“Abundance” Chapter Two Review

18 March 2012

The following notes are from chapter two of “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

Interesting observation…

“Today most poverty-stricken Americans have a television, telephone, electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing. Most Africans do not.

Definitions are way too restrictive and in many cases totally bogus. The authors allocated a couple of pages to providing a “practical definition” of abundance.

“Abundance is about creating a world of possibility […]”

I’ve learned from Hans Rosling that learning about the future is easier if one is a possibilitist. This book assumes almost everything is possible.

A three tiered pyramid is presented. The bottom-level: food, water, shelter (basic survival)“. The middle-level is “devoted to catalysts for further growth like abundant energy, ample educational opportunities, and access to ubiquitous communications and information. The highest tier is freedom and health.

Sad, but true observation.

“Currently a billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation.”

The authors wanted readers to be aware of Friedrich Hayek’s catallaxy: the ever-expanding possibility generated by the division of labor.

I have a new found respect for the 1,200 watts two-burner cookstove.

A reasonable near term prediction.

“By 2015, the global market for personalized medicine is projected to reach $452 billion.”

Recall that health is in the highest tier of the pyramid.

Time to put on our possibilitist hat…

An end to most of what ails us by 2035?

It’s possible. In fact, 02035 is sooner than I would have guessed.

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ACRONYM as an Acronym

31 July 2010

I’ve been on an acronym kick lately, so I decided to write this little ditty about acronyms.

From the world of politics…

ACCURATE: A Center for Correct, Usable, Reliable, Auditable, And Transparent Elections
ACORN: Americans Corrupting Our Republic Nation [it’s really Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now]
BEST PRACTICES Act: Building Effective Strategies To Promote Responsibility Accountability Choice Transparency Innovation Consumer Expectations and Safeguards Act
DISCLOSE Act: Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act

From the world of education…

Getting AHEAD: Getting Access to Higher Education And Degrees
AIMS: Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards
DREAM Act: Development, Relief, Education for Alien Minors Act
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics
STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics
STREAM: using Robotics to Teach Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

I’ve known the following computing related acronyms for a long time.

BASIC: Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
FLOPS: FLoating-Point Operations Per Second
FLOSS: Free/Libre/Open Source Software
GIMP: Graphic Image Manipulation Program
GNU, which is a recursive acronym, is one of my favorites. GNU is Not Unix
KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid
LAMP: Linux, Apache, Mysql, Php
PLUG: Phoenix Linux Users Group
RAM: Random Access Memory
RAID: Redundant Array of Independent Disks
SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol
WIMP: Window, Icon, Menu, Pointer (Pointing device) [recently learned]
WORM: Write Once Read Many

I’ve rolled many of my own acronyms…

BAD: Basic Arithmetic Date
BARS: Basic Arithmetic Road Sign
EGG: Exam Generator and Giver
SPOT: Some Place Out There

I wanted to use the word “acronym” as a math related acronym and came up with the following.

ACRONYM: Another Candid Reason One Never Yearns Math

Used in a sentence: When one encounters an acronym, it’s ACRONYM.


Spring semesters start with a holiday

11 January 2010

Arizona’s Maricopa County Community Colleges begin every spring semester on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

During a semester, I start each week with a QOTW (Quote Of The Week) and I start spring semesters with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. The following MLK quote was going to be the first QOTW for 2010 spring semester.

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

But… I help others learn about computing and math; therefore, I switched the first QOTW for the spring 2010 semester to the following MLK quote.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

The MLK quote is used to mathematically define the terms finite and infinite and this semester the first QOTW will include a second quote… my original choice for the first QOTW — the MLK quote that ends with… Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

The MLK quote about thinking will be used to mathematically define the term nothing and doing arithmetic with zero.


Voter apathy in Tempe, Arizona?

5 November 2009

Tempe, Arizona, voters voted YES for the $77 million Tempe Elementary Schools bond. This came as no surprise, but I was surprised that less than 8000 Tempeans voted. I admit I was going to blow off voting, but I didn’t.

5359 Tempeans voted YES for the schools bond, but it would have taken only 2496 YES votes for passage. I have no data to support this claim, but I suspect a large percentage of the 5359 YES votes were from education workers (teachers, administrators, etc.).

7854 Tempeans voted on 3 November 02009. Tempe’s population (02006 est.): 169,712. Approximately 20% of Tempeans are under 18, which implies about 135,769 Tempeans are of voting age. I don’t know how many Tempeans are eligible voters; however, whatever the number is, it does appear as if voter apathy is alive and well in Tempe, Arizona.


I voted NAY on Tempe schools bond

3 November 2009

I voted “NAY” for “Tempe Elementary Schools Bond” because bonds are an instrument of debt and we need to stop spending money we don’t have.

The state of Arizona is broke and many of the cities in Arizona aren’t in any better shape. Given the depth of today’s economic uncertainty (e.g. I’m not certain I’ll have a job next year), I believe local taxes are going up. I also believe that the federal government will be increasing “taxes.” Just yesterday I heard Valerie Jarrett say: “The President doesn’t want to raise taxes.” Hmm… Why didn’t Valerie (a senior assistant to Obama) say “won’t” instead of “doesn’t want?”

Passage of the $77,000,000 Tempe Elementary Schools Bond will result in a tax increase and the estimated Average Annual Tax Rate will be $0.2174. This tax would increase our cost of living by $35 per month.