[ExI] it was the best times, it was the best of times

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Sun Oct 6 21:32:28 UTC 2013

On Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 9:56 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> In all of human history, now is unique in many ways, but I thought of a
> pleasant one: if one is a pauper, especially a young one, it is definitely
> the best of times.

There is more free or virtually free stuff available now than at any time
in human history. Certainly much of it is digital, but much of it is not.
The book "Free: How Today's Smartest Businesses Profit by Giving Something
for Nothing" by Chris Anderson shows how many physical things can be free
as well.

I have an idea for a way to give people free haircuts, and the business
would be very profitable if it caught on. It basically involves trading
your time watching advertisements for getting your hair cut. It's just one
way to show how you can make the economy go without collecting money from
the people getting the service (or good).

> I don’t know about other countries, but if one’s standards in housing are
> not too picky, we now have developed a society where a pauper can really
> have a decent life, especially if one’s favorite thing is devouring
> information in all its forms, and is a light eater.
But to a large extent, this society is based upon redistribution of wealth
in addition to the commoditization of everything basic to life. And any
society based on redistribution of wealth is likely to fail long term.
Unless, that is, the best people are radically better than the unenhanced.
So, for example, our society works well for cats and dogs because we simply
don't expect anything from them. If there is an underclass that has the
same comparative capabilities to dogs and cats, then maybe we can afford to
support them.

> **
> Consider for instance the way it has always been.  If you have a ton of
> money, you can of course get the best mates, the best home, the best food,
> the best wheels etc.  We know that, and that hasn’t changed a bit, ever.
> But in the old days, if you had nothing, you couldn’t really even get
> training: you couldn’t learn to read, or if you could read, you couldn’t
> get reading materials readily.  There were public libraries, but we all
> know that the books there were generally outdated.  Certainly better than
> nothing, but compare a typical public library to Stanford bookstore and you
> know exactly what I mean: Stanford’s store is expensive, but highly
> selected with only the most wicked cool stuff in there.  Of course it costs
> money.
A rising tide lifts everyone.

> ****
> **This has all given me a vision of sorts, which ties in nicely with the
> current US government’s thrashing about, partially shut down, so they say.
> The fed was hoping someone would notice.  So far we have learned we can do
> just fine without their expensive help.
If it would just STAY shut down, we could adjust. Knowing that it will open
up again soon enough, it's just going to be back to business as usual as
soon as both sides have made the political points they need to for their

> **
> **This shutdown is all about how we are going to do our healthcare.  I
> would argue the proposed solution will be just as broken as the one before
> it, but I did think of a way that might help.  In many countries in the
> world, people go to medical school right out of high school.  I personally
> know two doctors who went to medical school, one in Iran, the other in
> China.  Both practiced medicine for several years there.  Neither has
> managed to get licensed here.  I think we could set up a system where
> aspiring doctors could do much of their qualification for medical school
> online, starting at any time.  Much of medical school could be done with
> online training as well.  In this way we could generate many more doctors.
> Of course they would likely not be as competent as our current crop, but
> they would have far less investment in their education, so they could
> charge a lot less.
The problem is that there is a government bureaucracy that is dedicated to
getting us to use ONLY the very expensive doctors, even for prescribing
antibiotics. Something your average tenth grader could do with a week's

To paraphrase the Hitch: "Obama is not Great: How Government Poisons
Everything" will perhaps be my next book.

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