J.D. Moyer

sci-fi writer, beat maker, self-experimenter

Month: May 2017

Seven Big Questions For the Next 100 Years

One way I generate ideas for science fiction stories is to consider big unanswered questions, and then consider how various combinations of results might play out. The challenge is to try to imagine a future that is neither an apocalyptic wasteland nor a rosy utopia, but rather messy and complex with lots of good aspects as well as miserable aspects (as reality tends to be).

Probable 100-year megatrends include including a warming climate, advances in technology and artificial intelligence, the human population peak, and major ecological disruption, especially in the oceans. But the future is not written. Here are seven major questions/variables I’m considering:

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Lightweight Chromebook for the Travel Win

I just got back from a family vacation in Spain and France, mostly to visit my dad and his wife who live in a small village near Avignon. As a family we’ve been trying to travel as light as possible. Last summer we flew on WOW Airlines and decided to not check any baggage, which limited us each to a 5kg carry-on bag. For this trip we flew Norwegian Air, which has a 10kg carry-on bag limit per person. That felt generous by comparison, and at the last minute I decided it might be nice to have some sort of computing device besides my phone.

I haven’t taken an expensive laptop on vacation since my MacBook Pro got nicked in Hawaii from our rental apartment. But with near-ubiquitous wifi in Europe, I thought it might be time for my own Chromebook. Kia bought an HP Chromebook 11 a few years ago and we shared it during our Italy trip last summer, but I knew she had a few projects to manage remotely on this trip, and there wouldn’t be much sharing. So I hopped on my bike and rolled down to Best Buy the day before our trip.

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No Car Update: Month 16

Not my car. Probably not your car either.

So we gave up. Or gave in. After more than a year without a car, we decided to get one.

We knew we wanted a hatchback. You can fit anything in a hatchback. One time we purchased a bunch of furniture at IKEA, pulled our Fiat 500 into the loading zone next to a guy in a Ford F-150 (that’s a biggish pickup truck, for you European readers). He gave us a dubious look until we popped the hatch, folded down the back seat, and loaded in those flat-packs no problem. I think we got a tiny nod of appreciation.

After reading too many reviews and watching too many YouTube video reviews, I narrowed it down to the Yaris, the Prius c (both Toyota), the VW Golf or eGolf, and the Honda Fit. I created an account on TrueCar to get some estimates. I also called a few dealerships directly to get some lease quotes.

That’s when things started going south.

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