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No-Brainers

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A no-brainer is something that's obviously better than its alternatives once you are deeply familiar it and its alternatives. For this topic, those who are deeply familiar will be called experts.

Something qualifies for this list if there's broad "expert consensus". It doesn't matter what non-experts think because they aren't deeply familiar with the options. Items here could be controversial among non-experts but still qualify to be included here if there's low controversy among experts.

This list of no-brainers probably contains some things that you're unfamiliar with. If you were to deeply understand or experience these, you'll probably prefer them.

The intent of this list is to suggest what should be adopted more broadly. Each item should explain why it's superior. When no-brainers aren't adopted, it's usually because people are unfamiliar with them, because switching costs are too high, or because vested interests block their adoption.

Practical

1.
The Metric System over the Imperial System. It's inefficient and error-prone to have both, and nearly everyone who is familiar with both prefers the metric system.
2.
Phone spam (solicitous robocalls in particular) needs to be effectively controlled. The "National Do Not Call List" is a joke. No one likes phone spam, and it adds practically no individual or societal value, but we are fairly powerless to easily limit it.
3.
Snow on roads and sidewalks should be cleared with underground heating rather than covered with salt and dirt and plowed. Heating is cheaper, quicker, and safer in the long run, all things considered.
4.
Every public bathroom should have an occupancy indicator.
5.
Bidets over toilet paper. It's less wasteful, quicker, and just as sanitary. People who get used to both usually prefer the bidet.

Cultural

1.
Tipping should be unexpected and discretionary. It's more pleasant for patrons and provides revenue stability for those who would have been otherwise tipped.
2.
In restaurants, drinks should typically not come with ice. Ice should be available upon request. Drinking room-temperature beverages is more pleasant and healthy than ice cold beverages.
3.
Bowing is better than hand-shaking for greetings. It's more sanitary and will reduce the spread of disease. The original trust-inducing benefit of hand-shaking was to show that you don't have a weapon, which is obsolete.
4.
As a principle and policy for the design of human systems, strive for equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome. {why?}
5.
Daylight savings time should be abolished. {why?}
6.
Individuals should generally be judged on their individual merits, traits, and choices. They should not be judged on the qualities or reputations of the groups or labels that they are assigned.

Political

1.
The current generation should not "borrow" from future generations, as with social security. We should limit how much the current generation can tax and borrow from future generations. Massive US national debt has accumulated to benefit the generations that spent beyond their means, at the expense of future generations. The current incentive structures of USA political leadership perpetuate this problem rather than solve it.
2.
Ranked-choice voting is an improvement over plurality voting. It results in less polarization. Candidates must appeal to more of their constituency because, in order to win, they not only have to be peoples' first choice, but their second or third choice as well.
3.
Rich individuals and corporations shouldn't have disproportionate political influence. {why?}
4.
Corporations should not legally be considered people. {why?}
5.
Each vote in a given public-office election should count equally. The US electorial college should be abolished because it results in some votes counting 3 times more than other votes, depending on where you live.
6.
Gerrymandering should be illegal. It's partisan manipulation of voting patterns, violating the democratic principle of "everyone should have equal influence".
7.
Everyone of voting age should vote, and be incentivized to do so.
8.
Politicians should be incentived to ensure long-term civilizational sustainability and well-being, rather than just short-term improvements that they can take credit for.
9.
Businesses should not be able to donate to the governmental departments that regulate them (like the FDA), or have other direct influence other than dialog. This is corruption.
10.
Laws that are used as barriers to business competition, which don't have a sufficient legitimate public benefit, should be abolished. This includes laws requiring cars to be sold through dealerships.
11.
It should be legal in every state to pump your own gas at a gas station. This is illegal in New Jersey and most of Oregon.

Justice

1.
Individuals should be treated the same in the eyes of the law. Same crime, same punishment. Officers, public officials, the rich, and their family members, often receive preferential treatment, but shouldn't. For example, bail needs to be proportional to the assets of the person to avoid disadvantaging the poor.
2.
Penalties for breaking the law should be sufficient to deter future infractions. More is wasteful, and less is ineffective. This goes for both individuals and corporations. If corporations routinely break the law and consider it a worthwhile cost of doing business, the penalty isn't severe enough.
3.
Prisons should be as rehabilitative as possible. Research indicates that there are untapped opportunities to improve outcomes for many prisoners.
4.
Laws should not be constructed so that most of us break the law on a daily basis, enabling authorities to detain or criminalize anyone at will.
5.
Laws should not be selectively enforced, which makes enforcement a judgement call and invites abuse. Either everyone who breaks a law is held accountable, or no one is.

Healthcare

1.
Health insurance should be independent of employment and portable across US States.
2.
Organ donation should be opt-out instead of opt-in. This preserves choice while eliminating about 8000 deaths per year for people waiting for organs.
3.
Before medical services are rendered, patients should receive definite prices and clear determination of insurance coverage.
4.
Medical records should be made electronically sharable by patients between any doctor. Patients shouldn't have to fill out a personal medical history each time they see a new medical professional.
5.
Shift schedules for doctors and other medical professionals should prevent sleep-deprivation rather than require it. This would prevent a large number of serious medical mistakes.
6.
Medical licensure for professionals that protects vested interests, without improving outcomes, should be abolished.
7.
The default birthing position for women should be the squatting position.

Nutrition

1.
Consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates should be dramatically reduced. They're addictive, low in nutrients, and the major cause of obesity, diabetes, and a variety of other health issues.

Privacy

1.
Personally-identifying voter information like name, phone number, email address, and physical address should not be made public. This will better protect individual privacy and reduce identity theft.

Academic

1.
Publicly-funded research should be freely available to the public.
2.
Studies should make clear the funding sources and potential conflicts of interest.
3.
Published papers should be written in a form that's much more understandable to a broader audience who are likely to use the knowledge. The main societal function of academia is to create new useful knowledge, yet many papers seem designed to hinder its utility with needless complexity and inaccessible writing.

Economic

1.
Taxes and fees should be included in advertised prices.
2.
Transaction fees charged by banks and other middlemen to move money around should be much lower. For example, merchants lose about 3% of an item's price to credit card companies and processors. The AliPay and WeChat networks in Asia are demonstrating that money can be moved around, and used to pay for things, much less expensively.

Environmental

1.
Seaweed should be added to the feed of cows and possibly other livestock. It almost eliminates their digestive production of methane, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming (~30 times more per molecule than Carbon).
2.
Global population growth needs to cease. This growth increasingly exacerbates a large list of major large-scale problems. It also increases the likelihood and severity of catastrophes. We are already living beyond the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet.
3.
Human-caused climate change needs to stop. We need to primarily stop adding extra greenhouse gases like CO2 and Methane into the atmosphere.