Saving the Planet, One Scientific Steak at a Time

In-vitro meat (IVM) is one of those subjects that could quickly get out of hand in the minds of an uninformed public, and this post is my small part in countering the entropy of reason. Hmm, is it still entropy if the reasoning was never there to begin with?

In my discussions with those unfamiliar with it, the first reaction seems to be one of disgust. Maybe due to the increasing familiarity with Genetically Modified Foods (GMO), especially with the increasing notoriety of Monsanto (as if they were the first and last step in GMO). But, as in any foray into the unknown, as Bertrand Russell puts it: first you must begin with the facts, and move on from there. So let’s get to the facts of meat today, and then with those of IVM. One thing we must get out-of-the-way before we begin: human-beings will not just stop eating meat, so any philosophical or personal objection to the practice of meat-eating is bunk. One person’s (or even a billion persons) objection to the practice of eating meat is irrelevant, it’s simply a part of life and must be dealt with.

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A Future of Medicine and Health

Medicine is a beautiful thing and being healthy is among the most liberating of foundations that one can possibly have. The science, or understanding, of the human body in the last century has resulted in the saved life’s of literally, hundreds of millions of people, if not more. From a reduction in maternal mortality and infant deaths, to correction of malnutrition, new vaccines, and hundreds of initiatives that have all resulted in a vast increase in the length and quality of life for billions around the world.

In researching a chapter in my just released book, I came across many medicines and technologies that will be essential to our health someday. Everyday we discover new things about the human body that will aid in the search of greater health and I’m putting this post together in my head as an experiment to what the future of medicine and health could look like in the future.

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A Letter to my Future Self

Dear Idiot,

I am writing this, in the off-chance I will need to read it 50-100 years from now on my death-bed (if death even still occurs) and I have somehow become religious, as many a person has claimed I will eventually be in my old age. As I’m sure you remember, your 27-year-old self is an atheist, and I write this in the hope that you are too.

People have a habit of finding ‘God’ later on in their lives, in a recently released survey of my time, here in 2012; the older one was, the more likely they were to believe in a religious interpretation of God. In a separate study, the belief in that silly theory ‘Intelligent Design’ was linked to one’s own mortality. Even those who did not initially believe in intelligent design, were more likely to accept it when reminded of their mortality, clear proof not in the validity of ‘Intelligent design’ of which it has none, nor in God but in the self-serving delusions our brains create for us. Then there is again a study that showed that those with religious views had more of a need for closure.

We are easily fooled Impressionists, with an illusion of separation between us and all else. It is this false dichotomy, this illness as referred too by many great minds, mine not included, that is the foundation of that religious meaning that feeds on our self-contrived feelings, convincing us we are special, have meaning and that we entered this world with a purpose, and will leave with the fulfilment of that purpose, but these are clearly distorted belief systems, abused, twisted and designed to exploit our evolutionary purpose of groupthink that a few exploit at the expense of the rest.

Morale of the story, once an atheist, always an atheist. Anything else you’re telling yourself is a self-derived delusion, maybe it’s helpful delusion as I’m sure it is for many people, but a delusion none the less, and we are all born atheists. For me at this age, I prefer to live by the creed of Carl Sagan, and I hope that has not changed.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

Carl Sagan

-A Younger Prettier You

Major iPad Disruptions Coming

One of my first posts on this blog, was ‘Which Industries Did The iPad Disrupt?‘. I thought I was smart listing out a few industries here and there, but it never hit me just how huge the disruption of the iPad is really going to become, like this article from cultofmac titled ‘Why the iPad is the Most Hated Gadget Ever‘ suggests.

– Millions of toys might never be purchased
– Millions of tonnes of paper flight manuals won’t be printed
– Tens of millions of Netbooks won’t be made
– Millions of Restaurant menu’s will never be made as apps are developed and an iPad is shoved into the middle of the table.

The list goes on and go.

I for one, think this is a positive development. Yes, there will be lots of pain felt in these industries, and undoubtedly many layoffs, and while I feel for these people. This is the cost of human progress.

Short term pain = Long term gain.

Of course, that doesn’t mean people will see it that way, especially politicians but lets leave that subject alone for now. I am very exciting about the merger of all these industries into one device (maybe not just the iPad, but eventually other tablets too like Android. Monopolies suck).

Think of the efficiency gains that will be made, the energy savings, the millions of trees that won’t need to be cut down to make millions of flight manuals and hundreds of millions of books. The millions, perhaps billions of tons of oil that won’t need to be converted into plastic to create toys and cheap netbooks.

And of course, the cost savings. We all know money talks, and all else simply falls upon deaf ears. No wonder 92% of Fortune 500 companies are currently using the iPad, or testing it for potential deployment. That a lot of the top hospitals around the US are using iPads, and it is becoming an increasingly used tool in schools. It saves you money, both in terms of resources and huge time savings. Colour me impressed!

Now, think on the backend. The millions of toys and netbooks that we won’t have to throw away into overflowing landfills, contaminating our planet with chemicals. Of course, tablets might replace a part of that landfill, but any downhill movement in terms of pollution and waste is a win, and just a step on the way to zero waste.

The future is beginning to be realized, and I think it is going to be brighter than anyone of us can imagine. Yes, there will be huge pains on the way, especially economic pain, and social unrest resulting from this economic pain, but I have high hopes for the technology that will alleviate us from the woes of the 20th century.