Saturday, November 24, 2007

Links from the Gregg Zone

1) For the first couple of items this week I thought I would take up a general view of Thanksgiving, meaning a year round giving thanks for the use of the planet by supporting green technologies. If you have not been keeping up with the advancements in the field of solar energy, you are in for some real surprises. There is a company called Nanosolar that is doing some very big things, and not in the future I mean now. They have been quietly working away building a plant in San Jose California (140,000 sq. ft.), and another near Berlin, Germany (507,000 sq. ft.). They expect to be in production early next year; they have made some very large advances in the technology. The solar cells they produce are printed like newspaper, and about the same thickness, with a cost around a tenth of current conventional solar panels. Due to the fact these do not use any silicon, which is in short supply these days, they can keep the cost low. The link I have put up is the main site for the company, however I suggest you link to the “news + awards” link page, because this is the best place to research what is going on, very interesting, check it out.
2) My second item is something I just think is one of the best ideas I have seen come along in a long time. It is a device called the Sawfish, what it does is to harvest the forests that have been flooded by the creation of dams, reservoirs, and man made lakes. It seems even after fifty years in the cold water areas these trees have been perfectly preserved. The Sawfish is a remote controlled device, using cameras to maneuver into position it grabs on to the tree with two large pinchers, attaches an air bag, and then saws the tree above the lake bed without disturbing the eco-system in any way. It has proved itself already, late last year in British Columbia by harvesting six thousand trees in six months. It is estimated the value of submerged lumber is over fifty billion dollars. The today video on the main page is worth checking out, this is the type of progress we need more of finding wasted resources, and using them to slow our global problems.
3) The third and final link for the week goes deep into the Gregg Zone, that area of questioning the origin of our reality. This is one of my favorite areas of introspection, asking the tough questions. Who am I? Where does my conscious perception of self originate from? What is reality? What is illusion? Where is the border between perception, and reality? This segment is dealing with something I ran across recently, an article by Nick Bostrom Department of Philosophy, Oxford University. The paper is titled “Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?” The simulation argument. This site, and subject are intense, approach with an open mind and I can guarantee it will be expanded. Mr. Bostroms original paper has a link on the left side of the front page; there is also an extensive list of links for further reading, and reactions to the paper.

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