from the world's big
Patrick Byrne: What is the world's greatest challenge in the coming decade?
Patrick M. Byrne is the CEO of the Internet retailer Overstock.com. Byrne received his B.A. from Dartmouth, studied at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University. He co-founded Overstock.com in 1997 and became CEO in 1999. In 2005, Byrne initiated a controversial campaign against "naked short selling" in which he accused a "Sith Lord" and various financial firms of sabotaging Overstock's share price. Byrne also serves as head of First Class Education, an education lobbying group that seeks to require that 65% of all educational spending be spent "in the classroom." A strong proponent of school vouchers, Byrne spent almost four million dollars in advertising for a bill that would have given Utah residents who enroll their children in private schools taxpayer-supported subsidies. The bill lost, 62-38%.
Patrick Byrne: There’s the environment, and I think that I can summarize it quickly. When in doubt, err on the side of the planet. There’s still some scientific question . . . I don’t think there’s any scientific question about global warming. There’s some scientific question about man’s contribution to global warming and how much is generated by us. I think that that uncertainty has created too much political indecision. When in doubt, err on the side of the planet. It may be too late. In fact the . . . the . . . Who’s the British fellow who founded the ...hypothesis? James Lovelock or something? He believes it’s too late. If we have a chance, it would be a radical shift in our energy consumption – either radical reduction . . . We can’t . . . I’m a big fan of alternative energy. I don’t think we can get there fast enough. We probably . . . (52:34) I’m a pro new environmentalist. I think if we have any chance, it would be through a rapid development of nuclear power; but . . . and I think politically that’s not gonna happen because of the United States ... syndrome. So I’m not . . . I think that one of the two big international issues is the environment. And I’m not happy about our chances in really winning that in the next 50 years. And by then it’ll be too late if it’s not now.
And then the other is the Middle East. I think that the rest of the world pretty much plays by a set of rules that everybody knows. It’s a little bit like in corporate law, there’s a court in Delaware called the Court of Chancellery or something. And everybody already knows how it decides. It’s got this very stable system, and that means that law suits rarely have to go all the way in Delaware because it’s so predictable. Everybody knows how it’s gonna be decided, and so they save themselves all those transaction costs. And in interna . . . In international competition, that’s basically the case throughout the world other than the Middle East. And the Middle East is such a . . . is such a . . . Well I’ll put it this way. I really think that there’s three groups that are . . . that matter in the Middle East. And it’s not . . . religion . . . I don’t see the Middle East conflict as a religious conflict. If you’re gonna get kids to blow themselves with dynamite, you need a beer jingle. And the beer jingle can be . . . there’s different jingles for the different kids. But the real issue in the Middle East is there’s crooks and there’s fanatics. And there’s a small number of moderates. And we back the crooks ‘cause we’re trying . . . We the United States back the crooks because we’re trying to get them . . . we think they’re fighting the fanatics for us. In fact, we don’t understand that the crooks and the fanatics have a relationship of “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine”. In the process we’re overlooking the small – but it exists – the small moderate class. And if there’s any hope in the Middle East, it would be finding them, and working with them, and sort of building civil society around them. But don’t hold your breath.
Recorded on: 10/29/07
The environment and the Middle East are paramount.
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.
- Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
- One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
- "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.