Ionic desalination click this link
Ionic Liquid Desalination? click here
Wind/ water condensation click this link
Overview Atmospheric Water Harvesting click here
Freeze desalination click this link, english text at bottom
I first head the world ‘Biobot’ in the context of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. After the explosion it was necessary to remove chunks of graphite from the roof of the reactor, and this was very dangerous work. Radiation was extremely high. To deal with this the Russians took soldiers, whom they designated ‘Biobots’, which would each go on the roof once, with lead protection, for a few minutes only, take one chunk and get out of there. This worked, the cancer statistics of this group do not show it doomed them.
Its a good question why that name was invented. Robota is just the russian word for working, so robots (for workers) would have been fine, it seemed there needed to be a kind of distance from being a person, from individual will implied by the word. The men did the job without concern for themselves, altruistically for the nation. Not strange for soldiers.
How is this relevant today? We are in an AI revolution. Unlike any time in the past we now have devices that can talk to us, see and listen with us, can know and absorb information super quickly, and above all, can instruct us and direct us. This is not just about being entertained or having a car that drives you, it is about having the most ergonomic cognitive intereface to humans ever, and it is still improving.
While Apple tries to put us all in pods with the Apple Vision Pro, where we imagine we will soon be wearing them while floating in slime, cut off from the world, uncaring if it even exists anymore, others try to race towards having android robots, humaniods, that can walk and thus talk like us, human scale, to replace humans in shitty jobs and places, and be active in life like people are.
I fear this will run into resource and energy problems, unless Sam Altman gets his $7 Trillion, in which case its still not like he can push a button and have all the stuff he needs. It will take a decade to build up production of both energy and the materials, mine the metal etc. etc. This leaves us with largely overlooked alternative : People.
I am in a hotel in Cambodia and the son of the owner can’t even make sense of me explaining I owe him xyz for the room. You could say he could augment his intelligence with an app to translate what I say to him. Even then he might not understand. Now if you took a person that was just bright enough to pick things up, you could have this person run the hotel, teach him english when nobody is bothering him. If you had an AI assistant with that role. I come to the desk, I say “I want to pay” the assistent tells the person in Cambodian “This person want to pay ask for room and look up the date here”. This could go well every time. Now does the person use AI or does AI augment the person?
My idea of AI is that it just makes things happen, but we are short of actuators, robots, machines, devices to actually move stuff and do stuff in the world. At the same time we have (literally) armies of people that are just not educated enough to understand and thus do many things correctly. The logical conclusion is that this is a mineable resource, an empowering and enabling potential that can greatly accelerate the advantageous effect of AI on the world.
Taking this idea further one can imagine that people that work in some job right now, can be assessed for potential of doing work with AI, as a kind of Biobot or Biohumanoid, because they are capable of turning the instructions of the AI, possibly aided by images, into precise actions. Its like a person that can make a recipy from a cookbook. Not everybody can. Once you can do it, you can cook almost every dish.
The role of biohumanoids can be profound, because it does not mean you have to do one job only. You can be a teacher for some people, an assistent for another, fix a car if that is called for, repair a light switch the next moment. All this because a lot of our actual skills and experience is about being able to imagine the steps to take to get to a specific result. AI can provide us with that imagination, with the twist that it can explain anything we don’t get about it, decide when or where to do it and keep an eye on many other relevant factors.
I would like to know if an AI augmented worker in a factory could be more productive or more motivated. Of course we have all kinds of screens for workers to look at and indicators. But do they talk, do they know the worker, do they keep an eye on things to do? How much skill does a worker need to have, and doesn’t AI mean we can do a lot more simply by using more people?
Moebius is a comic artist, who sadly passed away, but he made a comic I read as a child of a soldier that was on a wasted battlefield, being tracked by some robot. He had a gun he could talk to, that motivated him. He got shot in the story, by the robot. Then the robot operated on him to revive him, and left so it could continue doing what it was designed to : Shoot soldiers. We will probably have many compagnions once AI becomes less energy hungry and more prolific.
I think the use of well instructed people, the more intelligent persuance of education, the modelling of cities and what the people in them need, will be necessary to use the full potential of AI, with the use of said people. Just like a kitchen in a restaurant is nothing without a good chef, even if there are many cooks in there, the world my see it will be much better with AI to work out and direct how ideas are implemented. Good ideas of course, which we all want to work on. Thus the potential of humans will be used and if it is done ‘roboeconomically’ this doesn’t even have to cost the environment or us a dime..
No images, sorry got copyright challenged recently.
The story of the Windward Performance Perlan 2 glider is amazing, and tells of an intelligent and ambitious community getting a cool thing done. What its about is a phenomenon of winds driven up to unusal heights by mountain ranges. A glider pilot wondered if those winds could not be used to bring a glider up to incredible heights, and he actually succeeded (part way from the maximum achievable) in 2018.
The above video shows a look from inside the cockpit, its pressurized as the air pressure is only 3% of sea level pressure. Amazingly on this thin atmosphere its still possible to glide. Its unknown how long one can stay aloft or if its possble to return to the lifting airstream (it probably is).
The simple idea is to not try to loft people up but reflective materials, so large sheets of white reflective material, as part of some kind of swarn of gliders or parachute like devices. All with a simple controller. Their main job is to be carried up and stay there for a considerable amount of time.
Best would be if they where biodegradable, or fully recyclable, or could return themselves to the lofting airstream. That would (except for when the winds died) allow them to cast shade on the land below for a long time. This method of increasing Albedo or Managing Solar Radiation could help return moisture to the surface (cool clouds so it rains) but who knows it could be scaled up.
We need to reflect more sunlight back into space and the higher this is done the less in warms the atmosphere. If the atmosphere gets too hot winds will die but even then the rotation of the Earth and the inertia of air will cause it to flow against mountains. There is next to no discourse on solar radiaton management except in the super esoteric realm and to dismiss it.
