Futuresagency Articles

Climate Change: Are We as Doomed as That New York Magazine Article Says? (The Atlantic)

“On the other hand, a strategy for addressing climate change is coming together. The cost of solar and wind energy are plunging worldwide; carmakers are promising to take more of their fleet electric, and the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from human activity has stabilized over the past three years. Decarbonizing will be an arduous and difficult global project—but technological development and government policy are finally bringing it into the realm of the possible.

But on the other, other hand, the Trump administration is methodically and successfully undermining the substance of American climate policy. It has spread untruths about climate science, abandoned the Paris Agreement, and stricken dozens of climate-focused EPA rules from the law books. Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor who has observed climate diplomacy for 30 years, told me that this is one of the most dispiriting moments he can remember—and that he believes Earth is now doomed to warm by more than two degrees Celsius.

That’s the state of the world right now. There are three ongoing shifts and no easy way to synthesize them. The facts don’t lend themselves to an overwhelming vision. Instead, they suggest that the planet’s economic system is in the middle of a difficult and supremely important political battle with itself. As Brad Plumer, a New York Times climate reporter, tweeted last week: There are “two radically opposed visions of the future; [it’s] not yet clear which one will win out.”

It’s into that morass that this week’s New York magazine walks. In a widely shared article, David Wallace-Wells sketches the bleakest possible scenario for global warming. He warns of a planet so awash in greenhouse gas that Brooklyn’s heat waves will rival Bahrain’s. The breadbaskets of China and the United States will enter a debilitating and everlasting drought, he says. And millions of brains will so lack oxygen that they’ll slip into a carbon-induced confusion.”

Are We as Doomed as That New York Magazine Article Says?
via Instapaper

Ends, Means, and Antitrust (nice Stretchery post on the Google fine)

“This is perhaps the most consequential aspect of this case, and I think the European Commission got it exactly right. Last year in Antitrust and Aggregation I explained why the unique dynamics of the Internet push towards dominant players that look very different from the monopolies of the past:

Aggregation Theory is about how business works in a world with zero distribution costs and zero transaction costs; consumers are attracted to an aggregator through the delivery of a superior experience, which attracts modular suppliers, which improves the experience and thus attracts more consumers, and thus more suppliers in the aforementioned virtuous cycle. It is a phenomenon seen across industries including search (Google and web pages), feeds (Facebook and content), shopping (Amazon and retail goods), video (Netflix/YouTube and content creators), transportation (Uber/Didi and drivers), and lodging (Airbnb and rooms, Booking/Expedia and hotels).

The first key antitrust implication of Aggregation Theory is that, thanks to these virtuous cycles, the big get bigger; indeed, all things being equal the equilibrium state in a market covered by Aggregation Theory is monopoly: one aggregator that has captured all of the consumers and all of the suppliers. This monopoly, though, is a lot different than the monopolies of yesteryear: aggregators aren’t limiting consumer choice by controlling supply (like oil) or distribution (like railroads) or infrastructure (like telephone wires); rather, consumers are self-selecting onto the Aggregator’s platform because it’s a better experience.”

Ends, Means, and Antitrust
via Instapaper

Carmageddon is Coming – Future Crunch – great read via Medium

“An overlapping confluence of three different technological waves — the smartphone, the electric battery and artificial intelligence — have created the conditions for a technological disruption so profound it’s going to change almost everything about the way we move in modern society.”

Carmageddon is Coming – Future Crunch – Medium
via Instapaper

Tim Cook (Apple) talks technology and humanity – riveting speech at MIT commencement address 2017. wow.

“When technological advancement can go up so exponentially I do think there’s a risk of losing sight of the fact that tech should serve humanity, not the other way around.””

Tim Cook says Apple is not behind on artificial intelligence
via Instapaper

Heard that somewhere before :)

Technology is making the world more unequal. Only technology can fix this? Says Cory Doctorow

“Smart unequal societies prevent collapse by convincing their elites to hand over some of their earnings to the rest of the country, producing broadly shared prosperity and a sense of national solidarity that transcends class resentments (see, for example, Sweden).

With enough inequality over enough time, the cherished idiocies of the ruling elites will eventually cause a collapse”

Technology is making the world more unequal. Only technology can fix this
via Instapaper