Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life is pretty good.

I've been thinking, I'm pretty outstandingly rich. Certainly not in monetary terms; that number is negative. But in terms of how I get to live even with that negative number... its pretty wonderful. Lets enumerate:

I can nourish myself on kiwis, mangos, eggs, milk, honey, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and Indian food.

I can get around on a bike. Cars, gas, and insurance are things of the past.

My biggest source of stress is studying the fundamental truths of the universe, and trying to uncover new ones.

I've got a healthy body, and the energy to do fun things with it.

My locus of control resides mostly within myself.

I can entertain myself by learning music, and listening to whatever music of the past half millenea I can think to look up (barring lost stuff).

I can talk with people around the world and read their thoughts as soon as they publish them, for free.

I can talk with people in my own neighborhood who are among the smartest people in the world in their field.

I have access to libraries and all of humanity's collected knowledge, for free.

I can use ingenious programs that allow great expression of creativity, for free (or nearly so).

I can (attempt to) write ingenious programs of my own.

I can afford some of the highest technology that has ever existed on earth.

I have good reason to have trust in other people; theft and fraud are sufficiently rare (I say this even though I carry a massive chain for my bike...).

The market is sufficiently developed to place value on my self-development and therefore allow me to get by on a negative number for the time being.

I live in a beautiful place.

I have good friends.

Plenty of reasons to be thankful, eh wot?

Retrofitted Autonomous vehicles become a reality

A while back, I wrote some stuff about a business plan around using vehicles retrofitted to be autonomous in a large-scale electronic auction marketplace.

The first prerequisite of that dream has become a reality: This company is selling retrofit kits that can be installed in under four hours. He notes that it will be a few years before our legal environment changes enough to make it legal for civilian use, and this is the last real barrier to reaping the benefits of getting people out from behind the wheel.

I wonder if that's true everywhere in the world? There's got to be some countries with less sever legal tangles to battle than in the US. I remember reading that Japan had an autonomous bus system in use for some high-profile event. I suspect their legal environment might be conducive to getting such a system implemented. Probably China too; given that they could command from on high that its allowable. I wonder about Brazil? thats a big huge country that I know almost nothing about.

I digress. Its exciting to see that we're significantly closer to autonomous vehicles. Remember: people in cars kill more than thirty thousand other people a year (in the US alone).