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Comment: Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 418

by Wycliffe (#46774909) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I did this while I was married with 3 kids. I still do it now that I'm single with 3 kids.
50k is solidly middle class where I live. Most of my friends who work at the local
university, etc... with bachelor degrees and sometimes masters degrees make less
than 50k as do most of my relatives. I could upgrade to a higher lifestyle but I have
no desire. My kids and I have everything we need and then some. We also have
more disposable income than most of our peers which would make it easy to keep
up with the Jones but I have no desire to keep up with anyone.
The USA is strange in that our spending on housing and cars goes up almost
linearly with income. This doesn't make sense to me. Why should I buy a
house or car twice as expensive just because I make more money?

Comment: Re:Holy shit (Score 1) 418

by Wycliffe (#46772383) Attached to: Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

I make 90k a year. Not an especially large amount for a computer programmer.
I spend about 50k per year which is more than most non programmers make.
That gives me 40k a year worth of savings. 1M/40K = 25 years to be a millionaire.
Some of the 40K is money spent on my house and other assets but I would say
that's pretty common. It's hard to spend 90k a year and not accumulate some

Comment: Re:Think of all those poor accountants! (Score 1) 409

by Wycliffe (#46768355) Attached to: Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

Every time money changes hands it is taxed. That the person who held it before you [p]aid taxes is completely and totally irrelevant.

But the money didn't change hands. If Bill Gates owns Microsoft he pays corporate taxes on the money and then pays
capital gains on that same money.

Comment: Re:Depends on the apocalypse (Score 1) 723

by Wycliffe (#46743705) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

There is quite a bit of those canned goods so maybe quickly means something like a year or so then.

Are you sure about this? Most industries now keep very little inventory.
My guess is that the average house has 2-3 weeks while the average grocery store probably only has
2-3 days. Less than that if there is a run on the store. I've seen shelves almost bare in the store
because of a small incoming storm. I doubt (locally at least) that the average town has enough canned
good to make it a month. There are probably a few more canned goods if you can get to where it is grown
and/or to a distribution center but even then I doubt they have much more than is required to make it to
the next harvest.

Comment: Re:No thanks (Score 3, Interesting) 164

by Wycliffe (#46741807) Attached to: Anyone Can Buy Google Glass April 15

I'm often an early adopter of technology, but I'm not interested in this type of product until it's far more unobtrusive and obvious.

I'm the exact opposite. I would be more likely to buy it if it was more obtrusive. More to the point, I see little function in a side monitor
while on the other hand allowing sunglasses with full overlay I think has alot more potential. For instance being able to enhance the
center line on the highway on dark rainy nights or show outlines of constellations at night. I can think of lots of cool uses for a full
wraparound wearable HUD but that's not what google glasses is.

Comment: Re:Not necessarily (Score 2) 723

by Wycliffe (#46738095) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

We actually had events happen that killed 40 to 50% of the population, its called a plague. These unrealistic scenarios happened every 500 years or so. Even in our modern society if a plague kills so many that medical infrastructure is overwhelmed you can have a vaccine available but lack the means to distribute it or the quantity necessary to vaccinate most of the population.

That's assuming they even have a vaccine. Ebola has no cure and has a 90%+ kill rate.
Oh, and it's already in 3 countries and is continuing to spread:

Comment: Re:Foundation of the Tech tree (Score 2) 723

by Wycliffe (#46737987) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Engineers may seem practical in a post-apocalypse situation but many engineers would also find their skills useless since the tech tree to apply their skill set may be disrupted or none existent.

I think the real problem is that it's highly likely that the tech tree takes more than a single generation to recover so
how do we preserve this "useless" knowledge for multiple generations so that we have it available when the tech
tree recovers to the point where it can be utilized again.

Comment: Re:Depends on the apocalypse (Score 2) 723

by Wycliffe (#46737953) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

if a large portion of the population is killed, food won't be an immediate concern as the canned goods on the shelf of homes and super markets will last for years while production gets sorted out.

Rather than just dying, the more likely scenerio is that a large portion of the population quickly starves to death
using up all those canned goods before doing so.

Comment: Re:Some of the oldest trades become useful. (Score 2) 723

by Wycliffe (#46737943) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Gunpowder is ridiculously simple to make as are bullets for modern guns.

Blackpowder is easy to make but blackpowder would gum up a modern gun in seconds if it works at all.
Casings and primer and smokeless powder are extremely difficult to make. They aren't something
you are just going to be able to whip up in your backyard. Especially not safely.

Comment: Re:Medical doctor (Score 4, Interesting) 723

by Wycliffe (#46736845) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

No electricity means your failing at basic engineering. A coil and a moving magnet is not that hard to come by.

I would agree. Unless we end up with something like the show "Revolution" where the laws of physics are turned upside down
then having electricity on a small scale isn't a problem. The most likely scenerio in a collapse would be no cleanrooms, no
rare elements, and therefore no NEW computers so being able to cobble together existing technologies to help with irrigation
systems, etc... would be a highly useful skill. Even in a collapse computers are going to be useful. There will be plenty of tasks
that people will want done on computers and they will want someone to be able to repair them and repurpose them to more
immediate needs.

If we end up in a scenerio where an EMP, nuclear blast, sun spot, etc... fries all the chips then repurposing old technologies
becomes harder but we will still presumably have electricity but might have to rely alot more on crude relays, etc... rather
than abandoned computers. In this scenerio a hardware engineer or electrical engineer would have an advantage but most
computer programmers have at least been exposed to some of this at some point.

Comment: useless now vs useless in apocalypse (Score 1) 723

by Wycliffe (#46736655) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Some studies like medieval gymel are barely useful now. Can you even make a living at that now?
Others like blacksmithing are nothing more than entertainment now but would be highly useful in a collapse.
I don't think you can discount computer scientists though. Not counting my hobbies, my primary job as
a computer programmer is repairing computers, fixing systems, and making stuff work.
If we did suffer a total collapse, the problem solving and improvising skills used daily by computer
programmers not to mention the broad knowledge base could prove to be useful.
Most computer programmers I know are also geeks so they tend to dabble in stuff like bee keeping,
appliance repair, blacksmithing, etc... which would also prove to be very useful.

Comment: Re:Meh, not this guy again. (Score 3, Insightful) 290

by Wycliffe (#46721299) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

Agree wholeheartedly. We "might" be saturated in physics but I doubt even that.
We are no where close to being saturated in biology. We don't understand a single
cell, we have yet to create a life from non-living matter, we are no where close on
actually creating any type of artificial life and/or artificial intelligence. We have
barely scratched the surface of the brain or conscienceness or dna. When we have
artificial intelligence, can repair the spine, can repair the brain, understand what
causes retardation and autism and can fix it, can cure cancer, can pick and chose
dna attributes for children, cure aging, reverse aging, regrow limbs, etc... then we'll talk.

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus