Lukas Müller

Salzburg, Austria

About Lukas

Languages

English, German

Comments & conversations

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Lukas Müller
Posted almost 4 years ago
What is the single most important question that the youth of this era need to ask themselves?
Is there even a single most important question to ask? Sure, we still didn't answer the "why are we question". But often the answer to questions lies within the understanding of questions themselves. If you can't answer a question, maybe it's worthwhile to think about why you are asking it? What I find very usefull is to try to understand my own thoughts, by trying to figure out the ultimate consequences of them, and thus deriving the use of these thoughts from that. So pherhaps the answer to some important philosophical questions lies in the universal understanding of what we are. Which can probably only be answered once we are able to fully engineer a being's mind. And maybe even then our understanding might not be absolute. As genetics, informatics and other sciences evolve, sooner or later we will have to tear down the wall between mind and matter, I strongly believe.
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Lukas Müller
Posted almost 4 years ago
What are a few things your country could learn from other countries?
Don't forget about the people, who are not in the system. google.de results for "uninsured americans" = 50 Million, roughly 20%. compared to "uninsured europeans" = no result. (ok, Europe is not really a nation, but none the less ;-)) Also, you may find some of these npr articles interesting: http://www.npr.org/series/91972152/health-care-for-all
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Lukas Müller
Posted almost 4 years ago
How do we reform education?
Take a look at the Khan Academy: http://www.khanacademy.org/ The founder Salman Khan also held a talk on TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html It's far from perfect, sure. But it's better than any unique idea that I can think of, capable of changing education. It's a pioneer project, paving the way for others to follow. :-)
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Lukas Müller
Posted almost 4 years ago
A conversation with Shell: How can we create a future where every city has reliable energy, clean water and enough to eat?
Beeing a historical as well as an actual part of the kind of infrastructure that we are now - both for good reasons as well as out of necessity - trying to overcome, Shell and companies alike face the challenge of adapting to the ongoing change towards more sustainable technologies, while at the same time having to foster the very demand for such, in order to be able to make high investments in "renewable" techs without having to abandon business goals. Due to the unrenewable nature of fossil fuels, one might be inclined to believe that rising prices will eventually solve the incentives problem, arguing that the performance required of renewables in order to succeed on the market gradually declines inversely proportional to the rise in energy prices, making renewables sooner or later an economic imperative. (to the extent they don't need unrenewable resources themselves...) There are good reasons to believe that. Let the market decide as some say. But that only works smoothly if all external costs are taken into account and the market is not distorted in one way or the other, e.g. by direct or indirect subsidies. But as I stated in my previous posting, there is a danger of short term "thinking" trying to bypass these high energy prices, that are in fact needed by decision makers to justify the inevitable change in strategy. Not just can such subsidies become a problem for society, but also for traditional energy suppliers I would argue, as such short term evasion tactics eventually lead to a more rapid, more challenging shift towards renewables. As the time runs out, let me just conclude with a few ideas: - Experience in renewable technology gained in more advanced markets (with renewable tech subsidies) can help overcome rapid changes in markets that have been held back by subsidies of fossil fuels. - Criticism concerning the paradox of beeing a fossil giant while at the same time advocating change can best be adressed with total openness.
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Lukas Müller
Posted almost 4 years ago
A conversation with Shell: How can we create a future where every city has reliable energy, clean water and enough to eat?
Cities are great, but have only been made possible through energy input from elsewhere. Today, this energy comes to a very significant part in the form of fossil - not renewable - fuels. I don't wish to be gloomy, but unless we find an alternative to that, our cities will inevitably collapse. Not knowing - but having to believe - that such alternatives are out there, what is our biggest problem? In the short term, evading and postponing tactics appear to be a good solution. But they aren't in the long run. As an example of such: In the face of rising commodity prices, subsidies may help a politician in becoming reelected, by giving the short term impression of having solved the problem. But this does not just postpone the problem, which in itself might be a good thing, as it would give developers, companies and inventors more time to come up with solutions. No. Once the problem strikes, the changes will be far more rapid, hiting a less aware society, that is less prepared and has less resources left to react. While there are food, energy and fuel subsidies in some countries, in other countries these subsidies may occur to some extent indirectly in the form of wars, welfare and bailouts. So what can Shell and others do? A few ideas to create awareness and distribute knowlege of solutions: - Creating awareness of the reliability of our modern systems to fossil fuels, by conducting and publishing a study on the effects a deprivation of various fossil fuels would have on various modern cities as they are. - Transparently financing new or existing open initiatives in linking up cities and sharing of best practices. (funding of "TED cities" conferences with significant players attending only) - looking for new economic paradigms that bridge the gap of what fiscal figures should stand for indirectly and what is actually happening on the ground. If you want your goals to be acknowledged openly, act openly.
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Lukas Müller
Posted about 4 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
The fossils are going to run out - and on the way there they are going to become more and more expensive. It's pure economics. A limited good with an increasing demand. Because of this, some renewable technologies - that do not rely on the use of fossils in their production too much - are going to become more and more competitive. But in the mid-term it is only going to be about one abstract thought only: where energy is and how we can harvest it in a way that doesn't cost us more than it brings in. And obviously every day unimaginable amounts of energy from the sun are wasted. Just think about it. Take an astronomy class. The time of complete transition is going to come, because it has to. My argument is that we have to embrace research and investment in renewable technologies instead of waiting until it is too late and we run out of energy, or others have the technologies. There are good reasons to invest in renewables and it doesn't matter that much whether those investments are private or public, because the latter simply is a gigantic economic force that exists. What matters is only that those investments are taking place. Why? Imagine the world without fossils. Cities and societies would collapse. Imagine a world with efficient technologies to harvest the energy of the sun, opening gigantic opportunities of growth. Now in what world do you want to live in? And do you want to be the one with the key to this world, or do you prefer to wait and sit around, hoping that eventually someone opens that door for you? Sure we don't know if it is possible - but that doesn't mean we'd know that it isn't. Cost matters. I agree, but draw different conclusions. Anyhow, now that the discussion is over in a few hours, I'd like to say that it was a pleasure talking to you as well as everyone else throughout the course of this discussion. I hope that I was able to inspire some to rethink established beliefs through my postings.. Let the sun shine with you. ;-)
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Lukas Müller
Posted over 4 years ago
Why kids lose curiosity in the process of growing up?
I would argue that besides parents turning kids' questions down (maybe because they don't have the energy to answer them, or just because they feel insecure not to be able to know and answer every question of their children) and not holding education up as a high value, I believe that school does too seldom allow children to follow their own curiosity, if there is any left once they get there. In a perfect school, children would come up with the questions and answers themselves through curious play. But how do you do that, and is it possible in every subject? How much stuff would children break in physics? Possibly hurt themselves while experimenting? How is it possible to condense the knowledge of centuries in a guided lecture that on the other hand gives children enough autonomy to come up with the questions and answers themselves? I don't know, but I believe that we will see some improvements in this through virtual reality in a distant future. But until then, we can begin with open school and education projects on the net, like they already exist in the form of the Khan Academy, of recorded lectures from top universities on the net, or just like TED or Wikipedia. But it seems the interconnections are still missing. What we have are only different types of web-sites, but no web-nets or web-connections.
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Lukas Müller
Posted over 4 years ago
Nuclear Energy vs Other Non-Fossil Fuel based energy sources
Hi Mark, here are a few things you can look up on the internet: - The yearly UN International Energy Agency statistics PDF file - google for: IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2010 - For additional information regarding the current status of nuclear and renewables, take a look at the Wikipedia articles regarding nuclear energy, wind energy and offshore wind energy. You can find additional comments, summaries and interpretations of the numbers behind these links in some of my earlier postings. Lukas