Basic Income: And It’s Looking Better All the Time…

A new study shows that people are happier in countries whose governments have strong social policies. Turns out a high tax rate doesn’t matter as much when you, you know, get things from it. I skimmed the paper they linked to, and it’s important to note that the positive relationships seem to stem, if not exclusively, then most heavily from increased welfare spending, not necessarily overall government consumption in the economy. Since that is the focus of this article (basic income being pretty obviously a form of welfare) that is where I would like to direct your attention. Those more knowledgable or less time-restricted than I might find other conclusions in the text; I would love to hear about them.

So if you’re somehow still on the fence or in denial that a basic income policy is useful, there goes one counter-argument. However bloated and inefficient you believe the government to be, the end result is happiness.
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Fusion, HO!

(Because Dragonball Z references aren’t the least bit dated.)

So Lockheed Martin is quite enthusiastic about their ideas for nuclear fusion research, and with good reason. If they really have the breakthrough they describe, nuclear fusion could be just a decade away. Finally, clean (certainly no less clean than coal or oil or fission), renewable energy that can be pulled from some of the most abundant materials on the planet. And once the first step is done, it’s only a matter of time before aneutronic fusion (fusion that doesn’t produce as much irradiating neutrons) is nigh-commonplace.

But I wouldn’t be writing about it on a critical blog if I didn’t have a caveat to discuss, and it’s this:

There hasn’t been a “breakthrough” until we have a working prototype.
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Why the Rich Don’t Matter — A Consumer Perspective

I must admit to a bit of hyperbole here. Of course the wealthy matter. It’s true that they invest the money, and they do in fact buy expensive things and lots of them (go look up just how many celebrities buy a massive lot for their family compounds–and all the surrounding lots plus houses that sit empty, for privacy).
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When It’s Good to Lose Your Job: What Automation Means for the Future of Work

Looking back through many (admittedly subject-oriented and therefore somewhat biased by necessity) lists of quotations on the subject of work reveals an interesting trend: until roundabout the mid-twentieth-century, one of the most consistent predictions about the future of Western Culture included a diminishing work-week.

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Before: Chaika the Coffin Princess – Avenging Battle

Before and After are my paired anime review articles, one after episode 1 and one after the final episode, possibly of a season but more likely after an entire series, or if drop it. Look back here after a few months for my final opinion!

Chaika the Coffin Princess was one of my favorite series from a couple of seasons ago, with an interesting mystery plot, fun characters, and car references out the wazoo. Season 2, Avenging Battle, is airing now, and I’m already back in.

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Why Paying Your Taxes is Morally Obligatory

There is a considerable body of philosophy–such as it is–that begins with the assumption that any form of government seizure of personal wealth is morally wrong and is a violation of rights. This might bring to mind the libertarian movement, but I want to specifically state right now that I in no manner intend to disparage libertarianism. I believe there is a great deal to learn from that philosophy, though like every philosophical framework I have encountered, it is perhaps not as strictly catholic (read: universal) as they might assume.
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