Assorted links

by on February 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. NYT profile of Jodi Ettenberg.

2. The seasteading project of Blueseed.

3. Nomad planets.

4. The grocery store of the future?

5. Kickstarter expects to provide more funding to the arts than NEA.

6. Has parenting become impossible?

athEIst February 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

NOMAD PLAMETS .
Very interesting
B
U
T
they may generate heat through internal radioactive decay and tectonic activity.
Doesnt the heat generate the tectonic activity and not the other way around?

Careless February 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Io, for example, produces heat from tectonic activity, but that’s driven by gravity, which you’d think would be the last thing happening to nomad planets. I don’t get it either.

AC February 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

The more I read, the more I begin to believe that Blueseed is a clever advocacy campaign for expanded H1B visas, not a serious business proposal. They’ve done a lot of work to get the idea out there and maximize notoriety, but the engineering and business sides seem extremely thin. It’s a Silicon Valley version of a sit-in.

asdf February 26, 2012 at 7:19 am

+1

CBBB February 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

#2 Why would she have to leave Canada to start her business idea? I don’t understand – people on this blog are always telling me how booming Canada is. how great it’s economy is. I just don’t get it.

Geoff Olynyk February 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Canada’s mostly booming because of oil. From what I hear, the venture capital markets in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver have always been way smaller than the American markets, especially for risky technology startups.

My personal view is that it’s mostly due to Canadian fiscal conservativism (in the sense of being risk-averse). The banks made it through the past five years without any damage or bailouts, but the downside is that many (most?) of Canada’s talented young entrepreneurs eventually leave for the United States.

You’re getting into touchy subjects here, though. In general, we Canadians don’t like being reminded of the Brain Drain.

CBBB February 25, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Yeah Geoff I was being sarcastic in reference to some comments someone made in an earlier post about the Canadian economy. I would say the increasing economic reliance on oil is also largely to blame for the lack of innovation in other sectors.

jk February 26, 2012 at 10:21 am

Is the oil sector so large that it is causing a resource curse situation in Canada such as with the appreciation of the CAD which hurts all other exports?

CBBB February 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

Probably. Canada’s always been rather capital scare, it doesn’t bode well for investment in risky innovative ventures when you have a large sector of solid, easy-profits, like the oil industry sucking up what little capital there is.

asdf February 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

Because Canadians are white and it doesn’t scare people like if they said the person was from India.

Roy February 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm

3. “Although nomad planets don’t bask in the warmth of a star, they may generate heat through internal radioactive decay and tectonic activity.”.

Have they ever even talked to a planetary geologist?

6. Finally a new false mastabatory meme to compete with the “non first tier law degrees are useless onw.

Andrew' February 26, 2012 at 6:04 am

6. It rings very true to me. With super challenging kid #1 whenever I made the mistake of speaking honestly, I would always hear “all kids are like that.” Now that I have super easy kid #2 I want to punch all those people in the face. Now, I’m too trusting and have learned never to trust anyone, but the broader point being, the system of “parental support” [sic] (i.e., a system of rent-seeking and quackery preying on parental ignorance, panic, and distress) is founded on several fundamental attribution errors.

Dan Weber February 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

The single most important paragraph to read is at the start of Freakonomics‘s chapter on parenthood. Something about how you will never be more irrational than when dealing with your kids and there are people who will prey on that.

anon February 26, 2012 at 12:04 pm

there are people who will prey on that.

Including social workers, therapists, police, teachers, etc., etc. (and some teenagers).

After witnessing the travails of a few friends and their teenage children, I’m surprised there aren’t a LOT more homeless teens.

Edward Burke February 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

#6: Parenting: the begetting of children (by persons ever intent on extending the duration of their own childhoods) so that they may be raised by someone else.

Cliff February 26, 2012 at 1:21 am

I don’t think people intent on extending their own childhood have children.

Andrew' February 26, 2012 at 5:59 am

Having kids on a college campus is an interesting experience. People often pretend they aren’t even their. I think it is the exact opposite. Your having kids reminds these people that they are getting old.

Andrew' February 26, 2012 at 5:59 am

(there)

Edward Burke February 26, 2012 at 10:12 am

–in which case, you and I may not live in the same United States.

Miguel February 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

It’s a safe bet that you don’t have children.

Edward Burke February 26, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Cioran spoke well, as he often did: “Those children I never wanted to have–if only they knew what happiness they owe me!” (with thanx to R. Howard, trans.)

CBBB February 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm

#4 The Grocery store of the future looks like it has a pretty bad selection of products

TallDave February 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm

2. Met Patri and James Hogan a while back, I was surprised how much serious thought had gone into the concept and its legal foundations, I don’t know if it’s viable this decade, though.

k February 25, 2012 at 7:25 pm

#6: acc. to Justin Wolfers, childrearing can be outsourced. problem solved!

more seriously though, is it too bad to think that schools were developed to outsource childrearing, as awful as that sentence sounds.

Andrew' February 26, 2012 at 5:57 am

The problem with outsourcing is that first you subjugate your desires to the market. So far so good. But then, all the bureaucrats and childless busybodies show up and demand their piece of the action too. That’s how you end up with schools that if your kid is getting bullied he is f&(^ed because he/she is proscribed from defending himself and gets the same punishment as the bully and your kid has something to lose.

Ronald Brak February 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

3. Bodies such as mars show signs of contraction from cooling. Cooling can also result in phase changes that can result in either expansion or contraction. These tectonic processes would generate some heat, although I guess it wouldn’t be much.

