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Comment Moooo (Score 1) 140 140

I for one am eating them as fast as I can, but think going after power stations, industry and transportation fuels is gonna be more effective.

As far as mitigation goes, increasing forest biomass is good. As far as managing what we've already got, the key factor is chaos theory, which I strongly recommend reading up on: it's fascinating.

Basically we're gonna get progressively more insane weather events because climate's a chaotic system. It's never just 'everything smoothly gets five degrees hotter', instead you get killing frosts in June and droughts that wipe out entire crops for the year or turn states into dust bowls, heat waves akin to the surface of Mars etc. More than that, you get increased chaos and violence of the system, so you want to watch for not average behaviors, but the rapidity and unpredictability of change.

Chaotic systems being what they are, and the climate being a chaotic system quite literally, what we see is the range of possible event opening up. The maximum observable behavior on a number of fronts goes way past expectation. Tornadoes, hurricanes, possibly even earthquakes as the whole thing ramps up, and of course insane brief torrential rains and such. This is what chaos looks like, and it will continue to increase faster than expected.

Comment Re:Amnesia? (Score 2) 117 117

But that means it's no longer a market as we understand it, and no longer capitalism as it was envisioned.

When the money seeking other fortune is on a scale where it can't behave like micro-economics, it's time to observe the behaviors and ask how the system's working. Think of it as scalability issues. This has to be designed for. That's what the Fifth Silicon Valley might do, if they can be a little 'meta' about it.

We've already got many countries in the world where the capitalization of the country's private banks completely dwarfs the GDP of the actual country. When the market capitalization of companies expand to completely dwarf the GDP of all countries, the companies are now the world's government for good or ill. At that point (hopefully before that point!) you start asking what the purpose of the system is, what its dependencies are.

If market capitalization is the only thing, does it still exist in the absence of humans? If it requires humans to matter (it might not, you can have automated systems weighing the values of these things), what kind of humans does it require?

Comment Re:There have been 4 "Silicon Valleys". (Score 2) 117 117

Would you say that it's a keen interest to replace systems based on human intervention, with systems based on algorithm and automation?

This can go two ways, it seems. On the one hand you can have automated systems competing to supplant entire industries while also maximizing their valuation as corporate entities: which means, taking all the money and keeping it, while putting entire industries out of work. For instance, transportation of goods. Truckers are a significant industry for employment and for the many subsystems that support them, but if you automate the whole thing with truck-sized robots (or national/global hypersonic cargo capsule networks) you can compel entire countries to turn to the automated solution by relying on its native efficiencies.

This quickly heads toward total collapse of society, as you've got very efficient goods distribution but only a few hundred kazillionaires who don't really need to buy many goods.

On the other hand, you can use the automation and efficiency gains to produce a world of leisure, and then deal with the problems of that as they arise. You have to sacrifice the score-keeping factor of capital, which also means the process of corporate valuation has to be re-thought: if nobody gets to win the grand prize that whole game changes. But, if feeding a human for a day (all agriculture, storage, foodmaking, transportation) used to cost $20 and with everything automated it costs $0.20, the nature of society changes radically. If letting a human ride any imaginable roller coaster requires the maintenance of expensive theme parks at $200 a day, but you can deliver exactly the same experience in VR for $0.002, reality starts to look like a mighty lame deal.

What I'm seeing is a keen interest to corner every possible market by automating it and starving it until it dies, in order to persuade Wall Street that you're a unicorn. This seems not quite ecologically sound, systemically, though I can't fault the accuracy of the perception. YES that's how the world works. We might want to have a look at all that. All of these systems, right down to markets and capitalism, are only human inventions

Comment Re:Ok, well, let's give up then (Score 2) 117 117

You're quite sure that turning the lights off is still up to you? An electric circuit has switches at both ends ;)

I suspect you're being sarcastic but you might as well be sincere for all the difference it makes. It's the system of continually ramping up the jackpots and pay-outs that is failing. It might be a natural consequence of market capitalism where people cannot fully inform themselves about all things.

In fact, with regard to public valuation, it's impossible for people to accurately inform themselves about this because it's purely a feedback loop of what other people think, making outright lying a winning strategy (especially when combined with bailing out before the thing crashes, like Enron did).

When you couple that with a culture that mandates socializing the losses from these games, to reward the wealthy people willing to play them and encourage them to play more and harder, truthfulness becomes completely unworkable and is at a devastating disadvantage. Basically you can't do that, it's a guarantee of tanking your valuation. Even if a person believes you, they're likely to conclude that other dumb investors will be tricked into acting against you, and therefore game theory says you've already lost.

So, literally, we do need to look at rewarding failures and low achievers simply in order to keep the wheels turning and the lights on at all. Making conscious decisions to reward the big winners inevitably means rewarding only the biggest liars, plus they're typically making a cash grab and running rather than building industries for the betterment of all.

