The Linear – Singularity Paradox Explained

To understand the ‘thinking’ we witnessed in our political process on the news, the concept of Linear-Singularity must be understood.

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

Everyday, we see examples of the Linear-Singularity paradox in our political discourse. In watching the national news any day, any time, we can easily find examples, often of a glaring nature. The Linear-Singularity in problem solving is considering there’s one and only one thing causing or driving a problem, and that every aspect within the problem is linear. In reality, the real world is very seldom this simple. In actuality, there are almost always several things or forces which are at work, and often as not, the system of that problem isn’t simply proportional . . . it’s a nonlinear or probabilistic system. And human intuition doesn’t fair well with non-linear and probabilistic systems, because our minds are linear. We perceive our world in linear terms, that is, perceive everything as proportional.

Probably the best way to understand the Linear-Singularity paradox is by giving examples and showing why it is flawed. One big example we’re seeing daily in the news is climate change, which is riddled with examples of the Linear-Singularity paradox. You listen to the news, one group says it’s burning coal that’s causing global warming, so let’s ban all the coal and that will halt global warming. Another blames oil as the culprit for warming, others claim forest fires and burning the rain forest, or eating all that beef, urban development and the loss of green space, or the thawing of frozen methane deep down in the ocean to bubble up into the air. One political activist after another sounding the alarm that his particular Linear-Singularity is the key to controlling the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, that if all the world would stop using this one particular thing then warming would stop here and now.

That’s the linear aspect of the Linear-Singularity, that the reducing of a warming source, such as coal or beef, will proportionally reduce the growing climate warming. Never mind other forces at work or how they may be interacting. That’s the linear in Linear-Singularity, the assumption that if you reduce the CO2 from one particular source, then the global warming will be reduced an equal amount. Nothing could be further from the truth! Because the CO2 is just one ingredient or component in the green house effect, and it’s not really known or understood how this mix actually works, and therefore the real effects of increasing or reducing a specific ingredient.

One thing you never hear in the global warming debate, is that all these different factors have the commonality of humans. Every source is the result of human activity that comes from being part of a high technology society. So the real driving force for global warming is the massive over population of a species- us! Like any other species, we produce waste, and with a world population of 7.53 billion, we’ve long ago surpassed the ability of the Earth’s environment to absorb, process and tolerate that waste. To really stop or even reverse the global warming you must drastically reduce that population. But you can’t just go and reduce the world’s human population . . . that’s called genocide! No, this is a very difficult and complex problem made worst by so many political activist employing Linear-Singularities thereby making any progress impossible to achieve.

Another source for numerous examples of Linear-Singularity is the problem of racism. You often see it in news reporting where the human race is divided conveniently into brown, white, black, red and yellow, with their conclusions based on nothing more than these divisions of color. But even the most cursory look at any of those color divisions quickly reveals a ‘crazy quilt’ of different subgroups, some small, some large of all sorts of different people, but all of the same color. These subgroups have their own wants, likes, dislikes, goals in life and standards, and these are often different between subgroups. More importantly, some of these subgroups don’t even like each other. There are tensions and conflicts between them as their wants, standards and values come into conflict. The only difference . . . the boundaries are not readily apparent to outsiders, hence they look and seem to be the same people.

That’s an example of singularity, in ignoring all those various subgroups and assuming that a racial group is one and the same, uniform in all aspects and therefore conflicts between racial groups is based just on the color of skin. A singularity! Pure and simple! And in using that singularity, you no longer have any real understanding of the system, and therefore your efforts to resolve problems is naught . . . nota . . . zilch . . . zero . . . nothing! Which is why problems with race continues. Using singularities leads to oversimplification, which in turn means no real understanding of a problem . . . a ‘must have’ essential to really solve problems.

The widespread use of Linear-Singularity points to how very little people really understand the world they live in and how it works.

