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Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 175

Take for example how supply and demand influence price. I.e. more supply means reduced price, more demand means increased price. And 90% of the time, that hold's true, but it's that 10% where it throws the models off, and the cause could be something fickle like masses of people arbitrarily decided that the product has gone out of style and they don't want it anymore no matter what price it is sold at.

I've written theories largely based on cost, and handwaved price as a market economics topic. I believe that's a valid stance.

In my economic theories, the basis of productivity improvement is labor time reduction: if you need 10,000 man-hours to produce food for 10,000 people, each one person must work 10 hours to eat. As Adam Smith observed, you can compartmentalize this: 2,500 people can work 40 hours to feed everyone, and the other 7,500 can do something else. Adam Smith's observation was flawed in that he claimed division of labor was the only way to do this--that you had to add new people handling smaller parts of the task--and thus claimed you couldn't have the *same* people or the *same* number of roles invested in doing different tasks requiring less time and producing the same output. For example: he discounted that a power tool maker could design a better power tool, and discounted that something like cellular manufacture would have any gains (cellular manufacture is a rearranged assembly line to reduce the time spent carrying intermediate products around).

That productivity improvement implies a lot of things. Your theory of "Supply and Demand" has implications such as something called "Scarcity", which I can explain. Scarcity occurs with superlinear growth of labor requirements.

Let me demonstrate.

It takes 2,500 people to feed 10,000 people. It takes 5,000 people to feed 20,000 people. It takes 10,000 people to feed 30,000 people. It takes 30,000 people to feed 40,000 people. It takes 60,000 people to feed 50,000 people.

Somewhere between a population of 20,000 and 30,000, it started taking more people--more labor-hours--to produce additional food for one person. That means you can feed up to 20,000 people with 10 hours of labor invested per person; but when you get to 30,000 people, you're averaging 13 hours of labor per person--which means those last bits of food are averaging a lot more. If it's the last 10,000 people requiring the scaled-up effort, then you're paying 10 hours per person for the first 20,000 and 20 hours per person for the last 10,000.

Eventually, you need more labor than you have available: making things is just impossible.

Scarcity starts when it starts taking more labor per unit output to produce an increased output of goods.

My theories of wealth growth stand not on labor hours, but on labor costs. Labor costs are labor-hours multiplied by labor price. The primary method for reducing labor costs is to reduce labor hours; I recognize that increasing labor price has serious economic effects, and that decreasing labor hours both decreases productive scarcity and decreases labor costs as two separate economic factors. In other words: lowering the labor requirements to produce a good produce one set of effects by the same mechanism as reducing wages, and another set of effects stemming from the addition of available workforce labor. It's self-referential in that second bit: think of it as "like cutting wages plus other stuff you don't get just by cutting wages".

Prices can go as low as costs, sustainably; they can't go any lower in the long run. If it costs $550/tonne to produce rice, you can't sell rice for less than $550/tonne for very long. You can sell it for $1000/tonne if no other market factors drive the price down, of course.

A lot of market factors drive price toward cost. There's direct competition (ten rice suppliers; better push rice down. Oh, we can make it for $180/tonne now, so let's undercut that $550/tonne price and sell it for $200/tonne), which is very fast; and there's inflation pressure (prices climb slower than inflation), which is very slow. (The buying power of unit currency is the total income divided by the total production--the total production being the total buying power--which is how we get inflation.) To your point, however:

the cause could be something fickle like masses of people arbitrarily decided that the product has gone out of style and they don't want it anymore no matter what price it is sold at.

There's a market behavior of indirect competition. People are no longer interested in overpriced fancy shoes; tech is in-vogue, and they want smart phones and tablets. Because they can't afford both tablets and fancy shoes, they stop buying fancy shoes. To compensate, the fancy shoe producers reduce their prices closer to cost, within the affordability of the consumer base after buying smart phones and tablets. If the fancy shoes cost more to make than that affordability, they vanish--or get replaced by poorly-made imitations; otherwise they come down sharply in price, because shoes are competing with iPhones now.

