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  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    I think you can be more specific than that: the market is reasonably good at predicting the future where the future is pretty like the present. It is really bad at predicting the future when the future is not at...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Claiming 'market predictions are not 100% correct' is, while strictly true, fairly misleading: market predictions are often catastrophically bad. It is one of the many awkward truths about economics that the assumption that the markets price things in just does...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    If I had other EU citizenship I would not leave either, because if the bad thing happens I can just go (let's assume there's some warning before they close the borders). But I don't, because I'm British, so if the...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    And if fascism is a plausible end point then people who might end up as the targets (the elite, anyone not sufficiently 'british' for the normal not-so-crypto-racist version of that) needs to be planning to leave. If the bad thing...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    While I suspect nothing this bad will happen, I agree that it is quite possible that it will and it's worth trying to plan for. If it does, then the long-term consequences of something like this are, I think, terrifying....
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    I think if it becomes more profitable to infest someone's machine with bitcoin mining code than sell them ads then it will be interesting to see what Google &co do: their business model currently revolves around selling adverts to peopl,...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Unfortunately it probably doesn't matter very much which trouser-leg we're in. If we make the assumption that there isn't a large-scale nuclear war (which is obviously not so safe as it was), then perhaps the difference between Trump/Brexit and Clinton/Remain...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    You're assuming that because smoke hoods might only save some people in a flat if there were guests it would be better not to have them and let everyone die? (There would be an awkward question in the case of...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    I think this generalises in the obvious way: it's not really the news media, it's Googlebook: the more time people spend getting really furious and trolling/fighting trolls the mode adverts they see and the more money pours into their pockets....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    I think it's important to understand what [...] since 2007 it has increasing brought prosperity to an ever-smaller elite at the very apex while conditions stagnate or decline for everyone else [...] actually means. In particular it is informative to...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    The only way I can make sense of this is that May actually wants Scottish independence. Because the way she is treating the issue seems to be calculated to cause enough offence that people vote leave just to avoid being...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Well, I said I didn't entirely believe it. I also was not clear that by 'getting humans into space' I meant 'beyond LEO, for long periods' which really means Mars in the short term, or perhaps the Moon (suspect Mars...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Forecasts as to whether you need an umbrella or not have indeed got much better: as quoted elsewhere a three-day forecast now is better than a one-day forecast in 1980. Long-term forecasts probably have got better much more slowly because...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I don't know what he's complaining about. Weather forecasts, obviously, can not be perfect, since the system is pretty much the poster child for something that can't be predicted far ahead. But it's important to understand that they are indeed...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    The 'last frontier' thing is good, I think. It's obvious (well, obvious to me, so probably both not obvious and not true) that the closest we got to actually getting people into space was in the early 70s, and it...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Weather forecasting has indeed got a lot better over the last fifty years or so, and there are a lot of detailed statistics which demonstrate this. The standard thing people say is that the week-ahead forecast is now as good...
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