Here are some random things to read before the Supreme Court announces Obamacare and everyone stops caring about anything else for awhile…
1. Drones Are Awesome? I’ve been generally pessimistic about the coming drone boom, due to concerns about government abuse and invasion of privacy, but this long post in Wired has converted me to being excited about the technology. Chris Anderson details the recent hobbyist history of the private flying machines, how the technology has improved, where it stands now, and where it might go next.
2. We’re Not Running Out Of Oil. A lot of people are talking about a new report called “Oil: The Next Revolution,” an 84-page PDF in which Leonardo Maugeri argues that in the last few years the world has come upon an abundance of oil that is likely to persist for a long time, although many risks remain. Maugeri is described as an oil executive, but the report is full of detailed analysis and reasonable conclusions. Here is some discussion from a NYTimes blog.
I remain optimistic that the market will buy us time to replace old energy sources, and that the market will ultimately provide those replacements, subsidies or no subsidies. Although as it looks like we’re going to have plenty of the stuff to burn for the next several decades, I sure hope the skeptics are right about climate change.
3. China Is Succeeding In Space. “A Chinese spacecraft on Sunday successfully completed the country’s first manual docking in orbit.” China is only the third country (after the US and USSR/Russia) to accomplish this. This has a lot of implications for international political relations both on the ground and in space, but for now it’s just interesting news.
In other space news, NASA’s Voyager 1 is about to become the first man-made object to leave the solar system. The probe was launched in 1977 and is still kicking and reporting its measurements back home. Although, apparently, Voyager 1 has been “about to leave the solar system” for some time now, depending on how you define the edge of the solar system.
In other NASA space news, the Curiosity rover that launched last fall is set to land on Mars on August 6. SpaceX is supposed to have another supply launch that month as well.
4. Advances For Jury Nullification In New Hampshire. The governor of New Hampshire signed a law this month that – as far as I understand – allows the defense to inform the jury of its right of jury nullification. If you’re not familiar with this right or why it’s so important for Americans to know about it, I’ve previously written about jury nullification here, explaining its history and responding to some common criticisms.
I don’t know whether or not this can be considered an early victory for the Free State Project, a movement to unite libertarians in a single state, but it’s an encouraging sign and it will be fun to see what else comes out of New Hampshire in the coming years.
5. Good News. Scott at Expected Optimism rounds up some more reasons for optimism.
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