Short Notes

3D printers are seriously cool, science-fictiony things. But they also will be very disruptive. What happens to manufacturing and shipping jobs — or to capitalist economics in general — when you can turn out a crescent wrench like this?

One attempt to answer this question is Peter Frase’s vision of Anti-Star Trek. In other words, what happens if you have Star Trek‘s replicators and limitless clean energy, but you’re not willing to embrace the Federation’s socialist economy? Frase pictures a future capitalism based not on production, but on collecting rents on intellectual property. It’s not pretty.

Another attempt to answer similar questions is Martin Ford’s The Lights in the Tunnel, which I discussed in May.

I’m ready to stop writing about Sarah Palin, but this is too good: A worshipful documentary about her, The Undefeated, opened Friday at 10 theaters in conservative hotspots. Atlantic’s associate editor Conor Friedersdorf went to the midnight premier in Orange County CA, where he imagined he would get fascinating quotes from the rabid Palinistas.

There weren’t any. Two women came in because Harry Potter was sold out. They soon left. A couple came to make out in the back row. They soon left too. Friedersdorf wound up interviewing the manager. “In hindsight,” he asked, “do you wish you’d had one more screen showing Harry Potter?”

Paul Krugman to his fellow pundits: If you’re just now noticing that the Republican Party has gone crazy, you’re part of the problem.

Bill Mahr says a lot the same thing to all the middle-class people who vote Republican, but he’s much funnier:

President Obama pointing out the obvious — that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised he can’t guarantee that seniors will get their full Social Security checks — is “fear mongering” according to Fox News. (Try making the trade-offs yourself. You don’t have to cut Social Security, but you have to cut something important.)

In this remarkable clip, Fox’s Eric Bolling not only claims “President Bush never fear-mongered like this,” but when another panelist brings up terrorism Bolling says: “America was certainly safe between 2000 and 2008. I don’t remember any terrorist attacks on American soil during that period of time.”

So, Eric, does 9-11 ring any bells?
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Dim bulbs. Tea partiers in the House are intent on repealing the law that raises light bulb efficiency standards. If the incandescent was good enough for Reagan, it’s good enough for us.

If only we could reduce all our issues to music videos like The Fracking Song.

BTW, the latest research on fracking indicates that water wells near fracked gas wells do get contaminated with methane, but not with the trade-secret fracking chemicals themselves. The problem might be as simple as bad piping. Because fracking wells are so deep, there’s a lot more pipe for gas to leak from.

Conservatives are still trying to pin the housing bubble on government rather than Wall Street, and they’re still wrong.

The Rupert Murdoch scandal is exactly the kind of thing I need Stephen Colbert to explain to me:

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  • By Spoonless « The Weekly Sift on July 18, 2011 at 11:58 am

    […] Short Notes. Will 3-D printers someday kill the last of the manufacturing jobs? Nobody but a reporter comes to Sarah’s premier. Krugman, Mahr: If you just noticed how crazy the Republicans are acting, where have you been? Fox forgets 9-11. A song explains fracking. Stephen Colbert explains the Rupert Murdoch scandal. And more. […]

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