Climate realization sets in, and people start to move

This and this project massive migration within the US from the South and center to the Northwest and Northeast, switching on a dime when unsustainable state and federal backstops to the insurance industry stop and people can’t continuously rebuild in the same damaged places, and some areas (Louisiana, New Mexico) are projected to become literally incapable of supporting life or crops. The rapid influx of people to places like Vermont, Washington State, North Dakota will severely stress those areas’ ability to cope, too, and the places they leave will be left as home to the old, sick and poor.

Hey, Jeff, hold onto your 20 acres. It’s going to be worth a hell of a lot more soon.

The Failure of Fusionism

The basic point: Schumpter-ist “creative destruction”, around which ideas of the free market work, imply risk for the regular guy. Companies rise and fall, entrepreneurs try and fail and try something else, the system continually and auto-magically adjusts to divert resources to where they’re needed (and takes them away from where they’re less productive). This is inherently a risky setup for the regular guy; no guarantees, no security.

On the other hand, the conservative outlook, which prizes stability and the tried-and-true. The article describes the adoption of a “Fusion-ism” by the right-wing political parties around the globe, which was constructed from a reaction against the top-down economies of the Communist states leading to a wholesale adoption of free markets (Thatcher, Reagan) married to a social outlook that prized maintenance of the status quo. But the social status quo is the first to go when liberal economics is embraced wholesale (globalization, zero-hour contracts, automation, …) so the marriage is increasingly untenable. Conservatism reverts to type when it ditches the economics and devotes all its energy to preserving things in aspic, or reverting to some idealized long-ago.

Seems obvious when you look at it. The more risk a given experiment takes, the less likely that the experiment will be performed. Isn’t the solution to mitigate the risk, while embracing the freedom? As individuals, we feel more in a position to take economic risks when we have a solid economic platform from which to move. If we are living on the edge, we’re going to be as risk-averse as possible. Therefore, as a society, if we want to encourage the flowering of the new that happens when people try things, shouldn’t we be putting in place good safety nets that provide everyone with a solid platform from which to experiment? The less sufficient the safety net, the more risk-averse everyone will become and the more mired in the present and the past the society will remain. Isn’t that why countries like the Scandahoovian nations, New Zealand, Germany and so on are where the American Dream is living now?

Biden’s Plan for the Economy Requires More Than Money

It is a delusion to think that merely injecting money will bring back the happy mix of jobs and incomes we’ve lost in the Covid-19 pandemic.
— Read on

By J K Galbraith. No, not that one. A call for a once in a lifetime rethink of how to recast the system to make it work in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Shame: some useful insights here

Can Public Shaming be Useful?

More thinking to be done. There’s the all-or-nothing shame of social media, which as the author says is retributive but doesn’t allow for redemption. There’s the power of the individual who refuses to be shamed (see our President). There’s the emerging societal shame of not wearing a mask during a pandemic, cross-cultural and not about the individual. And there’s the related concepts of forgiveness, sin, conformity in a time when religion is not a power.

I’ve been thinking about shame as a social force lately, and the Catholic idea of the default position of sin and easy redemption before that. The article has some interesting insights on both these things.

My job

I think, in ten years or so, software development will be done in the way project management is done now: as a marshaling of resources rather than the craftwork that currently defines it. The resources will mostly be machine intelligence, bent to the task of mapping fuzzily-defined specifications into executable code. There’ll be a few old crutzers still building things by hand, but such bespoke work will be expensive, and valued more for the aesthetic appeal than the practical benefit.

Ian’s skill set will be much more relevant than mine at that point.