When .gov Regulations Get In The Way of Innovation

Is it innovation to want to use a millennia-old building technique? Apparently. It is also puzzling because in this day of “everything causes Global Warming” using more traditional/less-energy-intensive materials should be all the rage.

People think that buildings made of mud can’t last. But at least one city built of rammed earth has lasted for 500 years. Early sections of the Great Wall of China are older than that. How many buildings built in the last century will be here at the end of this century, or the end of the next?

This TED Talk is by Anna Heringer, an architect trying to change that. OK, so it is 13 minutes long. Get a cup of coffee; you might learn something. (It will only hurt for a minute.) Her talk is in English, but her accent is thick. Turn on the English subtitles if you have problems.

You would think that the Left would be all over this, because the material that is being used, where rammed earth could work, is concrete. Portland cement is a fairly energy intensive product. (For those who don’t know, it is the key ingredient in concrete.) And while concrete is required for some stuff, it is clearly not required for everything. Oh, and the thickness of the walls aids in insulating the structure. The walls are usually much thicker than you imagine. But can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if people were empowered to build their own homes, or out buildings?

Of course governments won’t let you build out of rammed earth, because their engineers don’t understand anything more exotic than cinder-block construction. And at least one jurisdiction had problems wrapping their mind around surface-bonding concrete and cinder-blocks because all they had ever seen was lines of mortar. But they only understand what they saw yesterday, and you want them to think new thoughts, and revisit their engineering texts, or dig out their ancient copy of the building codes, and can’t you just be like everyone else? What’s so wrong with 2 X 4 stick construction anyway?


Kimberly Corban – Survivor

Kimberly Corban wants people to know that you can transform yourself from a victim to a survivor, because she did it. She also wants people to stop appropriating her story for fundraising.

Under a cover of darkness, he stalked and broke in to his college victim’s apartment in the early morning hours of May 12th, 2006. When he came upon the 20-year-old woman asleep in her bed, he covered her face and attacked.

But he never imagined he had just awakened a survivor…

Threatening the perpetual-victim state celebrated by the Left, has not made Ms. Corban popular with the Left. (See the link at the bottom.) But then her refusing to march in lockstep with the Right has has a similar effect on people over there, and she’s had problems with them as well.

This is Kimberly Corban’s TEDx Talk. TEDxMileHigh Reset, which as near as I can figure was in December of 2018. (There was also one in 2019, but this video predates that conference.) It is interesting because the audience has no reaction to some of the stuff she is saying. But then she’s an NRA advocate, (or she was) and TED tends to trend to the Left. (Understatement? Perhaps a bit.) But she does manage to get them to see some middle ground.

The best quote: “I’m fiscally conservative, and socially awkward.”

I don’t know if YouTube will complain about privacy with this video the way they go on with music videos, but the link is provided above just in case.

Hat tip to an old post from The Organic Prepper: the Left’s displeasure with Ms. Corban is courtesy of Chris Cuomo. This has been floating around in my drafts folder for quite some time.

In space, “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.”

On overcoming the fears that keep you from doing things. What I learned from going blind in space | Chris Hadfield.

Since I featured a video of Chris Hadfield doing a version of “Space Oddity” on July 11th, his videos have been “suggested” by YT. This one is worth the time. (18 minutes or so.)

Dead Aid – on the reading list

Dead Aid is a book detailing why foreign aid from the West is destroying Africa. The author, Dambisa Moyo, is an African and an international economist. She paints a pretty bleak picture of the effect the aid poured into Africa by the West has had.

The more aid we give, the worse we make things. Though I haven’t finished it, it is a sobering read, even for someone who isn’t crazy about foreign aid.

I first became aware of this book from a TED talk by Ernesto Sirolli. (It is a long talk at 17 minutes, so make sure you have some time and a drink.) He started out working for an Italian NGO, but now supports entrepreneurs around the world. And the talk covers how to support entrepreneurs. Who do you think will solve the problems we face today? Government committees?

I can’t make the embedded video work due to my excessive security/privacy add-ons. If you have a similar problem, the video can be found here, where you can also download it for later viewing.

Intro to the Dark Net

The dark net has been in the news since WikiLeakes and Snowden forced our attention on it. But most people don’t know what it is. Or why they should care about it.

This is a fairly good introduction, and an explanation of why it matters to you. Or should if you care about privacy, escape from censorship and all the other things that we seem to be losing.

The video is long, at just over 14 minutes, so make sure you have the time to look at it.