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Got a new friend to accompany me to a tapas bar on Beacon. I'd felt intimidated about going to a dark bar on my own, probably for no good reason. Well, if it's dark it's hard to read on your own... Decor was interestingly overdone, food was decent but expensive, conversation was great.

I've belatedly realized that for all the chairs I've accumulated, none of them have arms. The recliner did, but I abandoned it in Bloomington as half-broken and thick with internal dust. It would probably be good if I could rest my elbows on arms rather than the computer table. It would probably be good if I had a lower table. Sign, spending money on furniture, I don't wanna...

I read a new webcomic: http://candicomics.com Clicked on an ad, got caught up in the archives. I don't know why, it's basically collegiate soap opera, albeit with superpowered animals on the side.

I read my third Vampire Hunter D novel, and my first Lankhmar book (the second one, Swords Against Death). Fun.

US formally accused of torturing Bradley Manning

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/spock-must-die-the-first-novel "so bad it's good!"

I read http://www.aspousa.org/index.php/2010/10/electrification-and-expansion-of-railroads-as-a-response-to-peak-oil-by-alan-s-drake/ and the longer http://www.aspousa.org/index.php/2010/10/a-citizens-guide-to-an-oil-free-economy-chapt-1/ on how we could cut out a lot of oil by upgrading our rail system. Electrification for $1 million/mile, double tracking and different-grade crossings. Not High Speed, but faster and more reliable and blending semi-high speed passengers with higher speed freight. Electric rail would use 1/20th the power of trucks, a heavy truck does the road damage of 5000 cars, authors estimate $700 billion high end for the project.

Also of interest to me:
World Trade Organization (WTO) rules allow a nation with a long term
structural trade deficit (and the USA certainly qualifies !) to place a
unilateral tariff on all “non-essential” imports so long as the proceeds
from the tariff are used exclusively to reduce the structural trade
deficit and there is no preferential treatment in the application of the

I've thought of a tariff to enforce trace balance, but had assume it would require flouting the WTO.

I've always had trouble getting left-anarchists to describe their ideal vision of the world, and when they do I've had trouble telling it from democracy + looser property rights. Today a couple of leftists on RPG.net, one of them quasi-anarchist, agreed with me.

You should listen to an Anarchist and a Trotskyist debate the need for
a revolutionary state sometime. It's hilarious.

Both will solemnly outline their vision of the ordering of society
immediately after a revolution. Both will tell you all about how
decision making will take place through a structure of workers councils
and neighbourhood councils, sending delegates up to broader regional
bodies, and so on. In fact, you will have some significant difficulty in
finding actual points of disagreement. But in the end the Trotskyist
will tell you that this is a state and the Anarchist will tell you that
this is not a state.

One of them joked that came down to whether you preferred red or black flags.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/311062.html#comments


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
My problem would be where, in this McDonaldized and Wal-Mart-ized world, they would find enough workers for their councils. These guys still think there is a working class around. Maybe they could find it in China.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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