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Monday, March 21, 2016

Daredevil Season 2 - Mid Point Review


Frank Castle AKA "The Punisher" has been captured and now subject to trial by jury.  The conspiracy involving him appears to concern a DA whose own mini-mystery has yet to be revealed.  The majority of the gross corruption of season 1 appears to have been stamped out at least from the temptation side of things.

Meanwhile Matt has met up with Elektra Nachios, his college flame, heir to a criminal empire and whom he is actually aiding in that takeover...albeit somewhat unknowingly.  The excitement of the romance with Paige is counterbalanced by the excitement of Elektra's high energy rogue-ishness. 

Elektra - She is where Matt was in season .  She is beginning to come into her own.  She is cowgirling around in PJ's and we haven't seen her signature sais yet.  Matt isn't getting quite as injured as frequently and  he gets a suit upgrade fairly early on after a headshot leaves him with a concussion - which he battles through admirably if not unrealistically.

She's also his nemesis.  She is a bigger danger to him than any of the people he actually fights.  He is weak to her because he is like her.  She likes adventure and so does he.  He doesn't trust Paige but he should and he won't learn the lessons until he gets hurt by them.  Mixed in all this is his best friend who is being torn up by prior knowledge, loyalty and te fact that h e is a little bit fascinated to  be on the edge of events witnessing them and to his own credit is becoming a fine lawyer despite Matt's inattention as his second life begins to overtake his first one.  And with Elektra other mysteries deepen.  Will Stick make a return?  The Chaste vs the Hand?  Will the Hand reveal itself?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Funny Thing About Nuclear Haters

Nuclear Power - In the USA it has been a bogey man ever since Three-mile island (TMI).  Never mind that TMI's accident was entirely a human fault.  The mere whiff of something bad maybe happening scared people unreasonably.  This is something special to nuclear power.

For example a gas turbine plant in Middletown CT exploded because of human error in purging some of the pipes and a malfunction in the safety system that happened prior to the safety valve.  It went off like a giant bomb but we don't talk about not building them because they *might* and *have* exploded in populated areas.

What happened at TMI was the result of mainly human error.  The system that did fail gave notice that it was failing and there was plenty of time for the engineers to act.  However they were ill trained and made mistakes.  Even so there was not a full meltdown of the core and only a small amount of coolant was leaked.  The coolant was water.  People under many guises of 'expertise' have somehow used human error as a reason why the technology itself is flawed.  Which of course is a red herring.  One must be careful to spot hidden agendas.

In the book 'Nuclear Roulette' (co written by Jerry Mander and Gar Smith) the authors mix fact, fiction and opinion.  Let us get some examples.

In regards to their preferred tech (solar power) they cite the Olmedilla de Alarcon solar plant in Alarcon, Spain.

Stated:  Build Cost of $350,000,000
Actual:  Build Cost of 385,000,000 ($530,000,000)
Error: Basic fact checking
Bias:  wishful thinking

Stated:  62MW capacity, 85 MWh Generation
Actual: 9.7MW/85MWh generation
Error: Lie of Omission
Bias:  Being intentionally obscure

The 60MW capacity is only achieving 16% of its generation capacity or 9.7/60MW

The reality is that it does have a potential of 60MW but many factors from dust to clouds to jet contrails and other obscure things prevent it from ever achieving anything even close to peak.  The authors of Nuclear Roulette decided that solar had to look good even though it is terrible.  Every square meter of the Olmedilla PV park generates 9 Watts of power.

To compare that to a similar sized gas turbine power plant of something under 100MW in capacity we get 4-5,000 watts of power per square meter.  The solar energy might seem attractive but the energy density is obscenely low.  Assuming 4,000W/M-sq that leaves a solar panel generating 0.00225 as much energy per square meter as the gas turbine. That is 0.225%.

Others spout much the same in terms of lies.  They then talk about doing with less.  De-industrializing.  These are the population control people, the ones who tell you that YOU will have to do without for the good of the planet.

The reality is that we have a solar system full of bounty.  We are doing a poor job of leveraging our early energy stores to gain access to greater stores and ignoring greater potential energies here on earth out of fear, ignorance and juvenile attention spans.

In their section describing the various alternative nuclear (Gen IV+) reactors some are described accurately and others are not.

Their molten salt reactor description is vague and filled with falsehoods.

"THE MOLTEN SALT REACTOR uses nuclear fuel dissolved in molten fluoride salt flowing into a graphite core. It requires super-durable structural materials and poses proliferation risks."

That is it.  The first sentence is accurate, but the term nuclear fuel is vague.  What nuclear fuel are they talking about?  Well it would be thorium in almost all cases.  The thorium fuel cycle is not only proliferation resistant due to the actual decay chain, but it produces many useful isotopes of other elements that we can make use of in science, industry and medicine.  On top of that the half life of many materials are in seconds and minutes or hours with none of them being longer than 70 years.  The materials with a 70 year life time are at the beginning of the cycle and can be kept in the reactor and re-used until in a less harmful state since this is a LIQUID fueled reactor.

Every other reactor type uses solid uranium oxide fuel except the traveling wave reactor.  That uses solid depleted uranium and is low pressure passively cooled.

The second sentence has the first part implying that the requirement for super-durable materials is somehow far too difficult to obtain to be worth the effort and the second part speaks about proliferation 'risks' without any discussion as to the actual level of risk (very low).

The super durable materials were created in the late 1950's and the specific one that is still used and available is called Hastelloy-N.  It is designed to be one of the most corrosion resistant alloys ever.  It was specifically engineered for the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors.  The test reactors devised in the 1950's ran for 20,000 hours (nearly four years) without a hitch.  It was this initial reaction that gave us the plutonium (PU-238) that was used in the nuclear thermal batteries we used in our deep space probes.  We are out of that plutonium now.  That plutonium could not be used in nuclear weapons.  Plutonium is not found in nature.

People often enough govern their lives out of fear rather than knowledge.  This needs to be corrected.

Monday, January 05, 2015

WTF is a samoflange!

So the FBI is again pushing back against our civil liberties and this time in a hardcore manner.  The FBI's Assault On Freedom & Privacy is getting worse and worse as time goes on.  The FBI has never been great with civil liberties regardless of being at war or peace.  The FBI has recently complained that by allowing users to encrypt their cell phones that its harder for them to do their job because now they have to serve the target of the investigation with a warrant rather than a 3rd party service provider.  In fact in that article they demand backdoor access...that is artificial vulnerabilities in your personal devices.  If the FBI can access it so can anyone else with some skill and determination.

Oh that pesky 4th amendment.  Additionally the FBI and all police have had a 'set back' because the US Supreme Court ruled that cell phones are part of the person's and property that are regarded as private and secure without a warrant due mostly to how they have evolved into a more complex data storage and personal organization device in addition to entertainment and work related value.

This most recent decision on the part of the FBI coincides with many people taking notice of all of the fake cell towers in the DC area and around our military bases where everyone's traffic is captured and redirected without their knowledge through government or other third party run interception towers.  The sad fact is that a crypto-phone sells for 1,500 Euros...which at the current exchange rate is...$1,792.00.  Good luck getting your company to pay for that unless you're an executive and not too many people know enough or care enough much less can afford to spend enough to obtain one of these.  No major carrier stocks them.  The alternative is the Blackphone and retails for about $630 before taxes.  Again you cannot walk into your carrier's local store and get one as part of a contract.

People should stand up and take notice of how much the FBI wants into your personal life and reject it out of hand.  The FBI much like the IRS or the ATF has gotten out of control and unlike those other organizations congress has never chartered it.  The FBI is quite literally a rogue agency.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Mass Effect 3 -> Mass Effect The Next Generation (or whatever)

The Mass Effect Trilogy was the journey of one Commander John/Jane Shepard.  Cdr. Shepard rose from a line officer to a Command officer and finally culminated in pan galactic war hero with unlimited authority and above any law.  Its a lot of exceptions to make for any man but for the story to succeed it worked.  He/She was basically an interstellar Delta-Force^³.

