Brett_

Brett_

  • 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...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    This goes the other way, too. If you've got a setting where magic behaves according to regular rules and mechanics (and always has), then it seems like you wouldn't really have a concept of "magic" versus "technology". It would all...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Operation Cyclone was a goddamn stupid idea, although I can see why it happened - that was back when Reagan would back any set of thugs with guns if they were shooting communists and leftists. Truth is, it wouldn't have...
  • Commented on Service update
    I really want Scotland to make the jump and go full independence, complete with independent monetary policy (I'm an American). Aside from the fact that I think it will make Scots happier (eventually), it will be a very useful natural...
  • Commented on YAPC::NA 2014 keynote: Programming Perl in 2034
    Is there any chance that you could see programming go through the equivalent of what the Industrial Revolution did to textile manufacturing, with lots of it broken down into highly specialized tasks that can be done by someone with the...
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    It is far from certain that the most productive system is *not* Fascism. China has shown how state directed Capitalism plus a dynamic party dictatorship can be very efficient. It's not that efficient. Parts of it are very efficient, but...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    They're replacing a variety of tasks with automation, but you come up with new ones to replace those. I mean, look at your post - do you do the same type of consulting help that you did 20 years ago,...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    @royal.canadian.bandit Simply put, a 40 year old is probably willing to take a job as a cop and defend the barricades protecting the 1%, but storming the barricades is a job for a 20 year old, and our society has...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    At least for the US, I don't see where the massive wage declines are supposed to come from*. It only slightly happened before the 1990s during a period when the labor force was rapidly growing due to more women, minorities,...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    It's not entirely unfounded. Unemployed people tend to have a myriad of psychological and self-esteem issues that pop up with extended unemployment, although whether that would be the case in a society where most people don't have "work for money"...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Also, put me in the camp that believes that if the Piketty Hypothesis is true and wealth grows at 5% a year versus 2-3% for GDP (not entirely sure I buy that, but let's run with it), then that's a...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I'll play Devil's Advocate here: I'm not seeing a trend towards greater technological unemployment, or even necessarily a trend towards accelerating income inequality in the US. The unemployment rate in the US was 4% as recently as 2007, just before...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    I think augmentation will be slow to spread outside of medical purposes. Not because it won't work, but because it has to compete with the second-best alternative that doesn't require invasive surgery (unless the stuff you mention works out, at...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    @Ramez Naam You mentioned up-thread that your guess on uploading is early 22nd century. If that ends up being true, I wonder whether Uploading of actual people would really take off compared to potential alternatives. At that point, our life...
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