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All Electric Car Roundup

Below a list of all currently available electric cars. So called Battery Electric Vehicles or BEV. Click the links to get more info on them. If we are missing one please let us know here.

  1. BYD e6
  2. BMW i3
  3. BMW Brilliance Zinoro E1
  4. Bolloré Bluecar
  5. Buddy
  6. Cherry EQ
  7. Chevy Spark EV
  8. Cheverolet Bolt
  9. Fiat 500e
  10. Focus Electric
  11. JAC iREV
  12. Kia Soul
  13. Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive
  14. Mitsubishi i
  15. Nissan Leaf
  16. Nissan Venucia E30
  17. Renault Twizzy
  18. Renault Fluence
  19. SIAC Roewe E50
  20. Rimac Concept One
  21. Smart Electric Drive
  22. Tesla Roadster
  23. Tesla S
  24. Tesla X
  25. Tazzari Zero
  26. Volkswagen e-Golf
  27. Volkswagen e-Up

 

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Rossi’s E-Cat Cold Fusion Seems to be Real

 

Update : Another independent verification “E-Cat over 32 days, where it produced net energy of 1.5 megawatt-hours”

Update : Cold fusion test going well. But Rossi’s technology is locked up in the US.

 “the 400-day, 24/7, acceptance test of the one megawatt reactor is going well after several months”

Update : An attempt to replicate the e-cat ended explosively.Watch the point it explodes here. Not clear if this is due to the fusion reaction..more about this group

Update: Cold fusion is real, claim scientists

“It is just a matter four or five years for energy sources based on cold fusion to be commercially available.”

Update: Skunk Works, a research lab of Lockheed Martin, is working on a small fusion reactor that would fit in the back of a truck. However, the approach is not really new so it experts are not sure why it is persued.

Update : Bill Gates is looking into Palladium based fusion technology, also from Italy. The term for this type of fusion is Low Energy Nuclear Reactor. The key remains that the energy per mass of fuel is huge.

A couple of years ago an italian researcher Rossi claimed to have build a nickel/hydrogen fusion reactor. He demonstrated it in his lab and was working on building an actual powerplant in Greece. Then things died down. His claims where refuted mainly because there was no (accepted) explanation for them. His reactor seemed to produce more heat than it should, but nobody could explain why.

The reactor gets hotter than it should..

Now a number of researchers have tested his E-cat reactor for 32 days, analized the Nickel fuel and conclude that it works. ”The researchers, analyzing the fuel before and after the 32-day burn, note that there is an isotope shift from a “natural” mix of Nickel-58/Nickel-60 to almost entirely Nickel-62 — a reaction that, the researchers say, cannot occur without nuclear reactions (i.e. fusion).” (source)

The reactor emits no radiation and produces no radioactive waste (except Nickel-62, a very stable isotope). It can be used to generate heat and electricity witout emitting CO2, NOx or other pollutants (of course the Nickel has to be mined and processed). It is interesting to learn how clean the energy is when all steps necessary for it are considered.

The research paper

More info at e-cat World

Patent

Swedish paper

Update : Rossi believes the energy is due to a shift in isotope composition, So not fusion as in adding protons .

 

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Climate Rage, Wait for It

A scene out of Soylent Green, which mentions the “Greenhouse effect, a heatwave all year long”

Can rising temperatures and excessive heat cause more anger, rage, and crime. Yes it can. A recent study in Nature shows this is the case, in fact, heat, cold and drought seem to have shaped history to a large extent.

 if one U.S. county is three degrees Celsius warmer for three months or one African country is 0.6 degree C warmer for a year, statistics reveal an uptick in crime, violence and revolutionary fervor.

When survival is at stake, either because fossil fuels are scarce or climate change is undermining the food supply, people get more agressive. The recent revolution in Egypt for instance was triggered by higher fuel prices.

Brain temperature, which is affected by ambient temperature, does seem to be associated with aggressive mood states and aggressive behavior.

Domestic violence also correlates with temperatures, “domestic violence usually reaches its peak during the summer months“.

“A new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychologyfound that aggression and violence seem to peak in hot weather.”

Heat rage during heat waves is evident.  ”Dehydration affects the brain and disrupts our sleep, both of which darken our mood.”

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Relative impact of ETS on the fossil fuel mix

The ETS or Emissions Trading System in Europe is disfunctional. This is because way to much emission rights are granted, and will remain in circulation until at least 2020. The dutch government released an analysis that concluded that ETS was useless, and advised one would think of a better use for it (for instance job security for ETS consultants).

But lets say one has to pay for CO2, what is the consequence of this for industry using fossil fuels. Energy in fossil fuels is not equal per mass of the materials. The reason is that as coal burns, what burns is carbon, but as gas burns, what burns is carbon and hydrogen. Oil similarly has a mix of C (Carbon) and H (Hydrogen) atoms in its molecules.

  • Natural gas is primarily Methan, or CH4, it has one carbon and four hydrogen
  • Coal is primarly Carbon (with pollutants like sulfer) so it has one Carbon atom.
  • Oil consists of various length molecules of Carbon and Hydrogen. Crude based fuels are sorted by molecular length, and also processed to break down the molecules to shorter strings.

The CO2 per BTU (Britisch Thermal Unit) tells us what the CO2 pollution and thus the ETS burden of each fuel will be when used for the same amount of heating.

Fuel CO2/BTU
Coal 214.3
Diesel 161.3
Natural Gas 117.0

So natural gas causes the least CO2 emissions, and certainly more H2O emission than coal, H2O, water that will end up as rain, raising the ocean’s levels (apart from heating expansion and melting ice). One could determine of for reasons of sea level rise Coal would be the preferred fuel! Of course none of these fossil fuel types need to be used.

In any case natural gas is favoured by the ETS system. Not only is it a fuel that could become abundant (due to geocidal amitions of companies such as Shell), but it is also one that is taxed less if the ETS systems ever got any teeth. They don’t have ‘em so that’s why we have new coal power plants f.i. in Holland.

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De paradox van het fossiele pensioen, of waarom het ABP niet kan Desinvesteren

Grote kans dat elke maand een deel van uw inkomen naar uw pensioen gaat. Dit geld wordt voor u gespaard zodat u als u de pensioen gerechtigde leeftijd bereikt uw pensioen kunt ontvangen.

Geld dat wordt gespaard heeft geen betekenis. Geld is immers een ruilmiddel. Of er nu 1,- euro of 1.000.000,- euro op een bankrekening staat, het maakt niemand een klap uit als er niks mee wordt gedaan. Er hoeft geen product gemaakt te worden of dienst beschikbaar te zijn die met het geld gekocht moeten kunnen worden. Het begrijpen van de consequenties hiervan is even denken.

Geld dat stilstaat op een rekening heeft geen enkele betekenis. Als het er 100 jaar staat en je wil het uitgeven kan het wel waardeloos zijn geworden door bv. inflatie, of de muntsoort bestaat niet meer. Dit risico is duidelijk als je 100 jaar neemt, maar het geldt elke dag. Als je geld niet gebruikt is het niet duidelijk wat het waard is.

In plaats van sparen kun je ook beleggen. Dan geef je het geld aan een bedrijf in ruil voor een certificaat, een aandeel. Dit aandeel heeft geen vaste waarde want het wordt elk moment gekocht en verkocht. Daarmee wordt duidelijk zichtbaar dat de waarde van uw geld variabel is.

Een aandeel is een vorm van geld. En net als geld zoeven is de waarde van een aandeel pas duidelijk als het wordt verkocht. Men zou kunnen zeggen dat een aandeel eigendom geeft van een deel van een bedrijf, maar je zult dit als gewone aandeelhouder nooit kunnen doen gelden. Je hebt een aandeel in handen, een muntsoort, met variabele waarde tov de officiele muntsoorten. Net als met normaal geld hierboven is een aandeel dat niet wordt verhandeld van onzekere waarde. Het enige verschil is dat de prijs van een aandeel kan stijgen, en dat heet rendement, of het keert divident uit.

Rendement op een aandelen portfolio uit zich in een toenemende nominale waarde van de verzameling aandelen. Dit kan allerlei oorzaken hebben, bijvoorbeeld : de banken hebben meer geld in omloop gebracht, en dus is er meer geld dat het zelfde aantal aandelen probeert te kopen, en dus stijgt de prijs. Of : mensen geloven dat de prijzen gaan stijgen en zo stroom er meer geld richting de aandelen. Het omgekeerde kan ook.

Het rendement heeft geen enkele betekenis als de aandelen niet worden verkocht. Het is een geruststellend iets dat het getal steeds hoger wordt, maar in reele termen heeft het geen enkele impact. Stel een pensioenfonds heeft miljoenen aandelen met een gezamelijke waarde van 300 miljard Euro, dan heeft dit geen enkele betekenis. Waarom niet? Omdat je niet weet of als men die 300 miljard zou proberen te besteden, er producten en diensten ter waarde van 300 miljard te koop zouden zijn.

We gaan er van uit dat als we geld hebben, we dit kunnen besteden, maar dat is helemaal niet gezegd. Stel we wonen op een eiland met twee bakkers die voor 100 mensen elke dag 50 broden bakken voor 1 euro per stuk, als we dan op een dag met 5000 euro bij de bakker komen kunnen we geen 5000 broden kopen. Die zijn er niet, de grondstoffen zijn er misschien zelfs niet zoals eieren die door een paar kippen gelegd moeten worden.

In onze economie is een zeer strak spel bezig waarbij de beschikbare hulpbronnen worden geproduceerd, verwerkt en verkocht, meestal met fossiele brandstoffen, en meestal met exact de hoeveelheid brandstoffen die op elk moment beschikbaar zijn (anders zouden er reserves ontstaan). 300 miljard die opeens ook aanspraak gaat maken op de op dat moment geconsumeerde fossiele energie zal voor problemen zorgen.

Wat wel kan is deze 300 miljard in financiele instrumenten steken, andere aandelen etc. Waarom? Omdat die 1. Niks kosten om aan te maken en 2. Geen belasting zijn voor de bestaande hulpbronstromen en reserves. Zie daar waarom er een financiele sector bestaat : Geld onschadelijk maken. De financiele sector zal alles doen om geld te doen verdwijnen, vooral geld van burgers, beleggers, instituten die geen bank zijn. Een bank kan enorme geldreserves opbouwen, het zal deze nooit zo inzetten dat dit hulpbronconsumptie betekent. Dat is niet de functie van een bank of beleggings instituut. Een bank kan wel investeren maar moet dan goed opletten of de hulpbron balans in de markt niet wordt verstoord. Hiervoor zijn allerlei analyses mogelijk, risico, competitie (dwz je neemt de hulpbronnen die een ander graag had gebruikt).

Er is dus een deel van het bankwezen dat op allerlei manieren geld laat stromen in het bedrijfsleven waardoor weelde ontstaat, en er is een deel dat geld vasthoudt en zorgt dat het geen belasting is voor onze planeet. Als bank zijnde met de ontwikkelde complexiteit en de excuus mechanismen zoals risco analyses is precies sturen hoeveel geld er in feite besteed wordt een fluitje van een cent, en dat is nodig omdat de fossiele aanvoer kan varieren. Banken hebben dus de absolute leiding over het tempo van consumptie van met name de belangrijkste hulpbron fossiele energie.

Als een pensioenfonds in fossiele aandelen belegt met een zeker rendement dan geeft dat geen enkele zekerheid over de waarde van het pensioenfonds. Niet alleen kan de waarde van het aandeel in bv. Euro’s stijgen en dalen, maar de waarde van de Euro in termen van koopkracht kan ook stijgen of dalen. De waarde is onzeker, maar het belangrijkste is dat het geld niet wordt gebruikt. Het bestaat in feite niet.

Dit mechanisme van pensioenen was tot nu toe geen probleem omdat er altijd voldoende fossiele energie en hulpbronnen waren om wanneer het pensioen vrij kwam de koopkracht ervan waar te maken zonder prijsverstoringen. Dit heeft met de populatiegrootte vs de hulpbron voorraad te maken. Als de hulpbron voorraad niet te beheersen is dan de populatie wel, en misschien niet meteen met oorlog, maar met koopkracht. In Griekenland en Spanje, Portugal en Ierland hebben mensen een stuk minder te besteden gehad, en dus konden andere landen die hulpbronnen consumeren. Dit werd en wordt zichtbaar georganiseerd door de banken, ECB, IMF, consultancy firms die analyses maken etc.

Wat nou als een pensioenfonds met 300 miljard in kas besluit dit te gaan investeren in hernieuwbare energie ipv fossiele aandelen. Dit is een totaal ander verhaal. Stel er word 10 miljard geinvesteerd dwz er wordt voor dat bedrag windmolens en zonnepanelen geproduceerd. Dat betekent plotse fossiele consumptie, in de fabrieken, de aluminium smelterijen, logistieke keten, staalindustrie. Dat betekent een schok door het systeem. Prijzen zullen stijgen omdat het systeem er niet op is berekent dat iemand opeens zulke  bedragen uitgeeft. Dit kan alleen als er van tevoren is gekeken of het kan, dwz economen schetsen een beeld van “Er kan weer geinvesteerd worden”. Wanneer zeggen ze dat? Als ze een sloot olie op de markt zien verschijnen.

Afgezien van de schok die het plotseling opeisen van 300 miljard aan hulpbronnen zou betekenen zou de fossiele sector dit ook niet op prijs stellen. Hun brandstoffen zouden gebruikt worden om hen overbodig te maken. Dat zou ten kosten gaan van het aandeel, en hen in het spel dat gespeeld wordt ten gronde kunnen richten. Dan zou er GEEN brandstof beschikbaar zijn om ook maar iets te maken, vervoeren etc. Dan zou alles vastlopen en er net zoveel choas ontstaan als bij een totale financiele crach. Logisch, want geld zou niks meer waard zijn. Zo zijn fossiele energie en geld onlosmakelijk verstrengeld. Ik noem geld daarom ‘carboncredit’.

Dus het pensioenfonds zegt dat het zijn best doet, dat het probeert de CO2 uitstoot te verlagen. Dat het een microscopisch deel van het vermogen wil investeren in hernieuwbare energie. Het kan niet anders. Beleggen in fossiel is geen keuze, het is in een fossiele economie, rekenend op een fossiel pensioen, afgesproken werk. De fossiele sector zoekt zelf wel pensioenfondsbeheerders die dit zo houden.

Een echte exit richting hernieuwbaar is natuurlijk prima mogelijk. Het is zelfs zo dat met een klein deel van zo’n 300 miljard een productie keten van bv. windturbines kan worden gecreerd die niet afhankelijk is van fossiele hulpbronnen, en die dus ongehinderd capaciteit kan bijbouwen, energie capaciteit, die gepensioneerden warm, gevoed en van de gewenste weelde kan voorzien.

De fossiele sector zal er echter alles aan doen om dit te voorkomen. Mensen in die sector willen hun loopbaan behouden en daar voor vechten. Willen we wel naar hernieuwbaar dan zullen we moeten terugvechten. De partij die voor de burgers moet vechten is de regering, maar die regering is verstrengeld met het pensioenfonds. De regering laat zich zelfs door banken voorschrijven wat de regels voor pensioenfondsen moeten zijn, zodat deze een net eventueel plukbaar reservoir worden van ongebruikt geld.

Wil men iets aan deze situatie veranderen dan zijn de stappen 1. Vervang het bestuur van het pensioenfonds door mensen die hernieuwbaar rendement willen creeren. 2. Houdt de fossiele sector in de houdgreep zodat wordt meegewerkt. 3. Houdt de banken (en consultancy firms etc.) buiten de deur bij de beslisingen over het meest effectief besteden van het geld.  Dit alles zou onder een regering moeten gebeuren die niet is bevolkt door lakeien van de fossiele sector of mensen die dromen van een zacht baantje in die sector na hun ambtstermijn.

De materialisatie van bovenstaande stappen is in de huidige context lastig voor stellen. Voorlopig rest dus als enige optie dat mensen andere gelden richting hernieuwbare energie sturen, zodat er daar een machtsbasis ontstaat die tegen die van de fossiele sector op kan. Dat of een miraculeuze herbezinning onder de mensen uit de genoemde stappen.

Frits Rincker

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Vortex Wind Turbine, Why?

The Vortex wind energy generator is a spanish invention. It rocks back and forth in the wind, has no blades, less moving parts. It is presented as a viable alternative for horizontal axis bladed turbines. One has to wonder whether this is true.

Wind energy means capturing the energy of the wind, and this requires one to block its streaming where it is. A wind generator has to carve out a window in the wind that it can harvest energy from, the bigger the window, the more energy.

Normal horizontal axis bladed turbines carve out a circle. The size of the circle and the hight it is at determins the power. Vertical axis wind turbines usually carve out a rectangle, because they have vertical blades moving as the wall of a cilinder. Seen from the side this is a rectangle. They can be pretty efficient too.


Power per swept area

The Vortex will carve out a cone shape, from the base to the top the cone widens. If it doesn’t widen then the conical rod will still sweep a pizza slice in the sky. The size of the slice determines the energy harvested. The Vortex will have to deal with serious forces at its base. The bigger it gets the more force.


Other turbines swept areas

The way the power is generated, by moving back and forth, is also not optimal, because as the cone slows down against the magnetic baring (assumed) it will store the wind energy as elastic energy before it sweeps back. That energy conversion causes a loss. Only with the stiffest of conex/rods will this be as efficient as a spinning blade (vertical or horizontal) that never has to stop and reverse.

 

 

 

 

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The Energytrain

Flywheels are common energy storage devices, used in stationary applications as well as mobile such as in busses and racing cars. The energy is stored in what is essentially an electro motor, which is used to speed it up and which draws power as a generator, slowing the wheel down.

Turning a Fly wheel into a flytrain

ECN developed a concept that is similar to the flywheel, a flytrain of sorts, a system that has a large mass traveling around a circular track at high speed. The energy can be added and extracted just like in an electric car or train, by feeding power to the wheels to speed up, and braking ‘regeneratively’ and thereby slowing down. The cost of such system can be lower, up to 90% than alternatives, one assumes that is battery storage.

We think this is a great idea, the only thing is that once you have an enormous heavy train that runs around a track this track will have to be ultra stiff. It will warp and push out to the ground with tremendous force if the force of the wheels isn’t reflected back for a very high percentage.

The good news is : The design is simple and easy to understand

In a sense such a train would be like a gyroscope, which is a device with a spinning disk. A gyroscope resists movement of its axle, a property used in bicycles to keep them upright. Gyroscopes are used in planes to indicate its orientation relative to the ground. Three fast spinning disks in such devices will stay in exactly the same orientation no matter what moves the plane makes (they do drift eventually). What happens if you attach a giant gyroscope to the Earth?

The earth is itself a gyroscope

Either the Energytrain will lose energy because the earth spins and moves its virtual axis, or the Earth moves differently as a result of the forces from the device. The latter option may be remote, but measurable. Also the massive periodic forces may trigger earthquakes just like fracking, oil drilling and conventional gas well depletion does. There are a lot of instabile faultlines to trigger..

Best place to build : Hard Rock

These risks may turn out to be neglible, and there’s a big chance they can be made so by picking the right place to build. One could imagine  a system in granite rock, a bit like the CERN particle accelerators, something that would be possible under New York for instance. The rock would ensure minimal loss of energy as the mass would circle the track. People could feed power into it and draw from it at will, it would be the New York Circular Buffer. In Dutch swampy soil it would be harder to make this concept work, perhaps dug deep into the sand it could but you can imagine the tube wiggeling it’s way through it over time..

It’s a great concept, but let’s hope it won’t eventually make Earth travel in a straight line! ;-)

 

 

 

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De Schulden Catharsis

Update :

“The Company has already taken a series of positive and substantive actions and steps relating to its debt repayment plans, including the recent repayment of the Company’s mid-term notes in the principal amount of RMB 1.2 billion, which matured on May 3rd, 2015.” (bron)

We lezen dat de op een na grootste zonnepanelen fabrikant ter wereld ‘in de problemen zit’. Yingli Green heeft te veel schulden en verlies geleden..

“De onderneming weet niet zeker of het wel aan de betalingen kan voldoen, waardoor het mogelijk failliet gaat en onderdelen verplicht verkocht moeten worden. Mogelijk leveren deze bezittingen minder op dan waarvoor ze in de boeken staan.”

Maar wat is er nu eigenlijk gebeurt? Het bedrijf heeft fossiele resources kunnen gebruiken (via krediet) om met Aluminium, glas, silicium, EPA en andere grondstoffen en halfproducten zonnepanelen te maken. Die fossiele brandstof is verbrand, weg, in de atmosfeer. In ruil kregen we 7 keer dezelfde energie die we uit de panelen kunnen putten en gebruiken in het productie process. We sparen die (meest fossiele) energie dus die blijft over.

Productie van hernieuwbare energie bronnen is een belangrijkere taak dan die van een bank

De ‘schuld’ is niet echt van belang, normaal gesproken kan een bedrijf die niet terugbetalen, want er wordt geen fossiele brandstof gemaakt. Dus wat een bedrijf doet is winst maken dwz geld elders weghalen en naar de bank brengen. Dit heeft geen invloed op de consumptie van fossiele brandstoffen want de bank zal bij een geschikt project gewoon weer krediet aanmaken, de brandstof moet worden verbrand, als de ene bank het niet doet doet een andere het wel. Shuld is slechts een middel om de geldhoeveelheid te beheersen, iets dat moet omdat de macht van de banken daar van afhangt.

Het moment dat je beseft dat een schuld nooit kan worden afbetaald, tenzij je zelf fossiele brandstof kunt produceren weet je dat schulden slechts een beheersfunctie hebben

In de huidige omstandigheden zouden we slechts moeten kijken naar de WattPiek per Dollar/Euro output van zonnepanelen fabrieken. Die moet zo laag mogelijk zijn, en dat kan oa door energie optimalisatie, gebruik van hernieuwbare energie in het productie proces. Zo kan inefficiente  productie worden vervangen door efficientere. Maar ‘schulden’ mogen geen rol spelen, we verlaten het fossiele tijdperk en het enige dat de fossiele sector mag doen is zoveel mogelijk energie ter beschikking stellen om zich zo snel mogelijk overbodig te maken.

Net als met landen moeten bedrijven die hernieuwbare energie bronnen maken worden geholpen zolang ze deze productie efficient aanpakken. Banken moeten gewoon nul rente leningen schrijven en hun bek houden.

Overigens is het dreigement van een faillisement nonsense. Het verkopen van een zonnepanelen fabriek in delen terwijl de vraag naar panelen nooit hoger is geweest? Het meest waardevolle dat je kunt doen met een failliete boedel waarmee je zonnepanelen kunt maken, is er zonnepanelen mee maken. Het enige alterntief zou zijn opkopen (tegen een frauduleus laag gewaardeerde prijs) en laten braakliggen. Dat hebben we al zien gebeuren met de thin-film fabriek van Helianthos.

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AI Paymasters, or how AI may run your life sooner than you think

Google, Baidu and and others are working hard at visual recognition software. Baidu just reported it now has an AI system that recognizes images better than humans. It can distinguish 1000 categories, so that would be trees, houses, people, dogs etc. This ability is implemented such that it could be used as a service, meaning if you fire an image to Baidu, it will tell you what category it is.

Already this has consequences for our daily lives. It is highly likely that Baidu will now be able to categorize websites by their image content, and for instance block any sites with to much nudity or other offensive material. But these recognition systems can be trained in specific fields, they can process 2d or 3d info, this doesn’t make too much of a difference. This means they can not only recognize but also validate a real situation, if this is offered to them in image form.

Now imagine you want to run a hospital, and you have cleaners for the rooms, and you want every room to look tidy after they are done. You can either have someone check the rooms, or you can ask the cleaner to scan it after they are done. The scan gets uploaded to a Baidu image analysis system, and you get your answer about the quality of the work.

This simple principle works in many different places. A lot of what we do is judged by visual cues. And Baidu type systems can be trained in a specific area of expertise, so for instance to look at seams in clothing (there’s even a system that recognizes criminals in camera footage by the seams of their jeans, but that is a segway). Camera observation systems can now become overseers. One can not only look for possible burglars, but also whether the place looks like it should at any given time.

How would it be if we tie this functionality to access to our cash, or the ability to get fuel at the gas station. In the coveted cashless society anyone can now be asked to document their actions, have them ‘approved’ by Baidu type recognition systems, or find themselves be cut off or punished (lets not use euphenisms here).

Work benches can have cameras just like factory conveyor belts so that someone at Foxcon can lay his Iphone under the cam at every step of the assembly process for a green light and 5 sleep credits. AI only needs good recognition systems, because we already have a super control system for humans, a bank owned money supply. Money is the gateway to everything we need, or banks are trying to make that so, and with that we are imprisoned even before these systems become implemented.

The surveillance state is one that exists because of fear and scarcity, the scarity creates an elite which then uses fear to justify surveillance. The primary scarce thing in this mechanism is fossil fuels. A surveillance state would not come about if everywhere you go around the world people would meet their local needs with local renewable energy. There would be no need to go elsewhere and take or ‘share’ oil as the west does in the Middle East, People would not become terrorist except in a rare case of insanity. People would not be afraid because they would know what their live depends on, and it would not be money because money would be virtually elimintated (as most things would be free and produced automatically see: the Roboeconomy).

Fossil fuel (natural resouce) scarcity drives surveillance and the emergence of a slave class

The Baidu system may in future include recognition of smell. It can already easily include recognition of audio, something easily adapted for making people chant affirmations in the morning. But these captivating opportunities to totally dominate a work force with no human effort are misguided in the sense that our competition for cash is one born out of an unnecessary scaricty of energy, one we can eliminate with renewables.

Let’s hope we achieve a state where renewables are overabundant, and we don’t need to have human slaves work for food and water credits in FoxConn factories until they ask to be euthenized. The fossil fuel /banking elite will certainly like to see it, and your weapon is to drive the building and realization of more renewable energy sources, and replace the remote factory worker with a local who you can check is happy.

Content Surveillance

It is easy to imagine that one develops a ‘content observer’ (content as in happy) application that can be used with any image feed in a fixed place. When things are as they should be, the system is content, when it is not it signals this and draws attention to it (of either humans or some other AI system). So town square with relaxed tourists : ok, slight altercation with between to men : Not ok, send sentries. Robots arrive at the scene and ask the fighting men to stand apart to be searched. Not happening? Taze them etc. etc.

These ‘content obeserver’ systems really do almost as much as a humans do, and they can of course be linked so that we get content areas, zones. This may however in our current economy mean that the people in the zones are doing what they should do, even if that makes them unhappy. This factor keeps depending on whether it is an elite that has to fight over resources or whether they are abundand as they can be.

 

 

 

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The Missing Link in Development of AI

Years ago I was a scientist, working on understanding the brain. I wanted to know how we process information and was given card blanche to read every paper on brain physiology, every theory around. I build computer simulations of neural networks, not the common ones but more detailed ones with ion channels. I simulated learing and forgetting as a result of our emotional state.

A magnonic holographic memory device

What I concluded then was that any approach to AI based on logic or computational analogies where doomed to fail, because logic is a special case of behavior, a class so to say, of perfect percepts that kind of hijacks our brain. For example most things we see around us are more or less recognizable, but words, written down, are always perfectly recognizable, they are always that specific word. You will not see “Tree” written on a piece of paper and have an impression of anything else than the word “Tree”. This all or nothing kind of perception and action constitutes a small niche in our behavioral ‘space’. Most of our behavior and perception is vague and unreliable and not driven by any logic.


It is not like a computer

Looking at our brain and how we learn it became clear that there are some real challenges you never think of when you program a PC or build a website. Our brain does NOT know and has NO WAY to know what is important to its survival. It does not know it wants to survive. It is a part of a larger system and it has no idea what is going on outside. This is what it means when people say “There is no homuculus”. There is no interpreter inside our brain that decides what we pay attention to. We are really just a very complex mechanism that manages not to destroy itself and therefore exists for as long as it may last.

At the time I visited Daniel Dennet at Tufs University and was unimpressed. He spoke a lot in analogies, which did not tell me what I wanted to know : How does it work. Telling someone the brain is like a swiss cheese or whatever doesn’t tell me what it is exactly. Analogies are circular, they suggest an attitude towards something by comparing it to something else. Dennet was able to inspire many people to think about what we are, which I think is certainly good because it makes us more humble.

The frustrating thing about our brain is that it really doesn’t lend itself to easy understanding. There is a huge advantage in that, it may even be one of the most important factors in our survival, that we are not capable of readily hacking our own brain. When that is done, for instance by giving rats control over their own reward centers, it is very destructive. Heroin addicts are people that can circumvent their own reward systems. They know a shortcut and their brain does not let them take any other way. I predict that the downfall of all real AI is its ability ot hack itself.


Brain activity can be correlated with arm movements, such that a person with a neural implant can control a robot arm.

When we look inside a brain we see neurons, glia cells, all kinds of dendrites and constant activity. All the time our brainscells are stimulating each other with impulses, spikes, it would make a sound like the bustle of grand central station. The sound changes in different rythms when we sleep, or do something specific, and then returns when we rest again. Even if we are doing specific things the chatter appears random. One can analyse the neurons in our motor cortex (right side to the front) and extract our arm movements statistically, but what you would hear is just a chaos of spikes. Part of this is because our brain (the top or neocortex) only does part of the job, part of this is because many neurons partake in the same jobs (so we can lose some if we have to), and part of it is the way our brain works, it does not know how to organize because it does not know anything about that it is supposed to do.

 Listening to one neuron firing regularly

Granted we have specialized brain regions, sensory systems so in fact our brain gets a head start at processing information that is relevant to our specific organism in our environment. If it fails we die. For instance we have vocal cords, and areas in the brain that control them and others where we recognize words and language.  We get born in a world where our parents speak, and even if they dont we have a talent to show language behavour.

