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Comment: Re:government science = more money gravy train (Score 1) 345

The obvious rebuttal is that scientists are cheap.

and I would have taken an 85% pay cut for the privilege

Exactly. There's a lot of people willing to make huge compromises in order to become scientists. Just like you.

One of the things I find interesting about this debate is the huge level of cognitive dissonance in scientists (practicing and would-be) concerning their foundation myths. But in practice, outside interests are a huge bias that needs to be corrected for.

Comment: Re:Innate Value (Score 1) 251

by khallow (#49608485) Attached to: Bitcoin Is Disrupting the Argentine Economy

Bitcoin miners are performing work, specifically, they are validating transactions. If they were doing something else instead the blockchain wouldn't be guaranteed to be valid and bitcoin could be counterfeited.

You aren't arguing what you think you're arguing. There's no reason that performing work means that the work can't be useful in its own right.

Comment: Re:Ah Free Market Capitalism (Score 1) 392

by khallow (#49607575) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

The way I see Free Market Capitalism is this: When have you ever had a difficult problem that got better by leaving it the fsck alone?

I think this is the core question. The answer is that these problems happen all the time. For example, there's a large category of perceived problems which aren't actual problems. For example, your claim that power companies don't "add value" when in the next sentence you state exactly the value they provide - power that _everyone_ wants. Since they are actually adding considerable value, the difficult problem of the valueless power companies is easily adverted by not having existed in the first place.

Second, there are the very difficult problems that aren't your problems. I find letting people work their difficult problems out on their own is the best solution here. Among other things, it's an educational experience that allows people to solve other difficult problems they face over the course of their lives.

`Then there's the difficult problem that one makes works by messing with it. For example:

Socialists basically say: Hey, the world is _fsckin'_ complex and it takes real hard work to make things run smoothly, and then a Socialist will start blathering on about all the things you need to do to make a system work.

In other words, the Socialist takes their one tool in the box and whacks on the problem happily. Then when the problem results in more problems (such as your DMV example where the supposed "anti-gov't types" fail to behave according to script), there's more targets to whack on. The top-down strategy common to socialism results in all sorts of problems due to both the ignorance and venality of the policy makers as well as the crude nature of the tools.

There is a standard destructive spiral that socialism gets in. First, they create a public good. Then when the rest of the world behaves in a way as to overconsume the public good, the standard tragedy of the commons phenomenon, then a bureaucracy is set up to regulate the consumption of the public good and starts doing its own thing. Then the cycle repeats, this time with a sliver of the society trapped in this bit of waste. This is exactly a place where relatively free markets excel.

Finally, there is the continued contradiction of growing an ever more complex, opaque, powerful, and unaccountable government while saying "Sure, you have to keep an eye on things". No, you aren't keeping an eye on things. You are growing one of the largest problems of societies, known since we first had civilizations. You don't have to "keep an eye" on markets like you do on bureaucracies, whether government-based or otherwise, who have little stake in doing their job.

Comment: Re:Bernie Sanders (any real shot at winning?) (Score 1) 392

by khallow (#49605201) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

He calls himself a socialist, but most self-avowed socialist wouldn't consider him one because he doesn't favor compulsory worker ownership, production for use, or any of the usual socialist agenda.

Don't confuse private opinion with public stance. Most of those self-avowed socialists don't hold an elected position in a moderately conservative electorate.

Comment: Re:We should be studying this now (Score 1) 105

by khallow (#49602785) Attached to: Climatologist Speaks On the Effects of Geoengineering
An obvious one is small scale experiments on oceanic plants, possibly engineered, that could sequester carbon dioxide. For example, the ideal plant would be a carbon-fixing plant that has relatively small iron and phosphorus needs and sinks once it dies. You could drop a lot of carbon into the bottom of the ocean fast with a plant like that. And if it's a huge monoculture, then eventually something will figure out how to eat it.

Comment: Re:No, it won't (Score 1) 105

by khallow (#49596509) Attached to: Climatologist Speaks On the Effects of Geoengineering
The problem here is that there are obvious problems with monkeying around with the world's energy infrastructure. So this is a standard engineering approach to see if we can preserve that energy infrastructure without incurring huge risks. Right now, it does appear that doing nothing is a better choice than 80% reduction in CO2 emissions.

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