The Tech Slant

Trucks, Terrain, Trepidation

/

The pickup truck and SUV markets in the U.S. increased by 9.9% between 2019 and 2022, let’s just say 10% for the sake for simplicity. More and more people seem to be wanting buy an SUV or a pickup truck and venture out into the wilderness, at least that’s what the commercials are reflecting. No matter what brand we are looking at, commercials show their owners (mostly fairly young) taking their vehicles out where any sign of human civilization cannot be seen. The new owners crave to be In The Middle Of Nowhere, or, ITMON, a new acronym. 

The truck/SUV owners are “exploring” places where the roads aren’t paved, no speed limit signs, traffic signals. There are also no fueling stations, food, water, toilets, emergency services, doctors, nurses or walk-on clinics. Just buy this truck/SUV and get out there in the Great Outdoors, get yourself ITMON. New Hampshire, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Vermont and Oregon have laws that allow rescue services to bill you if you get yourself in a bad situation out ITMON and need to be rescued.  These bills can run up to $5,000 if the rangers have to do a lot to find you, especially in the middle of the night.

I have seen a fair number of younger people buy 4-wheel drive trucks with the specific purpose of using them to tear up the countryside. It seems these young truck owners are in competition to see who can tear up more of the landscape. We can’t be sure if the truck manufacturers condone such behavior, but their commercials certainly don’t discourage it.

Keep Reading

Dear Steve Jobs

Like Tesla, Edison, Bell, Marconi and DaVinci, you have so soon after your too-early departure, become one of history’s great innovators.  Unlike those other great minds, you changed the world – twice!  Miles changed music twice and that is impressive, but you, you changed the entire world – twice.  And while the introduction of the personal computer was ground-breaking and civilization-changing, it is the smart phone that will be your most enduring legacy.  And I’ve got a bone to pick:

We are prisoners.  Some succumb much more willingly than others, but willing or not, we are prisoners.  We are now dependent upon these little monsters to get us where we’re going and remind us that we need to be there.  We rely on them to do simple arithmetic, correct our spelling and grammar, and document our lives.  We literally can’t get in the door to see our dentist without a flurry of intrusive text messages that require a response and often the completion of ill-formatted forms and questionnaires prior to entry to the sacred place.  We simply – as the old ad used to claim – “don’t leave home without it”.

Dear Steve Jobs
Keep Reading

Salad Days, Swindling, and Social Media

In November of 1964, Jack Weinberg posed the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30.”  While this phrase has been attributed to the Beatles, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin, all icons of the 1960s, research finds that Mr. Weinberg coined the phrase when he was a member of the Free Speech Movement. 

While a free speech is a tenant of the United States and a right outlined in our Constitution, from our founding fathers to Mr. Weinberg, few could imagine what technology has brought us.  Social media has redefined free speech in a manner never imagined over two-hundred years ago. While free speech is protected by law, its amplification has exceeded anything imaginable two-hundred years ago.

Keep Reading

A Dilapidated Defense of Dependency

/

 I never knew that slavery and addiction could be so satisfying. Recently on a social media website, one of the addicted slaves made some startling comparisons that need some sincere comments. Claiming that our fears about our youth being too “dependent” on technology, and that those fears were nothing but “BS” our dependent youth made the following arguments:

His first point was that we use automobiles to travel instead of horses and buggies. Yes, that is true, but the Model T Ford began production in 1908. His second point is we don’t use outhouses to go to the bathroom. Yes, that is true, but the flushing-rim toilet was introduced in 1824. His third point is we don’t use typewriters to write comments. Yes, that is true, but typewriters were invented in 1868. His fourth point is we don’t heat water for our bath on the stove. Yes, that is true, but water heaters were patented in 1889. His closing statement was, “Do you see what I am getting at?”

Yes, I see what he was getting at, (including his poor grammar ending a sentence with a preposition) and his point was that apparently it is a valid argument to compare technology from centuries ago with the present technology. My professor whose essay tests frequently asked to compare and contrast concepts would have given him a failing grade.  None of the inventions this person mentioned can generate information, they only serve in a physical perspective.   

Keep Reading

The US Lags Behind in Stem Cell Research

Advanced treatments help treat disease, heal injuries, reduce the impact of aging, and boost immunity and vitality

Stem cell research has long been an area of contention and controversy in the US. Critics point to trigger words like “abortion” or “fetus” as a moral argument against this medical advancement from its early years in the late 1990s. But this field has come far since its discovery and those conflicted by its history of moral debate should think again.

As one of the world’s leading stem cell research and treatment centers, BioXcellerator offers  hope to patients who suffer from a wide range of diseases and disorders — with therapies that  also help extend longevity, improve immunity, and enhance overall quality of life.

Backed by 22 years of clinically based research, the company’s team includes leading  scientists, physicians, and researchers who work each day with one common mission – to help  end pain and suffering worldwide.

Keep Reading

Saturation, Satiation, & Subjugation – Tech’s innovative push for your dollars

Human knowledge, what we know, is based on fundamental, basic knowledge and understanding. We have to understand those basic symbols and their relationships before we can apply them in complex equations.

We have to understand letters, words, sentences and punctuation before we can combine those symbols into paragraphs, books, and manuals. The technology of today has been built upon the existing technology of yesterday; and it has always been this way.

Keep Reading

The Conceivable Chinese Contention

/

*China is an interesting state, and becoming a bigger player on the world stage as time passes. Having lost wars to major powers in the more recent century, China is deliberately moving on the world stage and is determined to exercise its power in the twenty-first century. In terms of assets, China is creating man-made islands in the South China Sea, in order to enlarge its global footprint, claiming manmade islands as part of their sovereign nation and attempting to curtail traffic in the open seas. Keep Reading

One Bad Apple

*Most addicts never see it coming.  They just cruise along enjoying a harmless vice, one they are in complete control of, placing themselves above the many that have succumbed.  Then the day of Josie’s graduation comes along, which means three hours in the car with family and a long day away from home before there will be any alone time, and they panic a little.  Mr. Jones is knocking.  That’s when the compromises begin.

One little lie here, one unfact there, twenty dollars here, a couple hours there.  They will compromise their own integrity.  They will compromise their own reality.  They will compromise almost anything just to get at that drink, that pill, that gram, that bet, that cupcake.  They start doing things that they never would have dreamed of doing a year ago, or two.

Bad Apple

Keep Reading

CRISPR – New Gene Altering Technology

*A new technology that will change the world has emerged, called CRISPR, an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat. While the mechanics of this technology are an essay all by itself, suffice to say that it is a technique that alters genes, the formula for life in DNA. Discovered by a food company that was studying a bacterium called Streptococcus thermophiles, it turns out that CRISPR has the ability to alter the genetic makeup of whatever DNA where ever it is applied. Even if CRISPR turns out unable to genetically alter human beings, it is one step closer to our ability to do so.

The backlash against GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) still rages, while disease-resistant plants that could keep populations healthy are ignored. Golden rice, which would prevent blindness in children in Third World countries, was shunned for quite some time, all due to unjustified fear of GMOs. (I wrote a very sad research paper on that topic.) CRISPR is (from my admittedly shallow understanding) another method of altering DNA to resist diseases, among other things. The question before us is whether we should use CRISPR to alter our genetic makeup, and, more importantly, to alter the DNA of our offspring to make them healthier.

If the genetic investigation indicates that your child will be autistic, and you had the ability to stop it, would you do it?”

Keep Reading

1 2 3
%d bloggers like this: