atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5078: Further thoughts

About that SF book:

The idea that a nascent AI lifeform could look at abortion and decide it means that humans have a callous disregard for life is a pretty good one. In SF the machines that decide to kill off the human race usually do so because the machines realize that humanity is a threat to them; but why is usually fobbed off with handwavium. The Terminator series said it was because humans tried to stop SkyNet after it attained sentience, but who's to say that SkyNet couldn't have looked at our society and made the decision for other reasons?

Abortion is the sacrament of the progressive religion; of course nothing must ever be allowed to be critical of it. Not even in theory. Not even when it's "make believe". Because that is Wrongthink, and Wrongthink is never tolerated.

...with the result that the author self-published the story on Amazon, where it rose to the top of three different best-seller lists, and he's getting more money from the book than he'd ever have gotten from his publisher, to boot.

* * *

About the price of oil:

Gas recently dropped under $1.50 a gallon here in the Fungal Vale. Across the border, in Indiana, I recently saw it at $1.24 a gallon.

In 1987 gas was $0.88 a gallon (for, admittedly, regular, not unleaded). At that time, a 4 oz bar of chocolate was $0.79, and a two liter bottle of Pepsi was $1 (its regular, non-sale, price).

In 2016 the 4 oz bar of chocolate is now 2.3 oz for about $1, the two-liter's regular price has doubled, and gas can be had for $1.24 a gallon. Arguably, gas now costs less--adjusted for inflation--than it has in a very long, long time.

Hell, you don't even need to adjust for inflation. If you do, gas costs less than it has in thirty years; if you don't it's still stupid-low.

OPeC wants to put American fracking out of business, so it's keeping the taps open; meanwhile the global economic depression has reduced the demand for petroleum, so the laws of supply and demand are working their inevitable magic on gas prices.

Reportedly the price of crude has dipped below $30 a barrel, and recently saw a bottom of $27; some think $20 is the limit while others have started wondering if $10 is impossible. I don't care how low it goes as long as it stays there for a good long while. We need cheap energy, damn it.

Either way, the descent of gas prices into this territory have resulted in a change in my own driving habits. I step harder on the gas now, instead of being light on the throttle...and ironically it seems as if my fuel economy is improving. WTF.

And, incidentally, this. Get out your jerry cans, folks; and expect a spot increase in StaBil prices. With the gas cans I have on hand I'll be able to cut grass all summer without going to the gas station.

Special glee part: the low price of gas must be driving the eco-loonies nuts.

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