That explain your observation of an apparent link between supply and demand? It's a valid observation; it's built firmly on more fundamental economics that nobody has yet theorized, and those demonstrate its validity and explain its quirks.

I'm working on explaining all this, but it takes some time and I'm lazy. I've also been blogging some stuff lately--we'll see how long that lasts--to get some notes down that I'll later feed into the paper. Much of the unwritten theory is already in my head, and I'm using a lot of it to extrapolate further theories and observations.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 175

Funny, my economic theories predict and explain everything pretty perfectly. Granted, I don't try to predict the stock market or the rise of new nations with economics; you wouldn't use a blowtorch to drive a screw, either.

Modern economic theories are largely stoneage garbage. I dispensed with the term "value" because I decided it didn't have a place in civilized economics; after a while, I started researching economics (because I wrote my theories in a vacuum, having never studied economics myself, and started going back to debunk everything else), and realized all major economic theories are based on explaining the price attached to a good or service. They're all theories of value, not theories of wealth. It's retarded; they really figured out how to fuck up by the numbers.

Comment Re:Just (Score 1) 186

you are going to average 4 to 5 hours of generation per day best case.

Based on the average solar radiation per square meter per day in my area, measured with satellite and ground station data, combined with the 9.61% loss in my system, accounting for the angle from the horizontal, the azimuth (angle from the north), and the fixed nature of my array, I am going to average:

January: 2.84 kWh per m^2 per day, generating 556kWh.

February: 3.81 kWh/m^2/day, generating 669kWh.

March: 4.50 kWh/m^2/day, generating 843kWh.

April: 5.22 kWh/m^2/day, generating 929kWh.

May: 5.64 kWh/m^2/day, generating 1,003kWh.

June: 6.27 kWh/m^2/day, generating 1,033kWh.

July: 6.06 kWh/m^2/day, generating 1,025kWh.

August: 5.47 kWh/m^2/day, generating 928kWh.

September: 4.80 kWh/m^2/day, generating 802kWh.

October: 4.33 kWh/m^2/day, generating 773kWh.

November: 3.00 kWh/m^2/day, generating 545kWh.

December: 2.33 kWh/m^2/day, generating 454kWh.

That accounts for the size, efficiency, and generating capacity of my array. It accounts for the hours of the day, the average weather, the amount of sunlight reaching the earth, the amount converted by my panels. It accounts for the electrical loss in my inverters, for soiling, for shading (none), for mismatch losses, for losses in wiring.

That's not peak generation during the day multiplied by 24 hours; that's total generation during the day, on average, multiplied by the month.

That's a 7,000 watt system of 28 standard (15%) panels (mine are a touch more efficient), with factory-matched panels and micro-inverters (2 panels per micro-inverter) (meaning no mismatch loss), with no shading, in a fixed rack, at 161 degree azimuth and 34 degrees from the horizontal (optimum spring-fall, near-optimum summer, less-optimum winter), spread over a 1000sqft area, at a latitude of 39.18N and a longitude of 76.67W.

That's a total of 9,560kWh/year on average.

It's 23,900kWh in 2.5 years. At current, my electricity is 11 cents, plus enough taxes and fees to top 17 cents per kWh in total (I computed it at 17.4 cents per kWh last year; it's a bit cheaper now). That's $1,625/year of cost reduction, plus 9.5 SRECs. The exchange price used to hover around $168, about $1600/year; 2015 SRECs are currently $180, and 2014 currently sell for $175, so I'm looking at around $1700/year.

In total, it's $4,063 of displaced electricity costs, $4,302 of SRECs sold to the utility company, and the 30% ITC taking the $12,740 cost down to $8,918 plus the MD $1,000 flat grant. $8,365 recovered in 2.5 years versus $7,918 expended.

Don't mess with me, man; I'm a lawyer.

Comment Re:The perfect cover? (Score 3, Insightful) 61

The report emphasises that the IP address is not the one associated with the act of the breach itself; instead it was obtained by a process of elimination as Uberâ(TM)s investigations team worked through all the IPs which accessed a critical security key that had accidentally been deposited on the public code-sharing and versioning platform GitHub in March of 2014 â" approximately nine months before the breach occurred.

The only one it could not account for is, according to the report, a Comcast IP address associated with Lambert.

Translation: We believed everyone else but this guy is a right bastard (because he works for Lyft) and thus assuredly guilty.

Comment Re:Isn't it widely accepted... (Score 4, Informative) 80

Very little energy reaches the Venusian surface - Venus's albedo is twice that of Earth's, so most light gets reflected from the cloud deck, and what does enter gets quickly absorbed in the clouds and thick atmosphere. Also, the crust is not what drives a dynamo, the core does. Nuclear decay is what drives terrestrial planet cores, not solar input.

Also I don't know what you mean by "rapid crust recycling", unless you mean Venus's global resurfacing events. But those only happen once every several hundred million years. And they take about 100 million years to complete, they're not rapid.

Comment Isn't it widely accepted... (Score 4, Interesting) 80

... that because of Mars' small size, it cooled faster, thus freezing its outer core and shutting down its dynamo? Isn't Venus the far greater mystery? Nearly the same size as Earth, yet no magnetic field and what appears to be occasional whole-crust overturn rather than plate tectonics? Isn't that the one we need to solve?

Comment Re:core point (Score 1) 128

I agree. The field of extraterrestrial linguistics has seriously advanced beyond then, thankfully, with communications systems based on logic system, and even a transmittable operating system that explains how it should be run (inputs, outputs, etc), enabling one to send interactive programs along with it.

It's funny, but there's a concept I've never seen before in science fiction: that of multiple alien species living amongst each other, but whose homeworlds are vast cosmic distances apart and who have never gotten anywhere close to each other due to the difficulties of approaching relativistic velocities in spacetravel. How? Bit by bit we understand more of "what makes us tick". Not just how DNA codes for proteins, but the whole complex interplay of these proteins in keeping a cell operating. We now understand how to turn skin cells to pluripotent stem cells, stem cells to primordial germ cells, and are approaching being able to turn them into eggs and sperm without having to implant them in testes or ovaries. Some day, probably somewhere between several decades to a century or so from now, we may well have developed the ability to create a fertilized egg completely from scratch - including all of the organelles necessary to keep it alive - and an artificial womb to carry it in. Once one has transmitted the means to convey information and technology, plans can be transmitted (ala Contact, but with technology for biological creation, not communication). One could send to another world every last step needed to create and nurture a human being in-situ, along with a interactive computerized childrearing "system" for the child's early years, along with a discussion of exactly what is being done at each stage. And other species could do this as well in their transmissions to us.

Of course, if the "singularity" people are right, one could just transmit a sentient program to other worlds and be done with it far simpler. Either way, whether anything gets done with a signal depends on whether they're 1) actually out there, 2) close enough, 3) receive the message, 4) detect it, 5) recognize it as carrying information from sentient beings, 6) decipher it, 7) and perhaps most importantly, decide whether they want to actually risk trusting this transmission from an alien world. Lots of "ifs", to say the least.

Comment Re:core point (Score 1) 128

To be able to hold a pointing orientation in space, one has to be able to understand 2D. To be able to understand changing positions in space, one has to be able to understand 3D. To interact with physical objects, they must have some method to perceive their shape. If they're interacting with spacecraft, they have to be able to do some pretty damned precise things in regards to all three of these things The methods used to be able to do these things may be alien to us, but they have to be able to understand them in some sort of form. They essentially have to be able to perceive the voyager plates, perceive that there's information of some form on there, and have the mental wherewithal to convert it into whatever coordinate space / representation system their minds use, and to begin to make deductions about its meaning.

They could reach the wrong conclusions. But if they're spacefaring, they have to at least be capable of advanced reasoning, so they're going to have a shot at it.

Comment Re:...uhh (Score 5, Interesting) 128

Every signal that we have sent out requires them to be visually oriented. Do you think the TV signals we beam into space will make any sense to beings that communicate ultrasonically? An encoded 2D image interlaced with alternate lines 30 times a second won't be of much use to intelligent vampire bats.

Okay, first off...

1) Vampire bats do not work that way.

2) Humans take information that our senses can't perceive all the time and turn in into forms that we can. That's what false-color images and the like are.

3) A species that can pick up the signal (as the GP posited) is most definitely able to transform signals between mediums. It's pretty much a fundamental part of any receiver technology - you take a propagating signal, turn it into data, then turn the data into a form that you can perceive.

Obviously no species is going to inherently have the recipe for demodulating the signal just handed to them - they'll have to figure it out, even if their senses are precisely the same as ours. They'll have to recognize, "hey there's a signal here, and by its pattern it doesn't appear to be naturally generated and seems to be storing data in some manner". They'll then have to reverse engineer how to pull the data out of the signal. Then they'll have to figure out how the data is structured (probably the hardest part, esp. with modern compressed digital formats). All of these apply to all beings. But once you've figured all of that out, turning it into a form that you can perceive is the easy part.

Say there's a species with no vision that can only experiences the world through ultrasound echolocation, as in what you probably intended to be your example? Once you understand that the signal is, say, periodic frames representing an array of triplet values (what we know to be RGB) and know how to decode it to that, the species may play it back by, say, an "ultrasound screen" that creates the perception of a 3-dimensional surface, with the height representing pixel intensity. Maybe they might combine all three RGB values into one height, maybe they might present them as side by side heightfields, maybe they might use one value to represent height, another to represent surface roughness, another to represent sound absorptive properties of the surface, or somesuch. They'll pick whatever is most convenient for them.

I'm not going to humour your "liquid methane temperature" communication concept because that's far too low bandwidth for a sentient species to practically use. Pheromones also. And "interference patterns of UV radiation", that depends on what you mean by "interference patterns" - you're either talking about a UV equivalent of echolocation, as above, or just visible data shifted into the UV, which is just a frequency shift on the RGB image into their visual range. We as humans do frequency shifts of astronomical data all the time, that's what every image made from a UV, X-ray, IR, radio, etc telescope is.

For any species to be able to get to the phase of being able to receive and demodulate communications, it must have at least the concept and ability to perceive 2D orientation (if not 3D), because it has to be able to align receivers with the right patch of sky. That perception can be of some unthinkably bizarre form by our standards, but it has to exist. Whatever perception of 2D it has, 2d images can be presented in that form.

Your Pi/Tau example is clearly pointless. We as humans clearly know of both constants. Sure, Pi "stands out" more to us at first glance, but if we received something that appeared to be of non-natural origin, you really think nobody would notice if the data was Tau?

Circles are no more "rare in water" than on land. The cross section of a sphere is a circle. What do you think bubbles are? Rounded rocks? Round sea life? Heck, lava underwater, unlike on land, tends to produce round structures called pillow lava. And again, if this to the point of being able to isolate faint radio transmissions from the cosmos and recognize natural from manmade, then it's familiar with all sorts of other concepts - stars, planets, moons, orbits, and countless other macroscopic round things, as well as microscopic / subatomic round things, both 2d (circles) and 3d (spheres). And how exactly are their mathematicians (which they fundamentally must have to be able to be able to demodulate these signals) not figuring out what shape has the least surface to area (or in 3d, surface area to volume) ratios? How are they dealing with radio transmissions without understanding sines/cosines and the like?

There is no such thing as "a constant that describes the relationship of the volume of a sphere to its radius/diameter". To its radius/diameter cubed, yes, but not its radius/diameter. And you really think that mathematicians trying to figure out a transmission from another world wouldn't be able to figure out that a number was 3/4 Pi? Seriously?

In your last example (gravity waves), you've switched to something entirely else entirely. You're responding to a post based on the premise " If they have the ability to pick up the signal". So why are you talking about a situation where they can't pick up the signal because they communicate by gravity waves and we don't? And seriously, if they can manage something as difficult as gravity wave communication, radio wave communication is going to be laughably simple to them.

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley