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inactionman

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About inactionman

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    HPC Poster
  1. As I pointed out elsewhere, and has been discussed before, I believe that all the public sector pension schemes are ponzi. The local government one and the NHS one definitely are (I'm in both, although trying to transfer my 'fund' out of them). So cutting public employment in half, whilst needed, would have major pension implications. It's odd that the only people allowed to legally operate ponzi schemes is the government.
  2. A few problems with this, there is no fund. I believe that all the public sector schemes are basically ponzi (the local government and NHS one's certainly are), with pensions being paid out of current contributions and the employer making up any shortfall. So you will get even more problems if you get rid of half, or more, of them. This is why the unfunded pensions liabilities should be on the public balance sheet. It's a complete nightmare. It's odd that the only organisation allowed to operate ponzi schemes is the government, any competition from anyone else (Madoff) is stamped on pretty quickly, guess they don't like the competition!
  3. Also, isn't it parliament (via select committee's, etc.) and therefore ultimately, in theory, the electorate that holds the Government to account?
  4. All the more reason to try to solve the problem. Unless you've got the resources and fancy going the bond villain route! Democracy, as has been stated many times, by far more eloquent personages than myself, is the least bad option. We just need to ensure that there are sufficient checks and balances to ensure that the effects of any short-termism, or populism, are minimised; starting with a well written constitution. What's the alternative that doesn't eventually mean an authoritarian regime?
  5. I understand where you can coming from, but I don't see how it could be achieved without complete anarchy. You'd need some kind of monstrous authoritarian regime, a man-made contagion or a number of wars (probably nuclear). I mean it's not something that could be negotiated. Can you imagine people siting around a table deciding what population each country should have, then telling people they can't procreate! Thats bordering on eugenics, there would be revolution! I say it's better to acknowledge the problem, come up with a short/medium term solution, and then make sure it doesn't happen again in the long run. So currently it means solving our energy problem.
  6. Yup, democracy's great isn't it! Sometimes I find myself agreeing with Heinlein's starship troopers, which scares me. There's a new company that believes that they can produce a commercial space based solar power system within a decade. If this can be achieved it could be a timely solution to our energy problems, as well as reducing launch costs, and getting the ball rolling on orbital manufacturing. Of course I fully expect the green lobby to be against it. But they often seem to want to return to some non-existant eutopian time where 90% of the world's population are dead, and we all live in mud shacks, dead before we're 40.
  7. How do I consider a society to be successful? Standards of living, technological advancement, artistic expression, and of course survival (which is where birth control could come in). I'm not anti-birth control, just anti an imposition of this by authorities that wouldn't abide by it themselves. Yes we should have continued on with the manned exploration/colonisation of space, not stopped with the moon and utilised the available resources. I don't think it's too late to do so, just a lot more difficult. I guess that's the problem with most of the decision making systems we use today, too focused on the short term. I also think a 'big push' into space may be what we need to get out of the current economic hole we're in. What I would hate to happen is for humanity to squander all the petrochemical energy reserves, and get wiped out in an ELE.
  8. I fully understand where you are coming from, but I argue that we bypass this issue by increasing our resource base via colonisation of orbit, the moon, and then possibly beyond, whilst increasing standards of living/governance and levels of education in the developing world. It seems that these will resolve the long term population growth issues, if population levels in the developed world are anything to go by. In the short-medium term nuclear/renewable should not cause population growth as they are replacing an existing energy source (hydrocarbons), not adding additional capacity.
  9. So no then. And technology has now reached a point where, with an achieveable, although not insignificant, investment, we can have access to practically infinite renewable energy resources (solar, fusion), and use this to recycle reducing our requirements for raw materials. To understand population growth in the developing world, you have to understand why it's occuring, and that's because people in the developing world have children to ensure that they are provided for in their old age, and they don't use contraceptives. To change this you need to increase living standards and their education. Or there is the simple option of a few wars.
  10. Unless of course we diversify and colonise the near solar system, which would give us access to huge amounts of relatively easily accessible raw materials and almost unlimited amounts of solar power, whilst protecting us against ELE's. That's because of the relatively small amounts of money that have been given to this essential research, and has been spent in the wrong places. I mean look at the amount that has been spent on climate research, whilst it is valuable, it's not as important as fusion. Besides we really are close to cracking fusion, there's a number of different experimental reactors that are at near breakeven. That's if you ignore the PhD printing machine that currently is Tokamaks. Oh great, one of those, are you volunteering? No thought not. It's better to expand our resource base to support our population, all successful human societies in past have done this.
  11. Thorium is approximately three times as plentiful as uranium, and will also provide energy via nuclear fission, we'd just need to do some, relatively simple, research on how to use it effectively. The only reason we don't do is historical; it's easier to process uranium into fuel for nuclear weapons (plutonium). Besides fission is only a placeholder until we crack fusion.
  12. What's worse is that if you look at the small print on these shared ownership properties, any fall in value will come out of your share, not the HA's. So basically the HA is immune to any price drops, at the sellers expense.
  13. Ok, own up! Which one of you started the original topic as a joke? Surely no-one can really be that stupid? Oh.
  14. If you are a firstdirect customer, they'll do a USD or Euro Account (through HSBC). No fees, virtually no interest though (but that's the dollar for you), and it's not integrated into their normal offerings, so you can't do anything online, or get a card/cheque book. Perfect for me though, as I just want to get some of my savings out of sterling.
  15. 'lo. Been lurking for ages, decided to get an account.
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