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Just. Tax. Carbon emissions. This will have the biggest impact toward solving this problem and industries will figure out the best way to reduce emissions all on their own. Have scientists come up with a dollar amount of damage a given volume of carbon emissions causes. This is the negative externality of those emissions. Then tax emissions at that rate. Problem (mostly) solved.

Just. Tax. Carbon emissions. This will have the biggest impact toward solving this problem and industries will figure out the best way to reduce emissions all on their own. Have scientists come up with a dollar amount of damage a given volume of carbon emissions causes. This is the negative externality of those emissions. Then tax emissions at that rate. Problem (mostly) solved.

Yeah but... why roads? Why build solar roads specifically? Nobody is arguing against solar power. What benefit do solar roads provide that solar roofs don't? Because the roads will ALWAYS provide less power per square foot no matter what technology advancements happen.

A part of the problem is sprawl. We've spread out and built separate infrastructure for each little area. That means more infrastructure and less taxes to cover each part. Then we drive between these little areas, typically living in one and working in another one, and shopping in a third. And we have massive and relatively expensive infrastructure for cars to facilitate this way of life.

Transportation, utilities, and housing are all more affordable if you have more people living in a more self-contained community. If you do it right, most people don't even need to drive that often, so that cost goes down too.

Check out

Turn the volume up for this one, it's a quiet recording

This reminds me of this cheeky fingering on the last backslit quaker.

rthomas6  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Why We Haven’t Met Any Aliens

More seriously: I think a big part of the the Fermi Paradox is that our RF signals fall below the noise floor well before they reach another star. Any similar communication from other star systems are not detectable from Earth. So when we look up and don't see any signals from other stars, that's not terribly surprising, because it would take a massive amount of power and/or a conscious effort to send a signal specifically to us.

As for why we haven't seen a Von Neumann probe? Well, we haven't looked very hard, for one. All we know is we haven't seen one on Earth or the moon or 1% of Mars.

rthomas6  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Why We Haven’t Met Any Aliens

I don't agree with opinions representing the holder's truth, at least not all the time. For most people, some of their opinions are more like part of their identity. Identifying with that particular belief lets them belong to some group or tribe, or lets them see themselves in a certain way. They see these beliefs as axiomatic, rather than a fact-based opinion (not that most people would ever admit this).

Attacking that belief, in their eyes, is tantamount to attacking them, because they see it as an attack on part of who they are. And to change that belief, part of them has to die. This can be useful to keep in mind when someone comes along who believes odd or even reprehensible things even in the face of bullet-proof logic and great emotional rhetoric.

My wife is vegetarian and is doing a kind of keto-lite. You can do it if you eat a lot of eggs, cheese, cream, and seeds. And a lot of high-fiber vegetables.

So an example meal would be something like cheesy baked eggplant. Or fried cauliflower rice. There's a vegetarian keto subreddit that has some recipes.

But it is harder than keto with meat, in my opinion.

My parents, for some reason, got me and my wife a 55" 4k TV for Christmas even though we barely watch TV. Planet Earth II is awe inspiring. Not only is the way it looks higher quality than anything else I've seen, the show itself is so entertaining. I never thought I'd get so invested in the drama of a nature documentary. Highly recommended.

There are five possible use cases for crypto that I see.

1. A black market currency

2. A low-fee, decentralized international payment system

3. An investment

4. A general-purpose currency

5. A secure, trustless information ledger

As A Black Market Currency

For use in the black market, we're going to want a way to hold the currency anonymously, and a way to send private transactions.

- BTC wallet anonymity is possible with a few hoop jumps, but private transactions are impossible. If address X has a transaction with a known black market address, this is public knowledge, and address X is forever associated with this shady exchange.

- XRP has the same problems as BTC, with the added risk of validators simply rejecting transactions with known shady addresses.

- ETH is currently no better than BTC, but they plan to implement technology borrowed from ZCash to allow private transactions, so ETH will be more private in the future.

Best alternatives right now for this use case: Monero, ZCash

As An International Money Transfer System

For this, any low-fee system will work. The lower the fees, the better. Right now this means everything but BTC, but what would the fees look like in the future, assuming widespread adoption?

- BTC "on-chain" transactions will only get worse, but they are working to implement Lightning Network. This will end up sort of like a "real" BTC wallet that you treat like a savings account, and a Lightning BTC wallet that you treat like a checking account that has low fees and fast transactions. The catch is that you have to pay the on-chain tx fee to transfer from your BTC wallet to your Lightning wallet.

- Same story for ETH, really. Widespread adoption of ETH will result in high transaction fees. Not as high as BTC, but high. Ethereum is working on several scaling strategies in parallel, but realistically they're a year or two away.

- XRP was built for this use case. It will scale, be low fee, and in the future, it may even be possible to use it through your bank. It's not super decentralized, but it's fast and low fee.

As An Investment

At this point I have no idea. I don't understand why the market caps on these coins are so high. Let's be honest, they don't do anything cool yet. As a general rule I'd say don't put in anything you can't afford to lose 100% of.

In the long term, I think any cryptocurrency that has a capped supply and a plan for scaling is a decent choice. I personally like the smart contract ones: Ethereum, Zilliqa, Eos, Cardano, RChain. Raiblocks is cool too. There are also some interesting ERC20 tokens. But those are all just opinions.

As A General Purpose Currency

For this use, we want widespread adoption, stable value, low transaction fees, and transaction verifiability. For this space, my favorite is USD.

Seriously though, a deflationary general purpose currency makes a bad currency, and so does a volatile one. Imagine buying something on credit and owing waaay more than you thought you would, or buying something when you could have bought two of it a month later. Deflation and volatility decrease the money velocity of a given cryptocurrency to the point that any economy based on it is much smaller that it would be otherwise. It makes the currency hard to spend and discourages its use. We already see the effects of this: Very very few businesses accept BTC directly because its value is so unstable. And it's a vicious cycle; less businesses accept it, so its utility is less, so less businesses accept it.

In the long term, I think something like Dai or OmiseGO has a chance of being useful. But it's not ready yet.

As A Secure, Trustless Information Ledger

This is the space that I think has been explored the least, and which I think has the post potential. It could disrupt a lot of industries, including certificate authorities, DNS, and, maybe someday, thinks like deeds, titles, stock ownership, and land registries. But all of this is years off.

- BTC and XRP cannot be used well for this purpose.

- ETH was built for this use case. Maybe in a few decades we'll see corruption in some countries being combated by registering things in an Ethereum or Ethereum-style blockchain.

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