Tag Archives: business

The Dark Side of Gaia

I was reminded tonight of the Gaia hypothesis. It was quite a thing in the 1970s.

The Gaia hypothesis, named after the ancient Greek goddess of Earth, posits that Earth and its biological systems behave as a huge single entity. This entity has closely controlled self-regulatory negative feedback loops that keep the conditions on the planet within boundaries that are favorable to life. Introduced in the early 1970s, the idea was conceived by chemist and inventor James E. Lovelock and biologist Lynn Margulis.

This had a natural appeal in the early days of the environmental movement. I was skeptical back then, thinking of it as new age wishful thinking, and impossible to test. I was wrong: Its origins are far darker. Here is the abstract of Gas Guzzling Gaia, or: A Prehistory of Climate Change Denialism:

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Pushing the Speed of Light

There is a filk song by this title that has been around for at least a couple decades, and several SF stories as well, all about the issues that the time dilation of near lightspeed travel will pose for human interactions. These are a long way in our future, but our money is “pushing the speed of light” today:

How Wall Street Got Addicted to Light-Speed Trading

From Slashdot,

From the “Be careful what you wish for” files

Why Amazon Wants To Pay Sales Tax

How Amazon’s ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail.

Physical retailers have long argued that once Amazon plays fairly on taxes, the company wouldn’t look like such a great deal to most consumers. If prices were equal, you’d always go with the “instant gratification” of shopping in the real world. The trouble with that argument is that shopping offline isn’t really “instant”—it takes time to get in the car, go to the store, find what you want, stand in line, and drive back home.