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Comment Re:Let's hope .... (Score 1) 59

You have 3 choices:

1) No surgery, because society can't afford to give it out to everyone. I note that this procedure did not happen in a socialized medicine country...

2) Get insurance.

3) Have the surgery, and then declare bankruptcy. Really, why is this such a horrible position? You didn't prepare by buying insurance. You got sick. The doctors fixed you up anyway. You then lose a portion of your assets to pay the bills INSTEAD OF DYING! Same as if you crashed into someone's house in your car and didn't have insurance!

"paying off (medical bills) for LIFE!" does not happen in the US. We have laws to protect people from the worst results of bad choices. Pretending that we don't is disingenuous.

Comment Re:What's the best value for inflation? (Score 1) 335

OK, here it is:

1) High inflation is unstable inflation. Instability is bad for all humans (controllers and workers), as it means only every other generation gets to retire and the other have to be euthanized. So, high inflation (meaning roughly 10% and up) is extremely bad, and the closer you get to that the more unstable it is - so you would preferably be farther away from it.

2) Low (or negative) inflation is bad for typical worker humans. It is superficially the best for banks (controller humans), as the assets they are holding get more valuable. Long term, this is not true though - the controller humans are dependent on the worker humans, and so long term they have to allow them to get a good deal or no one will let them control anything. The most obvious downside to low or negative inflation is that debts become harder to pay off. A less obvious, but arguably more important downside is that instead of giving everyone constant raises (which make everyone feel good), any worker only performing "average" (as in half of all workers) has to have their pay cut each year (which makes them feel bad). Not that the silly humans would actually be making the same amount either way (in hamburger buying power, for example), but for whatever reason humans feel bad when you take something away from them even if it increases their value position.

So, you want to stay above 0%. You want to be far from 10%. For a long time, the Fed said that we didn't know more than that, and refused to give a hard number. Recently, the Fed have given a "soft" number of 2% as the ideal, base on history and simulations. You could argue the details, but you will almost certainly come up with a number that is materially the same as 2% - remembering, of course, that this is not a directly controllable (or even perfectly measurable) number anyway.

That's why everyone fights about how much inflation really happened - it is basically impossible to measure, so you have to take any particular measurement and only apply it when the situation is "normal" for that measurement. (The classic example being including the price of oil in inflation, and then predicting starvation or the poor because of high inflation)

Comment Re:'Death' Star was just a terraforming laser (Score 3, Interesting) 65

Another Star Wars reader: it actually explains this in one of the books by Stackpole - The Emperor created the so-called "death stars" for rapid mineral extraction from planet sized objects. It was only meant for peaceful uses, until Rebel Terrorists took the first one and blew up Alderaan; the Emperor then had that one destroyed. The second one was almost taken over by the Rebel Terrorists and the Emperor ordered it destroyed, at the cost of his own life.

It must be true, it was in a museum on Coruscant.

Comment Re:The IRS could shut down??? (Score 2, Insightful) 253

I don't think anyone can make a serious argument that problems with their ability to function are desirable.

OK, here is the argument:

1) The IRS audits certain classes of people a LOT. (I've been audited almost every year for the last 5 years)
2) Normally, they don't find anything worth mentioning. But the taxpayer still had to pay for the audit.
3) So the taxpayer is out several thousand dollars, the "people" gained nothing
4) Repeated across 10 million audits, on average the "people" are gaining FAR less than is being spent by taxpayers on audits

This is a dead-weight loss to our society caused by the IRS auditing too many people. If this was a corporation, they would only audit enough to find most of the cheats - IE, to the cost effective point. But since this is government, instead they hire auditors until they run out of budget money, and audit as many people as possible regardless of actual culpability.

If the IRS lost the ability to do 90% of it's current efforts, it would be better for society.

Comment Re:One has to wonder (Score 2, Insightful) 253

I'm sorry - if you (as the head of the IRS) allow the IRS to be politicized on your watch, then you will not be funded by the next Congress. It doesn't matter if you think it hasn't been politicized if enough people disagree with you. If the IRS wanted to continue as an organization, they needed to avoid even a hint of partisanship.

It doesn't take a genius here...

Comment Re:Impacts (Score 1, Informative) 708

Even worse, every prediction they have made about actual temperature has been falsified. Every single one! Five year predictions, wrong, ten year predictions, even further off, 15 year predictions way out of line, 20 year predictions so far off that statistics has falsified the models to 99% confidence levels.

Note that as time goes further out, the predictive power decreases dramatically. That is the opposite of the claim "we can predict climate on 100 year scales but not weather on yearly scales."

If your predictions get further and further from the truth as time goes on, you do not get to continue to use those predictions to force others to go without.

Comment Re:180 satellites... (Score 1) 170

Yes, it is relatively easy. You use a phased array for beam steering / directional sensitivity. If you put something the size of Aricebo in orbit, you could presumably directly read the electrical signals of a human brain. And the electrical activity at the rear of the brain can be directly translated to what is being heard. So no phone required at all, at least for the uplink!

The same thing is possible for the downlink too, but there may be slight side effects. (Think "This is your brain in a microwave oven...")

Comment Re:Blizzard Shizzard (Score 1) 252

In that scenario, what is to prevent the "evil" client from teleporting non-visible units around the map at will?

Even bigger issue - how do you determine if a unit is visible, if you do not know all the opposition's unit positions?

I don't think that is a workable solution. Either such calculations are done on the server, or it is hackable, unfortunately.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten