The Afghanistan-Pakistan border region would be watched by the FBI instead of the CIA. Is that supposed to be a major cost-saver?
It would be a cost saver even if the social tensions would remain the same. Simply because you'd have one fully cooperating group at the border, with a single leadership and incentives. While right now you have separate organisations who don't really cooperate and often don't even exchange information.
So politically unified, with religions, ethnicities, and living standards as they have been "throughout time". How many insurrections do you think the US has had to deal with? Because governments in the real world have to guard against such things even in the absence of foreign concerns, cutting that "lot more" is not a practical possibility. Hence my contention that unifying the world may reduce military costs, but the remainder would still be significant.
I agree, it would be significant in the scenario you presented. You also agreed that if the world was unified in many more ways that same cost would be reduced. And my only argument there was that the overall cost would be reduced in each scenario. Which as you just said, is true. I know there would still be a need for a lot of funds to keep the government in charge, and to keep the people under rule of law in cases of social unrest, but we can agree that the amount of money and people needed would be lower.
That's a conclusion that ought to come after a quantitative analysis. Care to do one to justify your claim?
We're discussing a theoretical concept, and I'm giving the most general estimate possible. I don't see how diving into numerical analysis would help this argument any, because frankly I don't believe either of us can predict the results accurately enough, and take all necessary variables into consideration. If you have any theoretical reason for which a single country-state would have to spend more on peacekeeping than a collective of countries then by all means present it. Until then, I've shown my reasons for which I believe it would cost less. How much less will depend only on the details of the situation, which I don't think we need to specify any further.
Did you read the link I gave before? The Germans went around the Maginot Line, and started serious attacks on it after taking Paris. Even after cutting the Line off from the rest of France and attacking from both sides with air superiority, it didn't go easily. Most of the fortifications were intact and manned when France surrendered. Keep in mind that this was before precision weapons made fixed fortifications completely obsolete in repelling major attacks. Artillery, mortars, and machine guns in armored turrets supported by a network of bunkers, all behind tank and infantry obstacles, was a significant impediment for an attacker with WWII technology. And Switzerland had a network of such things running through the country.
Last time I heard any data on Maginot Line it was while I've been watching Discovery World. And while I admit they tend to oversimplify the information sometimes, I still believe they are historically accurate. And if I remember right, the force going through Belgium did make progress much faster, but both lines of attack did break through eventually. We may try to look up the program that gave me this information if you're really that opinionated on this.
Though I'd rather not. Not only am I rather weak in history, it's also a complete digression here (while somewhat interesting).
I'd like to remind you that the only reason why we're arguing whether or not Germans went through the Maginot Line is because it was to provide a comparison for why they did not invade Switzerland, and to determine whether they didn't due to fortifications or due to neutrality.
Which in turn we were discussing only as a loosely-related side argument for why it is more beneficial spending-wise to have a single world government than a collective of independent countries.
Which was an unnecessary continuation of our discussion on unifying the world, and on the world economy and monetary systems.
You keep using that word. Belgium declared itself neutral according to the standards of the Hague Convention of 1907 (Belgium decides whether or not it is neutral, not Germany). Germany didn't care and invaded anyway because Belgium provided an expedient route to Western Europe around the Maginot Line.
Indeed. So there were only a couple of differences between Belgium and Switzerland in neutrality. I will concede that the defences and military in Switzerland must have been one of the factors why it hadn't been invaded, but along with this I will still claim that that was not the one major reason. There are several reasons why Germany would have wanted to take over Belgium, as well as Holland. To begin with, it was a great counter-offensive starting point for its enemies. Neutral as it might have been, Belgium did side with the French and British during that first World War, and Germany surely remembered that. If left untouched Belgium would come under more and more pressure from the Allied countries to allow them to land in their country to launch an offensive on occupied France as well as on Germany itself. Such a problem was not present in case of Switzerland. Another reason was the Maginot Line, and Belgium being the only safe passage to France. The though of being stuck in a position fight with the French again did not sit well with Hitler's idea of Blitzkrieg. Lastly, I don't think we should give this much credit to German's "pros and cons" analysis, in case of reasons why conquering Switzerland would bring less profit than it would cost. Hitler was in charge, and if he followed such rules he'd never have attacked the Soviets in the first place. And finally, Switzerland seems to be closer culturally and socially to Germany than Belgium, which I believe to be another reason why Switzerland was not invaded. Germany didn't invade Austria either, they simply forcefully annexed it. They probably had the same plans for Switzerland should they have won against the British and Soviets. Let's not forget that while German generals were reasonable and did follow the standards of thought as to which countries to invade and when and where to fight, Hitler did not fall into many categories there, he was a fanatic who wanted global world domination. I'm certain he would have invaded Switzerland sooner or later if the war played out the way he'd imagined.
