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Eternal Cyborgs in Space — A Virtual Reality Discussion

I’ve been a long time advocate of progress and change –spurred by technological advance (in this case Virtual Reality).  We should always push the boundaries of possibility.

Major global answers can be unraveled in the way we weave the bits and bytes of gadgetry and science into our lives. I’m a hopeful person, I suppose. If you look at any major industry or civil endeavor, the wrestling match of new technology is at the forefront of advancement.

We are in a transition period. Your parents never had the ability to access the worlds information within seconds, and now the entitlement of info longs for speed, accessibility, discovery and integration. Your grandchildren wont ever drive a car, that might even be an illegal activity when they are of driving age.

The big question that I haven’t been able to wrap my head around is ‘what do/will we actually WANT out of tech?’ Are we seeking freedom, longevity, higher entertainment value– all or none of the above? How far can stretch what it means to be human before we find that we no longer are?

Virtual Reality Singulairty

Lets take an introspective look at a few tech disciplines and see if we cant put some thinky power into coming up with answers.  I’ll revisit new topics from time to time:

Virtual Reality:  This space is really heating up.  Facebook seemingly legitimized the whole VR universe when it purchased Occulus Rift.  Now it’s a race and a land grab occurring all at once with companies competing to bring to market experiential VR and AR platforms.  I’ve been interested in the possibility of immersive environments since the early colonization of Second Life.    It’s fascinating to consider that science can simulate reality well enough to trick our brains.  We’re not there yet, but perhaps we don’t ever want to be.  There is a growing number of conspiracy theorists and counter-culturists that think we may currently be living in a simulated world.  In a Matrix-esque  scenario, we are enslaved or sedated physically but allowed to live our life through the world we currently see as our everyday, only it’s a simulation run by some external force.  Philosopher Nick Bostrom even suggests that this is ‘highly probable’.  Though we are only at the tip of the iceberg in understanding the major secrets of the world, including; ‘How do brains work?’ and ‘Why and how are we here in the first place?’.

If we are living in a simulation it sure would explain a lot.  Physics, for example, the laws of the universe:  It’s pretty weird trying to wrap your brain around the ‘known’ that every thing in our universe is governed by the same set of laws and math equations.  Equations are easily coded…

What then would be the full expression of VR technology?

If sci-fi has taught us anything at all, it’s that complete life mirroring virtual reality is what we are after.  A programmed simulation so real that it is…real to us.  Beyond a litany of movies and TV (Total Recall, Matrix,  Star Trek, Black Mirror, etc.) that show us a world inside microchips, some science nerds believe that we may actually have a shot at living several lifetimes virtually, while time in on the outside barely passes us by.  This tickles the human desire for life fulfillment.  Screw regrets, keep living lives until you get it right.  Take an entire lifetime worth of driving simulations in a short a mount of time before hitting the road at age 16 (though, we wont have this burden much longer, will we?).

Anyhow, the applications are bountiful for VR, especially the kind that accelerates thought and helps us learn faster.

The major question that remains is, will there be enough fear from outside forces that VR never reaches its full expression?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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When a Niche Gets Real: Going Solar

Solar Logo Pic

Solar Lead Generator

I’m doing something COMPLETELY different…or am I?

For over 3 years, I’ve had the opportunity to generate demand and create marketing strategy in the home solar panel niche. I’ve had a hand in creating over 25,000 leads and made some long lasting partnerships that have stood since day one of my consultancy.

The Solar space has developed, if as any indicator at all, ad copy went from appealing to the outlying ‘Prepper’ community, to becoming a mainstream savings opportunity for the general public. With that said, the profitability of lead sales has become more volatile than the product itself. The tangible growth of solar is almost immeasurable.

 

 

 

Solar growth arc

Solar growth

This is a plum, that I’m picking from the juiciest tree.  Consumers are finding it easier than ever to finance panels with little-no out of pocket, and reaping huge rewards for doing so.

With my knowledge as a demand producer and NOW as an Energy Consultant; interest shall be piqued. Innovating is hard when you’re not at the center of the universe. Becoming an Energy Consultant puts me there, deeply integrated in an exciting product. I can keep pace, grow exponentially, and tap existing resources and partnerships for an enlightened business development approach.

With my experience, I’ll have a unique approach to self generating demand for a product that is difficult for most homeowners to say ‘no’ to.  But…enough about me.

After spending a better part of a decade staying ahead of technology trends and consumer behavior, I’ve had hands on experience and am now all-in on Solar.  If I believe in it, I think you should too.

Have you considered putting solar panels on your home? I’d like to hear from you with pros or cons.

OR

Would you like to join me in selling rooftop real estate? Always looking to hire, and if I can’t bring you on immediately, I’ll know someone who can…

 


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The Anti Food Revolution

The way in which we consume and produce food is long overdue for an overhaul.

When we make food, we destroy the world around us.  Fishing, livsestocking, and evasive farming tactics create an end game that none of our children will be thankful for.  There simply hasn’t been any feasible solutions to hunger other than simply producing more food.

When we eat food, we are filling our bodies with unknown amounts of poison.  In order to efficiently produce mass quantities of over-sized food, we rely heavily on artificial sources of growth and mass production.  It has yet to be determined (though radically debated) to what effect chemical additives have on our total health.  What we do know, at least in this country, is that food is more delicious than it has ever been.  70% of our population is obese or overweight.  I’m no doctor, but from what I understand, if you’re obese and you fail to unobese yourself, you can pretty much kiss the quality and longevity of your life goodbye.  Everyone in this free country has the right to do with their bodies as they please, that is the double-edged sword of freedom that we can never entirely replace,  but there are people who would not choose to be obese.  They eat McDonalds because it fulfills a requirement for sustenance for the least amount of money.  It is the fail-safe meal for people that eat for survival rather than fun.

We are demanding more food,  our population is growing exponentially, and millions of people are facing famine in places where resources are not as plentiful.  It’s a strange and unbalanced equation.

Fat Guy Obesity

Stew in that for a minute.  Take it all in…yeah.

We’re in a pretty bad place at the moment, or so it may appear.  The rational person may have read this post up to this point and thought, well we’re totally screwed, I’m no longer procreating.    Don’t act so fast, mutilator.  We are going to need your rational children to carry on the important projects of NOW.

I’m extremely optimistic about a few major breakthroughs in food.  If you eat, you should be equally excited.  If you don’t eat, please seek help immediately.

In no particular order, here are the advancements that I believe will change the way we sustain ourselves:

1. Shmeat– The story of the lab grown meat made the front page of Yahoo, so it’s certainly not sneaking up on anybody, but the gravity of this advancement has only been grazed by the media outlets that have covered the story.  When we no longer need cows to produce burgers, chickens to produce nuggets, or platypus to produce spam we inherently no longer need resource obliterating livestock facilities that are known to produce more environmental carcinogens than if the moon smoked moon-sized no-filter cigarettes.  Deforestation, let’s replace that with Reforesting.  Couple the Shmeat patty with large scale 3D Printers, and we also have ourselves a globally relevant solution for famine–No additive burgers whipped up in seconds with no negative environmental impact, anywhere in the world without slaughtering a single cow.

Questions I generally have about shmeat are:  ‘What is the response from vegetarians?’ and ‘Will it be Kosher?’

BUT DON’T GET TOO EXCITED YET…

Though science has made the burger, consumed it and not created the zombie apocalypse in doing so, we are a long way from manufacturing a stable product from this breakthrough.  As the first burger cost in the ballpark of $325,000, we could be a decade or more away from cost effective shmeat.  In the meantime, the super rich will eat these tasteless patties to their hearts content.

Lab grown burger

 

2. Soylent – Products claiming that they can 1 for 1 replace your meals have long been marketed in this country to dieters.  Soylent has a different message to consumers; don’t replace one meal, replace ALL of your meals.  It is a customizable drink that manages to pack in all of the known nutrients that the body needs.  For consumers, this means the ability to consume valuable nutrition at a low relative cost.  Imagine the shift in the balance of power if those that cannot normally afford high nutrition value foods can suddenly improve the health and financial standing of their family.  Domestically, this is a win, but internationally this is an uprising.  A complete meal that just needs a clean source of water to be prepared could change the course for famine gripped communities:  3.5 million children die every year from hunger, FYI.

BUT DON’T GET TOO EXCITED YET…

Though this product went hogwild on Kickstarter, it is relatively unproven.  The sample size of testing for the consumption of this drink is small and isolated.  The test will be if they can produce at any reasonably large capacity and fulfill promises of healthful meal replacement with any major side effects from customers.  Also, the name really sucks.  It could even pose as a major deterrent to those with some sense of historical science fiction.  They may have chosen the name Soylent to play on ‘Soylent Green (1973)’, which we all know is PEOPLE, but this water cooler type guerrilla stuff doesn’t work for me in this instance.   It’s too comical and slightly abhorrent for a product that may at some point seek government contracts.  

Is it delicious?  This is the most important question.  It could make you grow a magic beanstalk, but if doesn’t taste like real chocolate, nobody will buy it.

Soylent meal replacement drink

SHOULD WE STILL REMAIN OPTIMISTIC?!?

Of course we should, this is America for-crying-out-loud.  We are the land of the free and the innovative.

