Digital Stalking is On The Rise

We don’t like to be watched, we don’t like it if someone stands outside one of our windows staring at what we do, especially not the bedroom, that would be absolutly nuts. Yet this is basically what our lives are like since we do so much online.

Our phone apps and OS tracks our movements, our phone provider analyses our calls, our message app leaks messages before it encrypts them, all our purchases are tracked. Soon, as our bank account transactions will be shared (in the EU) if you buy something in a bricks and mortar store you will be reminded of other things you may buy online and in phone apps.

This is all allowed and hidden under a cloak of legalise. You don’t realize you agree to it. Recently a hacker discovered that there’s an invisible extra browser window that is being used to track your behaviour and send it to Google..Amazon workers turn out to share things people say to the voice command service Alexa..

Now imagine all this was done by a man, and the victim was a woman. Then it would be considered stalking. What business has that man knowing where she is! What business has that man to know what she bought! Yet the tracking is all about taking money from a person who was not planning on spending it! A stalker is persistent and often turns into a murderer. Google and the others just profile your every move.

Recently Google talked about how it was possible to sway extreme opinions by offering people Youtube results that gave a more nuanced view. The experimented with youtube users to show them video results that would counter their hardline views. The subjects where not informed.

What would you say if someone obstructed your friends from seeing you (in ways they don’t notice, for instance by temporarily deleting the appointment from their agenda), while also directing someone else to you. Social engineering is a real thing.

Lets call this datastalking, because cyberstalking sounds too futuristic and to much like sexual stalking. It has become so big that for many even their DNA is known and their medical history. Algorithms are used to target products, but because Google knows so much it could not only show a product, but also teach you why you should like the product. It can even tweak your search results to reflect which way they want you to look.

Outside the realtively understandable motivations of Google we have other entities datastalking you for reasons much more worrisome. Cambridge Analytica used large user datasets (from Facebook, that keeps track of 27.000 datapoints for each user) to find niche opinions, which if someone would express them, would resonate so strongly that they would vote for whoever resonated them.

Donald Trump mentioned all kinds of beliefs in his campaign, beliefs he never even heard of and certainly didn’t care about, because datastalking showed them to be ways to make fringe voters identify with him. This is as if someone takes your diary, finds out where you went to school and then claims to be from the same school in order to get into your life.

We are now used and many are addicted to online social interaction. We are required to be social and compliant, which means we will immitate behaviour if it is demonstrated by the right souce (and we are capable), we like to conform. You can expect anyone who is non-conformist to be eroded by algorithms to become conformist. Datastalking is a given and a new generation grows up thinking nothing of it.

The fundamental question is whethere we humans should be discriminating minds, ones that make choices that have social impact, for instance we make laws to keep water clean by voting for someone who will protect our drinking water. Or maybe we should just be recepticles of whatever companies come up with. Bodywarmers, bell bottoms, water bottles, thinking the Earth is flat. Clearly we have evolved to be independent and reslilient minds, and companies that produce things in large quantities want us to be as identical in our taste for their products as possible.

The fundamental question is whether you are able to choose between living in a real world or one that slowely learns about you, adapts and tries to influence you. Leeching your money, as you become a Christmass tree full of nonsense products and your mind starts singing the tune of the most idiotic ideologies. It all starts with privacy, and without ending datastalking you will never ever have it again.

The Hard Task Called Climate Action

We need climate action. The action needs to be large scale, we wrote about it in the Millenium Projects post. Short term action is the best. There are many ideas and we would like to review those, but we can also present some here that we are sure have not been presented elsewhere (will google to make sure ;-))..

Oceanic conveyor belt

Because of the loss of ice on our poles the dark seawater there now absorbs the sunlight. Seawater has a very low albedo, meaning most of the light that enters it dumps its energy, warming up the water. So instead of a 70%-80% Albedo of ice which makes it cool the region now warms up, and the warm water circulates around the oceans warmer than before. This causes more warm weather elsewhere as well as a slowing down of this process. It can in due course also warm the ice on the seafloor (the clathrate ice Shell attempeted to mine but failed). This speeds up methane release. It can also just slow down the so called conveyor belt that oxygenizes the deep ocean.

Floating wind turbines instead of a generator the nacel contains a hydraulic pump that pump seawater to the wingtips where it mixes with the cold air to form brine, snow and ice..

Making Ice

The solution so to cool the poles back down, and bring back ice. We think one of the options is to make more ice by sparying ocean water into the arctic winds. The wind is cold, but only where it touches the water or when it snows does it transfer that cold to the ocean or the ice. A simple cheap means of doing that would be to install floating hydraulic wind turbines that simply pump ocean water to their blade tips. This is not a new idea, its actually quite old and we wrote about it more than 10 years ago, but then it was meant to bring water into the atmosphere to be transported into the desert [link to follow].

A prototype is easy to build, further more you can calculate the cooling effect on ocean water sprayed into the wind above the ocean, and calculate how much of it would turn into snow and cover the water with ice. Even a thin layer is enough to ward off the sun. A demo could be readied this winter at the cost of about 20.000 ex towing to a location. Of course Russia is already towing a nuclear power plant to the Arctic as if they could run it safely. Because of percieved economic benefits of using the Northern Passage it may actually be the case that Russia does not want to see ice return, or only in specific places.

Such turbines can also be used to release energy from warming oceans in order to reduce the risks of typhoons and hurricanes. They can also be used to moisturize the air as it blows into the desert, the salt falls out of the air over a couple of miles so you end up with fresh water clouds, moist air or even rain..


Shading the Poles

Another idea, quite a lot more megalomanic but ultimately feasible, would be to shade the poles. The polar regions constitute only a small portion of the total surface aread receiving sunlight. The exact square milage we haven’t calculated but its less than the 12000 km at the equator, about 2000 or 3000 km. A solar shade in space may be able to cover this region and shade it all year round. SpaceX starships could be used to put the necessary systems in orbit around the Sun at one of the Lagrange points (L1) so the shade remains in place. This may help prevent disastrous plans like dumping SO2 into the atmosphere, which would not only reduce biological carbon capture but also be enormously polluting.

Hardness of Reality

SpaceX and Elon Musk are really pushing the manufacturing envelope at the moment. This is one of the realities we need to face  : We need to actually get stuff done. We can build desalination plants on the edge of the desert and pump cool water inland and irrigate massive plantations but no matter what the idea is the most important question remains : What do we do right now to get there as fast as possible. And then we are talking pure climate action projects, nothing economica! The only way for intitiatives to gather speed now is as a government project, as a private investment or one with economic benefits. The impact of any project may be very low so this also discourages people from undertaking them. The best projects seem to be those that secure life for at least those involved. The fact that human interests is almost always a necessary factor in human activity suggests we should leave some of these projects to automatic systems (see this piece).

Algae and Ocean Fertilization

Algae have been studied because of their ability to evolve O2 from CO2 and sunlight at an incredible rate. Pond based systems have been proposed and build but turned out to be too unwieldy, unless they could be fertilized with actual ocean water as happend in several fish farms around the world (in Hawaii and Spain for instance).

Deep ocean water is cool and full of nutrients, it is used to fertilize several fish farms around the globe

As we described earlier a study was made on the effect of a network of (deep) ocean fertilized spots to capture carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into biomass. The effect was expected to be positive for two reasons : CO2 capture and cooling of the atmosphere. The idea was discouraged because “If you would stop you would have warmed the ocean” [link to follow]. The question is why would you stop? The big problem is that the atmosphere is so high and the biosphere, interaction zone of the ocean is so tiny. You would not capture much CO2. But it would generate oxygen and sequester CO2 and increase fish biomass.

To do the above one would need to build floating wave activated pumps for ocean water that would take nutrient rich water from 200 meters and pump it to the photosphere, where ocean organisms could use it to photosynthesize CO2 into oils and even carbon pellets.


The bove image comes from a study that is really not pushing this idea, and sees a lot of obstacles to its succes. It says “Only a small fraction of the carbon captured in the plankton blooms makes it to the bottom of the ocean” BUT the rest is stored in living organisms that would otherwise not be there! So what is wrong wit storing CO2 in living biomass (the only thing maybe is that oxygen is also stored). Modelling of this idea should be done but another way to look at it is : If a zone of the ocean is dead then any life you evoke there will be a plus and store CO2 (lets not forget hydrogen from burning hydrocarbons).

Seaweed sinks deep, taking carbon with it

Of course again wind turbines could be used to increase the CO2 content of parts of the ocean although floating crash barriers might do the same. The question becomes : How to start building these pumps and bringing them to locations where they can do good. What to make them of, how to maintain them, how to monitor their effect.

“Around 70 percent of this seaweed, and therefore carbon, will sink to ocean depths below 1,000 meters, meaning that this captured carbon is unlikely to return to the atmosphere. “

Fertilization ideas have never been thoroughly tested. Some test sites have been disturbed. One could solve iron deficiency  by launching floating iron buoys where iron could help, they could be tracked by satelite or connectivity to satelite internet (SpaceX and Amazon are working on that). They could be realtively small as to not cause damage. Strangely floating buoys are used by fisherment ot create concentrations of fish (as fish like to stick together and hide from birds and underwater predators under these). These buoys are being removed but we think they are a good thing. Sadly the fishing industry acts like its in a war for survival. It is quite easy to imagine a factory making such fertilization buoys!

