Tag: LOADS

Awesome art by Nick Risinger - Blue Bot by Adam Grossman ;)

Are we the noisiest planet in the neighborhood or what?!

This could make you rethink your estimate of proportion. Apparently, (at this time) we’ve been transmitting our whereabouts to every alien within one hundred light years…

Awesome art by Nick Risinger - Blue Dot by Adam Grossman ;)

I read this short article on something fairly interesting (HERE)…apparently our earthly radio transmissions are are now reaching places very very very very far away.

A thought crossed my mind about this. Any society as advanced as us or more so will almost certainly either be receptive to radio waves…but here’s the problem: Exactly how receptive?

I would like to point out that while we can attribute radiation for a significant amount of our evolution, we can also attribute the scarcity of life outside our planet to it…it is the double edged sword that makes earth so rare. There isn’t just life here…theres a TON of it.

SO now that we know that the number of planets capable of supporting life is waaaaaaaay higher than we guessed1, we really need to entertain the idea that we’re not alone, because to ignore every possible indicator that it’s true would really put us in a scary and indefensible position.

We assume also that other intelligent species wouldn’t sweat us blasting everything within 100 light years with lots and lots of noise. I mean, in our quest to make sure we’re not alone…what are we prepared for when they finally do show up and surprisingly expect our society to be a derivative of the Lucile Ball Show2

The bigger problem is the assumption that the signal would actually be received as a communication…what if it is considered noise…or worse…interference? My point is that we are making a whoooole lot of assumptions and firing off a whole lot of EMR into space under the premise of scientific space exploration that we wouldn’t dare point at ourselves because it would fry us faster than a man-sized microwave oven.

On the big scheme of things, we’re like galactic infants, all we want to do eat, shit, and scream our guts out. We can’t see very well, we barely know what to make of everything we do know, we’re only marginally communicative on a mathematical scale, and all we know to do is grow, eat more, shit more, and scream more. I think we give ourselves far too much credit, and the one thing we can expect is for who-or-what-ever we encounter will very likely have an agenda similar to that of a scolding, fed-up, and irritable parent….because we’ve been flooding the neighborhood with nothing but the crap from the entertainment industry for decades.

The only species we’re likely to encounter right now will either be far more advanced at least technologically3 or would be equipped for a one way trip to settle here, thus immediately causing 7 billion humans to go into fight or flight mode thanks to Hollywood giving us all the wrong information we could ever want in order to prepare. Do you see a happy ending here? I don’t.

On the cosmic scale, we now know very clearly that we’re incredibly lucky to be alive at all, that we’re constantly surrounded by deadly factors completely outside our scope of control, and that we’re facing the limits of our own sustainability through very rose tinted glasses.

…and yet here we go…inviting yet another factor that our own observations and indicators of self-preservation should be screaming at us not to do.

I just can’t help but think…if the Milky Way was our neighborhood, the earth would be that house in the neighborhood that everyone hates for being loud, noisy, messy, and completely oblivious to the people around us that might not be so cool about the noise pollution.

I am sooooo not saying we should all be prepared for the next alien invasion. I am just saying that maybe, just maaaaaybe…pointing all those radio transmitters out there to communicate who, what, where, and when we are might easily be construed as that godawful neighbor that feels the need to run a speaker out onto his front porch and share his taste in music with everyone on the block.

Okay…rant over…have a great night.

-T

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Check out this awesome database and see how many have already been found: CLICK HERE.
  2. *SMH* …Look up I love Lucy HERE
  3. They’d would have to have the tech to reach us, which at this time means they probably are able to travel at least 30+light years in a single generation. Which means they would have been planning to meet us in some capacity for decades and very likely have FTL capabilities. Any society that has FTL would technologically ROFLSTOMP a society that didn’t have it. Why am I making a gaming reference? Because the only adequate allusion to our ability to defend against tech like that is like trying to defend against a Zerg rush when all you have is tech from SimCity.




No More Overtime?! Really?!

tonytow tony hunt gets angsty

Some things just absolutely tick me off.

So today an interesting string of articles came up on my radar: an initiative to abolish overtime pay for hourly laborers. I know a lot of you are like “WHAAAT?!”

Initially, I was even like “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!”

Why? Because that money I like to have when I’ve been working for over 40 hours a week.

That was my initial line of thinking because as an individual, overtime pay has helped me through a lot of rough spots. It allowed me to avoid having to get a second job more often than not. But now that I am running my own company, I see immediately where the government (de)regulation here will remove an absolutely HUGE burden on many many employers here in the U.S. and allow a LOT of staffing opportunities to occur.

This type of legislation will definitely rock the boat, but not necessarily in a bad way. At first I was skeptical because of the impact it has on workers that rely on overtime. Then I realized that this only applied to employees who actually get to work over 40 hours a week (with a few exceptions). Those hit the worst on this type of legislation are union workers, whose inflated salaries are a HUGE drain on employers. Followed up by contractors used to gouging on time over 40. After that…well…it’s not actually that bad.

Here’s the kicker though. This potentially saves employers a TON of money. The reason companies dont like overtime in their service process is because it literally throws profitability in the shitter. Work-related accidents happen more often to employees working over 40 hours per week than those that dont. This affects disability, and workmans comp insurance. Immediate affects are seen in shared tax and compensation responsibilities. Essentially, businesses that dont have to pay overtime are far more likely to be able to employ their staff more, or allow for more staffers based on this (de)regulation.

Dont get me wrong, I love overtime, but to be honest it causes more pain to employers that it’s worth to the employees getting the extra pay, and allows companies to staff better.

Are there arenas where this may be a catalyst to working overworked people even more? Absolutely, but this tactic is already used and a TON of companies already dodge the overtime bullet by deliberately misrepresenting positions as exempt job types when they are nothing of the sort.

Anyhow, I am really curious if this is just another smokescreen platform to get us riled up while something else is pushed through or if it’s like SOPA/CISPA.

Article from the Daily KOS
Opposition Article from PoliticusUSA
HR 1119




Yearning for Learning…

We all have those points we reach where we re-evaluate where we are and what we want. I honestly think that it’s part of the process by which we make sure we’re not repeating mistakes and are on the path we want to be on.

As you all know, I started my own consulting business about a year ago, and it’s been a learning experience to say the least. I’ve learned more about the business world and finance and taxes in the last year than I had in decades prior.

It occurred to me that one thing I truly love to do is learn…be it people…trees…the wind…math…okay…maybe not math much anymore, but you know what I mean? My spark is still there…in scenarios where I have to immerse myself into an environments where I have no bearing, and no experience. While I am hardly getting rich by becoming my own boss, but I am enjoying a level of freedom that I didn’t even know when I was a kid. Part of that freedom has been having the time to take on learning TONS of subject matter I didn’t have time for beforehand, and recently, I’ve even started inquiring about tuition costs for school because unfortunately, some of the world I want to know lays buried in the books and lectures of professors I normally wouldn’t have access to otherwise.

The bottom line, I miss learning, I miss that feeling where I’m entering a completely new arena and have to soak in absolutely everything. It keeps my mind from getting too bored, which unfortunately is very easy for me if I don’t have a conversation going on…or a book to read…or the internet to soak in and learn about…well…everything. Well, as I’ve learned recently, an undergraduate degree acquired online costs over $70k. Yup.

That is what I said. HOLY CHRIST ON A POGO STICK…SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS…

…and that is 100% do it yourself computer based training.

Unfortunately, as I stated above, I have time – but money like that – not readily available, especially considering my health problems and trying to buy a house this year…I know it’s simply not an option at rates like that.

So here comes that spark…

I’ve been a TED subscriber for quite some time, and the messages you hear on it are incredible…there are soooooo many people out there trying to broaden our horizons and make this world a far better place, it’s pretty inspiring. So much that I’ve tried to make sure I watch at least a few TED video’s every week or two so that I know what they know, or at the very lest can draw some ideas or inspiration.

And earlier today I saw this article on free courses offered online…

TED Blog – Completely free online classes? Coursera.org now offering courses from 16 top colleges

TED.com - Ideas Worth Spreading

And after that I checked out Coursera.org and found that t wasn’t the degree I longed for…it was the education, thee information, and the opportunity to soak more of the world or turn my brain to jello trying.

I went on to find a number of other organizations that offer free education and courses. I realized that some people and organization were finally trying to improve the world, by allowing the mind to grow. In a society that puts a price on access to virtually any information, there are finally a number of organization that are trying to share that wealth instead of profiteering from it.

Again. Me. Inspired!

So where did all that take me?

I have the time, I am going to take it and learn as much as I can while I still have it. There are already more courses out there than I could finish in the next decade, and I think that within the next few years the amount of curricula available will grow exponentially.

You’re probably reading this and thinking Jeez Tony you could have just said, “I’m going back to school.”

True, I could have, but then I wouldn’t have shared all these nifty links to all these places online that provide free education.

The Khan Academy – TONS of video and stuff…LOADS…I also found these guys from TED.

OpenLearn– I haven’t tried these guys yet but they have a huge course selection.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – Open Coursework from a great Medical School. Prize material for med students!

Tufts University – More Med school offerings


Stanford University
– That’s right, Stanford has buku lectures free via iTunes!!!!

UC Berkeley – More from UC Berkeley, available via iTunes!

OpenCulture – Has a FEKTON of courses listed available online.

Education Portal – Good information regarding online coursework.

What did I find for myself? A sustainability class, some newer Philosophy classes, loads of history classes I might actually like learning from…bottom line…enough for me to really enjoy regardless of where I learn it.

😉

-Tony