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How Bad Is the Gulf Coast Oil Spill?

crasch Re:Don't worry BP ... (913 comments)

I agree that BP won't get off free, but I also think that consumers will be paying higher prices. BP will likely be paying billions in fines and clean up costs. BP will have to either raise prices or cut costs in order to meet those charges. Those costs will divert resources from ad campaigns, building new service stations, exploring for new wells, etc. Either way, this will ease competitive pressure on the other oil companies. If BP raises prices to pay for clean up, the other companies can raise their prices somewhat too, and still beat BP's prices (since they don't have to pay clean up costs). In addition, the other companies will likely be spending a lot more money upgrading and inspecting their equipment in order to avoid BP's fate. The spill will also likely make regulatory costs much higher, and prevent oil companies from exploring new territories. As a result, they will have to find more (expensive) ways to extract oil from existing sites.

more than 4 years ago
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Time To Discuss Drug Prohibition?

crasch Re:Bad idea for some drugs (1367 comments)

allowing random people to decide what they can take when they want has a definite negative effect on the society at large

But are prescription controls the best way to combat drug resistance?

There are two potential causes of harm:

1. You could take an antibiotic when you don't really need, thereby hastening drug resistance.

2. You could fail to take an antibiotic when you really need it, and thereby suffer or die from the bacterial infection.

Prescription laws may help with 1), but they may harm via 2) due to people failing to get antibiotics they need due to the cost of getting a prescription. Prescription laws for antibiotics would only be justified if the harm of 1) outweighed the harm of 2). How do you know that the harm of 1) outweighs the harm of 2)?

In any case, the drug resistance argument applies only to antibiotics. We could eliminate prescriptions on all other drugs without worrying about increasing drug resistance.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Seasteading '08 Conference: Vote with your house

crasch crasch writes  |  more than 5 years ago

crasch writes "The Seasteading Institute will be hosting its first annual conference on October 10th, 2008. Seasteaders advocate the long term settlement of the ocean, with the hope that seasteads will improve governments by making it much easier for citizens to exit from bad governments. Participants of the conference will explore solutions to some of the obstacles to seasteading (economic, political, and engineering) and discuss recent advances in the development of a prototype seastead. Here's an excerpt from their press release:

If the Seasteading Institute has its way, you will soon be able to relocate your house--or even your entire town--almost as easily as you move your car. "We are going to build permanent floating settlements on the ocean. The first prototype will likely be built in the sheltered waters of the San Francisco Bay, but future designs will be capable of withstanding open ocean conditions." says Patri Friedman, founder of the Mountain View based non-profit. The Institute recently received some substantial backing for their approach, in the form of a $500,000 grant from Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel. Unlike some past projects which envisioned enormous, multi-billion dollar cities, The Seasteading Institute advocates a modular, incremental approach, where cities are built up one block, or even one house, at a time. Patri says: "Cruise ships already demonstrate that people can live on the ocean in big, movable buildings at reasonable cost. We've got a slightly different design: we're going to build a city out of interconnected floating platforms. That way you'll be able to move cities, and take your house and yard with you! And we are designing these platforms to be comparable in cost to high-end land-based homes."

"

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