0887: "Future Timeline"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

Kimarie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:08 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Kimarie » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:12 pm UTC

Ok, googled it and apparently it is May 21st 2011 that the rapture is supposed to happen and Jesus will some, and the earth will be destroyed October 21st 2011...so now we know.

jswf
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby jswf » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

Best comic in a while.

User avatar
Zak McKracken
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:29 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Zak McKracken » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:16 pm UTC

canis187 wrote:
2025: 62MPG cars introduced


This may be a Google result, but the prediction is a bit late. If you live in Europe, and don't mind a slightly underpowered car, Volkswagen has all ready made this happen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen ... present.29

The Volkswagen Polo 1.2TDI gets a claimed 3.4l/100km. Converted to US MPG that is ~69MPG (better than any current hybrid not running in battery-only mode). That is not using the US EPA guidelines for testing, so actual US tested MPG may be different. Additionally that is Diesel, so it wouldn't sell here in the states anyway.


The Polo isn't even the only one who manages that: Skoda Fabia, Seat Ibiza, Renault Twingo, -- the Smart of course -- and several more. From 1999 to 2005 the VW Lupo 3L and the Audi A2 3L were being sold which only used 3l/100km, which translates to 78 mpg.
They weren't even underpowered because with less than a ton (830 to 900 kg) mass you don't need a lot of power.

=> nope, 62 mpg isn't a big thing. Right now you can get an Audi A3 1.6 TDI with 62 mpg (3.8l/100km) (Do they sell it in the US, too?). That's in the European load cycle, so I'm not sure how it would fare in the US one, but it can't be too different.

Even without Diesel: The Toyota Prius has a 60.2 mpg rating over here, the Toyota Auris hybrid and the Lexus CT 200h both get exactly 62 mpg.

I'd like to know who makes that type of prediction for 2025 ... Volkswagen has a car in the pipeline that should get about 100 mpg. But up to now that's just marketing announcements, so we'll have to wait. Although this thing might be just for the European market:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_1-litre_car
(Mind that the 1-litre claim is while using the xternally-charges battery. Without that it will probably come down to 2 litres which is still only 2/3 of the most economic car to date.)
Can one hack writer, two Yale coeds and a stale loaf of french bread save the world from a galactic conspiracy?

User avatar
Zak McKracken
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:29 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Zak McKracken » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:34 pm UTC

Dammit, I think you could open a sub-thread for any of those predictions. This comic is just sooo full of stuff to discuss. Great one, I'll print that out and put it in the coffee-break room. We'll have topics for the next year.

What I find interesting is what e.g. the debt predictions (paid off/exploded) say about the people who make them ... seems to be an extremely hot topic, and seems to attract lots of people with really really weird ideas.
I think a debt as high as the US one (which isn't actually a lot above what other countries have which fare not bad and see no need to quit being nice to each other) is not just paid back. It is in part paid back and in part marginalized by economic growth. And it also cannot go to 800% of the GDP because noone would be willing to give the US credit anymore if they just kept piling debts up.
So, really each of these predictions is not believable, in either direction. But since this is one thing that is really not predictable (but of big public interest) it is maybe no surprise that the predictions that do exist are quite dubious.


It's also quite interesting that apperently many people claim that investing money in ways to kill people helps the economy while investing money to help people damages the economy.
The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care?


....riihiiight yeaheahea!


Zak
Can one hack writer, two Yale coeds and a stale loaf of french bread save the world from a galactic conspiracy?

RoeCocoa
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:39 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby RoeCocoa » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:46 pm UTC

My favorite part of this was reading down the right-hand column to the tune of We Didn't Start the Fire.

User avatar
Neostar
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:25 pm UTC
Location: Texas, for now...

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Neostar » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:59 pm UTC

schizultze wrote:All your comic are belong to us. Great ending to a great comic.
However, I must ask: Why did your comic include nothing about velociraptors on National Velociraptor Awareness Day?

I love your comics!! thanks for making me laugh at least three times a week.


That day exists?

User avatar
Neostar
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:25 pm UTC
Location: Texas, for now...

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Neostar » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:06 pm UTC

Spiny Norman wrote:
CelebrenIthil wrote:
ElectricTurtle wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:Universally as women are empowered to make choices for themselves unsurprisingly most choose to have fewer children. The rising quality of life and the emancipation of women are what have driven fertility rates down, that's why they are lowest in the developed world.


