Daily Archives: May 16, 2016

Anthropocene fever

BOOK REVIEW

The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, Author: Mark Greif.
The Subjection of Women, Author: John Stuart Mill.
The Origins of Totalitarianism, Author: Hannah Arendt.

By Jedediah Purdy – Officially, for the past 11,700 years we have been living in the Holocene epoch [2, 3, 4, 5].

But the real news in the Holocene has been people. We have made the world our anthill: the geological layers we are now laying down on the Earth’s surface are marked by our chemicals and industrial waste, the pollens of our crops, and the absence of the many species we have driven to extinction. Rising sea levels are now our doing. As a driver of global change, humanity has outstripped geology.

This is why, from the earth sciences to English departments, there’s a veritable academic stampede to declare that we live in a new era, the Anthropocene – the age of humans. Coined by the ecologist Eugene Stoermer in the 1980s and brought to public attention in 2000 by the Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen [2, 3, 4], the term remains officially under consideration at the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society of London.

Saying that we live in the Anthropocene is a way of saying that we cannot avoid responsibility for the world we are making. So far so good.

The trouble starts when this charismatic, all-encompassing idea of the Anthropocene becomes an all-purpose projection screen and amplifier for one’s preferred version of ‘taking responsibility for the planet.’ more> https://goo.gl/dzh3lK

Infrastructure skills: Knowledge, tools, and training to increase opportunity

By Joseph Kane and Adie Tomer – Infrastructure helps facilitate the exchange of information, drive production, and deliver resources, spanning multiple sectors of the economy and serving as a foundation to long-term growth.

Yet, infrastructure’s prominent role in the labor market is perhaps one of its most overlooked strengths. Too often framed in terms of short-term construction projects, infrastructure activities involve a considerable depth and breadth of employment opportunities across the country.

infrastructure occupations also boast competitive wages with relatively low barriers to entry, frequently paying up to 30 percent more to workers with a high school diploma or less compared to those in all other occupations.

Plumbers, truck mechanics, and power line installers are among the numerous infrastructure occupations that fall into this category, which tend to emphasize on-the-job training rather than higher levels of formal education. more> http://goo.gl/q7qcKI

Transitioning Applications from CAN 2.0 to CAN FD

By Orlando Esparza, Wilhelm Leichtfried, Fernando González – The CAN (Controller Area Network) bus protocol [2, 3] is used in a wide variety of applications, including industrial, automotive, and medical. Approximately 1.5B CAN nodes are used each year. Designers of these applications benefit from the many advantages CAN offers, such as reliability, cost effectiveness, engineering expertise and the availability of tools and components.

CAN FD (flexible data-rate) builds on the existing benefits of CAN 2.0 technology, allowing designers to leverage CAN 2.0 expertise, tools, hardware and software while also taking advantage of CAN FD’s increased data rate and data field length.

Automotive system architectures utilize many different network technologies to support a wide range of safety, body and convenience, infotainment, and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) [2, 3, 4, 5, 6] electronics within the automobile. Starting with the system gateway, CAN plays a major role in supporting many of these applications in today’s architectures.

CAN FD will continue to play a major role within future architectures. The key factor to supporting these architectures is enabling faster throughput at the gateway and branching it out into the subnetworks. Current CAN 2.0 gateways achieve ~37 s/MB transfer time based on a 500 kb/s (typical) data rate and an 8 byte data payload. Future CAN FD gateways are targeted to achieve ~1.9 s/MB based on a 5 Mb/s data rate and a 64 byte data payload. more> http://goo.gl/KncCsT

China Decides Debt Can Be Dangerous

By Dexter Roberts – The Chinese Communist Party is now officially worried about mounting debt.

Liberal lending has been a part of the economy for years. The concerns arise now because the expansion of debt is approaching critical levels. In the years since China unleashed billions in loans to weather the global financial crisis of 2008, overall debt has grown from 164 percent of gross domestic product to 247 percent last year, Bloomberg Intelligence estimates.

Nonperforming loans could already be as high as 19 percent of loans outstanding and could rise to one-quarter, far higher than the official estimate of 1.67 percent, warns Francis Cheung, a strategist at brokerage CLSA. Potential losses could amount to as much as 9.1 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion), or 13.5 percent of GDP, Cheung estimates.

China’s low rate of external borrowing, capital controls, and state ownership of the banks make it less vulnerable to a sudden loss of credit, says Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong.

“People are still happy to put their money in the banks,” he says. “And liquidity drying up is what creates a financial crisis.” more> http://goo.gl/kG2sVN

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