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Comment Re: Interesting you argue to vote Republican (Score 1) 513

The last administration started in a horrible economy, and worked hard and successfully at reducing the deficit. Now, Republicans are adding to the deficit, as they usually do, and running up debts as long as the economy stays good - and far faster when it goes bad, as it did at the end of Bush's term. Deficits go down under Democratic Presidents, and up under Republicans.

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 1) 513

Actually, we are in something of a post-scarcity environment. We can feed the world. Anyone who goes hungry does so because of political or social-economic factors, not because we don't produce enough food. The cost of a high-quality sword in a 1300s style is far, far less than the cost of a worse sword in the 1300s. We spend lots of our money on stuff that just didn't exist a couple of centuries ago.

It really wouldn't cost much to keep people in a reasonably healthy lifestyle similar to what they'd have in 1818, or even 1925 (moving the year to avoid post-WWI economic problems). We could afford to do that, no problem.

Now, if we jump to 2218, we find that the fusion reactors need people to tend them, there's a shortage of engineers to work on the teleportation system, and it's expensive to make a really good matter replicator. By your reasoning, it isn't a post-scarcity economy, and we shouldn't try a UBI to keep people living in, say, the style of 2018.

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 1) 513

In other words, if someone makes a design decision you don't like, anyone working on it may as well be idle. That doesn't sound like a scalable definition.

Apple designed iPhones so they'd sell. There's competition. If everyone wanted easily replaceable batteries, then people would only by Android phones with such batteries, and they don't. Lots of people want to buy what Apple offers.

There's also competition among car manufacturers. If most people wanted to keep their cars for twenty years, some manufacturer could design cars to last and advertise that to get people to buy their cars.

Cheap stuff from China is manufactured and sent here because it sells to people. People buy it. Now, retailers can make bad decisions about how much to stock, but if they keep making bad decisions they'll wind up out of business, undercut by retailers that are better at keeping costs down.

So many of your examples are cases where someone makes something because someone else wants it, but you disapprove.

Comment Re:Yes. Yes it is. (Score 1) 513

There's currently no drive that I've seen to make the UBI into a really comfortable living. I don't want to have to live on any amount I've seen proposed, which is why I would continue to work for a living and stick to what appear to be good plans for retirement.

What this would do is make the labor market more free by removing the necessity of earning money to survive. Anyone wanting to hire someone to do an arduous, unpleasant, or dangerous job would have to pay enough to lure workers, not just count on desperation. If lithium mining were unpleasant and dangerous, lithium miners would be well paid. If this raised the cost of lithium inconveniently high, well, that's the free market at work.

Comment Re: Huge breakthrough (Score 1) 202

Home computers you could just buy, take home, plug in, and use appeared in 1977. There were home computers before then, but they needed more expertise to assemble, and appealed more to hardware types. (I read a review at the time that said that a certain kit was very easy because the reviewer only needed to use his oscilloscope once.)

Comment Re: Political tax (Score 1) 433

And if it hadn't been for fossil fuels NYC wouldn't be nearly as big as it is today...

And, of course, Ted Kennedy contributed enough that we should just forget about Chappaquiddick, right? And all those directors produced movies good enough that we should disregard their personal sexual activities? Unless we want every court case to balance assorted effects of unknown magnitude and construct alternative realities to compare possibilities, we should keep to the point in court cases. In this case, the point is that fraud by fossil fuel companies led to increased use of fossil fuels, causing more global warming, which is hurting New York City. That's enough for a judge an jury to worry about.

You're also saying that suing a particular company is wrong because of the general industry it's in. We buy cars; should we be able to sue if one is defective and kills people?

Comment Re: I thought it was already well established (Score 1) 153

The reason we aim for a government of laws is that it's safer. If judges start throwing out laws because they don't like them, we get cases like lynch mob prosecution being dismissed. Since your complaint is that Yelp wasn't punished, I have to believe that you're concerned with lack of punishment as being unjust in some circumstances.

The proper thing to do is to lobby the appropriate legislative bodies to change the law, not to make it up on the spot.

Comment Re:How to cause panic with statistics (Score 1) 222

Let me take a few quotes from your IPCC cite:

“Detectable” change here will refer to a change that is large enough to be clearly distinguishable from the variability due to natural causes.

"Detectable" is used here in a more restricted sense than I usually use it. If certain weather events are more common because of AGW, but there's still reasonable statistical doubt, that's not "detectable".

It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet confidently modeled (e.g., aerosol effects on regional climate).

In other words, the IPCC can't show definitely that current AGW is causing more hurricanes, but the data is consistent with it doing that. The IPCC also said that the effects will probably show up by 2100, and that it's more likely than not that extreme hurricanes will increase more than that. So, AGW will probably cause more extreme weather effects, we may be getting that already, but we can't ascribe anything in particular to AGW. That's what I said.

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