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Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 525

by Whorhay (#47410589) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

I do not contend that companies who have an effective monopoly can not do good things or produce inovation. However an effective monopoly is still not worth the risk because it is ripe for abuse We don't even have to get to monopoly levels to see private industry engaging in politics to limit and hamper new entrants to the market.

Unemployment is a sketchy measure, or at least the numbers we get from the BLS is anyway. That said the current unemployment is pretty middle of the road, in the last 40 years it has been worse and it has been better. I didn't intend that as a blanket statement and certainly not in absolute terms. I was trying to say that when a factory lets 500 menial laborers go and replaces them with robots and 50 people. The 500 that were let go aren't necessarily going to have any job opportunities. Some of them might get hired back as part of the 50, but it isn't likely and the other 450 aren't just going to fall into a new job because we aren't creating new jobs for that kind of work. Those people are actually likely to end up working some other job that is even worse for worse pay. You can visit just about any part of the rust belt to see the results of industry moving on technologically and geographically.

I don't know that there is a coined name for it but the idea that you are creating jobs by investing in the stock market is a joke. The only time your investment in the stock market is going to a company seeking funding to do anything like create jobs, is when you buy stock directly from the company. Most stock you purchase is being bought from some other investor that bought it hoping to sell it for a profit. And guess what they will do once you give them the money, they'll just buy some more from someone else. That money is not creating jobs except in the rare case that someone pulls out their cash and starts up some new venture that actually employs people or you buy stock from a company that is raising cash for expansion, and even in that case there is a good chance they are just going to buy robots to replace their menial workers.

Walmart and other companies that rely on unskilled labor are not competing for workers by any stretch of the imagination. I've never known someone who worked there and got a solid 40 hours a week and got raises consistently because they'd be too hard to replace. Shit, even the contracting company I worked for a few years back didn't do that and in theory we were a scarce commodity.

Welfare programs are definitely a boon and a curse. And like I said before capitalism has it's good and bad just like every other system out there, it is simply a matter of figuring out how to use it best.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 525

by Whorhay (#47408727) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

Capitalism can achieve all of those things but it does lead to monopolies. There is plenty of historical examples including our own robber baron periods here in the USA. The solution of course is to have a regulated capitalist economy. Of course the problem with that is that the bigger fish still end up with an inordinately loud voice when it comes to writing and passing regulation, so the solution often becomes just another part of the problem.

Capitalism can create more jobs but if you hadn't noticed there has been a jobs problem of late, capitalism isn't exactly a panacea. And capitalism frequesntly just leads to fewer jobs because it is more profitable to do more with less workers involved. Increasing automation exacerbates this, and sure something new might come along that ends up employing all of those people that will be replaced by robots, but that is a pretty big maybe. Usually what we see is that a lot of low wage jobs are replaced by a few higher skill/higher wage jobs, but that isn't an even exchange as far as the economy and community is concerned, because one person with $1,000,000 doesn't spend as much money in the same way that 20 people with $50,000 each would. That one person will arguably still put all of that money back into the economy by investing in some assets or even just putting it in the bank, which means that money is then available to someone else. But at that point it is entering the economy at a very high level and will be used by someone else also high on the foodchain to further increase their wealth. Whereas if the money had instead gone to the 20 people a much higher portion of it would have entered the economy through smaller and likely local businesses, it would still eventually work it's way to the top with the current trends of wealth accumulation, but it would have done more to bolster the economy in the long run.

Starvation is definitely a mostly solved problem in the USA. But that is only because we spend a lot on welfare programs and charitable food programs, it isn't a result of capitalism meeting basic survival needs. In fact a number of companies rely on those welfare programs in order to supply a very cheap work force.

I'm not advocating for the USA to go to a 100% socialist economy, or even 50%. But I think there are definitely some areas where it is a very good fit and others where it is not, just like capitalism. I just wish we would spend more energy figuring out which solution is best for any given situation and get it implemented then waste energy and time debating the merits of different economic models as absolutes that will never actually be matched in reality.

Comment: Re:pay em what they're worth (Score 1) 398

by Whorhay (#47399199) Attached to: No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

Actually that is already baked into the H1B program. In theory the H1B employee has to be paid the going market rate for such great talent. The problem is that companies that are abusing this program and paying less than the market value strong arm the workers. If the worker tries to seek corrective action they get kicked out and a new minion is brought in. Under our legal system the rest of us can't file a lawsuit to correct the situation because we likely wouldn't be found to have legal standing, as we weren't H1B workers being treated unfairly.

Comment: Re:Detroit is not always wrong. (Score 1) 236

by Whorhay (#47354115) Attached to: Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

I actually consider the fact that Tesla continues to upgrade the software to be a bonus. There is of course the added minor risk that they will make a change that I don't like but the only example I've seen of that so far was the ride height change.

Mid Model changes is a valid complaint I suppose but it isn't unprecendented in the industry. I owned a 1985.5 944 once, which meant that every time I bought a part I had to double check to make sure it was the correct part. Hopefully as they improve their design skills we will see less and less of this. Currently though they are selling relatively few cars, so it isn't a big deal. As they sell more and more making these changes will become more costly for them and they'll cease to be so frequent. On the positive side the very nature of electric cars means that there are a lot less parts to wear out or break.

The Used market is of course much smaller than it is for ICE powered cars. But that will change with time as more are produced. And if Electric cars prove to last longer than ICE cars, other than eventual battery replacement, they may end up retaining value much better. There really isn't a whole lot to wear out on an electric car when you compare it to an ICE.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 1) 534

That's because they count hours differently. For Certificates the hour count is typically a real count of hours spend being instructed. In Colleges and such they count hours based on how many hours a week you spend in class, although there are a huge number of variations on this that differ a little.

That I said I went and looked up the requirements from the state for the Certification that I received. The actual state requirement is around 600 hours. The course that I attended though was done as part of my last two years of high school and amounted to over 2,000 hours of training. So I actually have two certificates, one for the Peace Officer Training and another from the school that is for all intents purposes my graduation certificate.

It is a pretty rigorous course all said. Most academies that teach it are dedicated to that purpose and have live in students for six months straight.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 1) 534

While open carry is largely legal in much of the US there are still places that it is usually illegal to take a firearm anyways. Banks, Federal buildings, and Bars are the three that I can think of right off the top of my head as usually prohibiting firearms by state or local ordinance.

And you are correct that ignorance does not grant a person new rights. However information is power and you don't have to have a "right" in order to have power that another lacks.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 453

by Whorhay (#47336231) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Well there is the obvious loss of potential productivity that others have pointed out. More directly though is the counseling that various friends, family and aquantances(sp) will partake in. I suppose that there is a whole hosts of costs, both real and imagined for a suicide.

I don't feel that any of that should outweigh a persons right to self determination as regards suicide. But I can see why a society would want to prevent it where possible.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 3, Interesting) 534

"They have no more power than any normal citizen."

No always accurate. I spent some time as an armed guard when I was much younger. The State actually had a certification course for "Peace Officers" that weren't actually law enforcement officers. It required a couple thousand hours of classroom instruction and an actual exam in order to get the certificate. It didn't give you any actual powers per se but it did signify that you should be a lot more competent in regards to knowing the law. What it did do though was make it a lot easier to find work wherein you had a lot more responsibility. I ended up working for a company that owned a lot of commercial and residential properties, and was empowered to represent the owner when it came to stuff like tresspassing. That isn't a power that any other person wouldn't have if on their own property but the scope is obviously different when comparing a private home and several city blocks of commercial properties.

The only real extra "power" that I had as an armed guard was the additional certification to carry a sidearm, including while operating a vehicle. I'm not actually sure that it was legal to carry my sidearm a number of the places that I did, but I never had to find out because nobody questioned it at the time. Had I entered those places not as an armed guard but as civilian I would definitely have been stopped and probably arrested.

Comment: Re:Energy Storage (Score 1) 380

by Whorhay (#47328143) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

Our current liquid fuel transport system is not all that efficient. It is largely shipped via large semi trucks, which are definitely using up fuel to deliver fuel.

Despite constant improvements in the efficiency of electronic devices we are using more and more of it every year. We have to continually upgrade our grid infrastructure constantly regardless of whether or not cars are drawing power from it.

Comment: Re:Weird comments (Score 1) 265

by Whorhay (#47326955) Attached to: Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo

It's a class issue all around. Just because a poor person can afford an inexpensive compter doesn't mean they will have the time and money to attend college. Degree's aren't strictly necessary but you need some combination of experience, education, and genius. A degree is something that is more and more considered a given for young adults from the middle class. Meanwhile the minorities that are frequently of the most concern when talking about diversity in the work place are over represented among the ranks of the poor.

I guess the bottom line is that just because you can afford the money for some technology doesn't mean you'll be rich enough in other critical resources to move past being simply a technology consumer.

Comment: Re:not a record (Score 2) 547

by Whorhay (#47307471) Attached to: NOAA: Earth Smashed A Record For Heat In May 2014, Effects To Worsen

What kind of fantasy bollocks is this?

There are certainly a lot more people living on the Earth today than in past millenia. But we also know how to sustain way more people on far less land than was necessary then. Remember world hunger problems are not actually a food production problem, it is a financial and political problem. In fact here in the US one of our more energy and land intensive crops to farm is subsidized heavily to prevent over production and we still turn a lot of it into Ethanol pretty much just for a feel good effort.

There may not be any unclaimed land left, but there is more than enough space to resettle every single coastal city futher inland. And that isn't even taking into account the extra land area that would be made more habitable in every way by the rising temperature.

Maybe we'll end up with wars between nations which have extra dry land and those that need to relocate entirely, but I don't see any reason that this has to be the case.

Comment: Re:Falls over when it runs out of juice? (Score 1) 218

by Whorhay (#47278473) Attached to: It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

If you run out of battery juice the vehicle is likely to stop moving forward long before the gyro's spin down all the way. Besides which it would be trivially easy for them to implement a kill switch for motor power at some low battery level to make sure you still had enough power for control mechanisms and such.

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard