What if we found a way to make the technology even more efficient?

When you swallow your pride, gargle afterwards

In discussions or arguments about public policy and politics in general, some people will result to category attacks like "Well of course you'd think that, you liberal jerk!" or "Sure, good one, that's just what a right wing lunatic would think!"

This line or argument is not very constructive, because you've reduced your counterpart into an abstraction based on some assumed opinions of a group they might be in, and you've stopped talking to the actual person.

I'm amused by people who are easily tipped over and will cross this line with little reason to. This might happen when you suspect you know something about a person's politics, and you want to insult them because of that, but you're talking about something unrelated and you do it anyway. Here's an example using a lady named Gwen and a fellow named Humberto.

Humberto: Hey there Gwen, how's it going, want some lunch?

Gwen: Oh sure, do you have a place in mind?
Humberto: I was thinking maybe pizza?
Gwen: Of course you were! That's exactly what a no-good left-wing commie would want!

See, sort of crazy right?

The flight of the bumblebee is eccentric

I was recently sitting in a shoppe where I overheard a conversation between two women who presumably worked in a school. They were talking about art education and how it works in schools and various tips and tricks of the art education trade.

They were taking themselves quite seriously, and there was an implied understanding that the fate of the children under their tutelage rested solely on the quality of the art education they received from these women and their peers.

This sort of bothered me because there's a very self-centered thing at play here where the importance of the work they are doing has been escalated to a status far beyond what it probably should be. It seems unlikely that art education in general would make or break a child's education, and it seems even more unlikely that whatever marginal improvements they might have discovered about art education would have a significant bearing on that world. Even if they did, they are but two teachers in a city with thousands of students and a nation with thousands of schools. The impact they can have is depressingly small, and that becomes more depressing when you think about the legitimate problems which exist in the school system as a whole.

On the other hand, it is probably small groups of people with outsized passion like this who will make all the difference in the world when it comes to making anything better.

What if we flew a satellite over during high tide?

I enjoy the scene in movies from the 80s and 90s where there's a guy and he's at work and it's his last day or last week and he has a bunch of brochures on his desk with various tropical islands and other exotic places that he might retire to. It's fun to assume that he's given zero thought to his retirement plans before then, and he finally realized he'd better come up with something so now he's leafing through brochures trying to figure something out.

Sadly, future generations of retirees will not get to have this experience, because we don't use brochures, because things are on the internet now and that sounds crazy.

Push notifications from the afterlife

A few weeks ago I came home from work on a pretty cold day, and went to the sink to pour myself a refreshing glass of water. That's right -- I get my drinking water straight from the sink, and there's no filter on there, and I'm pretty regularly building character and enhancing my fortitude this way. Anyway, I went to pour out some water from the tap and the water that came out was pretty hot. It was hotter than room temperature, at least.

But here's the thing - no one had been home all day, so we're talking at least 8 hours or more without the water having been run. Even if the last thing someone did before they left in the morning was to run some hot water, it seems like the water sitting in the pipes should have cooled down during the day.

It's possible that someone broke into my house right before I got home, stole nothing at all, but just ran some hot water. It's also possible that my walls or pipes have some sort of spectacular insulating properties and managed to stay warm all day even with it being cold out. I'd like to think there's some way I can use that to my advantage, but nothing really comes to mind there.

The mechanism was patented earlier in the century

You know how there are those camps or schools or whatever where people who have gay children but don't want to have gay children will attempt to send their gay children in order to "cure" their gay-ness? That seems like a pretty crazy idea, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way, but I'm guessing those people are doing a whole bunch of stuff that I'm not quite on board with, and I won't get hung up on this one issue.

I think it would be a good idea to operate a program or camp like this where instead of being a cure for being gay, it was a cure for left-handedness. You could just borrow the marketing materials for the gay camps, but you'd replace the being gay part with a being left handed part, and keep most of the other things the same. You might have to swap out some bible quotes with new bible quotes, but I'm sure you can find something in there about left handedness being the work of satan or something, and use that.

You might be able to get some people to try to send their children to your camp to cure their left-handedness. It seems unlikely I know, but if you did that, we could put those people on some sort of watchlist and check in on them every now and again. They are almost definitely not to be trusted.

More likely would be that you would get a bunch of parents who were like "oh no, come on! That's not a thing to cure, that's just how they were born!" Once that happened we could take turns just sort of smugly staring at them for a while, the point having been made.