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  • feedwordpress 08:01:02 on 2018/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrency, , , Mike Maples, , screw, ,   

    “Organizing is a process; an organization is the result of that process”*… 


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    19th century railroad stock offers were the cryptocurrencies of their time: confusing, risky… but with the promise of converting “old” wealth (mostly land riches) into the wealth of the future

     

    Many crypto enthusiasts are looking at blockchains as a way to correct the sins of the past (government over-reach, lack of sound money, expensive middlemen, centralized businesses, etc.)

    The truly important question should be way bigger than this: How can crypto-powered businesses create new types of abundance? How will blockchains drive our standard of living forward exponentially? How will we see the creation of tens of trillions in new value like we did with the stock market in the last 150 years?

    The answer lies in how crypto can transform the tragedy of the commons into the wealth of the commons…

    “Midas List” V.C. Mike Maples traces the provenance of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain from the railroad IPOs of the 1870s (which helped launch an explosion of global economic growth) through the work of Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrum to argue for crypto’s promise as a remedy to the Tragedy of the Commons: “Crypto Commons.”

    [Readers looking for an on-ramp to understanding crypto-tech and the blockchain may want to start with Steven Johnson’s blissfully-clear “Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble.”]

    * Elinor Ostrum

    ###

    As we address asset allocation, we might recall that it was on this date in 1936 that Henry F. Phillips received several U.S. patents for the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver– a system in which a matching driver with a tapering tip conveniently self-centers in the screw head.  Phillips founded the Phillips Screw Company to license his patents, and persuaded the American Screw Company to manufacture the fasteners.  General Motors was convinced to use the screws on its 1937 Cadillac; by 1940, virtually every American automaker had switched to Phillips screws.

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  • feedwordpress 09:01:57 on 2017/02/03 Permalink
    Tags: CERN, David Wilkinson, , , lathe, machine tools, screw, , , weasel   

    “Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines”*… 


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    … they do, however, run more terrestrial risks.  The weasel above (a stone marten) hopped over a substation fence at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and was electrocuted by an 18,000 volt transformer (an incident that knocked out power at the facility).  Lest its notoriety fade, the once-weasel is about to go on display at the Rotterdam Natural History Museum.

    The stone marten is the latest dead animal to go on display at the museum. It joins a sparrow that was shot after it sabotaged a world record attempt by knocking over 23,000 dominoes; a hedgehog that got fatally stuck in a McDonalds McFlurry pot, and a catfish that fell victim to a group of men in the Netherlands who developed a tradition for drinking vast amounts of beer and swallowing fish from their aquarium. The catfish turned out to be armored, and on being swallowed raised its spines. The defense did not save the fish, but it put the 28-year-old man who tried to swallow it in intensive care for a week…

    The tale is preserved in full at: “Totally stuffed: Cern’s electrocuted weasel to go on display.”

    * Steven Wright

    ###

    As we hold the pose, we might spare a thought for David Wilkinson; he died on this date in 1852.  A mechanical engineer and machinist, Wilkinson (no known relation to your correspondent) played a key role in the development of machine tools in the U.S. (initially in the textile industry): he invented the metal lathe and process for cutting screws.

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:06 on 2016/09/19 Permalink
    Tags: capacitor, , , Leyden jar, , screw, , van Musschenbroek   

    “The Turn of the Screw”*… 


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    * Henry James

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    As we turn clockwise, we might spare a thought for Pieter van Musschenbroek; he died on this date in 1761. A one-time student of Isaac Newton (who helped transmit Newton’s ideas throughout Europe), van Musschenbroek was a professor of mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, and medicine. (Those were the days…)  Fascinated by electrostatics, he used what he learned from his father, an accomplished designer and manufacturer of scientific instruments, to build the first capacitor (that’s to say, device that can store an electric charge), the Leyden Jar– named for the city that was home to van Musschenbroek’s university.

    Leyden jar construction

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:47 on 2015/07/07 Permalink
    Tags: cat, , , Henry Welton, , , , screw, ,   

    “Cats have been domesticating and harvesting humans for at least two millennia”*… 


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    email readers click here for video

    This film, featuring two cats wearing boxing gloves and packing a punch, was filmed in Thomas Edison’s studio in 1894. The performance was part of Professor Henry Welton’s “cat circus,” which toured the United States both before and after appearing in Edison’s film. Performances included cats riding small bicycles and doing somersaults, with the boxing match being the highlight of the show. As for why the cats were filmed (apart from being an early example of people enjoying footage of cats), it might have possibly been a publicity stunt to advertise the show. It could also quite possibly be the first ever “cat video” (though, of course, before the days of video).

    Via Public Domain Review and the Library of Congress.

    * “Cats have been domesticating and harvesting humans for at least two millennia, albeit slowly, generation by generation. With the Internet, they are moving much faster, and in only two or three more generations, we will be completely incapable of sustaining a line of thought for more than half a second, and therefore effectively be zombies in the service of our feline masters who will use lame Photoshoppers to communicate with us”

    –Matt Smith

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    As we memorialize memes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1936 that Henry F. Phillips received several U.S. patents for the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver– a system in which a matching driver with a tapering tip conveniently self-centers in the screw head.  Phillips founded the Phillips Screw Company to license his patents, and persuaded the American Screw Company to manufacture the fasteners.  General Motors was convinced to use the screws on its 1937 Cadillac; by 1940, virtually every American automaker had switched to Phillips screws.

     source

     
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