plutz

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Why does History assume equal national intelligence?

I think the issue boils down to only one thing. Average national intelligence is irrelevant. If the nation has a system that allows and selects for the top few % to be identified and educated, the nation will do well. The rest of the population are just lever pullers and button mashers in the big picture. The handful of brilliant engineers designing weapons will allow the nation's armies to be victorious. The handful of brilliant economists and businessmen will allow the nation's economy to grow most successfully. The handful of brilliant.... you get the idea. 

If two populations are statistically identical and you select the top 1% of one population and put them in positions of influence and power, but you select randomly from the top 10% of the other population and put them in the same positions, the results will be dramatically different. On some small level, average intelligence might matter, but the outliers matter vastly more. Energy spent identifying and promoting the outliers will always be energy well spent.

Why indoor lighting is hard to get right and how to fix it

An interesting article and timely given the lengthening nights in the northern hemisphere. I tackle the indoor lighting challenge in several ways. First, I have a large number of multi-bulb chandelier light fixtures. I put a different bulb in each fitting, and let the large number of crystals blend them together for me. (This also tends to create faint shadows and color variations throughout the room which is helpful for hiding evidence of children touching walls with dirty fingers....) I don't worry too much about what color any particular light fixture has at any given time as long as there is a good variety. As you pointed out, filling in the gaps in the spectrum seems to be helpful. In terms of brightness, I place high output bulbs in parts of the house I frequent during the course of the day (kitchen, living room), and low output bulbs in places I tend to only go in the evening (dining room, bedrooms, bathrooms). Actively managing beyond that seems like more work than I'm interested in. 

I also installed much larger windows on the north and east sides of my house and chopped down trees blocking my view of the sky on the north side of the house. I think that is more helpful than all the lighting combined.

What risks concern you which don't seem to have been seriously considered by the community?

There are a few things that concern me. CRISPR proliferation with gene drive tech is a near and looming threat. It won't be long before large numbers of individuals will be able to design and deploy genetically modified organisms with minimal regulation or oversight. The ways in which this can go wrong is limited only by your imagination.