Eliot Spitzer has some good ideas about how to spend the stimulus money, including this technology which I’d heard of but not understood until reading:
[Smart meters] would permit, with a smart grid, time-of-day pricing for all consumers, with potentially double-digit reductions in peak demand, significant cost savings, and consequential remarkable energy and environmental impacts. These declines in peak demand would translate into dramatic reduction in the number of new power plants. The problem with installation of smart meters has been both the cost and, often, state-by-state regulatory hurdles. Now is the moment to sweep both aside and transform our entire electricity market into a smart market.
However, Spitzer has another more controversial proposal which Matt Yglesias fears will lead to the end of the human race, “Provide funding for robotics teams at every school. Yglesias:
After the human race is enslaved by robots, there are going to be small rebel groups hiding out somewhere and Elliot Spitzer’s going to be writing op-eds about how “no one could have predicted” that the robots would rebel and overthrow their masters. And it’ll be left to DFH bloggers to observe that this is in fact one of the most widely predicted scenarios in all of science fiction. From the proto-SF of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein through to Karel Capek’s R.U.R. and The War Against the Newts all the way up through Terminator and The Matrix. Yes, yes, yes eventually the Butlerian Jihad will allow us to re-overthrow the Thinking Machines and establish human rule but do we really want to fall into that trap?
Just say no to robots. And certainly say no to robots in our schools.
You just know that Spitzer – for promoting this idea – would be on Sarah Connor’s hitlist.