The political economy of a universal basic income
: "your view of what is feasible should not be backwards looking. The normalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana seemed utopian and politically impossible until very recently. Yet in fact those developments are happening, and their expansion is almost inevitable
given the demographics of ideology... UBI
— defined precisely as periodic transfers of identical fixed dollar amounts to all citizens of the polity — is by far the most probable
and politically achievable
among policies that might effectively address problems
of inequality, socioeconomic fragmentation, and economic stagnation." [more inside]
Basically, it would be faster
. The best part about the article is the short, embedded videos showing simulations of different boarding processes. There's the standard method, the Southwest pick-your-own-seat method, and the dehumanizing
January 1st, 2014
ushers in a new era for the U.S. population, as 40 and 60 watt incandescent lightbulbs will no longer be produced nor imported
into the mainland. This turnaround follows the demise of non LED/CFL 75w bulbs
on January 1st, 2013, and 2012's phaseout of 100 watt bulbs
under the revised provisions
to the National Energy Law
. The ultimate catalyst for the greening of America? The 1973 Oil Crisis.
Economists and the theory of politics
- "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
"You probably don't think of your car as a developer platform, but Mike Rosack did
In Praise of Leisure
- "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren
.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via
) [more inside]
The Control Revolution And Its Discontents
- "the long process of algorithmisation
over the last 150 years has also, wherever possible, replaced implicit rules/contracts and principal-agent relationships with explicit processes and rules."
Facebook's Open Compute Project
aims to share
with the public the social network's efficiency design improvements
to its compute nodes
. [ via
Get the Energy Sector off the Dole
- Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future—and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
How Business Can Lead us Beyond Fossil Fuels:
presentation by Amory Lovins,
followed by comments from Chevron CTO John McDonald
and audience questions.
When he was 32
, his life seemed hopeless. He was bankrupt and without a job. He was grief stricken over the death of his first child and he had a wife and a newborn to support. Drinking heavily, he contemplated suicide. Instead, he decided decided that his life was not his to throw away: it belonged to the universe. Buckminster Fuller embarked on "an experiment to discover what the little, penniless, unknown individual might be able to do effectively on behalf of all humanity." If the architect, author, designer, inventor, and futurist Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller
were still alive, he would be 115 years old today. Though he died in 1983, his legacy grows on through recordings of his ideas
and the Buckminster Fuller Institute
. [more inside]
"For many riders, a Ninja 250
is the bottom rung of a sport bike ladder, a necessary first step in pursuit of high horsepower race replicas. I can’t begin to recount the myriad times I’ve been asked about getting a bigger bike, generally with the suggestion, express or implied, that I’m ready for a 600cc super sport. With over 17,000 miles behind the bars of my mighty 250, I’ve no apprehensions about moving up." - A blog documenting
and occasionally rhapsodizing
about day to day living with a bike that is usually looked down on as a underpowered, beginner's bike.
is about sustainable living. It offers information, activities and ideas which help us live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. [more inside]
tracks your gas mileage over time, helping you save fuel and expenses as you drive.
Our Decrepit Food Factories.
Michael Pollan on what sustainability is really about. [Via Gristmill.]
The Case for Resilience.
How Efficiency Maximizes Catastrophe.
Ever wonder how toilet efficiency is tested?
With pictorial goodness of the, errr, test subjects. (mildy NSFW)
Designing the Next
[google video], an inspiring talk by William McDonough
on design and ecology, beyond sustainability. Starts a little slow, but builds a powerful vision of a possible future. [transcript
, see also
There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you're not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well
. (via slashdot
Shell Eco Marathon UK
is coming up in England (6-7 july). It is a race not for the swift, but for those who can drive immense distances in super-efficient vehicles. Two years ago, the current world record of 10,706 MPG
was set at one of these events. The lessons learned are useful in development in other fuel-efficient cars, such as the 100 MPG Honda Insight
. Interesting in these times of high oil prices, then, when considering that despite tactical driving
, normal petrol cars rarely get better than 45 MPG. Diesels are slightly better, as illustrated on BBC Top Gear
, where Clarkson drives an Audi A8 from London to Edinburgh and back on a single tank of diesel. That's 800 miles.
Obsession: Mr. Singh’s Search for the Holy Grail
American visionaries, cranks and con men have long sought the simple key to boosting the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Now a barefoot tinkerer in India believes he has unlocked the door. Is he for real?
The end of the light bulb? E. Fred Schubert
, a professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute "claims to have invented a 99-percent efficient reflector that promises to speed the replacement of light bulbs with LEDs."
According to researchers, this could happen within the next five years. The current prototype is bankrolled by the ARPA
and The National Science Foundation "recently award Schubert's team a $210,000 grant to create in three years a commercial version of his patented omnidirectional reflector."
"Schubert claimed that lighting accounts for 25 percent of U.S. electrical energy consumption. Since white LEDs emit more light per dollar and generate less unwanted heat, they are potentially a major energy saver." (see EE Times link)
Meanwhile, some of the oldtimers seem to be pretty refractory
347 square feet?
Hyper-efficient living space.
+ Cool Tools
+ Whole Earth Catalog
-a "guide to the most efficient things in the world."
He gives a whole new meaning to the word "Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." NY Times