Well as a result of his or her choices we get three basic flavors of ending to this 'volume' for lack of a better term.

Flavor 1: Destruction - Reapers and Geth go bye bye...oh and so does EDI.
Consequence - Depending on war assets and whether or not you made the illlusive man kill himself...Shepard survives.  The reapers are destroyed and anything made up of their technology is at best majorly disrupted (presumably including the Keepers in the Citadel as well as the Citadel dead in orbit over the Earth).  The Mass Effect Relays are majorly damaged and teh galaxy is ravaged by the war with merely pieces of their fleets left over.

The industrial and damage to quality of life across these interstellar empires is massive.  This cycle may have been the least ready for an onslaught like this and only survived due to luck in finding what others had left behind.  The Protheans of the previous cycle had probably dealt a lot more damage to the Reapers than even Shepard could imagine...yet they kept on coming.  The empires of this era were comparatively new on the proverbial block.

The Reapers would have had precious little trouble if it wasn't for the MacGuffin that is the Crucible.  Not even the remnants of their creators (the Leviathan) were really much of a threat.

So to me this is the worst possible ending in terms of the amount of time it takes to recover.  However it gives the galaxy the largest chance to start completely anew.  It is a clean slate.  future protagonists will have to deal with an overall stunted technological and industrial/commercial base (logically) and whatever the main plot goal is...will be the most difficult to achieve.  However there will be some rewards in terms of flexibility for choices one would surmise.

As to the Quarian question - They might not matter.  If the player chose to side with legion...then do destruction...both Geth and Quarians are endangered species if not outright extinct by the time we pick up the first chapter of the next volume.  At best the Quarians are left trapped in the Sol System far from Rannoch...which at this point would be a long way from being rebuilt.

Shepards survival or death isn't terribly meaningful except to Liara..who may still be alive and a Matron by the time the new volume picks up.  If he survived there maybe one or two of his daughters out there to be encountered or if not encountered then at least you might hear about their own exploits.

Flavor 2:  Control - Quarians and Geth can survive in this one together or you can pick one or the other.  Here Shepard is now the Deus Ex Machina.  He replaces the Starchild and the Reapers become a super pan galactic protector rather than a machine of harvesting.

Consequences - The Mass relays are likely rapidly rebuilt and technological development continues onward.  Galactic travel likely resumes in as short as a generation or two thanks to Reaper assistance.  In game terms...maybe the new protagonist will hear the ghostly voice of =Shepard exclaiming that this store is his favorite on the citadel.  Perhaps the Reapers will deliver unexpected aid to the protagonist as a result of Shepard's benevolence and desire to protect the galaxy from whatever the latest threat is.

On the down side we may have an orwellian sort of state here where nothing is beyond the reach of the reapers.  A soft tyranny of sorts.  the brutality of the reapers will be unquestioned but largely hidden from all but those in power for the various stellar governments.  The mere threat of war will result in the Reapers stepping in as a police force to prevent or  stop instability.  Peace at all costs.

The overall plot wouldn't change but news reports and attitudes would be darker.  The Reapers would be anti-heroic.  Shepard is in control...isn't he?  That would be a neat C-plot to explore.

Flavor C - The Good Ending - Synthesis.  The Reapers...though partially organic before are now sentient and connected to the web of life.  They have empathy and individuality.  Individuals are now connected through their shared techno-organic Gestalt and have access to all of the knowledge that came before.

As the ending states...everyone is free to rebuild and flourish like never before.  The Reapers are galactic citizens and not oppressors or caretakers.  The state of technology would be highest here...perhaps with a new generation of Mass Relays...or a better form of travel that eliminates the need for them entirely.  Ships and people can now move freely about the Galaxy.  This ending REQUIRES many things.  It requires Shepard to have deleted the Geth who rebelled.  It requires Shepard to have stood down the Quarian fleet while allowing legion to sacrifice himself for the good of his entire people and it requires the quarians to have some to a peace with the Geth.

EDI lives.  The Normandy flies off.  Perhaps it reapirs itself now that it is at least partly composed of organic components.  The Krogan even flourish...rebuilding Tuchanka in the images of the ancients.  They have learned from their mistakes and have likely expanded their space beyond Tuchanka and potentially have a seat on the Council...taking their place finally as a legitimate power.  The Reapers after helping to repair likely retreated to dark space continuing a higher mission of protection of their Galactic Wards.  They might even have a council representative.

The protagonist here will have an extreme advantage compared to other endings with possibly a better starting condition.   N7 at this point should be a pan galactic designation...not one limited to those from Earth.  It should be on-par if not replacing the SPECTRE status (regardless of ending).  The difference here is that there will be more cooperation than in the destruction ending between powers...easier diplomatic solutions.  Control would force cooperation out of fear of the wrath of shepard.  Destruction...well the galaxy should be only *just* recovering in the slightest at his point.

Entire worlds will be cratered and fact this would likely be the first Generation to really go back to the stars from the Destruction ending.  I for one can't imagine that ever being the best ending.  However it would have one thing in common with the synthesis ending and that is a different method of FTL travel not dependent on Reaper based Mass Relays.

Well here's to hoping we pick up on the Dark Energy story line here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Review: The Numbers Station

Premise:  Hardboiled but troubled CIA field agent is assigned to manage a small CIA shortwave radio broadcast station and must pull it together when things go awry.

The Actors: John Cusak, Malin Ackerman and Liam Cunningham (Sir Davos on Game of Thrones).
The Characters (respectively): Emerson Kent, Katherine, Grey.

Katherine is the rather wide-eyed civilian broadcaster who is somewhat in denial about what she does and fantasizes about the missions she is handing out.

Emerson is still shaken from Grey murdering an innocent girl to close the loose ends on a previous assignment (one of the numbers from a station like the one he is now manning).  Grey is promoted and gets him this job as a favor...and also so the agency simply doesn't off his former partner (he knows too much).

Cut to the bunker: They are leaving their 2 day shift for a weekend off and we are introduced to their shift alternates who are basically nothing more than red-shirts.  There is not enough time to develop their characters other than that they are both young though obviously the man is older in this case and through Emerson's eyes we see that they are in a relationship.  Though natural one can see disapproval in Emerson's eyes.

So we get some more of his mental anguish and drinking in a short cut-scene (thank the editor gods for that).  Then moving on he picks her up at the train station as usual.  They arrive at the bunker and see their alternate's transportation is still there...which at this point shouldn't be unmanned.  Then the attack begins and we go through a series of stages including investigation and they find out that even their emergency hardline is compromised.  Eventually our protagonists succeed, and not only are all of the antagonists dead (save one technically) but Emerson reveals that Katherine saved Grey's life.  Grey still wanted to kill her up until this reveal and gives them 10 days to disappear.

Movie Characteristics:

Location: Suffolk England @ WW2 US Army Base - Retrofitted Radio Bunker
Cinematography:  Good use of lighting for the mood and setting.  Dramatic rather than functional.  Adds to the stress of the situation.  The steady rather than shaky cam

Character development:  Emerson basically grows a backbone.  As for whether or not he's developed feelings for could be mostly a father-daughter relationship in his mind but he does care for her.  Grey is nearly a perfect sociopath, but he still values loyalty and since Emerson is loyal (though broken) he rewards that.  He knows how to manipulate and to what extent he can get away with emotional control.  Emerson would have been too much of a problem if he'd refused to let Katherine walk.

Katherine makes the heroine mistake of leaving the secured room at one point to make the broadcasts stopping the assassinations of CIA and other intelligence officials.  She gets a bullet as a reward but lives thanks to Emerson's persistence and timely crashing into a hospital parking lot (he was also shot by the final villain on the way out...jacking his car).

The movie is decent, though the suspense is a bit light.  The shady underbelly of the intelligence world only glimpsed rather than confronted.  But the veteran character's animosity towards his own people begins to show.  The psychologist examining him at the beginning says that "We're not sociopaths".  Obviously she is cajoling him.  A sociopath would have been fine with their activities and the protagonist isn't any longer.  He is detached...but not that distant.  He has a code; grown-ups have had their time and crossing with him is their last mistake.  Kids to him are off-limits or at least should be.  The CIA in this movie obviously feels that not only are domestic black bag operations acceptable but that its ok to murder innocent children to cover up an op's existence.

It is heavy handed but a movie like this has a screen play fit for future TV adaptation.  The Numbers Station has a great premise to build either a limited run mini-series or single season show on...or a longer multi-season (3-5 seasons).

I'd re-imagine it this way:
Post movie consequences - fallout from the destruction of this radio base leads to the upending of a conspiracy internally where a few low level CIA officials have been fired and disappeared...a new radio station opens in a different part of England (where of course our protagonists will be stationed...but for the pilot we have a cold open on a similar incident taking place...setting off another round of assassinations.)

This time Grey bites the dust.   The series will actually follow 2x sets of protagonists each getting an episode or half episode of time.  Some will run concurrently and others will be in serial.  The opening and closing credits will tell another story via a silent movie like method.  Putting together the credits from across a season will tell a story that is its own that could be self-contained or connect events otherwise only alluded to during the regular season.

Moving forward - post cold open and post credits we are introduced to our first new sets of protagonists.  This will be done with a similar psychologist interviewing them after previous assignments that have all taken a toll (for the 2 station chiefs).  For the in the movie they will either be college drop-outs or hired straight out of college.  Complete civilians with minimal skills though they may have been to the farm for cursory training as analysts (replete with basic survival skills).

Each shift won't meet until the third episode during shift change.  Episode 2 will follow them on initial move-in and simple assignment broadcasting.  Episode 2 will show the second shift team doing prep-work and at the end of the show it will be a quick scene showing them being followed and chronicled by someone(s).

As the season draws on another station could be shown to be hit in a cold open by unknown people.  However life for our protagonists goes on fairly normal though they may notice being followed or something else.  One shift will be more open and another more coy.  Eventually they will leave messages for each other.  And following that...they will be attacked separately (but will persevere) and then they will be sharing ciphers.

They will work separately on pieces of the puzzle. And only get a peek at the conspiracy.  The conspiracy will take a bigger stage in season 2 as some episodes will focus more on that aspect.  Even here however the full extent won't be revealed with only 3-5 of the episodes having this as central.  The two teams will be growing closer but hiding it from their superiors.  This will keep them safe for the moment though more attempts on their station will be attempted.

Season 3 will kick off with a 2 part 2 hour show.  The first part will be much like the film with a siege of the installation with the second part being the relief but deepening of the conspiracy.  Their superiors will praise them for defending the installation without a compromise like we have seen happen in other places...but its a gambit...the team is split stations for each pair with 3rd and 4th set added.  The 3rd and 4th set are conspirators.  conspiracy fun time!  As each original team watches the news in their off hours they see important people being assassinated world wide including congressmen and at least one important cabinet member.  Things are getting worse.  Season 3 will end with the death of the President...killed by his own secret service detail.

Season 4 kicks off with a presidential funeral, but then cuts back to the more hum-drum life of broadcasting numbers.  The conspiracy teams return and the assassinations stop.  The new President (VP whoever) is in power and things calm down.  Each *protagonist* team begins to put pieces together.  Each antagonist team begins to suspect that part of the jig is up.  Season 4 will concentrate on protagonist teams building allies in their off hours rather than on the numbers.  More action here a-la covert affairs with cross channel-tunnel action in Paris as well as England and Scotland.  Season 4 will end with each protagonist team blowing up their stations and going rogue for season 5..the final season each team with half a cipher...fighting to get to each other.

Season 5:  The cipher if united and used will lay out the final stages for a series of assassinations bringing unwanted people to power.  If the protagonists fail...WW3 will start.  If they succeed the USA will be rocked to the core and perhaps start another revolution.  Scenes of Tea Party protests and Snowden protests will be shown as well as Occupy and WTO protests for stock footage.  Police brutality clips and others will be used as filler.

This season will let the viewers vote on either a failure ending or a success at the end of each episode.  There will be no credits for this season like in past seasons.  Only a quick abbreviated credits black screen at the end.  The ending itself will take the form of a 21 minute credit sequence that is entirely silent.

DVD or special digital download will include the alternate ending. as well as bonus footage...commentary on every episode by each director, the executive producer and at least one star of that episode.  Behind the scenes gag reels and *making of* will be included.  Special options will be the actual dialogue from the silent scenes that was recorded but left out.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Net Runner - The Reality

Many of us nerds have either played or at least heard of the game Net-Runner.  This is part of the Cyberpunk genre of games and literature.  A great deal of this comes from watching the pace of technology accelerate and also combining it with the political perceptions of the late 1970's and early 1980's in a critical and dystopian manner.

The reality is that we do live in a crapsack world governed mainly by well capitalized interests and corrupt government officials acting mostly in cooperation if not outright coordination/collusion.

  • LIBOR rate rigging
  • FOREX (foreign currency exchange) Rigging
  • Gold and Silver (really all metals) market rigging - nevermind the aluminum cartel
That is all just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what a crapsack world we really live in.  We all buy the sausage, but few of us are aware of how it is made and how many dirty hands touch it before it reaches our collective mouths.

On to the actual point of things!
Technology is advancing rapidly though asymmetrically.  Intel is busy pushing the next generation of connectivity alongside Google.  Intel's SD-card sized computer is in the works, though the current generation uses an Atom processor rather than a Quark processor.  This is done mostly for performance reasons, but leaves it bulkier than the original design called for.
The above picture is a reference design to show where things are headed soon.  It has wireless connectivity, runs a linux OS, and is a developer board.  This means that it is for the use of others to make applicable to our lives.  Chips like this can be fitted into any number of items from shoes and other apparel to making an extremely efficient distributed computer system embedded in a soldier's body armor, part of a police uniform or even helping you and your friends create a "personal-LAN".

Imagine integrating these connectivity devices with other wearables like google glass and using an encrypted connection and some VPN software having your own private communications system all hands free.

what you have here is the beginnings of the Star Trek Next Generation comm badge at the very least.  It would be able to provide GPS coordinates, link up and have its power augmented/supplemented by other devices, used as part of a personal ID system that replaces credit/debit cards and passports and driver ID's.

this little device could replace all of your miscellaneous identification and payment devices.  You won't need it implanted a la mark of satan..simply having it as part of a wrist watch device would be enough.  Cover it in an OLED screen and you have a functional watch tied to the system clock that updates via the nuclear clock over your now permanent internet connection.

The internet is also about to become free - as satellites are about to be launched in the next few years to broadcast internet connectivity world wide.  At first connection speeds may be slow and latency high.  But over time we will have a dick-tracy video/ radio watch.

The internet of things will quite literally let us perform miracles.

Back on to what it can do for soldiers.
  • Provide a local network for communications that is short range and encrypted
  • Use other wearable devices to give soldiers enhanced situation awareness (expanded spectral vision)
  • Act as an emergency homing beacon in a compact and rugged form factor
Soldiers now with computerized systems on their armor basically have laptops on their backs or equipment that is still bulky.  A small distributed network however can be placed all around the solider's uniform so that even if one part is disabled the rest will function even if slightly degraded.