In our solar system Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune all give off more energy than they receive from the sun and mechanisms that warm them, such as helium raining out, could operate on nomad planets.

Careless February 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Cooling can also result in phase changes that can result in either expansion or contraction. These tectonic processes would generate some heat, although I guess it wouldn’t be much.

Wikipedia “entropy”. The tectonic processes cannot generate heat aside from the energy that is put into them from other sources.

In our solar system Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune all give off more energy than they receive from the sun and mechanisms that warm them

And you seem to be counting the heat from gravitational collapse that leads to the molten cores of the larger 6 planets as “mechanisms that warm them”, which doesn’t make much sense. The Earth has been hot in its interior since it formed, which means it’s radiating energy. When it cools, that will be one of the apocalypses.

Ronald Brak February 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I just knocked a container of screen cleaning wipes off my desk. It moved closer to the earth’s core and the carpet got slightly warmer.

Careless February 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm

Ah, the “intelligent tectonics” theory of nomad planets?

Ronald Brak February 25, 2012 at 11:04 pm

No, it’s just that if say the planet mars contracted by one kilometer it would move its crust closer to the center of mars, giving up gravitational potential energy and thereby making my carpet even warmer.

The Original Frank February 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

#6: Sounds like a typical middle-class problem. Get over it and move on.

Steve Sailer February 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

The grocery store of the future?

Peapod has been the grocery store of the future so long that I did a consulting project for them back around 1994 in which I told them to get on the Internet.

joshua February 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm

#5. My bias says that if citizens are voluntarily contributing as much money to the arts as the state is, then that proves that the arts are not or are no longer a public good suffering from a collective action problem and no longer needs money from the state. Any reason I should think otherwise?

DW February 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

Kickstarter co-founder doesn’t agree with you: “But maybe it shouldn’t be that way,” Strickler said, “Maybe there’s a reason for the state to strongly support the arts.”

Ronald Brak February 26, 2012 at 1:58 am

Joshua, if citizens were voluntarily contributing as much money to vaccinations as the state, that wouldn’t mean that vaccines are no longer a public good suffering from a collective action problem. Vaccination rates could still be way below the rate required to prevent epidemics. (Please note I am saying nothing about what funding for the arts should be, one way of the other.)

joshua February 26, 2012 at 9:04 am

A good point. However, based on the current proliferation of films and music and the way that technology provides lower barriers to entry which seem to more than make up for technology providing a threat to traditional artistic business models, I think you could make a good case that the arts are doing fine on their own (at least funding wise, I don’t know about patent law stuff.) Though I don’t know much about painting or other categories one might argue about.

Pandaemoni February 26, 2012 at 5:32 am

#4, If they have an app, why do I need to scan things with my barcode reader? Why not just show me a picture and price on my phone, and essentially create a mobile version of what any online grocery delivery service, (like FreshDirect, in NY) offers? Then I can be on the train, or on the platform, or waiting for my lunch order to get to my table, or waiting to get a haircut.

Rahul February 26, 2012 at 7:39 am

The app I am waiting for is a store that lets people check out items the moment I put them in the basket by scanning with my phone. Are there any?

Wouldn’t that be faster / cheaper than the self-checkout lanes?

Mitch February 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

Stop & Shop has that (for at least 5 years), but with their handheld scanners instead of your phone. It’s great.

Andrew' February 26, 2012 at 5:54 am

6. I propose contextual, experiential, qualified democracy. If you don’t have kids, you are not allowed to vote on parenting issues.

Andrew' February 26, 2012 at 6:07 am

As in, everyone gets to vote on the funding. Then the parents say “thank you very much, now stfu.”

Laura February 26, 2012 at 9:03 am

Stop & Shop has a scanner you can use (if you have a S&S card) while picking up items (for produce, you use a scale that prints out a label to scan), and then you pay at a self check out lane. I’m not sure if it’s faster overall, but it means the person behind you doesn’t have to wait long and you don’t have to do all the scanning and bagging at once.

Rahul February 26, 2012 at 10:39 am

I see potential sales volume advantages to the store. How often do you see a typical shopper add something to his cart only to remove it later? This mode seals your impulse purchases.

Mitch February 27, 2012 at 9:00 am

This may be at least partially offset by the times a shopper puts an item in his cart and (honestly) forgets to scan it.

Steven Kopits February 26, 2012 at 10:58 am

Parenting is both a great pleasure and privilege for me.

Brian Donohue February 26, 2012 at 11:50 am

#6 was an incredible waste of time, other than providing a window on the know-it-all oxymoronic “professional” child-rearing business of whose existence I was heretofore only dimly aware.

CPV February 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Without an implicit threat of physical discipline, child rearing has become a one-sided game which the children always win. They run many households as undisciplined dependents with nothing to lose.. Much as with terrorists, technology has proven to be an immensely valuable tool for them. And once a child is spoiled by virtue of obtaining undeserved control, there is no such thing as reversing the spoilage of that child.

TallDave February 27, 2012 at 11:20 am

Hey, there’s still yelling. Well, for now anyway, that will probably be illegal soon.

Really though, I think (hope?) it’s possible to have an incentive system that is largely positive — there are so many things kids want. That’s not to say there aren’t too many households where children are allowed to become emotional tyrants.

Andrew' February 27, 2012 at 1:28 pm

It’s not that it’s impossible, it’s that it’s a constant battle. And there is this layer of bureaucracy that becomes the parenting version of the guy who could not add a handicap ramp to his historic site, and also could not not add one.

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