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TECH TALK: The Best of 2005: Moreover

December 23rd, 2005 · No Comments

There were a few other outstanding articles which didnt really fit into a specific category, but I wanted to make sure I mention them.

17. Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement address

Steve Jobs of Apple and Pixar gave a speech on June 12 at Stanford. Here are a few excerpts:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

18. Atanu Dey on the Future of Energy

In a year where rising oil prices brought the need for alternative energy to the fore, here is a standout post in September by Atanu Dey in conversation with a (fictional) CJ:

The heavy elements which power nuclear fission reactors originated outside the solar system. But the rest are solar. In fact, fusion could be considered extra-solar as well. Anyway, perhaps now we will move beyond fossil energy. I think that the age of what I call the Direct solar energy age is here.

Instead of photosynthesis, a process which involves carbon dioxide and has its attendant problems of global warming and such, you have to go directly to solar energy. Photovoltaics is going to get a boost. I think the slogan I would promote will be Photovoltaics, not photosynthesis. Get some t-shirts printed with that logo, will you?

I agree that cutting out the carbon from the middle and going directly to tapping solar energy is a good idea, CJ. But it will take too long. What happens in the meanwhile is what bothers me.

The meanwhile will not be a such a long time. The pace of technological change is accelerating at an accelerating pace. Second order acceleration, if you can get your mind around it. It boggles the mind. The smart money will be on developing direct solar energy solutions such as photovoltaics and a few somewhat indirect solar energy solutions such as wind energy. I would say that in the next few years, you will see a gradual shift to alternate technologies available commercially.

And that would be good for India? I asked.

Actually this is great for all economies that currently depend on imported fossil fuels. Indian movers and shakers dont have the foresight to actually develop alternative energy solutions. India should have done so years ago. After all, India is a large economy with the energy bill annually running into several tens of billions of dollars. Imagine that India had invested massively in direct solar energy (DSE) research and development. Just a few billion dollars well spent on energy research would have paid enormous returns. A huge domestic market is a given, of course. And the conditions are such in India280 sunny days a year on averagethat direct solar energy makes a heck of a lot of sense.

I know what you mean. Investing in DSE research would make a lot more sense than lets send an Indian to the moon by 2010. But I suppose Indians lack imagination, primarily. The US has cars and the US has highways and the US has sent people to the moon. So we in India have to have cars, and we have to have expressways, and we have to send a man to the moon. That we should have a good public transportation system instead of cars, a great rail system instead of expressways, a national goal of developing alternate energy source by 2010 instead of sending a man to the moonthat is not part of our thinking. Of course, if I say that I think Indians are collectively stupid, I get called names.

Next Week: The Best of Tech Talk


TECH TALK The Best of 2005+T

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