* Tesla Signature One Hundred Event -
After much anticipation and countless rumors, rivalling the unveiling of the Kamen Seguay, PayPal founder and tech-visionary Elon Musk is finally ready to show off one of his keynote projects... the Tesla Roadster. Tesla Motors is a new American car company developing fully electric vehicles that are high performance, high production, and affordable. The Roadster will first be sold in a limited set of 100 to a select group at an evening event on July 19 in Santa Monica. An all-electric car, the Roadster delivers better acceleration and handling than a Porsche Turbo, meets all U.S. safety standards, operates at twice the energy efficiency of a Prius, and has a highway range of 250 miles.
Wow. I’ve long said that we desperately need help from the portion of the billionaire caste that “gets it”... in order to save us from the half that doesn’t. Elon... along with Warren Buffett and some others.. clearly falls into the category of getting it. Let’s hope he becomes very rich (again) while doing lots of good. Because he has other plans, too.
* The New Medical Revolution
Famed economics author and pundit John Mauldin’s recent newsletter had the following fascinating riff on progress in medical technology:
Late last century, we began to get scanning technology that was a single slice per rotation. Then it went to 4. Then in 2002-03 we saw scanning that went to 16 slices, by 2005 it was up to 64, and this year we find scanning machines that can do 256-slice rotations. We can start to see some really small parts of your body. Combine that with imaging software and doctors can start to see what's wrong with you. But we are not small enough yet. By the end of the decade, that scanner will be at 1,024.
Recognize this progression? 2-4-16-64-256-512-1024...? Does it sound like the number of transistors in a chip or the size of your computer memory? Or the speed of your computer? Or any number of things that Silicon Valley views as engineering problems?
It will not be long before they can "see" the plaque building up in your heart or veins. Long before it would be a problem. And running hand in hand with this technology is the work being done to develop drugs and targeted therapies which will remove the plaque. Right now, scans are expensive. We don't usually get one unless there is a problem. But in the very near future, those scans will be able to give you a very early warning signal about heart problems. And while in the first few years it will only be those people who can afford or whose condition dictates an expensive scan, the cost will come down. Think cellular phones.
Within ten years, a regular part of your check-up will be a full body scan. Yes, I know that full body scans have a bad reputation. And deservedly so at lower resolutions. But that will change as they become much higher resolution, as well as relatively cheap and ubiquitous. Certainly cheaper than letting a problem build up.
John goes on to recommend the latest book by Andy Kessler called The End of Medicine, subtitled "How Silicon Valley (and Naked Mice) Will Reboot Your Doctor.”
One question. Do the radical FIBMers actually believe all this has happened... and will keep on happening... amid a return to propertarian feudalism? Are socialist GAR fans unable to notice that most of this innovation occurs in the land with “the worst health care system”? Is ANYONE ready to point out that this “devil’s dichotomy” of insipid oversimplifications has nothing at all to do with what’s really going on?
Five Hot Products for the Future -- (CNN -- June 9, 2006) Trend spotting is serious business. So much so that the Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto-based think tank, produces an annual 96-page 10-year forecast - an exhaustive compendium of societal and technological trends, widely regarded as the bellwether of long-range planning. But people wanted specifics, so it started giving away prescient product ideas instead.
And From the Progressive Policy Inst:
“Pakistan is in the third year of an economic surge. The 2006 Economic Survey of Pakistan notes that Pakistani exports have nearly doubled since 2001, from $8.5 billion to nearly $17 billion. (Three big factors here: Despite troubles along the border, exports to Afghanistan -- cement, rice, wheat, light manufactures -- have risen from $100 million to $1.5 billion since 2001. At 8.4 percent, the national growth rate is closing in on those of China and India. Foreign investment is up, as are remittances from Pakistanis working abroad. Cities have added nearly six million jobs a year since 2002. Life expectancy has grown by two years since the turn of the century, and hospitals have hired 17,000 more doctors. The World Bank backs up ministerial optimism in a paper released last month; its forecast is that based upon current trends, "poverty in Pakistan is likely to fall dramatically, from the current 35.4 percent to 12.4 percent," by 2015.”
I did predict both the semi-bust of Japan and the boom of China, back when everybody thought Japan Inc would own everything in the 80s. I predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall and a period of terror war with Islamic machismo. But I admit I completely missed the rise of South Asia. I just assumed it was impossible. My bad.