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Comment: Re:Another way to beat the paid/delivery issue. (Score 1) 326

by JimFive (#48198691) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

I don't think this works out. People would buy all the tokens they think they'll need for the event up front and then just turn in the tokens to get ice as they need it. That way they only have to wait in the money line once. If the delay is in the money handling then tokens and separate lines are probably a good idea, but if the delay is in the actual transfer of the ice then having money separate from delivery doesn't really change anything.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by JimFive (#48188241) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right
Those would be per item rates. And sure, buying parts instead of assembled goods would remove some of the "progressiveness" of that system, but would only be reasonable if the cost of assembly was less than the additional tax.

Again, I'm not endorsing this type of system, but if someone wanted to create a progressive consumption tax, they probably could.

Comment: Re:Let me get this right (Score 1) 832

by JimFive (#48171043) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

How do you implement a progressive consumption tax?

The easy way would be to have different tax rates depending on the cost and/or type of the good.
An example rate schedule might include:
Groceries: Exempt
$0-50: 2%
$50-100: 4%
$100-1000: 6%
$1000-10000: 10%
Automobile < $30000: 6%
Automobile 30,000-100,000: 10%
Housing: < $200,000: 5%

This is not an endorsement, I don't like the idea of replacing income taxes with consumption taxes, but this is a way to make a progressive consumption tax. The problem is, however, that once someone is wealthy enough, they don't have to buy their goods within your borders. They'll buy the $500,000 yacht somewhere that won't tax them for it.

Comment: Re: So... (Score 1) 246

by JimFive (#48162147) Attached to: Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

But it's simply not $0.70 on the dollar when comparing apples to apples.

This is true.

You cannot complain about wage discrepancies between different professions

But you can try to figure out why professions that attract women pay less than professions that attract men. Are the professions attractive to women really "worth less" than the ones that attract men or is there a bias in society that leads to the discrepancy?

The data seems to show that there are at least two distinct issues involved in gender wage discrepancies. One being the overall lower value placed on jobs that are primarily held by women while the other is the approximately 7% discrepancy when you "compare apples to apples". You can't address gender wage discrepancies without at least investigating these things. Now, it may be that professions that attract women really are less valuable over all than those that attract men. However, it's possible that women are being actively discouraged from more valuable professions.

Denying the discrepancy is unhelpful.

Comment: Re:Rent a Tesla for $1 (Score 1) 335

by JimFive (#48016173) Attached to: State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives
In order to rent the vehicle it would have to be registered (have a license plate) and would no longer be able to be sold as new. The real issue with the "test drive" event is that in Iowa only dealers can have unregistered vehicles on the road. I suspect this is true in many/most states.

Comment: Re:Who would have thought (Score 1) 194

by JimFive (#47892917) Attached to: The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada
The thing that bugs me the most is when the driver in front of me stops at the yield before the roundabout because someone is approaching (not in) the roundabout from the left or just got in the roundabout from the right. The whole point is that you can get on the roundabout AND the person to the left can get on the roundabout at the same time. It's not a one car at a time thing.

Comment: Re:Obviously. (Score 1) 291

by JimFive (#47892809) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'
Isn't the entire point of this article, and nutrition research in general, that we don't have a clue what constitutes "a well balanced diet". It's all very cute and snarky to say "eat right and exercise" but when the topic is "What does it mean to eat right?" it isn't a very useful response.

Comment: Re:Gibbs Free Energy (Score 1) 211

by JimFive (#47892685) Attached to: Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

The point that confuses me is: the energy on the outside lens surface can't light a fire, but the energy produced by the glass can. What work was done on the outside energy? It was redirected inside the lens, but how is that work? Doesn't work in thermodynamics reduce to the lifting of a mass in a gravitational field? How is the lens doing any work, in that sense?

There is (approximately) the same amount of energy on both sides of the lens (presumably a small loss into the lens itself). If you measure that energy directly off of the lens on both sides there won't be much difference (you can touch both sides of the lens without getting burnt), but because the direction of the energy has changed, the density of the energy at the focal point is higher than at the lens. So, there is more energy per square mm at the focal point, and presumably less energy per square mm in the area around the focused light than in the ambient area unaffected by the lens shadow (I wonder if that is measurable).

Comment: Re:Bikes lanes are nice (Score 1) 213

by JimFive (#47874405) Attached to: Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars
Walkers can stop instantly, Cyclists take a bit longer. In addition, there is a much longer time window for the car and pedestrian to see and avoid each other at a driveway than there is for a car and a cyclist.

Cyclists are, generally, safer on the road than on sidewalks. Drivers see and stop for road traffic, not for sidewalks. By being in the road, a cyclist is where the drivers are looking. In addition, sidewalks have many more crossing intersections than roads do. Every driveway crosses the sidewalk, but none of them cross the road.

It should also be noted that in many places bicycles are forbidden from being ridden on the sidewalks.

The truly important thing is for everyone to follow the rules. Cyclists on the road must stop at stop signs, not pass on the shoulder, signal turns and stops, etc. And the cars around them should treat them respectfully, move over to pass, don't pass and turn, don't honk, etc. Cyclists on the sidewalk are pedestrians and should act as such, ride more slowly, cross in crosswalks, wait for cross signals and traffic, etc. Additionally, cyclists transition from sidewalk to road (pedestrian to vehicle) should do so safely and should not do so for convenience (don't pop up on the sidewalk to avoid traffic and then pop back onto the road).


Comment: Re:Please stop spreading such drivel (Score 1) 588

by JimFive (#47820367) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

The healthiest diet is what your body needs, and what your body needs depends on your individual body chemistry, your environment, your lifestyle, and probably a half a dozen other factors.

You seem to be implying that we can never know anything about diet because each specific case differs from the general case. That seems to be a fairly pessimistic attitude regarding the ability of experimental science to tease out commonalities and processes in human biology.

Comment: Re:Personal mistakes vs. governmental ones (Score 1) 588

by JimFive (#47820293) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

it also leaves millions directly controlled by the government — such as pupils in government schools [] — without choices at all.
and parents, rather than the Federal government, be allowed to control the children's nutrition

You realize that the existence of school lunch standards does not preclude the parent from packing a lunch for their children, right? The school lunch program is not shoving food down the kids' throats. If you want your kid to have whole fat, white milk, then pack it for them.

I do agree that the standards are wrong in places, maybe in lots of places, but the existence of those standards doesn't take away parental choice and responsibility.

Comment: Re:so adjust the rules (Score 1) 643

by JimFive (#47778817) Attached to: U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

That should give officers incentive to ensure their cameras are in working order.

And encourage miscreants to find ways to remotely disable the camera.

I actually agree with your statement, missing camera footage should be treated as destroyed evidence (which, as I understand it, is treated as if it would support the other side). But there is potential for abuse on the other side, also.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson