Boston dynamics has been shown to know how to crack the code of fast movements of arbitrary ‘systems’ of actuators. It’s probably thanks to the speed of CPUs and enormous amounts of memory that its robots can trigger the right control based on their position vs gravity, their own mass, elastic effects and actuator lag and power curves. Complex, but if you make lookup tables of everything not impossible. The algorithm that navigates all these control signals will probably be a standard part of any real AI..

The latest in robot dancing

It is fascinating how one lab can achieve so much and many others are left in the dust. The Ford (we thought Amazon) digit robot walks but is not as agile. It has the advantage of being a product made for a real purpose. What happens if these become more lightweight, if the controls are minimized and internalized and turn out to be doable with generic hardware. The challenge with AI is often training the system, that process requires a lot of cycles, energy and time. But once the resulting weight matrix has been developed it can be really lightweight and fast.

Now there’s a real attempt to make these things not look to much like humans, because our innate reflex is to project emotions and intentions on whatever moves around us. Japanese are the most sensitive culture in this respect because in Japan machines can have souls and can be considered to be alive. This is not a weird position, we are after all also biochemical mechanisms. The rub is that we have different needs from machines.

The big challenge of the next 20 years is to remain on top of robots and AI. To keep them from being servants of egos, from destroying our planet because somehow someone made them strive for self preservation without also makeing them want to see us around. If we manage we can have a renewable powered society where robots can do nearly anything, robots, road bots (Tesla’s with autopilot with a robot mounted on it for example). Once these devices can roam freely outside, running on solar/electric energy that does not run out, our options to survive climate change increase. Our job is to not start loving them, not try to give them a soul that wants to survive, because that’s how we’d lose our freedom to them!

A Natural Health based performance measure

I has been the perception of many for decades that trying to save something will help save it. It never does. People don’t like to be hero’s and what needs to be save is weak, so why put energy into it. The slogan works with people that have empathy for the weak, but most leaders don’t or they would not be leaders.

Shaming goes a lot further towards motivating change, but it is a negative motivator. It requires someone to take the role of victim, one that acuses the pollutor, and a victim is weak so does not get empathy. The whole process of accusation is something most people dislike. It is ( to be sexist ) very feminine. Justice in general is feminine and for the weak. The world is run by people who are strong and do not call on justice but simply do what they can get away with even if it is a crime.

What does work imho is a grading system or classification of leaders as to their ability and achievments regarding conservation and restauration of nature. Just like we as a civilisation are not yeat on the Kardashev scale, but can aspire to, all countries and municipalities should be put on a ‘health scale’, where every aspect of its nature is rated compared to the possible optimum. A bit like a golf course where every hole has a handicap.

There is such a rating in terms of carbon offsets or carbon emissions, but that has not prevented Holland from developing a nature cripling Nitrogen emission problem. CO2 and NOx are winning in Holland because there is more money in it, and because it can’t be brought up as a topic of pride or shame in a decent conversation.

Drought is an issue in Holland. Rain shortages are about 200 days worth and growing. This could mean a downgrade of the country as a whole on the Standards and Poor ‘health’ rating of our country. Apparently we can’t achieve better performance under our stupid Mark Rutte government. This and the Nitrogen means that people have red eyes, beathing problems, are more succeptible to Corona virus, and nature can’t really cope with the changes.

If you view Holland as a big open floor restaurant right now the kitchen waste is dumped in the middle of the hall and the cooking fumes are blown into the faces of the guests. Apparently the suppliers are running it, not somebody who cares for the customers. Of course there are many ‘development’ ratings and ‘eco’ ratings, but those don’t communicate you are better off in the dry heart of Spain than in beautifull Limburg.

We are talking here of a measure of natural healthyness of a country or region or city. Simply put if there where no civilisation at all, how healthy would a place be. This includes its support of mental health, so no cruelty or absence of trees, green medows etc. (of course when measured against the potential of the land). Then when you have a drink with people from other countries you can boast about it or be shamed, and then maybe you will vote for leaders that see actual strength (not fossil credit cashflow) as something important.

Ways to rate cities

Cities are grown on opportunies. Whether it was a bussy harbour or a rail hub or a river or a place people would choose to rest. Once established they would attract people based on the activities. LA is for aspiring moviestars, NY is for aspiring stock traders, Amsterdam for aspiring potheads (only joking). But cities are traps if you can’t find a place in the economic mechanism, and the economic mechanism that has grown into existence the last century is all fossil based. It’s run to create cashflow (this is the basic and only goal of banks). Fossil always causes cashflow because you buy it, burn it and have to buy it anew.

How to feel like an ant

To fix ourselves for the hot future we need to fix cities. Either fix them or abandon them. Reasons to fix them are that they can be (sometimes) easily adjusted to deal with extreme heat. You can cover streets so for example. Reasons to abandon them is because banks make them extremely expensive to live in, because you can’t grow food, because the banks prevent radical changes or even utilitarian repurposing of for instance building walls to grow ivy against. You’re constantly stuck between the frustration of home buyers who can’t afford homes and the home sellers who insist on getting the maximum out of their sale. It constantly leads to paralysis of the market that is then fixed by giving banks even more power and freedom.

Dense cities will need power plants to exist. Now you have a power plant and you buy the energy with the money you earn by being usefull to the city economy, usefull to the cashflow desire of the banks. It is much smarter for a city to won its own power plants, especially renewable ones, because then it can make the city an attractive living environment. It can grow crops underground with LED light to keep the citizen alive. It can still maintain a free market for homes, but those homes will be much more attractive. Now because of bank cashflow hunger, homes are like islands, not intrinsically connected, usually in highrises because people don’t like the needy crowd they are faced with at street level. Needy because of banks! The city should make people less needy and now, with super cheap renewable energy it can.

We should rate cities based on public beauty, and then not apply a standard that is defined by Mies van der Rohe. The extreme of barren architecture has relaxing qualities, it’s like sitting on a slab of rock, enjoying nature and solitude, but this does not comfort people who are already fighting to exist. It does not inspire them with hope or make them thankfull for what they recieved. Architecture used to be more of a gift to the population, something that became less relevant when we all became dependent on money and banks.

I guess we should rate cities on a couple of indicators

  1. How much do tourist like it
  2. Can you enjoy it in summer or is it too hot
  3. Can you grow food close by
  4. How many animals do you find in it besides rats
  5. Do you feel comfortable at street level
  6. Does the city own its own power station and is it renewable

What are your suggestions? You can tweet to use at climatebabes