Heiser Christmas Letter 2017

“The world is safer and more open than it’s ever been. We don’t need to be afraid of each other.” – Matt Harding

Economic Justice

"For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." – Matthew 13:12

When we finally adopt single-payer health insurance, there will be a trillion-dollar payday for corporations and stockholders, but not for workers or for the public. The same kind of lopsided payouts will result from corporate tax cuts, repatriating corporate profits from overseas, and from globalization.

Fortunately, the amazing benefits of electronic information technology are going to the public. Bill Gates says billions of people will benefit from online banking, interactive education and medical information. There will be lots of free and low-cost consumer services like wifi, search, email, banking, courses, information, news and entertainment. Peter Diamandis and Stephen Kotler have written Abundance; the Future is Better than You Think, supporting that approach.

We should stop asking whether Trump’s latest action is “bad for Trump” and ask instead whether it’s bad for the public.

Cash Bail

Getting arrested is a catastrophe for families, jobs, housing, cars and finances. You’d be surprised how successful other states have been with reminders of court dates instead of locking people up pre–trial. It will be the end for bail bondsmen, but California is ready to replace cash bail with a scoring system measuring the risk to public safety and the risk of absconding.

Nukes

It could be the end of civilization if we don’t abolish nuclear weapons. We could begin by pledging no first use, retiring tactical nukes and land-based ICBMs and cancelling production of new nukes. 120 countries have approved a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons should be treated the same as indiscriminate chemical and biological weapons, cluster munitions and landmines.

Daniel Ellsberg has finally produced his book on nuclear weapons. It’s called The Doomsday Machine.

Drone

Dick built and flew model airplanes in middle school and high school. He has always dreamed of flying a Benson Gyrocopter, a sort-of motorcycle in the sky. His drone is the best flight experience! It’s like flying an ultralight, without the risk of being aboard!

His DJI Spark quadcopter is the “Model T” of drones. It’s like a flying smartphone: it records stabilized video, and has GPS and wifi, and can fly sideways and backwards. It uses incredible amounts of battery power to climb a column of air. The drone can automatically find its way back to the takeoff point and land itself. The flight software runs on phones, and is idiot-proof: in case of panic, take your hands off the controls and the drone will stop and hover rather than plow ahead into an obstacle.

Now, we’re being introduced to passenger drones. These are the flying cars we were promised 80 years ago. Wow! Even better than autonomous cars!

Hepatitis

We could afford to cure everyone infected with Hepatitis C if the government would buy an unlimited license for one of the new expensive miracle cures.

Recommendations

Over–the–air TV: millions of Americans are cutting the cord, moving to better–tailored and online channels. We’re exploring Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, but we’re already quite happy with free over-the-air digital TV.

Everybody Lies is a great book by Seth Stevens-Davidowitz revealing the unbiased actual truth of what people think and do. The Internet has produced anonymized search data and actual website statistics so we can find out what people say when no one is listening.

☮ Family News

We are grateful for good health, leisure and friends, and hope you will have the same good luck!

☯ Peace & Love! Best wishes for 2018!