Interesting stuff – 2016-09-19

Here are a few things I found interesting this week, for your Monday morning consideration.

Here’s an article with “9 graphs that prove that using fossil fuels hasn’t harmed the planet.” I’m a little reluctant to use the word “prove;” I’d replace that one word “indicate” and “suggest.” Personally I think the evidence leans strongly in the direction of we-aren’t-making-things-as-bad-as-they-say, but I think it’s important to keep an open mind and keep a close eye on the environment.

I found the one about climate related deaths most interesting. It’s the last one.

Previously I linked to the news story about the mother and daughter (consenting adults, no less) who got married and are now being prosecuted for incest. Here’s an interesting piece that reflects on how utterly impossible it will be to prosecute them in today’s cultural climate.

Many an Atheist claims that religion inspires violence, so the sooner we can do away with religion the better. Interesting, so does sports. Time to do away with Hockey, Soccer, Tennis, Chess Pokemon and solitaire?

Here’s an interesting take on carbon pricing that urges caution and realism. It turns out,

…textbook models of emission pricing assume there are no other taxes in the economy.

Seriously? Because, like, that’s a totally realistic assumption! No other taxes. Right.

I also found this tangential piece of information interesting,

In the real world, the unavoidable inefficiencies of the tax system mean that the marginal economic cost of raising a dollar of new government revenue is more than one dollar, and varies from province to province. In Canada, the marginal cost ranges from about $1.40 to over $6 depending on the tax being raised.

Let me spell that out, just in case it wasn’t clear. In Canada, if some level of government wants a shiny dollar that they can spend on government programs, they obviously need to raise more than $1 in taxes because there is always at least some overhead. That part isn’t surprising; there is overhead involved with every government, business and charity.

But the amount of overhead is staggering. In order to have a dollar in the bank, governments need to raise between $1.40 and $6 in taxes. In the worst case, governments might spend up to $5 out of the $6 of taxes they draw from their citizens and businesses on overhead!

That puts government inefficiency in perspective!

Another friendly reminder of why I cannot be bothered with social media, including Twitter. Yes, I have a twitter account, but it’s more or less just a shell account because if you are a writer you are supposed to have one. Not sure why.

For the record, since I’ve pulled myself out of social media (my Facebook account is similarly just a shell account) I’ve been surprised by just how little I miss it. I assumed I’d have withdrawal symptoms and totally feel alienated from other people.

Yeah, not so much. A bit at first, but it’s like removing a band-aid that has been on for far longer than it ought to have. Momentary pain followed by a steady swelling of relief.

That whole Canada-Post-strike thing has a lot of people scratching their head. Here’s another example, with a practical suggestion. If it’s too expensive to get Canada Post to deliver the mail, hire somebody else. Outsource. This isn’t a new concept.

Oh, but this is Canada; the government is supposed to do everything, right? I mean, we cannot even allow private health care when Canadians are literally dying on waiting lists. Heaven forbid!

The Canadian motto: Death before privatization!

Some more thoughts on assisted suicide in Canada. Actually, not really about assisted suicide, but about unassisted suicide. First, nearly one-in-five teens in Canada have considered suicide. In the face of our newfound freedom to hire a doctor to do it for us, one wonders why this is a problem. Isn’t suicide the new “brave frontier?”

It turns out that those who actually attempt suicide, and fail, very frequently have an experience of significant regret moments after they take the plunge, like this guy,

Plunging some 75 metres [from the Golden Gate bridge] the Georgia man experienced what many attempting suicide feel: immediate regret and a desire to live.

Regret. Huh.

And, for those who made it this far, a little fun.