Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment To what end? (Score 3, Interesting) 568

If we want to be strict shouldn't the term "engineer" apply only to those people involved with the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of external-combustion steam-engines for use pulling large masses along doubled rails, and naval propulsion? I don't mind anyone calling themselves an engineer, so long as they don't defraud someone about their abilities for the purpose of selling them a bill of goods. And this from an engineer having two engineering degrees from major state universities.


Comment Re:Reasons things fail (Score 5, Informative) 118

While I suspect that you're a tad sarcastic here,...

I agree with you that Impy the Impious Imp was speaking sarcastically. It reminds me of the four types of spending Milton Friedman classified, and the value of its results. I'm working from memory here, so please forgive me my mistakes. Type 1 spending is where you spend your own money on yourself. This type of spending has the greatest results because you take care to spend as little as possible, and to purchase the things you want most. Type 2 spending is where you spend someone else's money on yourself. This has worse results than type 1 spending because, while you still take care to purchase what you want most, you are more likely to try to spend the entire amount. Type 3 spending is where you spend your money on someone else. In type 3 spending you try to conserve funds, but rather than getting someone what they most want, you get them what you think they should want. Type 4 spending is where you spend someone else's money on someone else. In type 4 spending you neither try to conserve money nor purchase what's most needed or wanted. I interpret Impy to be saying that all government spending is type 4 spending.


Comment Re:Counterpoint (Score 2) 207

I know most people here hate the "Disney extension" of the copyright term, but what is the "community" losing, besides the ability to get Warner Bros. and Disney plush toys for practically free?

Economics answers this by referring to the effects of monopolies in general. Copyright is a government-granted monopoly. Insofar as Disney is able to function as a monopoly they increase their profits. That implies that there will be a shift of goods and services to Disney and away from their customers. Monopolists accomplish the increase in profits by reducing supply. That means that there will be fewer monopoly-associated goods and services produced than there would have been had there been no monopoly.

The point that hardly anybody remembers who Buck Rogers was, cuts both ways. Why can't the makers of this movie come up with a different name and tweak things a little bit? It's not like that would be a violation of precedent. Is their movie going to be so lame that they need this tie-in to prop up the box office?

Characters can be incremental, just like inventions can. Perhaps I want a can opener with a bottle opener on the other end. Perhaps you want to read about a character who's trying to do good, but who had a tortured past.


Comment Re:No (Score 1) 563

Why would an economy without money not work? Just because we and our economic elite are so entrenched in money and free market theories that border on religion that does not automatically mean that other ways of organizing a civilization do not work as well. If you pulled a Roman citizen off the streets of Rome and told him/her that in 2000 year or so people will buy silk (a very expensive luxury back then) with something resembling papyrus money rather than solid gold aurei he/she would have either laughed at you or if they were a kind hearted person offered to escort you to the temple of Apollo so that you might have your lunacy treated by a skilled healer.

You do know that aurei is money, right?


Comment Re:Uber is as safe as taxis (Score 1) 471

As we know Libertardism is known for its followers unbiased and open approach to reality and civilized discussion. We also know that people who funded it are known for their honesty and openness too as they openly live by "me first, rest fuck off' and die" principle which is as open and honest as it can possibly get.

As it happens, there is no Charles Koch exception to argument evaluation in logic and rhetoric. (See logic.) To argue otherwise is to commit the ad hominem fallacy, and fallacies in general are not acceptable argumentation. (See fallacy.) In fact, I think I could make a good case that you've committed the Poisoning the Well fallacy. (See Poisoning the Well.)

If the Cato Institute has made an error in either their premises or their warrants then it should be relatively easy for you to argue in favor of your beliefs.


p.s. Do you see any irony in your complaining about The Cato Institute's "unbiased...approach to...civilized discussion?"

Comment Re:Digitial Economy (Score 1, Informative) 102

Or deluded and capitalist and claiming it's possible for companies to grow by 10% every year forever ...

