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Planetary Resources Kickstarter Meets Its Initial Goal

lavaface Re:Making property rights in Space legal is very i (99 comments)

On the other hand, governments provide roads, police service and sanitation, at least where they are functioning properly. I am of the belief that a government is of, for, and by the people. Who exactly are we trying to blame?

about a year ago

A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

lavaface Re:Automation and unemployment (602 comments)

The solution is grant capital stakes to more of the population. James Albus, an engineer who worked on automation and foresaw this in the 70s, described a system to achieve this that he called People's Capitalism. The basic idea is that the government should invest in cutting edge research and then socialize a portion of the efficiency gains, giving a dividend check to all citizens that would grow over time. Instead of laying the groundwork for massive improvements in machine vision, biofuels, pharmaceuticals, etc. and handing the keys over to private industry to privatize the gains, the government should get a better return. Self-driving cars and biodiesel are two prime examples of DARPA seeding money to get development going, then essentially handing over the research to private companies to refine and commercialize. His book, People's Capitalism is available for free download here. It's worthy of greater attention.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Keeping Personal Tech Cool In Extreme Heat?

lavaface This is easy (165 comments)

Get a cooler bag and an ice pack. Amazing technology.

about 2 years ago

Google To Start Punishing Pirate Sites In Search Results

lavaface Re:iTunes is great (294 comments)

Just for the record (no pun intended) if you're looking for rare music the best place to check is The site is a database of thousands of independent record stores' catalogs. I have not been let down with any oddball request I've thrown at it.

more than 2 years ago

Google Wants You to Use Your Real Name on YouTube

lavaface Re:Privacy Concerns Aside (602 comments)

The best thing to do is ignore the comments and just watch the fucking video...

more than 2 years ago

Bring Back the 40-Hour Work Week

lavaface Re:almighty dollar (969 comments)

Check out People's Capitalism. Written in 1976 by a NASA engineer who foresaw that automation would wipe out many jobs. For some reason, the links on the page are no longer working but the PDF link in the bottom left corner of the page is still active. The tl;dr version is that he proposed rather than use the Federal Reserve to print money for the banks, we should invest money in research, license the fruits of that research to private industry, and use the proceeds as dividends for the citizenry. Well worth the read. It's an idea whose time has come. See also Buckminster Fuller's idea for a basic solar income or read the wikipedia article on Economic Democracy. Oh, and spread the word. This needs to happen. It's crazy that we have have a class of workers who are overworked alongside a class of people who can't find work.

more than 2 years ago

Wikipedia Didn't Kill Brittanica — Encarta Did

lavaface Re:And brittanica did not see the threat (288 comments)

I really cannot think of any occasion where the two-paragraph overview from a printed encyclopedia ever helped me accomplish anything.

I generally agree with what you're saying but one thing I wish more people would realize is that the EB is divided into two sections: the Micropedia and the Macropedia. The Micropedia (actually Micropaedia) is what people generally think of when they think of encyclopedias: relatively short articles on a wide number of subjects. The Macropaedia had much longer articles that went into some depth on a much narrower number of topics. The articles on Number Theory and Relativity are a couple that stand out in my mind as being quite interesting to my younger self. The maps of select world cities were also a great source of interest to me. Wikipedia did not come close to this type of depth and organization until the last couple of years. In some areas they may still be behind: Macropaedia

more than 2 years ago

Lawsuit Claims NASA Specialist Was Fired Over Intelligent Design Belief

lavaface Re:Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!!! (743 comments)

Hitchens was right, religeon poisons everything.

I wouldn't say that religion poisons everything but rather that inflexible certitude poisons everything.

more than 2 years ago

Retail Chains To Strike Back Against Online Vendors

lavaface Re:So just like the old Sears crap? (532 comments)

The answer: a National Dividend This is the most capitalistic approach to C.H Douglas' theory of social credit. Read up now and help make this future happen . . .

more than 2 years ago

What If the Apollo Program Never Happened?

lavaface Re:Ironic? (756 comments)

I doubt that. Do you realise how many times it's been pointed out by various parties how ironic it is that all "Ironic's" examples of irony aren't? They've probably heard that more times than they've heard the song itself...

Now that's ironic . . .

more than 2 years ago

Scientists Organize Elsevier Boycott

lavaface Re:What's the point of journals? (206 comments)

The point of journals is the value of their reputation.

