Blog: The Infirm Ages

The Infirm Ages
The Infirm Ages
Date: 2018-Mar-24 17:13:18 EST

Sad about the state of my cats; they're okay most of the time, but just off enough that they need help with daily things. And Tortfeasor seems to have un-litterbox-trained himself; a hard-to-remove rug is ruined, and hopefully not the apartment floor beneath it. Watching them occasionally stumble as they just walk around is hard. They'll see the new apartment, I'm pretty sure. But probably not beyond.

This has me thinking alongside a theme I've chewed on before; the notion of trying to build a better world that we wouldn't fit into. In the early days of my trying to understand society and how to change it, I just accepted it, noting that each generation's people are a bit disjoint from the values of successors, and feeling this is a good thing overall. Now I'm skeptic, because I worry about society moving in ugly directions; were we to see an emphasis on race or faith return, would we so readily just tell older generations to step aside? Dylan's song aside, some changing times are worth fighting. And that means thinking of each generation's aquiescence or degree of fight as a useful check against new values. I hope that slow, guarded change is actually a right way to get the right change. That's not certain. There are some ideas that are trendy among younger generations now that I'd like to push back pretty hard against - the "I get to define new pronouns and new genders and you'd better agree" from trans activists, the "There are many routes to truth and empiricism should coexist with traditional ways of knowing" from various people in love with their people's myths, those keen to have censorship so long as it is private, and endless other things. Doesn't mean I need to hate any of these groups, just that I deny some claims that are pretty important to (some of) them and that creates grounds for conflict. Maybe future generations of them won't try to make such claims, in which case I might just think they're weird.

Recently I've been on another kick to record landscapes of my dreams, particularly dream locations that I know I've visited several times before. I could paint them, if I had more art skill. Which I probably should work on developing.

I have a bunch of chores to do this weekend; I tried really, really sleeping in to try to get past this "always feeling tired" feeling, but it didn't work. It never works.

I like how this article illustrates the tendency to fling blame around in situations of conflict that don't admit an easy solution; there's a simple relationship involved in setting how easy it is to publish games, and how much competition there is for a game playing audience's attention and money. People really want somebody to blame though. I suppose they can blame whomever wants to make that decision, but it really should be about the decision more than the people. Yesterday I had an argument with someone pushing an unusual tax scheme to solve society's funding problems, and it was unproven and unclear whether they were aiming to make the poor or the rich may more, but in the end any tax setup, novel or not, has a few functional attributes we care about that should be the centre of the discussion:

  • On whom does the tax burden primarily fall? (I argue that it's better to tax luxury levels of wealth far more than discretionary, and that far more than survival)
  • How expensive and difficult is it to enforce the tax regime?
  • Do we want or have the knobs to use taxation as a softer-than-illegality means to shape behaviour?
  • How predictable is the tax burden for those that bear it?
If you pair answers to those questions with a spending plan, you have a general tax and finance policy. To avoid rhetorical tricks I want to hear any advocate of a novel tax plan, whether they be libertarians, cranks, or just people who know of and prefer a different system (maybe somebody actually likes VAT? Although I kinda doubt it) talk about it in these terms. This guy was pushing Edgar Feige's Transaction Tax stuff (which I had heard of before but never paid much attention towards).