Comment by homarussimpson on Writing children's picture books · 2019-08-03T10:12:43.293Z · LW · GW

Mentioning children and AGW together leads me to express a concern I have.

If we work on a given that anthropogenic AGW is factual, or so close as makes no difference, and that we should move to mitigate as quickly as possible.

There is a key phrase in that- "as quickly as possible" which as well as the obvious "no slower than possible" also contains "no quicker than possible". We all will have seen (at least those of us in UK/ Europe) the almost deification of Greta Thunberg and the primacy in discourse of the Extinction Rebellion narrative (not least of all indicated by their name).

I worry that we are in danger of becoming a pedocracy (a word that apparently has two definitions, I mean rule by children, not pedophiles). If you ask the average concerned 12 yr old what is to be done, they would say that we should stop burning fossil fuels right now.

The world population before the industrial revolution was approx 1 billion. We can safely assume this was not down to insufficient fornication, but was the Malthusian limit. Nearly all the subsequent population expansion has been enabled by energy use. If we make a wild stab and say that due to other advances we could now support a non industrial population of 2 billion, and that we get to keep the 20% of non fossil energy generation, that still means a max population of 3 billion, or 4 billion deaths, mostly by starvation.

I have a feeling that won't go well.

We need the grown ups to be dealing with this, ideally the brightest and the best. The notion of a new 'moonshot' is just the sort of thing. Trouble is I don't see where it comes from. The USA would be traditionally the best placed, but not the current administration, and I don't see the Dems really looking like that would be their priority, too wrapped up in identity politics really. China maybe, but I don't think they have the wealth yet. The EU are too impossibly bureaucratic to do it, and quite probably the whole thing may come crashing down with a combination of sovereign debt problems (insoluble with a common currency) and Brexit contagion.

All suggestions gratefully received!

Comment by homarussimpson on Being the (Pareto) Best in the World · 2019-07-27T16:32:10.282Z · LW · GW
how likely is it, realistically speaking, that there are major problems that (a) require the intersection of 16 different domains, but (b) require only a mediocre grasp of all 16 of those domains?

Politics. Corporate CEO. Talk show host. All potentially interpretable as an ability to BS successfully to people who don't know sh*t from shinola

Comment by homarussimpson on Being the (Pareto) Best in the World · 2019-07-27T12:48:20.301Z · LW · GW
status is unfortunately more zero-sum than wealth

Status is 100% zero sum I'd say.