Category Archives: Riding the Curve

Graceful degradation and the fault tolerant society

Graceful degradation is an engineering concept by which complex systems are designed such that they can still perform their core functions even while sustaining significant damage, albeit at a reduced capacity. Although often treated as equivalent to fault tolerance, the fundamental difference is that fault tolerant systems are designed such that a backup component or system can quickly be brought back on line to maintain full system capability, while the goal of graceful degradation is to support reduced functionality so as to prevent catastrophic failure. A lot of times, they are used together to maintain maximum reliability: for example, the battery backup system of a computer server room that may temporarily shut down non-critical servers on a power outage so as to maximize battery life (graceful degradation) until a backup generator can be brought on line (fault tolerance).
more grunting>>>

2 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Riding the Curve, Technology

The environmental movement needs to lead the way…

…towards survival.

To say that these are dispiriting times for the environmental movement is quite the understatement. Between “Climategate,” the constant harassment by the climate change deniers, marginalization by the government, reversal of past successes, and several other factors, many people have just given up. And rightly so, part of me thinks. To continue seems to be a lesson in futility.
more grunting>>>

7 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Riding the Curve

When the alternative is too scary to contemplate

I’ve said before that, when faced with dire circumstances, people will prefer to find solace in worshiping mythology over accepting hard reality. But this is not so much about stupidity or ignorance as it is about coping with untenable situations.
more grunting>>>

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Fear, Riding the Curve, Solutions

That 21st Century Retirement Plan

With the looming disaster of the nation’s 401k experiment seeping into the national awareness, and the fact that half of those under the age of 30 have zero confidence that Social Security and Medicare will be around when they reach the ever rising age for stepping down, one may wonder what retirement is going to look like in the 21st century.
more grunting>>>

4 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, History, Riding the Curve, Solutions

Adaptation

In my previous post, I compared the effects of two large storms on the United States, and some trends that will be affecting our ability to respond to such occurrences in the future. In this post, I would like to reflect on how I see these trends altering the future of our society in general.
more grunting>>>

4 Comments

Filed under Climate Change, Riding the Curve, Solutions

Let’s be rational about climate change

There is much fear and hype going around about climate change, on both sides. So let’s see if we can cut through some of this, establish some rational facts, and discuss what this means.
more grunting>>>

Leave a comment

Filed under Climate Change, Fear, Riding the Curve, Solutions

Riding the curve down: a strategy for survival

If you take a tour of the Internet on any given day, it’s hard to come away without a sense that things are going awry.  Whether people are talking about climate change, breakdown of society, peak whatever — there is a feeling out there that maybe the best years of our civilization are behind us, and we should all maybe just hunker down in our bunkers and ride out the storm, whatever it might be.
more grunting>>>

3 Comments

Filed under Riding the Curve, Solutions