Posts in Innovation

The Laws of Physics….Redefined (in a car)

September 26th, 2018 Posted by Innovation, Strategy, Trends No Comment yet

Ok, yes, it’s another article about Tesla (the car not the man). You may wonder if I am simply a promoter for electric cars. The answer is no.

To be honest, I am not completely sold on the concept of an electric car as a sustainable technology moving forward. Well, that’s not true. Theoretically, electric cars could develop a method of unlimited fuel (solar), but they is still many moons away. Instead, lets talk about the P85D or better known as the Tesla Sedan that can kick a Lambo in a quarter mile.

The Tesla Model S P85D performed well on Consumer Reports’ road tests. Be well we mean it generated a raw score of 103 on a scale that only goes up to 100.

The high-performance Tesla’s incredible showing actually forced Consumer Reports to reset its scoring system with P85D as the new benchmark…..for a third time.

When were the first two?

One shouldn’t be surprising at all. In 2013 the P85D’s own sibling — the single-engine Model S scored a 110/100. So they had to reset the scoring and eventually fell to 99. Prior, and quite shocking, in 1996, the Porsche Boxster scored 100 on its road test. Simply put the P85D has had an even harder scoring metrics and still came out with flying colours.

“Usually, when you review the base model and then the performance model, you get more performance but lose efficiency,” Consumer Reports’ auto editor Mark Rechtin told Business Insider in an interview. “That didn’t happen here. In fact, it got more efficient. The car defies the laws of physics.” Just to recap the Model S is amazing, the P85D is faster and with better mileage. Again, I say FASTER and with BETTER MILEAGE. Not a typo.

Armed with an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack and Tesla’s “Insane Mode” software, CR’s P85D managed the sprint to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Although that time is nearly half a second slower than Tesla’s claimed time, the P85D is still the quickest car the publication has ever experienced. Rechtin compared the Tesla’s 1.02 Gs of force on acceleration to that of jumping off a building. At the same time, Consumer Reports found the dual-motor achieved the equivalent to 87 mpg in fuel economy with a range of more than 200 miles. Again, it is worth mentioning this is a sedan. You go to the grocery store in this. Odd, you don’t go to a grocery store in a Ferrari. Maybe it’s just not fast enough now. According to Rechtin, the Tesla’s closest conventional rival in CR’s road tests is the iconic Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which scored 95/100.

With that said, Rechtin was quick to point out that the P85D’s high score doesn’t mean it’s the perfect car. In fact, the score only accounts for the Tesla’s performance in the road test. This means that parameters such as acceleration, handling, braking, and interior fit and finish were taken into consideration while other factors, such as reliability, were excluded. See, not the perfect car, but simply just amazing. However, if Tesla is anything like SpaceX, I think we will be fine.

Let’s give a little insight, at $128,000, the P85D lacks some of the gizmos and gadgetry that others in its price point delivers, heck it doesn’t even have a flux capacitor. Furthermore, Tesla’s growing network of Superchargers is still inadequate. As any gear head can admit, superchargers are quite a finicky item to play with. I see it taking a little time to perfect. But when it does, well, let’s just say the 103 score will have its competition. Albeit we have a photo below and it still has some slick features. The ergonomics could be a little more aspiring though.

“Even with the great range, the Model S is still an electric car, and any long trip will have to be dictated by the location of charging stations.” This is my main issue with electric vehicles. No cottage bound trips unless you’re in Sweden where they have charging stations everywhere.

It’s been rumored that Elon Musk’s company will be releasing a $35,000 Model 3 in 2016 to ’17. I say rumored, because there’s evidence, but things always change. Still even a sub $45K electric car with the gadgetry Tesla is known for would be a game changer. Sorry Leaf, you really aren’t even competing in this paradigm. In short, Tesla, you never cease to amaze. Now where is my jet pack Elon? I figure a guy like you must have thought of making one?

The Most Interesting Article You Will Read This Year…..Guaranteed!

August 26th, 2018 Posted by Innovation, Trends No Comment yet

So, it started as a post on Facebook after reading this article on the Fermi Paradox. What is the Fermi Paradox you ask?

Well, just about the coolest conversation you will have with just about anyone you meet. Essentially, the Fermi Paradox tries to give ideologies as to why we are alone in the universe. Or rather why we think we are alone and why we haven’t met any other aliens. In retrospect, I feel they would call us the aliens if given the option.