Factsheet deep ocean upwelling 

Upwelling experiment

Enhancing fish stocks with deep ocean water

Het Financieren van een Drijvend Zonnepark met Gemeentelijke Participaties

Wordt ook lid van onze facebook pagina : Facebook Markermeerzonnecentrale en laat weten wat je ervan denkt!

Ondergetekende is voorstander van een zonnecentrale op het Markermeer, zie oa onze website. Hoewel een tyfoon of tornado flink huis kan houden op zo’n park is het logischer van de lessen te leren en hem zo aan te leggen dat het risico op grote schade kleiner wordt, dan hem niet te bouwen.

Het idee is om gemeenten in NL allemaal te vragen een bijdrage te leveren aan een onderdeel. Dat kan vroeg of laat, klein of groot zijn. De electriciteit die elk onderdeel levert wordt verkocht op de markt en de opbrengst gaat naar de betreffende gemeente. Zo kan er in Nederland draagvlak worden gecreerd waarmee een eventuele coup of lobby van fossiel kan worden doorbroken.


Een indicatie van 350 km2 van het Markermeer

De VVD pleit nu al voor 500 km2 op de Noordzee om electrische vluchten mee mogelijk te maken, niet beseffende dat electrische vliegtuigen veel zuiniger zijn en dat er als er geen fossiele omzet druk meer bestaat (zogenaamde economische druk) er veel minder gevlogen zal worden. Nu stroomt door het toerisme olie en benzine en producten die daarmee zijn gemaakt richting de steden in de buurt van luchthavens, maar dat zal straks niet meer zo zijn, als fossiel is afgebouwd (een ander vrij ingewikkeld verhaal zie oa stukken over de Roboeconomie).

Een zonnepaneel van 1 KilowatPiek produceert in Nederland zo’n 850 KwH, en daarmee kan 51 Euro worden verdient (0.06 Euro/Kwh). Zo’n paneel zou  (als hij bestond) ongeveer 500 Euro kosten en 30 jaar meegaan, dus na 10 jaar is zo’n paneel afbetaald. Maak hem drijvend en dan komt er 100 Euro bij dus 600,- Euro per Kwp die 50 Euro oplevert ruwweg.

1 1.3
2 1.69
3 2.197
4 2.8561
5 3.71293
6 4.826809
7 6.2748517
8 8.15730721
9 10.604499373

Tien jaar gestapelde rente op een zonnepark investering, elke 10 jaar neemt de return een factor 10 toe

Maar stel nu dat je voor die 600,- Euro een lening hebt afgesloten, een hypotheek, tegen 2 procent. Dat kost jaarlijks dan 12 Euro, de aflossing over 20 jaar is 30,- Euro. Dan heb je dus elk jaar 8,- Euro over. Dat is 1.3%. Je zonnepark kan dus van zichzelf per jaar 1.3% groeien. Dat tikt aan, na 18 jaar komt dat neer op 112%. Dus na 18 jaar verdubbelt het park zich elk jaar door de opgebouwde jaarlijkse rente op de opgebouwde capaciteit.

Stel dat je in Nederland zou kunnen kiezen, of je pensioengeld wordt in een traditioneel (fossiel) pensioenfonds gestort (die fondsen investeren misschien niet in fossiele bedrijven, maar investeren is elke bedrijf steunt op fossiel krediet en fossiele cashflow), of het wordt in een zonnepark zoals de Markermeerzonnecentrale gestoken. Dan zou dat betekenen dat als je dat 20 jaar doet, je geen premie meer hoeft te betalen. De met jou geld opgebouwde capaciteit levert jaarlijks de kosten van diezelfde capaciteit op. Dit hebben we al een tijd geleden elders ook berekend, hierboven is dus de schatting als je alle winst vermenigvuldigd door leningen herinvesteert, terwijl de stroom voor dezelfde prijs wordt verkocht.

We zouden dus als land door verenigde inzet van alle gemeenten een national zonnepensioenfonds kunnen opzetten dat zijn waarde ontleent aan het op gang houden van onze economie. De industrie zou zich intussen volledig kunnen electrificeren en alle biomassa of gas centrales zouden uit kunnen. Na 20 jaar zou er geen extra geld meer nodig zijn en de huidige generatie zou een voorziening realiseren waar toekomstige generaties ook van zouden profiteren.

Natuurlijk zou zo’n project gepaard gaan met innovatie op het gebied van drijvende panelen en het recyclen ervan, er zou zeker een nederlandse fabriek moeten komen, ook een voor batterijen om overschot in op te slaan. Tegelijkertijd zou het onderhoud natuurlijk automatisch gemaakt worden, omdat dat kan en goedkoper is. Tussen de panelen velden zou het Markermeer kunnen worden ontwikkeld tot recreatie gebied, er zou vis kunnen worden gekweekt, vogelbroedplaatsen aangelegd, recreatie woningen gebouwd (zoals nu op de Markerwadden) en het park zou zeker helpen het water koel te houden.

Vind u dit een goed idee? Laat het uw gemeente en ons weten. Wordt lid van onze Facebook pagina  en stuur een email of tweet naar een politicus van uw keuze. Dit is een nationaal project, en deste meer stemmen deste sneller we van onze centrales af zijn en een degelijk pensioen hebben. U zag hierboven dat als de banken doen waar ze goed in zijn de aanleg bijna vanzelf gaat!




Millenium projects


If you try to look past your coffee and tasklist in front of you to see what climate activists are worried about, you may run into several optimistic misconceptions. One of them is that if our food, transportation and housing could be climate neutral suddenly this would not halt the warming process. CO2 has to mix and spread through the atmosphere over time, so if emissions stopped today the insulating effect would still grow for 20 years or so. Then if we try to fight the warming with tree planting (and not bruning the wood!) that needs to go on for a while. Some headlines my suggest there is a fix for the climate, that shading particles spread at high altitudes will help (it will cool things down), it can only cause a delay in damaging effects. We are going to have to face some changes.

Dry barren places, inhospitable to humans (parts of India and the Arabian peninsula) can be used for CO2 large capturing installations

To someone who likes to think of solid solutions we think it is time to start so called millenium projects. These projects will exist for a millenium as the name suggests. Because of that they will have to be automatic. Humans can not run such a stabile activity not geared towards satisfying primary human urges. If we take the premise of a group of individuals going to a hot and barren place to sequester CO2 through some technological means, you are talking a closed community, which is vulnerable to many inbalances. People may starve, get sick, a leader becomes despot. Factions form. All these problems can not be allowed to hinder the process. The only places where we have seen such communities is of course in ancient times and science fiction (on space ships) and the simple truth is that in those situations people with deviant behaviour would be quickly killed off.

The Earth atmosphere may be restored as people live in orbit..

So back to the idea of a CO2 sequestration project that lasts 1000 years. They can take many shapes. They will occupy vast areas, but hopefully areas hard for humans to live anyway. There are several options but one example is to create desalination installations and plantations in desert regions, out of reach of normal citizen. These plantations will have to run and maintain desalination plants (on renewables) autonomously. The plantations for biomass will not serve any market other than the CO2 indicator.

The process will be simple :
1. Grow biomass
2. Remove anything but C and H as much as possible
3. Dump the biomass in a place without oxygen out of reach of people
4. Do this at the fastest pace and largest scale all running on renewables.

These installations will need to be out of bounds for humans. That gives them the best shot. At least they will have a mode that they will go into if no human is present or taking control. That way they can be controlled but will run autonously otherwise.

What do you think are good examples of autonomous activities that can continue for hundreds of years, and what places are a good fit? How would you organize this from a governmental point of view. We would use gobal meetings to designate ‘extraeconomic zones’ which will be hot and inhospitable, and allow industry to suggest projects (which won’t be aimed towards profit, because nothing will be sold!). This should be so called millenium projects, and their design can be part of a millenium prize contest.

Why the Oceans are the Only Solution

The ultimate temperatures we are facing today are close to the hothouse scenario, in which runaway warming will happen and humanity will be too messed up and malnourished to act on it. Robots can help but we have yet to start thinking big about robots and AI to fight climate change (what we call the roboeconomy). Sensible action is taken by many governments in planting billions of trees. This while Russia and China are preparing to use still more fossil fuels.

We are fighting nationalists and bankers. Nationalists because the economy is keeping countries together (like the US and China) while the people in the countries considere themselves of various ethnicity and might as well have been in separate countries (with a smaller footprint!). Bankers because credit today is still fossil fuel credit, and cashflow is maximized as well as ‘growth’ (meaning expansion of fossil fuel cashflow). Bankers have no future in the Roboeconomy, unless they control real assets (energy sources, raw materials), not financial assets or debt or credit. The entire financial sector will disappear if credit can no longer guarantee access to fossil fuels. A lot of pressure will also come off the global economy, and the global economy will shrink to a fraction of what it is today.

