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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-28-2004, 09:31 PM   #21
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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There's certainly a non-zero probability of being wiped out by an asteroid, but it's not much higher than zero over a 54 year period.
Damn, I should pay more attention to the news. It turns out that a giant asteroid is headed toward earth as we speak!

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...earthwednesday
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 08:34 AM   #22
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Oh...sorry...it was just a bird...
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 08:57 AM   #23
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Oh...sorry...it was just a bird...
You're lucky it wasn't a goose.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 09:05 AM   #24
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

You're lucky it wasn't a goose.

That's so. If it had been a goose flying overhead, it wouldn't be milk stains you would be trying to scrub off of your best shirt when you did this week's wash, TH.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 09:18 AM   #25
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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You're lucky it wasn't a goose.
Oh those are still going by overhead. Apparently they persist in their aerial maneuvers under the mistaken impression that anybody cares.

I've never seen geese that lived underneath bridges though. Its very, very odd.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 10:37 AM   #26
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

I've never seen geese that lived underneath bridges though.


Okay, TH. Maybe some other time.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 11:19 AM   #27
 
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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It's really hard to imagine bigger productivity improvements than we've had historically. * How are we going to top electricity, telephony, the automobile, the computer, and disco? * *

This statement reminds me of the often times quoted following remark:

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

Charles H. Duell, Office of Patents, 1899




I am of the other opinion. The world has more problems now than ever before and problems are in need of solutions which require inventions. Our minds are framed by current tools and the tools of the future are unimaginable by most people at the current time.

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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 11:48 AM   #28
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

Cut-Throat, there's a difference between inventing things that improve life and inventing things that improve productivity. I can imagine lots of cool and important things yet to be invented, but it's hard to beat the *productivity and economic impact* of going from horse-back delivery of products to jets/trains/trucks.

I suppose if somebody comes up with a teleporter a la Star Trek, I'll eat my words, but the laws of physics suggest I won't have to.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 12:07 PM   #29
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

After almost 3 decades working in American companies, I am forced to conclude that there is still a long way to go before we approach any efficiency limits.

The process of developing cell phones, computers, etc. is incredibly inefficient and the efficiency tools of the 90's do not begin to address the real problems. There is plenty of room for improvements.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 12:29 PM   #30
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

Yes, we'll continue to have incremental productivity improvements too. But in case my point still isn't clear, here's a text-book definition of what I'm trying to say.


The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

diminishing returns, law of


in economics, law stating that if one factor of production is increased while the others remain constant, the overall returns will relatively decrease after a certain point. Thus, for example, if more and more laborers are added to harvest a wheat field, at some point each additional laborer will add relatively less output than his predecessor did, simply because he has less and less of the fixed amount of land to work with. The principle, first thought to apply only to agriculture, was later accepted as an economic law underlying all productive enterprise. The point at which the law begins to operate is difficult to ascertain, as it varies with improved production technique and other factors. Anticipated by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot and implied by Thomas Malthus in his Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), the law first came under examination during the discussions in England on free trade and the corn laws. It is also called the law of decreasing returns and the law of variable proportions. 1
See W. J. Spillman and E. Lang, The Law of Diminishing Returns (1924).
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 12:56 PM   #31
 
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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I suppose if somebody comes up with a teleporter a la Star Trek, I'll eat my words, but the laws of physics suggest I won't have to.
Maybe not, but how about this - I heard a futurist talking about what is possible in Physics and what is impossible. Things that seem fairly simple like a perpetual motion machine are impossible, yet things that are very complex and yet to be imagined are possible.

He gave an example of how a cow eating grass turns it into steak. He said it was very possible to invent machine like a microwave that you add all of the necessary materials such as grass etc. - press a button and out comes a fillet mignon.

He gave many more very complex examples, and explained how we are only limited by our minds previous experiences. I believe Thomas Watson former Chairman of IBM once said "I cannot imagine why anyone would want a computer in their home" - Now if he cannot concieve of how a computer could enhance productivity, imagine the rest of us. You're a smart guy Wab, maybe just a little too smart!
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 01:57 PM   #32
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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After almost 3 decades working in American companies, I am forced to conclude that there is still a long way to go before we approach any efficiency limits. *
Very true...however, if we ever even approach 100% efficiency unemployment in this country will probably approach 50% or more....


