In this world you cannot be both ridiculously reasonable and neutral on most things.
Interesting thoughts, thanks. It's hard to know how it will all play out. I agree with you on looking at first principles like energy flows -- that is why so much of mainstream economics is bunk. I mention that here:
"Here is a sample meta-theoretical framework PU economists no doubt could vastly improve on if they turned their minds to it. Consider three levels of nested perspectives on the same economic reality -- physical items, decision makers, and emergent properties of decision maker interactions. (Three levels of being or consciousness is a common theme in philosophical writings, usually rock, plant, and animal, or plant, animal, and human.)
At a first level of perspective, the world we live in at any point in time can be considered to have physical content like land or tools or fusion reactors like the sun, energy flows like photons from the sun or electrons from lightning or in circuits, informational patterns like web page content or distributed language knowledge, and active regulating processes (including triggers, amplifiers, and feedback loops) built on the previous three types of things (physicality, energy flow, and informational patterns) embodied in living creatures, bi-metallic strip thermostats, or computer programs running on computer hardware.
One can think of a second perspective on the first comprehensive one by picking out only the decision makers like bi-metallic strips in thermostats, computer programs running on computers, and personalities embodied in people and maybe someday robots or supercomputers, and looking at their characteristics as individual decision makers.
One can then think of a third level of perspective on the second where decision makers may invent theories about how to control each other using various approaches like internet communication standards, ration unit tokens like fiat dollars, physical kanban tokens, narratives in emails, and so on. What the most useful theories are for controlling groups of decision makers is an interesting question, but I will not explore it in depth. But I will pointing out that complex system dynamics at this third level of perspective can emerge whether control involves fiat dollars, "kanban" tokens, centralized or distributed optimization based on perceived or predicted demand patterns, human-to-human discussions, something else entirely, or a diverse collection of all these things. And I will also point out that one should never confuse the reality of the physical system being controlled for the control signals (money, spoken words, kanban cards, internet packet contents, etc.) being passed around in the control system.
The above is somewhat inspired by "cybernetics". "
Elites can also come and go for various reasons. In the book of the oral history of some Native Americans, "The Walking People", the elite of that group 1000s of years ago lived by the beach while the rest lived up higher, but they got wiped out by a tidal wave, and the rest started walking...
Maybe a deeper issue is, as Charles Dickens worried about like in "A Tale of Two Cities", that society can so fast become an angry mob tearing everything apart... But the angry mob of the French Revolution mostly could lust use blades like the guillotine to vent their wrath. Individuals in today's angry mobs will have access to bioweapons including designer plagues, stolen nukes, chemical weapons, drones, cell-phone-based IEDs, computer viruses, airplanes to crash into things, and so on. That could all spiral into something very awful, especially when governments fight back and it all escalates... It's been suggested one answer to the Fermi Paradox is that all civilizations with advanced tech wipe themselves out.
I feel it is best to avoid the risk of ending up there, and things like a basic income, a gift economy, better democratic planning, and even improvised subsistence help us avoid that by making our society work more equitably. They also provide the life support would-be inventors and creators need to have time to be inventive and creative. However, we need to do more than that too -- for example, the US house of representatives could have thousands of members to make each one more approachable and it harder to bribe key members...
Yet, for all that, it is true that nature shows us both cooperation and competition. A tiger is a miracle of cooperation in all its cells. Yet it then hunts down other creatures to eat. There is some deep metaphysical issue there... And aspects shade into left/right politics of inclusion/compassion vs. exclusion/punishment. Evolutionary Biologist EO Wilson writes about how our "noblest" aspirations like for cooperation and self-sacrifice and peace arise from selection of surviving groups, and yet our basest motivations for greed and backstabbing and war arise from selection for competitive behaviors within groups and between groups. One might also ask, how do we define who is in the "group", and how does that change over time (like in the USA with civil rights movements)? And there is also a sense in evolutionary writings that every generation with its mating dance and focus on "beauty" as seen by common standards is selecting conservatively to filter our mutations and deviances -- even though sometimes specific adaptive mutations and related specific adaptive deviations are what a species might need to survive. And then the definition of "beauty" would eventually change in the eye of the mutated beholder. Human examples are probably like when blond hair and blue eyes became exciting to some in Northern Europe, or when sexual selection might have driven increased verbal ability, or suggestions about how avoiding individual violence might have been selected for by agrarian/industrial economic systems requiring more planning and persistence and cooperation and passing on inherited wealth. Anyway, its a complex mess of tangled interactions, and it is hard to know what viable politics will arise from trying to make sense of that all. As you insightfully say, history can be a guide, yet new conditions (like from modern technology, including cheap cell phones) may require new routes into unmapped terrain.
Also, there is often a law of diminishing (or even negative) returns on more stuff, like studies by Suniya S. Luthar:
"Children of affluence are generally presumed to be at low risk. However, recent studies have suggested problems in several domainsâ"notably, substance use, anxiety, and depressionâ"and 2 sets of potential causes: pressures to achieve and isolation from parents. Recognizing the limited awareness of these issues, the objectives in this paper are to collate evidence on the nature of problems among the wealthy and their likely causes. The first half of the paper is focused on disturbances among affluent children and the second half is focused on characteristics of their families and neighborhoods. Widespread negative sentiments toward the rich are then discussed, and the paper concludes with suggestions for future work with families at the upper end of the socioeconomic spectrum."
Don't know what all that means when robots can both produce essentially infinite wealth for all and also replace most humans in most social roles... There become a whole new set of risks to survival like addiction, pleasure traps, and supernormal stimuli..
For related ironic humor:
""The Midas Plague" (originally published in Galaxy in 1954). In a world of cheap energy, robots are overproducing the commodities enjoyed by mankind. The lower-class "poor" must spend their lives in frantic consumption, trying to keep up with the robots' extravagant production, while the upper-class "rich" can live lives of simplicity. Property crime is nonexistent, and the government Ration Board enforces the use of ration stamps to ensure that everyone consumes their quotas. The story deals with Morey Fry, who marries a woman from a higher-class family. Raised in a home with only five rooms she is unused to a life of forced consumption in their mansion of 26 rooms, nine automobiles, and five robots, causing arguments.
To be fair it can happen, whilst I believe it probably is just corruption in this case some nations have tax laws that allow companies to defer tax for various reasons. It varies from country to country but I know in some places companies manage to get away with deferring tax for multiple tax years. If they've been deferring tax for some reason for years such that it builds up and the excuse for deferring they used never actually comes to fruition then the authorities will come knocking for the full amount.
Team USSR could probably afforded to have the million conscripts who scored lowest on physical fitness staring at playing cards and trying to develop psychic powers through sheer force of will for years without much trouble. Something that consumed a resource that needed to be imported in exchange for hard currency, though, or a project that represented a nontrivial slice of domestic productivity? That was a race that they weren't able to win even with regard to real weapons, so any nonsense they could be conned into would just make things even harder for them.
To be fair couldn't you say that of people of most nationalities?
I think most people believe their government is corrupt
Though I think in this case they're right, India's corruption problems are well documented, though the GP is an Indian nationalist so don't expect him to hear it - he believes India is the most perfect nation on Earth and superior to all others.
Perfect computer mouse balance - seriously? - for $100 I'd be wanting a triple ring laser intertial navigation unit built in for mousing through air or across rugged terrain. It'd also have to have some flavor of android running on it with its own touchscreen so I could get rid of the desktop and just mouse over the internet directly from the mouse. : )
Don't they know what happens when you fsck a server in the alps?
There's a difference between an unsolicited shipment and a solicited, but erroneous, shipment
In the USPS recommended actions, there is. In federal law, there is not. The legal definition of unordered merchandise is "merchandise mailed without the prior expressed request or consent of the recipient" (See USC 39 3009(d)). The people ordered some merchandise but what they received was something else that was mailed without prior expressed request or consent of the recipient.
IMO, returning the Vita is the moral and mannerly thing to do, and the company should pay for shipping and perhaps even compensate the recipient for their time to return it (maybe a free game or something). But per US law, the recipient has no obligation to return it. Of course, as noted, this incident took place in the UK and under UK law, with which I'm unfamiliar.
"Is there a different law I'm unfamiliar with that you're referring to?"
[...] The other law I mentioned DOES apply. No, I don't have a citation at hand, but I sure hope you see that this one simply isn't relevant to the case described in TFA
I don't see that at all. USC 39 3009(d) seems perfectly clear to me, and to cover this situation quite well. If there is another statute that is a better fit then that one would take precedence, but in the absence of the law you claim exists but cannot cite, USC 39 3009 would apply just fine.
Further, if the law you reference exists, I can't find it. Clearly it would belong in Title 39 - POSTAL SERVICE. Within Title 39, the obvious place for it is part IV - MAIL MATTER. Within part IV, chapter 30 - NONMAILABLE MATTER doesn't seem like an obvious fit, but it's better than any of the others. And finally, within chapter 30, there's nothing that fits other than section 3009.
Perhaps the law you're referring to is a state law, not federal? If so, it may or may not be valid, to the extent it conflicts with federal law. But even to the extent it is valid, it applies only in the relevant state, not the US as a whole.
This recent work basically suggests that the theory might be true.
Are you sure? It seems more to me like it suggests that the theory might not be false. Lots of models look accurate right up until they don't.
If it turns out that the spies were stopping a James Bond level supervillain every month or so then it might have been worth it.
That's the problem with all of this massive state defense apparatus bullshit. I know people who are various types of special forces and they will happily tell you that there are real threats out there, but then they will tell you that they can't tell you anything about them. In truth, they actually know fuck-all, and are just going by whatever their higher-ups have told them. They have no idea who the hell they're being sent out to kill, except what they're told.
In fact, our military has been shown to act primarily for profit, not for defense. Poor, brainwashed dupes. I'd feel worse for them if they weren't killers for hire.
I'm fat, clean, and Mexican. I have a big fat question mark about the phrase spic and span.
Blackholing doesn't work for me, because I regularly come across sites that won't work.
This is only a big problem for me on mobile, where Adblock Plus doesn't exist and noscript doesn't work. There exists a mobile noscript but it breaks every other page load or so, and the developer is unresponsive.
Unskippable, right up until the point I run it through a computer to format-shift the content to a medium that isn't under someone else's control.
I've got a ton of DVDs that don't rip correctly, though, with any ripper; not with dvdbackup, nor with DVDFab, etc etc. I can rip them to a collection of DVD files and play that successfully in most cases, but that doesn't get me out of unskippable ads. XBMC does that. I can skip things I'm not supposed to be able to skip.
Over the past few years, the "Linux community" now includes millions of people who accept locked bootloaders as standard and install closed source apps from an app store whose goal is to collect as much information about them as possible.
Users have outnumbered developers at least since Slackware. Build a bridge, and clamber over it awkwardly.