Cherry picking. How many of those stoves were made 100 years ago? How many are around now?
Some of our 2021 stoves will be around in 100 years, too. Not many. Will someone point at one and say "back in 2021 they built to last"?
(Same reason old European cities are prettier than new American ones - the ugly buildings got torn down and replaced, the pretty ones didn't. After a while you have a lot of pretty buildings.)
It's been done. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time
That aside, what's so special about base 10?
Wouldn't it be more logical to celebrate passage of, say, 2^24 seconds (194 days)? Once we're no longer constrained to human bodies, we can have as many fingers on our hands as we want, so we may as well have 8 or 16.
Your social circle is very different from any I've ever been in. Sorry to hear that.
I assume these drugs take effect gradually, and that the effects are dramatic enough that the victim is (eventually) aware of them.
If so, mightn't it be better to warn everyone about the problem (be on the lookout for drug effects!), and advise victims to inform others about the scumbags doing this? (Under the assumption that most of them time when people are drugged it'll be fairly obvious who did it.)
I'd think it would be better to drive the scumbags out of your community than to just find a way to prevent one attack vector. (Surely those who'd stoop to this will find other equally objectionable ways to achieve their ends.)
It's cool - a little too cool; I wonder how much was the effect from your cherry-picking answers.
Even so, I'd love to ask the simulation a few questions of my own.
We don't know, true. But given the possible space of limiting parameters it seems unlikely that humans are anywhere near the limits. We're evolved systems, evolved under conditions in which intelligence was far from the most important priority.
And of course under the usual evolutionary constraints (suboptimal lock-ins like backward wired photoreceptors in the retina, the usual limited range of biological materials - nothing like transistors or macro scale wheels, etc.).
And by all reports John von Neumann was barely within the "human" range, yet seemed pret... (read more)
Yes, I think some web portals, and some software, are designed poorly because of malice. Not (usually) malice against users, but malice against managers and those setting requirements, when those people and their instructions are perceived as stupid and unreasonable.
One reaction to such demands is to deliver exactly what was requested - something stupid and unreasonable, in order to vividly demonstrate the stupid and unreasonable nature of the managers and requirements.
Sometimes professionalism, ethics, and dedication to user experience manage to overcome ... (read more)
For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with u... (read more)
We need to understand information encoding in the brain before we can achieve full AGI.
Maybe. For many years, I went around saying that we'd never have machines that accurately transcribe natural speech until those machines understood the meaning of the speech. I thought that context was necessary.
I was wrong.
Bob's a hero provided he's paid his meat tax. That's the tax we impose on people who do bad things to animals. The tax makes up for their bad karma. People who pay the tax should be considered absolved of sin - they've bought and paid for their indulgence, fair and square.
Am I a contemptible person because I burnt a gallon of gasoline this morning? What if I paid for it, external costs included? What if I paid a separate CO2 tax? What if I offset the carbon by planting trees? I think not.
Does this viewpoint make me a monster? As Temple Grandin likes to say... (read more)
By policing that, I mean if the students don't get the graded homework back in 48 hours, they can complain to administrators and parents, who can pressure the teacher. This assumes the administrators decide to make and enforce the 48 hour rule.
Re coordination, I've seen kids using "group chat" on Facebook or similar. In some schools (good ones) it seems to be de rigueur.
Managers are fewer than workers but there are thousands of firms in every country (as well as millions of workers) so in either case we're well into the law of large numbers. There's no practical way for thousands of entities to form stable cartels (without government backing).
If you worry about employers in a city forming a cartel to keep wages low, shouldn't you worry even more about supermarkets doing the same to keep grocery prices high? There are a lot fewer supermarkets than firms that employ workers.
And all other prices are set by dealings between m... (read more)
Government intervention is generally considered a bad idea (I won't say "not legitimate") because the intervention is usually laws that stop people from making the deals they want to make, which usually is bad for all parties involved - if they didn't think the deal was better than no deal, they wouldn't want to make it.
