Can Ikea’s SolarVille Project Be An Excellent Model For How A Future City Should Be Built To Provide Excess Clean Energy? Can Crypto Mining Waste Less Energy Through SolarVille Model?

Fastcompany.com just reported on how Ikea is experimenting with the marriage of solar energy and blockchain technology through SolarVille project. This SolarVille project is constructed in a way in which each homeowner’s excess solar energy in the whole solar grid (each home is connected to the whole grid) can be accounted and released into the market for gains through blockchain technology. I think this is a very interesting project since it could help counter the argument that cryptocurrencies are wasting energy by having people using a lot of energy to mine the crypto coins.

If you have read my blog posts a lot, you know I’m not a big fan of Bitcoin and other crypto coins/currency since I know that the governments of the world won’t allow unsanctioned crypto coins to thrive. Furthermore, anyone could just create unsanctioned crypto coins to further dilute and confuse the whole crypto coin market. Nonetheless, I’m very interested in the blockchain technology itself.

In my opinion, even though I don’t like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for the various reasons I stated earlier and other reasons I haven’t stated in this blog post — I do think SolarVille project could shine some light on how people could create a similar project to gain excess energy from the sun so this energy could be used to mine for more cryptocurrencies. This way people cannot say that you waste energy to mine crypto currencies because the energy from the sun, theoretically, is endless. Technically though, you are still wasting energy to mine crypto coins, but at least you’re wasting energy in a very green manner.

What do I think about SolarVille project itself? I think it’s very cool! I mean if the whole city is being constructed into a solar farm grid like this, then families in this specific city will definitely spend less or actually gain monetary values through selling excess unused solar energy. This scenario could actually inject extra money into the whole economy out of nowhere and also create a new vein in the whole economy of a city.

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Can The Chinese Push For Robust AI Development Forces The World To See Rapid Job Losses?

In the video right after the break, David Harvey said that it seems the Chinese will become the top dog of capitalism which would dictate how the future of capitalism would become. This is the first time I’ve heard of the man and so I don’t know much about him. Nonetheless, much of what he says in the video seems to make a lot of sense. Near the end of the video, he argues China, as a top dog capitalist, decides that the future of capitalism is all about Artificial Intelligence. Then he goes on to say that AI is all about removing the labor from the production process.

Let’s say that David Harvey is correct about how the Chinese will push the world to speed up the development of AI, then we have to ask ourselves how many more jobs we will see the world will lose? Furthermore, it’s not only in the United States that we will see people who are not going to be able to work to support themselves, but people of the whole world will experience the same dire situation! This means even if whoever in the United States decides to move across the sea to find a job won’t be able to do so! Basically, even if you have the mean and the will, you still won’t make it in a future where hardware and software will overtake human labors through AI developments!

Can Historical Memories Shape A Future?

Can historical memories shape a future? In my opinion, historical memories could play a great role in shaping the direction of a future even though on the surface we may not see such things happen. For an example, the horrific revenge of the Soviet Union against Germany as Soviet Union troops entered Germany when the Nazi continuedly retreated as the WWII winded down. This pushed Germany to fight the Soviet Union harder and preferred to surrender to the allies.

The Soviet Union’s behavior right after WWII is a great example of why the Soviet Union lost the cold war according to Dr. Citino. If I remembered correctly he said something as such in the YouTube video above. I guess if he is right on this perspective of history, we have a lesson to learn here!

I guess the lesson of history in the context of this blog post is that a careless single victory in the present doesn’t mean much if it could cause long term pain in the future! For an example, we have multiple nuclear powers in the world as we speak, but if any one of them uses nuclear weapons carelessly, this could lead to a future that would not be very favorable for such a power.

I wonder, could Japan be closer to the United States and prevent China historic rise if the United States had won WWII against Japan without nuking Japan? In the video right after the break, Parag Khanna suggests that Japan’s heavied investments into China had contributed today stronger China!

Perhaps, I’m reading into things that simply aren’t there, but I have a feeling that Japan does want China to be quite strong to hedge against the United States. Perhaps, they fear the will of using nuclear weapons by the United States. I don’t see any reason for the United States to ever nuke Japan again. but I feel that Japan may have a long memory of it being nuked by the United States. Sure, it’s outrageous to think that Japan is unfaithful to the United States since it’s still a very close ally to the United States. Nonetheless, I’m sure there must be a thinking out there like this, and so we can’t just totally ignore the possibility!

In summary, I think a victor should not be as ruthless as Genghis Khan or the Soviet Union, because such a ruthless victor would not be able to win the respect of the surrendered power! On the surface, the surrendered power may acquiesce to the demands of the victor, but inside the surrendered power could have a feeling of long term ill will. I think today nuclear powers should not use their nuclear weapons carelessly no matter how precise and strategic their nuclear weapons could become because I think such powerful weapons could create unending hatred of one people or power to another!

Can Andrew Yang Save The Malls of America?

I don’t know much about JCPenney at all since I don’t shop there. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but want to talk about it a bit. Recently, we have seen how Sears is struggling with its own survival, and so it is not a surprise for us to see JCPenney may fall into this same situation as Sears. Basically, if JCPenney isn’t able to modernize its own business model to fight against online giants like Amazon, JCPenney may as well eventually be just a memory.

I look at JCPenney’s stock today and I’m seeing it’s being listed around $1.28 a share. This used to be $80 stock back in 1999 and in 2006. So, the question is, what has changed?

Has JCPenney fallen victim to online giants like Amazon? I partly think so but not really 100% convinced that it is 100% the fault of online giants. If you take a look at Walmart, it doesn’t have to beat Amazon on the online platform to stay profitable! So, why Sears and JCPenney look so outdated?

