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Comment Re: GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 565

For a long time in the Germanic countries (I don't know if it's still so) the norm was for the price of a bottled drink to include a deposit which would be refunded when returning the bottle. (I think it has at times been the same in the US? Hobos collecting cans and so on to cash in the deposit.) I assume the deposit didn't go to the manufacturer but rather to the state in some way, but I don't know.

This created an economic incentive for consumers to recycle the containers, and an apparently sensible system for collecting the containers (because you'd return your bottles to a shop, and when the next delivery of drinks came, the empty van could be filled back up with the empty bottles).

Whether it's efficient, in the sense of measurable environmental outcomes, I don't know, but it seemed sensible to me. (In my experience, Germanic people are pretty accepting of systems, rather than seeing them as an illiberal encroachment on their freedoms, so stuff like this works when implemented.)

In the particular case of bottled water it's hard to imagine that any scheme could be more environmentally effective than people not buying it.

Comment Re:I said "No, I won't put that code in." (Score 1) 569

Exactly. The basic problem is a lack of management ethics.

And, perhaps, unions that would let you stand up to this sort of unethical command.

For example: http://flashbak.com/the-sun-at...

Of course, since then the print unions have been reformed and modernised (read: neutered and excised) and we get "I was just following orders" phone hacking.

Comment Re:How is this (Score 4, Insightful) 281

I suppose it's "news for nerds" in the sense that:
* they're using a more publicly accessible technology for funding than we're used to in politics
* Lessig is a member of the FSF and EFF, which are institutions that matter to nerds mainly
* he's active in stuff that matters to software nerds like IPR

Comment Re:The reason GDP is used (Score 1) 181

Off topic wrt Bhutan, but... I find GDP a particularly frustrating statistic, especially when trotted out as GDP per capita at PPP and used as a comparator between countries. It tells you nothing about the income distribution within a country -- a slave plantation, for example, would have a pretty decent income per capita. Median income per capita would be a far more meaningful statistic in so many ways.

Comment Re:Way too lib (Score 4, Insightful) 485

Your assumption seems to be that the fruits of automation, owned by the few, will somehow be shared by the many. Perhaps they will be, and we'll live in the Star Trek utopia. But I think more dystopian outcomes (extreme wealth inequality sustained through violent repression; revolution and war) to be more likely.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354