All of Sable's Comments + Replies

It's time to rethink "retirement"

It's an interesting idea.

I generally disagree with some of the premise, but I do think it's interesting. Taking advantage of one's health and youth while one has it seems tempting.

On the other hand, worker productivity presumably goes down pretty fast once the worker in question is in their 60s-70s, just because they're getting older, so there may not be anyone who wants to employ them.

You've also got the issue that social security benefits do somewhat depend on how much someone earned in their life (I believe, I'm no expert) - so what would be the benefit someone takes in their 30th year?

1Elle Griffin3moYes, well maybe we will also expand our healthspan, or have AI to help us with worker productivity? 🤓 The case I make is for social security is a blend between Singapore's system and our current 401k system. The employer contributes 20% of their salary to their 401k and their employer matches it. They can use those funds to take mini sabbaticals throughout their lives, rather than one long one at the end. But yes, it's tied to income, so the more you make and the longer you stay in the workforce, the more money you save! (You won't have very much money in there at the beginning, but you'll have a lot by the end!)
Commensal Institutions

Yep. I wanted to lay out a somewhat more detailed accounting of it, as a basis for future work on how institutions are designed - and how they should be designed, if we want them to be more effective.

Should US states self-govern?

I look forward to reading it.

Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic about any of these changes actually happening; from what little I know a constitutional convention seems necessary, and that seems well outside the realm of the possible.

3Elle Griffin4moYes, it might not be possible right now to call a constitutional convention and reorganize into city states. But it's entirely possible to give more autonomy (and fiscal autonomy) to local and state governments. Sometimes I think it's worth writing about/thinking about the ideal so then we can see how we can get there (rather than working with what we have now and trying to tweak it slightly better).
Should US states self-govern?

I like the idea, especially for the experimentation in governance it would foster.

One possible issue is that the democrat/republican divide often tends to be urban/rural, rather than by state.

Ideally, this sort of change would be accompanied by a redrawing of state lines, enabling both a) more than 50 states and b) better alignments of geography/population to statehood.

2Elle Griffin4moYou're reading my mind!!!!!!! My next essay is about what would happen if we divided the country into city-states!! (And it would be for those exact reasons: the divide is urban/rural, and we'd be better aligned with our governments!)
Health Insurance Pricing: Battling the snake-heads of Hydra

I think that this is broadly correct. One of the biggest problems of health care in America is that the feedback mechanisms that control cost (such as honest and public prices) are completely broken, and fixing them would likely go a large way towards solving the problem.



I have no idea how these would be implemented - I'm not well enough versed in the practical realities of politics and legislation. What are House Rules?

For some of them, I agree - a constitutional amendment would be ideal.

A Catalog of Big Visions for Biology

Can we enhance medical devices to the point where an MRI is as easy and cheap to use and own as a thermometer?

Tyler Cowen AMA

What US state are you most optimistic about, with regards to progress, development, YIMBYism, investment, higher education, and so on?

What about pessimistic?

In e.g. 50 years, what states do you think will have trended upwards vs. downwards from now?

1Tyler Cowen1yI think all states will be much better off in 50 years time. Maybe it is the Midwest that is currently underrated? Lots of great cultural roots there. Currently it is the moment for Florida and Texas, but I wouldn't say I have a very specific prediction for fifty years out, that is a long time away.
Where are the robotic bricklayers?

I've followed your work on Construction Physics, Brian, and I've enjoyed it immensely and learned a ton!

Some thoughts:

  • One of the recurring points you bring up is that construction is limited in cost savings due to the transportation costs - building materials are generally heavy and have low value-to-weight ratios, so centralized manufacturing doesn't help nearly as much as it does in other industries.  That being said, do you see a solution space where the brick-making machine (including kiln if necessary) can itself be brought to the jobsite, with t
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1briancpotter2yThanks! Re: portable brick machine, I think automation would have to advance a lot before something like this ended up being cost effective (and the resulting automation could probably do a lot of other, more interesting things than just "assemble bricks") Re: mortar, folks are already doing this (this is what fastbrick robotics uses, basically) Re: 3D printing, I don't think this is especially likely, mostly because people want brick specifically because of how it looks - it's already a sort of cost-inefficient system that people choose for the aesthetics. Adding another system to the mix doesn't seem like it would change this calculus, even in the event it becomes super efficient (which seems unlikely to me).