Saturday, March 26, 2005

First Idea

Do you know what Genetic Algoithms are? They're this really cool technique for finding the best solution given a certain set of inputs. It almost removes the need for actual thinking when it comes to certain things. Only certain things though . . .

Like where to put a solar panel to produce the most electricity.

I was thinking, why not have an array of transparent solar cells in the desert? Lay them out like massive flowers, producing electricity that can be stored in a grid. I'm serious, why not? Heck, you could probably put more transparent solar cells underneath them and produce even more. If you put them on poles, then atop the poles could be windmills that add to the energy production in times of desert storms.

But how would you place them? What would be a good arrangement? Well, if you don't want to blanket the surface, this becomes a serious issue to think about. It's actually not that hard to implement really. Just write a program that would do the work of figuring it out based on the position of one unit you could mass produce.

Could you fund this? Sure you could. This could be made an open source-ish venture. Have people provide the funding, get the solar panels produced in Mexico, and buy the cheap desert land (death valley, I'd guess, has an enormous amount of sunlight and not much else). Make regions that are considered not worth human effort powerhouses.

My humblest of humble opinions is that this could be done. My not-so-humble opinion is that this idea has a lot of merit.

Thank you for your time.

Intro post

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Honestly. Do you feel the same way when looking out of a window into the world? Some days, I do. I feel cold looking in the mirror, and looking out into the city's cold and dead landscape. Toronto is a nice city, but there are times the place seems dead even with tons of people out in the streets. Freud used to think that we see in people the things we perceive in ourselves. So then the question would become what is it that I see in myself that's got me feeling cold?

I think it's because there's so much potential in all of us. When we see it being squandered, we feel lost, helpless, angered. I've been listening to that Green Day song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", where the protagonist talks about walking down a street all alone. While my dreams are hardly broken, I suspect that I do walk alone. The potential that's there in each and every one of us can be reached. We can make changes in this world that will sove all the problems we see and hear about. It's easy to think about how each of us is only one person, incapable of doing anything.

This is true, but only to a certain extent.

You see, we're in an unusual age, one where information flows freer than water and as fast as light. It's interesting to see how quickly events are happening now, as opposed to their speed even a decade ago. When was the last time we had a pro-democracy uprising in a bunch of nations (like Syria, Kyrgistan, and Ukraine) within the space of four months? Think about it, FOUR months is only slightly longer than the regular 'probation' period for an employee. I'll bet you that it happened because the people there finally saw the free world and decided they wanted to join it (now don't be cynical just yet, bear with me).

So, how do you and I figure in this? Well, there are many reasons I get that cold feeling I spoke about up there. One is loneliness. Yes, being a geek, and not a talkative one at that, I walk alone in life. But the biggest reason? I know that half my ideas will never be implemented. Why? Partly because I'm paranoid as hell. I've had my work stolen before, so since then, I've been just a little paranoid (no more than the usual blood test and handing over of the first born mind you).

So, dear reader, if you are looking at this space, then I suggest a deal. I'll give you ideas, and I'll do my damndest to make them the best ideas. If you can't see yourself pursuing them, fine, but could you tell someone else the idea?

If we all did this, shared our ideas, there's no telling what could be accomplished. Just like the recent rash of freedom, maybe we can create something totally new.

Thank you for your time.