All of eyesack's Comments + Replies

Pain is not the unit of Effort

I think there's another aspect that you haven't mentioned.

I've found that when I've overburdened myself with work, I tend to cope through copious amounts of caffeine. Over time, this habit limits my overall productivity, and forces me to undergo painful withdrawal symptoms to return to normal. When someone turns to alcoholism to escape the stress in their life, they limit the amount of productive time they can spend solving the problems that lead to their stress. The same goes for many ultimately destructive habits: binge eating, gambling, smoking, memes (... (read more)

Can we hold intellectuals to similar public standards as athletes?

A lot of people's beliefs are influenced by their political affiliation. I'd be wary of a rating system. If one political party got ahold of it, they might use it to completely discredit their opponents, when the issue is just not very well understood in the first place and having multiple perspectives is very useful.

Climate change is the issue that comes to mind first.

I'd suggest decentralized rating systems for this reason. Think movie reviewers and Consumer Reports.
Industrial literacy

Interesting, I appreciate you taking the time to formulate a coherent and respectful response, and I'll do my best to do the same.

  1. Rural Economy
    1. Farmers raise corn and soybeans. Beans mainly go to feed livestock. Corn is split between livestock and making ethanol. Ethanol is sold to fuel cars. So, our main exports are soybeans, meat, and ethanol.
    2. A lot of people have jobs supporting the local population or for local companies. The rest either drive 45 minutes to the nearest city or work at the door factory that's in a nearby town.
      1. We all call it the city, but
... (read more)
3Edward Swernofsky2y
Thanks again for the perspective! These are good things to note and provide a lot of context. I still wonder what qualifies as "family owned" and whether it's really just farming that brings 60 million to rural life. The median household income in rural America looks to be only a bit lower than urban. Otoh, the rural poverty rate was 16.4 percent in 2017, compared with 12.9 percent for urban areas. Jason Crawford mentions farms worked with trains and horses before trucks. The scenario I mentioned with trains would still use (intermodal?) trucks for the last mile and just replace rural highways. I could believe farming transport demands are too strange for this, but I could also see standardization insignificantly increasing costs. And do people in town often travel to the farms or mostly just to other towns or cities? Pollution isn't just a local issue, and I agree rural areas have no obvious pollution - but a carbon tax (for global warming) would make fuel more expensive, increasing the already significant costs of rural gas transportation. I imagine the biggest subsidy of rural areas is the highways, which are 3/4 of the paved lane-miles in the US. The maintenance of these highways appear to amount [] to ~$3600 per capita annually, with a subsidy of ~$1200. I'd believe that utilities aren't subsidized more than their urban counterparts. If as this implies there really isn't much subsidy, I stand corrected! Thank you, cars. And of course, any other technology (electric, PRT) would still function like the automobile. And AC / climate control is necessary in many states. Now I wonder how rural areas look in other countries wrt population share, infrastructure, economy, and farm finances.
5Ben Pace2y
(I just want to say, your comments have been very interesting and detailed in an area I don't know a lot about, thank you very much for writing them!)
Re 2.2, a historical note: We had trains long before we had trucks, and people solved the last-mile problem with horses. Trains didn't decrease horse usage because they were actually complements, not substitutes. Dependence on horses only decreases with the motor vehicle.
Industrial literacy

You don't seem to understand how rural life works and why it's important. You also seem to think that small town lives and rural lives are more expensive than city lives. Please, allow me to clear up some misunderstandings.

Small towns aren't places that manufacture food for cities. They're places where people live and thrive, where occasionally you'll see families that farm or raise animals for a job. You seem to think that all the rural area in the world can just be replaced by corporations that send out farmers to live more "efficiently". This doesn't ma... (read more)

7Edward Swernofsky2y
This is clarifying of rural life. Thank you! I think you make a lot of assumptions of what I believe here. Large family owned farms constitute about half of total farm area. It's not really clear to me what qualifies as "family owned" here: I imagine most still have a number of workers. I'm also not sure if farms are the primary driver of rural economies. They certainly occupy most of the area. Rural areas appear to take the form of vast swaths of nothing but farms surrounding tiny suburb-density towns. I think there's a good chance that without the subsidy and with more direct infrastructure burden, the tiny towns (which seem to be most of the rural population) would significantly shrink in population. That said, I admit (electric? micro?) cars or motorcycles seem like a perfectly reasonable transport system for the remaining rural population. Farmers might need higher clearance for field roads. PRT [] would likely work for small towns and inter-town transport, but not for farms, and wouldn't have been possible until recently. If highways are much cheaper with smaller vehicles and without trucks, I imagine rail would be a good alternative for farmers to ship produce. The main point I was making is that rural areas have significantly more road, utility cost, and transport cost per capita. Owning a car is expensive, and unnecessary in many cities. You're not wrong that NYC is a bit insane (and I don't think "a hundredth" is out of the question in many cities), but the added value seems to generally outweigh the increased waste of most cities even today. Pollution can be mitigated with incentives, and I'd be surprised if rural areas don't pollute more per capita. Jerry-rigging everything is a compromise you don't need to make in many cities! I'd argue that that sort of thing is just a market inefficiency, and actually more wasteful. If you wouldn't jerry-rig in a city, it's probably because paying someone is a
Industrial literacy

Interesting. I like this post. You've certainly got the right audience for a good reception. Everyone likes to think about how much more they know than anyone else, myself included. It's tough to think about what will actually make the world a better place.

If you took a person and taught them all about modern medicine, agriculture, technology, and everything else except how it's put together, how would they think the world works? What would be different in that person's mind from the way the world is now? 

In other words, what do you notice that you're confused by in the world today?

I think that's where we'll find the lies.

Contrarily, a vacuum cleaner is just in no way more automatic than a broom unless you design a floor to hold pieces of food and dirt, which people love. Hoping someone comes along to shove me with 5 studies that carpets reduce homicide and tax fraud, but I'm very sorry to say that people still have paid servants, and those cleaners drive the vacuum across the floor's square inches just like you and me, except they receive compensation ;^( Who's to say even the value positive automations benefit workers, who make up the majority? Post-'trickle down economics', everything seems to become more nebulous in developing capitalism.
Industrial literacy

My dad and uncle can farm 2,000 acres between them because of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. I would like to see you do the same with integrated livestock and multi-cropping.

Configurations and Amplitude

Why doesn't the block between B and D absorb the photon a third of the time, since it should have the same modulus as the detectors? What's so special about things that tell us that they've been hit by a photon?