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Human Population ExplosionJust before my recent trip to India, I read Dan Brown’s latest book, "Inferno". It's fiction, but it resonated in my mind as I felt the overwhelming crush of crowds in Bangalore, my once idyllic hometown. I experienced the same in many of the other cities.
A tremendous change has occurred in the world: Until around 1800, the population grew to about 1 billion; with the industrial revolution, the second billion came in only 130 years (1930); the third billion took less than 30 years (1959); the fourth billion in 15 years (1974); the fifth billion in 13 years (1987).
During the 20th century alone, the world population has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion. There will soon be 7 billion people. By 2050 global population is projected to reach over 10 billion. The highest birth rates are occurring in a handful of nations in Africa and Asia. All of these people need food, water, clean air and space to survive.
The improvement in medical care over the last few centuries has created a situation where human population is becoming a serious problem. This theme is explored in Dan Brown’s book with a riveting story. The book includes figures and graphs about population growth, climate change, fish and wild life depletion, destruction of forests and greenery, reduction of water resources, and more.
The "Inferno" story is about a brilliant, but unhinged scientist who believes that he should "save" humanity by reducing the population. Beyond fiction, reality resonated repeatedly during my India tour.
Our Capitalist society survives on growth. This comes from improved living standards, but also generates more low-income populations. In absolute numbers, world poverty is increasing steadily. Any contrary arguments are simply self-serving and short-sighted.
One quickly realizes that the population growth patterns cannot continue. It's an issue that no one wants to discuss, while wealthy nations are busy with matters related to their own reducing prosperity.
What’s your opinion?
Book - Computation for HumanityI thought I’d share this new book with you because it includes a chapter which I wrote - "Evolution of the Techno-Human". This starts the final section: "Visionary Pondering and Outlook on Computation for Humanity."
The book is about different computational methodologies, useful as a research and reference guide to scientists, engineers, and academics. It includes several examples that can be adapted to address everyday problems.
Three decades ago, computers moved out of central control rooms and into the home. Now computation is spreading throughout the world as the Internet and the Cloud. Smart gadgets everywhere combine multiple new technologies that sense and act among all social groups.
The editors and authors of this book consider that computational technologies will result in fundamental changes in multiple arenas: practice of the arts, professions and sciences, and the ways in which society manages its practical operations - health, infrastructure design, and political processes. The contributors provide case studies in fields ranging from history to zoology, from city planning to knowledge discovery.
The book shows the presence of computing in every aspect of everyday life. It will inspire everyone interested in the technological progress of numerous disciplines. It presents the most recent computing and engineering solutions and achievements in a variety of different applications. It’s expected to be prescribed as a textbook in some broad disciplines.
This book is a good and fresh read, covering various current topics related to the influence of information technology to the advancement of society. While it covers technical topics, the language used is light and readable, not just to specialists and academics. It will reach a wide target of readers and function as a good source of information.
Growth of Virtual Currency - BitcoinBitcoin is a cryptocurrency where the creation and transfer of virtual cash is based on cryptographic protocol, independent of any central authority. Money can be transferred through a computer or smartphone without any intermediate financial institution. Issuing bit coins and managing transactions is done collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public; nobody owns or controls it and everyone can take part.
Unlike traditional currencies where central banks decide how much money to print, no central authority governs the supply of Bitcoins. It is not backed by physical assets, is not run by any person or group, and its value depends on people's confidence in the currency. Bitcoin recently broke $200, compared to $12 a year ago and the market remains highly volatile.
This electronic cash system concept was introduced in a 2008 paper by a developer known only as "Satoshi Nakamoto". Bitcoin transaction are processed by servers, called bitcoin miners, which confirm transactions by adding them to a ledger, updated and archived periodically using peer-to-peer filesharing.
In addition to archiving transactions, each new ledger update creates some newly minted bitcoins. The number of new bitcoins created in each update is halved every 4 years until the year 2140 when this number will round down to zero. At that time no more bitcoins will be added into circulation and the total number of bitcoins will have reached a maximum of 21 million bit coins. To accommodate this limit, each bitcoin is subdivided down to eight decimal places, forming 100 million smaller units called satoshis.
In August 2013, Germany's Finance Ministry subsumed Bitcoins under the term "unit of account”?, a financial instrument? - though not as e-money or a functional currency. Although it is promoted as a digital currency many people criticize bitcoin's volatile exchange rate, relatively inflexible supply, high risk of loss, and minimal use in trade.
China’s got the bitcoin bug. A real estate developer in Shanghai just announced that it’s now accepting bitcoins for one of its mid-range flats in a posh Shanghai suburb. Half of the world’s daily bitcoin trading volume now comes from China.
Bitcoin has a credible future as an alternative to traditional payment methods. Momentum is coming from around the world, as amateur investors, venture capitalists and technology enthusiasts keep pumping money. The volume of transactions remains tiny, but some think this currency could eventually become as ubiquitous as email.
A tiny but growing number of stores, travel agents and online merchants are starting to accept this digital currency as a means of payment. One couple recently traveled the world using just Bitcoin - though with mixed success.
Perry Marshall Book - 80/20 Sales & MarketingPerry Marshall is a marketing strategist and author of several books, including "Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords" and "Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising." He speaks often at conferences and corporate events and runs successful seminars.
I’ve known Perry Marshall for about 15 years and watched him form his own marketing and seminars business and grow it consistently till he has become one of the world’s best business consultants with clients in a wide variety of industries.
Perry has just written and published a book, "80/20 Sales & Marketing - the Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More".
You know the Pareto Principle: 20% of anything generates 80% of the results. This book applies that to Sales & Marketing and discusses leverage that can bring big results, fast. Likely, you already knew some of the points Perry makes, but never quite applied them the way he suggests. And he keeps developing sales & marketing corollaries that yield amazing results.
You MUST read this book. The easy-to-read tidbits smack your mind and drag you further into immediate rewards. I DARE you to read just a few pages and NOT find something that helps you directly, and NOT keep reading more and more.
Here are a few samples (my selections and edits) to whet your appetite:
Perry Marshall preaches the 80/20 rule: Forget the 80%, work on the 20% - narrow it down to the few opportunities that generate the most results.
Hey, go read a sample of the book on Amazon. I dare you not to get a copy for yourself.
Perry Marshall & Jim Pinto Webinar - December 18, 2013Perry Marshall conducted and published an interview with me over a decade ago, when while I was still at Action Instruments and my company had recently been acquired by Eurotherm/Invensys.
Perry is hosting a special live webinar with me at 1pm Eastern Time, 12pm Central, 10am Pacific, Wednesday December 18. The session is 90 minutes, with time reserved for live audience Q&A.
Here’s how Perry introduces me in his webinar "landing page":
"Jim Pinto is better qualified than almost anyone to answer because he’s lived his entire life in the automation business. Jim is now a Technology Futurist and keynotes at major events all over the world. His monthly e-newsletters are a must-read.
"1% of what you do produces 50% of your results. Jim will be sharing the 'tiny 1% hinges' that have swung huge doors for him, and will for you as well. He will open up his treasure chest of knowledge and experience and present directly actionable steps which, if followed, can produce immediate practical results."
eFeedbackBob Simpson [bob.s@ExcelEngineer.com] writes about continuing congressional posturing and conflicts:
"The forefathers created the legislative branch as a temporary position where by knowledgeable people could bring their strengths of leadership and business acumen to Washington, and after 6 to 8 years return to their businesses.
"I believe the whole process could be dramatically improved by having term limits on the House and the Senate, to reinforce the idea that parties are to work together and focus on sound budget objectives. So much could be done with good cooperation and better control of the lobbyists who influence the lifer congressional paradigm and gain their strength from these extended relationships.
"Both parties seem to disperse fear tactics to get the public’s attention rather than providing solutions. We need change. But, who among them will stand up for term limits and flushing their PAC monies down the drain?"
"Multiple levels of spam filtering weed out 90% of the junk these days. Once you get all this set up, it's not too bad. Could it use improvement? Definitely yes. My spam folder could be sorted by the low to high likelihood that something is spam. Color codes to assign a priority/urgency level by the sender or recipient.
"As a transport mechanism, email's great. You can send messages large and small, all kinds of files and attachments if they're not huge, or links if they are. Voice, text, Images, sounds, documents are all compatible.
"You can choose to get immediate notification, verified read receipts, or let email sit until you're ready. You can encrypt it, and track it to some extent. It offers immediacy or not, as you prefer. You can have it pushed to you, or you can fetch it at leisure.
"It's one of the only true completely open systems generally free of commercial interference and vendor compatability and interoperability problems.
"Saying email is broken, is like suggesting the concept of a phone call is broken. Email is not broken - just often abused."
"I notice that most of the places these driverless cars are now legal, are places where most of the population are not faced with snowy and icy conditions.
“A phenomenon often happens where tracks develop. These are the places you want to drive, where all the cars before you have driven. They often don’t exactly match up with where the lanes are; a four lane highway often becomes more like 3 lanes. Occasionally an idiot comes along trying to fit in the actual ’legal' lane, not having his tires in the ‘tracks’ which have developed. This is a hazard not just to himself but to the rest of us who are driving ‘illegally' - I call it ‘winter rules.
"I just wonder if the programming of these cars will have even considered hazardous driving situations (which are something we deal with quite often in Colorado). Or will the cars' sensors try to keep it in the ‘legal’ lane. Perhaps the driverless car won't even allow you to drive in these conditions.
"I just wonder if the driverless car is another version of the 'flying car', that I have been waiting for since I was a kid in the sixties?”.
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