Tim Urban does a beautiful job breaking down the theories into some more manageable sub categories. Here is a short abstract of the article, followed by a link to the full review. Worth the read. Let’s being.

Everyone feels something when they’re in a really good starry place on a really good starry night and they look up and see this:

Some people stick with the traditional, feeling struck by the epic beauty or blown away by the insane scale of the universe. Personally, I go for the old “existential meltdown followed by acting weird for the next half hour.” But everyone feels something.

Physicist Enrico Fermi felt something too—”Where is everybody?”

________________

A really starry sky seems vast—but all we’re looking at is our very local neighborhood. On the very best nights, we can see up to about 2,500 stars (roughly one hundred-millionth of the stars in our galaxy), and almost all of them are less than 1,000 light years away from us (or 1% of the diameter of the Milky Way). So what we’re really looking at is this:

Galaxy image: Nick Risinger

When confronted with the topic of stars and galaxies, a question that tantalizes most humans is, “Is there other intelligent life out there?” Let’s put some numbers to it—

As many stars as there are in our galaxy (100 – 400 billion), there are roughly an equal number of galaxies in the observable universe—so for every star in the colossal Milky Way, there’s a whole galaxyout there. All together, that comes out to the typically quoted range of between 1022 and 1024 total stars, which means that for every grain of sand on every beach on Earth, there are 10,000 stars out there.

The science world isn’t in total agreement about what percentage of those stars are “sun-like” (similar in size, temperature, and luminosity)—opinions typically range from 5% to 20%. Going with the most conservative side of that (5%), and the lower end for the number of total stars (1022), gives us 500 quintillion, or 500 billion billion sun-like stars.

There’s also a debate over what percentage of those sun-like stars might be orbited by an Earth-like planet (one with similar temperature conditions that could have liquid water and potentially support life similar to that on Earth). Some say it’s as high as 50%, but let’s go with the more conservative 22% that came out of a recent PNAS study. That suggests that there’s a potentially-habitable Earth-like planet orbiting at least 1% of the total stars in the universe—a total of 100 billion billion Earth-like planets.

So there are 100 Earth-like planets for every grain of sand in the world. Think about that next time you’re on the beach.

Moving forward, we have no choice but to get completely speculative. Let’s imagine that after billions of years in existence, 1% of Earth-like planets develop life (if that’s true, every grain of sand would represent one planet with life on it). And imagine that on 1% of thoseplanets, the life advances to an intelligent level like it did here on Earth. That would mean there were 10 quadrillion, or 10 million billion intelligent civilizations in the observable universe.

Moving back to just our galaxy, and doing the same math on the lowest estimate for stars in the Milky Way (100 billion), we’d estimate that there are 1 billion Earth-like planets and 100,000 intelligent civilizations in our galaxy.[1]

SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is an organization dedicated to listening for signals from other intelligent life. If we’re right that there are 100,000 or more intelligent civilizations in our galaxy, and even a fraction of them are sending out radio waves or laser beams or other modes of attempting to contact others, shouldn’t SETI’s satellite array pick up all kinds of signals?

But it hasn’t. Not one. Ever.

Where is everybody?

It gets stranger. Our sun is relatively young in the lifespan of the universe. There are far older stars with far older Earth-like planets, which should in theory mean civilizations far more advanced than our own. As an example, let’s compare our 4.54 billion-year-old Earth to a hypothetical 8 billion-year-old Planet X.

If Planet X has a similar story to Earth, let’s look at where their civilization would be today (using the orange timespan as a reference to show how huge the green timespan is):

The technology and knowledge of a civilization only 1,000 years ahead of us could be as shocking to us as our world would be to a medieval person. A civilization 1 million years ahead of us might be as incomprehensible to us as human culture is to chimpanzees. And Planet X is 3.4 billion years ahead of us…

There’s something called The Kardashev Scale, which helps us group intelligent civilizations into three broad categories by the amount of energy they use:

Type I Civilization has the ability to use all of the energy on their planet. We’re not quite a Type I Civilization, but we’re close (Carl Sagan created a formula for this scale which puts us at a Type 0.7 Civilization).

Type II Civilization can harness all of the energy of their host star. Our feeble Type I brains can hardly imagine how someone would do this, but we’ve tried our best, imagining things like a Dyson Sphere.

Type III Civilization blows the other two away, accessing power comparable to that of the entire Milky Way galaxy.

If this level of advancement sounds hard to believe, remember Planet X above and their 3.4 billion years of further development. If a civilization on Planet X were similar to ours and were able to survive all the way to Type III level, the natural thought is that they’d probably have mastered inter-stellar travel by now, possibly even colonizing the entire galaxy.

One hypothesis as to how galactic colonization could happen is by creating machinery that can travel to other planets, spend 500 years or so self-replicating using the raw materials on their new planet, and then send two replicas off to do the same thing. Even without traveling anywhere near the speed of light, this process would colonize the whole galaxy in 3.75 million years, a relative blink of an eye when talking in the scale of billions of years:

Source: Scientific American: “Where Are They”

Continuing to speculate, if 1% of intelligent life survives long enough to become a potentially galaxy-colonizing Type III Civilization, our calculations above suggest that there should be at least 1,000 Type III Civilizations in our galaxy alone—and given the power of such a civilization, their presence would likely be pretty noticeable. And yet, we see nothing, hear nothing, and we’re visited by no one.

So where is everybody?

CLICK HERE to find out.

Big Willy Style’s All In It – Nah Just Kidding, it’s about the formulations of Habits and the Hierarchy of Societal Views

April 26th, 2018 Posted by Case Studies, Innovation, Trends No Comment yet

I had the opportunity recently to read some work by William James. One quote that struck out for me was, “We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar.” Quite profound.

James had some keen views of habits and how these habits in turn become the flywheel of society. I started to think of my views on what society has become and well, this is simply just the abstract. But I thought it was worth a mention.

His views of habits are such that they keeps different social strata from mixing. His later views state that if the period between the ages of twenty and thirty are the most critical in the formation of intellectual and professional habits. The period below twenty is more important still for the fixing of personal habits. Lastly, he states that we must make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy and for this we must make as many automatic and habitual actions as we can, so that we may avoid operating in such a way that is disadvantageous towards our growth.

It is James’ view that the more we can hand over to automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work.

In conclusion, William James denotes an Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) connotation in such a way that his thoughts are of creating autonomous figures within humanity while giving a critical role to the one factor that separates us from every other creature on our planet. The ability to change. I will conduct an analysis that focuses on three separate hierarchies of change. The first level will focus on societal views, which will be followed by the extrinsic value of change and ambition. We will conclude that analysis by focusing on the intrinsic value of change and the evolution of imagination.

James refers to automatism as an efficient means of utilizing our thought process for a higher purpose. What he neglects to discuss is the idea of societal evolution as a whole. Within history society has always been driven by some form of hierarchy, whether it be religion, dictators, (facebook). There has always been a definitive imaginary line between the leaders and followers.

As technology advanced, social classes would begin to mix. Just look at what literacy brought to the classical ages. It is within this change that processes would form. A simple action such as cleaning could be considered within the realm of “automatism” in current society, however, within the medieval era, the act of bathing could have been considered an actions given to only the highest standard of living.

James’ arguments neglect the idea of time within his habit forming paradox. True, he does discuss the idea of language and the purpose of habitual studies to become well educated in linguistics. However, he does not state the process in which someone of 3 centuries ago would have taken to acquire the same level of skills. The thought of social classes mixing has been a debate for many generations. We could debate the ideologies of racial classes, cultural, religious or simply sexist classes. I mean, really, a guy working at the sports bar Hooters just wouldn’t fly.

I feel it is within James thoughts to compartmentalize all factions and classes of people into a simple equation. His views are that change is a factor given to your circumstance and is something of which you must follow as a ruling. His arguments due lack in one area however; ambition. Change is brought through the belief that life could be better and by default worse still.

Change is the desire to achieve more. Social classes would have to mix, if not only to alter the conformity of like minds. Conformity after all leads to stale minds, who likes anything stale? If a society of kings did not interact with their people, eventually they would lose sight of what is best for the people. In this regard, cross social interaction would be a necessity to bring about everlasting change. The idea of the challenge is the foundation to ambition. You are only limited to your own potential. James’ views neglect to discuss the catalyst in reference to ambition.

“The merchants offer their wares as eagerly to him as to the veriest “swell,” but he simply cannot buy the right things. An invisible law, as strong as gravitation, keeps him within his orbit.” This law that James speaks of, is simply the separation of classes. The Huxley faction of society. One where you are born into a class graded on your potential. Anything above or beyond would simply be inconceivable.