Silicon Valley doesn't EMPLOY. The highest aspiration is to have a massive server farm minded by the CEO and one hapless sysadmin, replacing worldwide industries with millions of employees. You're right: it is over and people are gradually figuring that out. Whatever does end up replacing the system won't look like Silicon Valley. It's sort of a cancerous growth, diverting the resources of market capitalism into a feedback loop.

Comment Message from founder (Score 1) 117 117

Perhaps it's because you are looking to become rich beyond the dreams of avarice selling people an address book, to-do lists and email mass marketing, using a splashy website with big excited-looking people from stock photography. I see that

By using the Site and Application, you agree to comply with and be legally bound by the terms and conditions of these Terms of Service ("Terms"), whether or not you become a registered user of the Services.

and further that


I'm looking for content-acquiring behaviors but mostly what I'm seeing is a pattern where your company connects a service with a customer and is then paid instead of paying the service provider: plus if there are disputes, the service provider can skip arbitration or legal process and make the customer pay, not them for the damages, but pay your company instead. I guess that might be a hook for service providers, especially if they intend to file fraudulent damage reports. I'm not sure what you do about things like chargebacks: in my business I've found I'm relatively helpless against the things as credit card companies will do as they please.
Oh wait, I found the boilerplate:

you hereby grant to Bizlifter a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, view, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content on, through, or by means of the Site, Application and Services.

Transferable, huh? Sublicense, adapt?

Me, I just code DSP plugins for people. I don't advertise and my approach is rather the opposite of yours: far from jockeying into position for an IPO, I think mostly in terms of cash flow and living frugally so I can continue while living up to my principles. I don't need to recruit anybody and in fact it's sort of useful for me to fly under the radar: I've even been shouted out as a 'great small plugin developer' by a Massive Corporate Industry Leader (who disguises himself as another indie, but he's definitely playing your game and not mine) because I'm unthreatening, too small to be a serious rival in IPO World.

I figure if you have an Evil Hollywood CEO archetype, it's for a reason. And if there's negative GDP this quarter, it's because there are too many of you people doing what you do. You are NOT advancing human civilization. And to the extent that you're trying to paint your Bizlifter business as something Facebook/LinkedIn etc. aren't already doing, you're lying. What you're proposing is not only already happening, it may not be a great thing to be happening.

In that light, the fact that the lie of Silicon Valley is failing, is a good thing.

I do understand the defensive nature of all that legalese: it's actually dangerous for me to mouth off against you because I'm somewhat vulnerable against incurring the wrath of some internet jerkwad who'll botnet me to death or sink me with massive fraudulent sales and chargebacks. That's the internet for you. That's Silicon Valley for you. The idea is to be not only the biggest jerk on the block, but so aggressive that other sociopaths can't damage you. It doesn't leave a lot of room for little Vermont craftsmen hacker types such as myself (original context for hacker, not 'script kiddy tyrant of all destruction').

This is the reason I'd want to demonize that 1%. Firstly, you're not in it, you just want to be and you're acting like them to fit in. Secondly, they're not advancing human civilization, they're impeding it. I'm afraid you've got things sort of backwards.

Comment Re:Seems like a piece is missing (Score 1) 130 130

they can rule against them in an international tribunal

The Philippines' attempt to haul China to an international tribunal is a problem because it is invoking the very compulsory jurisdiction which China has disavowed since 2006. But even if the Philippine attempt to arbitrate fails, any marshaled argument can subsist, and that case may be fielded in other venues. If a military engagement were to ensue, the same case could be brought to the United Nations Security Council -- the principal repository of enforcement powers under the UN system. A state can be found to be in violation of a substantive legal norm even without a coercive or compulsory judgment in a given venue, provided, of course, that there is truth to the argument supporting a violation, and that it is acknowledged by an alternative venue.

While China is disavowing the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) against the Philippines, it is expressly invoking UNCLOS provisions in its claims against Japan -- so it wants to have its cake and eat it, too. In 2009, China submitted a claim over the Senkaku Islands (which, like Scarborough Shoal and the Spratlys, are believed to be fuel rich) and turned to UNCLOS rules in defining and delineating its continental shelf beyond the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, again within the meaning of UNCLOS. There is some international legal doctrine supporting the view that a state's acts in one place can be used as an admission and adversely bind that State in another set of circumstances.

a legal claim against china won't make the han imperialists move, but the ruling will stay dormant

then, after any sort of conflict in the future where china loses, china is going to lose these islands in the peace treaty

Comment Re:IE all over again (Score 1) 357 357

Well, not to defend Microsoft, but this behavior is probably the most effective way to get the kinds of people who need to be kicked off of IE to actually be kicked off of IE. You know, the users who probably wouldn't even notice that Edge isn't IE in the first place.

The rest of us can take care of ourselves.

Out of all the stupid, evil or self-centered things Microsoft does, this one's frankly pretty low on my list.

How can you do 'New Math' problems with an 'Old Math' mind? -- Charles Schulz