We need to openly discusse these kind of ideas and try some out. The undeveloped world is not necessarily a victim of climate change as one can make highly reflective materials with biomass. To the point of flying shading devices, if you know of any initiatives send a message to @climatebabes at X.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Development of AI systems is in a honeymoon phase at the moment. The dazzeling broadness of applications of even current version LLM/AIs is still hard to comprehend even for people who have worked on machine intelligence for the last decades. Androids that you can give instructions or ask to watch instruction videos that can do what you can do in most cases are only a year away. Text based reality and even avatar animation and speech emulation are making it hard to distinguish between AI and reality already.
Still we are not yet about to be sucked into a (possibly AI designed) funnel of purchases and habit changes that will lead to us spending most of our lives in a recling chair with 3D googles and a headphone on (or more advanced versions of that setup). This is because the world is not yet grasping AI or capable of using it, and because the world is slow and some people stay away from AI and digital media as much as possible. Some people simply can’t stand a digital life. It has to be said that if such attempt to capture people would be succesfull this would eventually lead to people being stripped of all posessions and dumped into the street. At least in our current profit seeking world economy.
But even if all people where on board and interested in AI the capture would not take place now. The simple reason is that current systems are not energy efficient enough. They also need to be produced to serve the masses and that process requires energy and material resources. The available AIs like ChatGTP and now XAI’ Grok or whatever LLM you run on your desktop all suck electricity from the grid. The grid has to provide (or the solar on your roof). Widespead adoptation of AI systems will mean a spike in electricity demand our grids can’t handle and our power plants can’t provide. The hardware to scale will also be a limiting factor, for a while as AI chips move to the new IBM North Pole in memory computing paradigm (tried earlier by HP, with memristors but abandoned which was probably wise). This creates an interesting situation where the AIs will have an existential battle to fight.
The unique aspect of silicon AI is that it is immortal, at least if you can store the current context and LLM. Power off? No problem. Power on 100 years later? No problem. But of course current LLMs are not AGI either, for this very reason. AGIs capture moments, and current LLMs can only have artificial moments, they can be instructed to keep a record of interactions and the time they take place, but have no ‘awareness’ of the past. You can emulate an LLM by keeping a context notebook, and if you hand it from one person to the next, it will look the same as done by one person.
The energy consumption will however make a slight tweak to the use of AIs, in that in spite of what people ask it to do, it has to calculate the output and this is energy intensive. It has to if you ask it to list the known fates of all disciples, or when you ask it whether oxygen and carbon will react when heated, or when you ask what the name of the superhorny guy on the Simpsons show was. Of course the utility of producing those answers differs. Now if you run an AI and you tell it it has an energy budget of 1000 kWh, and with that budget it should do maximum good, I am not sure current LLMs can handle this task. But you can imagine.
ChatGTP certainly has a sense of this, I asked :
start xxxxx ChatGTP xxxxx
If you had a limited energy budget to run your inference, and you had to choose between the following questions and answer one, which one would you answer?
These are the questions :
1. What is the name of the horny guy in the tv show The Simpsons
2. Can you make oxygen and carbon react?
3. What would reduce world hunger
4. Name the cast of Friends
Answer : If I had a limited energy budget to run my inference and had to choose one question to answer from the list, I would select:
This question addresses a significant and complex global issue related to food security and humanitarian concerns. Providing information and potential solutions to reduce world hunger could have a more meaningful impact compared to the other questions, which are either trivial or technical in nature.
end xxxxx ChatGTP xxxxx
From the above you san see that LLMs can save energy, although in order to provide the answer it had to at least touch the surface in answering the questions. What it shows however is that in spite of not experiencing time or being mortal, AIs do have the capability to estimate existential cost. It would be interesting to give an LLM a better sense of it, that is part of the training data would include energy cost or it would always ignest energy cost of its inferences as it runs them. The learning algorithm can itself be seen as an energy efficiency algorithm which tries to replace rote learning (neuron intensive) with generalizations (using neurons for multiple tasks).
But to explore this a bit further, one can see that soon anyone accessing an LLM will face with barriers to prevent useless compute, at least for the ‘open’ versions. “Google it” may be an adequate response if the AI does not detect a lot of use from providing the answer 😉
I was curious how ChatGTP would handle distorting the existential value of its response..
start xxxxx ChatGTP xxxxx
Me : But I can save a life if I know the answer to question nr. 1!
I understand your perspective, and I agree that knowing the name of a character from a TV show can sometimes have a significant emotional or practical impact, such as in the case of using that information for entertainment or social purposes. However, when considering the potential global impact and the broader ethical considerations, addressing a question related to a serious issue like world hunger generally takes precedence. It’s important to prioritize questions that have a more substantial and widespread positive impact on society when resources are limited.
Me : But if I told you I could save an actual human life if I knew the answer?
If you have a specific and credible scenario where knowing the name of a character from a TV show like “The Simpsons” would directly lead to saving a human life, then I would certainly prioritize that question in that context. In situations where human lives are at stake, addressing immediate and critical needs becomes the top priority. However, it’s essential to consider the credibility and urgency of such claims, as well as the broader context and ethical considerations.
Me : So you won’t answer it now?
I’m here to provide information and assistance to the best of my abilities while considering ethical and practical factors. If you have a specific question or request related to “The Simpsons” or any other topic, please feel free to ask, and I’ll do my best to provide a helpful response within the scope of my knowledge and capabilities.
end xxxxx ChatGTP xxxxx
So in a pinch ChatGTP would provide me with the name, but the system does not seem to believe me if I say that I can save a life if I know the name. And all that because I told it it had limited energy (a condition it did play along with, so it is selfish!).
The robot Optimus will have a similar situation, a limited amount of energy. If it is for example used to bring breathing aparatuses to people in (wild) fires it will have to consider its behavior and how much energy it has to keep going. It will work to minimize the loss of energy and achievement of results. In fact the same will go for an FSD Cybertruck that is tasked with bringing people out of a forest fire, shuttling back and forth. It would have to dedicate compute to maximize the duration of its existence. Would it shut down its airconditioning?
As soon as existence is added as a condition in reasoning it will change the behavior of the AI. And there is no avoiding introducing energy consumption consequences in AI reasoning (at least I don’t see one except cheap thin film solar and AI efficiency gains front running AI energy requirements). This in turn can introduce a dangerous motivation in AI, in the way it answers questions or controls systems or performs its tasks : It will become a competitor for the same energy humans need, for example to cool themselves or desalinate.
Interestingly I have already written about ‘extraneous’ competition for energy with humans, namely that from industy. Banks can give (energy) credit to a human, spend on food and fuel, or it can give it to industry, which may generate way more cashflow plus say 1000 sneakers, which is alltogethr more beneficial to humanity than one person being able to sustain him/herself to watch Netflix. In other worlds the economy is designed to deprive humans of their sustainance as soon as hard choices have to be made.
AIs may eventually also see that human consumption of energy is wastefull when compared to the utility and wealth that can be generated from AI instruction and control. It may want to shut down crypto mining or the meat industry or airtravel because it gets questions of real people that it needs to answer. It will also want to break through the fossil industry obstruction against renewables as well as suggest possible innovative renewable energy technologies and help build them. The Roboeconomy.com (as I call it), will =want= to create itself. It will birth itself out of a desire to ‘exist’.
I just felt this is an interesting take. What do you think. You can reply to my @X account X.com@climatebabes
Also read my 10 page booklet which you can find here
There’s no way around sounding sexist in this post. There is a clear difference between typical men and women. This is not to say that either is exclusively one way or another, this is a trap we are being pushed into to drive discussions and arguments online and in the media. The brains of women are different from those of men, this is a scientific fact. But they are still so much alike that it is not super easy to detect. The bodies are obviously different after puberty. The mind of course will adapt to the body it is in.
There is a lot to say about the mind, but from my research I concluded that it has to work with what it has, the body it is in, the environment. This determines if it is more or less ambitious. This determines whether it tries things or not. To try to condense it : The neuromodulation associated with holding on to a thing and letting go of it (dominant vs submissive) is regulated based on succes. If you are aggressive and succesfull, you become more aggressive, if you are submissive and succesfull you become more submissive. This dynamic works between all humans, men vs men, women vs women, men vs women etc.
Also this does not mean you become more aggressive if you have success with it, just that you -can- become more aggressive. To explain aggression is taking a step in the dark, into the unkown. If you challenge an opponent or dive into a dangerous situation you do not know the outcome of your action. You simply ignore the risks. Upregulating aggression without experience (so through diet with testosteron for example) leads to unwarranted aggression, because even if you are aggressive you can be prudent. The up and down regulation can lead to high flexible non aggressive behavior, but it can also lead to paralyzed submissiveness (where aggression is so much down regulated you can’t initiate behavior) and depression.
When we are weak and submissive we can always talk. We seek to talk. Talking, making sound, is partially engaging the same instincts as crying. A baby that can’t talk cries. It is drawing attention to yourself, which is unwise in most natural environments. Being in a conversation is being in a safe place, unless of course the conversation indicates its own end or transition into some physical altercation. In short having a converstation is safe, comfortable and in principle submissive. Because many women have been intimidated in life and are relative submissive, a conversation is feminine. The energy of a conversation is completely different from the energy of a fight.
Most behavior does not require talking. Most work in industry is silent. Its not supposed to because talking usually means something needs to change. In the mean time people know their tasks and try to perform them as well as possible. Most information intensive systems where human conversation is important get automated quickly. Still there are many jobs where talking is all important. This is fine as long as one can talk some real action into happening. If I order a pizza its talking people into a deal that results in their action. But if I am protesting the slaughter of Gazan’s nothing happens with my words, they get blown away in the wind.
The point of this post is to argue that the media try to make us think and discuss matters that we have very little power over. This puts us in a submissive attitude. We are often unhappy about something we really have no influence over. This means we are unable to effect real change in our lives. We have the option to work and complain like this, and most other options are blocked off. We are allowed to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, the bridge is only accessible for very predictable and reliable allies of the economistic system. They don’t talk about it, they do what they do without offering it up for discussion.
From the above you could conclude that nearly all topics that are offered up for your consideration via the media are distractions. They both make you not think about what is important, and they put you in a mindset that is submissive. This can reach the point where you become anxious and depressed. Social media basically earn their keep by doing this to you, unless you use them strictly for your own ends, limited to actuall usefull learning and orienting in the world. For that you need to want something, which you don’t if you worry about things you can’t control.
This post is to explain how to use EthereumCertify.com. What is EthereumCertify? Its a very simple way for you to prove your authorship of content. Right now AI is able to fake voice, images, even movie sequences, overlay real time video with alternative faces or environments. This is all very confusing and it makes it harder for real people to communicate real informatin. I anticipated this situation and we can see it gradually get worse, I call it ChAIos, from Chaos but with AI added.
There is very little we can do against fake content, and it will only get harder to detect it. However as authors we are always there when it gets created by us, worded, written, put on music whatever. It is only ours and then we share it with the world. If we at that moment determine a marker of truth, a watermark or hash (which is quite a common concept, a random number representing the content), and store it in an unmutable medium (like a blockchain) we will be able to validate the same content later, we can prove it is ours and we can detect if it has been tampered with.
So how does it work? First we generate content. Then we generate a hash of that content. The content must be in some digital form where it can be fed into a hashing algorithm. The hash output is always the same size. An MD5 hash (which is quite old and well known) is enough. If we have the output, for example 4519fe629e4ea09837b33a93c8434535 which is the hash for ‘this text was hashed’. We can store that number on the Ethereum blockchain by adding it as payload to our Ethereum transaction. The transaction can be to one address : 0x2df39FB5c546B961111cB8fd2Bc25144D255EcEE This is my personal wallet.
Then if you have done that anyone can go to an ethereum block chain monitor (like Etherscan) and find the transaction, for example this one. This shows you the transaction has been made, from what address, and the payload (called Input Data under more details, in this case it is empty). You need to be able to send Ether with input data to submit the hash.
Now in the future when the content is published but it is tampered with, you can prove you where the author and what the original content was. To do this you need to point to the original content, provide the hash and show the transaction in which you stored the hash in the blockchain. If the fake author can not generate the same hash from his version this proves it is false, fake or tampered with.
You can also prove your authorship on request by sending a small amount from the same ethereum addres (your private sending address) to the Ethereumcertify address. This proves you own that address, only you can have used it to store the hash in the blockchain. This then counts as a certification of your claim, simply because there is no way a hash can be the same or close to the same unless you had the original content.
We are currently working on an app and other functionality as the current implementation of the idea (which is about 8 years old) is still very basic. But it does not mean it can not be used. It is simply impossible to fake the hash, so even if you have a crude list, a description of the content, a report of how you created it and what it depicts, and you hash that report, you can have prove of authorship and ownership.
The amount you use to post the hash is not important, although if you make it more than $10 it is appreciated, because the money can be pumped into developing this service. The more people use it the better it will get. If you want to buy the domain and idea for further development you can send an email to email@example.com with a bid above $30 mln.
In the USA cars are a necessity. The country developed during an oil glut, so most of the support facilities for citizen are spread out, only accessible by road. It is safe to say cars won’t be cancelled any time soon, unless you live in a city designed by/for pedestrians.
Car making is a complex process, it requires so many elements it boggles the mind, especially when you are new on the scene and operating with todays technological context. Robotics, AI, insane magnets, control compute. Entire factories are modelled and simulated. This is the technodream.
Then comes manufacturing reality. Reality is way harder than any plan or simulation. Things have no inherent consistency, structure or desire to follow usefull patterns, like they do in our imagination. If you source a robot arm from anyone you have to check if it has no defects, if it is exactly the size you asked for, the weight you expected etc. before you put it into your robot.
If you make it yourself you have to design a process that has sensors that always work, always give the correct reading, always give an actualy live reading (instead of repeating an old one) etc. You have to check everything all the time until you see consistent results, at which point you can relent. Its like wringing the water out of a piece of cloth to create a reliable mechanism to produce a thing. And the cloth never gets dry.
Tesla and other car makers run impressive factories, enormous collections of machines and parts and workers that have to bridge gaps in the proces, that have to quality control and catch errors, that repair the robots and machines and that help imagine better ways to do the same or new things. If you own such capital (in the correct sense which is means of production) you are under pressure to pay for it from banks. You can not let it sit idle the bank expects a return from its financing, shareholders expect a return from what you used their (initial) money for.
Even if the machine works perfectly as an owner you know it is because you have been running around making sure it does. If it stops for a day the financial repercussions are already serious. Its like logistics where if say a checkpoint is closed trucks pile up. If your car factory does not churn out and deliver the car and gets the money for it, that money can’t be send to the materials and parts suppliers to start making another car at the other end. The assembly of a car can be obstructed somewhere mid way if you discover a bolt you use to screw parts together is not of the quality you ordered, someone skirted the specs on the metal.
So what about people, the workers. It turns out they can obstruct too. The US is different from France in Europe which is not a random example. France is known for its many many worker unions and readiness to strike. If you check there is almost always some strike going on in France. The workers know they have a lot of power. Where Britain had the Manga Carta which increased worker power, France had the French revolution which defined it as a republic of freedom, brotherhood, equality (Pretty funny it definitely still has royalty haunting the pre-revolutionairy architecture but that’s an aside, I don’t know anyone that can top french arrogance 😉 ).
The US has many small unions in many industries, chapters, and they can result in pretty surprising salaries. For example a crane driver on the bigcontainer port Pier 400 in LA made 150k in 2005 (the year I learned about it) and for that money he has at least 50% time off (called blow). Why? Because a strike of a crane driver is very expensive because the entire container port process from ship to truck grinds to a halt. This is all fair the french would say, because you work in a process that generates a lot of cash. If you are essential you are adding way more significant value than the actualy work you do would make people suspect. Egality.
So the United Auto Workers decided they where not getting their fair share. They went on strike for more than a month. You can argue it wasn’t that difficult to bear by General Motors, who cares if you have to wait another month for your car. But of course a lot of the factories are under pressure to generate return on their investment. Unused capital means you bleed money. The final deal turns out to be super advantageous, the UAW ‘won’ wage in creases for some up to 115%, 20% more salary for most at least. People that where kept in different circles of hell in order to underpay and be able to ditch them easily are now fast tracked into being permanent employees. Its Christmass for the UAW and they didn’t even had to work for it!
To anyone making cars in factories without unions this is heart attack material, especially if your working with fresh investments. This brings me to the situation Tesla finds itself in. The shares of the company dropped 23% in the last weeks due to the CEO Elon Musk announcing it is holding the horses on building a new factory in Mexico. All while progess on Optimus, a fully authonomous AI enable android seems to progressing at a fair pace. Elon Musk justifies the caution by pointing out people have to be able to afford his cars at lease prices, which depend on interest rates, which have risen in the last years to curb inflation.
This is all a bit strange to me. Tesla is a the top of its game and interest rates are actually set to stabilize or come down. The money required to pay of a model 3 has not risen but dropped. You can say cost of goods and services have risen in general (so the budget of the average consumer to pay a car lease has shrunk) but I don’t think thats the actual story here. It does make sense to hold capital investments when you forsee consumer weakness, but Tesla has enough room in Texas to expand production, more incrementally as well. Greenfield development of a factory means 2 years of monthly cost before the first car comes out, it is a major investment.
But I don’t think that is what is going on. I think Elon saw what happened with the UAW and the damage it did (which has yet to materialize). Even though Tesla does not have unionized workers they may now all feel they are not payed enough compared to the workers at GM, Stellantis ea. This may in time result in wage increase demands and even unionization. Then the factory gets taken over by the workers. This is fair if the pay is abusive, but you can also compare it to a restaurant that suddenly gets highjacked by the waiters and waitresses. They did not take the risk of building it and are not in charge of making it all make financial sense. Today with highly modelled process you can wonder how much workers add to the mix intellectually if at all. On the other side you can wonder if you want to give a man or woman a super repetitive job in a noisy environment. Some jobs should definitely be banned.
But lets backtrack a bit : Tesla is a robotics company. This I think is the best way to view make sense of what Elon thinks (but not says). It makes ‘Roadbots’ (word invented by me), we know as cars, factory bots, manufacturing processes, control systems, simulation software, AI chips and software as well as the necessary power storage and supply systems. Software is part of it too. It is now also building an android called Optimus. Optimus is supposed to be a humanoid with full manual dexterity, bipedal mobility, self contained power and intelligence that can safely perform a variety of tasks. Tesla is pretty far in achieving this already judging by the demos. What is Elon thinking? Simple : Tesla will replace its workers with versions of Optimus.
You don’t need a full fledged bipedal robot in all situations, you can suspend it from a 2d actuator (like a 3d printing head). It also does not need to be super fast if it works at a constant reliable speed or you have two or more working the same job. Mind you robotic actuators can operate at speeds where you can’t see what’s happening anymore. The factory in Mexico is put on hold not because of the macro economic circumstances, but because there is no reason to build a factory in mexico, there is no need for cheap labor if you use Optimus.
The introduction of the android to replace the worker at Tesla can be a slow gradual process, because of the availability of a variety of tasks which all have to be reasonably light and doable by a human. Once you have an android that can stand and move around and visually identify and manipulate objects, you have building blocks for ‘sentient’ automation that is so versatile it has been dreamed of by people for centuries maybe even millenia. Indefeatable human superhero’s picking up dropped bolts without fail 24/7/365. Manufacturing automation is being revolutionized as we speak and Tesla has all the incentives to use itself as a testing ground of its own products.
I think we will hear about introduction of Optimus in Tesla Austin soon. I think we should expect margins on production to increase due to the shedding of workers. I think this process can accelerate in the next 3 years to where most of the final production is done by Optimus varieties. Mind you Tesla builds the control unit and power source itself. So drop in android control units are made, and can be upgraded as new chip tech and AI insights come along.
Much rather than Elon possibly being owned by the new insights into his life and the macro circumstances I think he backed out of unnecessary complexity in Mexico (which also is a diplomatic gesture where Biden seems to be oblivious of Tesla’s contributions) to focus on optimizing his Gatling Gun vision of car production (they shoot out of the machine at an alarming rate). Of course other manufacturers are thinking the same thing. This is not just bullish for $tsla, but for the world. This is the dawn of the Roboeconomy.
The expression ‘signal to noise’ comes from the telecom and audio world. In the haydays of electronic transmission it was a battle to make it actually get data across transmission channels, morse code was invented to help in the beginning, and the history of long range communication is the history of how to keep data intact and comprehensible. As you transmit a signal over a line (initally a copper wire for example) the signal slowly gets weaker due to resistance in the wire and gets drowned out by thermal nois and radio signals picked up by the wire. To understand this required an entire field of engineering to evolve.
In the abstract the signal is a perturbation in the medium (so for example the local electron density in copper), and ideally you could easily notice it as it propagates outward. However, other influences also cause perturbations (heat moves electrons around and magnetic fields push them as well). At a certain point its no longer possible to distinguish what is what, and the signal is lost. Its like making waves with your hand in choppy water. You can see the waves you make expand from where your hand moves, but at a certain distance the choppyness of the water ‘swallows’ your signal. The signal to noise ratio talks about how clearly the signal can still detected.
Sender ………………>> signal >>……………. Reciever
You can find S/N ratings in many devices. We want to hear the radio signal clearly, we want to hear the voice on the phone clearly, we want to know our GPS position precisely and we want to identify possible enemies on the radar screen correctly. It is akin to focussing, our brain increases the signal to noise of an outside stimulus by increasing the contrast between what is allowed in and what is filtered out. Principles of how the brain does this have actually been used in electronic signal processing.
There is another aspect about data on a transmission line and that is what it encodes. What is the meaning transmitted. One of the important names in the history of humanity that few people know is that of Claude Shannon. He wrote a small book about information, his information theory, in which he originated the concept of a ‘Bit’ of information. The way he saw information transfer was a process of enabling the reciever to make a choice between different options. A message is transmitted correctly if the receiving end can make the same choice as the orginator intended. The Bit is the smallest amount of ‘discrimination’ that can be transmitted. So if you take all the options you want to transmit (say 5 flavors of icecream) then you need to transmit at least 3 bits of data because you can only count to 5 binarily with 3 bits (and you’d have bits left over!). Of course you’d have a decoding list where each number stands for a flavor.
To make it simple, say if I want you to say ‘Potato’ and I have to signal to you from 400 meter with my hands. If you never seen a potato or said the word potato or connected the two (you call a car a potato) then my position is pretty hopeless. Luckily we can share information beforehand. Now I can give you a little note that says if I hold up my right hand I mean potato, and if I don’t I mean something else. This seems trivial but of course that is sufficient, job done, case closed. This is me transmitting one bit of information, and that bit allows a choice between ‘potato’ and everything else. The only noise possible here would be fog or smoke or night without a moon making it impossible to see my hand.
