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Comment: Re: Well, the GSA could start firing the contracto (Score 1) 117

No, the assumption is that when the private operator screws up he will get fired and replaced.

Thus he has an incentive to hide the mistake for as long as possible. At the same time he has an incentive to cut as many corners as possible to minimize costs, so he can make the lowest offer. You can counter these by making him unfirable for anything short of intentional sabotage, and by providing the contract at profit + costs, but then you have lost all the supposed benefits of privatization and are actually paying more - those profits.

Apparently you are unaware of this basic economic principle which those who push privatization take as a basic assumption.

Economics has nothing to do with either proposing or opposing privatization, it's all about ideology.

Comment: Re:Greenpeace... (Score 1) 269

by ultranova (#47543049) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

Greenpeace is for a move away from nuclear, coal and gas towards renewable energy sources.

But those renewable energy sources can't take the load, so in reality they're causing a move from nuclear to coal and gas.

Like what Germany is doing. In 30 or 40 years they will be nuclear and probably coal free as well.

And running on what? Hot air from election promises?

Just because you like what a politician is saying doesn't mean they're able to actually deliver. And just because you don't like an option doesn't mean there are better alternatives. Renewables cannot produce energy at a guaranteed rate, which means using them exclusively will result in rolling blackouts. I doubt germans are willing to put up with those, so either they return to nuclear power or continue using coal.

Comment: Re:As soon as greenpeace touches it (Score 1) 269

by ultranova (#47542893) Attached to: Greenpeace: Amazon Fire Burns More Coal and Gas Than It Should

John Stewart Mill made the point that you should consider every argument, even if only one person in the entire world is making it against the consensus of everyone else, on its merits. The person speaking does not matter, only the merits of the argument.

Which is fine if you have the resources to consider it right down to first principles and performing any relevant experiments yourself. If you don't, which is usually the case, then trust enters the picture. And that means an argument by Greenpeace has a high cost - they're untrustworthy, so you need to fact-check very thoroughly before accepting anything they say - and low expected return - they're untrustworthy, so an argument by them has a low chance of actually being correct - of consideration.

Effectively you harm yourself by dismissing things that could be beneficial for you, simply because you dislike the messenger.

Only until you take into account the opportunity cost. There are plenty of messengers so you have to decide how much of your limited resources to invest into considering each one's argument.

Greenpeace is crying wolf again, and maybe this time there really is one there, but is that likely enough to justify dropping what you're doing to go investigate?

Comment: Re:Slippery Slope (Score 1) 151

And people ask me why I consider it immoral to vote...

Because you'd prefer a King who rules by Divine Right and doesn't need to try to hide his misdeeds, since there's nothing you can do about them anyway? Or are an anarchist who thinks any kind of governance is a bad thing?

The choices are unelected leaders, elected leaders or no leaders. If you find electing them immoral, then one of the others must, in your opinion, be a superior choice, since picking the best available option isn't immoral. So which one is it?

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 860

When installing software and are 'forced' to 'agree' to many paragraphs of legalese before the OK button will become clickable, do you tick "I agree" and think "I agree" or do you tick it whilst thinking "I'm only clicking 'I agree' because I've discovered that that's what's necessary to proceed to the next installation-step?"

When people cheer for a tinpot dictator, do they think "this guy is awesome" or "I'm only cheering because I've discovered that's what's necessary to avoid getting killed"?

Internalizes helplessness isn't about being deceived, that's called stupidity. Internalized helplessness is about saying "I agree" no matter what you think, because you don't think "I disagree" would go well for you. You're treating having to jump through hoops to use a software you've already purchased as a fact of life you can do nothing about. Your spirit has, in however small way, been broken; you've begun to accept the will of various institutions and forces of human creation as defining the very parameters of your life.

You're not rejecting the idea of helpless subjectdom, you're embodying it. And so do Americans as a whole, more and more every year, as the powers that be continue slipping out of their control and consequently carry their tasks out without any real oversight, to the point of insanity and beyond. That won't end well.

Comment: Re:It is their fault. (Score 3, Insightful) 296

It's all the ones that are useless to serve or be eaten by humans that are going extinct.

The problem is, most animal species are useful in the same way as nails in a wall are useful: sure, you can remove one or two without any apparent ill effect, but keep taking them off and the roof will fall on your head.

Ecosystem is a machine, and while it can adjust to a part going missing or operational parameters changing that capacity has limits. Kill enough species or warm the world enough and you trigger a domino effect. It won't be the end of the world, but it will be the end of our world.

But of course the temptation to take just one more is too much. It just goes to show that human brains and mindset aren't actually fit to handle our current level of power. I wonder if this is the Great FIlter.

Comment: Re:Avoiding Amazon Web Services? (Score 2) 168

by afidel (#47531407) Attached to: Amazon's Ambitious Bets Pile Up, and Its Losses Swell

AWS started as a way to gain revenue from the spare capacity they had for cyber monday, but it's now ~200x the size of Amazon's actual needs and is its own revenue and profit center. If a new CEO wanted to at this point he could spin it off into a separate company with contracts to host services for Amazon. I'm honestly not sure what it would gain you other than access to a pile of capital to use elsewhere, but for the time being Amazon doesn't seem to be hurting for access to capital.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 2) 860

Creating a PR incident like this will not go without notice.

Yes... but what will the effect be? Will people avoid Southwest Airlines? Can they (afford to) avoid them? Or do they simply avoid any criticism since they know that will invite retaliation?

I think the US is already past the tipping point, where stories like this won't cause a backlash so much as accomodation. People can only be treated as helpless subjects of the powers that be for so long before they internalize the attitude, after all.

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.