Thursday, June 30, 2016

My 80th Birthday


Diary Entry September 20, 2029

It's my 80th birthday, and I'm glad to be able to  once again post a blog.  Twenty five years ago,  I started blogging right after George Bush won against Kerry.  It was a terrible thing to imagine.  Four more years of W pretty much took me into a Tea Party mode...not the T Party that was started by the billionaires when President Obama was elected, but the real Tea Party.

I started blogging everyday and did so until Obama was elected. I wrote something like 1200 posts in those four years.  After Obama was elected, my mania subsided substantially.  Still, in these less crazy years, I think my total blog posts number around  2000.

I guess, had the Donster somehow won, I would have been committed to another four more years of daily writing and writhing,  while watching the country and the World go down that black hole of hate. With all the other de-evolutionary characteristics and tactics of that notoriously dark campaign, I was relieved to see that the American mind is not as dumb and unsophisticated as Trump thought they were.  Like Bloomberg said at the convention in 2016, I'm from New York, and New Yorkers know a con when they see it.  Yes, Don the Con went down in bright orange flames that matched his hair coloring rather well

So we were spared.  And President HR Clinton turned out to be a much better president than almost anyone imagined.  She worked hard and she was smart.  And she solved some big problems.  Who would have imagined that a single payer system of health care would be adopted in her first term?

Ironic how the Rs got their way finally.  Obamacare was indeed repealed.  And Universal Health Care replaced it. It was as if the "not so near miss" with the Donster actually awoke a lot of folks up to what is really real.

And suddenly, the needle moved on climate change and concerted global action initiated at the Paris accords in 2015 was implemented with gusto.  As Chairman of the Electric Utility Commission, I went to that meeting with an Austin delegation. But it was the meeting of the Cities that gave the World the leadership it needed and  it started in Paris.

Yes, instead of responding to our lower natures as the true challenge of Climate Change became more and more apparent, a whole new pack of Mayors and Governors led the Cities and the States into sound energy policies that were not only environmentally smart, they were financially wise.  Coal lost out to solar because coal was too expensive.

The rush to wind power in the early 2000's was impressive, but the move to both large scale solar and distributed solar in the 20's was epic.  Of course it helped that power paint was developed...not to mention large scale solid state storage.  Our energy world changed in the proverbial blink of an eye.
Gone were the smoke stacks that belched out carbon and other pollutants into our air.

It's hard to imagine that we ever did it.  But when I was younger, we still smoked cigarettes on airplanes.  Yes, there used to be ash trays in airplane seats.  I even smoked in the classroom at UT when I was young. Attitudes about smoking changed in the 90's.  Attitudes about smoke changed in the 20's.

But the biggest  change in my lifetime has been in transportation.  Being involved in the development of the plug in hybrid vehicle as embodied by the Volt, I had always preached that society must move to a unified energy system where our cars, our homes, our power plants all talked to one another in one large gestalt system...that energy should move from electron to photon, and photon to electron in a solid state world of energy, movement, and information flows.

And as intelligence grew in our machines, it grew in ourselves.

We started putting "smart" in front of our machines early at the turn of the century.  We started talking about smart houses, smart grids, smart appliances, and smart phones.  But smart cars changed everything.

The last car I owned was the Tesla X.  And it was pretty smart.... A lot smarter than my ELR which would drive me to Dallas if only I would steer it.  But as Elon Musk continued to make his cars better and smarter; and as Apple, Google and the global high tech world tackled transportation, a new vision of transportation arose.  And it happened very quickly.

Once everyone with a smart phone realized they could summon a smart car in less time that it took to walk to your car, everyone somehow got it.  You don't need to build a mass transportation system on a rail.  No, with smart cars that drive themselves, every road that's built and every smart road that will be built becomes part of  this new transportation-communication paradigm. And the need for more roads was replaced by the need for smarter roads.

Car ownership is a thing of the past.  There are only a few drivers now.

I actually saw someone driving on the superway yesterday.

I took my Tesla X out just for fun.

No one saw me.


* Mercedes Self Driving Car



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