the economy (12)

Randy's Road Rig

Hi Lloyd,

I ran into Randy in Folsom, CA.  I figured for sure he’d heard of Shelter and Tiny Homes on The Move, but he had not. Randy’s in his late 50’s and found himself in the middle of a late in life divorce and didn’t want tot have to work to own a house.  He’s a metal worker by trade and modified an old utility trailer with the camper shell from his old Dodge pick up into his new home.  It’s pretty cool.  I shared with him your website information too.

Dan Varvais

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California Today: A Housing Fix That’s Close to Home

In today’s New York Times, article by Mike McPhaite; photo by Sasha Moravec

At left: 264-square-foot accessory dwelling unit in Livermore that was designed by Avava Systems, a Bay Area startup. Avava Systems

https://nyti.ms/2rnuLB3 

In case you can’t access the entire article, here it is. This is IMPORTANT! Can it be that officials are doing something relevant for affordable housing? Small Homes!

One fix to California’s housing crisis could be in our own backyards.

A growing movement of urban planners is pushing policies that would spur homeowners in hot housing markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles to create “granny flats” on their properties.

Read More …

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Superforecasting — Stewart Brand's Summary of SALT Talk by Philip Tetlock

Will Syria’s President Assad still be in power at the end of next year?  Will Russia and China hold joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean in the next six months?  Will the Oil Volatility Index fall below 25 in 2016?  Will the Arctic sea ice mass be lower next summer than it was last summer?

Five hundred such questions of geopolitical import were posed in tournament mode to thousands of amateur forecasters by IARPA—the Inatelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity–between 2011 and 2015.  (Tetlock mentioned that senior US intelligence officials opposed the project, but younger-generation staff were able to push it through.)  Extremely careful score was kept, and before long the most adept amateur “superforecasters” were doing 30 percent better than professional intelligence officers with access to classified information.  They were also better than prediction markets and drastically better than famous pundits and politicians, who Tetlock described as engaging in deliberately vague “ideological kabuki dance.”

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Stewart Brand's Summary of Mariana Mazzucato's Recent Seminar at Long Now Foundation

Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014

Subject: [SALT] Government as radical, patient VC (Mariana Mazzucato talk)

“The iPhone, Mazzucato pointed out, is held up as a classic example of world-changing innovation coming from business.

   Yet every feature of the iPhone was created, originally, by multi-decade government-funded research.  From DARPA came the microchip, the Internet, the micro hard drive, the DRAM cache, and Siri.  From the Department of Defense came GPS, cellular technology, signal compression, and parts of the liquid crystal display and multi-touch screen (joining funding from the CIA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy, which, by the way, developed the lithium-ion battery.)  CERN in Europe created the Web.  Steve Jobs’ contribution was to integrate all of them beautifully.

   Venture Capitalists (VCs) in business expect a return in 3 to 5 years, and they count on no more than one in ten companies to succeed.  The time frame for government research and investment embraces a whole innovation cycle of 15 to 20 years, supporting the full chain from basic research through to viable companies. That means they can develop entire new fields such as space technology, aviation technology, nanotechnology, and, hopefully, Green technology.

   But compare the reward structure.  Government takes the greater risk with no prospect of great reward, while VCs and businesses take less risk and can reap enormous rewards.  ‘We socialize the risks and privatize the rewards.’ Read More …

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The Marble Caves of Chile Chico

Carved into the Patagonian Andes, the Cuevas de Mármol are located on a peninsula of solid marble bordering Lake General Carrera, a remote glacial lake that spans the Chile-Argentina border. Formed by more than 6,000 years of waves washing up against calcium carbonate, the smooth, swirling blues of the cavern walls are a reflection of the lake’s azure waters, which change in intensity and hue depending on water levels and time of year. Located far from any road, the caves are accessible only by boat. Thirty-minute tours are operated by a local company, weather and water conditions permitting.

Click here. More photos here.
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Secrets and Lies of the Bailout by MattTaibbi

By Matt Taibbi, January 4, 2013, Rolling Stone

“It has been four long winters since the federal government, in the hulking, shaven-skulled, Alien Nation-esque form of then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, committed $700 billion in taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own chicanery and greed. To listen to the bankers and their allies in Washington tell it, you’d think the bailout was the best thing to hit the American economy since the invention of the assembly line. Not only did it prevent another Great Depression, we’ve been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right? 

Wrong.

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