You're laboring under a number of misconceptions. What those misconceptions are depends strongly by what you meant when you said the above. For example, I don't believe anyone has claimed that it's possible for companies to grow 10% every year forever. Let's assume, however, that you merely meant that proponents of capitalism claim that growth is better with capitalism than it is with socialism, and that the rest was hyperbole. (I compare it to socialism because that appears to be what you were responding to in 0123456's post.) If so, then capitalism's proponents are right to make that claim. Heritage Foundation makes an annual survey of the economic freedom of the various nations. Insofar as you can claim that economic freedom equates to capitalism (not too great a stretch, I hope), then following the link will show their finding that increasing capitalism correlates with increasing GDP per capita, with increasing economic growth, with reduced poverty intensity, with greater health, with greater education, and with a better environment.

As a lesser matter, I should mention that you're equating companies with capitalism, whereas capitalism can exist in the complete absence of companies. Wikipedia has this to say about capitalism: "Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are largely or entirely privately owned and operated for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labour and, in some situations, competitive markets. In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which they exchange assets, goods, and services." Notice the complete lack of the word "companies" or with its concept. I'm not saying that capitalisms can't have companies. Rather I'm saying that it's an independent concept. In fact, if you consider a continuum from economic freedom to a command economy, then companies are a step in the direction of command economies. Companies are a way to limit the risks taken by one party to a transaction (typically the seller) by increasing the risk to society. This is frequently called "socializing the risks," and for good reason.

or that somehow giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations makes everyone else's lives better ...

It depends strongly on the tax break. If you tax profits at the rate of 91%, then you eliminate many more business opportunities than you would if you taxed them at 27%. To give you an example, suppose that a particular opportunity costs $100,000 to risk. Perhaps a new pick-and-place machine for a surface mount printed circuit board line. Suppose further that the opportunity has a 50% chance of profiting $500,000 if it's successful, and a 50% chance of losing the entire $100,000. At 91% tax you have a 50% chance of losing $100,000, and a 50% chance of gaining (1-0.91)$500,000 = $45,000, for an expected loss of $5,000. You shouldn't take the risk. However, at 27% tax you have a 50% chance of losing $100,000, and a 50% chance of gaining (1-0.27)$500,000 = $365,000, for an expected gain of $315,000. Any risk with an expected loss shouldn't be undertaken, which means society doesn't benefit from the undertaking of that risk, offset somewhat by the possibility of the loss of the pick-and-place machine in a losing venture.

On the other hand, any number of other tax breaks, such as giving a guaranteed loan to someone that can't otherwise convince venture capitalists to invest, you would be right about.

Sorry, but in its current incarnation capitalism relies on just as much delusional fantasy and bullshit as communism ever did.

I'm not sure why we've changed the topic from socialism to communism, but...economic freedom seems to have a number of tangible, favorable outcomes as shown in Heritage Foundation's survey.

And it might surprise you that many countries have struck a nice balance between having private industry and pretending like you can have a functioning society if nobody pays for it.

Very few people advocate a pure capitalism. In fact, it would surprise me greatly if 0123456 weren't in favor of socializing national defense. On the other hand, it appears as though most countries could make drastic movements in the direction of economic freedom and still have a nice balance as measured by increasing GDP per capita, economic growth, reduced poverty, health, education, and environment.

But keep making it into your idiotic partisan position, and keep on demonstrating you're an idiot.

I understand that ridiculing your discussion partner and calling him names is an excellent technique to demonstrate your superiority, but I think I'll refrain for the present.



Comment Licensing agreement (Score 3, Interesting) 163

"If Windows 7 or 8 is installed, the BIOS of the laptop checks 'C:\Windows\system32\autochk.exe' to see if it's a Microsoft file or a Lenovo-signed one, then overwrites the file with its own.

Since this doesn't require my agreement, then does that mean I'm unrestricted as to what I can do with it? Namely, reverse compiling, distributing, etc?


Slashdot Top Deals

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer