[ExI] Rationality and Irrationality

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Dec 22 01:51:00 UTC 2007

On Dec 20, 2007, at 11:53 AM, Kevin Freels wrote:

>> What I expect to see is telecommuting finally come into its own.   
>> Many
>> billions of dollars of productivity are lost commuting not to mention
>> the waste in fuel and belching nasties into the air.
> That will be great. It's happening far too slowly for me. Bosses  
> like to micromanage and supervise. What will all those supervisors  
> do when they have no one left to baby-sit?

Well I suppose they could insist you have a web cam up so they can  
look in or some such if they really have to.

>> I think many would jump on really effective telecommuting even
>> faster.  But I did buy a Prius largely because of my former long
>> commute.
> Of course. But that doesn't help all the travel, trips to the store,  
> movies, entertainment, and everything else people do with their  
> cars. That's why they won;t give them up. If it was just about  
> getting to work and back it would be different.
I and it seems a lot of people do more and more hopping online.  If we  
ever get the Great Jukebox in the Sky up and as large flat panel TV  
proliferates people are likely to go to less movies.   I am not  
claiming that people will give up cars, just that technology is giving  
us a lot more choices about when we do and do not need to haul the  
meat body around.   I do thing that electric cars will eventually win  
out over everything else.   I hope it is fairly soon.

>> There is no great bonanza of oil in Alaska.
> This makes it even more crucial.
Couldn't agree more.
>>>> More money needs to be spent on R&D to make these products
>>>> available. I
>>>> like where you are going with this though. How about a $1.50 per
>>>> gallon gas
>>>> guzzler tax on all passenger vehicles that get less than 30 mpg and
>>>> use that
>>>> money to directly fund alternative R&D.
>> As it is largely not the fault of these car owners that would be
>> grossly unjust as are most government appropriations.
> lol. While I wholeheartedly agree, I don't see any other way to do  
> it. Anyone who knows me knows that I am just a little less  
> libertarian than Mike Lorrey (is he still around?).

Yep.  I think I heard something about him attempting to become the  
Midas Mulligan of Second Life.  :-)

> But I am willing to admit that government at times has to do things  
> that capitalism won't. At the moment I don't think a taxless society  
> is workable.

I am not so sure about that.   I think taxes as we know them have no  
place in a sane and free society.  But some form of dues for certain  
parts of the commons maintenance might still be required.   But I  
don't agree that it is government's place to appropriate wealth to use  
for what it considers a good cause.

> This may change in the future but we're talking about the present.  
> That's a whole different discussion in itself but I do think this is  
> one case where tax money is necessary to do the job.

What for?  Power stations are private.  Research in electric vehicles  
can sure be private.  Infrastructure bits are cheaper than oil based  
infrastructure.  The power network problems might be a candidate  
although there are ways to make power a lot less centralized and thus  
reduce those issues.

> But hey, here's an idea. Since we are perfectly willing to go into  
> massive debt for wars and such, why not just go more into debt and  
> put the full force and finance of the US government into developing  
> an alternative?

Because the US government has absolutely no incentive to be efficient  
or actually produce something very good.  And in the meantime they are  
taking it out of our hide and the hides of generations to come.   No  

> Call it a "War on oil". The goal - spend 1 trillion dollars to  
> develop a new renewable energy source

It doesn't even have to be "renewable" as nuclear power is not but  
certainly needs more development.  Private industry is doing a fine  
job on new solar energy products.   The US government intrusion into  
biofuels is wreaking large corn and other food markets for a grossly  
inferior product giving less energy than it takes to produce it.    
That is government in action.  We need this like a hole in the head.

> so we can pull our forces away from the rest of the world and simply  
> focus on defending our own borders. The return on investment would  
> be both the sales of the technology abroad and no longer having to  
> get involved in foreign wars.

What on earth leads you to believe that government can actually  
innovate or seriously spur innovation?

- samantha

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