Preparing for a return to the dark ages

Add one more thing to the list of items that terrify me every night when I go to sleep. Eventually, a solar storm will strike that penetrates the Earth's electromagnetic field and wipes out pretty much every electronic on the planet. If that's not bad enough: our current systems mean we'll have about 20 minutes warning before it's all over.

The White House is preparing, at least
So, I guess the good news is that when it happens, it won't be as bad as it could be? In the past week, the White House’s National Science and Technology Council shared its preparation plans for just this event. The report is more of a call to action than an actual plan (so let's hope this doesn't happen in the next year or two!), but at least we're preparing. It's another reminder that as easy a target it may seem to be, cutting our national investment in NASA and the sciences isn't a great plan.

Wes Welker is back... yay?
The Rams signed former Patriot Wes Welker back to an NFL contract. While he certainly has the right to do with his body as he will, it's another reminder of the NFL's hollow commitment to anything except itself. Plenty of lip service to women's issues; Greg Hardy plays each week. Laser-focus on concussions: Wes Welker is back on a contract and on the field. It's probably inevitable that he gets laid out and concussed at some point, and it'll be a shame when it happens.

Philadelphia: 66 degrees in November
2015 is now the warmest year on record. El Nino has a lot to do with that, but it's felt uncomfortably like April here in Philadelphia, even though the calendar says differently. I don't want to enter into a political debate focused on assigning blame for climate change. Even if by act of God, we have to recognize the data is incontrovertible: the climate is changing, and we need to act to protect our species before it's too late.

The decay of Twitter
I am an active Twitter user. The Atlantic this week looks at how Twitter has changed in the past year. It showed its incredible power during the protests in Ferguson and elsewhere, but is also showing its flaws both in its performance (financial, stock, and user growth) and in its usage. Twitter is the most unfiltered of the networks, which has always been its strength and weakness.

Don't take that money!
The founder of Basecamp weighs in this week with a really great Medium post on why the current culture for startups is polluted by outside money. Emphasis on unicorns, disruptive technologies and liquidity events have eliminated the interest in building solid businesses. I think about my experience, where every business I've been in has shown steady growth and profit, and how that contrasts with companies that lose money hand over fist while getting investment after investment, praying for an exit. DHH's advice: skip the money and the Kool-Aid, and focus on building a great business. I agree.