... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and neuroscience.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rotate Your Second Display

Originally posted 04-24-13:




Have you noticed how web content and computer displays are pointed in different directions?

If you open almost any webpage on a laptop or desktop computer you’ll see blank white bands along the sides. Even worse, you won’t see much vertical content. This is because most documents and web content scroll vertically, yet most displays are presented horizontally. And the sites that ARE formatted horizontally, are so wide they are difficult to read. Why is this? 

It’s because of the movies.

Since movie and TV’s 1080P format with their 16 by 9 aspect ratio is now the sweet spot in volume display manufacturing, we have this strange situation where computer content does match the display presentation.

This is why you see people rotating their phones and tablets so often. Unfortunately, with laptop or desktop computers it’s a bit more clumsy to rotate the display. But the very thing that caused the problem (volume price point), provides a reasonable solution – buy a second monitor and turn it sideways.

This is actually easier than you might think. There are lots of optional vertical monitor stands, and most computers (including laptops) already have a second video port. So get a second display, turn it sideways, configure Windows screen settings and poof! The problem is solved.

Give it a try. It’s like having a whole new second computer.

And it's one that actually fits your work.

Monday, September 26, 2016

GeoOrbital Quick Change Electric Bike

How about an electric bike solution that can be installed in 60 seconds?

Weird music, but cool video and product:

GeoOrbital Video

GeoOrbital Quick Change Electric Bike

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Electra Meccanica Solo - A New Standard in Personal Transportation?


With Toyota, Tesla and the rest, electric cars have done well in the last few years.  But what about a low-cost practical solution to the typical short range commute? Has Electra Meccanica found that sweet spot in personal transportation at $15,000 and under 1000 lbs?

I guess we'll be finding out in the next few months:

Electra Meccanica

TopSpeed's Review

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CES: Motorized unicycle, anyone?

Originally posted on 01-16-12:


I do love a minimalist solution, and these guys I met at CES have definitely created one.

They say it's easier to ride than it looks, which is good because it looks difficult; until they make it look easy.  Still, I wonder how comfortable it is after an hour of standing in such a rigid fashion?

It's right out of the Jetsons, and at only $1495 and $2295!

Cool videos:


SoloWheel


08-16-2016 Another Review and Update


Another one:

Ryno Bike


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Who is Gary Johnson?

The 3rd Party Candidate - A Documentary






First posted in 2012:

Now more valid than ever:

From our pay-stubs, to our soft drinks, to our light-bulbs, to our bedrooms, to our toilets, the government is demanding more and more control of our lives.  When will we finally say enough is enough? When will we reach our "John Galt" moment?  When will we take our government back?

Last November Gary Johnson set a record for the Libertarian Party at one percent of the vote.  He might have gotten far more except that most of America had no idea there WAS a viable third choice.  Indeed, most of America agrees with more of his actual policies than any other candidate.  Gary WILL make an excellent president and help move government back away from our door:

So how do we help gain awareness for Gary Johnson over the NEXT four years?  I have an idea.

In Atlas Shrugged, "Who is John Gault?", was a rhetorical question reflecting the futility of the system.  The question was asked over and over by the hopeless, but it also became hope itself for those who KNEW John Galt.

A similar question needs to be asked again, but not in fiction this time.  If every time we see injustice in big government we reply with this question, maybe the nation will come to realize there IS an alternative.

If you agree, each time you see a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Blog post describing government taking away your freedom, simply leave this comment:

"Who is Gary Johnson?"

At first these comments may annoy and confuse people, since anyone can Google the answer.  And many will.  That's important:

The Battle for Freedom NEVER Ends

Wikipedia - Gary Johnson

But for the rest of us, it'll be a way of reminding others how critical we believe our freedoms are.

And in time the question itself will take on a life and meaning of it's own.

So... will YOU ask a simple question for freedom?

Who IS Gary Johnson?

Keep asking until we get some answers.

03-26-2016 Libertarian candidate gains in polls

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Burning Man Buys Fly Geyser with 3799 Extra Acres



This will be a link page for everything that follows this new and dramatic development:

Burning Man Buys Fly Rance

Fly Ranch


Friday, April 15, 2016

Very cool minimal transportation - a fully enclosed electric / pedal car:



The Amazing Bike-Car Invention


Friday, March 25, 2016

Wheela - A New Standard in Minimal Transportation

Wheela - A New Standard in Minimal Transportation - push or electric, 6 to 9 lbs, $300 to $600.  Be the first one on your block to Wheela:


Monday, March 07, 2016

Absolutely!

First posted on 8-7-2013:

"Absolutely" sets a new standard for "most abused word".  


My granddaughter Leah searching for absolutes


Turn on any interview news show.  Within seconds you'll hear the word, "Absolutely!" What's wrong with that? Well, this definitive response is likely about some relatively complex issue that doesn't even approach any absolute condition. Or the question wouldn't have been asked in the first place.


Why is "Absolutely!" such a common answer?  Is there really that much certainly in our world?  Nope.  It's the result of lazy thinking.

"Absolutely" is being applied to things that are not only NOT absolute, often they are not even probable. Consider the source. Who is the spokesman?  Politician? Anyone else with a bias?  See what I mean?  Ironically, the very opposite of their "absolute" assertion is often the case.  Strangely enough, the more emphatic the claim, the less likely it is to be true.


"I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and "there is absolutely no sex of any kind" 
- President Bill Clinton, 1998 from public statement and deposition

This onslaught of "absolutely!" is an excellent opportunity for some critical thinking.  Consider possible exceptions to the assertions as they are being stated.  Under what conditions might the statement NOT be true?  See what I mean?

Years ago I had a friend who, when I'd make some brash statement would say, "As opposed to?", then follow it with possible exceptions.  She was very good at this, and it became a game we played.  So I stole her trick. It's great mind candy, and quickly begs an even more important question - is ANYthing absolute?


Absolutely!

Seriously, isn't "absolutely" simply an idea?  A creation of the human mind?  Is it not our aspiration to see things all one way? Or all the other?  Isn't "absolutely" merely the result of a bad case of polar thinking?


"Absolutely" doesn't really exist.  Seeking the truth is best approached asymptotically, leaving the end-point for the weaker mind.  It's like "unsinkable", "unstoppable" or "immovable", each an admirable goal, but not achievable in the real world. "Unsinkable" didn't even complete its first voyage.


So is NOTHING absolutely true?  Nope.  Well, not likely.

"There are no absolutes", MAY be the ONLY valid absolute.


I can imagine everyone now bringing to mind their favorite absolutes - God, love, mathematics, gravity. I could go on and on, and so can you.  So let's start with the most popular:



God

Many of you think me an atheist, but you'd be wrong.  I'm at best (or worst) an agnostic.  And I have doubts about that.  But I DO hold that each of us should be given the tolerance to explore as we wish.  And that's the key - we need to keep an opened mind.


God is not only an overloaded word (many meanings), it's also one of the most over-loaded concepts we have in all the various aspects of human culture.  Unfortunately, the truth of God does not have a very good track record, under any religion.  


Compare the "truths" of  God, Jesus Christ, Buddha and Mohammad as documented.  They can't ALL be right.  To be candid, I think Mohammad, Buddha and Jesus Christ may have been pretty impressive guys, but you wouldn't know it from all the contradictions and contemporary interpretations.   To be fair, let's take each one separately.  They still get interpreted in many different ways by different "believers".  Again, even for any one religion, they can't ALL be right.  And if any of these doctrines were absolutely true, why would there ever be a need for change?  And yet they DO change from time to time. 

Let me get specific about the absolute aspect of God, not religion. Is our existence (or its illusion for some), proof of God?  Hardly. Our "existence" is demonstratively discoverable, and aspects of it are changing day by day.  Make a statement about existence, and a thousand others will provide counterpoints.  And that's WITHOUT questioning perception and relativity.  I could go on and on, but everyone else already has.
Keep an opened mind.  Even about God.


Love

So, what about love?  It's so pure and simple, it MUST be absolute. Unfortunately, love too is a highly overloaded word, concept, and even overloaded feeling. Love goes mystic as an experience, but all you have to do is ingest some MDMA to produce its subjective conviction.  This clearly demonstrates our experience of love is at the very least, part of a chemical feedback loop in human behavior. And the conviction you feel on your wedding day?  Give it seven years. Again, love's track record is no better than God's.  Actually, it's quite a bit worse.



Mathematics

Ahh... mathematics - it's perfection itself.  Hardly.  Math is only a game we play in our struggle to understand the world. Mathematics is a creation of the human mind, and simply a tool for science.  If you look closely, the "truth" of mathematics flows from its usefulness in the observations we've made, or else is some form of identity - wholly disconnected from reality, which again makes it simply an abstraction of thought, which is more of an illusion than an absolute.


“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” – Albert Einstein



Gravity

Speaking of Einstein, gravity never fails us!


Don't be silly.  Of course it does.  Along with all the other "laws" of science.  All you have to do it go into orbit.  OK, that's not fair.  The subjective experience of gravity just takes on a different form in orbit.  But seriously.  Ever heard of the 30 years that shook physics? 


In the late nineteenth century, it was thought that all science had been discovered, there were just a few refinements to be made. There was even talk of shutting down the patent office. And then along came Einstein.  That's when all hell broke loose (not related to God).  

Suffice it to say, we have more organized doubt in science now, than in any time in history.  And that's healthy. And that's the point. Any student entering the field of science today who does not have an opened mind is a fool.  If he "believes" in math, if he "believes" in science, he is likely to be worse than useless in this endeavor. He may actually distract us from approaching the truth with his conviction.

Like mathematics, scientific absolutes are an illusion of the human mind.  Instead of discovering absolutes, science is how we claw our way forward in thinking.  Just don't hold too tightly to your conclusions, while you reach for the next hand-hold.  You'll find it easier to grasp.



Useful Generalization

So the next time you hear someone exclaim, "Absolutely!", let your mind wander to all the exceptions.  Then realize the person making the statement needs a lesson in critical thinking. Help them out. Explain that their conclusion may only be a useful generalization.

If you have any other "absolutes", please comment below.  I'll do what I can to help you test them.


Who knows, maybe you'll find one.  


But I doubt it.


Perhaps the best statement on the topic: 

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief." - Gerry Spence

Another similar conclusion:

"I'm not absolutely sure of anything" - Richard Feynman in 1981 from this interview:

Richard Feynman on Religion, Science, the Search for Truth; Our Willingness to Live with Doubt

Half the "Facts" You Know Are Probably Wrong

"Settled" Science?

There are NO Absolutes. There is NO Absolute Truth!

03-07-06 Everything Is Crumbling

John Oliver: Scientific Studies


Monday, February 29, 2016

Burning Man 2015



Paul Wong made a nice video of Ride the Wind this year:

Ride the Wind Video