David Knights' Weblog

June 6, 2019

Spaceflight

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 12:42 pm
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A big part of routine spaceflight is about economics.  This isn’t well appreciated by the general public.  This column summarizes some of the advances that SpaceX is making in regard to those issues.  If SpaceX can routinely fly reusable rockets on a weekly basis, then a fleet of even 5 rockets translates into 260 launches a year.  More launches= lower costs= a truly fast development of this new frontier.  What a time to be alive.

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June 4, 2019

Shades of 2007/2008

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 11:12 am
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This is up in Canada (BC), which is having its own special issues with the housing market, mostly related to foreign money driving a real estate bubble (an now a crash), but this is a microcosm of what was going on all over the US, particularly in FL, AZ, NV and CA in 2007 which led to the great crash of 2008.  These people are playing with fire, and because of the government bailout the last time, I fear that no one has learned any lessons.  I am not a great fan of increased government regulation, but this is one area where I make an exception.

June 3, 2019

It breaks your heart

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 11:40 am
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Stories like this.  Seeing kids die of treatable ailments.  Socialism sucks.

May 29, 2019

Venezuela update

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 9:45 am
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Its been a while since we reviewed the situation in Venezuela.  Frankly, its like passing a car accident on the road.  You slow down and look. You don’t want to, but you do.  If you are like me every time you do you say a quick silent prayer for the safety of those involved.  The same goes for Venezuela. On one level, it is fascinating to watch a country fall apart in real time.  Also, while watching it happen, you have to remember that the Venezuelan people got themselves into this mess by voting for “free stuff”.  That doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking.

UPDATE:  It is even tough on the criminals

May 18, 2019

States tax policy

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 12:35 am
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I expect that we will see states with high income taxes get even more aggressive in attempting to claim residents really haven’t left the state for income tax purposes.  Ultimately they won’t be successful which will lead to tax increases and an ever more vicious cycle of rich people leaving.

May 16, 2019

Trade war

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 12:16 am
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An interesting perspective on the current US-China trade spat.  Tyler Cowen is a well respected economist who thinks deeply on issues like this.  I think his longer term perspective here is correct, which is why eventually China will yell Uncle…..Sam.

May 15, 2019

Keeping the pressure on North Korea

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 12:26 am
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I suspect we will see more of this as the US ramps up the pressure on North Korea. The question is ultimately can they be starved into submission? I don’t think we have any choice but to try.  North Korea can’t be allowed to maintain nukes.

May 13, 2019

Wouldn’t it be funny

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 1:57 pm
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Wouldn’t it be funny if the problems in Venezuela caused problems in Cuba while Cuba tried to prop up Venezuela?  Could be happening.  I will be keeping an eye on this.

April 6, 2019

Renewable energy

Filed under: Technology — dknights @ 6:51 am
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One of the big obstacles to using more renewable energy is power storage.  Battery technology isn’t anywhere near good enough to do the job of storing power on such a massive scale, and the production of batteries come with their own environmental problems. This article discusses an alternative way to store energy using water and gravity.  However, the scale of construction required to make this a really good way to store such energy and the variability of water supplies in some areas (i.e. California) make me skeptical that it could to be made to work on a large scale.  But, it is an interesting concept.

April 2, 2019

Tragedy

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 6:03 am
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The slowly unfolding man-made tragedy that is Venezuela is horrible.  Sadly, I get the impression that many of the people in Venezuela are waiting for someone to come rescue them.  While I have no problem with the US providing logistical support to those Venezuelans looking to overthrow their current government, I do not want to see the US become directly involved.  We’ve got to stop going out and rescuing people who’ve gotten themselves into these types of situations.

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