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Comment Re:fast growth (Score 5, Insightful) 273

a new competitor will come and replace them (possibly Sourceforge, if they manage to continue with the same enthusiasm they've started with recently, and manage to turn that enthusiasm in to their product)

SourceForge's death spiral hits me right in the feels as much as any other Slashdotter, but I am pretty convinced that new competitor which will dethrone GitHub will be GitLab. Basically the same product, but open source. Similar monetization model for enterprise use. That's who I'm rooting for these days.

Sorry SourceForge. You had your chance.

Comment Re:Fix the website (Score 1) 1833

If you go under and click on "Discussions" this option is present:

Choose your discussion system:
( ) Interactive Discussion System (D2)
( ) Classic Discussion System (D1)

The "interactive" system is widely derided. I personally think it was a good idea, but it needs work. A lot of old timers around here stick with the classic system, including me.

I would recommend investing heavily in a new discussion system, perhaps something that feels more like reddit's, but keeping Slashdot's moderation system in place. But whatever you do, don't remove the classic one as an off-by-default option.

I have some confidence you guys can come up with something that I'll be happy to switch to, but some people around here hate change. All change. They'll appreciate being able to keep the old system around.

Comment Fix the website (Score 1) 1833

The site itself is in some desperate need of further development.

- The infamous UTF8 issue.
- The new comment system is widely disliked.
- That said the old comment system probably does need to be replaced with something better. (Don't forget to keep the old one around as an off-by-default option. Some people here just hate change. All change.)
- Remove all hard dependencies on JavaScript. Progressive enhancement is a thing.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

A right to the basic needs of food, shelter, and healthcare is not subjective or vague. That's about as specific as you can get. It means at a minimum all people have a right to just enough food to not starve to death. A right to at least dorm room-sized shelter. A right to see doctors for preventative care or go to the hospital without having to worry about medical bankruptcy.

Those things are narrowly tailored and well-defined. It's not reasonable to call those things vague or to imply that it's some crazy slippery slope to endless transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor, especially when people have worked out budget proposals that deliver on those proposed rights that require only modest increases in taxation.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

how much personal property can the government really take to support your ideas about outcome equality, still remains unanswered

I already answered that question: the bare minimum necessary to provide a lifestyle floor that ensures everyone's basic needs are met; food and shelter at least, but personally I'd throw in healthcare as well. Nothing beyond that.

I'm not sure why you don't think that's a specific enough answer. If you want to know what that costs specifically, go look up tax proposals that replace Social Security (and other cash transfer programs like SNAP) with UBI along with tax proposals that extend Medicare to all and drop Medicaid.

Many people have run the numbers and come up with balanced budgets that include these new provisions. Most agree taxes would need to go up to support such programs as well as to address the existing deficits, but it's been done before. We've had higher taxes before (especially on the wealthy) and things were just fine.

This isn't about equalizing outcomes, it's about raising the height of the floor so that nobody can fall into abject poverty ever again. There will still be enormous inequality of outcomes, as there should be, to reward those who work harder with greater wealth.

There will still be rich people, mansions, and suchlike. All that will be different is they will be slightly less rich. The net worth of the average one percenter may decline slightly, but it'll still be more than enough money to live a life of luxury and leisure and to never have to work again.

40 sports cars in the collection for the average aristocrat instead of 50. Or maybe one less vacation home. It's a small price to pay to end homelessness and hunger nationwide.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

Man, what an emotional rant filled with fear. I strongly encourage you to take a step back and calm down. Breathe. It'll be okay!

Look, the facts are this: our country is wealthier than it's ever been in history. It may be hard to notice though, because the richest 1% have harvested the majority of that wealth. If we divided up the nation's wealth equally among all citizens (which you don't seem to realize I'm not advocating for BTW), more people would get a bigger slice than if we had done that in any time in history.

We do have the means to ensure a bare minimum lifestyle floor for every citizen whether you believe we do or not. The apocalyptic scenarios you expect to come to pass will not occur. Poverty in this country is not going to get worse, unless we keep voting for austerity policies you support. We can end poverty if we continue to innovate technologically, economically, and culturally as we have in the past.

The two biggest drivers for the decline in labor participation are increasing automation squeezing people out of jobs (unemployment driven by technological obsolescence) and people voluntarily leaving the workforce because they don't need to work anymore (early retirement among those who can afford it). I feel bad for people who want to work but can't find a job, and that's exactly why we need to share the new wealth we've created with exactly those people who are experience technological obsolescence as a result of our more productive than ever economy.

Proposals like universal basic income are exactly what our obsolete underclass needs to stay out of poverty and devote their time to learning 21st century skills so they can compete in the new economy. Western Europe has just begun to realize this. Finland is currently exploring implementing UBI as a way to tackle unemployment.

If you set aside your fear and take the time to read more about this stuff, you will see that America's best days are still ahead.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

Look into budget/tax proposals people have come up with for universal basic income. It replaces Social Security plus a series of smaller safety net programs.

Basically between the savings we get from removing the inefficient means testing along with some modest tax increases on the wealthy, it is feasible without even bothering to alter our Medicare/Medicaid spending nor altering our insane military industrial complex.

However if we reformed those things too, we could certainly afford UBI with less tax increases.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

There's plenty of data out there showing that the more various governments around the world invest in their safety nets, the more poverty is reduced.

What's delusional is assuming private charity is going to fix poverty, or that capitalism will magically offer everyone great careers.

At the end of the day, the only system we've come up with that has shown itself to actually be effective at reducing poverty are government run safety net programs.

The less means-tested, the better.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

So how much of the rich's resources are you prepared to take? Have you ANY limits?

The bare minimum necessary to ensure a humane lifestyle floor for all citizens. Once everyone has food, shelter, and healthcare, we can let capitalism run as rampant as we want beyond that.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 2) 95

If you want to raise the standard of living of the poor, you don't confiscate the wealth from others and give it to them. You enact policies that encourage economic growth so they can get jobs and aren't dependent on the government.

Generally speaking, providing a lifestyle floor for everyone does encourage economic growth.

Suppose, for instance, we had a universal basic income indexed to right at what a bare minimum living wage is. In that case, 100% of that money is spent, and circulates through the economy, producing demand in a whole host of economic sectors, creating jobs.

In addition, it would improve productivity by removing unwilling labor from the labor pool. Those working would do so because they want to, not because they're forced to under thread of death from homelessness or starvation.

That would remove a small number of people from the labor force, but make those who remain far more productive because they'd be more motivated.

Moreover, it would also let us remove wasteful economic distortions like means testing for the safety net (which the left hates) because UBI replaces the safety net and the minimum wage (which the right hates) as it would no longer be necessary either.

As far as those "unwilling to fish"....screw those lazy bastards.

Translation: "I'm perfectly okay with letting poor people die from exposure or starve to death."

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

However, the BIGGEST problem I have with your views is your thinking it's a good idea to take from the rich and give to the poor, that it's somehow the only morally acceptable course of action. Taking taxes is a necessary evil, but make no mistake it's EVIL and as such should be avoided as much as possible. [...] So, I don't believe it's a good idea to trample property rights with confiscatory tax policy necessary to support our current spending levels and debt.

Suppose the following two moral principles:

1. Depriving the wealthiest x% of y% of their wealth while leaving them z% wealthier than everyone else is a morally wrong intrusion on property rights. (The thesis of conservatives such as yourself.)

2. Forcing someone to work under threat of death by homelessness, starvation, and/or inadequate access to healthcare when that is preventable through modest taxation is a morally wrong form of coercion. (My thesis. In fact there's a term for it: wage slavery.)

Personally, I see more moral virtue in an impoverished man's right to shelter and to not starve to death than to Larry Ellison's right to another Hawaiian island.

Once we take care of everyone's basic needs, Larry can have all the remaining islands his still insane wealth can afford him.

Comment Re:We should not get excited about private charity (Score 1) 95

While that stereotype does apply to some on the left, I'm personally opposed to enforcing my ideas undemocratically. If the majority of us decide in an election that we prefer less safety net, I can live with that, as I have in the past when we've passed austerity measures. It's my duty to convince my fellow Americans that more safety net is a good idea, not to ram it down the nation's throat by force.

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Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. -- Russell