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Comment: Re:Quite possibly the stupidest vulnerability ever (Score 1) 16

by bill_mcgonigle (#48628827) Attached to: Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

"Oh no, Linux includes a "wheel" user group by default that grants superuser privileges to users in it! And someone could possibly add themselves to that group and gain root access!"

I think what they're trying to say is that Polkit has different AAA rules than sudo does, which you might not expect. So, gain mastery of Polkit and all the other new *Kits and systemd and whatnot if you expect to be able to run a secure server.

Even if they are publicity whoring and trying to get the press excited about a "Christmas-themed" vulnerability (I was waiting for "Redhat added PolKit and you won't believe what happened next..."), there's a kernel of truth in there that's worth knowing about.

And, yeah, I wouldn't expect a CVE to be issued.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 615

by bluefoxlucid (#48628737) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Let's say businesses are willing to hire 100 guys at $5/hour, but min wage is $8/hour, so they only hire 60 guys instead.

Let's say those businesses can make a profit hiring 100 guys at $10/hr, and will make less of a profit hiring 90 guys at $10/hr, and less of a profit hiring 60 guys at $10/hr. Let's say, as well, that demand sharply drops off after the production capacity possible with 100 guys: they make less of a profit hiring 110 guys at $5/hr than they make hiring 100 guys at $5/hr. If they can negotiate $5/hr, they will hire 100 guys; if they are forced to a minimum wage of $10/hr, they will hire 100 guys; and, if minimum wage is $15/hr, the demand slowly tapering off (S-curve) will cause them to only hire 70 guys at $15/hr.

People are not dying from burger flipping or running the cashiers.

People need some 2000kcal of food intake per day to live. Paying people enough for 1500kcal of food intake per day will lead to malnutrition over time, as they can't get enough food. If they aren't paid at all, they simply starve immediately.

While this may sound good, implementations harm those who work and reward those who do not work. Since work is essential to the improvement and maintenance of human civilization, this effectively undermines and destroys civilization.

Providing everyone for the means to live will not destroy the desire to work.

Our current implementation of welfare creates a situation in which you should *not* seek employment, because you may permanently lose welfare. Bouncing into and then back out of employment can disqualify you from receiving welfare you could have kept receiving. Further, the welfare may be more than or only slightly less than the wages; why would you work for a quarter an hour?

An unconditional guaranteed supply of the basic needs of life would avoid this welfare trap. Employment always increases income; however, employment also reduces quality-of-life, and so compensation must be equal to the exertion of employment plus the time. This exchange provides a null impact on a person's life; wealth is increased by using the wages to afford things which increase the quality-of-life during time spent outside work. Because of this, minimum wage is no longer an imperative: we have ensured a minimum standard of living, and placed negotiation power in the hands of the laborer.

I ask you: if you had the money to afford a bedroom big enough for a twin bed (roughly the size of a small bathroom), a sitting room slightly larger, a small kitchen, and a bathroom that includes a shower stall (with sink basin in the shower) and a toilet crammed in the corner, would you be happy? Would you spend every dime you have on rent, on meager and tasteless food, on shoddy clothes, and find yourself hardly able to afford a Frisbee to play with? Or would you seek to live in something that isn't slightly larger than a Singapore apartment, something more than half the size of a studio in New York, with enough money to not financially ruin yourself by eating at Burger King four times in one month?

I am rather certain this doesn't undermine and destroy civilization, as you could have essentially the same standard of living if you convinced someone to let you sleep in his tool shed and take a shower and some bread each day in exchange for sucking his dick before and after work. In my system, I've eliminated the dick sucking part.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 615

by bluefoxlucid (#48628623) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

You should advocate education. In all it's forms.

This is an emotional appeal most people have fallen for. Think about if I can hand you something that is, in itself, a boon: if I give you food, food is good for you, and will help you. Taking that something away is a bad thing. Assume this thing is pure, and in fact good for you to have in all cases.

That's education.

The problem is the circumstance in which you receive it. With college education, we take two burdens from businesses: cost and risk. The risk, in particular, is very context-sensitive: businesses know who they want to hire, and they know what direction their business is moving in; they can manage their human resources effectively by building skills in their employees. Anyone who tells you a business can't predict its need for technical people in 5 years and would be completely ineffective at planning for their workforce effectively has no idea what he's talking about.

This risk, on businesses, equates to hiring entrants for cheap, shifting crap work from highly-skilled labor (expensive) to entrants (cheap), and improving the entrants (relatively cheap, and amortized) so that more complex work can be moved from the highly-skilled labor. This allows you to reduce costs by making more efficient use of your expensive resources, rather than pouring gold over every cheap plastic bit.

On individuals, it's different. Individuals need to pick out what general market will have the most need for their skills after college (in 4 years), and move in that direction. Their ability to switch course is severely eroded after the first year (you can only front load so much gen-ed), and so they must settle on a declared major. For at least three years, they take risk in earnest; the longer they're in school, the higher the risk. If they come out into a market which is now saturated, they may face unemployment; changing careers at any stage induces sunk costs, and more costs are sunk the longer they stay in college. Likewise, a high-demand career may come with an increase in tuition costs to the student, further increasing risk. When the college is funded by tax dollars, the risk is transferred to the taxpayer basis.

With the risk transferred to individuals, businesses see an increase in available trained, skilled labor. This means they can flatten the costs of labor by lowering salaries: Instead of a $100k programmer, a $30k entrant, and $30k ($7.5k/year) paying for the entrant's college education while profiting by moving cleanup and QA off the $100k programmer to the $30k entrant and giving more tasks to the $100k programmer, the business can just hire two $60k skilled programmers. This gives the business two *skilled* programmers, instead of one skilled and on entrant, allowing greater management flexibility and the ability to implement more aggressive business strategies.

You'll notice that providing universal college education effectively reduces people's salaries and increases unemployment risk, while reducing costs to businesses and improving their ability to profit from individuals.

In other words: by giving a college education to everyone, we are disenfranchising and burdening the individual laborer, and giving a hand-out to businesses.

Interestingly, the logic above would indicate that universal education plans as such actually work out better the higher your income level: poor people can't handle these risks, and even a fully-paid tuition ending in having an oversupplied degree is worse than a situation where they only have to get hired as an unskilled entrant with a solid high-school education. Our current system is an absolute abomination, as it puts debt risk on the poor: if we can't guarantee them employment immediately out of college, they can't afford to even try. Any hope of possibly scraping by on a McDonalds salary evaporates when you have to pay your student loan debt on top of all the other shit.

Yeah, I dunno dude, automation keeps taking away more jobs. When they come for the paper pushers, I'm not sure I'm going to say anything.

That's why I'm designing a system that doesn't break that way. Remember unemployment insurance? Everyone loses their jobs, so you have to spend 10 times as much, but you didn't tax that much? And now the economy is falling apart, so you jack up taxes, and make it worse? Yeah, no. 100% saturation 100% of the time means you always have the net under everyone, and don't have to make it bigger when the economy tanks. You avoid that damage.

You do this by giving welfare to *everyone*. Mark Zuckerberg should be collecting a check from the government that's enough for a broke, unemployed asshole to afford a cramped apartment and barely-edible food; although, due to his massive income, the taxes collected from him to support it will be a shitload bigger, and he'll come out net-negative on the welfare system. That's fine; anyone who isn't on welfare comes out net-negative on the welfare system now. Thing is, if Zuckerberg falls into ruin, the money being funneled in his direction will be funneled in some other direction, and taxed, and he'll still receive that same government check without paying the same taxes.

It might be better informed guesses than the average shmuck, and avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls, but I have little faith that any social plan will work as intended. And if you don't think economics have anything to do with human culture and social trends, then I have zero faith in any economic plan you have. Like you said, it's complex.

Risk. I'm a risk professional. Or expert. I hate these words; I have a lot to learn about everything, so calling myself an expert is ridiculous. Still, there are ways to deal with risk; the first thing you must do is recognize how confident you are in an outcome, and how important it would be if you were wrong.

I prefer conservative politics because large leaps are hard to control: if I retracted the entire college education program (student loan program, mainly), we'd need to wait years for tuition to stabilize and employers to pick up the remaining unemployed and integrate new human resources management strategies, accepting all bad things *and* the possibility (and impacts) of me being totally wrong about that. I could be completely *correct*, but facing a stubborn market that hobbles itself for 15 years before new executive blood finally gets the ball rolling and starts behaving as I've predicted--which is just as bad as being wrong. I raise the issue a lot without pushing for any specific action because I don't have specific action which remains safe if the world doesn't play by my rules.

