Jack Uldrich
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Jack Uldrich’s “Friday Future 15:” November 17, 2023

Posted in Future

Editor’s note: With Thanksgiving now less than a week away, I would like to take a moment and thank all of you for subscribing to this newsletter. I hope all of you have a Blessed Thanksgiving and an even better future. Jack U.

P.S. My latest book, “A Smarter Farm: How Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize Agriculture” is now at the printer. If any of you would like a complimentary PDF copy, please email me at jackmuldrich@gmail and I’ll forward you a copy. Like “Business as Unusual,” this latest book is a quick 45-minute read. If anyone wants a free PDF of “Business as Unusual,” you can email me as well.

Think: This week, I traveled to Salem, Oregon and Billings, Montana to deliver two presentations on AI and farming. The advances in AI are coming fast and furious. To this end, I found this article, Is AI the Answer to Sustainable Farming?, to be enlightening. I was not aware, for example, that AI is helping some strawberry farmers grow unique types of Japanese and Korean strawberries in the U.S. (To be honest, I didn’t even know that strawberries in Asia were distinctly different from the strawberries in the U.S.)

Think Again: As a futurist, I spend a good deal of time contemplating what the future will look like. No one knows the answer, of course, but I would encourage each of you to spend some time with this question: What will catch us by surprise in the future? One possibility in the field of renewable energy is tree-like wind turbines. Imagine being able to produce some of your own energy with an attractive wind turbine that takes up no more space than a tree in your yard or neighborhood.

Think in Questions: Here’s a good question for all of us to pose and then think about: What’s Next for the World’s Fastest Supercomputers? I am not sure if this quotation from the article will help you, but I found it fascinating: “If everybody on Earth were to do one calculation per second, it would take four years to equal what that computer can do in one second.” If you are wondering, here are just four areas where supercomputers may help society: 1) Better and more fuel-efficient designs for airplanes and cars; 2) the creation of new catalysts; 3) weather forecasting; and 4) Speeding up the development of nuclear fusion.

Think Hard: As most of you know, I am an optimistic guy. Nevertheless, the world has no shortage of serious problems–from Gaza and the Ukraine to mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction to climate change. One problem that I believe will continue to receive more attention in the form of legal and regulatory proposals is the problem of microplastics. As this sobering article suggests, the issue of plastic nanoparticles in the environment may be more serious than first believed.

 Think Harder: At the risk of being labeled a “Debby Downer,” here is another sobering look at yet another issue that does not receive as much attention as it should: Groundwater depletion. As the article highlights, the problem is growing so pronounced that large chunks of land are now sinking around the world. What this means is that Earth’s ability to store groundwater is being lost–forever.

Afterthought: “We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die.” –W. H. Auden

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