Sadly there's always an opposite reaction: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull
:(

I didn't write that!

Karilyn wrote:This is embaressing that you would try and draw conclusions about birth rate from a world population chart, which only takes into account people who were already born.

Am I??? And does it???

bigjeff5 wrote:The thing about this graph is that the trend is already clearly slowing down - the top of the curve is flattening. That is, the birth rate is clearly beginning to slow down in that graph. It is hard to tell, partly because it just starts to curve noticeably at the top of the graph and partly because 3d graphs are horrendous (and even among 3d graphs that one is poorly rendered), but it seems to be beginning to slow down rather quickly after 2040 or so. For a more detailed breakdown of what happens in that graph - the population increases linearly (shallow) until 1850, after which the rate increases continuously until about 1965, where the rate stops increasing and it becomes linear again (steep), followed be a continuous rate decrease beginning around 2020. Based on the trend in that graph I would be shocked if we ever hit a world population above 13 billion. My guess (again, based only on the graph) would be a peak at about 12.5 billion.

In other words, the graph does not support your position at all (unless you are afraid of dire consequences for the world somewhere below 13 billion, which I find improbable).

Also, the sources listed at bosbouwbeleggingen.nl are "unknown". Without knowing the source behind it, the graph itself is completely unreliable as evidence for anything. Some guy could have simply drawn it because he felt like that's what it aught to look like. It does have some labels on it, so perhaps you could do some investigative work and find the underlying data. Until then it's not worth much except as a not particularly attractive picture, at least to me anyway.

Instead of seeking evidence to support your position, you should examine the evidence you have with a bias toward determining the truth first (whatever it may be, I make no comment to that), then go on a crusade to fight the problem (if it exists).

(In response to your statistics jibe, the population can continue to rise in spite of a falling fertility rate if the average life expectancy increases faster than the fertility rate decreases. This ends when the net fertility rate becomes 0 or less. You really aren't one to criticize other people's understanding of statistics.)

Excuse me, where did I say that it couldn't? That was electroturtle, not me.
You know, it was just the first graph I could pull from the internet that showed the population increase (because electroturtle seemed to question the population is growing at all). It seems to show the things I was taught at school. I'm pretty sure it is aprox. correct up until the present day, but it was just an illustration. Anything more than five years ahead is an educated guess anyway. Also, when you look at the axis, by the time the curve starts to flatten it will be 2050.
Do correct me if I am not "biased towards finding the truth", but right now, the number of humans is approaching 7 billion and still increasing, alright? That's all I wanted to say. I didn't expect the graph inquisition! Now stop obsessing yourself with it, you're missing the point entirely.

ElectricTurtle wrote:
Spiny Norman wrote:So what you're trying to say is, that while right now much more people are being born then die, this might change if the birth rate keeps going down?
First of all, the population of the world is still on the increase. The smoothing of that curve hasn't started yet. If it does, there will still be a long way to go. You mention just one factor - what about the advance of medical science, keeping everyone alive longer? Face it, the population is not about to shrink unless some huge disaster happens.
And secondly, the point is that we're going to run out of resources at some point. It won't happen like Malthus predicted. But there is still a limit. Fossil fuel for example. And the people in all the emerging economies want cars and television sets and mobile phones. If alternative solutions fail to appear in sufficient numbers then a struggle will start over who gets most.

Men like Newton and Malthus and Darwin are not famous because their theories are still valid. They are because they were the first to think of things we now take for granted. Standing on the shoulders of giants, that sort of thing. I think, for the 1800s, it was a rational, insightful approach, a sort of total view that most people are incapable of seeing without help. (How many silly people today think that moving a problem equals solving it, and that you'll always be able to get what you want some way or another?) You seriously call that foolish?


I do not mean birth rate. Birth rate is a practically meaningless metric since it is just births/unit of time. A woman is physically capable of having two babies a year, which would as represented as birth rate look enormous. However, if that woman only has two babies in her entire life, as fertility rate that looks inconsequential. It doesn't matter how quickly a woman has babies, what matters is how many babies she is going to have in total throughout her life. Birth rate can only tell you where population is trending *right now*, but fertility rate, especially as examined over a healthy span of decades, will tell you where population is trending for generations.

While resources are not limitless, we haven't even scratched the surface of most of them, and as extraction yields less recovery will yield more, and that's to say nothing of synthesis. Malthus and Newton are not comparable. Newton's conception of physics was more rough than wrong. Malthus conception of a population crisis is purely wrong, and neo-Malthusian theory is wrong for the same reason. Neither is willing to admit that the whole of humanity is capable of greater efficiency, greater production, greater recovery, greater organization, etc. than even the current generation can imagine. It is this poverty of imagination and paranoia that leads them to expect doom in the extrapolation, and then their egos prevent them from seeing how, like some ridiculous millenarian cult, the doom doesn't come, over and over. They cling to it in the face of the evidence from every generation, all because they think they're smarter for thinking that things can't get better.

You are only assuming that, you haven't got a shred of proof what will happen in the future. And now that you mention it, the population is trended to increase, actually. (And how can it not matter how soon a woman has children, if we are talking about how many people and when?)
The point is, our resources will have to increase or else there will be problems. That's all. Malthus wrote his book about the situation in the 1800s (and before) in various parts of the world, NOT as a specific prediction or "some ridiculous millenarian cult". You are suggesting that it doesn't matter how many people are on the planet, we'll always be OK. I am simply not so sure we can take that for granted. Do you know that simile by Douglas Adams about the sentient puddle?

And that is why I thought immortality was a bad idea.

Yours sincerely,

Summer Glau


http://xkcd.com/406/

+5 Internets, but you forgot to put a plug for Sarah Connor Chronicles...

KrytenKoro
Posts: 1487
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:53 pm UTC

Neostar wrote:http://xkcd.com/406/

+5 Internets, but you forgot to put a plug for Sarah Connor Chronicles...

But -10 for him on failing the important "exhaustively researched" bit.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

Poposhka
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:20 pm UTC
Location: So. Cal.
Contact:

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Poposhka » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:02 pm UTC

WOW that was an impressive amount of work...


i pray you didn't do all that just to make the 2101 punchline... please?

Tomb
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:54 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Tomb » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

One amusing thing to note: Looks like sex with robots will be possible by 2050 (which, if true, means that some of us--I didn't say me!--will be doing it!). But we won't have domesticated robots until 2059. So for those first 9 years we'll be having sex with WILD robots! Dangerous, but exciting! :)

User avatar
SirMustapha
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 6:07 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:21 pm UTC

Is that... a Zero Wing joke?

Wait...

Image

dedwrekka
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:39 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby dedwrekka » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:25 pm UTC

KingKoopa wrote:It seems that those who worry about overpopulation, and those who say it isn't a problem, are both driven by ideology.

I hear a lot from the second group of people: You are a neo-Malthusian! You hate humanity! Technological progress will always provide for however many people there are on the planet.

But it may not. There are already billions of starving people. Resource depletion is not impossible. An exponentially growing population is incompatible with finite resources.

As mentioned, current starvation has less to do with production than it does with distribution. We could indeed make sure that everyone in the world was fed, but only if you don't take distribution into account, where all food production is spread across the world's population. Distribution will likely be the sole reason why starvation will always be a problem.

Zak McKracken wrote:
It's also quite interesting that apparently many people claim that investing money in ways to kill people helps the economy while investing money to help people damages the economy.
The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care?

Zak

Government contractors and weapons manufacturers hire a lot of people, nonprofit organizations hire few. Especially those weapon and military vehicle manufacturers who dabble in a lot of areas like IBM, GM, GE, Boeing, Northrop, ect. Some, like Boeing, are even cornerstones of their industry in North America and when they fall, large portions of the industry feel it. Not that they're too big to fail, but they are webbed together with a lot of smaller companies and side-developers.

Freshie
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:31 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Freshie » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:03 pm UTC

I'm surprised that nobody else has said this one, but here goes.

2112:
-Assembly worker finds the last known guitar, which is subsequently destroyed by the Temples of Syrinx
-All planets of the Solar Federation come under attack

DreamPhreak
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:51 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby DreamPhreak » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:52 pm UTC

2102 - "Duke Nukem: Forever" has first level done.

User avatar
jc
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 5:48 pm UTC
Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
Contact:

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby jc » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:18 am UTC

JeromeWest wrote:How come GNU/Linux doesn't become the dominant OS until 2014? Everyone knows that next year is the year of Linux on the desktop.

That's because Linux on the desktop is irrelevant. The general population has moved on to laptops, tablets and smartphones. "Desktop" computers are now only bought by geeks and clueless corporate purchasing managers. Hardly anyone now cares what's running on desktop computers, since most computers don't live on desktops any more. Computers now travel with their human pets (aka biological transport agents) full time.

chris857
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:04 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby chris857 » Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:37 am UTC

Freshie wrote:I'm surprised that nobody else has said this one, but here goes.

2112:
-Assembly worker finds the last known guitar, which is subsequently destroyed by the Temples of Syrinx
-All planets of the Solar Federation come under attack


You sir, deserve +10 Starman logos.

I agree, this would have also made a good nerdy punch line, though possibly less well known. Why, though, does the future always end in war?

User avatar
Eternal Density
Posts: 5590
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:37 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:14 am UTC

DreamPhreak wrote:2102 - "Half-Life 2: Episode 3" has first level done.
FTFY.
Play the game of Time! castle.chirpingmustard.com Hotdog Vending Supplier But what is this?
In the Marvel vs. DC film-making war, we're all winners.

Palpatineli
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:07 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Palpatineli » Wed Apr 20, 2011 4:40 am UTC

Has Skynet already arrived today?

chris3145
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:32 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby chris3145 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:35 am UTC

2077 is blank because that's a big year in the Fallout video games. Any search will return results about nuclear war or China invading Alaska.

scarletmanuka
Posts: 533
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:29 am UTC
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby scarletmanuka » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:43 am UTC

chris857 wrote:Why, though, does the future always end in war?

Because it's like the present.

Spiny Norman
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:10 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:42 am UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:
Neostar wrote:http://xkcd.com/406/

+5 Internets, but you forgot to put a plug for Sarah Connor Chronicles...

But -10 for him on failing the important "exhaustively researched" bit.

Summer Glau will research exhaustively only what Summer Glau knows is important.
This topic desperately needs a post from Summer Glau.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is nøt å signåture.™

pueben
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 1:59 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby pueben » Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:48 am UTC

This was great. Wonderful idea. I'd love to see how this would turn out in different languages, and what other people are concerned about, since this stuff is mostly U.S.- and U.K.-related.

conundrum
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:39 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby conundrum » Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:46 pm UTC

What, no "Stable room temperature superconductor created" ? ;-)

Hint:- 0.1% of bulk is not "stable" but notable nevertheless.

Come to think of it, why is First Contact not on there?

Or Higgs Boson discovery, dibs on 133.7 GeV

-A

User avatar
Fixblor
Posts: 182
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:20 am UTC
Location: Pencilvania

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Fixblor » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:18 am UTC

Palpatineli wrote:Has Skynet already arrived today?

I hear they've got OnDemand now. Must be why we're not dead yet.
Last edited by Count Modulus on Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:5l am UTC, edited 13 times in total.
06:23, 18 April 2011 SmackBot (talk | contribs) m (90,899 bytes) (Dated {{Dubious}} x 153. (Build p609)) (undo)

vultur-10
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:57 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby vultur-10 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:49 am UTC

KingKoopa wrote:It seems that those who worry about overpopulation, and those who say it isn't a problem, are both driven by ideology.


Mmm... I'd argue it's driven by historical observation - since Malthus, people have projected these crises, and they never happen. Our current technology level can support way more people than preindustrial agriculture, which supported way more people than pastoralism/primitive agriculture, which supported more people than hunting-gathering.

There are already billions of starving people.


"Already" is a bit misleading... the current number of 'undernourished' people is a bit under one billion (http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/en/) -- about one-seventh of the world population, and I'd be surprised if it was ever lower as a percentage of world population - though of course there are more hungry people in *absolute* numbers - than now.

Resource depletion is not impossible.


It's not impossible, no.

But I don't think it's plausible unless triggered by a worse disaster. That is, if we had a really large-scale nuclear war, or maybe a bioweapon war, or a big asteroid strike or a supervolcano -- something that collapsed technological civilization -- lots of people would starve to death; we couldn't support the current population, or even ten percent of it, on a hunter-gatherer or pastoralist/primitive agriculture level.