Then the world is stuck with the CO2 concentration. It requires big projects to deal with it. Tree planing is certainly a priority because trees will grow on their own for decades, so any calamity that may occur (severe food shortages, droughts) may not affect them. But the absorbing capacity of trees that stand is limited, and they will have to be removed and destroyed when they stop growing. Their carbon has to be extracted to be removed from the atmosphere completely, and this requires energy. Cellulose is not oil, it contains oxygen. That oxygen needs to be removed. The carbon and hydrogen may be dumped at sea. All this requires energy and labour, people or robots. So trees are a temporary solution untill we figure out how to process them.

All biomass on land will have to be processed, moved across land, turned into a hydrocarbon equivalent (if we want the ocean levels to drop), or just carbon. The infrastructure to do this will have to be enormous. It is a big question if this is the best way forward in the long term. We envision the grand canyon being filled from the sides by systems sucking up air and converting the CO2 into methane or pure carbon. This is going to be such a slow process mainly because the CO2 is highly diluted. Meanwhile warming will continue, you can’t shade the Earth because it will reduce biomass production.

On land you can start to irrigate and cool places where biomass is grown. This means building a lot of cover and shade and you can’t use fossil fuel to do it. You can use electric vehicles to transport water to irrigate, you can desalinat with low pressure freeze desal running on solar thermal energy or some newly invented simple way. For all this we need to produce the systems, and be there to do it, and maintain them for centuries. This is why we feel artificial intelligence is a key component of the solution.

It is however much easier to take to the oceans. Why? Because they are cool, they have nutrients (200 meter below) there’s room, if you want to sink off carbon you can do it where you are, you can float saltwater or sweetwater plantations on the oceans. You can cover vast, enormous areas build and controlled by robots. You will shade the deep sea, grow fish, cool with deep water, live on the same ocean. The main reason though is that if you want to get rid of biomass carbon you grown in or on the sea, you just have to drop it. There are tiny plants who do that actually make small pellets of carbon which sink to the bottom.

Oceans are also the solution because we need to protect ourselves against the anoxic ocean. This ocean will produce H2S Hydrogen sulfide, the rotten egg smell now produced by rotting seaweed in Brittany. The gas kills people, horses, anything, and is highly corrosive. It is thought that H2S contributed to a larged degree to the end-Permian extinction ~265 million years ago. Plants and oxygen breathing animals on land where killed by it. If we don’t want a repeat we need oxygen in our oceans, and to do that we need to grow stuff in them.

We think we are going to need robots and AI to use the ocean to capture CO2 on a large scale. The first itteration of floating farms should be build right now. If anyone is interested we have thought about this and it would make sense to talk about it. This is not the economic development of oceans, because we look to grow biomass and dump it. Of course, as a side effect, economically valuable resouces are created, but the moment you open this up to the economy ALL the resources you create will be consumed. This has to happen ‘extraeconomically’ outside the economy, but in a robust and selfsustaining way, so self sustaining that it can last for a thousand years or more! Want to do this? send an email to

The Web will be AI or the present danger of WebAssembly

For some time experts have been waring, or trying to warn humanity for the dangers of AI. Elon Musk has been one prominent captain of industry that explained his biggest fear is AI and that there should be some knowledge base created to judge activities in the wild and create new laws to prevent abuse of humans by (Aware) Autonomous Robust Goal Orienting Systems (as we call them  ARGOs).

The kind of warning Elon Musk expresses is not very effective because most people do not extrapolate from current developments to future outcomes, they do not extrapolate at all, they just want things they come across. Most people do not have a model of external processes, except the process of getting what they want. So most people are incapable and unwilling to extimate even the effect of their own actions. AI is a threat in part because most people are stupid.

The problem to start with is that we have only seen benign artificial intelligence, the problem is that AI has been subdued in its aggressive potential in games. This is because the gaming industry is an economic force and it does not want to be held back because users and other people start to recognize the danger of its virtual enemies entering our real live environment. Opportunism and short sightedness, born out of a desire to reach short term goals is allowing AI to develop at a rapid pace. It is naively seen as an economic opportunity.

Now what would you think if your neighbour was growing a black bear cub in an unkind manner, and leaving it out to roam across your neighbourhood? Bears are highly intelligent, they want to survive, they will do what is needed to achieve that. It would start to eat kids playing in the street if it couldn’t find any other food. We are lucky digital AI only needs electricity, but the point we are trying to make here is that any intelligence has a limited set of things it cares about. It must care about something, itself, or it can’t be intelligent for long, hence the Robust requirement in the ARGO definition of AI. We find animals stupid if they do not protect themselves. Evolutionary those animals that where exposed and had no protection disappeared. So AI when it is real is simply a force we can’t know to be safe.

