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Edward Morbius
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Adam Smith on living wage, national wealth, growth, and decline

I've previously quoted Smith on wages, in the context of why allowing below-subsistence pay is effectively a welfare subsidy to businesses which are either otherwise non-competitive or which can extract profit due to their political leverage.

He has a number of additional words (as he typically does) on the subject which are quite revealing on the nature of national economic vitality, size, and decline. Recall that Smith was published in 1776. His words remain highly relevant.

I've found particularly interesting Adam Smith's own commentary on what a minimum wage ought to be in Wealth of Nations, a book as +David Brin   has been saying for quite some time far more liberals, and conservatives, should actually read. Everyone else as well....

Continued at the dreddit:

#economics #livingwage #minimumwage   #adamsmith   #wealthofnations

Edward Morbius

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I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of systemd

Pretty much for reasons such as this.  You don't fuck cavalierly with PID 1.
For those who believe the systemd developers are reasonable and will listen to constructive criticism.....
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Michael & Joyce Heusemann: Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment (book/video)

This is a lecture by +Dr. Michael Huesemann based on the book he co-authored with his wife Joyce Huesemann, Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment.

Huesemann addresses three questions:

1. Can technology solve major environmental and social problems? What are the limitations of tech?
2. Why do most people believe in technological progress and uncritically accept any technology?
3. Are there simple and effective low-tech solutions, and what can we do?

His answers defy much of the conventional wisdom surrounding technology.

Continued at the dreddit:

#technology   #sustainability   #progress   #environment   #optimism   #bias   #efficiency  
Woozle Hypertwin's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photo
When I say "no-brainer", I mean that it's kind of trivially obvious.

In other words: I think I'm basically agreeing with the conclusions you enumerate, and yet I don't see support for the pessimism implied by the ToC.

"Those who claim that technology offers the opportunity for growth without limits are in fact arguing that there are no ultimate costs to technology."

Arguing for growth without limits -- unless you're specifically allowing for expansion beyond the earth -- is, again, obviously wrong.
The Environmental Policy Alliance:  yet another Rick Berman shill front

I ran across a curious press release bashing LEED certifications which I first took to be the Environmental Protection Agency, then realized was actually the Environmental Policy Alliance, earlier today looking up information on LEED certification.  

My initial impression that this might be a legitimate energy / conservation group rapidly disintegrated as I realized it was a bashing front of some sort.  On further examination, it appears it's yet another (and quite the recently created) set of fronts created by notorious lobbyist for the food, alcoholic beverage and tobacco industries, Rick Berman: (read that profile, it's exquisite).

Rick's also featured in a 2007 CBS profile as "Dr. Evil":

Continued at the dreddit:

Oh, and the lovely +Ashe Schow and +Anastasia Swearingen therein featured have G+ profiles.  I only hope the pay is good.

#RickBerman  #Shill #lobbyist 

Edward Morbius

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This Anti-LEED Screed had me scratching my head

Turns out Ashe Schow, proud member of the Heritage Foundation and Heritage USA as well as producer of electronic fishwrap at the Washington Examiner, who'd copypasta'd the press release, is on G+. Of all the luck.

And Rick Berman, who produced that so-called study, is Dr. Evil:

Web sites devoted to nanny bashing and ads showing children being exploited by union bosses are all in a day's work for Rick Berman.

In the end, Berman says it's all about "shooting the messenger."

Oddly enough, EPA's contact address is the exact same as Berman's:

1090 Vermont Ave., NW Suite 800 
Washington, DC 20005 
(202) 420-7875

(Don't bother emailing them, it bounces, I tried).

1090 Vermont Avenue, NW  
Suite 800  
Washington, DC 20005  


At least Tricky Dick shelled out for another phone line and email address.  He's not a complete skinflint.
Green buildings really aren't that green
paul beard's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoNate McD's profile photoDieter Mueller's profile photo
The reason the intelligentsia (few though they are) of right-wing thinking fears and loathes the ACA with such vigor is because they understand that the ACA is a halfway step between the vulturefest and universal coverage via single-payer (a government plan)... Thy understand that the nature of our system is iterative, and they have been holding the line against this iteration for a long time, and having lost this much ground, are digging in to resist losing more.
Have them in circles
1,769 people
US Navy electricity-to-fuel synthesis -- cutting through the bullshit: papers, press release, and analysis

There's been a fair bit of buzz about an ongoing research project by the US Navy Research Laboratory to synthesize fuel suitable for both aviation and conventional ships using seawater and electricity. Few of these articles have contained much in the way of solid data or references to the source, and the reportage in general has been far south of awful. Thanks to /u/reallybloodylongname posting in /r/energy: "Seawater powered planes? US navy creates synfuel from ocean? Get the real story straight from the horses mouth at the Naval Research Center" we have the source, and I've managed to answer a number of specific technical questions about this research...

More at the dreddit:

#energy #synfuels #fischertropsch #navy #research
paul beard's profile photoEdward Morbius's profile photoJulian Bond's profile photoJohn Poteet's profile photo
+Julian Bond: seawater has concentrations of CO2 in excess of 140x by volume of the atmosphere, and extraction appears far easier (e.g., less energy intensive).

+John Poteet: current draw doesn't directly give you power, you need both amps and volts for that.  If you're interested in energy, talk energy.  The current xkcd "What If" has a mention of generating capacity:  pressure x flow rate.

I'll see if I can't track some pumping stats from the California Aqueduct.
A rudimentary G+ post content extractor (JSON format)

Following the YouTube Anschluss in which Google forcibly integrated G+ and YouTube accounts (among other properties), against my express wishes, pretty much forever violating my trust in the company, I made the conscious decision to largely exit G+, removing my content, while archiving what I'd previously posted.

Pulling useful information out of those archives has been ... interesting....

Continued at the dreddit:

#googleplustips   #archives   #json   #pandoc   #shellscripts   #linuxhacks  
Bill Nigh's profile photoJohn Ellison's profile photo
"Creativity is not a Team Sport": Improvides interviews Prof Vincent Walsh on neuroscience of creativity

A 20-minute video interview on the topic of creativity:  "Prof Vincent Walsh on neuroscience of creativity:"

The title quote comes about 12 minutes in, discussing brainstorming and what a poor tool it is for creativity and coming up with solutions:

"[There's] a very long and well-established literature in psychology that getting groups of people together is no way to come up with ideas.   Creativity is not a team sport.  What you're looking for is somebody's individual, intellectual trunk to make new connections and come up with something new...."  

Continued at the dreddit:

#creativity #problemsolving #productivity #neuroscience #collapse
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FreedomBox 0.2 nearing release, testers needed

from developer Petter Reinholdsten

Git repo:

Support / dev:

• on email list:
• on irc: #freedombox on

What is Freedombox?

Inspired by Eben Moglen's vision of a small, cheap and simple computer that serves freedom in the home, we are building a Debian-based platform for distributed applications.

#freedombox #freedom #technology #code #computer #privacy #diaspora

h/t on Diaspora:

#FreedomBox   #debian
Jürgen Christoffel's profile photoGretchen S.'s profile photo
Auuugh I wish I had more brain and wasn't super rusty at Linux! Gonna look anyway. :)
Thoughts on minimum wage, enterprise viability, welfare burden, and, of course, the end of the world as we know it

In a discussion on the merits of minimum-wage laws, I was asked to clarify what specifically my main points in a rather prolonged thread were, in particular my repeated invocation of Adam Smith's discussions of the wages of labor in Book I, Chapter VIII of The Wealth of Nations  (

My starting point was this passage from Smith:

"A man must always live by his work, and his wages must at least be sufficient to maintain him"....

Continued at the dreddit:

#minimumwage #adamsmith #econonomics #collapse #limitstogrowth #peakoil #economics
Edward Morbius's profile photoJohn Poteet's profile photoChris Merle's profile photo
+Chris Merle Which goes to show that for Smith, the land was the origin of all value.  That is, mostly solar energy, in the form of food, wood, water, and wind power, with a few other miscellaneous inputs (coal, oil, and even gas were known even in ancient times).

+John Poteet Also a good point.  One of the aspects of a monetized economy is that transactions which are otherwise internalized or maintained through a "gift economy" are transacted explicitly.  The fetish for GNP/GDP reporting means that if there's no transaction, it either doesn't count, or we've got to fake one (e.g., the imputed rent homeowners are counted as paying themselves).  Strikes me as a bad hack to fix a fundamentally broken architecture (that's an example I've hated since learning it in school too many years ago).
Technological Archaeologist
I'm am leaving G+ following the YouTube Anschluss, November 2013.

Google have time and again violated several key principles:

Respect.  Of my time, my attention, my expressly stated desires, and most of all, my intelligence by repeating these and other insults time and again.

Trust. I will share very limited slices of me online.  Time and again Google reached for more, and time and again I had to push back.  This last violation (which, had I not already gone fully pseudonymous would have fully outed me as it did others) was one step too far.  I extend trust once, not twice.

Privacy.  This is the immediate concern here, and I've tried to create a walled space within which I can act.  I no longer feel safe to act there.
This incident again has made painfully clear that Google don't understand the fundamental nature of privacy, of social norms, and of spaces.  Of the desire for individuals to keep different aspects of their life and online activity, even within a single pseudonymous identity, separate.  Yes, there are some smart people at the Plex, but socially, you're collectively beyond retarded.  And I no longer care.

I'm actively looking for alternative platforms to use.  
For the time being I'm retaining the Gmail account associated with this ID ( though I'll be migrating that as well (and am accepting recommendations).  Correspondents are strongly encouraged to use my GPG key:  74CCF7CD

I may be found:

Blogging on DreamWidth:

As "dredmoribus" on Reddit:  I've also created a "personal subreddit" which is a collecting spot for ephemera:

On the subreddit Dr. Edward Morbius's lair of the Id just created.  it's a bit of a crash pad for now.

All of which is subject to change, of course (though Reddit's likely to be a good contact).

RSS/Atom feeds for the above are:
Feel free to drop those in your newsreader of choice.  It's a bit clunky, but notably less so than G+ itself is.

I do plan on leaving a tombstone account on G+ with forwarding information and last details, though I'll be removing most or all of my content eventually.

G+ was to an extent an experiment to see if I could participate on terms I was comfortable with in a large commercial social networking space.  The answer to that question has been found, and it is "no".

░░░░░███████ ]▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄              Bob is building an army
   ▂▄▅█████████▅▄▃▂               ☻/  against Google Plus
Il███████████████████].      /▌    Copy and Paste this all over 
  ◥⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙▲⊙◤..      / \    Youtube if you are with us!


"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."  
 - Cardinal Richelieu (a/k/a  Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac)

E pluribus unum


You can #Quack that:

Nature abhors a maximum.
 - William Ophuls

"Pseudonyms and anonymity are also an established part of many cultures -- for  good reason."
  - Alma Whitten, former Director of Privacy, Product and Engineering, Google

I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use.

Somewhere, there are two kids in a garage building a company whose motto will be "Don't be Google".
Bragging rights
I don't exist. I'm not here.
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