I’ve been seeing talk of 'Unconditional basic income' in a few places recently, and have been curious to learn more. Coming from a Libertarian/Objectivist background, it’s very surprising to start nodding along to providing everyone a basic income.
Before I explain why this concept is going to be creeping into the political debate across the developed world, let me spell out how a system like this would look:
Every single adult member receives a weekly payment from the state, which is enough to live comfortably on. The only condition is citizenship and/or residency.
You get the basic income whether or not you’re employed, any wages you earn are additional.
The welfare bureaucracy is largely dismantled. No means testing, no signing on, no bullying young people into stacking shelves for free, no separate state pension.
Employment law is liberalised, as workers no longer need to fear dismissal.
People work for jobs that are available in order to increase their disposable income.
Large swathes of the economy are replaced by volunteerism, a continuation of the current trend.
The system would be harder to cheat when there’s only a single category of claimant, with no extraordinary allowances.
This may sound off-the-charts radical, but here’s why you’re going to be hearing a lot more about it
The linked piece goes into great detail about three trends that will force this concept into public discourse.
There has been a lot of kerfluffle on the icons of iOS7. There’s so many more important things to talk about regarding this awesome new OS, but designers gonna design so they all want to out-do Apple’s designs. As predicted, iOS7 is polarizing, but too much attention lately has gone towards the size of the circles in the icons. Some are in fact much bigger than before, others are pretty close:
These “larger” circles are apparently wrong, as if anyone can objectively say that about a particular design. Especially any this simple.
Most people seem to be hating on Safari the most. It is a dramatically different design, but the compass radius is actually quite a bit smaller than the previous icon:
Speaking of wrong, that article that’s making the rounds (ha!) about wrongness is making a pretty poor comparison, stating matter-of-factly that the circle should be a bounding box, then provides this example:
'Full Shape' may be right in the context of the tab bar shown, but not in an icon. For these icons, I gotta agree with @siracua on the most recent Accidental Tech Podcast, that making everything perfectly ‘correct’ in this design sense is actually very boring design. And so, possibly, wrong.
The manned space program is at a crossroads. There is much confusion about where its going, and what its next destination will be. Will it be the Moon? a near earth asteroid? Mars? What if we changed its focus from picking a destination to building multi-purpose spacecraft that, like maritime research and exploratory vessels, can travel anywhere.
Three years ago, Alex Tolley and I co-authored a paper for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society that explored the idea of a spacecoach, a fully reusable interplanetary spacecraft whose mass is mostly water. These ships would never enter a planetary atmosphere, and as such would be simpler to build than a craft that has to endure launch and re-entry (we treated the problem of getting to and from earth orbit as a separate issue for a separate system).