Future Building Technology

This video pinpoints my worries about AI

Watched I tried using AI. It scared me. from YouTube

I just wanted to fix my email.

I am of the Napster generation and it is alarming to consider Chat-GPT could compare with that point of cultural change. The accelerating rate of change for everything is already exhausting. I don’t want to have to worry about whether people think AI generated text and designs are “good enough.”

But, this is how craftsmanship and skills die: a new technology comes along that gives good enough results, and not enough demand is left to sustain an industry of expertise.

Society Work

Who is high income anyway?

Replied to Who Is High Income, Anyway? Social Comparison, Subjective Group Identification, and Preferences over Progressive Taxation by Asli Cansunar (

Why are high-income and low-income earners not significantly polarized in their support for progressive income taxation? This article posits that the affluent fail to recognize that they belong to the high-income income group and this misperception affects their preferences over progressive taxation.

International Social Survey Programmes Social Inequality survey of 2009 reveals that almost 60% of American respondents with yearly household incomes higher than $110,000 support progressive taxation, whereas 63% of American respondents with annual incomes lower than $25,000 support progressivity.

One possible explanation is that people care about things other than material self-interest. Several inuential contri­butions to the comparative politics literature have taken up the challenge of amending the utility function of the canonical model of redistribution. In particular, they incorporate an­other source of utility other than posttax and transfer income in the individuals utility function. These studies posit that peoples decisions, along with material self-interest, are af­fected by altruism (Dimick, Rueda, and Stegmueller 2016), religion (Stegmueller 2013), beliefs about what is fair (Alesina and Angeletos 2005), group loyalty (Shayo 2009), and distaste for inequality (Lü and Scheve 2016).

I would like to go with the “we’re not all self-serving dicks” theories.

Why do a signicant share of high-income respondents underestimate their rank? Why do the afuent think they belong to the middle class?

You have to adjust self-perceptions based on cost of living — my house may be worth a ridiculous amount on paper, but let me tell you, it is a piece of shit where they cut every corner they could. I am not exactly living like a queen, with my crumbling grout 1988-forest-green-tiled bathroom and honey-oak-veneer-cabinet kitchen with a coil stove and twenty year old fridge. Yes, I am rich in the global perspective, and even in the American perspective, but I still think of myself as middle class. Couldn’t I afford to remodel my kitchen if I was actually rich? (I suspect no one else middle class can either, they’re just willing to take out loans that I’m not.) But, I know I am better off than many, and want to pay my fair share.

But more to the point, I think she’s disregarding that class is not solely determined by income. Anyone who is a worker, not an owner or manager, is not truly upper class. Class is about control and influence as much as wealth. This is why well-off people may still think of themselves as middle class: the social connotations.


Article pairing: wealth disparity

WHY THE SUPER RICH ARE INEVITABLE by Alvin Chang | January 2023

Why do super rich people exist in a society?


Many of us assume it’s because some people make better financial decisions. But what if this isn’t true? What if the economy – our economy – is designed to create a few super rich people?


That’s what mathematicians argue in something called the Yard-sale model…


Who Benefits from Income and Wealth Growth in the United States? by Blanchet et al

Realtime Inequality provides the first timely statistics on how economic growth is distributed across groups. When new growth numbers come out each quarter, we show how each income and wealth group benefits.


Controlling for price inflation, average national income per adult in the United States decreased at an annualized rate of -2% in the third quarter of 2022, and average income for the bottom 50% shrunk by -2.4%.

Political Commentary Society

Article pairing: income inequality

Britain and the US are poor societies with some very rich people

Weirding Diary: 7

Fourth world: Parts of the developed world that have collapsed past third-world conditions because industrial safety nets have simultaneously withered from neglect/underfunding, and are being overwhelmed by demand, but where pre-modern societal structures don’t exist as backstops anymore.

Political Commentary Society

What makes a country good?

Bookmarked What makes a country good? by Amelia Wattenberger (

Every country in the world is regularly tracked by a large number of metrics. Some are mundane measures (e.g., population, physical size) and others are meant to reflect quality (e.g., control of corruption, political rights score). This creates a large list of variables that could make a country “good” or “bad”, with no simple way to combine them.

Because there are no universally accepted measures of “good”, we approached this question agnostically, allowing the individual user to interrogate countries based on metrics or reference countries of their choosing.

Cuz we don’t got it. We’re about at “bearable if you’re moderately rich, white, cis and straight.”

Future Building Political Commentary Resources and Reference

Tax justice

Bookmarked Tax Justice Now (

America’s runaway inequality has an engine: our unjust tax system.
Even as they became fabulously wealthy, the ultra-rich have seen their taxes collapse to levels last seen in the 1920s. Meanwhile, working-class Americans have been asked to pay more.

Tool to see how different tax policies would affect the budget etc.