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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 03:09 PM   #33
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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Yes, we'll continue to have incremental productivity improvements too. * *But in case my point still isn't clear, here's a text-book definition of what I'm trying to say.


The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. *2001.

diminishing returns, law of


in economics, law stating that if one factor of production is increased while the others remain constant, the overall returns will relatively decrease after a certain point. Thus, for example, if more and more laborers are added to harvest a wheat field, at some point each additional laborer will add relatively less output than his predecessor did, simply because he has less and less of the fixed amount of land to work with. The principle, first thought to apply only to agriculture, was later accepted as an economic law underlying all productive enterprise. The point at which the law begins to operate is difficult to ascertain, as it varies with improved production technique and other factors. Anticipated by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot and implied by Thomas Malthus in his Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), the law first came under examination during the discussions in England on free trade and the corn laws. It is also called the law of decreasing returns and the law of variable proportions. * * * * 1
See W. J. Spillman and E. Lang, The Law of Diminishing Returns (1924).
Okay. Let me make the point I was making in a different way: After nearly 3 decades in American industry, I am forced to conclude that we are no where near a point of diminihsing return when it comes to efficiency improvement.

Take your analogy of workers harvesting a field several steps further. Optimum harvest comes when he have optimized on many levels: chosen the optimum crop for the environment, purchased the best seed at the best price, planted at the optimum time, made efficient use of pesticides and herbicides, made efficient use of fertilizer, chosen the most efficient method to plant - to fertilize - to harvest, optimized the machinery, distributed the harvest efficiently . . .

Choosing the optimum number of harvesters to go into a field and harvest by hand is only a point of diminishing return if none of the other factors changes or can be improved and if harvesting by hand is really the most efficient method of harvest ever possible.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 03:13 PM   #34
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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Very true...however, if we ever even approach 100% efficiency unemployment in this country will probably approach 50% or more....

Maybe. But we are a very long way from optimum efficiency.

Still, I think your point is important. I would really prefer looking for optimum solutions rather than for the mostefficient solutions.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 04:46 PM   #35
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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I suppose if somebody comes up with a teleporter a la Star Trek, I'll eat my words, but the laws of physics suggest I won't have to.
You might want to buy some extra salt. I'll look for a link later but somebody's been able to 'teleport' matter AND its state including motion from one place to another.

That just leaves the part about whether or not we have souls, where those are exactly, what they look like, and will they teleport...
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 05:31 PM   #36
 
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 07:40 PM   #37
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

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...if we ever even approach 100% efficiency unemployment in this country will probably approach 50% or more....
I have long suspected that the 25% unemployment during the Great Depression was so bad party because of the farming revolution. Machines did the work that people used to, so farmers moved to the big city. Initially, there were not enough jobs for them, until the high IQ types invented new products for them to produce. Perhaps one day robots will produce everything that people today produce. Maybe inventors will figure out enough new stuff for people to produce, and perhaps not.
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 09-29-2004, 09:05 PM   #38
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

Hey, I'm not saying that the long-term forward returns of the stock market are guaranteed to be dismal, just that there's a real possibility that they won't be able to match historical levels.

Believe me, at the first sign of teleportation and nanotech replicators, I'll be back in the market for the long run
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%
Old 11-12-2004, 05:52 PM   #39
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Re: "reasonable worst case" SWR: 2.55%

Productivity is the most important factor affecting the standard of living for both the ER and those who have not retired yet.

For example, in 1900, the average American family spent approximately 50% of their income just to feed their families. Today that percentage is much less because of productivity. In 1800, approximately 92% of the population of the United States lived on the farm and produced food - now it is about 2-3%.

Many people assume that historically productivity is a linear trend. It is not - productivity improvements are exponential in their growth; and this growth is accelerating. What this means is that over longer periods of time people usually underestimate the changes that will occur in the economy and in financial markets.

(To read more about productivity and its impact, there are two web sites that have some great articles; One is the Federal Reserve Dallas Branch's annual reports and "the brain" on KurzweilAI.net.)

Today, most American's live better than the most privileged people of 100 years ago. I do not see this trend slowing down but increasing - in a 100 years we will live much better than most of the people of today.

So while we compare against historical rates of returns because it is all we have, my conjecture is that we have yet to tap the full power of computers, biotechnology, nano-technology, material science, etc.. My gut feeling (although hard to quantify) is that the economy and the stock market will return more in the future than they have in the past (but with the same amount or increased volatility).

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