Couldn't this too be easily done in an online social network-type setting? Some type of "karma points" system could be set up that would reward thoughtful review and criticism. Different weights could be placed on different opinions (for instance, a recognized expert in a field could be given a "karma boost") and some type of filtering could be instituted. Different teams of scientists who have replicated the experiment can publish their comments and findings in a way that links it to the original research. Citations of other papers would be linked in this way as well, of course. This seems to me to be the best direction to head in.

more than 2 years ago

Does Open Source Software Cost Jobs?

lavaface People's Capitalism (530 comments)

A clever way around this problem is addressed in the prescient 1976 book People's Capitalism. The basic idea is that government sponsored long-term research and development is used to boost productivity and citizens earn dividends off of their share in this National Mutual Fund. It's quite an elegant concept. I could carry on more about what I think but you can read the book for free online at Social Credit and the basic income guarantee are related concepts if you are interested in learning more.

more than 2 years ago

Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

lavaface Re:A Muslim Perspective (1319 comments)

That an articulate and measured comment like this is modded flamebait is a true indictment of how out of control Slashdot groupthink has become. I wish I had mod points.

more than 2 years ago

Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

lavaface Another view . . . (1319 comments)

I am not sure about the intricacies of their arguments, but perhaps they are right? I do not mean to say that there are not clearly established patterns of scientific knowledge, but perhaps there is a God who has an active role in the guidance of evolution. I realize this is contrary to Slashdot groupthink and expect to get modded down, but I thought I should say something.

more than 2 years ago

China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

lavaface Answer: National Mutual Fund (463 comments)

Until the day someone invents Star Trek replicators, giving people the bare necessities with incentives to work doesn't work. Someone will have to work to provide the tax dollars we're going to divert to those who are on the basic allowance, eventually we would have a very small number of the population supporting the majority. The people who are working are going to get angry at being the only ones working while every one else stays at home and lives a happy fulfilling life.

The truth is that we have the technology now; replicators are not needed. The number of people involved in actually providing the food harvest is minimal and will only be reduced as technology improves. The key is for the general population to have an ownership stake in the very technology used to eliminate their jobs. An excellent (and extremely prescient) book from 1976, People's Capitalism, suggests that a National Mutual Fund be established to invest in beneficial technology. I highly suggest you read it as it goes in to far more detail than I can in a Slashdot comment. It is available online at

There will still be jobs that need to be done, particularly in the fields of health and construction. These jobs will provide a way to earn more income. Other ways of earning extra income will include artistic endeavors such as handcrafted household items, music and restaurant work. Prizes can be offered for creative solutions to pressing societal problems. The important thing is that without narrowing choices down to work full-time (or even overtime) for a living or die hungry in the streets, a great deal of make-work jobs that do nothing for society (and often even negatively impact society) will be eliminated. This is not science fiction. This can happen within our lifetimes. Read up and spread the word :)

more than 2 years ago

Could Crowd-Sourced Direct Democracy Work?

lavaface Re:It has worked for almost 50 years (594 comments)

I think you're right. A big reason we have seen such an explosion among electrical devices and personal communications is because of general standardizing in the industry; as long as certain specs and tolerances are made,and the commonly defined patterns of operation are met, you can make equipment. Sure, you may have to pay licensing fees for the patent pool but that is a cost of doing business passed on as a portion of the final price. If the licensing fees are onerous, that encourages competition for alternative approaches, including using older technology that has fallen out of patent protection that works just fine for the task at hand. Perhaps votes could be delegated to trusted experts given the assignee has demonstrated a sufficient knowledge in a subject matter. It will be interesting to see how this develops; I suppose even more interesting to participate in the development . . .

more than 2 years ago

Robot Workforce Threatens Education-Intensive Jobs

lavaface Re:This will finally kill capitalism. (496 comments)

This is why the Basic Income Guarantee is bound to gain traction. Buckminster Fuller advocated us humans operate on the principle of solar income. I feel that eventually people will wake up and realize that technology should liberate us to pursue athletic, artistic and scientific endeavors. Or we could just fall in to the trap of neverending economic warfare. Choose one.

more than 2 years ago

68% of US Broadband Connections Aren't Broadband

lavaface Re:Does it address what ports are open? (611 comments)

Chatanooga has 30 mbps service for less than 60 bucks. Yet they are a small town on mountainous terrain

more than 3 years ago

Edward Tufte Appointed To Help Track and Explain Stimulus Funds

lavaface Re:The whole world loves us now! (186 comments)

You have to be 35 to be president. The age requirement for the Senate is 30 and the House of Representatives is 25.While I agree that representatives who are stuck in the past should be voted out of office, having an age limit is probably counterproductive. There are many progressive seniors and many youngsters cling to antiquated notions about how the world works.

my .02

more than 4 years ago


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