Saturday, 21 May 2016

Digital celestial navigation

It should be possible to construct a device that uses light sensors (digital cameras), data on star (and visible planet) position and an accurate clock to give the user their latitude and longitude. The user would point the device towards the sky, and it would capture image data. This data would be pattern-matched against expected star positions for a particular latitude and longitude, at a particular time. Such a device might serve as a useful backup to GPS in the event of failure of the GPS network.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Wealth equality and minutiae

If you imagine how housing might look in an entirely equal society, you may imagine rows and rows of equally sized houses such that each family is equal. But are they equal? Would houses with South-facing gardens (Northern hemisphere) not be more sought after? What about houses that are nearer to the factory, or to the train station, or wherever it is that the government hands out rations?

The more one thinks about wealth equality, it is clear that absolute wealth equality is impossible to achieve. Further, the more equal wealth becomes, the more the minutiae (which are likely impossible to eradicate) will be emphasized and sought after.

Likewise, it is interesting to speculate what pure wealth inequality might be like. The only answer to this I can conceive of is one person owning everything. But to do so would mean that no-one else would be able to survive (they wouldn't own the food to eat, or the air to breathe). Hence pure wealth inequality is also impossible.

Given that neither pure wealth equality and pure wealth inequality cannot be achieved, all that remains is a matter of degrees. All political positions must be somewhere on a continuum of equality.