7 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2024
    1. All roads lead to progress.

      for - key insight - all roads lead to progress - progress trap - Prometheus complex - impuslive urge to invent

      Comment - This is fleshed out in the final three paragraphs of this article - I disagree with the closing sentence, however

      • “It’s not possible [to avoid invention],
        • because all knowledge is interconnected like a web,” Carlin told Big Think.
      • “If you walled off a certain part of it because you saw the potential downside,
        • you would get to the same outcome sort of in a roundabout way, right?
      • The connections might not be direct, like saying, ‘Oh, I see nuclear weapons in the distance; let’s go there,’

        • but we would go through the back door, and eventually we would discover everything around that thing.”
      • To bring Carlin’s analogy home,

        • we can think about the idea of artificial general intelligence, or AGI.
      • AGI is the point at which AI can perform a wide variety of tasks so competently
        • that it matches or exceeds human intelligence and performance.
      • Some people might see AGI as dangerous.
      • Others may see AGI as the savior of humanity.
      • But while we have debates and conversations,
        • we’re still marching toward AGI.
      • Scientists and programmers behind their computers are
        • solving “everything around that thing.”
      • Our hands and our brains will,
        • perhaps unconsciously,
      • drift toward the very thing we’re debating if we should do.

      • The Prometheus complex can be seen over and over again

        • in the history of science.
      • It is not simply that Edenic urge to eat the fruit or push the red button.
      • It’s the fact that
        • as the rational, intellectual part of ourselves wrestles with the decision,
        • a deeper, Promethean part of ourselves has pressed it already.
      • Thankfully, it usually turns out okay.

      comment - I disagree with the last line - If the meta-poly-perma-crisis is what is meant by "OK", then it is a very distorted use of that word. - Rather, this Promethian way of thinking and act - compounded over the lifetime of human civilization - is EXACTLY what has brought us to the brink of civilizational disaster - and it may not turn out to be "ok"!

  2. Dec 2023
      • for: polycrisis, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Cascade Institute Royal Roads University - Changemakers Speakers Series, etymology - polylcrisis

      • Talk: Hope in the Polycrisis

      • Speaker: Thomas Homer-Dixon
      • Host: Royal Roads University - Changemakers Speakers Series
      • Date: 2023

      • SUMMARY

        • Thomas Homer-Dixon is a leading complex systems scientist and director of the Cascade Institute, which he co-founded at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C., Canada, to study the polycrisis and identify strategic high leverage interventions that could rapidly shift humanity's trajectory in the next few critical years.
        • The talk, entitled "Hope in the polycriisis" chronicles Homer-Dixon's multi-decade journey to understand the convergence of crisis happening in the world today.
        • In a real sense, the evolution of his thinking on these complex problems are reflected in the series of books he has written over the years, culminating in the 2023 book "Commanding Hope", based on a theory of hope:

          • Environment, Scarcity, and Violence (Princeton, 1999). - a book showing how other factors combine with environmental stress to produce violence.
          • “The Ingenuity Gap: Can Poor Countries Adapt to Resource Scarcity?,” which appeared in Population and Development Review in 1995
          • “Resource Scarcity and Innovation: Can Poor Countries Attain Endogenous Growth?" ?” coauthored with Edward Barbier, which appeared in Ambio (1999)
          • The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization (2006), examined the threat to global stability of simultaneous and interacting demographic, environmental, economic, and political stresses. This led to examining energy as a major factor in our modern society.
          • "Commanding Hope: The Power we have to Renew a World in Peril"
        • Homer-Dixon also talks about practical solutions, His team at Casacade Institute is researching a promising technology called ultra-deep geothermal, which could provide unlimted energy at energy densities comprable to fossil fuels.

        • He finishes his talk with his theory of Hope and how a "Robust" hope can be the key to a successful rapid transition.
      • etymology - polycrisis

        • https://polycrisis.org/lessons/where-did-the-term-polycrisis-come-from/
        • Complexity theorists Edgar Morin and Anne Brigitte Kern first used the term polycrisis in their 1999 book, Homeland Earth, to argue that the world faces
          • “no single vital problem, but many vital problems, and it is this complex intersolidarity of problems, antagonisms, crises, uncontrolled processes, and the general crisis of the planet that constitutes the number one vital problem" (p. 74).
        • South African sociologist and sustainable transitions theorist Mark Swilling then adopted the term to capture
          • “a nested set of globally interactive socio-economic, ecological and cultural-institutional crises that defy reduction to a single cause” (2013, p. 98).
        • Climate change, rising inequality, and the threat of financial crises interact in complex ways that multiply their overall impact (Swilling 2013, 2019).
  3. Dec 2022
    1. The “Book of Roads and Kingdoms”, an eleventh-century geography text by Abu Abdullah al-Bakri, describes the Vikings as “Majus”, a term for heathens and fire-worshipers.

      Majus cognate with magi, magic?

  4. Feb 2022
    1. “ Reports of the destruction of books in transport from Lilienfeld in 1789 are well known. At that time, books were used by the coachmen to patch bad roads. ”

      In the late 1700's Vienna there were reports of coachmen using books to patch bad roads.




  5. Sep 2018
    1. infrastructure

      Timely response for the maintenance of roads and development of new routes when needed according to the traffic needs due to industrial developments and labour market that involve drive-in drive-out mobility and heavy transit during construction phase

  6. Jan 2018
    1. They are grid corrections, as he refers to them in a new photographic project: places where North American roads deviate from their otherwise logical grid lines in order to account for the curvature of the Earth.

      What? Crazy!