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I have often wondered what happens when large scale technological unemployment occurs, or even the threat of it. I think we have seen the result in the 2016 Presidential election with the election of Donald Trump, probably the least qualified president since Harding. He's a psychopath, for god's sake. And his cabinet is beyond comprehension.

The possible result is an attack on all branches of the executive except the military. Replacement of Social Security and Medicare by virtually worthless vouchers, elimination of the departments of Education, Housing, and Energy. emasculation of the EPA. And on and on.

This could be as self-destructive as an armed uprising with fewer deaths (maybe).

Many of the issues are easy to fix. Remove the wage cap on Social Security taxes. Convert to health insurance to Medicare. Some of the unemployment issues can be mitigated by making the workweek 30 or 32 hours. Turning truck drivers into nurses or medical technicians takes a few years of training. Many of them are smart enough to do it. The current stumbling block is that they must have income support during the education period. Giving someone $100K to manage the transition doesnt seem like much to me.

Fundamentally increased productivity and wealth should lead to more leisure and a better standard of living for everyone. Eventually everyone should get a minimum guaranteed income so they have time to pursue their education, raise families, be artists or novelists.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome for an experiment on a guaranteed income.


Ah, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stepehson updated for the internet age. Worth reading if you havent.


Updated nothing, that sounds like Cryptonomicon's fictional Sultanate of Kinakuta.


Thank you for the pointer toward what seems like an excellent read! Just ordered it on Amazon.


All his stuff is great. If you like it, check the baroque cycle too


Just as a counterpoint: while I like his stuff in general, I disliked the baroque cycle (but still read the whole thing).

My recommendation: Anathem.

If anyone should ask I will explain my opinion on the baroque cycle.


The Vault!


I say the girl should be congratulated for her ingenuity. The amount of effort she put into tweaking the teacher's tail is commendable. The real "solution" here is for her to find a mentor who will channel her efforts into more projects that make people think as well as shock them. Sometimes this is risky for the teacher, but god knows we need more critical thinkers.

When I was 14, more than half a century ago, I got into trouble for holding opinions that the people her would consider merely progressive. One of my daughters in high school got into insulting her peer group by using a vocabulary they didnt understand. They thought she was praising them. She is now in her thirties and very well adjusted. If she had done such a thing in middle school, I would have been very amused, but her mother would have been absolutely mortified. Probably best that she didnt.


It's a history of presidential nomination conventions ffrom their appearance in the early 1800s. The takeaway is they can never get it right.


I'm not sure where you got your numbers. The 10 largest cities in the US have a population of 26M (2015 estimates, Wikipedia). Generally population estimates are given for the metropolitan area. The 10 largest have a population of 73 million. There are 53 MSAs with a population over 1M with perhaps a total population of 150M. (I was too lazy to do all the addition.) The US has a large area, but it is primarily urban.


According to the review, DeLong and Cohen have written a historical analysis of what has worked as economic engines in America's economic history. Their observation is that it is big concrete advancements like Hamilton's banking system, the railroads, and Roosevelt's trust busting. They say things went awry in the 70s and 80s when the economy turned from manufacturing to healthcare and rentier industries like finance, and the adoption of the Free Market ideology. The way back on course is for the government to back big ideas once more.

I'm not sure. The Japanese tried very hard (remember 5th generation computing?) and failed. However, the idea of the historical analysis is intriguing enough that I have ordered a copy. If I can read fast enough, I will try to report back before the topic has migrated into oblivion.

We certainly need some concrete and philosophical changes. The rentier class cannot continue to siphon of all productivity increases to stash into their private asset accounts, without bringing the world to its knees.


Is the point of the article really asking government to make bets on industry (like your Japanese example)? Or is that government needs to back employment-absorbing industries like manufacturing (like China today, and Japan / Korea / Taiwan in post-WW2 period)?


> I will try to report back before the topic has migrated into oblivion.

I'll be interested in hearing it.


The Eternal September all over again. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September


It never really ended.


All well and good if your kids are from a school known to the admissions department at the colleges they are applying to, otherwise the AP courses, with all their flaws, are a reasonable compromise that gets them college credit.

My kids took a different route when faced with a truly incompetent high school calculus teacher. My wife convinced the high school to allow them to take courses at the local community college for both high school and college credit. The courses were approved by the University of California so there was no issue about transfer of credits.


a school known to the admissions department

It's worth noting that this can be an issue for graduate admissions too: When I was studying in Oxford, emails would come around the department on a regular basis asking "does anyone know anything about the University of FooBar? One of their students is applying". (Of course, Oxford is unusual in the extent to which it draws graduate students from around the world.)


Colleges don't see AP scores until after a student is admitted so admissions only sees the fact that the kid is in the class. Also, from what I can tell, admissions offices do have a pretty good feel for the schools they read for.

Once a kid is accepted, schools already give placement tests so that takes care of that issue.

On the credit front, I think partnering with a college would yield better results (like what you did).

I also wonder how much the credits mean - if a kid can knock off a full semester, it's obviously a big saving but given the way colleges charge undergrads - a fixed amount for a varying number of credits, at the end of the day, I wonder if it makes much of a difference for a kid that gets a small handful of credits.


1) AP exams can be taken independent of whether you've taken the class. A high school freshman can take any AP exam.

2) It's common in competitive high schools for students to start taking AP classes in junior year (or even sophomore year), so top colleges definitely do see AP scores for most of the top 30% of students applying.

For me, AP credit was huge. It let me skip calculus in college and a bunch of other very time-consuming classes (foreign language, etc.). Instead, it cleared up my schedule so by the end of college I was able to take multiple graduate CS classes.


From your second link: >>>The junction provides access to and from the A38 (Tyburn Road), A38(M) (Aston Expressway), the A5127 (Lichfield Road/Gravelly Hill), and several unclassified local roads. It covers 30 acres (12 ha), serves 18 routes and includes 4 km (2.5 mi) of slip roads, but only 1 km (0.6 mi) of the M6 itself. Across 5 different levels, it has 559 concrete columns, reaching up to 24.4 m (80 ft). The engineers had to elevate 21.7 km (13.5 mi) of motorway to accommodate two railway lines, three canals, and two rivers.

Truly an inspiration to those of us who grew up with Erector Sets and Tinker Toys.


California is quite peculiar. California has 482 municipalities. Whether they call themselves cities or towns is local preference, although fewer than two dozen call themselves towns. The largest municipality is Los Angeles with 3.7 million people. The smallest is Vernon with 112 people. I live in the unincorporated town of Cambria with a population of about 6000. We are about 20 miles from the nearest city, but we have no local government at all. The closest we have to a government is the community services district which runs the water district, the sewerage treatment plant and the fire department.

Cambria is in San Luisbo County which has an area of 3600 square miles and a population of over a quarter million but only 5 cities. California has a law that makes in almost impossible for a new city to incorporate. The new city must reimburse the county for any lost tax revenues caused by incorporation. If your GPS reports a city some distance away, it probably reporting the county seat of an unincorporated area.


I still think my comment reasonably captures the parlance, even if it doesn't account for the sea of legal definitions in the US.


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