Black Gold

May 28 2008 / by Jeff Hilford / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 8 Hot

The economy is a funny thing. As oil prices, and commodity prices in general, have gone wild in the past year or so, there are many interesting ripple effects. Some are obvious and quantifiable, such as the increase in venture capital investment into green/alternative energy sources and plummeting SUV sales. But here is a micro-trend that could gain some traction if oil prices continue to rise. A farmer in Indiana installed a drill on his property that produces about 3 barrels of oil a day – worth almost $400 dollars at today’s price of about $130/barrel.

Of course you have to have oil in your backyard to actually make this work – but if oil ever gets to be the same price as gold – then we’ll really see a trend in backyard prospecting.

When Nanobots Can Accomplish Anything, What Will Happen to the Global Economy?

October 15 2008 / by John Heylin / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 5 Hot

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a successful nanobot design goes into production. These little guys can build just about anything you want, including more of themselves. But, barring an end-of-the-world scenario where the world gets covered with self-replicating nanobots (Grey Goo), what can we expect in the world around us?

The one thing that popped into my head last night was the idea that if nanobots could remove elements from their surroundings to build themselves, than means they could potentially mine areas for precious metals too tiny for us to mine ourselves. Nanobots could scour the dust, deserts, forests and hills for single-atom particles, a million of them being able to amass enough for a fifty-pound ball of plutonium.

So what about other precious metals?

The worlds oceans contain an estimated 20 million tons of gold. Washed down from land over billions of years and sitting in a suspended solution (salt water), it could be ripe for the taking. In fact, if people were able to mine all the gold out of the Oceans and it were equally dispersed to the global population, we’d all be stinking rich. “If all the gold suspended in the world’s seawater were mined, each person on Earth could have about 9 pounds of gold.” It would change the face of the world.

There are a few different things that could happen from this. Firstly, the worlds banks could finally base all of their currency on a gold standard. The US Dollar, for instance, only has value because we believe it to have value. Gold backing is an incredibly small part of America’s economy. Would this mean an economic boom? Pumping nine pounds of gold per person into an economy would be very good.

But it could take another turn.

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