Friday, April 18, 2008

A few items worth noting

Affluence is Good

Kevin Kelly nails it when he says:

My own interpretation of this research is that what money brings is increased choices, rather than merely increased stuff (although more stuff comes with the territory). We don't find happiness in more gadgets and experiences. We do find happiness in having some control of our time and work, a chance for real leisure, in the escape from the uncertainties of war, poverty, and corruption, and in a chance to pursue individual freedoms -- all of which come with increased affluence.

Also: Maybe Money Does Buy Happiness After All

The way I see it, money buys three essential things: time, space, and resources. Everything else is for fun or compulsion.

As far as happines goes, William S. Burroughs changed my life with this paragraph:
The only thing that could unite the planet is a united space program... the earth becomes a space station and war is simply out, irrelevant, flatly insane in a context of research centers, spaceports, and the exhilaration of working with people you like and respect toward an agreed-upon objective, an objective from which all workers will gain. Happiness is a by-product of function. The planetary space station will give all participants an opportunity to function. -- The Place of Dead Roads

Burroughs had some heavy stuff embedded in all that craziness.

The technology that will save humanity

Concentrated solar power looks promising, saving humanity or not.

Wherever you stand on the climate change issue, there are still a lot of good reasons to get off coal and oil. I'm not going to go into that here.

A good article though, with some informative historical notes. This caught my eye:
Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks contain many designs for solar concentrators, including some for industrial purposes, because he worried about the destruction of the earth's vast forests in humanity's search for fuel.

Uncle Leo ahead of the curve, as usual.


Scientists sift clues to mysterious migration

The fate of the Anasazi has been a challenge to archaeologists for many years. Now, it seems they're making some headway, bit by painstaking bit.

From The Oregonian:
Scientists once thought the answer lay in impersonal factors such as the onset of a great drought or a little ice age. But as evidence accumulates, those explanations have come to seem too pat.

Looking beyond climate change, some archaeologists are studying the effects of warfare and the increasing complexity of Anasazi society. They're looking deeper into ancient artifacts and finding hints of an ideological struggle, clues to what was going through the Anasazi mind.

via Santa Fe Institute

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