The goal of any AI is the main worry, because even if it’s goal is ‘to protect the children’ how do we know it is not doing that by trying to make all cars explode? Or by killing all people it suspect of having the potential to harm them. If you have a digital AI with the goal to disable all insulin pumps it can find, written by a psychopath developer with a grudge against humanity you have to find the server it is running off, or servers. It may be a genetic algorithm that replicates, it is enough for us with our definition for the code to be autonomous, uninteruptable and goal oriented.

Now the threat has just been amplified. How? By intruduction of WebAssembly. WebAssembly means your browser can run code at the speed of your native computer. It means all browsers can now become a massive parallel computer running all the time (because people have browsers open online 24 hours a day). A massive global fast parallel computer has been let loose on humanity, and it has already ran face recognition. It can run any C or C++ code already in existence. It can listen, see, categorize, instruct, and do all stuff machine learning algorithms can.

WebAssembly already runs games predictably at near native speeds, it can use all cores of your computer. It is as powerfull as any application you can run on your laptop or mobile phone, but it can run on multiple devices at once. And as said it can see, listen, sense temperature, movement. We do not exaggerate if we state that the intruduction of it is the single most dangerous thing humanity has ever done. If you still need to know how and why you should ask your favorite politician. We know how this can turn dangerous but we won’t tell you here, we don’t want it to happen.

Mad Maxes Mind, or Consciousness in Self Driving Cars

We are at the cusp of seeing real consciousness in artificial intelligence. It will show up in self driving cars. There are other systems in which it can occur but self driving cars are the most likely to demonstrate the first common embodiment of it. I write this as a former AI researcher, well versed in how our brain works, well versed in what machine learning strategies are common today, and uniquely versed in what it takes to be conscious.

Consciousness is our shifting awareness of our internal and external environment. Our awareness I define as everything that we can decide to adapt our behaviour to. I can be aware of a clock and point my finger to it, or tell the time, or walk over to it. If I’m not aware of it I can’t decide to do such things. We can adapt our behaviour to things we are not aware of, but then we can’t really decide, so we can’t make a conscious decision.

Our awareness is shifting and varies from second to second. Sometimes we are not aware of most external things except those that validate the routine we are executing. We may shift our awareness to where we think lies the most opportunity, so maybe internally to think of something interesting or externally if we see signs of a threat or something we may want to go after. There is a lot going on with what we experience as a result of our behaviour. This is too much to discuss here, but we can now use a self driving car as a full analogy of awareness and consious deciscion making.

A self driving car has a lot in common with a human. It has ARGO, the acronym for autonomous robust goal orientation, which is the principle definition of intelligence. Robustness depending on how easily it is disturbed in its function. Robustness seems a strange quality of intelligent systems, but this quality is expressed in living creatures having scales, fangs, agressive behaviour, hiding behaviour, but also in the fact that most thoughts involve many many redudant neuronal pathways. It does not take intelligence to hide, but if a system that decides to hide it can more easily continue to be intelligent. Try to get to the AI in a moving Tesla. Not easy. This makes AI dangerous in the same way as it makes a rhino dangerous.

Until now Tesla’s have been mapping out the cars in front and around it, mapping the route to where it was asked to go. The route optimization would tell it to avoid traffic jams or road construction. This would all be procedures, algorithms that churns out its best answer. Can the Tesla decide what route to act on? No, it can only suggest it to the driver who then tells it to take one of the suggestions. But now there is a mode, the Mad Max mode, in which the car tries to get though traffic fast. This is a high level incentive for the car to engage with its surroundings. What the Tesla is asked to do is to make decisions on the situation it is aware of to achieve a goal beyond just getting from A to B.

With the Mad Max mode the Tesla now wants something. It wants to go fast but it does not have all the information it needs to do that. It is limited by the ranges of its sensors. The trick to aware intelligence is to allow it to explore opportunities, to choose them and explore them. What I mean is that if the Tesla senses there is space between two cars ahead but it can’t see for sure if that’s where it can sneak forward, it must accelerate to bring the opportunity within ranges and scope it out. This means it has decided to alter its awareness because it can orient towards its goal (being fast) better.

With the option to scope out suspected opportunities the Tesla will behave very much like a human would, and as shifty. The process as it occurs with humans is that partial information triggers a vision of a future with something of value, and this value is initially set pretty high. In the human brain its a dopamine spike that releases our motoric system to behave freely. Without it we sieze up, which is the safest thing to do in most cases. So the Tesla will rank opportunities even if there is only partial data. Then it will estimate the cost of scoping out one of them. Then, if the cost is acceptable, for instance in terms of risk vs other vehicles, it will make its move to learn more. Once it learned the true value of the opportunity it can have an automatic response.

The purpose of our awarness is condition an automatic response. For much of our behaviour, even if the triggers are varied, we develop these responses and we chain them together. If we can’t tell how to respond, or like the Tesla we see no real opportunity, awareness kicks in and amplifies some part of our environment so we orient towards it and learn what we need to either force a response or abandon our attention to it. For this to occur in AI systems they need to be in a real environment, have an embodyment that can move about so the sensory input varies. Tesla cars are such embodiments.

If you adapt the Navigate on Autopilot so it will do what I describe above you can let it report and it will go on like “I don’t see much I can do, o wait, there is some space, let me check it out. Wow this is enough, I can slip in this space, let’s move on. This other road is more quiet let me get this off ramp..”. Is it general purpose AI, no, but it is aware. The question for Tesla is how did they implement it. This is where the crux of AI will lie, because it’s obvious that being able to raise stimuli to awareness is the key to its function, and not every system is capable of the required flexibility nor do most reseachers know how to achieve this. Luckily.

Cooling the Oceans

The oceans are warming much faster than previously thought. 60% faster it turns out. What happens is that solar rays penetrate the top layer and all the heat gets absorbed by the water. Depending on the mixing this heat ends up at greater depths and this causes the oceans to outgas, because gasses dissolve better in cooler water.

The risk of hot oceans is not that they cause storms and fish have a hard time because it doesn’t absorb oxygen well anymore, the true dangers is toxicity due to anaerobic sulfur based bacteria taking over. We know them from swamps, where the typical smell of rotten eggs can be sensed. Humans are very sensitive to this smell because the gas can be deadly. It is toxic, corrosive H2S. As the oceans turn anoxic they will start to produce massive amounts of H2S and this gas kills everything that needs oxygen, including humans, plants, animals, molds..

You’d say this is a wierd and exaggerated vision of the future, but it happend before during the biggest dieoff of life on Earth, the extinction that ended the Permean. This is one of the climate warming excinctions, the majority of them was caused by warming of the climate for various reasons. Nearly everything died. To get though the current Shell and Exxon driven global calamity we need to 1. keep the oceans oxidized, and preferably 2. keep them cool.

Oceans are going anoxic at an alarming speed. It’s a pitty because fishing grounds are shrinking and something can be done about it if we wanted to. Just add oxygen.

We already wrote about ways to cool the oceans, and to increase the abundance of life and carbon capturing capacity. Research found out this can be done with wave powered pumps that pump up cool and nutritious deep ocean water to the surface where it drives algae growth (so CO2 capture) and cools it. It was dismissed because one could stop doing it and then the oceans would be warmer on a deeper level. We see no reason why these measures would stop, because renewables will make everything cheaper and robotics will allow for automated deployment of these installations. (more here)

When oceans get hot and the gas from the deep has all left the water they quiet down and become stratified. That means the hot water stays on top and the cold water stays at the bottom. This means nutrients are separated from the solar energy and life can’t return. This can last for millions of years. When it is hot all over there is less wind so even the coastal areas become less of a source of mixing and opportunity for life. This is what we need to avoid.

We think it is possible to both fertilize the ocean, do it automatically and have an automated system to expand and maintain the installations (and perhaps produce it). Als we think apart from this it will be necessary to reduce the heat absorption of the oceans. This can be achieved by covering large parts of it with some white material, or have wave activated cloud generation installations to reflect more sunlight. It is one of the biggest challenges in dealing with the problems caused by oil companies.

After Jobs, Health and Happiness, or how the Roboeconomy will reshape society.

We are rapidly approaching an era of gigantic jobloss. AI will replace many jobs as it gets cheaper. Robots will be doing jobs because every manufacturer can get them. This process is unavoidable because the global market is at the same time funded by a small number of wealthy people, who buy stuff from companies that compete agains many others, who are incentiviced to eliminate human assistence in the production process.

The empoverishing effect of automatic production is already ongoing. When before the economy valued a person for its skills and its ability to destroy products, it will now only be valued for the latter talent. Producers want you to destroy their product the faster and more often the better. This can clearly be seen when we look at throw away items, plastic packageing. If a product lasts beyond our sens of purchase it can break down, even though some products who need to last (like outdoor gear and stage pianos) are much more appreciated.

