Ran Prieur http://ranprieur.com/#9a417fe513f58988c3b5b1e84cfc57397194a79b 2021-05-10T22:20:49Z Ran Prieur http://ranprieur.com/ ranprieur@gmail.com May 10. http://ranprieur.com/#80dc445cea56e13d7577e6b7dbc88cab31138fc7 2021-05-10T22:20:49Z May 10. I'm taking multiple breaks right now: a break from cannabis to reset my tolerance, a break from video games because of hedonic blowback, and a break from blogging because I'm really tired of discussing social issues, and I'm not getting ideas on other subjects. So I probably won't post again this week, and we'll see about next week.

I do want to report a cool coincidence. Only once in my life have I bought a green vinyl album (Insecure Men - self-titled), and only once in Leigh Ann's life has she bought a green vinyl album (Squid - Bright Green Field), and they both just came in the mail on the same day.

May 6. http://ranprieur.com/#7833e00f690a090fb52cb5445f463c09067b107d 2021-05-06T18:40:16Z May 6. Some happy links. ZAP! Lightning, Gods, and Mushrooms is a 2013 article about how lightning helps wild mushrooms, and how electricity might help with mushroom farming.

Related: Fungi on Mars? The author of this article is a dedicated woo-woo scientist, and there's probably another explanation. But given my own woo-woo philosophy, I wonder if there are potentially fungi on Mars, if humans are ready for it, and if we're not, then the observed color changes on the Martian surface will turn out to be something non-biological.

Nice article about the Moderna vaccine, and the huge potential of using mRNA to hack the immune system for other purposes, like treating cancer or snakebites. By the way, I got my first dose of Moderna a week ago, and the only obvious effect was a bit of soreness in the muscle around the shot.

This is bad timing with all the COVID pyres in India, but Maine might legalize Viking-style funeral pyres. Related: Recompose is a Seattle company that will compost your body.

This is the first house to be 3D printed from raw earth. It's pretty cool, but I'm wondering how much it cost to build a giant 3D printer that can build a house, and how much cheaper it would be to just build the same house by hand. Of course it would take a lot more time, but most people in the world have more time than money.

And a fun subreddit, FairytaleasFuck, for pictures of real places (and sometimes art) that look like they're in a magical world.

May 3. http://ranprieur.com/#0cd2603734e7271677ef4a418efc8c604f03f39d 2021-05-03T15:10:04Z May 3. Some doom links, starting with The 'Capitalism is Broken' Economy. It's about how American employers are having trouble filling their crappy jobs:

Stick with me here, but what if people weren't lazy -- and instead, for the first time in a long time, were able to say no to exploitative working conditions and poverty-level wages? And what if business owners are scandalized, dismayed, frustrated, or bewildered by this scenario because their pre-pandemic business models were predicated on a steady stream of non-unionized labor with no other options? It's not the labor force that's breaking. It's the economic model.

I would explain it like this: Of the many reasons a person gets a job, two of the big ones are 1) to rise from poverty to wealth, and 2) to not fall from poverty to death. Now, with economic decline, and the rich bunkering up with their money, upward mobility is a lot harder. At the same time, through moral progress and upgrades to the safety net, falling from poverty to death is also harder.

Another reason Americans get jobs is to buy cheap stuff from China, and that's also not going to last. Related: Brace for shipping tsunami as container capacity maxes out.

Long speech transcript, How Tech Loses Out. The idea is, big companies now outsource everything. Tech companies have become intellectual property and finance companies, and they no longer employ anyone who knows how stuff actually works.

And at some point, the technical skills of the company become negative. And what does that mean? That your company knows so little about what it does that if you would ask a random person on the street for advice on the thing that your company makes, they are more likely to provide correct answers than the people that actually work for the company.

In the Hacker News comment thread, the top comment is about a sci-fi novel, where people keep using technologies that they don't understand, until the machines break and no one can fix them. Related: my 2010 post on the coming skill crash.