Crouchback

Crouchback

  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    That said, none of the ones I've read are even slightly realistic. There's no anger on the part of the passengers. They all just accept being ripped out of their former lives without a squawk. We have real life cases...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Assumes facts not in evidence. If we really had a massive wave of automation going on we would see a correspondingly massive growth in productivity. Productivity growth has been anemic in nations at the technological frontier for decades - the...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    It is true that in past times, we've taken increased productivity and devoted it to a higher standard of living. E.g., we wear clothes cleaned daily rather than weekly thanks to washing machines. But these results are measurable. And in...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    And the evidence for your model? Economists have been doing back flips to try to find hidden productivity increases and have failed. You can't just arbitrarily declare the measures are all bogus. What do you suggest instead? Do we assume...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    Don't oversell automation. If we really had automation killing jobs, we should see a rapid growth in productivity as the economy produces the same or more with fewer and fewer workers. We don't - productivity growth has been anemic since...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    2050's a little soon for that. China is still playing catch up on per capita gdp (they're still less than Mexico right now) and they're going to have to deal with an aging work force while they continue to play...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Strictly speaking, it's the men who are hulking, not the iron. Anyway there's a number of Sword & Sorcery writers (L. Sprague de Camp, Jack Vance) whose heroes relied much more on wits than muscle. Sword & Sorcery came out...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    It's not the government that will declare Miami lost, it'll be the insurance companies. One day, after a big storm, they'll look things over and no one will be willing to provide insurance at an affordable price. And the rest...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Um, why would we bother going after the Saudis after oil ceases to be an issue? Why would we care? Besides, we got in bed with the Saudis decades ago for the sake of cheap oil and 9/11 was just...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Sometimes it's the opposite - desperation and chaos gives someone the opportunity to break the rules, or forces that opportunity on them Under normal circumstances, it's unimaginable that Joan of Arc could ever have become a top military adviser. The...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Zeroth law of science fiction - people want to read stories about people. So your successful science fiction stores tend to be about people having adventures. That doesn't work for realistic space travel - basically the people are likely to...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    It's not 40%, it not even the 18% correction you posted. The 3.2 million hectares is specifically kolkhoznik garden land not used for cropped plowland. So it's a subset of a subset of Soviet farmland. Elsewhere the text refers to...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Except those countries have much smaller populations than Mexico and are undergoing their own fertility decline. Puerto Rico's depression is more Greece-light than Greece like. Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the US and thus part of a full fiscal...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    It's not quite Slavery 2.0. There's the long term problem that the kids of illegals become citizens with voting rights and often politics the bosses don't like. Less than 30 years ago California was arguably center right politically and Republicans...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Other examples of economic catch up - Taiwan caught up with the industrialized world with very rapid growth from the 1950s to the 1980s. To a lesser extent, France had the Trente Glorieuses where they caught up with the leading...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    I'm surprised that no one's mentioned Kenneth Pommeranz's The Great Divergence, about exactly when and how Europe pulled ahead of China. Short version: China was keeping up with European development up until the 18th Century. Europe was able to get...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    I'll regret asking this, but why was British Rail researching flying saucers? Does British Rail have a much broader mandate than the name suggests?...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    Let's not overstate changes. We're dealing with the same species, just in a different environment. Humans have adjusted fertility in response to environment for millennia. Industrialization causes a jump at first when children all start surviving childhood and then falls...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    The Jesus talk is for the rubes. Remember, you have a very small number of very wealthy old men running the right wing don't you dare question inequality establishment. Jane Mayer's Dark Money is a good guide to the group....
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    By an interesting coincidence, a crash in oil prices tends to hurt conservative domestic interests in the United States and Canada. Which may also explain some of the neo-con opposition. It's also not good for Russia. Don't forget many American...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    Fortunately, the clowns who thought that about reality are out of office. Unfortunately they hurt and killed a lot of people in the course of learning reality is real. The trick is to keep them out....
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    Where ACA was fully enacted, it's done a decent job of covering the vast majority of the population. It's worked as planned except where the Supreme Court decided to screw things up. And incidentally, it's not so much screw the...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    The best form of delusion is self delusion. I suspect dlampo did ok under the pre-ACA system. If he was upper middle class or better, that's quite possible. So if the changes meant his taxes might go up a little...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    Second this. I live in Virginia and the Obama campaign made an exceptional effort to drag every possible Democratic voter out to the polls. It worked - he took Virginia twice after decades of Virginia voting Republican in presidential elections....
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    The thing to remember is that American campaign finance has gotten increasingly weird. From the post Watergate reforms to the 2000 presidential election you had significant limits on presidential fund raising. A candidate could get matching funds for the primary...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    Obama actually managed to get through a lot of his program. He got through the Affordable Care Act and a trillion dollar stimulus and passed Dodd Frank. Say what you will about Dodd Frank, Wall Street hates it and has...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    The point remains that Craigslist et al meant you no longer needed the newspaper stories to get people to view the ads. So even if the company that owned the newspaper invented Craigslist there would no longer be a link...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    We're actually not rapidly moving toward the fully automated economy, at least not based on productivity statistics. The greatest innovation has been in redirecting as much wealth as possible to the top few percent. I agree with you about the...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    No argument there. The trend has been for each generation to get screwed worse than the last. But if you want even a chance for things to get better you have to get involved in politics for the long run....
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    There's a dreadfully dull explanation for journalism's decline in the US. Newspapers made their money off of classified ads. Once the internet came along there were much better ways to advertise and a major source of revenue for journalism dried...
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