My goal in this blog is to distill meaning from the seemingly endless river of advances in science, technology, and business. And in particular, to find ways to use them to address the biggest technical challenge of our lives: Climate change.
I’m of the opinion that we can invent our way to a cleaner planet through technology innovation and a dose of capitalism to help it scale. That sort of claim should be met with some skepticism, though – it was capitalism that got us into this mess in the first place after all. If I believe this idea enough to promote it, I owe it to everyone to show my work.
As a result, I post long, researched posts on how technology can fuel change to our society – stories that are one part science, one part economics, and a strong dollop of humanity. My hope is that by the end of each narrative, I’ll have been able to communicate the what, how, and why. And together, we can use that knowledge to invent a better tomorrow.
Perspicacity is “the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness”. This 1966 story from the journal Science about astronaut recruitment efforts sums up its meaning in a more practical way:
To quote an Academy brochure, the quality most needed by a scientist-astronaut is “perspicacity.” He must, the brochure says, be able to quickly pick out, from among the thousands of things he sees, those that are significant, and to synthesize observations and develop and test working hypotheses.
The word has dropped in popularity in the last half-century. It’s time for it to come back.
Seth lives in Longmont, Colorado and works as a technology innovation consultant. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech, which he got in order to satisfy a long-standing itch to understand how the world works. But it’s probably just as useful to know that he has a bachelors from a really good liberal arts college, has co-founded several startups, and has over 80 issued US patents in a bunch of different fields, from energy storage to medical devices to software. You can reach him at seth /at/ perspicacity /dot/ xyz.