By contrast, my welfare plan includes dropping all kinds of welfare systems, repealing minimum wage, and even eliminating OASDI (old-age pensions and disability insurance through Social Security). Many of these are state-supported, and so I leave those in place: the Federal Government has no place dictating what the states do with their tax systems, *and* their welfare systems will scale back and take up the slack during transition--or if I'm completely wrong--meaning we'll have a better welfare system in all remotely-likely outcomes. OASDI is handled by cutting it back by the dividend, having a null-effect on recipients; there's a 15-year grandfathering period, after which nobody under the retirement age is going to collect old-age pensions *at* *all*, and so you have 15 years to prepare to have this new, smaller, but well-known stipend (plus medicaid and medicare) to survive in your old age.

I'm more comfortable with the welfare thing, because I can do it in pieces, with built-in controls against failure, minimizing risks. This isn't a matter of shooting randomly; it's a matter of identifying how big the unknowns are, and putting a bridge about that big across those gaps. I like this because being almost-right is good enough; by contrast, the college education thing is an important observation, but I can't give you any recommended action because I'm not an oracle and have no way to compensate for that.

I doubt it will be any less complex, or at least won't become as complex in time.

It's one administration, including claims; but the claims are automatic (keep your address or ACH updated), and the potential for fraud is minimal (you can't fake qualification; you can only defraud by identity theft).

The part where the social security admin has to directly process contracts between citizens and slum lords is probably a no-go.

That's a feature, not a requirement. It allows a two-party agreement to be facilitated through the administration, as a way for recurrent payments to come with a stronger guarantee. If the payment isn't coming, the recipient (e.g. landlord) will be informed; if the recipient cancels the contract, the collector (individual) will be informed that his service (e.g. lease) will end. This reduces non-payment risk, which means you can charge less. Of course, if the customer has some cash on hand, you can instead enter a bond with an escrow fund or such. If they refuse, you can self-insure against non-payment risk by charging them higher rent; but that may be impossible for the tenant to afford.

Honestly, that part, I think, is the part I can make the most effective argument for in any debate. The rest is radically new; but risk management is a firmly understood concept, and very easily illustrated. The rest of the market forces discussion requires a great deal of faith in economic theories the listener may not understand, and in any case cannot directly confirm against reality even if reality appears to actually behave that way.

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 1) 413

by ScentCone (#48628535) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

I don't think of guns as inherently evil, but they are inherently dangerous.

How? Be specific. If I put a gun on a table in front of you, it will sit there for a thousand years without hurting either one of us. Are you concerned it will spontaneously explode, or grow some sort of nerve tentacles that will intrude into your brain and make you do something awful? Why aren't you worried about kitchen knives, or hammers? More people are killed in the US with pipes and baseball bats than with any kind of rifle (semi-auto or otherwise) - are all cylindrical club-like objects inherently dangerous? How so?

People should treat guns with respect and always assume 1) that they are loaded (even if you JUST took all of the bullets out) and 2) that the gun is about to fire at whatever it is pointed at.

Yes, it's a good habit to treat every gun as if it might go off when you handle it. So you always handle them as if they will, and control that muzzle's direction at all times. Just like you always have to think about where you're swinging an axe, or pointing the front end of a moving car.

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 1) 413

by ScentCone (#48628487) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Citizens being allowed to carry guns would have stopped neither.

Really? His nice, lazy, all-afternoon hunting down of young people on that island couldn't have ended with fewer deaths if someone on that island had shot him down in self defense before he committed such methodical, unopposed slaughter?

Comment: Re:Should let them work inside parks. (Score 2) 54

by ScentCone (#48628365) Attached to: Councilmen Introduce Bills Strongly Regulating UAV Use in NYC

Where is it in the constitution that flying a drone is a protected right?

Ah, another person who never went to school, or certainly wasn't paying attention.

Your rights are not defined in the constitution. The constitution exists to limit the government's power to interfere with your liberty. Some of those liberties are so important that they are also mentioned by name (the right to liberty that by definition includes the right to speak, assemble, protect yourself, etc). Only leftist idiots think that it's the government that grants you your rights. That's 100% Nanny State backwards. Please do not vote.

Comment: Re:hooray for the government (Score 1) 54

by ScentCone (#48628343) Attached to: Councilmen Introduce Bills Strongly Regulating UAV Use in NYC

UAVs are potentially an externality because they can do physical damage anonymously for the cost of the UAV.

Yeah, just like a brick thrown from an overpass or a 40th-floor window - and that costs a fraction of the price of a single UAV battery. Why aren't you in favor of banning bricks? Or would you be happy with simply registering, with photo ID and fingerprints on file, the ownership of all objects that have enough mass to be dangerous?

