For example: how much more fun of a computer is an iPad than an Apple II? Is it 37.6 times more fun? Or 198.2 times more fun? Or even 547.9? It would seem clear, to anyone not a blithering idiot, that any process which claims to be able to derive any such number is retarded at best and may well constitute felony math abuse.
Not at all! The Bureau of Labor Statistics is, in fact, in possession of exactly this figure. Here’s how they do it. Since Apple was selling computers continuously from Apple II to iPad, we can look at the period when both the Apple II and Apple III were on sale, divide the list price of the Apple III by the Apple II; later, the Mac 512K by the Apple III, and so on until we reach the iPad. This process is called hedonic regression. It is thoroughly official – approved of by both Harvard and the US Government. So who’s the blithering idiot now?
And on the dire problem (i.e. the problem that society contains some people who consume more than they produce and the number of these people will increase as technology increases):
We move on to Solution B [i.e. welfare – paying such people not to work], which I think is the solution most people believe in. . . .
The problem with Solution B is that we’ve already tried it, quite extensively. You see Solution B every time you go to the grocery store. Next to the button marked “Debit/Credit” is one marked “EBT.” Ever pressed that one? Even just by mistake? It’s the Solution B button. America has entire cities that have moved beyond anti-hedonic labor disutility and entered the gleaming future of Solution B. One of them is called “Detroit.”
Solution B is not the culmination of human civilization, it turns out, but its destruction. Even in terms of mere Pig-Philosophy, it is destructive, because it ruins a human asset. If we appraise humans as robots, we see that this is a special kind of robot: it rusts up if not continually operating. As beasts, we are beasts who evolved to work. Our species achieved world domination as a result of our capacity for work. To feed and entertain a human being, without requiring productive effort or at least some simulation of it, is in the end just a way to destroy him . . .
– Speaking of Detroit, I could have done the work of the “state-appointed review team” for free and in 2 seconds: “But recent findings from a state-appointed review team and interviews with past and present city officials also suggest a city that over the years was remarkably badly run.” Detroit is now a monument to the failings of democracy. What’s gone wrong there is that the people of the city were allowed to elect their leaders – the poor souls never had a chance.
– I’d always assumed that progressives needed to believe that evolution happened super slowly. So slowly, in fact, that groups with different appearances had identical intellectual abilities. Apparently that’s not the case.
– Anomaly UK: “when the chips are down, I want to be surrounded by people who have a positive pre-rational subconscious reaction towards me, not a negative one.”
– Mangan digs up an example of anarcho-tyranny. I think that story is a better of example of how retarded Steven Pinker is for thinking that violence is on the decline. In the old days, those two criminals would have been killed for their previous crimes. Now, one guy is dead. By my calculation violence has increased. By Pinker’s calculation violence has decreased.
– Google is killing Reader, which means I will finally be able to completely sever ties with Google. They (of course) lie and claim that it’s because no one’s using it. Here’s how to move all your feeds and saved items. Here’s alternatives (I’d recommend waiting a couple months to see how it shakes out on multiple fronts) and here’s another list.