I notice Kohls has done a very good job through its online platform, and so I think JCPenney could learn a thing or two from Kohls. Then again, Walmart still does rather well with its traditional bricks and mortar stores. So, perhaps it’s the combination of well managed both offline and online that could save brands like JCPenney?

Then we also have to look at a bigger picture such as why people don’t go to the mall as often as before! Sure, we can say it’s the online giants that kill off the malls! Nonetheless, the malls do have benefits such as entertainment and so forth. I notice in other countries such as in China, the malls are still very vibrant! Furthermore, Chinese do buy stuff through online platforms a lot. So, why malls in China are vibrant still?

I guess, if the malls are vibrant, stores like JCPenney and Sears could survive since they locate inside most malls! Nonetheless, as malls are closing down or getting empty, I don’t see how JCPenney and Sears and so forth could stay profitable when customers don’t even show up!

Here is the shot in the dark part! Could it be that our economy is doing poorly, people are no longer having a job for life but a job for a gig, and they shop online more — all of these factors come together to form a perfect storm which is killing off malls across America? The bigger issue is of course why are people no longer be able to have a job that they could work without worrying about being replaced by automation? Yes, automation is going to replace more people from their jobs!

Andrew Yang, 2020 presidential candidate for the Democrats, suggests that soon truck drivers, cashiers, burger flippers, lawyers, call center operators and a lot more will be replaced by AI and automation. Sure, things don’t look dramatic now since your neighbor may still have a normal job. Nonetheless, if the trucking business could save $160 some billion of dollars per year to just automate the trucks and get rid all of the truck drivers, why do you think this is not a good idea for them to do so? Perhaps, even Lyft and Uber drivers in the future will be replaced by self-driving, smart AI car too!

So, if it’s true that machines and software will eventually kill more jobs, then people will, of course, have less money to spend at shopping centers and malls. Do you think this will affect online platforms eventually? To me, it’s a common sense that the online platforms will also be affected by a poorer economy! Nonetheless, online platforms like Amazon could survive better since they got convenience on its side. For an example, frequent sales are just a few clicks away!

Sure, we can say that we like to blame the economy for our problems, but the truth is that the advance of technology and the convenience of shopping through online platforms have created a formula in which we are now seeing the decay of our economy. So, if we have a poorer economy, how can we not blame it on the problems that we see, right?

Andrew Yang suggests that through “Freedom Dividend” the government can help prepare the economy for a soft landing when the advance of AI and automation gets worse in the coming years. Of course, you can go on YouTube to watch his videos and see a more fuller explanation of his Universal Basic Income “Freedom Dividend” idea. Here, my shot in the dark is that I think even outdated stores like JCPenney could survive in a good economy! Perhaps, “Freedom Dividend” may offer people more options so they could wander their way into one of the JCPenney stores!

Andrew Yang said that “Freedom Dividend” will not be able to solve the bigger issues that the AI and automation spring forth. So, he also suggests in addition to “Freedom Dividend,” he also wants to see Medicare for all. Furthermore, he wants to abolish the usage of GDP as a measuring stick for how healthy an economy is. Instead, he wants to create a better measuring stick for the economy which measures environment sustainability, nutrition health of children, and so forth to capitalize on human well being instead of capitalizing the market caps, stock prices, and so forth. He thinks as AI and automation spring forth, the GDP number could go to the moon but more people will get fired from their jobs. Think about this, machines produce more things that will be counted toward the GDP number but the humans are not going to be able to participate in producing this number!

In summary, can Andrew Yang save the malls of America? If he can save the malls of America, this means he can save JCPenney and Sears and eventually the economy itself! Can his idea of “Freedom Dividend” provide a soft landing for the future economy where humans won’t be able to participate in producing things that can be counted as a contribution toward the GDP number? I’m very curious about all of this!

Hyperloop Is Just A Hype?

Isn’t building a Hyperloop requiring more effort than just building a Maglev train? Furthermore, Hyperloop is probably more dangerous because having an emergency exit could be rather a pointless thing to have once the pressurization within the loop is no longer working as it should. Basically, your pod could be crushed like how you would step really hard on the side of an empty Coke can. Perhaps Maglev train could be just as dangerous, but could the Maglev train collide with train tracks by chance to create friction and decrease the magnitude of the accident so some survivors could climb out the train eventually? Well, at the moment, in China you could ride a Maglev train at 267.811 miles per hour (431kph), but you could only dream that a Hyperloop could be built and be this fast. In the videos right after the break, you could see why building a Hyperloop is a foolish endeavor!

It’s Cool To Hear Liu Cixin’s Thoughts on His “Three Body Problem” Trilogy and Other Cool Sci-Fi Things in an Interview.

Liu Cixin’s “Three Body Problem” put me in an annoying state but in a good way. Why? After getting to know his “Three Body Problem” epic trilogy, I couldn’t find any other sci-fi work to surprise or wow me anymore. Since then I keep wanting to be introduced to a similar or better trilogy but I had found none. To appease my thirst for sci-fi I’d to settle with my older favorites like Star Trek, but what I want is something as epic as “Three Body Problem.”

I’m really happy to see Liu Cixin talks about his work in the interview in which you can watch it in the video below.

I also heard that a new Chinese sci-fi big budget movie is coming out to a theater near you soon in the United States known as “The Wandering Earth (2019),” which is also based on one of his short stories. I can’t wait to go to see it in a theater near me. Hopefully, it won’t be a disappointment because sometimes a great story doesn’t make a great movie. The reality is sometimes rather cruel to a book lover because a movie may fail to reimagine a book in live action for various reasons such as budgetary problem and so forth.