Where Is Our Technology

I remember as a child I use to watch “The Jetsons” in awe of the technology they had wondering if that’s how the world would be in the future when I became an adult. Well, many years later here I am, an adult and the world is more or less the same way it was when I was a child, from a technological standpoint. Sure we have little trinket technologies like iPhones and Tablet PCs but nothing truly revolutionary has come along that has changed our lives in a significant way. Where are the jet packs, flying cars and suction tubes that would take you from one end of the city to the next in a matter of seconds? If you’re over the age of 27 I’m sure we can all agree that we thought that by this time we would have at least had the hovering skateboard from “Back to the Future”. What happened? Where are all of our big technological breakthroughs we so anxiously anticipated as children? Is this laptop I’m writing on and “smartphone” in my pocket really the peak of our technological capabilities in our generation? No not at all.

We may not have flying cars but we do have Maglev technology, such as the Vacuum tube trains, that can take you from NY to California in (12 minutes). We have hydroponic technology that would permit us to grow food in abundance anywhere in the world from the Mohave Desert on its hottest summer day to Chicago in the dead of its coldest winter. As far as hovering skateboards are concerned I’ll do you one better, the Hoverbike by Aerofex corporation. So far, for safety reasons, the Hoverbike has been tested at 30 mph and 15 feet, although earlier versions of it traveled as fast as a helicopter! With this said we’re not even scratching the surface of our current technological capabilities. It is safe to say that we are living, conservatively, 100- 200 years behind what we are technologically capable of at this moment in time. If we put into consideration nanotechnology you can add on another 200 years on top of that. One thing you can bet on is that almost anytime you see so called “new” technology on the news or at a science convention more than likely it is far from new. The first solar power motor was invented in the 1860’s by August Mouchout. In 1877 Professor James Blyth built the first wind turbine that powered his cottage in Marykirk with electricity. It is only now within the last five or so years that clean renewable energy has halfheartedly come up in popular discourse, yet has been in existence for over one hundred years. Hydroponic farming as well has been known and understood since the 1800’s. One of the first detailed designed prototypes for a vacuum tube train powered by maglev technology was done by Robert Goddard in the 1910’s!

So, where is our technology? It is being held hostage by a monetary system that will not release it unless a profit can be made. The facts are that we’ll never see natural renewable energy such as solar, wind and tidal power come to fruition anytime in the near or distant future because that would spell the end of the power industry that exist today. For there is  profit to make off  of the sun. If solar and electric powered cars caught on that would be the end of the multibillion dollar oil industry. Here is a clear case of  how our profit driven monetary system is stifling are technical growth.

High-speed maglev lines between major cities of southern California and Las Vegas are also being studied via the California-Nevada Interstate Maglev Project. This plan was originally supposed to be part of an I-5 or I-15 expansion plan, but the federal government has ruled it must be separated from interstate public work projects. Since the federal government decision, private groups from Nevada have proposed a line running from Las Vegas to Los Angeles with stops in Primm, Nevada; Baker, California; and points throughout San Bernardino County into Los Angeles. Southern California politicians have not been receptive to these proposals; many are concerned that a high speed rail line out of state would drive out dollars that would be spent in state “on a rail” to Nevada.

(California-Nevada Interstate Maglev)

The fact is that we are actually drowning in “Jetson” like technology that would greatly benefit humanity but is bad for business. The profit driven monetary system has been the single greatest hindering force in preventing meaningful progress in human society. At this moment in time we are at a state of stagnation in which there are no tangible technological breakthroughs other than trinket technology like smartphones and iPads. Furthermore this stagnation has lead to countless deaths from starvation, preventable diseases, and preventable accidents all due to the fact that technology which could easily prevent so many of these issues are shelved because they are not profitable. It seems that we are truly in the second Stone Age. Think about it, if you live on the west coast but all your family lives on the east coast how great would it be to be able to hop on a vacuum tube train and make it to your mother’s 60th birthday party in 10-12 minutes, amazing. But instead, because we’re are not utilizing our technological capabilities and you don’t have the time to take off work to fly out to New York, let alone the money, your restricted to viewing the party through a web cam -_-

We must come to the understanding that our profit driven monetary system may have been necessary at one point in time but is currently obsolete and is holding humanity back on many different levels.  The time has come that we must update society to our current scientific and technological understandings (Resource Based Economy) such as is proposed by the Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project. Failure to do so will result in the continues stagnation of our technological reality and perpetuation of the multiple societal issues which can easily be prevented through the application of the scientific method.

Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.

-R. Buckminster Fuller

Why Chicago Is Under Fire

For the greater part of this year the city of Chicago has been under the national spotlight over its skyrocketing homicide rate. Within the first three months of 2012 homicides were up 66% in Chicago. This year Chicago has had the highest murder rate amongst Alpha world cities with 19.4 murders per 100,000. This rate is more then New York (6.0) and more than Los Angeles (7.5), and ahead of Mexico City, Moscow, and São Paulo. As mayor Rahm Emanuel struggled to get a grip on the rise in crime he reverted to the age old solution of more policing. On August 31st Rahm Emanuel and police superintendent Garry McCarthy steped it up a notch by calling for federal assistance to help in the fight against the wave of crime and violence that has taken hold of the city. The federal assistance consists of U.S. Marshals, FBI agents, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The Mayor and superintendent’s plans for the federal assistance is to concentrate on the neighborhoods that have been hit the hardest this year by homicides. “The help comes in the form of additional agents to target guns, gangs and drugs,” Superintendent McCarthy stated at the conferences.

While the mayor sends federal agents out to Chicago’s hardest hit neighborhoods he continues to neglect the fact that these are temporary solutions to the symptoms of a greater problem, poverty. This is a fact that is not just neglected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel but by all media and governmental officials. Time and time again the problem of crime and violence is thrown on gangs and drugs. It is also common to hear dismissive terms such as “senseless violence” as if to say the homicides in Chicago are happening just because or without reason. But there is a cause and it’s not gangs and drugs but poverty and where there is poverty you will obviously find scarcity (lack of resource). Failure to recognize this fact is detrimental to human society because it presupposes that there are no borderline causes for peoples actions. Hence in the case of crime in America and around the world, punishment is the only solution presented when dealing with aberrant behavior.  It would profit mayor Rahm Emanuel far more to take a team of behavioral scientist to the hardest hit neighborhoods in Chicago to analyze the conditions which his citizens are living under that produces such behavior as opposed to a team of federal agents.  As obvious as 1+1=2, it is equally as obvious that poverty + scarcity = violence or in the case of Chicago homicide.

Looking at the public health statistic in the city of Chicago’s data portal you will find that the numbers in regards to poverty and homicide are consistent.

Top Three Impoverished Chicago Neighborhoods

  • Riverdale, 61% impoverished, homicide rate (per 100,000) 37
  • Fuller Park, 56% impoverished, homicide rate (per 100,000) 63
  • Englewood, 42% impoverished, homicide rate (per 100,00) 48

If you reverse the numbers you will see little to no homicides in the neighborhoods with the lowest poverty rates.

Top Three Least Impoverished Neighborhoods

  • Mount Greenwood, 3% impoverished, homicide rate (per 100,00) 2
  • Edison Park, 5% impoverished, homicide rate (per 100,00) 0
  • Beverly, 5% impoverished, homicide rate (per 100,00) 5

These statics are just a glimpse into what scientific studies have proven for decades and that is humans are products of there environment. No matter where you go in the world, from Compton to the Upper East Side of Manhattan or from the United States to Africa you will find these statics to be true. As long as we continue to pretend that crime is a result of people being lazy and not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps then crime will never be reduced in a significant way.