Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the category “Change down the road”

More amazing news from the open frontier of space

Atlas V lifts Cygnus supply ship to ISS. Credit: United Launch Alliance. Used with permission.

It is astounding to ponder the news from the wide open frontier of space. I’m continually amazed by what is happening.

3/7/17 – Space News- NASA seeks information on commercial Mars payload service – NASA issued a Request For Information asking for plans to provide cargo runs to Mars. They are looking for outline of plans in terms of payload mass and weight, nature of vehicle, and timing for start of operations. The RFI indicates 2020 as a start date.

Two companies are described in the article as likely players in Mars cargo runs.

SpaceX would use their new lander Red Dragon as testbed for cargo vehicle. Launch was scheduled for 2018 but has slipped to 2020.

Mars One also has plans for a lander, as an intermediate step for crewed travel. First launch was planned from 2018 but that is now looking like 2022.

3/14 – Behind the Black – SpaceX wins another Air Force launch contract – Ticket price to launch a GPS satellite is $96.5M, up by $14M from the last launch by SpaceX for USAF. Post speculates SpaceX is trying to improve their margin by undercutting ULA less this time around.

Read more…

Deep background on disruption in music and publishing. Up next? Hollywood.

Does the graph remind you of the newspaper and music industry? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Does the graph remind you of the newspaper and music industry? Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Several articles provide an in-depth view of the disruption taking place in several industries due to the IT revolution.

  • Hollywood is ripe for the same creative destruction we’ve seen in music, newspapers, and publishing.
  • New York Times is shrinking their physical space and staff size
  • Prime time TV still having a rough time

The question to ponder in the back of your mind is what are you going to do when this wave of disruption overturns your industry?

January 2017 – Vanity Fair – Why Hollywood As We Know It is Already Over – Looking for a good article on how technology is going to do to Hollywood what IT has already done to music and publishing? If so, this is what you’ve been looking for.

Check out the article to help understand the massive change surrounding us.

Disruption of music industry

First, music and newspapers. The author saw his first indication the music industry would collapse when he started downloading music. Instead of driving to a store somewhere and spending $20 to get one song he wanted, he could spend a buck and get the song immediately.

Author says the music industry has shrunk by half in the last decade. Remember that is after the first round of disruption hit.

Disruption of newspapers

Next were the newspapers. For a long time, the web part of the New York Times was physically separate from the headquarters. “Banished” is the word the author used. At the same time, startups like Instapundit (yeah Professor Reynolds!) and DailyKos were figuring out how to blog. Then WordPress and Tumblr allowed anyone on the planet to start blogging, and doing so for free.

Author says a lot of people didn’t want to wander over to a newsstand and buy a whole newspaper or magazine when instead they could read the single article they wanted, online, for free.

To illustrate the concept, I’ve never bought a copy of Vanity Fair and doubt I ever will. I certainly didn’t drive over to Barnes & Noble to buy the current edition so I could read this article. A blogger I read (see above!) mentioned it and I clicked over.

The end result of the loss in audience?

Read more…

Compare the cutting edge of private space exploration with the let’s-repeat-the-‘60s goal of NASA.

Drawing of launch pad. Tanker is sitting at left ready to be added to booster upon its return. Credit: Flickr, SpaceX has placed this in public domain.

Concept drawing of vehicles SpaceX plans to use for trips to Mars. Tanker is sitting at left ready to be added to booster upon its return. Credit: Flickr, SpaceX has placed this in public domain.

SpaceX is planning to use the above equipment to get to Mars, while NASA is planning to recreate the early accomplishments of this equipment:

Apollo capsule. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Apollo capsule. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Consider the contrast between the following two reports.

  • In the private sector, scientists are working to figure out how to set up an infrastructure to support asteroid mining.
  • At NASA, scientists are working to repeat the mid-60s task of getting a crewed spaceship out far enough to loop around the moon; not land on the moon, just fly around it. In other words merely repeat part of what they did fifty years ago.

11/21 – Space.com – Extraterrestrial Gold Rush: What’s Next for the Space Mining Industry? – A conference dived into the issues underlying what will be needed for the space mining industry to thrive.

Read more…

More on the astoundingly open frontier of mining asteriods

Our solar system with illustrated asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Our solar system with illustrated asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If you want to take your mind off the depressing news appearing on the front page of every newspaper every day, stretch your brain to consider the idea of mining asteroids for raw materials to build and fuel spaceships.

11/2 – Visual Capitalist – There’s Big Money to Be Made in Asteroid Mining – The theory is that an entire class of asteroids (the X-type) were once a large asteroid which has gone through several collisions which tore off most of the material leaving a very dense core of valuable metals.  One particular X-type asteroid is thought to hold more platinum that has been mined from planet Earth throughout all history.

The real payoff would be asteroids out in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Resources there are staggering.

Read more…

More cool news on the open frontier of space

Drawing of our possible ride to Mars. Credit: Flickr, SpaceX has placed this in public domain.

Drawing of our possible ride to Mars: Interplanetary Transport System Credit: Flickr; SpaceX has placed this in public domain.