Police forces can benefit from the same things and so can individuals.  wearable safety devices while out hiking powered not my batteries but the energy of one's own movements.  GPS devices that never fail because they are powered the same way.  No one ever needs to be lost again.  These small units could monitor in real time a person's blood sugar level if they are diabetic giving a real time read-out on your watch of both actual and average over time.  Oxygen levels for people with COPD and a whole host of other conditions can be monitored.

This is only the beginning.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Gaming Generation

My Generation - tentatively called "Millenials" of which I am one  of the earlier born members is the generation that is the first to grow up with the internet in a relatively modern format.  Additionally computer games in my generation finally  became more than moving dots and dashes around and more than letters and numbers.

Fully realized 3-D rendered and hardware acceleration became normal very quickly and soon the human need for social interaction would merge.  Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, EVE Online and even  games on Facebook and other platforms emerged.  Mobile gaming is finally becoming mainstream as our communications devices now have the gaming power of yesteryear's laptop computers.

Socially we are more interconnected than ever before.  Our devices are portals to each other.  Some see it as a distancing, or a filter and in some cases these analysts are correct.  Anonymity lets many individuals act in manners that are otherwise not permissible in social situations.  Other times the technology, such as integrated webcams on laptops, tablets and phones allows for intimate connections across vast distances.

Past generations wrote letters on paper and parchment.  Now we write on electrons and magnetic bits.  Past generations would use a complicated cipher to encode their writings, now we have 512 bit encryption available publicly.  There is something still intimate about a handwritten letter, but email is widely regarded as formal enough for almost any message as long as the formatting is thoughtful.

We used to have naughty deguerreotypes and now we sext each other instantly be it picture or video, or even broadcast it for all to see in a rather shameless manner.

Communication is instant world wide and I for one couldn't be happier.  I can speak with people in Russia, Denmark, Iceland and Singapore all at the same time and in real time with no cost beyond paying for access to the world wide web.  Aside from the fact that this would indicate a possible demise of legacy telecom systems in the future, the larger point is that we now have the ability to communicate as individuals with one another without the filter of a government in between.

Aside from picking and choosing what government you live under one discovers that a man is a man anywhere in the world and we have far more in common than governments would have us think.  We enjoy and have passions for the same things and have the same wishes for our families.  It is odd to think that we are somehow in opposition rather than engaged in cooperation.  But here we are.

My generation is certainly not one that is enamored with world peace, nor despite accusations to the contrary, so full of hubris that we think we can attain it.  However we are the first generation with the infrastructure for such an achievement.  Soon a company will be launching into orbit a constellation of micro-satellites that will broadcast internet access world wide.  It will not matter if you are sailing in the middle of the most desolate (of humans) ocean on earth, nor hiking a trail in Afghanistan, nor even in Antarctica.  Soon borders will mean even less.  What I do fear is that governments will jealously guard and attempt to clamp down out of insecurity.  Instead of freeing their citizens to interact, make contracts and engage socially the national governments will instead create more barriers to entry and try to keep us closed off from one another.

What good is a government that gives up social control?  Why it is the best government that one could have.  A freer people will never have existed on earth than is possible at this moment.  But world-wide we see restrictions.  Turkey closing down Twitter and youtube access is just a public example.  The Great Firewall of China is another.  The NSA's bulk monitoring of citizens online and mobile activities in and out of the United States is one of the most egregious.  And yet instead of backing down when challenged, those forces of authority double down and accuse critics of promoting the enemies of the state.  Hyperbole is ratcheted up and we see the militarization of police with MRAPs and an ever increasing number of SWAT teams and federal grants to support this.  Rights are restricted and the government talks seriously for the first time about licensing journalism and restricting the rights of the press and free speech.

My generation has the ability to choose what road we go down.  We will either go on the road to freedom, or on the road to serfdom.

Game On.