Comment: Re:hooray for the government (Score 1) 54

by ScentCone (#48628329) Attached to: Councilmen Introduce Bills Strongly Regulating UAV Use in NYC

Gun bans do work and work well.

Not really. Ask any of the dead people in Chicago, where despite very (and even unconstitutionally) severe restrictions, the local thuggery manages to shoot itself up quite regularly. On the other hand, you've got places where guns are readily available (legally) and routinely carried in cars and on person, and which have very low violent crime rates. It's not about guns, and it's never been about guns. It's about culture and law enforcement. Chicago has a violent subculture and no interest in dealing with it. The results are self-evident.

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 3, Informative) 413

by arth1 (#48627289) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Norway hasn't had any school shootings that I know of, except one where a girl got shot in the arse with an airsoft gun about 20 years ago.

If you mean the UtÃya massacre, that wasn't a school shooting, but a right wing nutter first bombing a government building and then impersonating a policeman and shooting indiscriminately at a political youth camp.

Citizens being allowed to carry guns would have stopped neither.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 615

by bluefoxlucid (#48626595) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Actually, we have farm subsidies because the oversupply was increasing the price of food. There were so many suppliers with so much land they had to take a loss on land (missed profits) and would risk a loss on production. Basic prisonner's dilemma: 10 farmers each producing 100 tons of food, but only 800 tons are bought; each farmer can't get an agreement with the other farmer, so they all produce 100 tons of food instead of 80 tons, because if you can sell your 100 tons then you can make more profits. Unsold food means unrecovered expenses in irrigation, pesticides, crop maintenance, seed costs, and so on; the risk of unsold food translates to costs, and the costs are rolled into the food price, so the cost of food goes up. Consumers pay for 1000 tons of food, but only buy 800 tons of food.

Comment: Re:Never attribute to stupidity (Score 1) 413

by Rei (#48626209) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Propaganda campaign by who? I think Singer needs to check his haughtiness at the door:

the ability to steal gossipy emails from a not-so-great protected computer network is not the same thing as being able to carry out physical, 9/11-style attacks in 18,000 locations simultaneously. I can't believe I'm saying this. I can't believe I have to say this."

Except, of course, for the fact that the prime suspect is the hand-picked hacker squad of the Hollywood-obsessed leader of a nuclear armed state with ICBMs, whose family's Hollywood obsession has gone to such extremes in the past as kidnapping filmmakers and forcing at them at gunpoint to make movies for them. I can't believe I'm saying this. I can't believe I have to say this.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 615

by bluefoxlucid (#48626189) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

The only way for removing minimum wage to reduce what a worker is paid is if the labor supply is being restricted by minimum wage, thus increasing the price given the supply/demand.

The labor supply isn't restricted. We have a huge labor supply; it's the money or job supply that's restricted.

You think denying people a paying job ($0/hour) is better than them having a paying job?

It's complex.

As I said, people now must have a job to have a survivable income. A job without a survivable income is still going to help you scrape by; it raises your chances, and is better than nothing. Thus you don't have enough negotiating power to negotiate for fair compensation: If the labor will KILL you, but food and healthcare will sustain you, the proper payment is the cost of food and healthcare that will sustain you, PLUS compensation for your time; however, without an income, starvation will kill you faster, so you will work a job where you pay $10 worth of your health and receive $5 in compensation, thus dying more slowly. This is, conceptually, what happens in our current system.

It becomes complex when you consider rebalancing. Raising minimum wage does create some job scarcity, but only where the worker is less valuable than an alternative (e.g. automation, although there are many management strategies which are more expensive but more effective than others, and so become cost-effective when labor is expensive). This happens when the net profit using the worker is lower than the net profit by other means (when unprofitable, net profit by not doing anything is $0, and net profit by employing labor is negative). This means a minimum wage raise has an effect of moving money from some laborers to others.

With that in mind, you must consider: One million laborers slowly killing themselves; or half a million starving, half a million surviving? In one model, we conceptually lose everyone: no one is really better off; they merely suffer longer. In the other model, we outright give up on half of them.

This is why I prefer to ensure survival outright, to disconnect life from work. The comforts of life should be tied to employment; living itself, uncomfortable and unsympathetic, should not. Then we have no dilemma: all laborers, even unemployed, are cared for; and laborers can reject unfair employment terms, negotiating a fair deal, requiring no intervention by the government on their behalf. A great many moral questions are eliminated, as are many economic uncertainties, and many risks, many costs, and many ineffective social safety nets which try to address these problems in current.

The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest.