Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Conclusion: we ain't out of oil, we won't run out soon, and if we do there are technologies that can take over.To which I responded
Which was my point. And if we would put real money into space solar power, we would build a Lunar colony on weekends and third shifts.
"And if we would put real money into space solar power, we would build a Lunar colony on weekends and third shifts"Since I have a very high opinion of Dr Pournelle's site & think it should be read by anybody who would like to see the world fixed (politically incorrect though it is) I am pleased when he occasionally accepts something I suggest.
And solving global warming, if it actually ever turns out to be a problem, by building tinfoil parasols on bank holidays.
He also said this a few paragraphs earlier
One wonders, is the higher education establishment the beneficiary of huge increases in available funds as is the US? The US education establishment, faced with what amounts to unlimited funds in the form of student loans, has priced itself to an absurd level, with the result that whereas my wife, the eleventh child of a coal miner, could put herself through university and become a teacher without any public assistance, my new daughter in law, from a solidly middle class family, has debts that won't be paid for years. The entire middle class in the US is now in debt to the government, or will be; and that cannot be a good thing.I don't think we are in quite that bad a situation yet but I don't know. I remember The Little Black Bag by Kornbluth from when it was shown as one of the episodes of Out of the Unknown (3rd series) but apparently the BBC have contrived to lose half of the recording.
Credentialism, particularly education degrees and such like, dominate employment in the US because it is the only way personnel departments can operate; anti-discrimination laws make it impossible to reject an inept minority candidate for a job unless there is some "objective" evidence that the person hired is "better qualified". That usually means education degrees and the like. Thus everyone has to pay tribute to the higher education establishment, which keeps raising the costs of education to new levels; costs always rise to what the traffic will bear, and with the flood of loans and grants available there is very little limit to what the traffic will bear. The result is that the upper classes don't care; there are grants for the lower classes; and middle class kids expect to come out of university owing the government money they won't pay for much of their lifetime.
The result on family structure and the next generation could be imagined if it were not already clear.
We are in the realm of "The Little Black Bag", a story so politically incorrect that I doubt it could be published now. (cornfield's The Marching moronic is probably better known, but The Little Black Bag is perhaps more illustrative).