Switzerland has a population and GDP (PPP) of about 7.8M and $315B, for a little over $40K per capita. Nigeria has about 152M and $374B, for about $2460 per capita. Fusing Switzerland and Nigeria would produce a country with a population of about 160M and GDP (PPP) of about $689B, for about $4300 per capita. If Switzeria / Nigerland spent per capita for its military what Switzerland does today ($526), military spending would be about 12% GDP, compared to Nigeria's actual military expenditure of about 1.5% GDP. In absolute terms, Switzerland really is more militarized than most places in the world, despite its neutrality and your use of it as an example of a place with the "huge weight" of maintaining a military off its shoulders.
If Switzeria / Nigerland spent per capita for its military what Switzerland does today ($526)
So what now, you fuse the countries by averaging all the values but when it comes to military expenditure you use the plain value of Switzerland? That's not consistent. Be consistent and take an average of both, then you'd see how militarised it would really be.
Firstly, both Nigeria and Switzerland spend 0.8% of their GDP on military, so you don't have to average anything there. It would be $5.5B spent on military.
Again it's silly to compare that if you fuse a rich and a poor country then if it still spent as much per capita on military as the rich one it would be spending loads. Because it wouldn't. Because the amount of spending per capita is dependent for each country on the GDP per capita. If you want to make it an argument you'd have to calculate what % of GDP per capita Switzerland spends on military (GDP per capita $69,838 and spent on military per capita $526, so 0.75% of GDP per capita) thus your fused country would be spending about $32.25 per capita, which makes it about $5B military expenditure in total, and again 0.75% of GDP spent for military.
So no, Switzerland spends more GDP, and more GDP per capita on military than many militarised countries. But that's only because it is still a very low % of their GDP and % of their GDP per capita.
...I didn't forget to mention it. It's at the end of what you quoted there.
I forgot that. You're right.
Anyway, human genetic engineering is generally NOT illegal (care to cite any laws to the contrary?) Certain kinds of genetic modification will probably be made illegal in some places when they get closer to practicality (non-therapeutic embryo modification, say). Keep in mind that we're talking about dealing with the negative consequences of genetic drift caused by the removal of selection pressures, meaning therapeutic changes like susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. I don't see that becoming illegal.
Most countries have a blurred line of legality in case of genetic engineering. The biggest regulators are the Cartagena Protocol and the ICGEB. In some countries they push more (like in the USA trying to force them to sign it), in others they push less (China), some countries are lax with legal status of genetic engineering (Brazil), and others are in general publicly hostile towards any of it (UK).
Source: http://library.thinkquest.org/04apr/007 ... ional.html
Why are you confident that the peak efficiency has not been passed?
Because we can see richer schools being much more efficient?
Quantifying the efficiency of education is somewhat nebulous, but do you think that increasing school funding by 10% would increase standardized test scores by more or less than 10%?
Again, depends on how well the money is spent. It's hard to answer your question, since you didn't give me any point of reference. Let's say I believe that a poor and underachieving public school in New York ghetto area with metal detectors at doors and in an area with extremely high crime rates and high levels of poverty would increase its tests results by more than 10% with a 10% extra money invested, that provided the money is well spent where it needs to be and not stolen or wasted. It is hard to make predictions, however, since there are so many other variables which affect the scores that it becomes a truly moot estimate.
I agree that increasing school funding would increase the efficacy (which is the more important consideration at this point), but that's not the same as efficiency.
Nobody said that efficiency is or always has to be linearly dependent on all its variables. And in fact, there is no reason for which decreasing the funding by 10% would decrease the results by more or less than 10%, seeing as other factors change their effect on the school's efficiency in teaching as the efficiency changes. We have dynamic variables to work with. Either way, whether you call it efficiency or efficacy it virtually means one thing. Especially since I never once said that the efficiency of a school can be calculated solely on the standardised test results. In fact, I deem that to be a gross and naive oversimplification. Education is too abstract for us to simplify it like that.
Speaking of which, I just downloaded an A4 page in pdf with the full and complete Standard Model Lagrangian
And that would do... what, with 100% certainty?
Increase tax revenue? That would be my guess.