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Comment Re:It's the big problem with space games (Score 1) 42

oh, there's that invisible hand again. no, it doesn't work in games either.

Depends what you're trying to do. It works for the developer of Eve, CCP Games. It works for the players who have fun and get goods when and where they need them.

In fact, I wager you don't have any actual experience with a market since otherwise you wouldn't make such a dumb claim.

Comment Re:Oh boy, here we go... (Score 1) 369

I'd like to see you try to demonstrate that ignoring the problems of global warming would be better than doing something about it.

First of all, ignoring the problems of global warming is doing something about it. It is adapting to climate change.

Second, there has been consistent bias which exaggerate the costs of global warming, while downplaying the costs of mitigation strategies and roundly ignoring the current improvements in human welfare and capability.

For example, what advocate of renewable energy was predicting that Germany and Denmark's energy policies would result in a doubling of electricity prices for most? It's supposedly a modest reduction in CO2 emissions (since some of the gain is offset by increased burning of coal, locally and in other countries), with an unpredicted high cost.

There are similar problems with renewable subsidies in Spain which have been cut back in recent years due to their high costs and unintended consequences.

Similarly, there has been a lot of dishonest attribution of other problems to climate change. For example, a few years back the Syrian civil war was attributed to climate change while ignoring the single relevant factor, the enormous mismanagement of agriculture in Syria which would have resulted in the current disaster no matter what the climate was doing.

Then there was the classic story about how ocean acidification was killing off oyster spat (the young) while ignoring that they were probably describing a phenomenon that IMHO has been going on for millions of years on that coast.

The exaggeration of global warming's harm is another case. It is routinely ignored that the predictions are for sea level rise over centuries not decades. It's a lot less credible claim to be worried about moving say, two billion people to higher ground, when it is known that the two billion people in question will have moved, naturally, numerous times in that period anyway.

And the geopolitics are ridiculously exaggerated. Most boundaries of the world haven't been stable for a century, but it's assumed that they will be for the next century. For a commonly used example, it's just silly to assume that Bangladesh can never, with a century or more lead time, make a deal with India to protect its citizens from the effects of a rising sea level.. Diplomacy can be very slow, but it's not that slow.

Here, I think we have a hard case to make that people who live on the coasts would even notice the gradual sea level rise!

Finally, here there is the ignorance of the growing wealth of the entire world. We have numerous examples of this. Most of the world is better off than the developed world was in 1900. Therefore, it's reasonable to expect that most of the world is on track to be better off than the developed world was in 2000 (especially if they should choose to forgo the two world wars). That means that the costs of adapting to unmitigated climate change is carried by remarkably wealthy societies.

Finally, there is the obvious observation that there are far bigger problems than climate change out there. I think it would be the peak of hubris to impose terribly costly strategies to slightly mitigate climate change while making the real problems much worse! Curbing CO2 emissions don't help with poverty, overpopulation, corruption, destruction of farmland and habitat, etc. Some of these problems are even made worse.

And it's worth noting that if you solve the worst problems, then global warming is easy to adapt to, while if you were to fix global warming without fixing those other problems, you'll be in the midst of global disaster. When it comes to triage of global problems, climate change just shouldn't make the cut. It is not something we should be throwing vast resources at.

And that leads to the case for non-action: namely, the harm of climate change is just not that bad, the costs of mitigation are far greater than advertised, and if we do nothing, we actually build the most adaptable and wealthy societies for dealing with climate change and the far larger problems that we face.

Comment Re:"Totalitarian" is a political fighting word (Score 1) 75

Wikipedia states:

According to historian Bryan Mark Rigg, an Israeli Army and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, up to 160,000 soldiers who were one-quarter, one-half, and even fully Jewish served in the German armed forces during World War II. This included several generals, admirals, and at least one field marshal, Erhard Milch.

Comment Re:The Less You know, The More Scared You Are (Score 1) 240

We observe intelligence in exactly one configuration, namely together with consciousness and only in one type of life-form.

One is vastly more than zero. You're also ignoring intelligence in other animals with near human capacity, such as some species of cetaceans and primates.

We do not even understand life at this time and can certainly not create it from scratch.

Depends on your definition of life. By my definition which is no doubt much weaker than yours, computer viruses are alive.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 369

There's no point in discussing mitigation strategies with when you haven't even accepted that there actually is a problem that needs to be solved.

My view as well.

Most likely at some point in the next 5, 10, 15 years the evidence will become obvious enough to overcome your ideological blinders;

That's fine with me. Evidence is where this should have started in the first place.

but in the meantime the rest of us need to start working on a fix now, rather than waiting for you to be convinced.

No, you don't. Keep in mind that you have yet to show that there is a credible danger and yet to come up with a credible solution to that. Just because you have feelings to the contrary isn't interesting to me. There are some profoundly stupid aspects to current climate change mitigation that really needs to be addressed. I'll list a few right now:

1) The proposed solutions aggravate bigger problems like poverty, overpopulation, corruption, destruction of arable land and habitat.
2) The current strategies reward defectors.
3) Urgency is demanded even though there is no evidence to back a need for urgency. We could as you propose, wait that 15 years, but we're in too much of a hurry to do common sense and build a consensus first.
4) There is so much bad decisions, one-sided arguments, and propaganda surrounding climate change arguments right now. That smells of scam to me. I think we should wait a bit just so the con artists move on to something else.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 369

Hardly. The proposal merely sets targets and leaves it up to the individual states how to reach them. The states don't even have to submit a proposal until 2016, and don't have to start making any actual changes until 2020. The administration is bending over backwards to make this as easy as possible, and still conservatives are crying like they're being waterboarded.

And what happens when states start blowing this directive off? If they don't start making actual, very costly changes, what will the EPA do?

Comment Re:Oh boy, here we go... (Score 1) 369

So nobody should do anything?

Pretty much. Keep in mind that "doing nothing" here elevates billions of people out of poverty and gives us considerably more wealth with which to adapt to climate change such as it is. When fossil fuels get more expensive to extract we can do the electrification thing.

I think it's a deep flaw of the current climate change concerns that they can't demonstrate that the solutions would be better than ignoring the problem.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 369

Unless, of course, it's not. The thing people don't get here is that we don't choose CO2 energy sources just because. They are considerably cheaper and more effective than the alternatives. And one of the more important consequences of this choice is that we are bringing a vast number of people out of poverty.

I think it's telling that arguments about "climate change" ignore the elephant in the room - namely, that poor people can't afford to care. Just growing the economy at the current expense of the climate seems more likely to result in a net gain for the climate than the poorly thought out and hasty solutions to global warming proposed today.

Comment Re:Troll (Score 1) 567

You're saying that if I've been paying taxes all my life, and I have cancer and I could be cured for $50,000, but I don't have $50,000, the government should leave me to die, like that guy in the NEJM article

Sounds good to me. Fuck off. I'm tired of the pretentious, entitled parasites who can be bought for an empty promise.

Comment Re:Troll (Score 1) 567

In reality, it's not capitalism that drives trade. Consumers drive trade, and consumers don't care whether their consumption is funded by capitalism or socialism.

The humans of a hundred thousand years ago would probably like a lot of the stuff we have now (say like comfy homes that can keep out large predators and a plentiful food supply that means they don't have to work to live). But despite their demand, they didn't get what they wanted.

Consumers don't make the stuff or services we use. They don't deliver them either. There is a vast, almost completely private infrastructure that does that. Consumption doesn't inherently create or do anything.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie