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Comment Re:Taxes? (Score 1) 60

I suspect that this is also one of those situations where the fact that 'law' tends to have ways of bending to practicality is showing up.

The activities of the street vendors are illegal, and some of them probably have pretty dubious immigration status; but the fact that they remain active, are quite numerous, and are visible enough to form a union suggests that the local authorities lack the will or ability to suppress their vending; and the national authorities the will or ability to process them all as vigorously as the law theoretically allows.

Under those circumstances, it isn't terribly illogical for the mayor of Barcelona to be open to negotiations aimed at reducing the nuisances caused by street vendors in exchange for potential loosening of restrictions that are mostly theoretical or haphazardly and unevenly enforced at present.

It always upsets people who cherish the idea that 'law' is somehow a matter of pure principle and above the sordid world of pragmatism and political horse-trading; but that doesn't make it any less true. Even when the ability of the state to enforce the law is relatively strong, pressure is applied by lobbying the political apparatus. When it is weak or partial, pragmatism can, and often does, result in the state(or its agents) reaching a compromise with the illegal sector that aims to give the less noxious elements some of what they want in exchange for cooperation, or at least non-resistance, in going after higher-value targets.

Comment Re:Take my money! (Score 1) 282

I can't speak for khallow; but my impression was that the bunker leader was the one who has an incentive to double-cross his clients, in favor of people who will be more useful to him should the shit actually hit the fan; not that those useful people would self-organize and head for the bunker.

If nothing else, during the course of constructing an emergency bunker, stocking it with necessary supplies and equipment, making provisions for its security, etc. one would presumably make contact with a variety of people with relevant skills. You'll be overseeing construction, food and medical supply, security, and so on. If you really wanted to improve your chances, you'd presumably do additional research; but 'the people who built and furnished the bunker' are a practically ready-made group of better-than-average candidates.

It is true that screwing over anyone you allow into the bunker would be a dangerous plan, so you'd likely have to put up with some less-useful friends and family; but screwing over someone without connections to those allowed inside, and who isn't allowed inside, has fewer obvious risks.

Comment Re:Take my money! (Score 1) 282

The existence of the bunker isn't the issue; it's being let in when crunch-time hits. If management cant' control access, it's a sucky bunker that will be at considerable risk of attack in a disaster scenario. If they can control access, you are depending on them to honor an agreement enforced by a legal structure that is, presumably, currently dealing with bigger problems right now, if it remains functional at all.

I don't mean to allege that this guy specifically is planning on doing so; but those circumstances would make 'overbooking' a very tempting strategy. If disaster fails to occur, you merely need to conceal exactly how many spots you've sold. If disaster does occur, the people you do admit are unlikely to give up their spots to let in the ones you don't, and the ones that don't won't exactly have much recourse.

It doesn't help that, pre-disaster, the people with the most money are the most valuable potential-bunker-dwellers, since they can pay the most for spots; but during a disaster, and after, people with assorted useful skills are the most valuable potential-bunker-dwellers. There could well be some overlap, if some doctor who has made good in his practice can afford a space, he's also a useful guy to have around; but the post-apocalypse's demand for investment bankers is probably fairly low.

Comment Clarify... (Score 4, Insightful) 33

This seems like it could well be a viable thing; but 'AI-based' is serious weasel-word territory: is a Baysian spam filter an "AI-based anti-spam solution"? It's hard to argue with the notion that identifying anomalous activity in large volumes of traffic is a problem that might be amenable to statistical methods and assorted heuristics; but what exactly qualifies or disqualifies something for 'AI-based', 'deep learning', and similar buzzwords?

Comment Prove it. (Score 1) 11

(a) I was pointing to a VDH piece.
(b) VDH (not me) offers a pledge for "all liberal celebrities, business people, and politicians". He subsequently offers an example involving a cleric.
Oh crapflooding crapflooder, you do flood you the crap.

Comment Re:"why is it that no new gun control has happened (Score 1) 58

No, I'm simply answering your question regarding "What is it people are afraid of".
They fear the same swindling rodeo clownery that,
while arguably not the root cause of the world's current slide toward general war,
it can fairly be said,
is doing roughly shag-all to mitigate any threat in any direction.
#OccupyResoluteDesk, indeed.

All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.