Category Archives: Technology

UPDATED (7/9): Chile Is No ‘Shithole Country’: When There is A Drought, Chileans Catch Water In Nets

Human Accomplishment, Nationhood, Technology

Chileans are turning the mist into usable water with the aid of fog nets.

In Chile’s Coquimbo region, farmers “try to grow wheat and raise sheep and goats on 2,800 hectares (7,000 acres) of semi-arid scrubland. A decade-long drought has made that harder. Hilltop springs where the animals once drank have dried up. As herds shrank and yields fell, farmers’ children moved away to take jobs in cities or at copper mines.”

Hope for Los Tomes comes in the form of three 60-square-metre (646-square-foot) nets stretched between poles on a ridge above the community. These atrapanieblas capture droplets from the fog that rolls in from the sea 4km (2.5 miles) away. They trickle down to a pipe, which channels the water to two troughs at the foot of the ridge, from which livestock drink. The banner-like nets can harvest 650 litres (140 gallons) of water a day. “We’re content: it’s produced the results we wanted,” says José Ossandón, the child’s father and the president of the co-operative.

Chile has been investigating fog capture since the 1950s. The dense fog that arises from the Humboldt current, called the camanchaca, can be harvested with the help of a coastal mountain range and strong winds. Earlier attempts to turn the mist into usable water failed. In 1990 fog nets at Chungungo, a fishing village north of Los Tomes, captured 8,000 litres a day.

At Majada Blanca, a goat-herding community north of Los Tomes, three 150-square-metre fog catchers feed a plantation of young olive trees, a splash of green in the brown scrub. When the trees mature they will produce 750 litres of organic olive oil a year, which the comuneros will be able to sell for about $12,000. They reckon the water source will be a big selling point. “We’ll be pioneers in the production of quality olive oil made with fog water,” says one of them, Ricardo Álvarez. A privately owned brewery in Peña Blanca was quick to spot fog water’s marketing appeal. It is the main ingredient of its artisanal beer, called Atrapaniebla. …

Less communal arrangements and the introduction of private investment would go along way to accelerate this remarkable, but workable, fog-catching experiment.

… MORE in “Making Money from Mist: The Feisty Fog-Catchers of Chile,” courtesy the Economist.

UPDATE (7/9):  Facebook thread. (And why do I bother?)

John Paterson I think one of qualifications of shithole country is having to.catch your own water.

Reply · 21h

Ilana Mercer How incisive. Let’s see, if your country has no water and you remedy it, you’re from a shithole country. nice. better to ask for foreign aid. maybe the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has some bottled water. but first say, “please sir can I have some water?”

 

Irving Rynning: Come again? Do you like or dislike the brilliance and simplicity of the nets? I love the low-tech way to get water, no pollution or great expense, but a rather high yield.

Who Knew? Microsoft Is On The Side Of The Little Angels

Business, IMMIGRATION, Technology

It was only a matter of time before Microsoft began to signal its virtue around the politically correct issue du jour.

The company came out to the world about its dismay at “the forcible separation of children from their families at the border,” and expressed support for “family unification,” which is, after all, its H-1B bread-and-butter.

When your CEOs are worth hundreds of millions, their “humble” dwellings have zip codes that place them far from the madding crowds.

As a company, Microsoft is dismayed by the forcible separation of children from their families at the border. Family unification has been a fundamental tenant [sic] of American policy and law since the end of World War II. As a company, Microsoft has worked for over 20 years to combine technology with the rule of law to ensure that children who are refugees and immigrants can remain with their parents. We need to continue to build on this noble tradition rather than change course now. We urge the administration to change its policy and Congress to pass legislation ensuring children are no longer separated from their families.

HERE.

UPDATED (7/9/018): Non-‘Shithole’ Countries Seem To Recover Quickly From Disasters, Natural Or Man-Made

Business, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Human Accomplishment, IMMIGRATION, Intelligence, Technology

In 2008, Iceland collapsed under the weight of its banking industry’s federal-reserve like excesses.

In 2018, Iceland’s is a red hot economy. The highly able population has shifted from finance to technology and tourism. No bailout—allowing the banks to collapse and a natural recovery take place—has a lot to do with it.

“… rather than stepping in with taxpayers’ money like the British and Americans did, the Icelandic government let its banks go bust.”

Likewise did Chile cope reasonably well with what was “one of the most powerful earthquakes in history.” We hear nothing of Chile’s struggles to recover.

Not so Haiti, the Africa of the Western Hemisphere.

Haiti is forever convulsed by political and natural disasters. It remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where four out of five people live in poverty and more than half in abject poverty (NYT).

It’s nearly two decades since a pair of earthquakes struck El Salvador in 2001. The US government granted Salvadorians a generous grant of privilege in the late 1990s, in the form of a temporary protected status (TPS) for nearly 200,000.

Ditto the “Haitians who were stranded after an earthquake in 2010.”

To the din of protest, “the United States’ Department of Homeland Security had only recently revoked the so-called temporary protection (it lasted nearly 2 decades).

“Shithole countries,” a Trump coinage, don’t seem to recover very well from disasters, natural or man-made, do they?

SEE RELATED READING:

“Trump’s ‘Shithole’ Controversy Deconstructed (Part 1)”
“Why Trump Pooh-Poohed ‘S-ithole’ Countries (Part 2)”

UPDATE (7/9/018):

Meanwhile in Haiti ...

How Are So-Called Right-Wing Feminists Different From The Left Variety? Not Much …

Affirmative Action, Feminism, Gender, Labor, Sex, Technology

So-called right-wing feminists such as Christina Sommers still don’t admit or grasp that, in aggregate, women have different aptitudes to men. Leveling the playing field (an impossibility, unless force is used) to them is just about choosing a different major.

For a more realistic survey of what women do in engineering and how they fare, read my “James Damore V. Google: Man Against Multinational & Matriarchy”:

Despite active recruiting and ample affirmative action, women made up only 14.5 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively, of computer science and electrical engineering graduates, in 2015. While they comprise 21.4 percent of undergraduates enrolled in engineering, females earned only 19.9 percent of all Bachelor’s degrees awarded by an engineering program in 2015.”

There is attrition!

Overall, and in the same year, 80.1 percent of Bachelor’s degrees in engineering went to men; 19.9 percent to women. (“Engineering by the Numbers,” By Brian L. Yoder, Ph.D.)