It's 2100, and we only have a few years to go before the last sub-saharan gets a modem and we can turn on the internet!
Chevron has a sizable industrial accident in a community. They take losses in it (insurance likely covers direct losses) and lose a contractor. I'm sure that wherever damages did occur, Chevron is on the hook and is likely paying up. The nearby residents had zero damages and weren't owed a thing. Chevron is not getting off cheap or abdicating responsibility through a pizza giveaway.
The situation is comparable to having a tall tree in your yard that falls over on your car. You don't owe your neighbor a pizza, but maybe you buy him dinner anyway just for giving him the jitters.
Compared to methods throughout history, car transportation is absurdly cheap and fabulously green
What do we need? Infinite symmetrical baud at zero latency. Period.
We should always be working toward this goal and never be satisfied with any other number. The applications that become feasible as speed->infinity become truly incredible: Near-perfect telepresence. Cloud-based processing to turn any display into a supercomputer. A million others that we can't even conceive of now.
There is only one answer to this question. Don't get caught saying "640kbps (or Mbps or Gbps) should be enough for anybody."
The country I live in (USA, you may have heard of it) once counted abundant, low cost labor as a comparative economic advantage. At that time, we exploited this advantage, which resulted in a sustained economic boom, accompanied by exploding output, and eventually the creation of a middle class. Our middle class then organized themselves and enforced much better working conditions. This eliminated our labor cost advantage, but we were able to make do with productivity improvements and a shift to services.
Imagine if, say, the UK meddled in our business in the 1880s and forced us to improve factory conditions prematurely. Our growth would have been slowed and the eventual creation of the middle class would have been delayed. A well-meaning effort to improve the lives of a few then would have hurt the quality of life for many later.
Those who criticize Chinese working conditions are either ignorant of economics and history or have an agenda to hold China back.
I believe you are overestimating the effectiveness of the federal government to affect climate change in a way that improves human development and then falling into the utopia trap (infinite good is readily attainable; those who get in the way are infinitely evil).
Public Sector Unions and a lack of Tort Reform in the ACA come to mind. I'll leave the details as an exercise for the reader.
The Economist ran a spread on this a few weeks ago:
What a politician railing against free enterprise sounds like:
"We need to give people a living wage"
"Everyone has the right to free health care"
"Energy prices should reflect the true cost of fossil fuels"
And some less partisan ones:
"Consumers need automotive dealers and shouldn't be able to buy direct from the manufacturer"
"People need an expensive certification program before they can cut hair"
A Global Warming Denier may let bad thinking affect 1 / 100 bills. A Economics-and-Human-Nature Denier lets bad thinking affect 100 / 100 bills. The latter is much more damaging, but only the former raises ire on Slashdot.
There are exactly zero politicians who can be said to generate only data-driven policy.
Inhofe's climate change stance is polluted by bad thinking, which isn't good, but can only result in limited damage. Climate change may influence 1 out of 100 bills.
The 28 democratic CA state assembly members' stance on public unions is polluted by bad thinking, which results in far-reaching damage. Budgetary concerns influence 100 out of 100 bills.
When Google lobbies one right winger, it's news to Slashdot? Is anyone here aware that his views are shared with a significant portion of the population? This isn't David Duke's final term, this guy is mainstream.
He's probably wrong about Global Warming, I'll grant that. But I daydream about one day when the coin is flipped and Google's lobbying of a left winger (who's antipathy toward free enterprise and economic globalism lead to more human suffering around the world than that of a global warming denier) is shocking news.
you forgot to add the snark tag
I'm voting R because *fingers crossed* Romney was blowing smoke throughout the primaries and will return to his roots: a pragmatic administer pursuing data-driven solutions. And take the party with him.