The scenarios and forecasts built on this technical base were supplemented by the study of a few extreme hypothetical situations known as “wild cards” or “black swans” (major earthquake in Tokyo, terrorist attack in New York, asteroid strike in Western Europe) designed to stretch the borders of the crisis management maps and to stimulate our collective thought process—while remaining within the domain of the Possible.
Such techniques for describing the future and anticipating its opportunities and dangers have largely become obsolete because of the acceleration of technology itself and the increasing vulnerability of our society to chaotic processes that are not well behaved under most classic models. Read the rest
Read the rest
Sure, Google will provide you with search results, but they are not in the search business; they are in the advertising business. Their profits come from marketing firms that buy your behavior.
Similarly, Amazon is not in the book business, although they will send you the books you've ordered. They are in the personal information business.
The assets of modern web-based companies are the intimate profiles of those who "use" them, like you and me. Time to forget the nice pronouncements like "Do no evil" that accompany the wholesale destruction of privacy now taking place on the web, or rather within the walled gardens that companies like Facebook, Google and Apple are erecting around us on the web. Compared to them, the Chinese censors re-inventing their Great Wall are a bunch of sissies.
Any smart CEO would kill to have a product like you that doesn't cost anything and keeps renewing itself indefinitely so it can be sold and resold and resold to many different customers.
"empty home on Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis" by Andrew Ciscel via CC
OK, so I'm not an economist. But as a venture investor in early-stage medical and technology companies I read the usual financial articles that come across my screen and I see the same statistics everybody is seeing. I listen to Obama and I watch the TV shows where pundits argue with Congressmen about the wisdom of this or that particular tax or stimulus measure to restart our sick economy. I have nothing to say about this, no statistics of my own and no fancy theory, so instead of taking sides in this particular debate I keep looking for the things that are missing. Read the rest
Read the rest
Based on the three earlier posts I have made on this subject, an objective reader might be justified to conclude either that crop circles are the product of hoaxes or the result of experimental military developments. In both cases he or she would also have to admit that they represent a masterful project in social engineering.
In an earlier post I reviewed some possible explanations for the crop circle phenomenon, and I noted the various theories left several issues unanswered: Who are the hoaxers and what is their exact role in the charade? If a technology is involved, how does it work to actually make the designs? Could it be directed from space or simply from an aerial platform? And why would anyone develop such a beam in the first place? What seemed to me like simple questions raised a surprisingly emotional and occasionally venomous storm of comments on this blog and on other, more specialized, lists. Since we have obviously hit a nerve it may be interesting to drill a bit further.
While New Age believers and skeptics feel passionate about the issue, the educated public and the scientific and technical community have firmly pushed it out of their mind, convinced that all the circles were hoaxes. Even the people who have studied the circles or commented on them may argue for or against their paranormal nature, the possible role of Aliens or the idea that the designs hide an experiment in military electronics, but there is no disagreement about the fact that most of the designs have been made by hoaxers.
It seems that what was "forbidden science" in academia is also forbidden
in cyberspace. Read the rest
Read the rest
Jacques Vallee is a computer scientist, partner in a venture capital firm, and author of more than 20 books, including Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers, The Invisible College, and The Network Revolution.
In Sept. 1991, I published in a New Age magazine my own hypothesis about the Crop Circles phenomenon. I speculated they involved a military aerial device (not a space-based instrument) for generating such designs using focused microwave beams, such as a "maser." At the time nobody wanted to hear that the beautiful pictures in English corn fields might be crafted by a technical team inside some lab, bouncing signals from a hovering platform and using individual corn stalks as simple pixels to calibrate a lethal device. So my paper was met with dead silence.
More recently, however, New Scientist has run an article titled "Microwaves could defuse bombs from afar" (April 18, 2009 issue). It begins: "The next weapon in the US army's arsenal could be a laser-guided microwave blaster designed to destroy explosives. The weapon, called the Multimode Directed Energy Armament System, uses a high-power laser to ionize the air, creating a plasma channel that acts as a waveguide for the stream of microwaves."
These things are typically revealed 30 years after they are tested, which fits well with the heyday of the crop circle frenzy. Read the rest
Read the rest