The Midas Plague by Frederik Pohl

It illustrates that when production is abundant, the scarcity is consumption and economics dictates that you have to incent, pay, for the scarce resource. You Buy Intake, UBI, paying people to consume, not to produce.

Ten to Infinity

It’s said that when beginning a book a reader will allow one major contrivance that will get the story in motion. Well, today’s story by Frederik Pohl (who sadly died last week) has a big contrivance in its setting, from which all of the worldbuilding and plot flows. While I feel this contrivance is a bit difficult to swallow, the world it results in is riddled with absurd perversity.

It starts off with a classic fictional wedding, that of one between two socioeconomic classes. But Morey and Cherry love each other and their parents have assented, so they move into Morey’s many-roomed mansion and spend their copious free time shopping for jewellery and devouring enormous steak meals. But after a while Cherry grows visibly unhappy, and when she backs out of attending the opera for the second week in a row Morey snaps.

“Dammit,” he flared, “this is your home…

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Foraging with Amalie

Foraging with Amalie

Unbelievable.

Eyes as Big as Plates

Amalie, our guide Najâraq’s dynamo of a mother, took us out to her favourite place in Nuuk this morning. Amalie’s excursions to this particular spot are frequent; a couple of times a week. Here she clears the palette and collects herbs, bones, sticks, stones or whatever takes her fancy. The picking of the Angelica Arctica today was perhaps a little late in the ‘season’ for it’s usual medicinal / culinary uses, but it served us very nicely even with a bit of ice and snow.

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen Thigh tying  © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen The snow arrived in Nuuk just before we did. © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen Amalie did her last foraging excursions here just in time © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen Just a little powdering for that je ne sais quoi © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

© Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen Amalie’s outfit was arctically frozen and chillier than anything most people would like to have tied to their back…

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Bloomberg shows why Bitcoin is anything but doomed

Bitcoin Life

The extent of wrongness to which some arguments go to convince you to do something always amazes me. This week it’s the pitiable effort to which Timothy Lavin over at Bloomberg.com has gone to try to denounce Bitcoin as a haven of criminality, in its ‘The SEC Shows Why Bitcoin is Doomed‘ piece.

The oxymoronic (and US-centric) argument somehow proclaims that “the closer Bitcoin gets to being an accepted currency, the less useful it will be as a method of exchange.”

Huh? Ah ok, so Lavin notes that the very point, the existential reasoning behind Bitcoin, is to be unaccepted or unacceptable. OK, there’s a fair amount of truth to that. It’s designed to be uncontrollable which is similar. But different.

That’s right – designed. Heavy crypto and p2p networks. Software engineering. That’d be obvious, you’d think. But apparently not:

“Almost all the advantages Bitcoin has —…

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BBC Attacks the Open Web, GNU/Linux in Danger

Over and over again, the rightsholders in the room during the Broadcast Flag negotiations attempted to create a sense of urgency by threatening to boycott American high-def telly if they didn’t get DRM. They repeated these threats in their submissions to the Federal Communications Commission (Ofcom’s US counterpart) and in their meetings with American lawmakers.

And here’s how it turned out:

So what happened? Did they make good on their threats? Did they go to their shareholders and explain that the reason they weren’t broadcasting anything this year is because the government wouldn’t let them control TVs?

No. They broadcast. They continue to broadcast today, with no DRM.

Bluff, how often does it succeed?

SaneBox: Email Management Tool Review

Automated nagging!

And it also has a nifty feature that lets you CC or BCC a message to @SaneBox.com to remind you if someone doesn’t respond.

So let’s say you need an answer from your boss about a project and you need it no later than two days from now. In the CC field just include the address 2days@SaneBox.com and in two days SaneBox will put the message back in the top of your inbox if she never replied to it. This way you remember to bug her again.

Cute.