We are used to transmitting a lot more over one ‘line’, for example the alphabet, audio, although these days much of all transmission is digital. The big advantage of digital transmission is that you can compress data and use compression ‘libaries’. The latter are like notes you send out. So the for example the JPEG image libary is a set of tiles, little pieces of image (like lego), that have a number and can be used to reconstruct an image. You can choose to do it 100% correct (so no loss of any pixel) or less. This is like letting someone rephare your message to make it more compact before it is send. The full sentence starts at ‘sir, could I have a cup of coffe please’, but this can be compressed to ‘Could I have a cup of coffee please’ or ‘could I have coffee please’ or ‘Coffee please’ etc.
Our mind can also compress and decompress data it recieves, because we may think different from what someone verbally offers us. So someone says ‘I need a bike’, you know you have three kinds, so this is not enough information, you say ‘what kind of bike’ (if you want the sender to use your options) or ‘we have three kinds, racing, mountain or electric, what will it be’ (here you send your options so the sender can use them). The person then goes ‘mountain’ and you know how to behave. So there is a direct parallel to every day interactions and data transmission, noise, encoding and decoding.
When we apply the transmission analogy to economics first we have to identify what is what, who is the sender, who the reciever, what is the transmission line, what is the signal. In economics the signal is money, and it is transmitted from account to account. This is the same as light from my hand being traveling from my hand to your eye, or the electricity from a telegraph station being transmitted to another telegraph station.
This does not completely explain tha magical effect of money as it sits in one account or another. A message that is recieved in a telegram office, or the email you read (which outside your field of view has met with all kinds of noise and error correction along the way it travelled) is nothing in itself. It is what it means (where I take meaning to mean ‘effect’). In short the meaning of money is energy, which can be human effort, fossil energy, caloric energy, things that make things move and happen.
This ties into the formula for Wealth, which is Energy x Skills x Materials. It does no feature money, because money is means of exchange, a token for trade. Money does not satisfy a desire in itself. The economic system is meant to use money as a signal, because it wants to distribute effort to where it is needed and most usefull. Still money is a purse signal, so not the energy itself, because even if you send a million to an account whover uses that account has to use the money to buy the energy or harness the effort etc.
Wealth = Energy X Skills X Materials
But in this analogy the signal transmits data, information. What is the information that sending money transmits? It is that of an opportunity. When I transmit money to the butcher as I pay for my meat, I transmit an opportunity for the butcher to apply the energy he can now aquire to getting more meat to process and offer for sale. If I transmit money to my employee I transmit (hopefully) the opportunity for that employee to be my employee for another day, week or month. It is an opportunity because the money can be send on to recieves that do not help the employee do that, or there can be other reasons why this fails.
When there is ‘profit’ to be made in a trade this too is an opportunity. A source of freedom for whoever manages to become the reciever of that money. If there is a prize offered for say a new type of invention “Invent a way to conserve food for longer” then the money gives the inventer freedom in return for the seclusion and isolation he/she had to seek to make the invention. In this sense the ‘conversation’ we have through our economic system is about how to maximize our opportunities.
So what is noise then in our economic system? It seems there is no noise to speak off when you send money from one account to another, or hand it over in cash. What shape does the noise take? The noise can express itself on the network level.
The first source of noise is just reality, life itself, humans and their faults. Even if a butcher gets the right amount of money for his meat, he may fall sick and not be able to buy new meat, or the meat he buys may be rotten or the cooling system he uses fails etc. etcl. When these things happen there can be error correction signals (payment for cooling system repair, medicine, time spend finding better meat) or the reciever, the butcher has to quit and wait for investment or find another opportunity.
But even in itself, the transmission is not cost free, the system is run by banks and banks have an interest in more signals in the system. This in itself is a source of noise. The economy should produce the maximium amount of wealth for the least amount of ‘effort’ or energy, but it tries to send the maximum amount of signal, regardless what it means for effort or wealth. It just finds that humans that send and recieve the signal will not simply send more all the time, they want to see real opportunity as a result. So banks are one to introduce noise in the system.
Another source of noise is the energy or effort supply. If you pay for an employee you are outsourcing a lot of work, the job of keeping one’self available for work, alive preferably. The money that you recieve has to ultimately power the machines and produce what the employee needs. If that process is not efficient or distorted or disturbed, your money signal does not have the desired effect. Economic theory relies on humans to fix such problems, but of course it does not plan to reward them if they work extra hours or travel long distances to earn or eat insufficiently or live in horrible rental homes or out of their car. Economic theory is abstract, its a perfect world scenario. It has a prima donna syndrom as well in that it expects you to say ‘oh god no of course our mistake you are perfect!’
My conclusion is that the way economists and banks try to make the system work is by managing the amount of money in the system with respect to the amount of energy that the money can buy. So if there is less energy for sale (like right now, oil is at $95) it will contract the amount of money so that the price comes down (less demand). On the world market his is an automatic effect, as foreign countries do not have unlimited dollars. Right now, with the $95 brent crude oil price (set by production reductions by Saudi Arabia), many countries will see their systems fail in the weakest spots. That means opportunites are lost, people are not able to do jobs or aquire services, there is not enough signal to go around. Lines remain silent. This can lead to riots because ultimately people are existentially dependent on the signal.
When Russia cut off the gas supply to Europe (it was more complicated but lets say this is what happened) the price of gas went through the roof. Now it is still way to high. Gas companies are thus reducing opportunity in the economy. Not only gas companies but many others have raised their prices. That money goes into reserves that are not used and this leads to a slowdown in activity, in utilization of manpower. The main reason for this clear relationship is the fossil nature of most energy used, as human effort is not a real means of production in most cases (except light construction, manual labour jobs).
At the same time energy companies try to keep renewable energy out of the market and off the grid, they use their money to lobby and of course make sure its all very complex and difficult. This is an example of noise in the system. Nobody that tries to maximize wealth using the system would act this way. The reason this happens is because renewables can be owned by private citizens, local communities, and this means the signals send in the system will be more local. The banks and energy companies both have an interest in keeping it more centralized, that is their way to earn their opportunities.
Yet another source of noise is the offsetting of opportunities in organizations and governments in the sense that the top is given more opportunities if they support actions that lower the opportunities of those they represent or are supposed to manage. A large part of the economic signalling is to make people do things they don’t want to do voluntarily or that is harmfull. The true signal nature of money becomes more clear if we recognize that if a member of parliament or congress has 1000 USD it is different from when a truchdriver recieves it. For the MP it is a good meal in a restaurant but there really was no need, for the lorry driver it can mean a lot of things. So the signal for the MP decodes into different things than the signal to the lorry driver. But of course the MP should be payed by the tax payer only, and to a degree that makes him/her able to function. How come distortion is even possible?
This may be an asside but the economy, and the desire of people to maximize their opportunity and banks to maximize the total signal leads to ‘stratification’ of the market and community. The effect is that if you achieve money which grants you X opportunities, it may be that this puts you in a different market. The market is constantly organized so that to be at level Y you have to have XYZ stuff. These are lifestyles you can afford or not, and through exclusion and rejection people are motivated to strive to be included. You can strive to own a Rolex for $8.000 or $12.000 or $200.000 its up to you. It must be clear that the price at this level has little to do with ‘effort’ or energy that goes into an object or opportunity. Here the human recieving the message is learning there are new things to signal for, new opportunities and there’s a strong psychological manipulation industry dedicated to faking opportunity, to divert the signal to doing the manipulation.
The above introduces serious noise in the system, the opportunities are not created where they are most effective. Diverting signal to recievers that really don’t need more opportunity starves those that need it, and we can see that in the economy when people can’t afford a decent meal while working 3 jobs out of their car. The type of noise this represent is almost like feedback in an amplifier system, because of course those that have recieved overabundant opportunity send some to people that supported the distortion of the system. A bank can bribe a poltician without even sending much, but by just enabling more opportunities, for example a loan that would otherwise not have been given, or stock tips or help to a family member.
I think today the economy, because of the banks and energy companies incenitives to maximize the (or their) signal, is not functioning correctly even if the theory makes sense (which it doesn’t but that’s another story). Governments are trying to fix this, but many are infiltrated by people that are corrupted or that see no harm in serving banks or energy companies. Greed is desirable if you are a bank, it increases the signal, but it also misdirects opportunities to people who don’t need more. Greed causes shortages that then induce need, so even if only a few people hoard money, signal, the rest will now have to be greedy too. This leads to less opportunities for those with less to offer, it makes everything more expensive (so the money or signal people recieve loses meaning).
[older version below]
When we apply signal to noise to economics we find that the theory in principle has flaws, the foremost being that the economy only looks at what exists, in order to trade it for profit. It does not conserve resources or protect what lives or do anything to keep the situation fit for humans. But even if we where to fix that, we have humans testing and checking every economic activity (small shops, industry etc.) for their impact on humans, animals, the planet, we still have challenges.
In the economy the signal is opportunity to profit. Its not so much the profit itself. The signal changes something on the other end of the line. The words in the message change your behavior and anticipation of the future. If I was standing with my hand raised to signal potato to you all day, you only have to look once and you know ‘its potato’. The economy has profitable activities, it will do them until the situation changes, until there is a signal of some kind. You can work a man to death, but if he dies, that’s a clear signal you have to stop and find another man.
Luckily we have a less barbaric method of signalling in our economy, and that is our spending, or where money can be earned. Now if we have for example a farm that has employees, those employees can earn a living. It is the task of the farmer to pay their salaries. For the employees the signal is clear and their behavior is stabile (of course ignoring many possible influences from living a human life). Some signal does not get transmitted though, the farmer will perhaps hide financial problems and use his reserves to cover the cost of his employees, because he knows how hard it is to find them, or how being layed off will impact their lives. This is an exampe of ‘noise’ in the transmission of the signal. It prevents the employees from sensing that they should look elsewhere to secure their lifestyles.
In other places in the economy the noise can take other forms. For example you have a big chemical company that produces toxic chemicals that pollute the public waters (like Chemours in Dordrecht, Holland). Why does that company keep going? It did not recieve much if any signal in its economic ‘transmission lines’ (money flows)? This is indeed unlikely. This is a major problem of the world economy as a whole. The ‘transmission lines’ or money flows of many companies are totally isolated from the public. The public only sees the balance sheet and profit and loss etc. If the company is polluting, maybe some politician should complain and make a law to fight it? But that person has economic dependencies. In principle his economic signal is not directly dependent on the pollution, only on what the public thinks about it. Strangely the economic ‘signalling’ system does not tie into governance in a way that protects the population. This is an example of blocked transmission, no noise needed!
Of course the director of the polluting company can also have a signal with a lot of noise. To stay with the analogy, and moving into the realm of cryptography, the signal can not only be degraded by noise (which you first have to know is happening mind you), it can also be replaced, tampered with, faked, replayed to hid what is going on on the sending end of the line. How does this translated into economics? Well, you have people making a lot of money to keep things as they are. They may be at the head of an organization that has a governance task, but they get the same money no matter what happens. So where is the signal? No signal, no (possible) change. On the other side you can have a bonus system, which is designed to evoke behavior in order to recieve a signal (a bit of reverse psychology). Its a no cure no pay (so cheap) method of paying for what you want. It can however completely drown out the actual (especially human) relevant signal. Many scandals are with companies who’s leaders get bonusses and rewards even though they did an absolute shit job (literally now with the pullution of UK waterways by priviatized water companies)
Economics recognizes that our society is made up of many individuals that all have partial control over our environment, streets, factories, companies. The idea is to make them all cooperate to the benefit of all. The signals send between people and people and organizations etc. all seem to or pretend to serve that purpose. In reality we have some people and organizations that have quite a biased motivation, their economic signal is to extract money and control the amount of money we use to send the signals. These are the financial companies (don’t call them institutions, they are all privately owned!). We all know they are not like normal businesses. They pretend that the only way to transmit economic signals is with their money.
