Inquisidor comments

Posted in: Obama demands West stand firm against Moscow's 'brute force' See in context

Perhaps Mr Obama is prepared to return the State of Texas to Mexico. It is hard to fathom how the United States considers the secession of Crimea and subsequent annexation by Russia any less legal or legitimate than the secession of the Mexican State of Texas and subsequent annexation by the United States. At least the Crimeans appear to have acted because of fear of Ukrainian nationalism. In the case of the Mexican State of Texas, the motivation was to prevent Mexico from enforcing the prohibition of slavery. Approximately thirty percent of the population of the Mexican State of Texas were slaves that had no legal rights at all, much less any right to vote on these matters. The slaves hoped that Mexico could prevent secession and then later they hoped that Mexico would prevail in the war between the United States and Mexico. One of the first thing that the new Republic of Texas did in 1836 was to legalise slavery.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan should embrace nuclear power, government panel says See in context

The light water thermal neutron reactors in japan ought to be retired as soon as possible. They are inefficient, generate huge amounts of actinide waste, and are subject to catastrophic failure upon loss of their water cooling and moderation systems.

They need to be replaced with fourth generation fast neutron reactors that use liquid metal cooling and have inherent passive safety systems that prevent catastrophic failure. They are 60-100 times more efficient than thermal neutron reactors and they can actually run on the actinide waste generated by thermal neutron reactors. Since they burn this waste, they have no long-term waste products of their own. They could provide power for tens or hundreds of thousands of years just using the actinide waste generated to date.

The Hitachi-GE PRISM reactor is an example of a fast neutron closed-cycle reactor that would be ideal for replacing the antiquated light water reactors presently in use.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Kanji skills decline in digital age See in context

The hiragana syllabary is elegant and a perfect match for the Japanese language. With respect to homonyms, there are no more than in regular oral communication. In the future it would make sense to retire kanji and adopt pure hiragana, with spaces between words, much like children's books.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: The rise of the winner-take-all economy See in context

Mankiw is presenting a false picture of wealth generation. For instance, let us say that Steve Jobs came up with the general idea of an iPod. Did he himself reduce it to practice? Of course not. Most of the design and engineering was by others. He never could have done it himself. Did he himself manufacture any iPods? No, he did not manufacture a single iPod. Most of the design and engineering, and all of the manufacturing, was done by others, all of whom have worked for meagre wages, not for some share of the profits. In other words, the so-called entrepreneur, who does very little in terms of execution and production of anything, gets most of the wealth produced by others. Until such time that everyone associated with the actual wealth creation, be it design, engineering and production, be treated as partners in companies and get their share of the profits and obligations, nothing will change for the better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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