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The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 9 days ago

Sure, tunnel building is difficult, but these are engineering problems that can be overcome if the benefits are high enough. Remember that we went to the moon because it was hard, not because it was easy.

I think Musk is fundamentally right. It's a great example of first-principle thinking. If we were building a new city from scratch, it would make sense to separate transportation and living/working spaces because they seriously conflict. Buildings are large objects that don't move, forcing road systems to weave around them.

But move transportation below ground, and suddenly the playing field opens up. All that space to exploit, without obstructions like buildings or parks. Road layouts can be designed for optimum efficiency. 

Imagine a spiral road system with the centre of the spiral at the centre of the city. Driving in one direction would take you to the outskirts of the city, the other direction would take you to the centre. Then all you need to do is join the spiral from wherever you are, choose the direction (in or out), and leave at the exit nearest your destination. So simple even an autonomous car could do it.

To accommodate increasing population, replicate a level below and extend the lifts. There would be little disruption to the city above, and the cost would be relatively cheap - because it's already been done before - the new level is a copy of the level above. The boring monsters can be reused. Personally, I'd prefer they shat interlocking blocks for sea defences rather than shitty bricks. But hey, everybody's wrong sometimes, even Elon.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 12 days ago

I'm no engineer, but the more I think about tunnels for transport, the more it seems a no-brainer.

There are huge advantages over above ground multi-level roadways that weave between skyscrapers. As I mentioned before, infrastructure comes prebuilt in stable rock, whereas every new level above ground has to deal with gravity and weather.

Underground, you could add a new level without disrupting the levels above. Above ground, you have to shut down half the city for any major construction project.

Imagine a boring monster that eats rock, crushes that rock to cast tunnel supporting structures, and fits the supporting structures as it moves slowly forwards. With the excess rock, it shits bricks. A bit like a giant worm slowly eating through the ground, while the city above continues on obliviously.

Musk has disrupted the rocket and the electric car industries, why not the tunneling industry? After all, it's in his interest - underground living on Mars is probably the best way for humans to protect from Martian radiation due to its thin atmosphere.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 13 days ago

2D/3D transportation thingy is not my theory, it's Elon Musk's. I just think it's a really good way to look at the problem of traffic congestion.

It's not a question of "finite" levels above or below ground - to be sure tunnels can always cope with population growth, below ground levels just need the potential to match above ground levels. And since our deepest mines are far deeper than our tallest buildings are tall, that should be no problem if the geology permits.

As for the engineering community thinking it's a silly idea, The Boring Company is made up of engineers too, and they don't think it's so silly.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 13 days ago

Discussion is nearing pointlessness. It's time to agree to disagree.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 15 days ago

Musk's point is that 3D below ground can expand to match increasing 3D living above ground, thereby eliminating gridlock once and for all.

The only way to "expand" 2D is to make the finite space more efficient - and that is limited - as rush hour in dense cities demonstrates.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 15 days ago

Ants are great, but they are missing the ability to imagine, think, plan, be creative, learn, figure stuff out, etc. Musk has argued that in a dense city, we live in 3D space, but we travel in 2D - that’s ultimately why we get gridlock.

When we build a skyscraper, we have to create and support every floor in a violent environment - weather, but we don’t think it’s crazy to have a building with 100 floors. Building underground, the basic infrastructure is pre-built in a stable environment - rock. It’s just a matter of removing bits. It’s a different engineering problem. If we could nail building underground as we have nailed building above ground, then there are huge benefits limited only by imagination, especially in a warming world with decreasing habitable space and increasing population.

Without the crazy projects, humans would be little more than ants.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 16 days ago

I'm not being devil's advocate. If ants can do it, why not humans? If one tunnel gets blocked (eg. vehicle breakdown), then cars could automatically take a different route - a bit like the internet.

I think tunnels could also be relatively safe. Imagine there were 30 levels, all connected by a lift system which would choose which level is the least busy for your trip. The lifts would provide multiple escape points. In case of fire or flooding, sections of tunnel could be blocked to prevent any spreading.

Imagine the top level being just for cyclists - the healthier option - no hills, no wind or rain, controlled temperature and clean air to cycle through.

The Boring Company | Wanna race? 88% Posted May 2019

The Boring Company | Wanna race?

Comment: 17 days ago

Since all cars in the tunnel will be driving fully autonomously (or on an electric skate driving fully autonomously), they will be much faster and safer than on the road which has unpredictable elements like human drivers, pedestrians, traffic lights and weather.

As traffic increases, more tunnels can be added at different levels. Roads on the other hand just fill up to the point of gridlock.

How a simple crime led to plastic bank notes 86% Posted May 2019

How a simple crime led to plastic bank notes

Comment: 29 days ago

It's time to go crypto.

RoF | Trump family sue Deutsche Bank to stop release of financial records 87% Posted May 2019

RoF | Trump family sue Deutsche Bank to stop release of financial records

Comment: 41 days ago

Should the President's employer, the people, have access to the President's tax returns? 

And if the President is under investigation for fraud, should prosecutors have the access to the President's financial records?

And if the President tries to prevent access to his financial records, isn't that obstruction of justice?

And if the President has "nothing to hide", isn't the sensible thing for him to do, is cooperate? 

RoF | Trump family sue Deutsche Bank to stop release of financial records 87% Posted May 2019

RoF | Trump family sue Deutsche Bank to stop release of financial records

Comment: 43 days ago

In Norway, all tax returns are open to the public. Norwegian citizens also know who looks at their tax return. https://qz.com/784186/in-norway-you-can-browse-everyones-tax-returns-but-theres-a-good-reason-you-might-not-want-to/

Transparency is the best tool in the fight against corruption.

Greta Thunberg | Most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us 94% Posted Apr 2019

Greta Thunberg | Most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us

Comment: 46 days ago

She's amazing. She writes her own speeches.

Insects invade church 86% Posted Apr 2019

Insects invade church

Comment: 47 days ago

God's creatures are always welcome in a church.

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall 90% Posted Apr 2019

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall

Comment: 51 days ago

"But what you’re proposing is to make it so you don’t have to pay for the Medicare and it will be provided to you for free.  Tax dollars to force people into it will just distribute the costs around to everyone instead of the people who use it or want it." That's not what I'm saying. You are just looking at costs. I think a better way is to look at ROI. A good basic national health system will cost an amount. The people pay for it (through tax), and if they need health care, it's already paid for. It's like insurance. If the ROI is good, then why not? After all, the biggest reason for going bankrupt in the US is medical bills.

"Food is a necessity.  Why not collect a food tax from everyone and then food would be free — paid for by the government?  It’s basically the same thing." If you can make a good case for that, then why not? I don't think the ROI is so good. Just looking at cost, a national food program could feed the population a healthy diet for less per capita than an individual feeding himself on food from private companies. But if you're not starving, food is very personal. Are you a vegan? Any allergies? Any food you don't like? What about Marmite? There are also a host of other issues concerning social and psychological needs that a nationalised food service could probaly not provide. But all ideas are worth considering.

Water is different. Water is a health and security issue. In the UK, water is owned by 25 private companies. A nationalised water service is a great ROI. Per capita, it would cost less than relying on private water companies, and our water systems would be more secure against climate change and terrorism. A private company is always looking to turn a profit. A nationalised company is looking to provide the best service the people are prepared to pay for.

"If I needed open heart surgery, where is the best place for me to go regardless of price?" Probably some really expensive private service used by the stars, but what if you could equal the best for less?

"You see how the UK/EU relationship is so our State/Federal is the same way except we pay much more to our federal government than we do to our State government." There are similarities, but the EU and the USA are fundamentally different. The EU is not a government. It's a group of nation states that have got together to create an overall "infrastructure" that's beneficial to the group. The EU's 4 freedoms - labour, goods, services and capital, benefit member states overall. IMO, the ROI for membership of the EU is fantastic. 

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall 90% Posted Apr 2019

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall

Comment: 52 days ago

"The military ... should be just large enough to defend our own shores and not so large and spread out all over the world protecting everyone else." The American people pay for their military. So if you want a military "just large enough to defend our own shores and not so large and spread out all over the world protecting everyone else.", the ROI is appalling. You spend more than the next top 10 spenders combined, and what do you get in return? Wars around the world to support the military's very own existence, and everybody hates you - the very opposite to what you (and probably most Americans) actually want. The problem is not "government is too big", it's the people's money is not being spent on what the people want. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Even a small military costs money, but if the small military is underfunded so it cannot fulfil its brief, then that's a bad ROI.

"The military is probably the only critical thing the federal government should provide..." If you think of tax as investment, then opportunities abound. For example: a national health service (like Medicare-4-all) would cost the people more upfront, but the ROI can be fantastic - as other countries have shown is possible. Everybody is covered, and the service costs less per capita than the current US system, and will probably  provide better healthcare, and boost the economy to boot (a healthier workforce is good for business). What's not to like? A properly funded and well-run national healthcare service is a great investment. Forget ideology, it's the smart thing to do.

For any government program, the cost is not the issue. If the ROI is great, then the people will be happy to pay for it.

"Besides defense, what does the federal government provide that we couldn’t get at the individual state’s government?" I don't know enough about the way the US government actually works, and it's a different topic. 

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall 90% Posted Apr 2019

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall

Comment: 53 days ago

"I think the people’s money should be spent to run the government and let the people improve their own lives.  We just need a smaller government."
Yes, that is the standard Libertarian line. I've never understood what "smaller government" means. I think size is the wrong metric to value a government. 

We agree that the people should pay for the military. So the cost of a 100,000 person army is smaller than a 1 million person army. But then the cost of a 1 person army is even smaller. If the goal is smaller government, then why have an army at all?

Surely a better metric is ROI, rather than size? The people decide what role they want their want their military to play, and then pay for it. It's just about being smart rather than ideological.

How the people decide what the people want, or how well a government program works - that's a different conversation.

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall 90% Posted Apr 2019

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall

Comment: 54 days ago

I didn't really want to get into specific examples of government spending, more the idea that changing our perspective on tax, can make a profound difference to our lives. 

If you think of tax as a cost (the purpose of government is to spend the minimum of the people's money), then it makes sense to minimise the police and let individuals buy a gun if they don't feel safe.

If you think of tax as an investment, then it makes sense to invest in the police so that everyone can feel safe without needing to buy a gun. The ROI is the financial saving to the individual on buying a gun, the warm fuzzy feeling of safety, and of course, fewer gun-related deaths.

I would prefer to live in a society where tax is seen as an investment. The people's money should be used to improve the lives of the people, rather than the lives of the people who control that money. Obviously over-simplistic, but I think it's a good foundation to start from when thinking about tax.

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall 90% Posted Apr 2019

The Rational National | Bernie impresses Fox News crowd in town hall

Comment: 55 days ago

"Maybe instead of taxing so much, they could reduce spending..." I don't think that's a good way of thinking about tax. If you see tax as investment rather than cost, then everything changes - the people's money, to be invested in projects that improve the lives of the people. 

So then the question becomes about return on investment. For example, you can reduce spending by cutting the police budget and creating a society where people walk in fear on the streets. Or invest in the police and create a society where people feel safe to walk the streets. A bit like the difference between living in Somalia or Sweden.

Of course it's more complicated than that, but thinking of tax as investment rather than cost will create a much healthier society overall.

Yanis Varoufakis | Green New Deal for Europe 51% Posted Apr 2019

Yanis Varoufakis | Green New Deal for Europe

Comment: 58 days ago

"It's amusing that you consider my Boreme comments part of academia." I don't. They are full of flaws.

For example, just in your last comment: "Earlier I said "He believes that the planet's warming is probably due to our coming out of an ice age rather than AGW".  You said that this was incorrect, because he agreed to the summary sentence you quoted which had made no mention of ice ages." Wrong again. It's incorrect because you said "...rather than AGW", rather than "as well as", or words to the effect. Rather than AGW means instead of AGW, which is not what he believes. It's the opposite! 

I know you didn't mean that, but it's just another example of your sloppiness. If you didn't brag about your academic credentials so much in the past, I wouldn't have a such problem with your sloppiness. After all, I'm certainly not immune to sloppiness myself.

Anyway, there's plenty more in your last comment that I'm tempted to pull apart, but I'm fed up with this. Have the last word - and please, please - no more inaccuracies. And definitely no more psychology.

Yanis Varoufakis | Green New Deal for Europe 51% Posted Apr 2019

Yanis Varoufakis | Green New Deal for Europe

Comment: 59 days ago

Please stop, you're giving academia a bad name. Even your latest response alone is full of inaccuracies.

"I hope that's a fair summation of your current position".  I'm surprised he agreed.  You deviously left out the alternative factor that he has been explaining - very sneaky." I didn't deviously do anything. I summed up his position in a concise easy-to-understand sentence - "so you think global warming is partly caused by human activity, and partly "the act of coming out of our ice age" - 3 times! Was that not enough?

"So yes, *coming out* of the ice age is his theory to account for a significant part of global warming." That's not accurate. He did not say it was a SIGNIFICANT part of global warming. 

I said: "so you agree human activity is warming the climate, you just don't think it's by very much." 
He said: "I didn’t say it’s not much.  I said we aren’t 100% responsible and I don’t know how much humans are responsible and neither does anyone else."

"And actually, whichever premise(s) you think he was checking, the fact is it was a premise (and critical at that), so not word-games, and not a distraction technique.  It was you who used it as such, presumably because you find his actual argument harder to challenge."

You presume wrong. His argument was not hard to challenge. I did - in a long detailed post about a quarter the way down the page: "But I’m referring to the cooling that started during the Eocene era ...  it's not going to correlate because other things that also affect the temperature are missing." But he hasn't responded - because you came along.

"Please, next time you lock horns with him, listen.  Don't just look for ways of slowing the argument until it stalls." I was not trying to slow the argument until it stalls. I was trying to narrow it down to a single point of discussion. And we almost got there - then you came along.

FYI, my "single point of discussion" was not an excuse meme. This is it: Over a 30 year period, how much global warming could we expect from ice age cycles that span over thousands and millions of years. If the answer is pretty much zero, then human activity is responsible for pretty much all of global warming - according to what Guest1-9 believes.

Oh, and please don't play at psychology. You're rubbish at that as well.

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