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On #4, that "In Time" movie has an interesting premise!

Too bad they seem to give away the whole thing in the trailer.

I wonder how the marginal utility curve looks. Once people have, say, 10 years built up, do people value the 1st additional day as much as the 10,000,000th additional day?

It's interesting, but I think that as presented it would collapse on itself in pretty short order. Basically, what you have is a commodity currency in which the commodity the currency is based on is being consumed at an extraordinary rate. Each time a person turns 25, one year is added to the monetary base. Each year, every person over 25 consumes one year, removing it from the monetary base. So, estimating from current census figures, each year we're adding about 4 or 5 million years to the monetary base and draining about 200 million out of it. It won't take long before there's no monetary base left (plus, everybody will be dead).

Even if you could patch that up, I think the system would fail on a sociological level. In a normal economy, being poor sucks, but most people probably regard it as preferable to going to jail, so crime is manageable. On the other hand, when being poor means you have just a few days left to live, then you have literally nothing left to lose. Theft would be rampant. In the trailer, it looks as though at one point the character's employer cheats him out of part of his wage. Do that to someone who has only a couple weeks left on his clock, and he would probably just murder you on the spot.

Looks pretty cool, but I'm still a Logan's Run man.

I assumed that it was some kind of nano-tech that was in limited supply, but being manufactured. I think in your scenario, people's "life forces" are being mined/traded extremely efficiently. That explanation would also cover why everyone was being forced into it -- otherwise lots of people would just stick with the natural aging method, leaving the price of time too expensive.

Although, depending on the median wage, I could easily see opting for the eternal life plan. I'd be able to work as hard as I did when I was 25, plus I'd keep on gaining experience.

I'd have to assume that there's some sort of central life-bank that injects additional years into the system, and the first year is just a very paltry stipend to get people started.

According to Wikipedia (where I should've gone first, duh), the aging gene has been located and is removable, so every one effectively lives forever. And to prevent "over-population" they have to allocate out the right to live through a central authority.

a little bit similar to REPO! (among 2008 worst movies)

What's this about ZMP workers.

Indeed. A compelling theory but up in smoke according to this data.

Mandel is significantly overstating the impact of lower real GDP growth on productivity.

Much of the downward revision of real GDP stemmed from lower state and local government spending.
But productivity measures the change in output per hour in the business sector, it does not include government in the output measured in productivity.

This is just wrong. Most of the change was in private inventory.

I'd be interested in some sort of analysis of all this. I've only looked at the briefing, and that left me with a lot more questions than it answered.

Like, corporate profits were about $270 billion more than they had said before over three years, 2008-2010? $170 billion extra profit for domestic financial, and $100 billion for nonfinancial? While total employee compensation was down about $10 billion more than they thought?

I see that private inventory was a big deal, for 3 quarters of 2009 it was down around $180 billion, around $25 billion more than they thought. But was that central?

It looks like the big thing was the loss in residential fixed investment (plus the smaller loss in nonresidential fixed investment). But the estimates of that didn't change.

And if I read the chart correctly, undistributed profits contributed $380 billion more to gross national savings than previously thought. Isn't that bigger than the decrease in private inventory?

I'm real unclear what it all means.

But I notice that the statistical discrepancy for the earlier GDP figure was about 1%, while that for the later numbers is less. That tells me that when they drew graphs of GDP before, they should have drawn the line about 1% thick, to give people some idea how fuzzy the number was.

Well, I was talking about the Q1 2011 revision. The change was about 1.5% (annualized) of GDP and a full 1% was attributable to changes in measured inventory.

And obviously I was talking about the wrong thing and am the one who was "just wrong". I see the relevant time period under discussion was 07-09.

# 6. You're linking to an article dated July 18. Today Spain's Zapatero advanced the general election to November 20 and stocks increased close to 1% just after the announcement.

I am neither a proponent nor a poo-pooer of this ZMP Worker business...but I've been reading your thoughts on the matter with interest. I hope you'll give us your considered reaction to this news.

This may be the skinniest house. Plus, it is an actual residence.

Also quite skinny:

I'm guessing there are a bunch of qualifiers as to what constitutes a house, e.g. perhaps they're including "free-standing" in its definition. For example, Spite House in Alexandria is only 7 feet wide, built in a former alleyway between two previously existing houses. I recall reading of even narrower living quarters built in Japan (Here's an example). Also of note are the shotgun houses of New Orleans. Here is a particularly narrow example.

On the one hand, the movie looks clever; on the other, I must insist that it contain at least two tracks off 'Dark Side of the Moon.'

Seems more like they wanted an excuse to cast an entire movie with actors that look '25'

The time-as-currency idea was already used in Terry Pratchett's "Strata". But rather than imposing artificial scarcity for population control, it was simply a costly procedure.

Time is definitely money!

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