Monthly Archives: January 2019


I’m reading Dennett on AI, and he talks of the goal of creating “a free-wheeling, open-ended imaginative human mind”. Maybe the problem is that such a thing is as hard to find in Natural intelligence as it is in Artificial intelligence; look at all the research that’s been coming out on behavioral economics, post-modern philosophy, …. We humans aren’t really there yet, either, although we can imagine such a thing.

The right way to transition off coal

When Hillary Clinton ran for office, she made the future of the coal mines in Appalachia part of her campaign. The solutions she was offering for the miners, however, were the same tired retraining schemes. I couldn’t see how retraining 50 year old miners to be web site designers was going to work. Instead, I proposed just paying these guys a decent pension for life, thank you for your service but we have to move on.

I see that I’m not the only one thinking this way. There’s a movement called Just Transitions that sounds much more reasonable. Spain recently agreed on such a process with their miners:

Its going to cost more, but it’ll work, and it’s much more fair. Much easier to get support from the miners. All the “controversy” over coal v jobs goes away.