Tag Archives: Logan’s Run

Tubing it along

There is news, news that has been about a few weeks and I have kept an iLook on it. In one part it is as techofreak as it gets, so I should be on board the moment it launches, it is so versatile that it has no other option than to change lives on a global scale, yet there is the issue that it is so new that it is a little scary. That is the reality of all new technology; consider the first 10,000 Facebook accounts, the first 100,000 internet users. It all starts in a small geeky way and this will be no difference. It had more presence in the Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, so that is why I took another look. You see, the entire matter is not merely where it is, but it is how the technology is adapted, that is the first part in all this. To set this in the proper light, we need to take a step back. In the UK they have the HS2. So when we see the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-16473296), we see “The initial plan is for a new railway line between London and the West Midlands carrying 400m-long (1,300ft) trains with as many as 1,100 seats per train. They would operate at speeds of up to 250mph – faster than any current operating speed in Europe – and would run as often as 14 times per hour in each direction“, so when we consider London – Birmingham we see ‘1 h 25 min’, as their fast option at present, which at 117 miles, makes the HS2 a 45 minute saving, so how many billions is that going to cost? Now consider that each one technical glitch will cut the 45 minutes. Now, I am all for progress, now when we go by two numbers we see “a projected cost of £56 billion, up from the initial cost of £32.7 billion in 2010“, we see that 8 years ago, they had it wrong by close to 100%, so we see a waste of £56 billion plain and simple. The UK could fix its schools for that amount of money and overall, there is absolutely no reason to go that distance, it is just too short. Now we get to the next stage of travel.

Welcome to Hyperloop!

Now as we see this in the Saudi Arabian setting it changes, you see when we look (at https://www.tahawultech.com/news/virgin-hyperloop-one-unveils-vision-2030-pod/) we see ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilising the land bridge for both passenger and freight movement, positioning KSA as the gateway to 3 continents‘ as well as ‘Traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi would take 48 minutes (currently over 8.5 hours)‘, so here we see a clear forward momentum. Not merely 45 minutes gain, but gains that take away 90% of the travel time, now we are talking improvements! I never quite understood the HS movement, not in the UK (where there is some benefit) and even less in the Netherlands where the improvements are as shallow as it gets, all this ‘good for the economy‘ whilst I think it greased the careers of certain people, and in the end nothing for the citizens, and the less stated on the Dutch government joke called Fyra at a mere €11 billion loss, it is not a lot if you say the amount fast!

So even as we are burning ourselves all over Europe on high speed trains Hyperloop technology is different, you go by tube (as literally as it gets) and within that tube you have the option to truly accelerate, the nice setting that this will reflect on cargo and passengers alike, so it is also versatile. So when we read “The hyperloop-enabled transportation sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will stimulate economic growth and diversification of Saudi industries, according to Virgin Hyperloop One. It will also nurture the manufacturing and innovation sectors, and spur job growth in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom“, we are not seeing the whole picture. You see it is almost a lot bigger than that. The currently planned £380 billion mega city Neom would be an optional first as well, so Riyadh would be linked to Neom, which now is set to connect Egypt and Jordan, it also opens the doors almost directly to Sharm-El-Sheik as well as the Israeli city of Eilat, all golden opportunities which allows Saudi Arabia to grow the economy in Riyadh on a much larger foundation than ever before. In all this Cargo and passengers are set to near exponential growth, especially in the short term. So we have near direct connections between Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the centre of all this. It will not take long for these nations to grow all kinds of alliances and commerce will flourish like nothing we have seen before and Virgin, with its Hyperloop One is in the centre of this growth. Even as Europe is trying to get something similar rolling, we see that France is alas out of cash for such an endeavour (at present) ‘Hyperloop gives cash-strapped French cities hope‘ (at https://www.thenational.ae/business/economy/hyperloop-gives-cash-strapped-french-cities-hope-1.726967), it is a stretch, but it makes a lot of sense for France to get involved in all this, in their setting Hyperloop makes sense, especially regarding cargo (cheese and wine settings anyone). So when I see “TransPod’s technology is based on magnetic propulsion and electrified tracks, moving pods through a vacuum tunnel designed to reduce friction. As with most Hyperloop projects, the bulk of the estimated costs are for deploying infrastructure. Co-founder Sebastien Gendron estimates his company needs €20 million (Dh88.1m) in financing to complete the Limoges project at the current stage, and says he’ll raise half of that from private investors“, in all this, I am surprised that no one there called Ubisoft (more specifically Christian Guillemot, Claude Guillemot, Gérard Guillemot, Michel Guillemot or Yves Guillemot), they have the cash and more important, to be the founders of something this futuristic that will be moving through France with the Ubisoft symbol would be worth its weight of a train in gold I’d imagine.

