Brett_

Brett_

  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    You don't need to look to the future to see what an authoritarian regime combined with heavy collaboration with corporate and business elites looks like. That combination characterized much of Latin America for the twentieth century, as well as East...
  • Commented on Default Option
    On topic- It looks like Syriza is going to win pretty big. The Guardian says there's a chance they might even get an outright majority, which would be very good news....
  • Commented on Default Option
    Agreed. From a US perspective, it's especially easy to see how it would go bad - a lot of US public housing in the cities ended up being terrible because of fierce opposition from the real estate business about any...
  • Commented on Default Option
    The "barracks and a chow hall" proposal would definitely be a lot cheaper than a basic income, although the downside would be the loss of flexibility. It would have the same issues for the poor as SNAP/food stamps does today...
  • Commented on Default Option
    Anyways, back on topic- If Syriza manages to form a government and press the EU on debt relief, then the whole situation is Win-Win for them. 1. If the EU relents, they get some serious debt relief and can ease...
  • Commented on Default Option
    Basic Income again, hmm. Common topic- It's not as bad as it sounds, although it would require a tax increase - my guess is you'd need to increase federal tax rates across the board and have the states all increase...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    I'll have to check that Graeber passage again. In England's case, I thought monetary taxes came after the money - landholders/nobles/whatever eventually preferred to just pay a fee to their liege lords rather than actually supply some level of soldiers...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    If you're only looking at today, then you can't really run a base-load grid entirely off of renewables - but we're talking about the future, right? During which it's certainly possible to weave together a diverse set of renewable energy...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Where is this "expensive energy" argument coming from? It might get expensive in a particular form - petroleum fuels - but in general energy is cheap and getting cheaper, especially with the cheaper cost of solar power. And you don't...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    I had a crazy idea. Could you build an airplane powered over at least short routes by flywheels?...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    It's good they're a small share of overall emissions, on the order of 2-4% of the annual total. You might be able to offset that with tree planting programs. If you really wanted to build a low-emission plane, you could...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    I think telepresence and teleconferencing will cut into business travel, but I don't think we're there yet. In-person meetings still have advantages of privacy and schmoozing opportunities (you can slip out for private discussions at a diner), and the costs...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Airbus is still trying to make a supersonic jet aircraft, so we might see the resurrection of expensive supersonic travel at some point on some routes. If they can actually get the sonic boom issue minimized to the point where...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    @Jay The Shah was a (relatively) cosmopolitan regime atop a far more conservative population, though. That's one of the main reasons why the existing religious dictatorship survives today - get out of the major cities and the population is quite...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    Weird, that sentence ending in response to Matt's post got eaten. It included the sentence fragment "less than 1% a year range, with most economic activity going to replace and repair the existing stuff as it breaks down". [[ That's...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    @Matt If your population is near-immortal (and birth rates very, very low), then having a high growth rate overall doesn't matter as much except to poor people still hoping to converge with the rest of the world in income. The...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    @Charlie Stross The US has a couple of "force multipliers" due to institutional military experience/capabilities and its lingering privileged position in the world's international institutions. It's sort of like how Great Britain still had a special place in the world...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    I actually wouldn't rule out a UBI, or at least some type of "Job Guarantee" that would consist of paying employers to hire you on. Jobs programs are a well-known policy program and almost always very popular (see the Washington...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    We have some techniques for remembering stuff, like the "method of loci" approach and other mnemonics. If we have medical immortality and good "external prosthetic memory", then learning how to organize your memories so you could best draw upon the...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Forgot to add- "Tropical Islands" reminds me of an indoor water park at the West Edmonton Mall that I went to when I was a child, including a massive interior lake. I'll have to check it out if I'm ever...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    You're right about artificially creating a sense of space in space colonies, since the O'Neill Cylinder set-up never seemed realistic to me - too much unused open space in a very expensive megastructure. The real open space would be confined...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    They weren't the big drivers. Apollo peaked in 1966 with the modern equivalent of $45 billion/year, and it was way down after 1969-70 from that. Vietnam spending peaked at about 2.3% of US GDP a year in (I think) 1968,...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    @Charlie Stross And it's no coincidence that the UK economy grew twice as fast, overall, during the terrible, terrible inflation-ridden industrial militancy era of the 1970s than during the subsequent Thatcherite 1980s. Same thing with the US in the early...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    RE: Guthrie That's why I specified nominal GDP growth (the mix of inflation and real GDP growth). You pump money into the economy to the level such that you have a nominal GDP growth rate of 6-7%, you'll get a...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    15-20% is too high - you'd have very noticeable corrosion of buying power inside of a single year, which is the type of thing that generates massive labor unrest as nominal wages deteriorate rapidly in value. I think 3-5% inflation...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Agreed. I suppose the silver lining there is that they may pioneer some interesting innovations in consumer robotics/automation before they finally give up and start tacitly admitting immigrants in serious numbers. Shinzo Abe's actually done pretty well so far in...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Triple-Dip Recession Time for Europe. It sure would be nice if the ECB and German leadership decided that it would be a good idea to give us some monetary and fiscal stimulus, not that I'm hopeful we'll get it. I...
  • Commented on Leading question
    2034 feels farther off than it is. I just don't really see anything but "beige" and a Japanese-style period of low growth and mild discomfort at best during that time frame, barring a freak anomaly or complete Eurozone economic collapse....
  • Commented on Leading question
    Watching this thread with interest. "Beige dictatorships" and meaningless two party trade-offs usually fall to left-populist movements in times of economic and social crisis, but not sure if it applies in the UK....
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    I just realized reading that Gladstone essay that Tolkien does have mundane-but-mysterious magic, including in [i]Fellowship of the Ring[/i]. Stuff like elvish cloaks that conceal their wearers amidst the terrain, or bread that sates appetite with only a few bites...
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