But I suppose there might be other government interventions that would be OK (for example providing information about competing offers, or offering education, etc.).
Lots of other prices are "sticky" like that. It's a psychological thing - nothing special about wages.
The question was about wages, not how to survive. Lots of people who earn wages don't live on them. Lots of people don't sell their labor at all. Children, disabled people, retired people, people in business, etc. don't live on wages.
How to get enough money to live is an entirely separate question from how "wages work". There are lots of other ways to survive that don't involve wages - making and selling things, telling stories and writing books, gif... (read more)
I'm amazed you only have 4 answers so far.
The bog-standard classical (and, yes, "libertarian") answer is that wages work exactly the same as all other prices - prices for candy bars, gasoline, houses, lawn mowing services, plumbers, and milk.
That's to say, supply and demand (sellers and buyers) set prices, same as with everything else. If buyers don't like the price, they shop around some more, settle for a lower-quality "product" that's cheaper, or offer more to get what they want. If sellers don't like what's on offer, they look for another buyer who'll ... (read more)
It has been more than 40 years since I personally had to deal with this BS.
The stories I hear from my children confirm what you say. One result seems to have been students cooperating online to do homework. That seems to be impossible to police. For sure that would have been "cheating" when I was in school, but it seems there is no practical alternative for students who want to get decent grades. Perhaps peer pressure makes students try to contribute to the group effort, which might ensure that most of them learn some of the material. There may be po... (read more)
"I feel like there is objective truth about why killing is bad, but I don't understand why."
I think I get that. I tried to explain "why" in my answer above. "Why" is because you're built to feel that way. For good, practical reasons.
Your answer is in your own question - "societies that discourage murder will probably fare better than societies that promote it. I don't understand why murder is bad".
Our sense of good and evil is shaped by what helped our ancestors survive in competition with other tribes. Societies with less murder - because of people who abhor murder - fared better, resulting in descendants who also abhor murder (us).
People who didn't abhor murder didn't form societies or formed societies that were less successful, leaving behind few descendants with those instincts. P... (read more)
You're an unusual person. I'm glad you found something that works for you. I just learned to relish the "quiet time" that comes from being a few minutes early - use it to rest, meditate, catch up on email, read an article, whatever. Before smartphones (I'm that old) I'd carry a book with me everywhere I went - to have something to read.
I fear you're beating up a strawman. As Gibbon makes pretty clear (and he's nothing if not the "standard narrative"), Rome rotted from the inside - politically and economically. The barbarians didn't get anywhere until Rome was practically collapsed from internal corruption.
Rome suffered an extreme case of all the standard things that modern economists write about - public choice failures, protectionism, price controls, government-backed trade monopolies, etc., etc. The political system was inherently unstable and tended to dictatorships.
The founders of th... (read more)
"in order for something to exist, everything must exist, eternally"
Care to explain why? The rest of your comment I understand.
Sigh. To make something work in a competitive world, you need to make it work on all the relevant metrics - at least "good enough" on all of them, and better than the competition on some of them.
Suppose you offer a product that's measured on 4 metrics (imagine: quality, speed, price, size, ease of use, beauty, weight, ...), A, B, C, D.
Some potential customers will weigh some metrics more heavily than others. Some will ignore some metrics completely. But in general you need to do at least 5/10 on all of them and better than that on some of them.
Metric A: 7/... (read more)
Very late reply: This was a dermatologist who insisted that I had to have a separate appointment for EACH tiny mole to be removed, instead of removing several in one appointment.
I got a new dermatologist after that.
Some people are just thieves. I agree that it's rare.
English has different words for those two colors, too, "blue" and "cyan". Also, I don't think "Eurocentric paint" is a thing. Paint is not an idea.
English has different words for those two colors, too, "blue" and "cyan".
Languages have many words, but some of them are more... native... then others. How often do non-specialists use the word? How many 10-years old kids would recognize the word?
