Handle: Does it ever need to stop getting more meta? Inevitably the pendulum of expectations will swing and someone will say that, “Anti-declinism is declining.”
Edgar: I am not sure if George Ramos realizes it or not, but the man won a million votes for Trump with his [George's] rudeness and lack of decorum. George only confirmed in the minds of many Americans that what Trump says is 100% true.
Lu An Li: De facto conquest by demography is possible. Military conflict very low probability I might think but do not totally preclude the possibility. That conquest of Siberia by the Russians was the greatest land grab in history.
Anomaly UK: To flesh out the “disruptive” scenario: if solar is unsuitable for the grid (as Dan says), yet becomes very cheap, then homes & industries start to work with two kinds of power: cheap, unreliable power to be used opportunistically as it arrives, and expensive, reliable grid power for essentials & emergencies. That doesn’t simply mean a partitioning of today’s uses into the two buckets, it potentially means new uses happening, and some old routine uses becoming...
Alrenous: Peak demand is not only usually during the day, but usually near noon. If solar could be used to blunt the peak, conventional plants could be run near capacity significantly more, causing a price drop disproportionate to the direct supply increase.
Isegoria: It’s definitely a mistake to equate one kWh of solar energy with one kWh of reliable, baseline energy from coal, gas, nuclear, etc. — but it’s also a mistake to conclude that it’s therefore useless. Long before we had a grid, we used intermittent wind power to pump water, for instance. Cheap solar would be disruptive in Clayton Christensen’s original sense: Generally, disruptive innovations were technologically straightforward, consisting of off-the-shelf...
Jehu: Slaves in the American South — other than slaves working in sugarcane or rice plantations — probably experienced a higher effective standard of living than most Europeans in the same time period. They might well have been “taxed” less ,too — where in this case one defines “tax” as the fraction of their economic output not used to support the slaves themselves.
Kudzu Bob: Just noticed that Bob Sykes beat me to the whole death benefit thing.
Lu An Li: “unlike the post-1807 slave population in the U.S. South, Greek and Roman slave populations did not reproduce in sufficient numbers to sustain their levels via natural increase.” Nowhere else in the Western Hemisphere for that matter, other than that part of British North America that became the United States.
Kudzu Bob: Wasn’t there some sort of death gratuity in the Second World War? Jesse Stuart’s Taps for Private Tussie is about a Kentucky hillbilly clan that gets a ten thousand dollar windfall in such a way, I believe. That kind of money in those days might very well buy a farm.