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Comment: This has been going on since, when? (Score 1) 407

Fuck - people were hiring Indians since the 1990s to avoid paying local American wages. I've worked in I don't know HOW MANY companies that do that. My wife works for a giant corp that does that now - she manages teams of programmers located all over the world. And here, in 2015 "a bipartisan group of U.S. senators has asked for an investigation into whether companies are firing American workers and replacing them with foreign workers for the sake of cutting costs." Like it's fucking news.

Comment: answers: (Score 1) 91

1. Despite its recent official classification, Is internet addiction a real disorder?

Yes. Any activity performed in such a way that it inhibits a person or makes them unhappy can become a disorder, a very real disorder. The exact behaviour is not relevant. It could be counting your steps - people do it obssessively and it gets in the way of their lives and makes their lives difficult - then its a disorder.

2. Or is it a red herring masking depression and escapism?
It can be. It can also be an OCD of its own.

3. And to make things more indeterminate, Isn't more and more time online the inevitable future?
Depends on how you determine "the online". If your fridge is phoning home every time you open the freezer, then you are online, but you don't notice. You drive down the street and your cellphone is tracking your moves and phoning home. You are online. Gluing yourself to a chair to spend all day on Facebook is not the only way to be online, so while "more online time" may seem inevitable, how it is expressed in social practice is something else altogether.

Comment: There are some basics involved (Score 1) 480

by Ralph Spoilsport (#49034973) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

Yes, the odds of winning are 1/175M. But the odds of winning without a ticket are exactly zero, which is inifnitely smaller than 1/175M. Also, they run these lotteries until someone wins, which means SOMEONE has to win. That someone could be you if you buy a ticket. It CAN'T be you if you don't.

Me? I never buy lottery tickets. My life is pretty good. Not wealthy, but rich.


Comment: Eternity is a long time (Score 1) 288

by Ralph Spoilsport (#49026939) Attached to: Quantum Equation Suggests Universe Had No Beginning
The idea that the Universe is infinitely old or has an infinite future is not a good one. Eternity is a very long time. Let's pretend that the universe we are in will last a Graham's Number of years. We will call Graham's Number "G". So the universe lasts for G years (note this is Way way way longer than even the most generous physics would presently allow, but this is for a point, here....) And let's say physical universes only happen G^G intervals, on average. Now, let's say that our universe is a typical universe and its conditions can be replicated every G^G^G years. Even at that enormous time distance, it's still chump change compared to Eternity. Therefore if there is eternity, I have typed this note an infinite number of times in the past and will type it again an infinite number times in the future.

Clearly, that's a stupid idea. So, the notion of eternity is not a good one, as it leads to fucked up contradictions and bizarrities. For example, if the universe is infinite, and it does repeat periodically, then the repetition itself is periodic and is itself a repetition. So, if we have infinite time, time ceases to exist.

Comment: Oh, pleeez. (Score 4, Interesting) 840

I'm 56. I learned how to repair all kinds of crap, including electronics. Just last month the power switch on my lamp broke, so I bought a new one and fixed it in about an hour, which included the time it took to go to the corner hardware place to buy the replacement part. But that's rare these days, and as others have noted, much electronics is integrated circuitry. Occasionally, yeah, a transistor might die, or a a capacitor leaks or fries up, bu that's very uncommon, and many things have such tiny parts that even if you could repair it, you need special tools.

So when my laptop fries up I can't repair it with my Snap-On collection of wrenches. So, when something like a laptop fries, I go buy another one. I never buy new - I buy used ones for cheap. I'm not going to fix my laptop or microwave oven or telephone. To imply that I should is stupid.

If that kind of throw-away society is suboptimal for the professor, then the problem is the *throw-away society*, not some deskilling operation.

Comment: get a damn computer. (Score 1) 190

You can get a used i3 Win7 box that would chew up the chromebook for breakfast for about $200. I bought a used i7 laptop for $560. Computers are cheap, and Chromebooks make no sense. You get a slow computer with a defective by design OS for $200+. You might as well get a real computer with a defective by design OS for $200+...

All syllogisms have three parts, therefore this is not a syllogism.