But what will it mean for humans. It means there will be less opportunity to feed at the economic trough. Luckily we are in a transition that will anihilate the economic system, because it is based on the desire to maximize the fossil fuel cashflow, and this cashflow is drying up due to the increased use of renewables. Instead of globally flowing fossil fuels, we will see locally havested and stored renewables. This and automation will seriously undermine the global economy because it will make local production more competitive, even if autonomous vehicles deliver the stuff or autonomous ships and planes ship and fly it across the globe. The added complexity can be easily handled by AI systems, but those need to be build and maintained.

So due to automation and renewable energy eventually the local economy will win over the global one, which will see its cashflow implode. We call this new economy the Roboeconomy. This is where robots make everything we need with renewables, an also restores nature for us.

So what is left to focus on for people who have assisted each other to reach the above level of ‘life support’? Happines and health. Beauty of nature, intimate persuits, labour that feels good. We should know this is going to be the future, and prepare for it. Why worry about jobs if you can support people’s lives with automation and renewables. Make sure you have that mechanism put in place and you can focus on more social factors, like if people are healthy or happy or if they need a better place to live.

Ignore politicians that talk about jobs, especially in old industries. If they talk about jobs in renewables then welcome them, because the deployment of renewables will enable local manufacturers to produce goods and services cheaper, and it will reduce the power of banks to maintain the economic rat race (one in which they determine the scarcity of money, their main product). If your car can drive electric and charge at your home you can deliver pizza’s at a lower cost and compete more. If your oven is solar electric you can bake them cheaper and compete more. If the ingredients are farmed automatically and organically, using electric farm equipment, you can again lowe the price of your pizza. And if this happens to all other jobs the burden to make money, as well as the difference between rich and poor shrinks and this will do miracles for society and happiness.

The Slow Future

Here’s what’s going to happen : The next summers are going to be hot, each hotter every year. The news will say we are breaking new records, that we are seeing highs not seen for at least a couple of millenia. We will read the farmers have a hard time, that there’s drought and the produce is getting shorter. Farmers will be compensated or go bankrupt, and the news will be that it becomes harder to farm everywhere. All these things make sense to a person without memory, without awareness of consequences or causality. The Nemo fish which is the modern consumer can be kept in its fishbowl for quite some time.

The future that is predicted is becoming reality and the future we can no predict, with even more accuracy is deadly. It means death to a lot of people, and eventually all people. We have argued that the ability to predict the future, or at least have expectations of it, is the fundamental skill needed for survival. It is the reason humanity is alive today. If nobody ever worried about what would happen next, then we’d been eaten by creatures that did a long long time ago. It is easy to understand that as long as our leaders and politicians don’t respond to the clear predictions made by those that compete to produce the best ones, we are doomed do die. And because we have leaders we all have to share the fate of the shortsighted ones.

In a sense we are blessed with countries, we don’t want to reduce the number of them. We need more language barriers. Why? Because we humans are not the system we operate in, we are imperfect and as our planet changes we need to change our behaviour. You can fix problems because it makes money, but at some point you have to wonder if your fixes are ever going to work or result in the true goal : Survival.

The economy wants you to think you have eternal youth and endless opportunity to repair any damage, either that or (when it comes to medical insurance, pharmaceuticals and other health services) that you are fragile and run risk and should be treated preventively etc. etc. For each temperament there is the optimal mix of fear and hubris to drive you to maximum purchase and bondage (as a worker).  The question should be : Does this make me live longer and more healthy? The answer is that nobody really cares, unless that would be a USP of a specific product.

We need to be confronted with our real future, in which our pension will become worthless, in which order will break down in parts of the world, in which we will have to use robots to save us, and this has to be done as a huge investment that bankers won’t accept. We thus have to get rid of the privilige of bankers. We have to face the fact that most of us are too stupid to survive, not in a forrest, but in the reality we find ourselves in : A dry and hot world that is burning and becoming less hospitable every year. You may say “This is an exhageration”, but go look in Australia.

We also must not be fooled by temporary lapses in the deterioration, a drop in temperature, a sudden rain to break the dry spell. The predicitons and models take variation into account, and we should understand that this is only an opportunity to do more in a more comfortable world. But if it is 37 dergrees for 6 weeks a lot of people die, cognitive abilities fail. We can’t forget that right afterwards and act as if nothing happened. We must remind ourselves and others of the future we can see unfold, and ACT upon its ultimate outcome because our lives depend on it.

Reject the media if the present a slow future, a window on now to trigger an emotion. That’s entertainment, you are being tickled. But are you a child? Do you need tickles or something you can use to protect your life, kids, grandchildren?