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Parlons Futur 26/11/2019 : Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019 ; le fabuleux destin de Martine Rothblatt ; CollapseOS : le système d'exploitation open source pour faire face à l'apocalypse

Le début de la newsletter à retrouver ici.

Voici les 4 news dont vous trouverez le résumé au format bullet points plus bas :

  • Pourquoi l'ISF américain que propose la candidate démocrate Elizabeth Warren n'échouera pas, selon son concepteur, l'économiste français Gabriel Zucman (tribune dans le Washington Post)
  • Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019 (by Scientific American and World Economic Forum)
  • L'histoire incroyable de Martine Rothblatt : sa fille souffrait d'une maladie rare, elle met un au point un remède, la sauve, et crée au passage une entreprise faisant plus d'un milliard de dollars de revenus annuels (et ce n'est que le début)
  • CollapseOS : le système d'exploitation open source pour faire face à l'apocalypse, qu'on peut faire tourner sur un ordi construit avec des pièces détachées faciles à trouver
Pourquoi l'ISF américain que propose la candidate démocrate Elizabeth Warren n'échouera pas, selon son concepteur, l'économiste français Gabriel Zucman (tribune dans le Washington Post)
  • Gabriel Zucman a été l'élève de Thomas Piketty et travaille étroitement aus USA avec Emmanuel Saez, un autre économiste français. Leur idée d'un ISF revisité a été reprise par Elizabeth Warren (et Bernie Sanders)
  • her plan : tax wealth above $50 million at a 2%e and wealth above $1 billion at 3%
  • first problem for the wealth taxes in Europe that were abandoned : Europe tolerates tax competition. A tax-averse Parisian just needs to move to Brussels to become immediately free from taxation in France; his friends remain a 90-minute train ride away.
  • The situation in the United States is different. You can’t shirk your tax responsibilities by moving, because U.S. citizens are responsible to the Internal Revenue Service no matter where they live. The only way to escape the IRS is to renounce citizenship, an extreme move that in both Warren’s and Sanders’s plans would trigger a large exit tax of 40 percent on net worth.
  • Europeans also tolerated tax evasion to a foolish degree. Until January 2018, the E.U. did not require banks in Switzerland (and other tax havens) to share information with national tax authorities, which made hiding assets child’s play.
    • A recent study , based on leaks from offshore banks (the “Swiss Leaks” from HSBC Switzerland and the Panama Papers), found that in 2007, the wealthiest Scandinavians evaded close to 20% of their taxes through hidden offshore accounts.
  • The United States has been more aggressive on this front. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which compels foreign financial institutions to send detailed information to the IRS about the accounts of U.S. citizens each year, or face sanctions. Almost all foreign banks have agreed to cooperate.
  • The European wealth taxes also included myriad exemptions, deductions and other breaks that the Warren and Sanders plans forgo
    • one reason such deductions were deemed politically necessary in Europe is that wealth taxes fell on a much broader population than those proposed here.
    • In Warren’s plan, recall, all net wealth below $50 million is exempted; in the Sanders version, the exemption is $32 million.
  • In Europe, wealth taxes have tended to start around $1 million, meaning they hit about 2% of the population, compared with about 0.1% for the proposed U.S. plans.
    • In Europe, then, the “merely rich” (as opposed to the super-rich) owners of fairly valuable houses and smallish businesses lobbied for exemptions from the wealth tax, claiming that they faced liquidity constraints: Their money was tied up in their houses or businesses.
    • But the notion that someone worth $100 million doesn’t have enough cash on hand to pay a $1 million tax, the bill that would be due under Warren’s plan, is self-evidently absurd, and it’s hard to imagine the argument developing any political support.
  • We recently calculated that, considering all taxes at all levels of government, the richest 400 Americans pay 23% of their income in taxes, a lower rate than the working and middle classes pay.
  • Tax dodging is not a law of nature, an unchangeable fate that dooms tax justice. In Europe, a choice was made to let wealth taxes fail rather than to shore up their weaknesses.
Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2019 (Scientific American and World Economic Forum)
  • Together with the World Economic Forum, Scientific American convened an international Steering Group of leading technology experts and engaged in an intense process to identify this year's “Top 10 Emerging Technologies.”
  • After soliciting nominations from additional experts around the globe, the Steering Group evaluated dozens of proposals according to a number of criteria:
    • Do the suggested technologies have the potential to provide major benefits to societies and economies?
    • Could they alter established ways of doing things?
    • Are they still in early stages of development but attracting a lot of interest from research labs, companies or investors?
    • Are they likely to make significant inroads in the next several years?
  • 1 Environment : Bioplastics Could Solve a Major Pollution Problem
  • 2 Engineering : Social Robots Play Nicely with Others
  • 3 Engineering : Tiny Lenses Will Enable Design of Miniature Optical Devices
  • 4 Medical & Biotech : A Special Class of Proteins Offers Promising Targets for Drugs for Cancer and Alzheimer’s
  • 5 Environment : Smarter Fertilizers Can Reduce Environmental Contamination
  • 6 Computing : Collaborative Telepresence Could Render Distance (Relatively) Meaningless
  • 7 Public Health : Advanced Food Tracking and Packaging Will Save Lives and Cut Waste
    • By integrating growers, distributors and retailers on a common blockchain, Food Trust creates a trusted record of a given food's path through the end-to-end supply chain. In a test using the technology, Walmart traced the origin of a “contaminated” item in seconds; with the standard mix of written and digital records, this would have taken days. With this capability, retailers and restaurants can remove a contaminated item from circulation virtually immediately and destroy only stock that came from the same source (say, a particular grower of romaine lettuce) instead of wasting entire national stocks of the item
    • For instance, Timestrip UK and Vitsab International have independently created sensor tags that change color if a product has been exposed to above-recommended temperatures, and Insignia Technologies sells a sensor that slowly changes color after a package has been opened and indicates when the time has come to toss the food. (The color changes more quickly if the product is not stored at the proper temperature.) Sensors that reveal the gaseous by-products of spoilage are also being developed. Beyond preventing sickness, such sensors can reduce waste by showing that a food is safe to eat.
  • 8 Energy : Safer Nuclear Reactors Are on the Way
  • 9 Medical & Biotech : DNA Data Storage Is Closer Than You Think
    • DNA-based data storage. DNA—which consists of long chains of the nucleotides A, T, C and G—is life's information-storage material. Data can be stored in the sequence of these letters, turning DNA into a new form of information technology. It is already routinely sequenced (read), synthesized (written to) and accurately copied with ease. DNA is also incredibly stable, as has been demonstrated by the complete genome sequencing of a fossil horse that lived more than 500,000 years ago. And storing it does not require much energy.
    • But it is the storage capacity that shines. DNA can accurately stow massive amounts of data at a density far exceeding that of electronic devices. The simple bacterium Escherichia coli, for instance, has a storage density of about 1019 bits per cubic centimeter, according to calculations published in 2016 in Nature Materials by George Church of Harvard University and his colleagues. At that density, all the world's current storage needs for a year could be well met by a cube of DNA measuring about one meter on a side.
  • 10 Energy : Utility-Scale Energy Storage Will Enable a Renewable Grid
L'histoire incroyable de Martine Rothblatt : sa fille souffrait d'une maladie rare, elle met un au point un remède, la sauve, et crée au passage une entreprise faisant plus d'un milliard de dollars de revenus annuels
  • Martine began her life as Martin. He launched a series of space-based communications companies.
  • In the middle of this, Martin got married, had a daughter named Jenesis. Later decided he was a she trapped in the wrong body. So Martin embarked on her second moonshot—sex reassignment surgery—and became Martine.
  • Jenesis got sick, Martine cashed out of his companies and plunged this capital into hunting for a cure.
  • Eventually, this led her to an orphan drug for pulmonary hypertension. Glaxo owned the patent, but they’d shelved it. So Martine built a team of scientists and managed to license the drug.
  • What she actually got from Glaxo was a small Baggie filled with a few tablespoons of white powder that—in tests with rats—had showed a little promise a long time ago.
  • Still, United Therapeutics was born.
  • A hundred top chemists said the patent would never become a medicine, but three years later, when Martine’s daughter was literally taking her last breaths, the drug hit the market.
  • Today, Jenesis is in her mid-thirties, the drug that saved her life generates 1.5 billion USD in annual revenue for United Therapeutics, and the number of patients now living with pulmonary hypertension has climbed from two thousand to forty thousand.
  • Yet Martine’s drug was a half measure. It managed the condition, but wasn’t a cure. In fact, right now, the only cure for pulmonary hypertension—or, for that matter, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, or COPD—is a lung transplant.
  • In the U.S., however, only two thousand lungs a year become available, while over half a million people die of lung failure from tobacco-related ailments alone.
  • These dire figures led to another Martine moonshot: create an unlimited supply of transplantable organs.
  • Une approche triple :
    • First, to solve the problem of lung replacement, she decided not to reinvent the wheel. Today, because the lungs of the dying fill up with toxic chemicals, over 80 percent of those donated for transplant get discarded.
      • So Martine helped perfect a way to keep lungs alive outside the body, what’s technically called “ex vivo lung perfusion.” Already, this procedure has saved thousands of lives. But once again, she wasn’t done.
    • Next, Martine attacked the larger problem of organ shortages through xenotransplantation. It’s an old and controversial idea—harvest fresh animal organs to replace failing human ones—but issues of disease, rejection, and animal cruelty have kept it sidelined. Martine decided to push through.
      • Pig organs are similar to human organs, so she started there. By teaming up with Craig Venter and Synthetic Genomics, the same outfit that decoded the human genome, she made the most complete genetic map of a pig to date.
      • Next, CRISPR knocked out all the genes that led to viruses, eliminating the dangers of disease and producing a “clean” pig. Now their latest goal is the biggest: knock out the genes that lead to organ rejection in humans. If successful, it’ll mean a near-infinite organ supply—albeit one that comes with a whole lot of suffering for pigs.
    • To combat that final problem, Martine is using cutting-edge tissue engineering techniques in an attempt to bypass animals entirely. Leveraging collagen, she’s begun 3D printing an artificial lung scaffold. And to turn that scaffold into a living lung, Martine is now experimenting with stem cells.
  • she’s even working to minimize delivery time or organs to a waiting patient : Martine backed Beta Technologies’ electric flying car, with plans to use these eco-friendly vehicles to whisk newly minted organs to patients in need.
  • at age sixty, just for the fun of it, she became a helicopter pilot herself. Not only that— in a vehicle designed by her company, Martine then set a world record for speed in an electric helicopter.
  • (source)
CollapseOS : le système d'exploitation open source pour faire face à l'apocalypse, qu'on peut faire tourner sur un ordi construit avec des pièces détachées faciles à trouver
  • The operating system is designed to work with ubiquitous, easy-to-scavenge (scavenge : récupérer en fouillant) components in a future where consumer electronics are a thing of the past.
  • According to its creator, software developer Virgil Dupras, Collapse OS is what the people of the future will need to reconfigure their scavenged iPhones.
  • He built Collapse OS to run on parts that he suspects will be readily available to scavengers, and also programmed the operating system to be self-assembling and self-contained to make it easier to get up and running with makeshift machines.
  • The odds the operating system will help anyone are slim. It’s perfect for an apocalypse where we can’t use modern consumer electronics, but also that’s not quite so catastrophic that everyone is too busy fighting over the last sliver of food to care about computers.
  • “I’m doing this to mitigate a risk that I think is real,” Dupras told Motherboard. “Not inevitable, but likely enough to warrant a modest effort.”
  • According to the Collapse OS site, Dupras envisions a world where the global supply chain collapses by 2030. In this possible future—kind of a medium-apocalypse—populations won’t be able to mass produce electronics anymore, but they’ll still be an enormous source of political and social power. Anyone who can scavenge electronics and reprogram them will gain a huge advantage over those who don't.
  • Collapse OS will work with 8-bit microprocessors that can be found in desktop computers, cash registers, musical instruments, graphing calculators, and everything in between. "These processors have been in production for so long and because it's been used in so many machines, scavenger have good chances of getting their hands on it."
  • Qu'en penser ? Bien qu'il y ait peu de chances que cela serve, cela renforce l'idée qu'en cas de catastrophe sur Terre, les mieux placés pour reconstruire la civilisation sont les survivants sur Terre, et non de loitains colons venant de Mars. En effet, comme partagé la semaine dernière, quelle que soit la catastrophe crédible qui puisse frapper l'humanité dans un horizon crédible de temps (disons 500,000 ans), que ce soit une guerre thermonucléaire totale, l'impact d'un astéroïde crédible ou autre, il y aura toujours des humains pour survivre dans un coin ou un autre de la Terre, et ce humains seront les mieux placés pour reconstruire la civilisation (notamment grâce à ces réserves technologiques), non pas ceux éventuellement vivant sur Mars. Les humains ne sont pas les dinosaures, nous sommes bien plus résilients et adaptables, nous sommes omnivores, avons pu coloniser la Terre entière ou presque dès l'Âge de pierre, de l'Arctique à la Terre de Feu et ailleurs.