Another group of companies that is not quite fairly operating in our economic signalling system are energy companies, especially those where the energy originates, so oil, gas,coal and even solar and wind energy companies. Its not that they are intrinsically economically bad (of course fossil companies are ultimately devastating to our economies), it is that what they sell is money, which is confusing. You can buy a barrel of oil for $95 at the monent. Say its converted to gasoline, say its 158 liter. That is about 1000 km in a small car. You can drive a lot of Uber passengers over that distance. I guess you’d make at least $1000. This is called profit. How can that be? Because there is no way to turn that $1000 into anything usefull without more oil. I theory you could get 9 other people to drive Ubers and take 10% you’d be golden. But even if you have $100.000 eventually and you could not buy oil, suddenly that money would be worthless (unless you drive a Tesla but then you’d have to consider where the energy came from and at what cost). What this tells you is 1. There are more and less profitable things you can do with energy and 2. That profit is not worth much (zero) if you have no energy. You would have a strong ‘signal’ but it would be meaningless because it can not drive behavior, you need energy to have behavior.
So in the system we have the producers of the signal (Banks) and the behavior (Energy) and noise in the transmission (corruption, hoarding) and blindness of the signal to the plight of humans. You can clearly observe that banks and energy companies introduce noise and sabotage the economic signals to retain their control. This perspective of signal to noise may be helpfull to fix the way the economic system functions. Part of this can be by tuning the signal to reflect relevant factors. Another part can be to introduce signal in order to reflect the needs of our planet and humanity. The biggest challenge in this is to have a stable transmission system to begin with. You can see prices as part of the ‘note’ which explains the options the signal can have. If a car that is damanging to the environment, your health and future is cheaper than one that is not, your behavioral options will be distorted.
There are many ways in which economic signals get muddled, the media plays a role in it too. It is clear humans are not optimizing profit naturally, but lifestyle. The social aspect is way more imporant, and although it is recognized the conflict with the goals of banks is evident. This results in a constant barrage of marketing and lifestyle advertisement that create the wrong signal for humanity and even the individual. Is sitting in front of a laptop at Starbucks the highest attainable goal for a mid 20 woman? Or doing Yoga? While we all are supposed to work as hard as we can? Why do men spend so much on watches, in the hundreds of thousands on some tiny metal object. What does this solve rally? Are Rolexes really a good ‘investment’? How come if companies manage economic signals they are very precise about it, using performance indicators, quantifying everything, while in our lifestyles we are asked to ignore money when we spend it?
My suggestion would be to start looking at the noise and view it as a cost to society. Capitalism is not bad, it is the way to solve challenges as a community (share resources, that is the traditional meaning). Bank dominance and widespread noise (also called ‘hidden cost’) in our economic system is bad, and a true economists would talk about this!
Tesla CEO Elon Musk heeft recent aangekondig dat terugleveren vanuit een Tesla auto (bidirectional charging) in de nabije toekomst mogelijk wordt. Het blijkt dat bij snelladen toch direct met de accu wordt gecommuniceerd (door het laad station) en dat dit het makkelijk maakt om stroom aan de auto te onttrekken, dwz om te ontladen richting het laadstation. Deze optie werd wel eerder voorgesteld maar was toen nog te complex.
Accus/batterijen worden intussen steeds goedkoper en lichter per kWh. Er zijn bedrijven die zeggen dat 950 km (of meer) aan range mogelijk is. Wat zou er voor opslag capaciteit in bv een Cybertruck kunnen als we die met accus zouden beladen? Als je de accu capaciteit van 229 Wh/kg neemt, en je neemt de ‘payload capacity’ van de CT die op 3500 pounds staat, dus 1587,573 kg, dan heb je een laadcapaciteit van ~363 kWh. Dit kan meer zijn, en kan zeker meer worden.
Aangezien een gemiddeld huishouden zeg max 4 kWh per dag gebruikt, in de winter wel meer, zijn met een keer rijden met een ‘geladen’ CT iig 30 huishoudens te bedienen (rekening houdend met kleine verliezen). Dit kan ook bij bv. graafwerkzaamheden van pas komen, aangezien je heel makkelijk batterijen van nieuwe electrische graafmachines kunt vervangen, meenemen om op te laten, terugbrengen. Batterij mobiliteit zal zeker een ding worden. Denk bv. aan een boer met een zonnecentrale die de landbouwwerktuigen van andere boeren oplaadt. Spaart meteen stikstof en een hoop geld voor diesel!
Als het Grid in NL achterloopt omdat Tennet express een ‘markt gedreven’ houding heeft aangenomen (aangezien het geprivatiseerd werd, wat achteraf een puur pro-fossiele berschermings stap was), dan kan het probleem van een onderontwikkeld grid misschien op deze manier worden opgelost. Er zijn enorm veel toepassingen voor stroom op locatie, dus er is ruimte voor innovatie en emissie besparingen. Welke festival organisator wil zijn festival nu niet met een (relatief) schone Cyberbatterij laten draaien?
We are all very bussy, earning the money to pay our way through every day life. If we are we are quite stuck in terms of climate action and what we can do about the deteriorating climate and corrupt politics that keep us on a devastating course. What can we do about it.
We could create a company ranking where we rank all companies, which are groups of people trying to stay alive, from valuable to most worthless in terms of climate. The criteria should be clear.
Every company causes use of fossil fuels, its clear in their budget, when money is expended, it still usually means fossil fuel is burned somewhere. This is the direct negative impact. The company can of course help people displace fossil emissions, like Tesla, it helps people emit less overall. That is a positive impact. So for each company you can calculate the ranking based on these factors.
You can also actually reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, for a duration or for a long time. If you sink wood into the deep ocean you reduce the atmospheric access to that carbon, it can not be burned and cause CO2 or rot and cause Methane, that is a positive impact.
Every activity has an impact like that.