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tracking. and amplifying. for the record.
High Altitude Balloon Lounges?
BLUF: Tourism start-up ‘Space Perspective’ has released images of its planned ‘space cabin’ enterprise. We may be seeing the beginning of societal stratification amongst the Earth’s stratosphere.
From Asimov’s Emperors on Trantor to Morgan’s Altered Carbon, science fiction often depicts the oppressive inequality of modern socio-economic environments by placing the rich, powerful, and beautiful in the clouds. These are not flights of fancy: Musk’s upward vision, Bezos’s trip to space and Branson’s space zealotry indicate powerful eyes are on the skies.
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The question is, will the trend continue and to what heights are social elites willing to climb to avoid reality?
Where is AUKUS going?
BLUF: Australia, the UK, and the US are collaboratively developing hypersonic weapons, in the first expansion of the 2021 AUKUS deal.
The AUKUS alliance is possibly the most significant security arrangement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States since World War Two. The deal first regarded submarines but has always been described, by the signatories as an extendable arrangement. Initial cooperation would be followed by collaborative development in AI, Quantum Computing and Cybersecurity. But the expansion into hypersonic missiles could represent a change in direction, at least from what was publicly announced. Perhaps this recalculation has been influenced by China’s flaunted acquisition and Russian successful use in Ukraine.
The question is, what’s next, will Western security arrangements ever find themselves in a position to dictate, rather than react to security developments?
3D Printing a way to save coral reefs
BLUF: Brazilian scientists 3d print “cribs” to give coral a safe space to recover from the heat waves, bleaching events, sedimentation, and other disturbances.
Hobbyists Brazil’s coral ecosystems are the only reefs located in the south Atlantic Ocean. Like other reefs, they have been subject to periodic bleaching events. Enter 3D printing. 3D printing is a way of making products and components from a digital model or computer file. Historically, manufacturing relied on subtractive techniques: a process in which unnecessary excess is removed from a block of material (such as steel, plastic, marble, etc.) until the desired final product takes shape. 3D printing entails manufacturing a desired product by adding layers of material until the desired shape is achieved, often reducing material waste. Scientists and community volunteers in Brazil are pointing the way to build more resilience into coral ecosystems and, in the process, helping to save towns, economies, and coastlines.