The trickle-down theory of bad ideas
Some philosophers seem to have lost touch with reality.
Bruno Latour (RIP) was a proponent of the idea that everything is a social construction. This leads to stuff like:
“Butler makes the general assumption that anything at all humans can meaningfully think about is socially constructed, ‘all the way down’ as it were. This means [...]
Economics is founded on falsehoods
And consequently politics is misdirected.
I am mostly not going to provide evidence, I am going to let you try to contradict me with yours.
Homo economicus: the idea that a person’s behavior is guided by maximizing self-interest. Together with the assumption that transaction costs are negligible this leads to incorrect modeling of real behavior. [...]
The Roman Catholic Church and reproductive health
I wrote this in reaction to the growing control of health care by Catholic organizations (41% or more of facilities in Washington State), most recently the merger of Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan. Access to birth control healthcare is increasingly limited. Inaccessible and illegal are indistinguishable.
Kuttner on TAP reports that Oberlin college has outsourced [...]
Intellectual Property is a bad thing.
Copyright and patent law were instituted as a way to reward and incentivize people who contribute to the public good – literature, music, art, artifice, technology advances, medicines, and on and on.
It was well intentioned but it has failed. There are works lost to the public because the copyright holder (who may be long [...]
AI is neither A nor I, and inhumane
from an email threada about self-driving cars, I wrote a couple of short pieces on AI.
On the main point: a custom road designed for cars that can navigate it is called a railroad.
Now about AI:
AI today is neither A nor I
Sunday, October 9, 2022
AI has been just 10 [...]
Necessities as commodities: should I buy air or water today?
This is going to be very offensive to some people. I hope so.
Let’s do a thought experiment. These can be very illuminating. Einstein used them to good effect.
The boss of Nestle has said that water should be a commodity to be bought and sold. They have a near monopoly on distribution, including Perrier [...]
Debt slavery is a natural consequence of unregulated capitalism
Thursday, May 7, 2015
This article began as a set of notes for a presentation I gave at the Up From Debt meeting organized by Washington CAN. http://washingtoncan.org/wordpress/5828/up-from-debt-march-14-2015-2/ [Link is no longer available]
Disclaimer: I am a member of the 1%. Instead of wealth or title, I inherited good health, a [...]
Class warfare in action
Trends in income inequality relative to GDP
There are no clever mathematical models here, only facts. No Nobel prize for me.
I analysed income per family divided by GDP per family. First look at the 90% majority:
Since about 1970, their average share of income relative to GDP has steadily declined, from almost half, to [...]
The war on women is evil
Some time ago I came across this on the internet:
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A [...]
The Geek Manifesto
We are geeks, and we are proud to be.
We are rational; we understand cause and effect; we understand consequences; we understand loosely-coupled distributed self-organizing systems with multiple redundant communication channels.
We are a community, not individuals entirely subject to our employers’ whims. Our personal contacts make up the backbone of the world-wide GeekWeb.
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