Fun articles lately on the wide open frontier of exploring space:

  • More details on SpaceX’s framework for how they plan to get people to Mars.
  • Bidding for GPS 3 launches and purchase price for two more satellites of the GPS III constellation.
  • What criminal law will apply in space?
  • China’s moon rover, Jade Rabbit, finally dies after 31 months, which is in contrast to its expected 3 month life.

9/29 – Space.com – Feasible or Fantasy? SpaceX’s Mars Plan Draws Expert Reactions – Author pulls in a variety of initial reactions to SpaceX’s outline of how to get colonists to Mars. My summary of comments is the plans have a lot of technological, funding, and timing hurdles to clear. In addition, a lot of work needs to be done to develop how the technological, food sourcing, economic, and energy systems would work on the planet to support long-term residency.

One hurdle has already been cleared – the technology for a soft landing on Mars is already in place as demonstrated by the successful recovery of boosters.

9/29 – Space.com – SpaceX’s Mars Colony Plan: By the Numbers – Tidbits I found interesting:

Read more…

SpaceX reveals plans for travel to Mars

Concept video from SpaceX:

A colony on Mars is no longer just a silly fantasy. It is now in the range of maybe actually possible.

SpaceX announced the outline of their plans for shuttle runs to Mars in order to populate a self-sustaining colony.

Credit: Flickr, SpaceX has placed this in public domain.

Drawing of launch pad ready for launch. Credit: Flickr, SpaceX has placed this in public domain.

My summary of the concept

Here is my simple summary:

A booster rocket, standing 254 feet tall, will have 42 Raptor engines. The Falcon 9 in testing now is powered by 9 Merlin engines. The Raptor engine is three times as powerful as the Merlin. The booster will have thrust twice that of a Saturn V with ability to lift 300 tons into low-earth orbit.

Read more…

Astounding new technology has arrived. Astounding old technology is fading away.

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Production line for that world-changing plane could possibly close in a few years. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Ponder the remarkable contrast. We see phenomenal breakthroughs in space exploration almost weekly. On the other hand, the production line for the 747, the plane that opened up world travel to the masses, is slowing down and could be shuttered in a couple of years.

7/26 – Satellite Today – Sky and Space Global Details Vision for 200 Satellite LEO Network – The company, Sky and Space Global, plans to put 200 nanosatellites, or cubesats, into a low Earth orbit to provide a worldwide communications network. It is categorized as narrowband, providing only voice and messaging along with data forwarding.

Company estimates the cost for constellation of 200 satellites will be somewhere in the range of $120M up to $160M.

Read more…

The long, deadly, anti-human shadow of Malthusian thinking. A 200 year trail of evil.

In my reading and thinking over the years, I have learned anytime Malthusian ideas surface in a discussion those ideas will inevitably be wrong. More often than not, they are immoral as well.

After considering Matt Ridley’s discussion of The Long Shadow of Malthus, I now realize that Malthusian ideas are often evil as well.

This post is a review of Prof. Ridley’s published article. If you want a longer version that shows in more detail the suffering, misery, and needless deaths caused by followers of Malthus, check out chapter 11 of his book, The Evolution of Everything.

The core of this school of thought holds that the planet will not be able to sustain whatever growth in population is taking place at the moment. As a result, it is mandatory that us bright people (that’s you and me) limit the increasing population of those people. As the professor says:

It centres on the question of how to control human population growth and it answers that question by saying we must be cruel to be kind, that ends justify means. It is still around today; and it could not be more wrong.

Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798.

The consequences of his ideas were extended until they

…inadvertently gave birth to a series of heartless policies — the poor laws, the British government’s approach to famine in Ireland and India, social Darwinism, eugenics, the Holocaust, India’s forced sterilisations and China’s one-child policy.

Check out the article for the long shadow.

Here are a few shameful examples of the harm and suffering intentionally created by Malthusian disciples: Read more…

The overwhelming change you feel today is going to increase. Engage the change.

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com before they closed their doors.

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com before they closed their doors.

The massive volumes of change you see surrounding you everywhere you look isn’t going to stop. In fact the pace of change is going to increase.

Each of us have a choice. Either figure out how to cope with and embrace the change or ignore it.

The cost of ignoring massive change is that you and your organization will get left behind. That doesn’t just mean you will be a laggard as you continue doing next month what you did last year. Instead that means your organization will radically shrink and before you know it, will disappear.

The downsides are serious. There is an upside and it is exciting.

Four articles I’ve seen lately focus the mind. While these articles are written in either the accounting or church context, they also fully apply in the church and accounting context. They also apply to every individual and organization.

This article will be posted across all my blogs because it applies to all of them.

7/7 – Bill Sheridan at LinkedIn – Embrace change or resist it: Only one option is viable.

The odds are really high that tax preparation will be completely automated in the next two decades. Estimated odds are almost as high that both accounting and auditing will be fully automated.

Consider my business and my core tasks of auditing charities. There is a real possibility those types of audits could be heavily automated in 10 or 15 or 20 years. I am not old enough to bank on retiring before that massive change starts eating away the entire audit profession.

Automation will take over an increasing number of tasks. The world of tax, accounting, and audit will be affected. Mr. Sheridan explains the shelf life of education and experience we have is shrinking.

As the Maryland Association of CPAs routinely points out our learning needs to be greater than the rate of change; L>C is their formula.

Read more…

On learning to surf the waves of change

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

We need to figure out how to ‘surf’ the massive waves of changes surrounding us.

This discussion, cross-posted from my other blog Attestation Update, helps all of us get a picture of the massive amounts of change surrounding us and the huge waves of change that are getting closer.

3/24 – Tom Hood on LinkedIn – Why Accountants Must Learn How to Ride These Big Waves of Change – There are massive waves of change on the horizon. Risks of getting drowned are high for accountants and auditors.

We need to understand what those two comments mean and how to cope with the implications. Tom Hood’s article points toward those waves that are soon to crash down on our heads.

It’s a VUCA world

Major changes we are in can be summarized by that phrase: Read more…

Stretching my brain on the commercial space launch business

Ariane 5 liftoff for VA227 launch. Credit: Arianespace.

Ariane 5 liftoff for VA227 launch. Credit: Arianespace.

One of the major reasons I blog is to learn. Nothing stretches me more than reading a fascinating article and commenting in public on it. Putting my thoughts out on the never-to-go-away Internet requires a very careful reading of articles.

So if you want to stretch your brain too, stay tuned while I comment on Space News’s coverage on January 6 of a press conference: Arianespace Surpassed SpaceX in Commercial Launch Orders in 2015.

Launch rates

The organization’s CEO provided the following count of commercial orders for 2014. I think this is the count of launches into geo-stationary transfer orbit:

  • 9 – Arianespace
  • 9 – SpaceX

Article says that reflects Arianespace catching up with SpaceX.

Here is the count of 2015 contracts for geostationary launches: Read more…

Why I am so optimistic – 3

The future is so bright we need sunglasses. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

The future is so bright we need sunglasses. Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

The number of people working in manufacturing has been declining for many years. Those job losses will continue at the same time as technology disrupts other industries causing the loss of more jobs.

This is not a new concept. Technological advances have devastated farm employment over the last 150 years.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Prof. Thomas Tunstall pondered Where the New Jobs Will Come From. Sub headline on his 11/4/15 article said:

In 2007 iPhone application developers didn’t exist. By 2011 Apple had $15 billion in mobile-app revenues.

Consider the percentage of the population employed in agriculture over time: Read more…

Diverging opinions on the U.S. bill to allow asteroid mining.

Image of asteroid courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image of asteroid courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

I previously mentioned the U.S. House and Senate had passed a bill which would allow private mining of asteroids. Ownership of the asteroids wouldn’t be allowed but a company extracting resources from asteroids would have lawful property rights to the material.

The law was signed – 11/26 – Space Daily – Pres. Obama signs bill recognizing asteroid resource property rights into law – The President signed the bill to allow companies to have ownership interest in resources mined from asteroids. Ownership of asteroids is not allowed, but what you mine you own.

Now for a completely different perspective:

11/27 – Gbenga Oduntan at Space Daily – Who owns space?  US asteroid-mining act is dangerous and potentially illegal Author asserts that activity in space “requires international regulation” which means the US Congress has no authority except to ratify international treaties.

Read more…

Delightful news on the wide open frontier of private space exploration shows why I am so optimistic about the future

Recovered first stage, which landed a mere 4 1/2 feet from where planned. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin. Used with permission.

Recovered first stage, which landed a mere 4 1/2 feet away from planned impact point. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin. Used with permission.

Lots of fun news in the past week about the wide open frontier of space exploration. Three huge developments are:

  • SpaceX landed a contract for a manned flight,
  • Blue Origin successfully recovered a first stage, and
  • Japan successfully launched a commercial satellite.

What I describe in this post is the reason I am so wildly optimistic about the future. The astounding progress here stands in stark contrast to the foolishness and ridiculousness we see dominate the news every hour of every day.

The absolute best news:

11/24 – New York Post – The new space race is a private-sector affair Editorial celebrates Blue Origin successfully recovering a first stage, SpaceX has already flown several resupply missions to the International Space Station, and Boeing & Virgin Galactic are also in the game.

The more competitors, the better.

First stages can be recovered after launch:

Blue Origin launch. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin. Used with permission.

Blue Origin launch. Photo courtesy of Blue Origin. Used with permission.

Read more…

Updates on open frontier of private space exploration

Private space launch of privately developed rocket. Photo courtesy of SpaceX.

Private space launch of privately developed rocket. Photo courtesy of SpaceX.

I am fascinated by the wide open frontiers in so many areas of life. We’re at the point where private enterprises are taking the lead in space exploration.

Here are several fascinating articles I’ve read recently on legislation to legalize space mining, how to colonize Mars, thumbsats (which are smaller than cubesats), and competition for launching GPS satellites.

Asteriod mining

11/13 – Jurist – Senate approved the bill to legalize space mining – Bill would be huge step in providing a legal framework for mining asteroids. This would not allow for ownership of asteroids, but would give a clear title to anyone who mined resources and removed them from the asteroid.

Read more…

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