... And now my FUCKING GOVERNMENT is doing pretty much anything you can conceive of in the name of spying on everybody including the people of the United States.
That's exactly how I feel. But, if our representatives in the Federal government no longer seem to be on our side, that's because they aren't. They don't work for us anymore: they work for their donors. Among the latter are a collection of corporations (e.g. Booz Allen Hamilton) that make up some 80% of the NSA. The problem is that the executives of those companies have learned that giving large political "donations" to key politicians is probably the best kind of investment they can ever make. As a result, the politicians involved have become heavily dependent on these companies in order to get re-elected and will do anything they are asked in order to keep those donations coming. Every other civilized country recognizes this as corruption, and we used to as well, but unfortunately our laws now say it's legal.
If you understand this, then you know there is only one solution to this problem: we urgently need to get big money out of politics.
How can we do that? It would be difficult to do in any other country, but the United States Constitution happens to include Article Five, which describes an alternative process through which the Constitution can be altered: by holding a national convention at the request of the legislatures of at least two-thirds (at least 34) of the country's 50 states. Any proposed amendments must then be ratified by at least three-quarters (38 States).
Are we using this yet? Yes we are! WOLF-PAC was launched in October 2011 for the purpose of passing a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will end corporate personhood* and publicly finance all elections**. Since then, many volunteers have approached their State Legislators about this idea and their efforts have often been met with unexpected bi-partisan enthusiasm! So far, 50 State Legislators have authored or co-sponsored resolutions to call for a Constitutional Convention to get money out of politics! Notable successes have been in Texas, Idaho and Kentucky.
But, if the State Legislators are also corrupt, why are they helping us? Well, maybe they aren't as corrupt as you think. But even if they are, the important thing is that they seem usually to be just as fed up with the Federal government as we are -- so much so that they are quite often happy to help out with this effort. After all, it's a pretty simple proposal that speaks to Democrats and Republicans alike.
*) The aim is not to end legal personhood for corporations, but natural personhood. The latter became a problem following the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling, which grated some of the rights of natural persons to corporations and makes it easier for them to lend financial support to political campaigns.
**) At the State level, more than half of all political campaigns are already publicly financed in some way, so there's nothing strange about doing the same for political campaigns for federal office.
That said, the main barriers are the cost to make PVs, and the storage of the energy itself.
Sunny climates could use the PV windows to generate electricity for cooling buildings, which is up to 40 percent of energy usage in a lot of the world, and even for vehicles to extend their running range, depending on the characteristics of the PV material.
Think that's morel likely. Next Occupy confrontation, suddenly everyone's phone stops working.
They already have secret wireless networks in most major cities.
Wouldn't put it past them.
When both Canada (CSE) and the US (NSA) spy on everyone around the world, including their own citizens in their own countries, against their own Constitutions, how can this mean anything?
Or did you not notice the cables being cut and spliced when we did it?
The old one was overheating way too much, running 70 C or higher and even shutting down, while my 8 core CPU and everything else ran 20 C to 30 C.
Oh well. Spent half as much as when I bought the current one, got 4 times the memory and double fans.
No, cogenerating coal plants are more efficient.
But we don't use those.
second cousins, actually.
nice try, but I was in intel before you were in diapers.
Tesla is building an I-5 corridor battery swap location chain from Vancouver BC Canada down to San Diego CA.
Which means if you live near the main highways in the True West, you never worry about not having a fresh battery in a Tesla.
Very good point.
Note that the main problem with all electric vehicles is the power mix and cost depends on how electricity is generated.
Electricity in much of the West is from a mix of solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and hydroelectric power, which result in an e-gallon costing about 1/10th what a gallon of gas costs.
In areas with coal-fired electric we're starting to see (Economics studies) indications of coal and oil increasing in cost, making the comparative costs different and the climate change and pollution impacts also different. However, if you have home and work solar or wind power, you can always trickle charge the battery systems to ensure a near 100 percent green fuel, and since solar costs are dropping fast (cheaper than oil now, competitive with coal) this may change quickly.
Some relatives and friends of mine use all electric or mostly electric cars to - basically - pay nothing in gas (other than an annual gas engine assist "burn" for the mostly electric ones) and as a result "fill up their tanks" with cheap electrons. Even if they add costs for solar charging or buy "green" power mix from the utility (solar/wind/hydro mix) it still works out to around 1/8th the cost of gasoline.
Not that fusion is as far off as people think it is. There are some really promising experiments other than the big ones, that seem single digit years away from usable designs.
I've been hearing that since the 1963 World's Fair.
Here, we have no income state (Washington State), only sales tax.
And, most of our energy is a mix of hydroelectric, solar, and wind (yes, solar is very effective here).
While I think moving to all electric vehicles in green states like ours is a good thing, and cheaper than gas (about 1/10th the cost), not sure if they should get a sales tax exemption since the only people buying Tesla cars (which have a showroom 20 blocks south of me) are rich people who generally avoid paying even 1/3 as much percentage of tax as the other 99 percent of citizens that pay the bills.
Same goes for fleet purchases - note that education and state/municipal don't pay sales taxes (and never have).
Remember, the family that is spied on together, stays together in Stasi Germany
Seriously, this spying on Americans stuff is getting way out of hand.
What is your current feeling on the current trends in fiction - in book form, manga, anime, TV, and film - have we gone away from hard SF towards science fiction focused on relationships and societies, or is this just a surface trend as we deal with the actual implications of reality and the near future?
And, in terms of that, do you think 2020 will be the way many writers thought it would be, or is it vastly different?
The main problem is, when we factor in water, fertilizer, production, processing, and shipping, that corn ethanol barely reaches replacement level for energy.
Other cellulosic ethanols have higher energy yields (stored energy per unit) and lower energy inputs, for example: algae, switchgrass, and cane sugar ethanol.
Subsidizing corn ethanol production is like shooting yourself in the foot and then declaring that it's ok to shoot you since you're disabled.