Sebastian Zearing

how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal

Tag Archives: technology

Vasalgel and the Sexual Marketplace

This prediction was made on 17 April 2015.

Vasalgel is a male birth control technology that is currently undergoing human trials for approval by the FDA, probably by 2017 or 2018. It is a polymer that is delivered via a one-shot injection into the vas deferens, where it apparently functions by electrochemically perforating (and therefore killing) any sperm cells that pass by it. The one injection lasts upwards of several years, perhaps up to ten or more. It is easily reversible with an injection of a solvent that flushes out the polymer. It has been 100% successful in prior trials with baboons. It will be very cheap ($100 ballpark).

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Climate Change Revisited

I wrote a post over a year ago about climate change where I gave a brief ontology of the climate change debate and my place in it. This post explains my position as a climate change slight-luke-warmer. I think the human release of carbon dioxide is leading to warming in the atmosphere. Still, I think the negative feedbacks must necessarily be stronger than the positive feedbacks, and so whatever the equilibrium temperature response is to a doubling of CO2 without feedback (estimates of 1-2ºC), the real-world response will be smaller.

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Climate Change

It is claimed that the economic activities of humans since the Industrial Revolution have altered the composition of the atmosphere in ways that will affect climate by increasing the amount of energy contained in the atmosphere. One can take a variety of positions with respect to this claim:

Since 1800:
1) The globe (atmosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere/etc.) has cooled.
2) The globe has not changed.
3) The globe has warmed due mainly to natural causes, and this is not dangerous.
4) The globe has warmed due mainly to human activity, and this is not dangerous.
5) The globe has warmed due mainly to human activity, and this is dangerous.
6) The globe has warmed due mainly to human activity, and this will be catastrophic.

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Self-driving Cars

See more posts in the Predictions series. 17 December 2013

I have chosen self-driving cars as the first topic in my prediction series for several reasons. First, it is one prediction which I am extremely confident making, it is further one that has not been on anyone’s radar until very recently, and finally it portends large changes to American society and culture. Similar events will take place around the world, and probably even sooner in Scandinavia, Japan, and the Blue Banana.

What are self-driving cars?

Self-driving cars use GPS and computer vision technologies that parse video streams of roads to control the vehicle so that it travels safely and efficiently to its destination without the attention of a human. They can be self-contained, or they can communicate with control centers or even other self-driving cars to optimizing their performance.

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