Other species have other brains. Some are highly differentiated (so conducive to specific behaviour) and others don’t seem to be (like that of a sea turtle, just a big mess really). Looking at these differences one can start to get an idea what our brain really does. And this brought me to my theory at the time, it was called the Entrance Identity or Liquid Basin theory of cognition.

Entrance identity theory/ Liquid basin theory is about allowing chaotic activity to capture and recognize itself, without requiring it is ‘human readable’ as a mechanism of cognition

The liquid basin theory of cognition focusses on what a typical pyramidal neuron does in our brain : It recognises a brain state. It is build to ‘fire’ when it recieves spikes from other neurons and the number of spikes it gets moves over a certain threshold. It can take a snapshot of such imput, which as mentioned above can be completely chaotic to the outside observer. That doesn’t matter, because 1. The same outside situation will cause approximately the same chaos. 2. If there are neurons that respond to part of the chaos in a predictable way, the chaos will become more recognizable to other neurons. If this happens the system of neurons will leave chaos and start to behave at specific rythms, which both allows individual neurons to be heard and helps others to program themselves for recognition. This is the learning state.

Recognition happens when our brain is able to self organize its activity. It can because it programmed itself to do so on a previous occasion.

So our brain is able to pick itself up from a chaotic state to an organized state because its neurons learn what the chaos looks like. The result is that we perform similar behavior in similar situations if (and this is a big if) our body sends the signal that we are doing well. So the above organizing is conditional on our reward centers giving the green light for learning, through dopamine mainly. We can also ‘forget’ which is mediated by Serotonin and of course this is a gross simplification. If the neurons in our brain can pick up the chaotic signature of outside input and pull itself towards an organized state we can say we have recognized something. This is an extremely important aspect of cognition, the most important. It enables us to be goal oriented, even robustly goal oriented, which is my definition of intelligence (not awareness yet). We are ARGO, Autonomous Robust Goal Oriented organisms.

So called ‘grandmother cells’ are neurons that are singularly sensitive to one specific percept (like your grandmother) they are theoretical. Most neurons seem to express a data compression lexicon element (if that means anything to you), so they can represent an approximate percept when combined, like the tiles of a Jpeg image.  

The picking up signals from the chaos part is clearly not something a computer easily does. It really doesn’t like chaos at all. It likes to know what is going on, zeros or ones or the ‘syntax error’ is sounded. Even making a computer act like it is a chaotic neuronal system is not easy, it needs to sequentially run through each neuron and calculate what happens with it and conclude if it fires and in what state it will be, for billions of neurons and trillions of connections between them. Dedicated systems have been build to do the task, but until now their capacity has been small. The quest would be for a system that from a state sensitive to all possible inputs can avelanche quickly towards one outcome state.

Grandmothers are recognized by many different neuronal areas whose activity is in turn recognized by other neurons.

It seems the device that can do that is here. It is called a “magnonic holographic memory device”. It is being developed in California in collaboration with University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“The most appealing property of this approach is that all of the input ports operate in parallel”

It has the property that one can offer an input pattern in parallel, and gave it sweep into one of several stabile states in 100 nanoseconds, which is much quicker than our brain which needs 100 milliseconds to recognize something visually. This is similar to having a neuron that knows what to listen to inside the chaotic environment of our brain.

Like the memristor this new device opens up possibilities for instance to build a complex recognition system without classic CPUs, that can instantly differentiate between many possible input states and suggest ‘behaviour’, when implemented in some kind of robot. Of course such a system can feed back on itself either through simulation or through reality and become a super quick intelligent system. Why intelligent? Because it can be programmed to adjust itself to any situation so that it achieves its ‘goals’ (which inintially will be programmed directly). I have no idea how these devices are programmed right now, but if there is some kind of learning algorithm involved one can imagine this be driven by evaluation of the outcome (hopefull human evaluation).

Recognizing situations and initiating the actions that bring it closer to its goals is all an intelligent system does

I think these Magnonic holographic devices are the missing link for real AI, because they do what we do at incredible speed, they allow massive parallel input as we recieve and seem to offer the outcome of their recognition to logic manipulation (which for the time being can be taken on by normal computers).  They are something to watch closely, because the next time you’re in a battle field and the drone overhead knows all your moves, it most likely carries this technology.