What I think is profoundly unlikely is a Malthusian crisis without the prior collapse of technological civilization. So long as the 'stuff' to develop technology, the knowledge base and infrastructure, exists, keeping ahead of even a really rising population wouldn't be a problem.

(The only real worry would be a social collapse -- an undermining of the philosophical assumptions, the worldview, needed for science and technology. But I think it would most likely just mean a shift to some other region as the leader... I doubt it would be global.)

An exponentially growing population is incompatible with finite resources.


True, but something we won't need to worry about for eons, if we use space (which we can have anytime we need it... it's just a matter of overcoming political inertia, and political will against the nuclear-space technologies).

Spiny Norman
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:10 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:08 am UTC

vultur-10 wrote:
KingKoopa wrote:It seems that those who worry about overpopulation, and those who say it isn't a problem, are both driven by ideology.


Mmm... I'd argue it's driven by historical observation - since Malthus, people have projected these crises, and they never happen. Our current technology level can support way more people than preindustrial agriculture, which supported way more people than pastoralism/primitive agriculture, which supported more people than hunting-gathering.

There are already billions of starving people.


"Already" is a bit misleading... the current number of 'undernourished' people is a bit under one billion (http://www.fao.org/publications/sofi/en/) -- about one-seventh of the world population, and I'd be surprised if it was ever lower as a percentage of world population - though of course there are more hungry people in *absolute* numbers - than now.

Resource depletion is not impossible.


It's not impossible, no.

But I don't think it's plausible unless triggered by a worse disaster. That is, if we had a really large-scale nuclear war, or maybe a bioweapon war, or a big asteroid strike or a supervolcano -- something that collapsed technological civilization -- lots of people would starve to death; we couldn't support the current population, or even ten percent of it, on a hunter-gatherer or pastoralist/primitive agriculture level.

What I think is profoundly unlikely is a Malthusian crisis without the prior collapse of technological civilization. So long as the 'stuff' to develop technology, the knowledge base and infrastructure, exists, keeping ahead of even a really rising population wouldn't be a problem.

(The only real worry would be a social collapse -- an undermining of the philosophical assumptions, the worldview, needed for science and technology. But I think it would most likely just mean a shift to some other region as the leader... I doubt it would be global.)

An exponentially growing population is incompatible with finite resources.


True, but something we won't need to worry about for eons, if we use space (which we can have anytime we need it... it's just a matter of overcoming political inertia, and political will against the nuclear-space technologies).

That's a large bet on the optimism card there. Suppose technological advances slow down at some point. And it depends what you call a disaster. It may not necessarily be about food (yesyesyes, the literal disaster never happened). It could also be the planet's resources (fuel and raw materials). Also, 1/7 of the world population, that is also in relative number impressive if you ask me.
This topic desperately needs a post from Summer Glau.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is nøt å signåture.™

User avatar
Zak McKracken
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:29 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Zak McKracken » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:28 pm UTC

dedwrekka wrote:
Zak McKracken wrote:
It's also quite interesting that apparently many people claim that investing money in ways to kill people helps the economy while investing money to help people damages the economy.
The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care?

Government contractors and weapons manufacturers hire a lot of people, nonprofit organizations hire few. Especially those weapon and military vehicle manufacturers who dabble in a lot of areas like IBM, GM, GE, Boeing, Northrop, ect. Some, like Boeing, are even cornerstones of their industry in North America and when they fall, large portions of the industry feel it. Not that they're too big to fail, but they are webbed together with a lot of smaller companies and side-developers.


Hmm... that's not quite how I meant it. You could also spend money on medical social and other "make life better" stuff, I wasn't exclusively talking about non-profit organisations.

But, actually, that does not matter. If you give money to a non-profit organisation, they'll spend this money on stuff and/or wages. if you give it to a weapons manufacturer, they'll spend it on other stuff, wages and profit for themselves (which may or may not be significant - let's just ignore that bit). Probably the ratio of stuff to wages is different, but in the end all that money will change owners. Now, I don't want to go into economy theory, but the only real variable here is what is done in conjunction with the money having changed owners. There is knowledge gained, stuff produced, deeds done, and lifes changed. I think at this point most people will agree on which types of knowledge, stuff, deeds and life-changing would be nice to have. That means: As little weapons as necessary to stay alive and safe (how safe is safe?) and as much fun and helpful stuff as possible.

The only economic difference is: Where does the money go? Does it stay in your national economy or does it leave the country? I don't really see a principal difference there: You can spend money for good causes within the country or outside, to help people elsewhere. Or you can spend money to either have an army at home and keep it operational, or have it go abroad and ...well, do their job ... which will also leave lots of money outside the country.

Mind: I'm not saying armies are unnecessary. I'm just arguing that beyond what is strategically unavoidable, there's no economic reason to increase the size of the army, instead of using that same money to do something good.

The point behind the first post was that apparently (mind you, I'm not living in the US, that's just the press echo I'm getting -- feel free to set me straight) if someone proposes to use state money for social, medical or educational purposes everyone screams "socialism!" but if someone incurs record debts in order to supersize the army, the same people accept it because "it's good for the economy". My point was that both things are equally good or bad for the economy, with regards to what happens with the money, and they're both at an equal distance to "planned economy".
The other outcomes of the choice (amounts of people who are dead/alive, sick/healthy, un-/educated, and under what circumstances) of course also have economic effects, as well as other effects which may or may not override the immediate economic effect, but that wasn't really the point here.

The whole concept of "the state puts money into something only for the sake of generating revenue for a particular branch of the industry" is faulty. This is something that can work only in the short term, to avoid catastrophes or as a transitional measure. it can spark economic growth, but it can also blow up an economic bubble. The thing that puts me off is that subsidies seem to be completely wrong, even downright evil in the eyes of many in the US, but if it is about the weapons industry this logic seems to be deactivated, and no present is too big, because "it's good for the economy". There are lots of points to be made for most questions regarding what the state should spend money on (and where to take that money), but "it's good for the economy" should not be one of them. As far as I can see, the only thing that remains is "the money remains within the economy" vs. "the money goes outside the country", and while I think that protectionism is not helping in the long run either, this is certainly something to consider.
Can one hack writer, two Yale coeds and a stale loaf of french bread save the world from a galactic conspiracy?

J8EH
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:06 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby J8EH » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:29 pm UTC

Looks like the first prediction was incorrect...

User avatar
Zak McKracken
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:29 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby Zak McKracken » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

J8EH wrote:Looks like the first prediction was incorrect...


Actually, the whole 2012 predictions are incorrect, the first one being closest to truth

- World population has reached 7 Billion in December 2011, thus pretty close to 2012 (but of course not quite there)
- Flying cars reach market: There's a model being produced and sold since I-don't-know-when. But it's not a very sightly nor practical thing. And frankly, I don't expect any change in that situation. Ever. They're an idea from a time when fuel consumption was not a matter of consideration.
- Canada won't cut greenhouse emissions. They declared last year they weren't gonna attempt to follow the Kyoto protocol this year, because it's bad for economy (sounds familiar?). I am not happy.
- Apocalypse occurs ... oh well, give it some time, shall we?
Can one hack writer, two Yale coeds and a stale loaf of french bread save the world from a galactic conspiracy?

TortoiseWrath
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:28 am UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby TortoiseWrath » Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:03 pm UTC

Humans suck at predicting things.

Image

nharding
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:19 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby nharding » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:59 pm UTC

The BBC had an interesting future timeline covering 1000 years in the future to 100 quantillion years.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3655
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:41 pm UTC

nharding wrote:The BBC had an interesting future timeline covering 1000 years in the future to 100 quantillion years.


In other words, starting long after anyone likely to be embarrassed by the predictions should be safely dead...

I'm much more interested in people making accurate predictions about events a decade or two away - okay, Edmund Halley's most famous prediction was also impressive, but in general, anything beyond about 20-30 years (sufficiently soon that the people making the predictions are likely to be around to see them fail) holds little interest for me.

User avatar
BlitzGirl
Posts: 9122
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:48 am UTC
Location: Out of the basement for Yip 6! Schizoblitz: 115/2672 NP
Contact:

Re: 0887: "Future Timeline"

Postby BlitzGirl » Thu May 26, 2016 11:28 am UTC

In light of recent news, the last prediction of 2016 isn't looking too promising:

wphone1.png


Image
Spoiler:
wphone2.png
Knight Temporal of the One True Comic
BlitzGirl the Pink, Mopey Molpy Mome
Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image<Profile
~.Image~.FAQ->Image


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher and 91 guests