If we can't save coral reefs, maybe the robots can? Sure, and if it
doesn't work, at least there will be robots. Apparently a group out of
Edinburgh in the UK is developing robots that will be smart enough to
transplant corals, which can then regrow after being damaged or
Apparently, you can become smarter. There is a Free software
implementation of the dual
n-back task, which,
according to some studies, may increase working memory and thereby fluid
intelligence with practice. There links to several studies at the
Brainworkshop game website
suggesting intelligence gains as high as 40%.
The bulk of my little sponsorship this month is going to another
Kickstarter project: Velkess Energy Storage.
Their promise is to revolutionize energy storage in a way that will make
solar powered homes and buildings significantly more cost effective.
Their secret? A flywheel, made practical by a flexible support. As of
this writing the project hasn't found enough backers to receive funding;
I hope a few more people step up soon, the energy industry could use a
little shaking up.
The Chinese New Year started in February. I went to the Chinatown
area of Philadelphia and saw the celebration. There were people who
dressed up in lion costumes and danced, and there were fireworks. The
tradition is meant to bring good luck and fortune to the community.
Have you been to any parades or dances? Would you wear a costume if you
I wanted the postcards, and it created a real place I could visit in
Clear and Present
I'm interested in reading a text on logic. This is also the first
project I backed that will result in a permanently Free resource.
More people will know how to make stuff. Not clear to me whether the
e-book will be legally Free though.
This one did the most to clarify what strikes me as worthwhile:
Improving one's habits makes for very tangible, life-changing results.
Free software means it's not going away, and it builds upon and into the
general pool of creative resources for everyone.
That word makes me want to wash my mouth out. According to
Wikipedia it means "love of
humanity." It tastes of stuffy rich dudes trying to assuage their
consciousnesses without getting their hands dirty. My language
preferences aside, it's probably a worthwhile idea.
Dave Ramsey has a financial plan that got
me out of debt back in 2010. Being a Christian, he instructs other
Christians to tithe 10% of their income to their church. I don't buy the
"Benevolent Sky Man" story, but his claim that generosity is worth
learning makes sense to me, so I will hand off a small percentage of my
small income on a monthly basis.
Suffering appears to be inevitable, and the people with real money and
power seem to be happy with the bombs and bullets. I'll assume that the
world isn't broken, and focus on projects that might actually make a
dent in my experience of the Universe.
As of this writing, Kickstarter has the
bulk of my attention; people completing tangible goals that, once done,
stay done. Any projects that increase knowledge and potential for
everyone are likely to particularly appeal to me.
I am also sponsoring the education and care of a little girl in Bolivia.
Totally fails my "useless rich dude" taste test, but a large percentage
of people all over the world seem to think that women are supposed to be
uneducated, beaten up, raped, disfigured, maybe killed. Don't know that
this changes anything, but it's a fun little way to respond to that