quick enough to handle it - so they ramp up the power slightly ahead of time to match the need then reduce it accordingly afterwards.

energy grids struggle to vary the total supply fast- big generators take a while to spin up and sync, which means your either need them idling to increase response time (at the cost of in-efficiency) or turn then on and off as needed (which leads to transient energy deficits or surpluses ) and battery mitigates these problems somewhat

Reclassification Recommendations for Drug in ‘Magic Mushrooms’ - Johns Hopkins researchers suggest that if it clears phase III clinical trials, psilocybin should be re-categorized from a schedule I drug to a schedule IV drug such as prescription sleep aids, but with tighter control.

Reclassification Recommendations for Drug in ‘Magic Mushrooms’ - Johns Hopkins researchers sugges...

Please. Please. Please. Let it be true, let it happen. We need this.

Journal reference:

Matthew W. Johnson, Roland R. Griffiths, Peter S. Hendricks, Jack E. Henningfield,

The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the Controlled Substances Act,

Neuropharmacology, 2018, ISSN 0028-3908,

Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.05.012

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390818302296

Abstract:

This review assesses the abuse potential of medically-administered psilocybin, following the structure of the 8 factors of the US Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Research suggests the potential safety and efficacy of psilocybin in treating cancer-related psychiatric distress and substance use disorders, setting the occasion for this review. A more extensive assessment of abuse potential according to an 8-factor analysis would eventually be required to guide appropriate schedule placement. Psilocybin, like other 5-HT2A agonist classic psychedelics, has limited reinforcing effects, supporting marginal, transient non-human self-administration. Nonetheless, mushrooms with variable psilocybin content are used illicitly, with a few lifetime use occasions being normative among users. Potential harms include dangerous behavior in unprepared, unsupervised users, and exacerbation of mental illness in those with or predisposed to psychotic disorders. However, scope of use and associated harms are low compared to prototypical abused drugs, and the medical model addresses these concerns with dose control, patient screening, preparation and follow-up, and session supervision in a medical facility. Conclusions (1) psilocybin has an abuse potential appropriate for CSA scheduling if approved as medicine; (2) psilocybin can provide therapeutic benefits that may support the development of an approvable New Drug Application (NDA) but further studies are required which this review describes; (3) adverse effects of medical psilocybin are manageable when administered according to risk management approaches; and (4) although further study is required, this review suggests that placement in Schedule IV may be appropriate if a psilocybin-containing medicine is approved.

There's pretty much zero information on the long term effects of microdosing. Hell, there's zero reliable data on the short term of effects of microdosing. Trendy fads are not a basis for medical classification.

I use mushrooms occasionally and I seriously would not recommend them as a medical solution without strict supervision before, during and after a trip. It's far too easy to delude yourself into false conclusions or just have a bad trip if you're in a bad headspace.

Honestly, if Obama couldn't change marijuana from a schedule I drug to schedule IV, then it's a total pipe dream that mushrooms will change schedules during this administration.

tldr; total pipe dream.

'No such animal as clean coal': Mayor of Texas city powered by solar and wind pokes the bear - 'In Georgetown, we make our decisions based on the facts,' says Dale Ross

'No such animal as clean coal': Mayor of Texas city powered by solar and wind pokes the bear - 'In Georgetown, we make our decisions based on the facts,' says Dale Ross
'No such animal as clean coal': Mayor of Texas city powered by solar and wind pokes the bear - 'I...

Being born in Georgetown and living here for almost 30 years, it is great to see one of the most conservative cities in the state do something like this. Thanks to Dale Ross, Georgetown is currently the largest city in Texas that is run on completely renewable energy.

"No such animal as clean coal"

Imagining a big hat wearing leather boot strapped red tie and poppy sporting wise man saying such.

This is the America I dream about.

Good for him.

Texas really isn't as off the rails as many non-Texans think. Especially in that part of the state.

Edit - the word is 'off'

This makes me so happy. I wish more people in power would enact similar ideas like this.

Try one of these subthreads