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3) A vegan researcher wants to revolutionize the world's food production--or maybe he just really, really craves a hamburger!

3. This is what GMO is actually for. I want bananas to produce hot dogs and maple trees to leak diesel oil.

4) yes, the public in this survey supports a top income tax rate of ~30%. No, I don't think they told respondents that the average top effective rate, including that for millionaires, is about 25%. I think those surveyed probably thought they were recommending what the wealthiest should actually pay, not just another tweak to the broken system.

Isn't the real problem that the public is asked too often "what rate do you want to pay?" rather than "what tax and spending policy actually works?"

They were asked what rate they thought was fair to ask other people to pay, not what rate they wanted to pay.

3) Absent all the eco-handwringing the article would be about half as long which would have been a blessing. All that eco-handwringing does bring into question some of the implied optimism about time tables. The writer obviously wants lab-grown meat to develop to commercial viability so we can all live in an eco-paradise, tralla, which brings into question the writers objectivity and the actual imminance of commercially viable lab-grown meat.

Pretty much everything related to molecular biologist Patrick Brown was worthless due, I'm sure, to the NDA the writer had to sign. But if the information the writer could reveal was so sketchy, why bother? Brown's personality is of zero interest to anyone who doesn't have to deal with him personally. About the only reason I can surmise to include Brown in the article is that he's just about the only other person working on the technology besides Post and the writer couldn't bear to submit the piece for publication with just a single source.

The point that makes me skeptical is that Brown's worked exactly two years on this. Was it that easy?

There's also the overlooked ethical point of wild animal suffering. Apparently the author wants to reforest most farm land. I'm not sure if it would make economic sense, but it would clearly cause more animal cruelty. After all, animals in nature die in no less horrific ways as those in human slaughterhouses.

Reforest? No way. The land will have to change from pastoral open range to plowed fields to generate all the grain that goes into the nutrient feed tubes for the meat vats.

The grain to vat meat process might be more efficient, or it might not. A lot of grazing land is not really suitable for crops, that's why it is used for grazing.

Changing from open grazing land to cropland is not always a net gain.

"But if the information the writer could reveal was so sketchy, why bother?"

It never even occurred to me that you could create better meat substitutes from modified plants. So this information was valuable to me.

The 'paper in prison' article was chilling. I can't imagine what I'd do without plenty of paper.

4. "We’ve averaged 1.1% inflation over the past 46 months. Anybody think the public is enjoying those low inflation rates more than the 2-3% inflation of the Clinton years?"

1. The Clinton years, and then the Bush years got us here.
2. You actually can create inflation and still not get growth. Stop assuming inflation will yield the desired results and show it, preferably without using the planet as your guinea pig.

Here's one of the reasons I've gone over to NGDPLT.

While inflation may not create growth, deflation definitely suppresses it, and the line between the two is fuzzy. Given that median living standards have risen while median incomes have stagnated, inflation is probably overstated -- i.e. we are probably actually experiencing deflation at low CPI.

If we can get fiscal surplus and NGDPLT at 5%, I think that's the best possible recipe for long-term prosperity. (And I'm not just saying that because of my new below-jumbo-maximum mortgage. Probably.)

I have to agree with Andrew. Induced monetary inflation has no empirical record of creating growth.

There us a correlation between money supply and growth in OECD countries. But the causation is likely reverse [due to private money].

#3 Too little info given on the GM plants that taste like meat. But not inconceivable. Another approach, growing meat in vitro, has absolutely no chances. No matter what, it's too expensive. Mammalian cell culture requires sterility and complex media. Both cannot be made truly cheap.

3. Not sure this will make sense anytime soon, but this made my heart swell with anthropride: Humans currently slaughter about 1,600 mammals and birds every second for food

Humanity, f**k yeah!

Re 5.

Bitter, Tyler?

3. Lab grown meat will need inputs and the inputs required to produce chicken, some fish, and many insects are already fairly low. So lab grown beef might face stiff competition from chicken, fish, or insect that has been modfied to taste like beef. Meat like plants have the potential for extremely low inputs but maybe it will take a while to develop them. But what should be relatively easy is to get bacteria to produce proteins cheaply and these could be thrown in ground meat to used to make sausages, hamburger patties, chicken nuggets, etc.

Pink slime adds enough of an image problem to ground meat. Bacterial slime will be even worse.

The big breakthrough in genetic engineering for food will be optimization of rubisco. This is the most abundant enzyme on the planet and the slowest. It performs the rate-limiting step in photosynthesis, which is fixation of atmospheric carbon dioxide. There's no guarantee that millions of years of evolution has resulted in the optimal rubisco -- hill-climbing optimization can become trapped in a local optimal solution. Even a 5% improvement in the turnover rate of rubisco would have civilization-changing consequences. We'll be awash in corn, wheat, and soybeans. We'll need the meat animals to help us eat the part that doesn't get burned as fuel.

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