Decentralization & The Importance of Lewis Brandeis | The Real Ratigan

I’ve been talking a lot about centralization versus decentralization, the idea of decentralizing and moving towards human sized institutions for human problems, having the people that solve the problem in your life be close to where you live, solving it on the municipal level. This is not an idea out of thin air. This…

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Resource Tech Is the Path to Security | The Real Ratigan

The mistake of the past 100 years is believing that the path to global security is through a strong military and the deployment of weapons technology. We have now reached terminal weaponry, in which we can kill everybody on the entire planet with the push of a button, and the evidence suggests explicitly that…

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America’s Possibilities Don’t Rely on Politicians | The Real Ratigan

Dont make the mistake of believing that the Presidential politics that we are witnessing in this country in any way represents the possibility of America. Americas possibilities have never been greater. From Chicago to Dallas, Seattle to Miami, technology, people, education, resources. People across this country are seizing new ideas and delivering new solutions…

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: “The Invention of Tomorrow is Absent Today”

Renowned astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planitarium Neil deGrasse Tyson is calling for a major rethinking and reinvestment — not only for America’s space program, but an entire revaluation of making science, research and technology in our country a priority on a national level.

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The Robot Revolution: Merging Man and Machine

A Dylan Ratigan Show panel talks about the latest step toward an explosion in the field of artificial intelligence.


>>> watching somebody think as a way to drive a car, you were. that’s brain driver. a new system developed by german scientists that allows you to control an automotive vehicle, a mechanical device, with your thoughts. just the latest step towards the explosion of artificial intelligence and ultimately the merging of man and machine into a single collective concept of problem solving emotional relationship and potentially perpetual existences lived out inside of bor gcgs of some kind. that’s the idea behind the film tran send dent man. he says we’re approaching a point called the singularity where computer intelligence will surpass our own. and then increase exponentially from will this.

>> the pace of change will somebody astonishingly quick that you won’t be able to follow it unless you enhappens your own intelligence by merging with the technology you’ve created.

>> the good news, we will be melding with the computer’s to integrate ourselves in to those systems. so instead of being a threat to you, you will be part of the intelligence and will be able to relate and make decisions with the benefit of the finest most integrated set of information that has ever existed on this earth. sort of a if you can’t beat them, join them concept for us. and joining us now is the director of the film available today on itunes and it’s a pleasure to welcome both of you. congratulations on the film. ray, in a nutshell, tell me why i shouldn’t be scared out of my mind.

>> the merger you’re talking about is already under way. when i was a student, i have to go across campus to get to the computer. we now carry them in our pockets. and we use them to expand our human potential. we have being a stoves much of human knowledge with a few key strokes. it’s not just the wealthy who have them. half the farmers in china have these mobile devices. 30% of africans have some kind of mobile device to communicate with and access information. and they’re growing exponential exponentially. that’s the key message. and the software is also progressing. look at how watson could play jeopardy and deal with subtle issues of language. so we’re making progress both hardware and software. we’ll reach human levels bhi 2029 rngs but as was just pointed out, it’s not an i wialien invasion from mars. we’re using them to expand our own reach.

>> why did you make will movie?

>> i wanted to reveal ray’s ideas. i think hers tthey’re the most proceed found that we’ve had to grapple with and let people know everywhere about what’s going to transform their lives.grapple with and l et people know everywhere about what’s going to transform their lives.

>> what strikes you as the more profound aspects?

>> you talked about ai. there is nothing more profound than ai. intelligence is the most powerful agent in the universe. so if we can increase our intelligence, that’s a powerful thing to be hold. but you talked about the iphones. just imagine diagnosing your medical ailments with an iphone for example. what will that mean to our —

>> health insurance companies will not like that.

>> well, these are disruptive times and a lot of billion dollar corporations will come into existence quickly and go out of existence quickly going forward.

>> ray, how do you envision the merger? i say in the introduction that man and robot will combine. you’re saying that the total exponential expansion, where basically the collective intelligence is grart than the aggregate is coming. how do you envision that integration in a way that is rewarding for human life?

>> well, we do it right now in that we carry computers with us. there are some people who have computers in their bodies and brains for conditions like parkinson’s or an experimental diabetes implant. we’re shrinking technology. it will be blood cell sized in 25 years. we’ll introduce this technology into our bodies and brains hugh the bloodstream, it will keep us healthy from the inside. go inside our brain, butt our brains on the web, take advantage of vast amounts of cloud computing, bring direct communication to search engines and to all of knowledge and we’ll be able to expand our in-it tell against very iin- int inti tell against very intimately.

>> so much disruption implied by what you’re discussing, whether the insurance health company,against ver y intimately.

>> so much disruption implied by what you’re discussing, whether the insurance health company, banks, uprisings in the middle east. all of these things massive disruptions. that doesn’t come without a fight as we are seeing in the deficits, as we’re seeing in the political sphere. how do you envision managing the potential disruption along the way to innocent victims as those who are most threatened try to protect themselves?

>> look at recent history as a good guide. i’m not a utopian. but fundamentally it’s democrati democratizing. you can have a kid at harvard with his $1,000 laptop create space book. you can have a couple of kids at stanford create google. a kid in their dorm room can create a whole orchestra with their pc and a keyboard. look at three revolutions just in the last few weeks. i wrote in the ’80s that the union would be overturned by the then emerging social network and that’s exactly happened. so i think it’s fundamentally democratizing in terms of expanding human potential.

>> how do you envision — i agree with what ray is saying, but i’m wearing witness and we all are to the desperate acts of self preservation.

>> i believe in a phenomenon known as the wisdom of crohl’s. so as more and more of us connect, the totality on our humanity i think will prevail. and i would point out that a child today or young person in africa who has access to the internet or a smart phone has access to more total knowledge than our u.s. president did just 15 years ago. that’s a powerful thing to consider. p.

>> congratulations on the movie. ray, thank you for giving us some of your time and articulating your thoughts with us here.

>> my pleasure.

>> this man 19 honorary doctorates, awards from three u.s. presidents, member of the national invent tors hall of fame, advocate of the singularity and subject

Redefining America’s Power Grid

Chicago physicist Eric Isaacs shares his thoughts on whether the United States should invest in technologies that could improve its power grid and end its reliance on foreign oil, to bring an important part of the nation’s infrastructure into the 21st century.


>>> all right welcome back. a good friday afternoon, and awful one out here in the desert and the home to the hoover dam. a perfect location to have a conversation, albeit in the wind, about this nation’s vastly inefficient power grid. we generate so much energy, but so little of it actually goes to what we want it to do. the dam that we mentioned provides power to around 30 million folks around the southwest. we just talked about that. and at a more efficient rate than a lot of the rest of our infrastructure. just take a look at some of these ? numbers. nearly two-thirds of the power generated in this country, think about all the energy we burn, natural gas, coal, all of the creation of that energy is lost. it never goes to overland transportation, lights for your house, heat for your home, air-conditioning for your kitchen, that never happens. that is a startling inefficient number. compare that to the efficiency rates that already exist around western europe and asia. their numbers as high as a 90% efficiency rate. they burn natural gas, they burn coal, they generate nuclear power, but they don’t let two-thirds of it fly out the window or into the sky or whatever it goes. talk about a way to create jobs. why are we not investing in technologies that could massively improve our power grid and help end our reliance on foreign oil without a huge debate as to whether you’re into alg algae, tidal, or drilling in alaska. let alone all of our soldiers right now fighting in the middle east, because we have an inefficient power grid. can you think of a more important issue, whether it goes to our infrastructure, the way we live, or our own national security. we set out to find out what options actually exist. can we do it better than anybody. let’s bring in a man who knows a heck a lot more than i do. eric isaacs is the director of argone national laboratory. he’s also a university of chicago physicist. professor, it’s a delight to have you here. i want to read off a couple of more numbers. we consume four times the rate that they do in europe. even if we just changed our efficiency rate, we could reduce our consumption by 50%. if you look at homes, 35% of home energy loss is through air leaks. are these problems solvable?

>> yes, they most certainly are. thank you, dylan, for having me on your show. the grid is really a marvel. we depend on it. it’s our back backbone. i’ll add one more number to it. we’re so ? dependent on it, last year alone, disruptions in the grid, shutdowns cost us over $100 billion, just in those disruptions lo s alone. so the answer is yes. there are technologies out there that we can find that will actually improve the efficiency and delivery of energy from power plants like the one you’re sitting on right now, to your home.

>> what’s the barrier? whether it’s the zpags rate on the electricity that leaves here and gets to phoenix or los angeles or las vegas. and for that matter, what’s the barrier to other things — hot air and cold air blowing out the window?

>> right. there are several things that contribute to it. actually, one of the big things in efficient is really load distribution. nighttime, we have low load, and daytime, we have high load. but the source is constant. we produce energy all the time. so one of the energies for us is how to manage day and night. one can think about storage mechanisms, one can think about a more national grid. right now our grids are fairly regional. we don’t deliver power throughout the country from one place to another. the hoover dam is a great example. it’s a natural source of energy. we need to do the same thing in all parts of the country. we need to be able to deliver power from where its generated, both efficiently night and day. how do we equal the load? how do we level the load? that’s one of the big questions on the table. a lot of that has to do with managing a more national grid. how do we manage it, that grid? and i can tell you, the answer, some of the answer is actually in modeling, using computation. we have to understand the grid better. our current grid, which as i said, is a real marvel of engineering, was innovated over 100 years. in fact, if you had edison come back today, he’d pretty much recognize what he originally put up, set up many, many years ago. 100 years ago. we’re really working with a grid that’s quite old. we don’t know how to monitor or model the grid very well. so just distributing, justensing how to distribute the energy more effectively across the whole nation instead of regionally will have a huge impact on the efficiency.

>> and what’s the barrier to addressing that?

>> so there are several things one is actually just mornding. so just getting out there and measuring, even at the level of houses and industry, companies, buildings. just understanding what the local consumption is. but also using — building the models that actually manage the grid. the grid itself is a very complex object. very complex in the sense that there are many components. many sources, many loads from industry to, you know, to your home, et cetera, but there are also different kinds of sources, which you’ve already mentioned. and those sources provide variability. so we have to understand, just understand how to model the grid better. and we can do that with much more sophisticated modeling on computers. once we understand how to — once we understand the grid better and do things like forecasting consumption. for example, higher consumption in the south, lower consumption in chicago, say, in the summer, for air-conditioning, one might be able to distribute the power, and we can gain a better understanding.

>> is that the responsibility of the federal government, state governments, private industries, private industries that own the power generation facilities? how do we get our act together to do this?

>> that’s a great question. it really is, in the end, it’s going to have to be a private/public partnership. that’s exactly the debate the country is in now. and you talked about it in your earlier segment. it’s really part of the debate we’re involved in now. but i want to remind you, the investment really is in part in our people. you talked about investment in large infrastructure, like the hoover dam. very important, very innovative. a large investment at the time, something like $50 million. today we have to think about informi investing in innovators. who shost who’s going to do that? and industry still does some of it, but not nearly as much as they did 20 or 30 years ago. it’s an issue the federal government has to work on in partnership with the private sector.

>> professor isaac, it’s a pleasure to make the acquaintance, even if it’s remote from the hoover dam. i hope we’ll be able to stay in touch and i appreciate your insights, thank you, sir.

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