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Showing posts from December, 2007

Building a Town

Help me with my experiment in building an internet city.

Visit: http://trentonia.myminicity.com

(Yes, this is shameless shilling, but it's my website and I get to do whatever I want with it.)

The Oil Plan, Part 1: The Short Term

It is abundantly clear that at this stage in history oil as an energy source is in immediate danger. A policy proposal needs to be implemented quickly that accomplishes these three primary goals (in order):

1. Reduce American consumption to the point where there will be minimal dependence on foreign oil from overseas.
2. Reduce consumption of oil and other fossil fuels to the point where they do not threaten global warming.
3. Reduce consumption in such a way that countries that export oil and other fossil fuels do not economically implode.

With those concerns in mind, here are some possible suggestions for courses of action in the short term that would accomplish the aim of reducing oil consumption:

1. Immediately raise fuel economy standards to 35 mpg.
2. Subsidize ethanol while simultaneously remove other agricultural subsidies.
3. Increase direct investment in solar and other alternative technologies.
4. Agree to international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol.
5. Mandate that all coal f…

The Failings of Our Consumer Society and Its Spectacle

The current consumer society has many problems. It has abused workers, put people out of work, or created an enormous gap between the rich and the poor. However, these problems are not as serious as they seem, because all of them can be fixed with legislation. The bigger harm of consumerism and capitalism in general, however, can never be fixed. It is an intrinsic problem, one that threatens to entirely supplant human nature as we know it. On the surface, this problem might not seem obvious. It's not because the problem itself doesn't exist, but because it's hard to quantify. The problem comes through slowly, in the form of the typical annoyances of the day.

People buy new products just because they're considered cool. Individuals obsessively follow the popular trends. Ardent fanatics of certain products proselytize them endlessly and violently attack each other through the media. While it might seem hard to concretely define this problem with consumer society, eventual…