> As for your "euro 2 cents" it buys a lot. I enjoyed reading EU efforts 
> to develop new car technology and mentioned Linux, etc. A Finlander 
> replied. Then I get email from a local farmer who insists corn is king, 
> and he wants to borrow money for a used Lincoln Town Car. After the snow 
> melts and 5 feet of ground thaws he might get his corn and beans in by 
> summer solstice this year. Innovation is a struggle.

Tell your local farmer that corn has more technology attached to it, and that
a used TownCar's advance will not cut it. Suggest that they retire now; they
seem to be dettached from the present and the future.

I have a friend who works for a (mostly local) company called Sentera, which
is a "precision agriculture" innovator. They typically fly drones to monitor
crop-fields, to manage use of fertilizer. This is a positive development, in
that, we know in recent years there has been excessive use of fertilizers in
corn fields "just in case." The big implication is that water in some regions
of Minnesota is un-drinkable, and the almighty Mississippi is taking more of
thse poissons downstream. Using the advanced, robotics computer-vision methods,
use of such chemicals can -in principle- be kept to a minimum. So it is a win.

My personal views are more in-line with what has been happening in Detroit. I
am proud to say that when my friends and I wanted to buy warehouse properties
in Detroit and turn them into "urban agriculture" centers, we were not the only
ones thinking about it. This is now happening in Detroit, and from what I heard
on MPR last week, it is going ot be profitable. I wish I had followed through.

In some ways, the (First) world is becoming a better place.