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Comment Re:Do we really need more people? (Score 1) 124

In most wealthy countries, kids are a liability because you have to feed, clothe, and shelter them without them delivering any kind of return on investment. In poor countries they tend to be an asset because they end up being extra farm hands, laborers, etc.

The value of child labor is quite modest, they work at slave labor rates. The primary reason to have kids is to have them support you economically and otherwise when you're elderly and they are young adults because being old and childless is harsh in many poorly developed societies. High risk of child death leads to "insurance", 95% of the women have an extra child because 5% of them will die. Losing a child is of course always a tragedy, but in the western world you'll still get to live at a decent nursing home and have most your needs taken care of so you don't need a fallback plan.

From what I understand, the population boom in Africa is not really necessary anymore. But it takes quite some time from you stop needing it until people realize it. Not to mention a lot of cultural momentum, if it's normal to have five kids many women will have five kids. And as you get wealth the pyramid starts turning, instead of having five kids to support you maybe it's you who want to divide your wealth on two kids and not six poor kids. It's a lot of psychology involved, not just economics.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 128

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:ATT is NOT a charity (Score 1) 136

The government never collected tax money for universal healthcare. Obamacare was never claimed to be universal healthcare. It was claimed to expand the availability of health insurance and it did that. Feel free to argue if it was a good value or if it expanded it enough or even if insurance was an appropriate approach to healthcare, but it did what was claimed. The telecoms get heaps of money to implement universal service and have for a long time.

Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 1) 79

This could be used to carry large ungainly freight, like lifting a factory-built house onto a mountainside.

And that would buy what over using a helicopter to lift materials, except risk and costs?

Human psyche being what it is, the world's biggest blimp will always primarily be a target. For ridicule and bullets.

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