[m-rev.] time additions (was Re: for review: Add random.init/3)

Paul Bone paul at bone.id.au
Thu May 26 17:12:55 AEST 2016

On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 05:01:56PM +1000, Zoltan Somogyi wrote:
> On Thu, 26 May 2016 15:55:55 +1000 (AEST), Julien Fischer <jfischer at opturion.com> wrote:
> > Ok, even if you're only partly serious, I'm fascinated as to how you
> > intend to end the world ;-)
> No violence required. Even if we do nothing, 32-bit-only systems will be
> economically uninteresting way before 2038, and that is all we need for
> integers to remain viable representations of seconds-since-1-jan-1970.

4-bit microcontrollers vastly outnumber 64-bit computers.  But that's
ridiculous for Mercury.  32bit machines may still be interesting, but maybe
not for the kinds of things people would use Mercury for. in a similar way
that 4, 8 and 16-bit systems exist now, but most developers aren't
interested or even aware of them.

> Although I think it is pretty likely that if the 1% continue to get richer
> while the 99% get poorer, while at the same time the world is running
> out of both water and agricultural land relative to the still-rising-for-a-while
> population, there will be revolutions that would make Robespierre blush :-(
> For the first, I am tipping Venezuela. People who have something to lose
> don't tend to become revolutionaries, but this is rapidly becoming
> not-a-barrier there ...

Yes, the "unbounded growth" that we seem to expect from economies has
worried me for a while.  Feeding people is definitely a worry, but my
thoughts have been on the idea that a lot of effort is put into zero-sum
games like stock trading (including HFT).  Or the more mundane: tricking
people into clicking ads on the internet.  However growth can only come from
adding resources, or making use of resources more efficient.  Almost
everyone's economic activity is not adding value, it's just moving money

Paul Bone

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