This over simplification has spawn the ‘political activism’ that is so prevalent in today’s political discourse, the growing attitude that all the problems in the world are political that can be solved using political activism. That all the world is just one big debate. But all these people really do is create images and illusions, the smoke and mirrors so often spoken of, but nothing of real substance. All they can do is pretend they are solving problems and create a fantasy world where the problems are being solved. The result is nothing ever gets done, the problems . . . at best just continue ‘as is’, or at worst, grow and becomes even worst.

Needless to say, one should always avoid Linear-Singularities, and just as important, people should constantly be on guard for Linear-Singularities and know when one is being used, so they should be skeptical about what they are hearing.

Know that the presences of Linear-Singularities indicates what you are hearing is most likely invalid.

The High Cost for Millennials / Generation-Z!

A major problem facing the millennials and generation-Z is the increasingly difficulties and cost of keeping them in a modern high technology society.

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

People of all ages never think about what it takes to keep an individual in a modern high technology society, assuming that the world they live in has always been there and so therefore must always be there. But the reality is, with a growing world population and diminishing resources, it’s becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to keep individuals in advance technology societies as resources become more difficult and therefore more expensive to procure.

The land area of Earth is 57,308,738 square miles, of this 33% is desert and 24% is mountainous. Subtracting this uninhabitable land leaves 24,642,757 square miles of habitable land, land where a human can gather food to live. Looking on the internet, I found that land requirements to feed a single hunter-gatherer human ranges from 150 to 14,000 hectares with the average being about 250 hectares or not quite one square mile. This gives a maximum world population of about 25 million humans in our natural environment, a long way from our present population of 7.53 billion people. That means, through technology, we have about 300 times the number of people that our natural environment can sustain.

The pre-mechanized agriculture of horse drawn plow produced about 10 bushels of grain per acre compared with the 300 bushels for a modern techno-petrol chemically based industrial farm of today. I just recently read that half the large mammals in the world are human, and the other half are the domestic animals used to sustained the human population. This leaves just a 5% sliver for all the other mammals in the world- the zebras, elephants, whales, dolphins, tigers and etcetera, etcetera and etcetera.

The human race as it is today, can only be fed and sustained by the massive use of high technology, and that means having the resources, with the principle one being the oil. One third of the oil we use each year goes to feeding ourselves. Another very important resource needed is fresh water, a resource that like oil, is becoming scarcer across the world. Other needed resources required to keep a person in an advance society (1) is natural minerals and resources such as metals, wood, sand, rock as well as foods such as ocean fish. Also energy, oil and the petrol chemicals for virtually everything in our lives, in particular the plastics, as well as all the infrastructure and negative resources. The negative resources is the pollution, trash and climate change that will always be a part of a modern society.

Articles and news stories abound about the problems of diminishing resources, from the looming oil shortages to global warming. In view of the problems of resources, it’s easy to see why it’s becoming more difficult and expensive to keep individuals in our advance societies. It’s all about those needed and must have resources! Human conflict is based on getting and holding resources (see chapter V, America’s Slide into Domestic Terrorism (2), Amazon.com), that’s how war came about in humanity long, long before any recorded history, probably before our species. The first epoch of war was the hunter-gatherers getting and holding their territory to feed themselves, their children and sustain their lives (3), much as any other animal species does. Histories of the American plains Indians provide ample evidence of this, such as when the Sioux migrated out of the forest lands of Minnesota down into the open plains of North and South Dakota and adopted the horse culture. In the process, they pushed the Cheyenne, Crow, Pawnee and other tribes out of their territories to take them over- just as the white man did a century later . . . and sent the Sioux packing off to the reservations.

What people don’t get, is that competition for resources is a major factor in the precipitation of human conflict . . . WAR! Be it a married couple squabbling over spending the family money or nations and superpowers vying for oil, competition for resources, of one sorts or another, is the source of friction leading to human conflict. We see that everyday on the news with groups such as ANTIFA railing against various small right wing groups, as they lash out against each other, sometimes physically. They are being pushed out of the social economic system just as surely as the Indians were pushed out of their lands by a more technologically advance people . . . and they’re mad as hell about that. In this case, the competition for resources is having a place under the sun in the coming years, but not having any understanding of what’s happening to them, they blindly strike out at each other as convenient targets to vent their frustration and anger on.

