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Comment: Re:Better than chance? (Score 1) 262

by ShatteredArm (#30921002) Attached to: Political Affiliation Can Be Differentiated By Appearance
The probability of accidentally getting it right at least 60% of the time with 118 trials is 2.6%, assuming an equal distribution of Republicans and Democrats. Not likely, but certainly not outside the realm of possibility. If I remember correctly, statisticians typically use 2.5% in a two-sided hypothesis test. I didn't RTFA, but it seems it could be too close to be able to declare statistical significance with just 118 trials. Then again, I might be butchering statistics, given it's been a few years.

Comment: Re:No, Seriously... (Score 1) 651

by ShatteredArm (#30771782) Attached to: Google Attackers Identified as Chinese Government

if trade breaks down between the two, the USA can always find someone else to buy stuff from, sell food to, and sell (the fairly small percentage of total) government bonds to... not at as favorable rates as present, but enough to continue profiting from all three.

Who's going to sell stuff to us, when we have devalued our dollar to pay for our inability to finance our spending habits? Who is going to buy our bonds (at a non-extortionist rate) when the supply of our debt increases more and more every year? Even if it's a small percentage of our debt right now, we're still talking about financing trillions of dollars (the UST has to roll something like $3.5 trillion in maturing debt in the next three years...that's not including new spending). I don't think there is enough appetite for our debt to make that feasible, even if China keeps buying it.

Right now, China has to import food and energy. They sell crap to the U.S. for currency, and buy that food and energy with that same currency (they could exchange it, it doesn't matter). The seller of food and energy then uses that currency to purchase something from somebody else. China can simply cut the US out of the loop and directly export to the same countries from which they import. If an economy with N participating countries can function, so can an economy with N-1. That the US is the only country that imports cheap crap is totally arbitrary; they can shift resources to something else that the food producers want.

Comment: Re:No, Seriously... (Score 1) 651

by ShatteredArm (#30769020) Attached to: Google Attackers Identified as Chinese Government

If one side wins both sides win, if one sides loose both sides loose.

That's not entirely true. Certainly the US loses if China quits financing American consumption, but the notion that they need someone to consume their goods in order to feed themselves is preposterous. They would certainly face a period of instability while they adjust to the idea of consuming their own products, but in the end, they have the manufacturing base now. They could, with a little effort (and a hit to their dollar-denominated assets, but that can be overcome), play both the role of producer and consumer, as America did for some time, but that would probably result in too much individual prosperity and the currently ignorant masses learning about individual liberty and questioning the authoritarian regime.

Comment: Re:I only hope (Score 3, Insightful) 300

by ShatteredArm (#30751938) Attached to: Google.cn Has Already Lifted Censorship
No?

Indeed, the Open Up the West campaign has intensified the long-term exploitation of the West as primary resource supplier for eastern development and increased the wealth disparity between the western regions and the eastern regions in China. For example, although the Chinese government has invested over 45 billion yuan on West-East Electricity Transfer Project (WEETP), most of the power generated is transmitted to the eastern regions instead invested in local development. It is fair to say that China’s campaign to “Open up the West” was mainly motivated by the eastern regions’ need for natural resources instead of the alleged goal of decreasing wealth disparity between the two regions.

Comment: Re:Shrimp free zone? (Score 1, Funny) 643

by ShatteredArm (#30702058) Attached to: Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone
I suppose they could land at the nearest airport, but I have a much better solution. Simply strap a parachute on the passenger, give him a brief overview of how a parachute is to be operated, and shove him out the door. And the passenger will also get lots of fresh, peanut-free air to breathe on the way down!

Comment: Re:Quick lesson in business math (Score 1) 466

by ShatteredArm (#30691318) Attached to: Which Math For Programmers?
I shouldn't have said the Fed discount window; I meant the Federal Funds Rate, which is the rate at which banks lend out their reserves at the Fed to other banks (I believe the rate for the discount window right now is 1%). At a rate near 0%, it's very easy to buy long term liabilities and just keep rolling the short term debt. I suspect the ubiquity of this practice is what prompted the Fed today to issue their word of caution about interest rate risk.

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright

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