Friday Four

Friday, October 05, 2012

1. What might paper money -- I mean, bank notes -- look like in a free economy with private currency? History provides us with one holiday-inspired answer, in the form of a five dollar bank note featuring Santa Claus.

2. I enjoyed the answers almost as much as the whole premise that provoked the question amused me: Scott Berkun asks, "What should you do when a stranger sends high priority email?" I'll be tempted to do some of these things the next time I receive a presumptuous email, priority-flagged or not.

3. Who knew that a table full of metronomes could be so fun to watch?

4. The highly speculative search for extraterrestrial intelligence has taken an interesting new turn: looking for Dyson Spheres.

-- CAV


Steve D said...

I always flag my important emails as low priority - no one ever fails to read them.

Steve D said...

'The Best Way to Find Aliens: Look for Their Solar Power Plants'
The reason why aliens have not yet visited us is...either because their all socialists and can't afford to...or their capitalists...and they have better things to do with their money.

Anonymous said...

edit...'they're all socialists.' or they just can't spell

Gus Van Horn said...


Your comment regarding the priority flag may have been said in jest, but I think the point is good: If you feel a need to flag an email, maybe it's time to form a better policy about what to send!

Regarding Dyson Spheres...true!


Steve D said...

In all seriousness, when you think about the resources and technology which will be required to send humans to the stars; it’s mind boggling. So, I think economics is quite plausibly one reason we haven’t met and may never meet another form of intelligent life.
Even sending machines or signals far enough to make contact might be difficult. It’s also possible that we may be one of the first to evolve or that intelligent life is fairly rare. Our sun is a relatively old 3rd-generation star located in perhaps exactly the right spot in the galaxy; earlier generation stars would not have had enough heavier elements and it is in the 97th percentile in terms of the energy it produces (100th percentile of yellow stars) with a very wide goldilocks band. It took 4.3 billion years after our planet formed to make people, etc.
And you know, if the Earth not happened to have a moon so close, humans would not yet have walked on another world. Unless, someone figures out how to make money from it, how are we going to get even as far as Mars?

Gus Van Horn said...

All good points. I doubt that there would be as much active searching for extraterrestrial intelligence were more scientists in possession of a better understanding of the nature and necessity of freedom to rational beings.