It lacks the ideologies of ambition. It lacks that thought that something could in fact change in the world if you desire it. True Williams does discuss the idea of habitual study and automatism as processes to help free your mind for larger ideas. Yet, he neglects to discuss how automatism itself is a process with which new efficiencies can be created. I will refer to the turn of the century and discuss the combustion engine.

At its time it was one of the greatest marvels of the world. We went from walking, to horseback, all the way through to an automated process that cut travel time to immense extents. If the automated process of walking had never evolved, the surplus of technology would have never occurred. With the invention of the automobile many things changed. Henry Ford himself altered the course of history by offering his vehicles at an affordable cost to his employees. Not only did he pay his employees higher wages, he supplied them with a new means of transportation. True, his real intention was capitalism, but you can’t blame a man for being ambitious and showing a little ingenuity.

It was pioneers like Ford who displayed a level of creativity that would alter the course of society. He didn’t perfect the combustion engine, nor did he create all the aspects of the automobile. He did however have the creativity and imagination to see what it was capable of. His thoughts would change modern transportation today.

Another kindred inventor, and one that I speak of often is Nikola Tesla. Albeit, as history has demonstrated, he would not be as lucky or as rich. Tesla was one of the greatest mind of our times. Once in an interview, someone asked Albert Einstein, “how does it feel to be the smartest man in the world?”

His response, “I do not know, you’ll have to ask Nikola Tesla.”

In short, he was the inventor of electricity, the pioneer of modern cell phone technology and his intrinsic beliefs were to create a world of limitless energy through the use of radian energy. We know how it all came tumbling down. Westinghouse had offered him a contract of $1 for every horsepower he produced. Simply put at this point, Tesla would have been richer than the top 10 richest individuals combined.

His contributions to the world were monumental and quite literary still in use today. In a William James based world, his social class would have kept Tesla from achieving greatness. True when Tesla passed he was penny less and disenchanted by the whole of society and their obsession with capitalism. Many of Tesla’s patents are now owned by Serbian Orthodox churches, never to see the light of day again.

Still all of the after effects do not alter the achievements he performed throughout his life. It was because of people like Tesla that change in the world is evident. But just think, if we have not had these societal hierarchies in place, suppressing what could have been, where would we be now? Albeit, I presume there are always two sides to a coin. Unfortunately, in hindsight, I often feel as if we chose the wrong side.

Can we do a best 2 out of 3 and see if we can choose a better course for the history books?

The Other Kind of Tesla

March 26th, 2018 Posted by Innovation, Strategy No Comment yet

May 4, 2015 – If all the great inventions and discoveries of Nikola Tesla, nothing stood out with greater potential benefit to the whole of humanity than his discovery of Radiant Energy in 1889. The series of observations that led to the discovery of Radiant energy initially grew out of experiments that Tesla had conducted in an attempt to duplicate the results that Heinrich Hertz had claimed to achieve in affirming the existence of electromagnetic waves, the discovery of which Hertz announced in 1887. While replicating Hertz’s experiments, Tesla experimented with violently abrupt DC electrical discharges and discovered a new force in the process.

“See the excitement coming!”

These were the words that Tesla used at the end of his pivotal 1892 December lecture, “The Dissipation of Electricity”. He was brimming over with buoyancy and optimism for the future In the 1890’s, Tesla conducted a large number of experiments which confirmed his theory and refined his understanding of the special conditions required for Radiant energy to express itself. He later expanded his New York work with the large scale experimental trials conducted at Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1899. Tesla, the humanitarian, wanted more than anything to share this enormous discovery with his fellow man. Tesla spoke of practical applications of radiant energy that were so wide reaching that they could have created a profound and immense leap into the future for all of mankind in practically every sector of daily life:

Unlimited electricity could be made available anywhere and at any time, by merely pushing a rod into the ground and turning on the electrical appliance. Homes, farms, offices, factories, villages, libraries, museums, street lights, etc., could have all their lighting needs met by merely hanging ordinary light bulbs or fluorescent tubes anywhere desired- without the need for wiring -and produce brilliant white light 24 hours a day. Motor energy for any imagined use such as industrial applications, transportation, tractors, trucks, trains, boats, automobiles, air ships or planes could be powered freely-anywhere on the planet from a single Magnifying Transmitter. This new form of energy even had the ability to elevate human consciousness to levels of vastly improved comprehension and mental clarity.

Needless to say, I am a fan of Tesla, more so, I am an admirer of his passion, innovation and of his magnificent intellect.

 

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