While the news media focuses on the supposed political differences between groups like ANTIFA, in actuality they’re one and the same.

Indirectly, they are competing for basic resources such as the oil, natural resources, water and the negative resources, by virtue of the high cost of keeping individuals in a high technology society. That high cost coupled with their being to far behind, at a time when technology is providing the means to do their jobs, is what is really pushing them out. The fact that none of these groups understands the reality of their situation means nothing in their conflict. Like two cats in the above picture, tied together by a short leash, the cats blame each other for their restraint and just as blindly lash out at each other. Indeed, one may actually kill the other, simply because neither cat understands their real problem.

The same holds true for those who we have elect to govern us. They too lack the ability to understand the problems, blindly applying the invalid linear singularity principle to those problems faced by the people. The simplistic concept that problems are caused by one and only one thing, and that the world is proportional or linear, while in fact the real world is anything but that.  
Although they can’t really articulate it, the young people’s real struggle is to keep a place in the sun of the American social-economic system as technology displacement slowly pushes them out. Already, we are seeing open conflict, the prelude to domestic terrorism as lines are drawn, as process of social mitosis continues pulling society apart. While social mitosis has been on going since I was a boy in the sixties, it nevertheless continues to strain the social fabric with no attempts of restrain it.

Social mitosis has two possible conclusions- the people come back together as one or there’s a rupture and seperation. And that rupture is almost always the open conflict of revolution . . .

WAR!

Corollary of War:

A technologically advance people will displace a lesser people. (4)

1) “America’s Slide into Domestic Terrorism, A Technology Monogram for Law Enforcement”, James C. Lyman, Compass Rose Publications, San Antonio, TX, 2010, pp1-4. Available Amazon.com.

2) ibid ‘Basic Theory of War’ pp72-124.

3) ibid p86.

3) ibid p119.

The Linear – Singularity Paradox

The gun control debate again shows the mediocre problem solving and analytical skills that is shaping the Millenniums/Generation-Z’s future.

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

The recent mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton and now Odessa/Midland has again stirred the gun control debate and again has laid bare the mediocre limited problem solving and analytical skills of so many people. No one ever stops to ask the simple straight forward question, ‘can gun technology really be effectively controlled?’ The oldest technology still prevalent in the world, and people are actually advocating trying to legislate control or even its banning, despite the massive dismal failures to control other technologies. Trying to control the alcoholic sprits resulted in the eighteenth amendment and prohibition of all alcoholic drinks from beer, to wine, to distilled liquors. There was strong evidence and examples showing alcoholic sprits to be a bad and harmful technology, which humanity would be much better off without. So that was the imputes to outright ban all the manufacture, import and sale of spirts. Which by the same reckoning of those advocating the outlawing of guns today, should have solved the problem for society.

BUT!! But, with the naivete and innocence of a small child, they never thought about the ‘Demand!’, and so never gave that facet of the problem any consideration. However, the small time gangsters and hoodlums thought of it! The ‘Al Capone’s’ of that day often said, “Chicago is a beer drinking town and no law is going to change that!” and so they preceded to open import businesses. And with that came a wave of violent murdering crime sweeping across America, instilling ramped corruption that made the original problem look like a little girl’s musical recital.

Obviously, that problem wasn’t very well thought out.

But one failure to work a problem wasn’t enough, for they did the same thing trying to control another harmful dangerous technology . . . illegal drugs. We made it illegal to transport, sell and possess illegal drugs, again thinking that’s all it would take to erase the problem in society. Well, it certainly didn’t! Not only is the demand still there, but it’s grown to enormous proportions. For decades, we have failed miserable to exclude a ‘smoggiest board’ of highly dangerous deadly drugs. Worst yet, that unfulfilled demand provided the profit incentive to develop even worst, more dangerous drugs to import. The synthetic and opioid drugs have caused havoc and deaths to become a national crisis unto itself. All because of the same mediocre simplistic problem solving and analytical skills of legislatures as evident in the growing gun control debate, and typified by the Linear-Singularity Paradox.

Already, there is a growing problem with what is termed shadow guns, where high quality guns are manufactured having any serial number desired . . . or no serial number at all for that matter, smuggled into America and sold for $500 to $1,000, a price comparable to retail prices from a legitimate legal gun seller. Now the controlling of guns requires serial numbers stamped onto the main body of each and every gun, so the police can use those numbers to prove ownership of a gun in a crime. But what good is that proof if there could be ten guns or even a thousand out there with the very same serial number. One of the principle devices for fighting violent crime is lost! The same with the often spoken of assault guns! Guns are not an American problem, they are a global problem with one gun for every four humans on the planet. In trying to define what an assault rifle is and therefor ban it, people missed its most important characteristic-

An assault rifle is a design requiring a minimum of tools and ability to manufacture.

The famed AK-47 assault rifle (a machine gun) sells on the world market for as little as $25 each. The weapon that gun control advocates most want to ban is much easier to manufacture than a six shot revolver pistol from the old west.

Guns are an uncontrollable technology, just as alcohol and drugs are.

But that’s not what this article is about. It’s the glaring deficiencies in the problem solving and analytical skills of those who we’ve elected to govern us, their mediocre intellectual skills and understanding of technology as exposed by the gun debate. Because those same intellectual deficiencies are being applied to other more important and wide spread problems facing Americans. The problems of obsolescence and people’s replacement by technology.

This brings us to the crux of this article, the Linear-Singularity Paradox, in addressing problems. Untrained people view the world and address problems as a linear-singularity, that is, they consider there is just one and only one thing causing a problem, while also considering the actions in the world as being linear or proportional. In fact, in the real world, there are almost always several causes, often interacting, which is driving a problem, plus the real world is seldom linear or proportional, rather it is either non-linear or more often is probabilistic. Human behavior is most certainly probabilistic, which is what makes their response so unpredictable and therefore so hard to address problems.

Addressing a problem as a linear singularity results in the problem being so over simplified that it become meaningless and therefore impossible to effectively solve. Yet, so many of those elected to govern us are completely unaware of the Linear-Singularity Paradox, let alone strive to avoid using it. Consequently, we are left with serious problems facing the people, such as obsolescence and technology displacement, with little hope of any solutions ever being offered by those elected by us. Instead, we have the nonsense for controlling antiquated gun technology being offered, which will continually cost us large sums of monies yet offer near zero effectiveness . . . just as with the drug war and prohibition.

Bottom line- You can’t expect people who have demonstrated such weak intellectual skills to solve any of the mounting real problems that people are facing in trying to live in a high technology society. Thinking you can control the alcohol, drug or gun problem by simple voting a law banning them is akin to trying to foil the harmful effects from hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes merely by outlawing them. It’s a fool’s world that only the most simple minded people would subscribed too. The millennials and generation-Z continue to be squeezed out of the social-economic system simply because we lack the qualified people to govern us who have those intellectual, analytical and problem solving skills necessary to address the problems all American’s are facing. People who have some real understanding of the twenty-first century world they live in.

As exemplified by their serious proposals to outlaw the antique technology of guns.

Trouble Waters – The Osborne Report

A recent research project finds that jobs for many Millennials and Generation-Z will disappear in 20 years

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

Lately, there have been predictions in the news about how computers will take many of the jobs away in the near future. Of late, was a 60 Minute interview with venture capitalist Mr. Kai-Fu Lee about the future of artificial intelligence. He estimates that in the next fifteen to twenty-five years, about 40% of the jobs will disappear because of technology displacement. This comes as no surprise, because as an engineer and technologist for almost fifty years, I have witnessed a number of career fields disappear because of technology innovations. Indeed I’ve often said that with some effort, as much as 30% of the American work force could be displaced, and with a concerted effort, as much as 50%.

