Tech Tuesday 2/27/18 – Social Impacts Edition
SI1 – A topic I’ve touched on before, about how architecture is important to people. This time, how it relates to dignity, and bathrooms.
SI2 – The obvious social impact here is that aerospace employers a huge number of workers to assemble aircraft very carefully. Assembling aircraft panels is a huge part of the work they do. Attaching ribs and stringers involves a lot of very careful layout and hole drilling, and mistakes can result in wasteful and expensive re-work. It’s also not the most efficient structure for aircraft, since the loads carried through the fuselage are rarely ever in the radial or longitudinal direction, but in every direction, which means the skin has to take up a lot of the slack. And, of course, every point of joining is a point of weakness (drill a hole, introduce a weak spot). Being able to just print the whole thing in one go saves a lot of material and allows for a stronger panel. Of course, you also don’t need quite so many expensive, unionized machinists to run a printer.
SI4 – Making wind turbines greener with a recyclable, self curing resin for the turbine blades. Not the most social of impacts, but anything that helps old stuff not be tossed in a heap of useless, that’s a net good in my book. Especially since…
SI5 – I always knew Vampires were dumb, even if they do sparkle in the sunlight. Also, seriously Samsung, don’t we have enough problems with people walking into things, or into traffic, because they can’t take their eyes off their phones. You want to enable this further? On a good note, Finland is toying with the idea of putting your driver’s license on your smartphone. You’d certainly want your phone secured, but if it reduces my need to visit the DMV, I’m interested.
SI6 – We’ve figured out a frequency spectrum of UV light that is safe for us, but deadly to viruses. I expect to see little UV lights next to those public hand gel dispensers any day now. Speaking of Viruses, we understand a bit more about how they get past our immune system.
SI7 – I hate cancer. Apparently, so does Huntington’s Disease. The enemy of my enemy… is still my enemy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t leverage things to our benefit Until we’ve figured out how to use that leverage, let’s keep the cancer from spreading, shall we? It also helps to have a virtual cancer tissue bank, because one should know thine enemy. Finally, might the answer to cancer be within ourselves?
SI8 – Speaking of stem cells, we are one step closer to growing a damn kidney, and fixing brain damage. Also, remember my stem cell treatment for my damaged knee? Looks like it might get a helper, or even a replacement. Since we are on the topic of replace and repair, we’ve gotten a human egg to reach maturity, in the lab. Finally, naked mole rats are just effing strange, but we can learn a lot from them.
SI9 – My car has to last a few more years, and then I am downsizing. I hope I can downsize enough that I can fit one of these in the budget.
SI10 – You know a disruption is about to take place when the entrenched players start angling for protection.
SI11 – Shout out to James K for living in one of the least corrupt nations. We know it’s all due to your hard work spreading libertarian-ish ideals.
SI12 – Printable medicine is a crazy neat idea. Printing it as a QR code to simplify tracking and dosage is just inspired.
SI13 – Sourcing enough drinking water is a constant issue. Being able to drink water from any source, polluted fresh or sea water is a huge goal, and graphene filters may get us there pretty quick. Of course, if it is polluted, being able to recover the pollutants might be industrially useful.
SI14 – Finally, pretty soon, all your crops will be GMOs. At least, if you want to eat, they will be.