Agencies Treating Solar Eclipse as "Disaster"
On August 21st, the U.S. will experience a most breathtaking solar eclipse.  "Modern" America hasn't seen anything like it in almost 100 years.  Things have changed a lot in that time:  smart phones, fast cars and highways, electrification of the world....millenials.

How will people react to this amazing celestial event?  Eclipse facts:  the temperature will drop 20 degrees, nocturnal animals will emerge (crickets will chirp, birds will go quiet, etc.), the sky will darken significantly...  bottom line:  It's going to be spectacular!

One of the biggest concerns is traffic and accidents.  Small towns set to have the best view of the event are getting booked and overrun with visitor requests.  These towns are not set up to handle 20,000 people (or more) over their normal population.  The infrastructure is not there, the public safety and EMS is not there.  Many local municpalities are reacting to the eclipse, already, as a "disaster" scenario -- some are even going so far as to advise their citizens to "stockpile food and water" and to plan on "emergency services being delayed".

Pragmatic concerns like traffic aside, people who study space weather and prophecy note other "problems" which might accompany an eclipse in the form of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (due to gravitational and sun-generated effects of the eclipse, stellar alignments, etc.)....some believe, this eclipse could bring general signals of the Apocalypse.

Whether your personal take is "non-event", mere curiosity, or "watch carefully" -- this eclipse is going to be something to remember, so our advice at Omega is this:  Enjoy with caution and preparation.  Big surprise!

Artificial Intelligence Poses "Existential Risk"
Elon musk, the tech mogul behind the Tesla electric car, seems to agree with many other computer scientists and robotics experts that "AI" is not to be taken lightly.  In a recent interview, he was quoted as saying artificial intelligence poses an "existential risk" to human kind.  Computing power, in keeping with Moore's law, is growing at an exponential rate.  All of the cell phones which existed in the world in 1990 do not have the power which is now contained in just one iPhone.

Google says:  "Moore's law refers to an observation made by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in 1965. He noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. Moore's law predicts that this trend will continue into the foreseeable future."

Look into this topic for yourself.  I'll give you a few ideas:

  • Check out the book "Robopocalypse" -- great, fun, realistic read.  Dire!
  • Read about the "state of artificial intelligence" from scientific sources.
  • Understand the state of robotics in the world today (not a guy in a suit!):

 

Visa Offers Restaurants $10,000 to Go Cashless
The worldwide march towards a "cashless society" continues.  It's been talked about for decades and recently India ditched certain denominations of its currency to the wide dismay and even death of some citizens.  Yes, five people died of exhaustion while waiting in lines to exchange currency.  It's true!  For what purpose?

European countries' governments are talking about going cashless....now Visa is enticing businesses here in the U.S.A. to cool it with the cabbage.  Shoot, the "green back" is hardly green any more anyway.  You can expect to see more of this move in the name of saving humanity from the terrorist bogeyman and drug dealers, of course, but in the end it means total surveillance of all purchases and the end of garage sales as we know them.

Sounds like a great idea.  Not to mention having the infrastructure in place to actually implement a "you-can't-buy-or-sell-without-this-chip" system ("the mark" anyone?).  Why does anyone really care if we use cash?  Just like outlawing drugs doesn't stop the drug trade and outlawing guns won't stop gun deaths -- outlawing cash will not stop bad people from doing bad things.  Seems like just another way to exert more control over We the Pleebs.


Chinese Develops First Overseas Military Base
Where?  Djibouti, Africa.  Just south of the Suez Canal.  Hmm.

Perfect choke point on the Pacific trade routes.  Well played, China.  Safe money says this is just the first of such bases we'll see over the next 20 years.  Let's see how the U.S. state department likes it when China establishes a base in Mexico, for example.  We Americans are about to understand what it feels like to have another big fish in the pond.