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Comment: Looks like methodology "canceled out" grass roots (Score 1) 166

by Ungrounded Lightning (#46765127) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for,

I'm curious about what "organized interest groups" were "controlled for". Did that include things like the AARP and the NRA, the two largest public pressure groups in the country? How about the various organizations called The Tea Party?

When a lot of people at the grass roots level want to redirect the government, they often join together and form orgizations to lobby for their interests. These groups are generally what gets things done. If the study counts such organizations as "organized interest groups" and subtracts their policy impact from the impact of the "Average American", it's no wonder the latter's impact is measured as " minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant".

Also: What counts as the policy desires of the "Average American"? Are they averaging out people with opposing oppinions on government policy?

Comment: Spending limits are aimed at grass roots. (Score 1) 166

by Ungrounded Lightning (#46765075) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

You lift the limits on campaign spending, declare that corporations have the right of political speech and are now surprised that the rich people have all the say?

Actually, the campaign spending limits are aimed squarely at the grass roots.

The McCain-Feingold act of 2002, for example, was passed in reaction to the massive volunteer efforts that took down Mike Roos from the California legislature in 1991 (and caused trouble for David Roberti in 1994), and Tom Foley from the House in 1994. It makes the equivalent value of volunteer work and supplies (such as paper, envelopes, and stamps) subject to the spending limits and reporting requirements, as if they were contributions, but provides no caps for campaign spending for such people as labor unions, media conglomerates, and billionaires such as George Soros.

Comment: Re:Revolt? (Score 1) 166

by MrBigInThePants (#46765047) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
Good luck with that.

While your entire country has been sleeping (and still is - don't think this article will change anything) your government has been ensuring they have the tools to infiltrate, spy on and destroy any such grass-roots movement.

- Homeland Security
- National Guard
- Militarised police forces
- Autonomous drones

Like I said, good luck with that...

Comment: Re:"little influence" (Score 1) 166

by MrBigInThePants (#46765039) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
I know it will come as a great shock and surprise but there are some in the world (although it appears fewer every day) who believe that study, evidence and experimentation are required to ascertain the truth of things.

This is as opposed to "common sense", listening to talk-back radio, speaking at the TV from your armchair and talking shit with your mate over a beer.

Like yourself, I am sure it is a load of nonsense.

Comment: Re:Are you kidding (Score 1) 166

by MrBigInThePants (#46765019) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy
You are being naive in your definition of wealth and are in fact completely very wrong in this. But don't feel ashamed, many other middle/upper class around the world have this wrong also and that is why they vote republican (in the US) or for other neo-con parties that do not actually represent their interests in practice - despite their rhetoric. (studies showing that many in the middle classes believing they will be wealthy soon and thus voting as if they were)

You are talking about "upper class" and not the sort of wealthy they are talking about in this article.

The problem with the above mentality (i.e. "I've got mine, fuck you") is that neo-cons are NOT all that good for the upper class. They are only good for the super-wealthy, the finance companies/banks etc. Being well off you will avoid the worst of the symptoms of a country led by their dogma, but you will not be better off.

So such people are not just greedy, they are stupid and greedy - the two usually go together in my experience.

And the article is not a surprise to anyone who reads the news even badly.

Comment: Re:So it's the "tech industry", so what? (Score 1) 280

by nine-times (#46762339) Attached to: Bachelor's Degree: An Unnecessary Path To a Tech Job

I'm not sure that sysadmins, network engineers, and the other better IT jobs have to start out at the bottom rung.

I'm sure it's not always the case. There are various reasons why people get hired to jobs-- some better than others. However, I'll tell you that I wouldn't hire someone as a sysadmin who hasn't had experience as a sysadmin unless I knew that they had prior troubleshooting and support experience in a real-world setting. There are lots of reasons for that, some of them more obvious than others. I'll also comment that my position seems to fit along with other people that I've known who would hire a sysadmin or network engineer, though that's still all anecdotal.

It's ok. Like you said, to each his own.

Yup. Honestly, I've found I just don't like programming. I don't even like scripting and web development. I like logically solving problems, product design, and I'm even interested in some of the math involved, but I don't enjoy the process of actually coding or the project planning involved. I actually prefer the support side, though it's not tons of money, and it's been a long time since I was tier-1. Also, even when I was tier-1, I wasn't doing the sort of work where people read a script sitting in a huge support farm.

Yes. That is true. And if you DO have an education, you typically start at a higher point in said path, end at a higher point, and have vastly greater chances of reaching the upper echelons than if you do not have an education. Depends on the career.

Starting at a higher point... I think it probably depends on the industry. In my experience in IT support, it's definitely not the huge determining factor. We're always looking for young people who can be trained. I think you have a better point in saying, "have vastly greater chances of reaching the upper echelons", but I suspect it's for a weird mix of reasons. I do expect that there are bosses who won't promote you to a certain level without having the "college degree" box checked on your records. I also think that, to some degree, there are qualities that help you be successful in business and also make you more likely to go to college, e.g. a tendency toward conformity and willingness to jump through required hoops, or the idea that people with a certain kind of intelligence are more likely to be able to finish school and do well in business.

Actually though, it's true that there are businesses who will hire IT purely based on college education and certificates. Those people tend not to know what they're doing.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer