That meme that 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of emissions

If you pay attention to discussions about climate change, you’ve almost certainly seen a meme that 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of emissions, with the implication or outright statement that individual action to reduce climate impact is wholly ineffective, and that those 100 companies need to be stopped before anything can be done. I’m here to say that that’s not the full story.

Continue reading “That meme that 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of emissions”

On unrealized capital gains and wealth

Wealth inequality is an increasingly severe problem in the US, as essentially all wealth being created is going to the stock market – and the owners of increasingly powerful megacorporations – instead of to workers. However, the tax code in the US only assesses capital gains upon sale, so there’s various approaches being discussed to assess unrealized capital gains, such as wealth taxes. I’m suggesting a more oblique – and in my opinion, simpler, philosophically – approach.

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My opinions on firearm regulation

So, firearm regulation is a major topic here in the United States as of late, and is a political minefield.

Myself, I feel that additional regulation of the availability of firearms is required to maintain societal stability, but it can be done without banning any classes of firearm – no, not even “assault weapons”, although they’re not even the biggest problem.

I have some ideas for how firearm regulation could work in this country, while still allowing people to own firearms for personal defense, hunting, and other shooting sports. (Yes, I’m aware of the argument that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to allow armed insurrection. I’ll simply reply with this video.) Continue reading “My opinions on firearm regulation”

Proposal: Let’s create a successor to RIAA Radar

For those unaware, RIAA Radar was a tool that Ben Tesch wrote, that made it very easy to determine whether a certain piece of media was released by a RIAA member label, to assist with boycotting the RIAA. It worked by searching Amazon for the search term in question, and returning all CDs that met that search term, along with the label that published that CD, and a simple “safe”, “unknown”, or “warning” image based on whether the label was a RIAA member or not. Unfortunately, due to maintenance and hosting issues, he took it down.

However, I feel that such a service is still extremely useful today, and in fact, should be extended to other content industry organizations, such as the MPAA. Continue reading “Proposal: Let’s create a successor to RIAA Radar”

Why long haul trucking is an awful idea, and rail is far better for long-distance transport

Semi trucks are a common sight on American roadways, crossing the country, delivering goods quickly.

However, they’re actually a huge problem for our economy. They put tremendous strain on our infrastructure (and they don’t pay their way for their damage to our infrastructure), they’re inefficient compared to trains, and they present a serious safety risk to car traffic.

In my opinion, long haul trucking activity in the US should be extremely reduced. Read on for why that is the case. Continue reading “Why long haul trucking is an awful idea, and rail is far better for long-distance transport”

Communications networks, Tunisia, Egypt, Lieberman, UBB, and you.

Recently, revolts in Tunisia and Egypt have caused the governments of those nations to shut off access to the Internet, to try to prevent protest groups from communicating.

Also, various politicians in the US have been proposing an “Internet kill switch” that would disable access to the Internet, if our infrastructure is threatened. Of course, there’s no checks and balances on that…

In addition, major ISPs in Canada are forcing smaller ISPs into a nasty “usage based billing” scheme that threatens to ruin the Internet for Canada. Of course, US ISPs are seeing if they can get away with it.

So, in light of that, I think it’d be a good idea to set up infrastructure to work around any potential shutdowns or restrictions – both by the government and by ISPs. Continue reading “Communications networks, Tunisia, Egypt, Lieberman, UBB, and you.”