big ideas

Is plastic recycling a lie?

Short answer: yes. “Rogue, like most recycling companies, had been sending plastic trash to China, but when China shut its doors two years ago, Leebrick scoured the U.S. for buyers. She could find only someone who wanted white milk jugs. […]

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NASA chose SpaceX to take humans back to the moon

I just finished reading a book about the early days of SpaceX. The number of times the company came close to death is remarkable. “SpaceX beats out Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics to be the sole provider […]

big ideas

The Wolfram Physics Project

One year in, Stephen Wolfram discusses the progress of his project to develop a new fundamental theory of physics. The level of abstraction here is beyond me so I couldn’t get all the way through this. “The way I see […]

big ideas

Aircraft carriers take to the air

“Like medieval castles in the age of the cannon, technological advance threatens to make [aircraft carriers] redundant. Satellites and over-the-horizon radars mean pinpointing their locations is easier. And a single well-aimed, well-armed missile may be enough to render a carrier […]

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What is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)?

“It’s produced from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel. Using SAF results in a reduction in carbon emissions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces over the lifecycle of the fuel.” […]

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Not all early human societies were small-scale egalitarian bands

“A grand research project created our origin myth that early human societies were all egalitarian, mobile and small-scale…” In fact, “Sedentary and hierarchical hunter-gatherers are not unusual. If anything, it’s the profusion of mobile, egalitarian bands that might be the […]

big ideas

If aliens exist, here’s how we’ll find them

“Two esteemed astrophysicists peer into the future of space exploration.” This article gets wild somewhere in the middle. The more I encounter the frameworks that space theorists use, like the Kardashev scale, the more they start to seem normal. | learn more