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Comment Re:Universal currency adoption... (Score 2) 47

I highly divisible universal currency being tested by banks. Might not be a horrible idea. Remove the necessity for currency exchange markets. If you economy is tanking, the price of goods increase but based off of a universally monitored and controlled currency with a specific market value. I don't necessarily like the idea of the value of the currency fluctuating independently of a given nations inflation, but the idea still would have merit to investigate.

I personally think it is a horrible idea. On the plus side I don't know of any banks that are interested in doing something like that.

If you are confused, the banks are only testing the "ledger" ability of block chains, not the "currency" aspect. The idea is that a block chain would be associated with asset (stocks, bonds, gold, whatever) and this asset could be traded directly between institutions and people without a trusted intermediary (a.k.a. the middle man). One interesting application, which boarder on science fiction, is the self-owning driverless car.

Comment Re:Just a moment, darling... (Score 1) 76

And whose fault is it that they are not comfy or pretty enough? I mean I am sure your wife, like mine, knitted her own socks from fiber that she has harvested, processed, spun, dyed? (It always surprises me how expensive DIY socks costs. I would have thought and some yarn and needles would be sufficient. But one has to have multiple spinning wheels, combs, etc. Then there are the conventions which are as weird as the science fiction conventions that I go to. The list goes on.)

Comment Re:Biased != Racist (Score 1) 445

It could also be a question of cultural competence. Higher income people tend to have more education so they know how the educational system works. Thus they can position their kids to do well on the tests, as was suggested by the article.

A good example of this is jigsaw puzzles. Jigsaw puzzles were one of the first tests used to measure IQ. In response, middle class parents bought more jigsaw puzzles. Their kid’s IQ increased. So, does exposing children raise their IQ or does it just help in passing a test? If it is just the latter than there are issues that need to be addressed.

On a side note, the article made me chuckle a little. I went to a magnet school in Houston many years ago. Back then its criteria was explicitly racist. Houston was under a court order to integrate. All of the white rich kids went to private school leaving behind poor black kids, so there was nobody left to integrate. The magnet schools were created to lure white children into the system so some balance could be achieved.

Comment Re:Let them write it on paper (Score 5, Insightful) 508

I will disagree, and I would argue that computers should not be intruded into this classroom.

I tutor inner-city kids. Common issues are highly mobile families, poverty, English as a second language, and refuge status. They are academically behind their peers. Their parents are unsophisticated or put little emphasis on education. Throwing even modest obstacles can derail them.

I get why computers are important to education. However, this has to be a school wide initiative, not a classroom one.

Comment Re:Sycamore Partners is the real buyer (Score 2) 107

Those are the partners – that is the management of Sycamore. However, that is not who owns them.

Think of Sycamore as an investment advisor of a investment company, which is kind of like a mutual fund – it is the just the scale is very different. A few outsider investors (pension funds, the ultra-rich, etc.) buy shares in the investment company. The investment company than buys companies.

Sycamore is paid on the performance of the fund. They may or may not have a direct ownership in the investment company and thus may not have any direct ownership of Hot Topic.

Comment Re:What next? (Score 4, Insightful) 107

I think you are missing the point. They are not going to merge the two organizations. Hot Topic will remain Hot Topic, ThinkGeek will remain ThinkGeek. Both will carry their own lines – I expect some cross over but not much.

However, in one sense they are very much alike. They both market pop culture goods to a niche market. Their goods are partially based on fads so they have a short shelf life. Lots of custom stuff that you can't find in a more traditional retail shop like Amazon or Wal-Mart.

What they are going to combing is the back off stuff. Accounting and procurement are at the top of my list.

Comment Re:The IMF should be worried (Score 1) 294

All of the alternatives involve seignorage or equivalent. Mobile payments and Amazon gift cards imply giving the telecom or Amazon an interest-free loan between the date the credit is paid for and the date it is redeemed - which is pretty much exactly the same as seignorage, which gives the government an interest free "float" to fill the gap between cumulative tax collections and cumulative government spending.

You have the concept of seigniorage slightly wrong. It has nothing to do with government tax collection and spending. Just as every Amazon gift card is a interest free loan to Amazon, every physical dollar is a interest free loan to the federal government. This is seigniorage.

That being said, I don't think we should spend much time with seigniorage. While it might be worth billions to the federal government, compared to the trillions that the government spends and borrows each year it is small change and has a low impact.

Comment Re:Kinda stupid since (Score 1) 531

I think you are missing my point.

There is not proof, nor can there be, that there is a soul. I think that is common ground between us. What then? Does this invalidate religion and faith? Can another human or government invalidate my faith? Nor more than they could impose religion or faith on anyone. Religion and faith is a personal thing.

If faith (or lack of faith) cannot be imposed on me how can I deny that right to a AI mind that equivalent to my own. I will further point out that many moral decisions we make have a religious dimension. I am using religion in a the broad sense of the word. There are secular and atheist "religions" out there. I used to attend a Human Secularist Sunday service.

Comment Re:Kinda stupid since (Score 3, Interesting) 531

Who is to say that a AI does not have a soul? Do you have some type of test to prove it does not? Will not future AIs be our children will rights as a corneous human? Or will they be some lesser beasts, shackled like slaves by imposed restrictions? And where do we draw the line? If we can perfectly simulate a brain, would that have some type of different rights?

I personally think that this AI / religion thing is somewhat silly. At this point it is so farfetched at this stage of development.

Comment Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 1) 280

Is there a fixed amount of labor to go around? No.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...

Do they make our economy more dynamic and flexible? Yes. Is this more than every? Yes.

Which is more of an argument for a overhaul of our immigration policy rather than immigration policing, but still, we should welcome immigrants.

Comment Re:TFA is a mess. (Score 3, Informative) 271

To extend, we are not just comparing "apples to oranges", we are dealing with a pretty "revenue" is a pretty worthless statistic when trying to determine leadership abilities.

Example: GM is one of the largest car manufactures by revenue. It is run by a woman. Unfortunately while GM has huge revenue that does not mean it is very well run. Which is not exactly Mary Barra's fault – she inherited a mess.

A big problem in trying to determine if "female" leadership is any good is that there are so few data points spread across such a diverse universe of CEO positions. You are not going to generate any good hard statistical data this way.

Comment Re:track record (Score 1) 293

Let's see,

Boeing's wings (another very expensive part) are made in Japan. Fasteners are made in Europe. IIRC from it's Air Force bid for tankers, it's only 50% US.

The Airbus's engines (one of the most expensive parts) and flight controls are made in the US. Once Airbus's US factor is up and running it's plans will be 55% US.

Next question - is a Toyota car that is designed and built (including the power plant) in the US a US car or a Japanese car? In this age of international companies answering questions like these are hard and kind of pointless.

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