Technology and Old-Fashioned Ways

Libertarian Commentary #16-05B By Nathan Barton

I am a very strong believer in human creativity and science: real, theoretical and practical science, not the Soviet-style political (politically tainted) science we find in government agencies, universities, and “foundations” associated with government. I am not alone in this. Many free-market anarchists and even many libertarians share this idea, so I constantly investigate news about new discoveries (or rediscoveries) and inventions. Let’s look at a couple, first off.

Mama’s Note: The only way that science and the economy can be free of political contamination is for there to be no involuntary, centralized government controlling people and their property. There are things we can do to help encourage honest science in the meantime, but it will always be less than ideal until there truly is a free market.

Natural medical cure? Ah, but will the FDA allow this to be used? Popular Science [] reports that a natural Canadian clay kills many of the drug-resistant bacteria which are found in many hospitals in the Fifty States.  It comes from a well-known source near Vancouver, used by AmerInd tribes for centuries. It might even work on MRSA, a growing problem. But don’t expect Americans to be allowed to use it legally for a decade or more. Meanwhile, hospitals continue to be very bad for you.

Mama’s Note: No, the government, with or without the alphabet soup gangs, will never actually “allow” any drug or treatment that does not further their own power and bogus authority, one way or another. The internet has proven to be extremely inconvenient for them. but they work hard and spend incredible amounts of taxpayer money suppressing new ideas including natural treatments, to produce distrust and dissension even among medical professionals who should have the clearest idea of what works and what does not.

Out with the new, in with the old? An MIT group has issued a press release (“Recycling light”)  which reports construction of an INCANDESCENT light bulb that that is going to be almost 3 times more efficient than the best LED light bulbs. The latter only convert 7-15 percent of the energy to light. But the new MIT technology is estimated to get to 40 percent soon. The first prototypes have “only”an efficiency of 6.6%. This only matches some of the weaker LED competitors so far. But it is still a 3-fold improvement from “bare” conventional light bulbs whose efficiency is 2-3 percent. Fluorescents are 5-13 percent.

One comment from an unknown poster is worth noting. It is a form of a terrorist attack for someone to try to eliminate the incandescent light bulbs or fossil fuels or anything else from the spectrum of competing technologies. People trying to ban whole segments of technology must be treated as Luddites and on par with other terrorists.

The problem with the MIT invention is a simple one. Incandescent lamps are OUTLAWED by the FedGov and there seems to be no exception for new-tech bulbs. The technology MANDATED by the FedGov has serious flaws, not least of which is their cost (an LED bulb down at the local Ace Hardware regular price is about seven dollars; incandescents (if you can find them) used to be about 40-60 cents.). Even if an LED can last 25,000 hours and uses 1/10 the electrical power of the Edison bulb, it still can take years to save money by using them. Of course, fluorescent lamps, whether the traditional tubes or CFLs, have other problems like mercury.

Any time government meddles with the market, there is trouble. And trouble means increased costs, and decreased choices, for consumers.

Mama’s Note: Funny, in a sick sort of way. Congress could reverse that idiotic “law” in a short time, if they wanted to. But incandescent light bulbs will fare no better than cannabis in that regard, no matter how much overwhelming evidence refutes their rationale.

Is it really “globalization” (usually linked with crony capitalism and the excesses of the nanny state) or is it a combination of better technology, what free market we have left, and slow increases in liberty in many places? A Stanford economist is reported to claim (by CNS News) that “globalization” is erasing the “prosperity gap between rich and poor countries. Admittedly, this is different from the constant drumbeat of “rich getting richer, poor getting poor” that we hear, including such factoids as “62 richest people on the planet own more than the bottom 50% of the world population,” (Daily Mail, 17JAN16) and that supposedly 75 million people own more than the rest of us combined. But when we compare what could be if we were not wasting trillions on war and government control – the state – it should make us sick. And it is NOT “globalization” such as NAFTA and TPP and similar government tricks that spreads the wealth: it is new technology – inventions – and free trade – REAL free trade, and free enterprise that has given all the world such things as cellular smart phones and ways to clean water and grow food better and so much more.

What is particularly disgusting is that even as the fruits of freedom, the benefits of liberty, of the free market, of personal responsibility, are all around us, that governments and too many lovers of government keep dragging more and more people down into oppression and poverty. According to CNS News, a federal report claims that 40 percent of Americans qualify for “need-tested benefits” (that is, welfare for “need” and not provided just because they are directly politically connected; and not “benefits” which people have paid for by either years of taxation (Social Security) or service (military pensions and at least some veterans benefits). Put another way, by FedGov standards, 4 in 10 Americans are “POOR.” So much for LBJ’s “war on poverty.” It is over: poverty won. As did government. It was PEOPLE who have lost.

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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4 Responses to Technology and Old-Fashioned Ways

  1. Richard Wurdack says:

    Couple of things :

    The engineering tradespace is corrupted by such ‘laws’ (regulations) and the resulting data is garbage. Where are the numbers for actual reliability, actual cost, actual savings. For instance, even if light produced is a small percentage, the heat produced may be significantly useful. (Think chicken incubator.)

    In a ‘protected’ market where curleycue bulbs are produced by a monopolistic small segment of the manufactury there is no incentive to improve.

    Where is the cost equation for lost time in ‘wait standing in front of your closet until the light gets to the point where you can tell a black thread from a white one.’ or thumbing through the internet looking for ‘recycling’ instructions.

    I could rant on but my typing is painful.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      Yes indeed! “Scientific” research with any government involvement pretty much indicates that little or no actual science is involved. It’s all pretty much motivated by government agenda – which has little or no relationship to what people actually need or want, let alone their health and safety. Unfortunately, that has inevitably led to garbage “science” in every field, and a corresponding corruption in scientists. The end product of that is bad and destructive science and increasingly, the loss of trust in anything having to do with it. I spent 30 years as a healthcare professional, much of that as an advanced practice RN. Today I don’t trust doctors or commercial/standard western “medicine” at all, and it is even hard to find any “natural” medicine that seems trustworthy. The entire well has been poisoned…


  2. Tor says:

    I haven’t looked in detail, but am under the impression that fedgov laws about incandescent lamps have exceptions for low-wattage bulbs and (some) kinds of higher wattage, higher efficiency special purpose bulbs like quartz-halogen.

    If these folks really manage to produce a production-ready version at 40% conversion to useful light as compared to 3% for a traditional 150W bulb, we’re looking at <12W for an equivalent light output. Seems like that should qualify for low-wattage exceptions. Might even be possible to produce it in some "special" form factor if needed – and other market actors will surely provide the lamb base converter needed.

    The challenge is getting from lab prototype to market before people run out of incandescent lights. Sometimes I wonder if fedgov will survive as long as that proccess would take.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      That all may be true, but there is no rational reason for any of the “laws” or roadblocks, so the work around ideas are simply a compromise with the would – be overlords.

      Personally, I don’t have any incandescent bulbs left in my house, though there are a few in the long term storage, I think. I like fluorescent light for some applications, and the curly bulbs have worked out well in others. The halogen spotlights in the outdoor motion detectors seem to work just fine, but I’ve not made a big study of any of this. All that’s needed is a free market. Someone will definitely do the studies and an independent institute – or several – like consumer’s report would make use of them to evaluate all of the offerings so we could make better decisions based on our needs and preferences, not some bureaucrat’s notion of what’s best for us.


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