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Comment Re:Totalitarian State pioners dangerous research (Score 1) 90

What happens if a country breeds a superior "economic race" and starts kicking our ass economically? I don't think we'd want to stay as is, or else they'd kick our ass in war.

There's some evidence that the human brain is optimized for efficiency over computational power because famine repeatedly puts a lot of evolutionary pressure on efficiency and conservation. With some genetic engineering, brains may be more wasteful calorie-wise, but much smarter.

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 129

Manufacturing brought product after product into the purchasing ability of common man that he either could never have afforded

Perhaps so, but that's a different issue. I'm talking about jobs and the general economy.

We know that's not true from decades of deflationary pressure in Japan.

Japan has not directly tried HM.

you can't create demand for money by increasing the supply.

Demand for money? Who's talking about demand for money?

politicians not giving a shit about any problem they could kick down the road.

The problem is voters then, not the gov't. GIGO. But that doesn't change my point that if you reduce pensions you'll have to increase salaries, trading one expenditure for another. (Local gov't pensions should be federally regulated in my opinion to ensure they are properly funded. It becomes a national problem if lots of local govt's make the same mistake.)

jobs at the federal level now typically pay more than the private sector

I call false on that. There may have been more parity of late because private sector wages have stagnated since the early 2000's.

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 129

Everything's obvious in hindsight, but no one saw (or very few) what was coming, jobwise, until we were well into ramping up those new jobs.

Do you have any evidence of this? When cars replaced horses, automobiles presented manufacture, repair, and refueling jobs almost immediately. It's true horse experts probably fell on bad times, but in general, new car-related jobs were already appearing and booming.

When factories started disappearing overseas in the late 1970's, the term "service economy" was coined for the office and food-service work that was ALREADY growing at the time.

As far as Helicopter Money, it's not so much about the money as it is circulatory pressure. I liken it to a hydraulic system. If there is not enough water pressure, then it's sluggish. You need enough pressure in the system for it to function optimally. The best economies are when inflation is around about 2.2 to 2.5% a year. We've been hovering around 1.8 for too long: not enough water pressure in the system.

Capacity has increased via automation and more 3rd-world countries "donating" cheap labor, but there's not enough consumption to use this potential capacity because wages and jobs are sluggish. HM can close the gap by increasing the hydraulic pressure.

The vast majority of state and local taxes these days goes to pension plan funding.

Hogwash. Pensions were long common until the private sector made them unfashionable. The gov't typically pays about 15% less than the private sector, making up for it via pensions and benefits. If gov't slashes pensions, then they'll have to pay higher salaries if they want decent employees.

Deregulation and smaller gov't hasn't worked so well in Texas and Kansas. Their job picture may be slightly above average, but social services and infrastructure are notorious: they are essentially competing with the 3rd world by becoming the 3rd world.

Comment Re:How Much? (Score 1) 71

I thought that much was obvious, but for those who have not been paying attention, we are close to using up our hydrocarbons.

Maybe four centuries for all sources of fossil carbon, hydrogenated or otherwise, depending on usage rate.

Remember that "reserves" means "the stuff we already found while exploring". Nobody with a financial clue spends today's private money exploring for stuff they won't be digging up and selling for decades. So you only have more than about 20 years of "reserves" when there have been giant finds, the known reserves are too expensive to exploit and there might be easier stuff out there, or too much of the known reserves are unexploitable due to things like government intervention. There's no doubt quite a lot more out there, though it's still finite.

Running out is not a disaster. We can easily make all the stuff that's made from oil and there are other energy sources - including more coming down the pipeline. We're only digging/pumping up most of our energy and much of our chemical feedstocks right now because it's CHEAPER than the alternatives.

But it's not cheaper by much. (Photovoltaic is now becoming competitive with grid power in many areas, even without government market distortions, and the tech just keeps improving.)

By the time the fossil fuels run out we'll have lots of alternatives, and they'll run out by gradually getting more expensive, so people will smoothly transition to alternatives (thanks to Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand"). The main problem (if the CO2->global warming conjecture is true and substantial) will be keeping the Earth from crashing into the next orbital-mechanics driven Ice Age (as humans MAY have been doing for about the last 10,000 years or so, as the orbital climate-forcing has been curving down steadily.)

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 129

This is just the Nth automation transition since the Industrial Revolution begun. It's no more (or less!) scary than any of them. The disaster you're predicting was predicted over and over throughout history, and it's just as wrong this time.

Past trends/patterns are not necessarily future trends/patterns.

One thing that is different is that automation in the past mostly enabled people to do more, NOT replace them. Power tools and tractors still had a human operator. Second, "office work" (AKA "service economy") started taking up the slack caused by factory automation and offshoring.

But now office work is undergoing a similar transition, and nobody can find the New Thing that will replace all the displaced office workers. Can YOU see it? The "New Thing" wasn't so hidden in the past.

The only possibility I see right now is the "customization economy" where people get customized cars, landscaping, kitchens, etc.

However, not enough people have high enough wages to afford customization. I see "Helicopter Money" (HM) theory as one possible solution.

We also have rotting infrastructure that needs repair, but no means to fund it.

It may take a combination of HM, taxing the rich, socialism, and public works to crack this puzzle.

Comment Caller id spoofing already broke that. (Score 1) 119

The real way to handle it is to create an open source shared black list, have people sign up for a service, and vote when they answer a call on whether or not it is a telemarketer or robo-call.

Caller ID spoofing already broke block lists. By the time a call gets to your local telco there is no way even for them to tell where it really came from. They regularly spoof their identity - often as others they're robo-calling, or even as the phone they are calling.

IMHO the only way available currently is to trace back a particular call, from telco to telco, to see where it DID come from - then go after the actual robocaller. (Good luck getting that implemented, though. Or getting it to work across all countries, rather than letting the spammers run from safe havens.)

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 101

I don't need to stand by the rotation theory. However, the 2.5 degrees that the Earth rotates are about equivalent to the downrange distance.

The first stage is going about 1/5 of the target LEO orbital velocity at separation. While you might well model the trajectory as a parabola over flat ground, given the lack of fuel I would expect that SpaceX puts a lot more care into their trajectory. So far I've failed to attract the attention of the person responsible for Flight Club, the most trusted modeling of SpaceX flights, but I'll message him directly.

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