But over and above personal estimates is a research project to actually make some rational deterministic attempt at estimating just how susceptible jobs are to technology displacement in the near future. Something over and above personal estimates and ‘guesstamations’ based on feelings. Carl Frey and Michael Osborne have attempted to do just that, modeling the job market to examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation.

Their method was to divide the job market up into 702 detailed occupation fields, then estimate the probability for each field for computerisation displacement using Gaussian process classifier. Their conclusion is that upwards of 47% of the jobs will be gone in the next twenty years or so. Of significance is that the impact of computerisation is no longer confined to manufacturing, but rather is migrating up the skill-intellectual levels to jobs thought to be totally immune from technology displacement. Doctors and lawyers are now threatened. People will continue to be squeezed out of the job market and this fact is based on analysis rather than people’s opinions.

This 72 page report is available on the internet as a pdf file just by Googling “Osborne, Report and pdf” for a free download which you can read at your leisure. More importantly, it contains the full table of the 702 job fields analyzed including the ranking for displacement, job title and the probability of computer displacement. Also, as a pdf file, you can do searches for words or numbers. The important consideration for millennials and generation-Z is that just when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep individuals in a high technology society, there will be fewer jobs available to them. They will be less and less able to sustain themselves at a time when they are becoming less wanted or needed.

What is missing is the ‘stress’ factor. Like punctuated equilibria in evolution, few evolutionary changes will occur until there is a change in the environment, then there is an explosion of new species. The same holds true for the job market with jobs tending to remain stable until there is a stress, a recession or economic crash, when suddenly business is looking for ways to control cost and save money, that’s when new technologies sweep in to replace people high and low. A fact that escapes the self-proclaimed social engineers when they embark to fundamentally change society, never dreaming that those changes are often a pink slip followed by jobs paying less than what people had been paid . . . that is, if they do find a new job.

Like a tree covered with snow, every time that tree is bumped, jarred or shaken, just any little disturbance and the snow falls off to be lost.

For people, a job is more than a source of income, it’s what defines a person, where his value to society is rooted, it’s what gives him a sense of purpose in life. For my generation, the average American changed career fields about three times over their lifetime. For the millennials and generation-Z people I can easily see an average of five, six or seven career changes over their life time. And nothing is being done! Why?

Because those who govern us, from the very top down to the smallest hamlets, none have any idea what they are doing or have any real understanding of the twenty-first century they are trying to living in.

That’s why I say:

America’s youth is getting the worst deal since the Indians sold Manhattan for twenty-four dollars.

Who is Saving the Future for our Youth?

What is Congress and the Senate doing so the Millenniums and Generation-Z will have a future in America? Nothing!

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

Every evening I watch the news, only to see a ‘Jane Goodall documentary’ being played out. Congressmen and Senators, both Republican and Democrats . . . liberals, conservatives, moderates and radicals- all are busy monkey fighting seemingly 24/7. Fighting and squabbling with gay abandonment, not a care, in the world, not a worry or concern for the troubles of their constituents. And apparently doing very little else, such as addressing the multitude of problems facing John Doe and Jane Plain of America who are struggling each day to keep their nose above the water.

Paramount of these problems is their continual displacement by technology, their replacement by machines that are more and more able to perform the critical parts of their jobs, thereby allowing people with lesser skills and abilities to replace them at significantly lower wages . . . if not completely replace some hapless human.

However, the abandonment of decorum and civility has laid bare the true essence of their core being, their true intellectual, analytical and problem solving skills for all to see. The eye of the TV camera shows what’s really at the heart of those we’ve elected to govern us. Naked and bare before the world, for all to see exactly what they are and what they have, lacking even the horse and long flowing blond hair of Lady Godiva for some small mediocrum of shielding. We are left with the question, ‘Why all the monkey fighting? Why can’t they do anything about all the real problems we have?’.

Maybe it’s because they lack the ability to do anything else!

As Speaker Tip O’Neill forecast years ago, what he called the ‘sound biters’, have come to dominate the federal government. People who have little skills beyond using the mass media and mass marketing technologies to get and stay elected. People skilled only in creating and maintaining images . . . and images don’t solve real world problems. Therefore, the answers to those questions is ‘It’s because they don’t know how to do anything else but monkey fight!’. So critical problems go unanswered, with candidates parroting what the polls say their focus groups want to hear. They know they’ll never have to actually do anything, they’ll just ply more media imaginary, and continue their monkey fighting which makes the American political process look like some cheap UFC entertainment event.

So nothing gets done, and people lives are slowly subverted by technology displacement.

Add to this . . . a large portion of the representatives are lawyers or political science majors. Reading the law is the education of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century. It’s the education of the likes of John Adams, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. An education that gives you little real understanding of the twenty-first century world. These are not people who know and understand the world Americans are trying to living in, trying to survive and thrive in. These are not people who can lead you and your family into the twenty-first century!

The next questions is ‘How to reform the government and make it into something that’s a real help and benefit to the man on the street?’. The widespread application of the mass media and mass marketing technologies to our political system has resulted in the delicate system of checks and balances, so essential for a modern government to function, being thrown out of skew. This unbalance is what must be restored to create an environment conducive for attracting the caliber of people necessary to address our problems. The real ‘Draining of the Swamp!’, and getting the money out of the election process. To accomplish this, four things (constitutional amendments) must be acquired- 1) Line item veto 2) Term limiting 3) Forbid participation in elections not qualified to vote in 4) Power of Congress to dismiss Federal employees with cause.

Such changes in the structure of the government would create an environment less inviting to the ‘sound biters’, having substantially less monies for re-elections and not getting the long terms in office to amass personal fortunes. And with an environment where only those individuals who can qualify to vote can make contributions in coin or kind, the special interest groups and corporations are barred from buying influence. Emptying the sound biters out of the system opens the way for qualified people to come and serve their country, and in the process address those real problems that will shape the economic future of the Millenniums and Generation-Z.

One thing is for sure . . . both houses should be throughly ashamed of themselves.

Monkey fighting! Americans deserved better- much better than that!

The Car – End of the American Dream?

Some claim the personal ownership of automobiles is coming to an end, so will Generation-Z forego the romance of their fathers?

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

In my youth, the cult of the automobile was integrally interwoven into American culture, almost like a second religion which people constantly talked about, their thoughts dominated by machines ranging in all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors. Americans lived, breathed and slept with dreams about their beloved road machines and how perfect their lives would be if only they could own and drive the cars of their dreams. At casual social gathers, discussions abound over the virtues of one model verses the deficiencies of another. People were committed Ford or Chevy people who would never commit the mortal sin of buying from another car maker, a rivalry akin to loyalties of baseball and football teams, with all the same blind adherence to a maker as found amongst religious fanatics.

But over the years, I seen a decline of this adherence to the cult of automobiles, younger generations less inclined to worship cars as previous generations did, as automobiles took on a sameness forced by the laws of physics and the quest for higher gas milage and safety. The romance of their cars coming to an end … as car prices spired into the wild blue yonder. And I must confess, I was one of the early adherence to this trend considering the automobile to be nothing more than another utility appliance much like my washing machine and refrigerator. Just a machine to perform certain tasks in my life. Indeed, I didn’t even get my first car until I was eight years out of highschool, because I didn’t really need one and my money was going to education. I’m seventy-one years old now, and I’ve only owned three automobiles in my life. A used 1969 Chevelle 300 series deluxe with a 307 V-Eight, column shift and bench seats. I owned and drove it for about 22 years, then got a used Toyota mini-pickup which I drove for about a dozen years. Finally, another Toyota pickup, a cab and a half Tacoma which I’m still driving today. Why? Because I know it’s cheaper to repair than to buy new.

I tell people I’m like that John Wayne line in the movie ‘The Searchers’ where he says “A white man rides a horse until it drops, then a Comanch comes along, gets that horse back up, rides it another twenty miles . . . then eats it!” A technologist equivalent for a Comanche Indian, a machine substituting for a horse. Despite my ambivalence to the cult of the car and my peers, I was rather surprised to recently read articles that the personal ownership of cars is coming to an end, that automobiles are becoming a service rather than a possession. Their premise is that cars are becoming too expensive to own anymore. The average cost for a new car in America is $33,000. For the young and ‘up and coming’ Americans with earnings significant less than their fathers and grandfathers, this makes ownership even more difficult. Couple that with many young people being saddled with large student loans, it’s easy to see their rational.

But in the highly mobile society that America is, this would have little meaning without some alternative, and that alternative is services like Uber and Lyke that provide driving services coupled with the emerging robotic driving systems which can make this premise valid. Once in place, the young people would call up a robot car much as one does today with taxis. Using an app on their smart phones, they could call for a robot car, the phone’s GPS telling the robot car where to go, then minutes later, the robot stops near the person, who gets in. The robot already knows where to go since that was part of the person’s request for a car. Once arriving, the person only has to get out, payment automatically made electronically, leaving the robot to continue on to its next pickup request.

When I was young, my father commented more than once that it would actually be cheaper to use taxis rather than own a car, that if you count everything, the purchase price, loan interest, annual cost of licenses, taxes, insurance, gas, oil and maintenance . . . the total cost of ownership would exceed the taxi fares paid out. So I can see where purchasing automotive services would be cheaper than ownership of a personal car. Those cost would be distributed over many users, especially that $33,000 purchase price. For Americans with little hope of having the financial means of their forefathers, the use of technology to share the cost and thus reduce their living expense might be a viable alternative.

In recent years there has been an upsurge in something called ‘tiny houses’, where people choose a life style living in domiciles of just a few hundred square feet, a small fraction of the sizes of houses they were raised in. This allows the young of limited means to own their own home without the exorbitant cost of a conventional house. Sharing robot automobiles keeps with the strategy of reducing cost to accommodate the reduced earnings that America’s youth are facing.

Presently, automobiles and housing comprise about half of the American economy, so the significant downsizing of either or both implies a considerable change to the economy in general. Add to this the increasing demise of many big box stores, we are left with the question ‘Can our present hyper-consumerism based economy survive?’. More importantly, the real value of Americans is as consumers, so just what is going to be left for America’s Generation-Z in the future? And even more crucially, just how satisfied will they be to accept so much less?

Makes one wonder what other means might come forth for the young people of America to live and prosper in their new world . . . a world far different from my days of youth.

ETSY BUYS REVERB FOR PRICEY $275 MILLION….

IMAGE CREDIT: Reverb.com

By: Economic & Finance Report

Etsy has stated that it will be aquiring Reverb for $275 million. Reverb is the musical instruments online platform.

Reverb considered to be one of the world’s leading marketplaces for musicians; was created in 2012, in Chicago, IL. The platform is one of the leading musician websites, curated for musicians by musicians.

Etsy which is based in NYC, has recently been aquiring new media businesses but nothing of an aquisition in this caliber. With this acquisition new things shall arise in the music front. -SB

Aliens – Millennials’ Other Trial!

An Alien is one who so fails to advance technologically that they become an alien in their own home land.

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

In the news recently was a short story about thousands of people riding bicycles naked through the streets of London to protest the growing car culture and excessive use of oil. The question came to my mind ‘just how is riding bicycles in the nude suppose to address the effects of automobiles and oil usage on the environment and humanity’? The answer is quite obvious- it WON’T!! So why do it? Why choose a method for solving problems that has virtually no expectations of accomplishing anything? What is going through their minds?

This is just one example of people struggling to cope with the world they live in, a world where they are becoming more and more an outsider. It’s a world that confuses, perplexes them, that they are fearful of, distrustful and resentful of. It’s like they become aliens in their own homeland. As you closely examine these kind of people you find one commonality . . . they don’t have a strong inclination towards technology. Indeed, many are careful to avoid technology as much as they can, even to the point of becoming openly hostile towards technologies except those which make their lives easier. And even then, they want to know as little as possible about those technologies.

People who fail to advance technologically become an alien in their own homeland.

This alienation presents a number of problems for those trying to live in a world they’re not a part of, that manifest itself in some strange and even outlandish ways . . . like riding around naked in public expecting that to actually solve problems (feeding mosquitos?). But there are many more subdued manifestations. We naturally fear that which we don’t understand, and being an alien means living among a mirid of things they don’t understand, both tangible and intangible. It leaves them with a low level, continuous, slow grinding always present fear. This makes them uncomfortable, ill at ease in the modern world, accentuating that they don’t belong, and that in turn brings a longing for a place where they do belong. And unable to find such a place of their own, a place where they don’t feel that slow grinding fear and apprehension, a place where they can feel comfortable and at ease . . . they experience those various manifestations.

Aliens strive to isolate themselves from those technologies they don’t want in their lives … in their world. They are careful not to acknowledge what they consider unwanted technologies, ignoring their existence, even physically masking them off from view if possible. Most of all they don’t want to hear any technical talk, or for that matter, any talk at all about technology. Indeed, they can become quite aggravated even angry at those of technology, if unable to avoid them. Aliens begin to embrace less than rational beliefs, reverting back to beliefs centuries ago, to belief systems and religions long before the age of enlightenment.

The emotional frustration and tensions causes aliens to blindly lash out at things, people and situations around them. This is particularly true of those individuals, who aliens perceived as not sharing their view of life. This has manifested itself in what is called the counterculture, which started emerging in the early 1960’s, cumulating in the so call ‘hippy culture’, that quickly dispersed to become less visible. Nevertheless, the counterculture has continued and grown, not nearly as visible as it once was, but still having a profound effect on American culture and politics. More and more aliens want and strive for their own world where they have a place of comfort. This has resulted in the growing social mitosis we see everyday in the political news, as political division deepens with sides becoming less reconcilable.

There is a profound economic side to this alienation, and that’s the inability of people to make substantive contributions to society. The desire to make contributions to society is one of the major threads that makes up the fabric of a society. Not only do people earnestly want to make contributions, to be known as a useful member of society, but the opposite is also true. Society has little tolerance for those perceived as not being contributors. People who have not advanced technologically, those who are alienated, have less ability to make substantive contributions, and therefore find themselves even more alienated from the world they were born into and try to live in. Their value to society is as consumers working to support consumers, trying to scrape together monies to buy the illusion that they have value in a high technology society, which they don’t like in the first place.

Trying to isolate themselves from technology only aggravates their situation, thereby making themselves even more alienated . . . making themselves even more discontented with their station in life. This in turn only makes them blindly strike out against the world they are forced by circumstances to live in, while at the same time making it more difficult to be a real contributor. Furthermore, as parents naturally do, they strive to mold their children into their own image, and in so doing their kids also become alienated.

It’s a self perpetuating cycle.

This phenomena of alienation is the most misunderstood and understudied facet of our modern society, which only results in a growing problem that is not being addressed. Problems, that have major ramifications to society, and which if unaddressed do not get better, will only worsen over time.

As I finish writing this, I’m watching the movie “Wild” based on Cheryl Strayed’s book1 by the same name, which chronicles the struggles of an alien … her trials and tribulations as she makes her way through early life. Watching it, you can’t help but have empathy with aliens and their plight in life.

1) “Wild – From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”, Cheryl Strayed, Vintage Books, New York, 2012