The biggest advancement that we can collect from this Anti-Food movement is that it is arriving in bunches.  Products that come before we are ready for them arrive on an island and face a daunting educational battle for consumers.  Together, lines of time saving, health inducing, cost cutting food products could cure many of the deaths we face by caloric intake and do their part to influence the world thought leaders and powerful social media users.

Could you swap 90% or even 50% of your meals for a shake or ‘clean’ lab burger if it meant adding 20 years to your life?


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Robots Are Taking Our Jobs

…Or so it may seem. The question is, are we slowly creating a world where human manpower will become obsolete, or are we simply not thinking about what value we provide that a machine may never be able to.

John Hagel offers a suggestion that would mean an entire rethinking of the future business model, which to his credit in identifying has gone virtually unchanged for a century.

Most employees are, for scalability sake, replicatable devices in a big company. The cog tighteners tighten cogs, the miners mine, and the analysts analyze; all of which could essentially be replaced at some point by specialized robotics.

What is our future among more capable-more efficient employees?

Fortunately enough for us, there will ‘always’ be a very important differentiation between robots and employees. Robots don’t have a childhood, travel, ride horses, open presents, maintain social circles, or get inebriated on weekends. And somewhere near a million other things that shape our personality and influence; essentially, the soul that we have that inspires us. Robots have no source of inspiration and most important to our job security, innovation. Innovators will always have a place to work in the future, but have less importance in a current business infrastructure that requires replication for grand scale.

If we are currently in the era where Geeks are king, the future is bright for people that think out of the metal box.


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We Are Headed for the New Middle Ages (Predicted with Meeker’s Data)

Middle Ages England
You might remember how quaint and intimate it seemed when reading about pre-industrial revolution villagers making their livings and locally sourced the products or materials they used on a daily basis. The town baker had fresh bread every morning, blacksmith did the horse-shoeing/furniture repairs/dentistry while you waited for bread, and in the evening you may take in a play with a cast of characters whom you’d know on a first name basis. Rather than performing a cog-like function in a larger corporation, people simply did the things that their own skill and resource allotted. To an extent, very few people today perform precisely the function that most suits them.

Everything, including job functions, changed with the invent of the factory line and mass production, and then everything once again when the world got smaller via the Internet. Within the next 5-10 years we may be inline to repeat history with a reboot of the Middle Ages marketplace.

If you haven’t taken the time to pick through Mary Meeker’s data analysis and year-end wrap, then you’ll need to. The slideshare presentation which was delivered to students at Stanford can be found HERE.

A lot of reader reaction is focused on the growth of mobile and specifically the dramatic rise of tablets, and their accompanying OS.

Here are a few examples:

Meeker Data 2012

 

I really could care less about the ‘NOW’ results of this research.


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What People Want From Their Device

With all of the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 and the great ad debate over feature usefulness, I decided to open up a discussion on Facebook to see what people from all-walks want out of their mobile devices.

The results aren’t really surprising if you consider the medium. Facebook friends are the most comfortable sharing group. Check out how the responses divided out:

Facebook experiment

    Category Explanation

Appliance Interaction— Overall people seem to really like the idea of automating their lives through their mobile device. One respondent wants the freedom to turn on his tea kettle remotely.
Sexy Time–It’s our most primal need and mobile devices can keep a secret when you want them to. Respondents were most interested in having direct interaction with their device in ‘exciting’ ways. Use your imagination.
Live Social–This is a category describing requests for augmented reality-social functionality. Being able to automatically recognize the proximity of friends and interact.
Finance–This is not so much the management of you’re own bank account, and more the ability to increase financial standing using your device. I suppose this is more of a creativity or publicity issue than anything else as the tools seem to exist already for wealth building with a mobile device (SquareUp and Google Wallet, for example).
Entertainment–You’d think that every stone would be overturned in the entertainment category, but responses were looking for direct life interactions. Another augmented reality scenario, that is certainly an under-used technology.

Are there any categories or tech that hasn’t been addressed that people seem to be forgetting?


next page

Eternal Cyborgs in Space — A Virtual Reality Discussion

I’ve been a long time advocate of progress and change –spurred by...
article post

When a Niche Gets Real: Going Solar

I’m doing something COMPLETELY different…or am I? For over 3 years,...
article post

The Anti Food Revolution

The way in which we consume and produce food is long overdue for an overhaul. When we...
article post

Robots Are Taking Our Jobs

…Or so it may seem. The question is, are we slowly creating a world where human...
article post

We Are Headed for the New Middle Ages (Predicted with Meeker’s Data)

You might remember how quaint and intimate it seemed when reading about pre-industrial...
article post

What People Want From Their Device

With all of the hype surrounding the iPhone 5 and the great ad debate over feature...
article post