So back to Saudi Arabia, the one part I do disagree with is ‘in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1-2 percent across the Kingdom‘, you see, once the line is in place, it will spur the economy in more ways, beyond tourism and beyond cargo, for close to double that prediction. A system that far ahead will also spur infrastructures growth as the rest of the world will be lagging behind, especially where engineering is concerned. They all claim they have ‘the technology‘ yet at present there is a lot more reliability that under these settings it will only be running in the KSA in a more serious setting in the foreseeable future and that is where the advantage grows, in addition, when the travel times are shifted to those degrees, emergency surgeries, medical disasters when Hyperloop technologies transfers and adjusts in more than one perk, we will see both the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centres in Riyadh and Jeddah grow abilities to attain options because they are now less than 2 hours apart. That transfers to all manner of services, when they are no longer separated by time to that degree, it will drive a lot more than the ones we see at present. and let’s not forget, this is merely the first degree of Hyperloop, as the engineers figure out a lot more than is currently possible, the growth will blossom further, and as we see forward momentum on this scale, we understand that there are risks, you when the gain is not 45 minutes, but 90% travel time is reduced the picture shifts a lot further on a larger scale. Even as we were introduced to ‘tube’ transport in Logan’s Run in 1976, we never imagined that it would be an actual solution, not until now do we see that there are places where it is more than a solution, it is the drive to move forward on nearly every field.

So even as I accept that we are not there yet and there are all kinds of issues down the line, movement is now a given, and even a some used the London underground map and added some Hyperloop fun to it, the setting is not that impossible on some part of those tracks. It is a part where all technology can move forward, we merely have to adapt parts of it. Consider that change as new venues of technology open will up, and there is serious cash to be made for all the players in this field, you merely have to find the niche where your solution fits.

That is where Vision 2030 is now becoming a driving force, not merely because there is $500 billion to be found, but because those who do get their working solution in place, for those there is a lot more to be made over time, Saudi Arabia is merely the pilot, it is the global setting where profit becomes a very serious opportunity, it will drive the now nearly born new Nouveau Riche generation to a very new level with amounts the previous generation never ever dreamed of.

When you sit down and consider the map, we do not merely see Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, we see that Saudi Arabia has the opportunity become the axial for those three continents, an option we never would considered as realistic when Vision 2030 launched 10 years ago, now that picture is shifting and with the growing technologies as Saudi Arabia is embracing these new opportunities we see a shifting picture, even as oil might be funding this, the reliance on it is fading a lot faster than we thought possible, not merely through Hyperloop, but through the changes all the technologies enable one another with and that also gives new directions, because it is no longer about volatility  (as Saudi Arabia was accused of by others in a previous blog), it is about stability and the enabled stability that these solutions bring.

For in the end making money will always win over waging war, that has been proven for the longest of times.


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The reality of decimation

This is not an academic piece, I would personally state that to some extent this is not even a sane piece, but is it an incorrect piece? That is indeed the question we must ask ourselves. Consider the events as they have plagued us for a little over 20 years.

This piece partially started with the UN report on the environment, but some of the elements have been on my mind for some time now. This is not about the War in Iraq or Afghanistan; this is about something a lot more basic.

Let us start with the UN report on Climate Change 2014 (at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/mar/31/climate-change-threat-food-security-humankind)

It is also good to take a look at the policy maker’s summary titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (at http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf )

We should consider the quotes that the Guardian article gives us.

First there is “The summary mentioned the word ‘risk’ more than 230 times, compared to just over 40 mentions seven years ago, according to a count by the Red Cross“.

My first counter is that this is not an event that has grown for only 7 years, these events and risks have been in place for well over two decades, the people in governmental power and the power players of big business are no longer aligned. Money only gets you ‘alignment’ to a certain degree. If you doubt this, then consider the power Big Tobacco had from the 70’s until the early 90’s. In the Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business (at http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1606&context=njilb) we see the quote “tobacco companies argued that plaintiffs assumed the risks of smoking. They also capitalized on the fact that they could afford the best lawyers to defend against generally under-funded plaintiffs“.

This is only the first quote where government has been holding its hands over the heads of big business for far too long. It is nothing short of treason against your own population (a slight exaggeration, I admit). It is not just their best lawyers against the plaintiffs, there has been a host of events where political powers had been ‘softly motivated’ to take a stance for the economic growth of a nation, whilst selling its people straight down the drain.

The second quote to consider from the Guardian is “Other food sources are also under threat. Fish catches in some areas of the tropics are projected to fall by between 40% and 60%, according to the report” (the part I saw did not specify the size of the area, or the exact locations).

Consider the amount of nations depending on their livelihood on fishing for themselves and their families, not to mention for whatever income from selling it to others in villages and cities. The claim ‘some areas’ is a loosely placed term I reckon. Consider the massive requirements for Japan alone. There is no evidence what so ever that this will lighten up any day soon. The events of fish shortage will grow above the mere population. A change to that effect will have a massive yield on the oceanic biosphere and as such mass extinction events on our fauna are almost a given certainty. So as we see the events there, we will see that the impact will soon thereafter hit waterbirds which will affect another chain of feeders. The third quote is “Almost everywhere you see the warming effects have a negative effect on wheat and there is a similar story for corn as well“.

Even though, to some part there is a claim that longer warm timeframe might yield some positive benefits, the overall consequence is that the events will be negative. Hunger will soon be an issue that stretches far beyond the third world nations, did anyone consider this?

The report is massive, so digging into this will take some time (after I get it downloaded, which is never easy from the UN document server), in the meantime, follow the next link to take a look at a document now released from the US State Department (at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/219038.pdf)

Now let us go into the deep end. We have seen how being nice, how ‘finding’ a compromise will not get us anywhere. If you doubt this, then consider the fact that several nations are now, after giving us some ‘good news management’ additional grief will soon be gotten by the Dutch (at https://www.nvm.nl/nl-nl/actual/maart_2014/asscher_in_zomer_kijken_naar_lastenverlaging.aspx). They will be looking at lowering the costs for the Dutch population. Consider that the Dutch debt is currently in excess of 25,000 euro’s per citizen. Again, politicians will be trying to spend money they do not have. Even more hilarious, is the fact that they will not have that money for at least half a decade. If we consider this in regards to the UN FCCC report, where we see that climate is not just hitting us, many nations will have to pour billion upon billions into places to prevent flooding’s and other climate calamities. In this light, we will not have any lightening of economic pressures before 2018. The Dutch are not alone in this. The UK, France, Spain, Italy and to some effect even Germany will have to spend large amounts of money. If there is truth to the downward spiral of the climate, what will happen to France when their wine economy takes a 20%-30% tumble? (This is not a found number, that percentage is a mere estimation from other numbers in the UN FCCC report). Such a tumble will devastate the France GDP, which means that their debt will almost literally drown them.

So what is a solution?

Well, to safe our planet we might have to become drastic. The fact that politicians will not act and at the first sign of good news (managed or not), they will try to keep the status quo so that they look good (and leave it to the next person in office). This has been going on for some time and it has been happening in nearly every nation. So, we could rig the game and get rid of 4.7 billion people. It is not a happy act and if it happens I will unlikely to remain (or be allowed) in the ‘surviving’ group.

You see, healthcare, retirement shortages and lesser productivity (in the eyes of big business), would mean that we are to be removed from life. There is additional evidence for that. When we consider the words of the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26818377), where it is quoted “Risk of death by any cause over the course of the study was reduced by 42% for seven or more (up to around 10 portions a day)“.

Are they for real? When I was growing up, I had three meals a day. My lunch could include a sandwich with sliced cucumber and tomato and there were greens at dinner. That makes for two helpings. My grandfather lived to a ripe old age on those meals. So, who is paying these people to state 7-10 portions a day? Let us not forget that the UN FCCC report will have something to say about that. The IPCC report stated (at https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/spms3.html) “Productivity of some important crops is projected to decrease and livestock productivity to decline“. This is not a global thing, but overall the population is still rising and food would be getting scarcer.

So, that option of decimation, which would be unfortunately for me, is starting to make sense. So how will we go about it? Will certain groups get targeted? When we see the HealthCare and retirement options as they dwindle then getting rid of anyone over 45 makes statistical sense (not morally). Alas, we are not that fortunate. If we consider the population numbers, as shown by the UN, Dept. of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2011), we would also have to shed a little over 75% of the population that is between 15 and 44. How to go about that? If we take the people over 30, our population will face the reality that we saw in the movie ‘Logan’s Run‘. We could of course use the classic ‘Soylent Green‘ as an example, which also solves the food issue for all non-displaced citizens. Perhaps the list will be diminished in the way it was sung by Gilbert and Sullivan in ‘the Mikado‘ through the song ‘As some day it may happen’, “none of them would be missed”, I do however request and require that Nigel Farage will not be allowed to make that list (#JustSaying).

So, if you are currently extremely nervous about what will happen next then do worry, I definitely do! No matter how we will be dealt with (through hunger, war or just permanent removal). The consequence will be a global one. If we can rely on statistics is that within 40 years, if untouched through war, two civilisations remain, the Indian and the Chinese one. It is a simple consequence of the numbers as these two represent 36% of the planet, which means that no matter how much we get ‘culled’, either natural or unnatural, they would then be the only two remaining governments with the size that would places them in power.

All this reads like a joke, but it is far from it. As we have seen governments go into the acts of managed good news, whilst slowly giving us the bad news little by little (as the economic meltdown has shown), we will soon see similar acts by ‘spokespeople’ on how soon crops are grown with almost no water, how we see the use of Genetically Modified crops. The Economists had an article, which is not that relevant, but the quote in there “genetically modified (GM) crops pose health risks” is. The truth is that this is not true as I see it. Actually, we just do not know what the true dangers are. I feel that there is a risk, but there is no actual evidence (at present) that there is a danger. There is in my view indeed a risk, but no long term evidence exists. We are then in the same place as people were with Big Tobacco in the 70’s onwards. Big Tobacco had too much ‘protection’ and as such governments remained idle for far too long. Genetically Modified foods are likely to go into a similar field, but this time governments cannot stand idly by. The cost will be too great when it goes wrong. So am I against GM foods? I feel uncertain, until the long term dangers are known we should not proceed, yet if the shortages in food, space and water are truly coming, what can we do then? Consider that the global population grows by the size of the population of Germany every year, which is the 16th largest nation. Also consider that children 0-6 have the highest need for good food and clean water to survive, now see these items diminish as there is less, there are more mouths to feed and the climate change is soon making it harder on all of us.

The next two generations will likely be the hardest ones in the history of our planet. Never before was mankind hit by so many elements all at once. They will inherit a polluted planet, they will inherit debts unlike anything we ever faced and if the Status Quo does not change really fast, they will walk this world in an environment that could be near extinction on land, in the sea and in the air.


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