If you ask 10-years old kids, on a sunny day, what color is sky, I believe a typical Russian kid would say "голубое", but a typical American kid would say "blue" (not "cyan"). I think so; neither is my first language.
EDIT: Also, put "blue sky" in Google Translate. Then do a reverse translation; it's "blue sky" aga... (read more)
"Cyan" isn't a basic color term in English; English speakers ordinarily consider cyan to be a variant of blue, not something basically separate. Something that is cyan could also be described in English as "blue". As opposed to say, red and pink -- these are both basic color terms in English; an English speaker would not ordinarily refer to something pink as "red", or vice versa.
Or in other words: Color words don't refer to points in color space, they refer to regions, which means that you can look at how those regions overlap -- some may be subsets of o... (read more)
Don't go around handing out blank checks, and you won't have to worry that someone will fill in a huge amount and try to cash it.
Really, that's what the people in Texas did - they explicitly signed up to a deal where the price per kWh could change without limit, and pre-agreed to pay whatever the rate was.
Because in theory on average it would be cheaper.
It's kind of like selling fire insurance - sure, you get this nice steady stream of premiums. But every once in a while, unpredictably, a house burns down and you have to pay for it.
It's fine to do that if ... (read more)
For me, it's being completely focused on a task. To the extent that the task occupies all of my short-term memory, leaving nothing for anything else distracting.
This is, I think, why it's annoying to be disturbed while in the flow state. The whole house of cards falls down when a disturbance occurs (example: the phone rings) while in flow - something necessarily gets tossed out of short-term memory to accommodate the interruption.
Even for a fairness argument, it seems hard to justify the rent subsidy (the difference between market rent and controlled rents) coming out of the pockets of landlords, vs. the public treasury.
Why pick on landlords?
Yes. This is an argument for paying legislators nothing. New Hampshire has the second largest legislature on the the planet. The pay for members of the NH House of Representatives is $100/year, plus mileage. (it's not a full-time job).
New Hampshire is a pretty well-run place.
And for paying bureaucrats, esp. senior ones, more. Far more. In Singapore the PM is paid $3M/year, cabinet ministers $2.5M/year (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_of_Singapore). Lower level bureaucrats are paid like corporate managers with similar scale of responsibility (they don't have large numbers of these people, but the ones they do have are very competent).
Singapore is a pretty well run-place.
See https://www.amazon.com/Where-My-Flying-Car-Memoir-ebook/dp/B07F6SD34R (Where is my Flying Car?, J. Storrs Hall) on this - I find his take on it dead-on.
Hall says growth in energy use per capita flatlined, and that happened mostly because established industries rigged the system to keep themselves on top, and stifled new technologies in a snarl of red tape and regulation. (For the greater good, of course. </snark>)
I think about half of Gordon's policy RXs are wise, the other half deeply unwise. To the extent public policy has anything to do with g... (read more)
Every policy proposal needs to be compared to the status quo and not to some utopian ideal.
It seems likely that a well-designed UBI would be vastly more efficient than our existing hodgepodge of welfare and other subsidies for the poor. It would eliminate the overhead of figuring out who should receive them and limiting fraud, and eliminate the disincentives to productivity that we have in place now. Neither is a small gain.
A UBI might also go some way toward settling our vast political bifurcation, by making people feel the world is a bit more "fair".
An i... (read more)
If that's true, the field is broken.
Religion is symbiotic to humans - that's how it has persisted for millennia, despite being factually mistaken about many important things. Some of us get along fine without it, but we seem to be a minority.
It would be great to have something honest to fill the niche taken by religion, including community, moral guidance, and making people feel better about their lives. I would be willing to donate some money toward the project.
Most religions involve an afterlife - without that the "religion niche" may not be filled. One truthful way to offer... (read more)
"I'm sorry" is often used as an expression of sympathy - no relation to any apology.
Them: "My mom got cancer"
You: "I'm so sorry!"
(sorry for them, not sorry for anything you did)
To the degree that that cocaine business (like any honest business) creates value, there's some truth in that. But most of the value is in the high that the customers get when they consume it - it doesn't create much *economic* value. Except to whatever extent the cocaine makes users more productive (it's a stimulant, as is caffeine).
But the "subsidy" mostly comes from other inner-city residents - for the most part, they're the customers (obviously some outsiders come into town to buy, but I suspect that's a small fractio... (read more)
Cocaine is a stimulant, so wouldn't that make users *more* productive?
And if it were legal, it would be cheap, so no "crimes to get their next hit". Despite heavy taxation, the (significant) social harm from alcohol and tobacco doesn't come from crime.
Life is risk. Go.
Just be prepared - financially and in terms of other commitments - to be delayed by quarantine, etc.
"You are spending more money than you can afford.
This will result in unnecessary stress and misery in your life.
You will be happier in the long run if you reduce your standard of living to a level that's easily sustainable for you and put the remainder of your money into a substantial financial buffer for yourself."
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
-- Charles Dickens, from David Copperfield
a) Yes, it is, but that's the point of it. And the viewpoint seems self-justified to me.
b) The article makes no claim that "progress" is continuous or smooth or monotonically increasing, or that it doesn't suffer setbacks. The point is that *in spite* of setbacks, civilization has experienced net progress and there appears to be reason to expect that to continue - in the long run.
c) Yes, but there's a feedback loop at work. The more that problems create pain for people, the more people focus resources and attention on find... (read more)
You should read Richard Epstien's _Takings_ https://www.amazon.com/Takings-Private-Property-Eminent-Domain/dp/0674867297
It's all about this. He makes a lot of insightful points - we could be improving things far more than we do now, if only we could pay the losers to stop opposing the changes.
I'd think that at some point before now, the super-high profits to be made from renting apartments would create political pressure to allow building more housing - after all, developers want to get more of that lovely profit.
But, it seems, no.
Same thing (even worse) has happened in the Bay Area - insane rents, yet no political will to permit building more housing.
We are evolved animals. Set your expectations reasonably. Don't expect miracle cures, esp. if you're past the usual age of reproduction. Be skeptical of those promising miracle cures.
Esp. as we get older, there are lots of things we need to learn to live with, and suffer with. Embrace mild ameliorations, like ibuprofen and (small doses of!!) opiates.
Our bodies are reasonably well adapted to the kinds of things our ancestors in the state of nature had to do on a daily basis. Try to do more of those (lots of mild exercises like walking, some occasi... (read more)
With all due respect to the first set of authors, I wouldn't argue with Charles Bennett on the subject of thermodynamics. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02084158
I've been thru this same thing with doctors.
One, after being pressed with "why?" repeatedly, fessed up.
They get paid for each office visit. The way they make money is to force patients to visit the office periodically, on pain of having necessary prescriptions cut off.
I'm not talking about narcotics or controlled substances here. (For those, the DEA really does force the MDs to see the patient in person for each prescription.)
You have a greedy doctor. He thinks he's only cheating the insurance company (cheating by demanding needless office visits) but of course everybody pays for that. And your time is worth something, surely.
My advice: Get another doctor.
I don’t think it’s necessarily greed.
Your doctor may be on a system where they are responsible for doing work for you (e.g. refilling your prescriptions, doing whatever insurance paperwork it takes to make your prescriptions go through, keeping track of when you need to get certain tests, etc) without receiving any compensation except when you come in for office visits. One patient like this isn’t so bad. Half your caseload like this means potentially hours of unpaid labor every day. Even if an individual doctor is willing to do this, high-level decision-m... (read more)
I thought that was a possibility but I didn't think it was too likely.
Don't they have enough money already? I've always been confused about people who are already extremely wealthy acting so greedily. Eg. CEOs. You already have a ton of money, the extra money can't mean that much to you because of diminishing marginal utility stuff, why hurt other people in pursuit of more? Is it that they compare themselves to others around them and want to have more than their friends? Is the pursuit of more just a habit?