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Comment: Re:Ahhhh.... (Score 1) 483

by alexgieg (#48185135) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

A Libertarian will be the ones trying to remove such laws.

Which is why, although I admire libertarian economics, I'm not libertarian myself. I know people who have had their livelihood destroyed by organized cyberbullying built around pure hate for the "wrong" opinions.

For a libertarian, a billionaire that decided to spend millions in a wide multi-front campaign to utterly destroy the life of someone, everyone they love, and their friends and friends of friends, using as many indirect proxies as possible, would be an entirely fine thing provided he didn't use direct violence, only speech.

That's not how a healthy society is build, that's ideology. Libertarians, liberals and conservatives, are all of them, each in his own peculiar way, disconnected from the real world. And we all suffer due to this.

Comment: Re:Why..... (Score 5, Interesting) 259

by alexgieg (#48148391) Attached to: "Double Irish" Tax Loophole Used By US Companies To Be Closed

"Shareholder capitalism is the doctrine that companies exist solely to make money for their shareholders. It is frequently contrasted with stakeholder capitalism, which holds that companies exist for the benefit of their customers, workers and communities, not just for ever-fluctuating number of mostly remote and unengaged passive investors who just happen to own stock in them, often without even being aware that they do.

"The rise of shareholder capitalism in the U.S. is often dated to an influential article in the Journal of Financial Economics in 1976, titled “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure” by Michael C. Jensen and William H. Meckling. They argued that shareholders should demand higher returns from complacent corporate managers. The idea of shareholder value was publicized by a 1981 speech in New York by Jack Welch, who had just taken over General Electric, and by Aflred Rappaport’s 1986 book “Creating Shareholder Value.”

"The shareholder value movement sought to persuade corporate managers to ignore the interests of all stakeholders like workers, customers and the home country, other than shareholders. Granting CEOs stock options, in addition to salaries, was supposed to align their interests with those of the shareholders.

"The theory had an obvious problem: Who are the shareholders and what are their interests? Most publicly traded companies have shares that are bought and sold constantly on behalf of millions of passive investors by mutual funds and other intermediates. Some shareholders invest in a company for the long term; many others allow their shares to be bought and sold quickly by computer software programs.

"Unable to identify what particular shareholders want, CEOs with the encouragement of Wall Street have treated short-term earnings as a reliable proxy for shareholder value. (...)

"Shareholder value capitalism in the U.S. since the 1980s has even failed in its primary purpose — maximizing the growth in shareholder value. As Roger Martin, dean of the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto points out in a recent Harvard Business Review article, between 1933 and 1976 shareholders of American companies earned higher returns — 7.6 percent — than they have done in the age of shareholder value from 1977 to 2008 — 5.9 percent a year.

"For his part, Jack Welch has renounced the idea with which he was long associated. In a March 2009 interview with the Financial Times, the former head of GE said: “Strictly speaking, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.”

"In the aftermath of the failed 40-year experiment in shareholder capitalism, Americans need not look solely to other democratic nations for models of successful stakeholder capitalism. The U.S. economy between the New Deal and the 1970s was a version of stakeholder capitalism, in which the gains from superior growth were shared with workers, CEOs were moderately paid and the rich engrossed far less of the economy. In reconnecting with America’s native tradition of stakeholder capitalism, American companies can learn from the example of Johnson & Johnson, whose credo was written by Robert Wood Johnson in 1943:

"We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services.We are responsible to our employees, the men and women who work with us throughout the world.We are responsible to the countries in which we live and work and to the world community as wellWe must be good citizens.and bear our fair share of taxes.We must maintain in good order the property we are privileged to use, protecting the environment and natural resources.Our final responsibility is to our shareholders.When we operate according to these principles, the shareholders should realize a fair return."

The failure of shareholder capitalism, Salon, Mar 29, 2011

Comment: Re:Hoax (Score 4, Informative) 975

Of course not. First, Physics Nobel prizes are given for experimentally tested stuff, not for pure theory, particularly when said theory can (in principle) be subjected to testing at some point. Second, Nobel prizes are never given posthumously. The methods for testing GR were only developed near Einstein's death, and GR was only fully experimentally confirmed after he had already died. Hence, by a+b, no Nobel prize for him. Had he lived a few more years and he'd have won it.

Comment: Re:Hoax (Score 4, Insightful) 975

Yes, and Special Relativity is a minor antecedent to Einsten's real contribution, General Relativity. SR was a nice sum up of what was known until then, but not fundamentally novel, which is why he didn't earn his Nobel for it. Now, GR on the other hand was the kind of stuff that only happens once a millennium.

The usual way for something like GR to be developed would be by scientists noticing slight problems in measurements, then doing more experiments, then trying to generalize from those perceived mismatches, then testing again and again and again etc. It'd have taken several decades. Einstein took a different approach. He went on to think very hard on the fundamentals of Physics for about 10 years, then noticed that things couldn't work any other way and so formulated GR entirely. And it was so well done that it's been confirmed since the very first experiment that went to test its specific, outrageous claims (and there are a lot of those). He nailed it all correctly the very first try.

This is why he's recognized. E=mc2 is minor. GR is the true genius part.

Comment: Re:correlation, causation (Score 1) 387

by alexgieg (#47606745) Attached to: Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

You're taking your first world, society of plenty as the parameter, when it isn't. As near as the 19th century, before the advances in food production, food consumption accounted for 80% or more of one's salary, and that's considering a very advanced civilization. Imagine what a not-so-advanced one would be like? Or, even worse, pre-agricultural ones? Traditional food production (not to mention hunting-gathering) techniques are extremely ineffective.

Thus anything that provided for less energy consumption, including the fact your muscles deflate very fast once you stop doing exercises (strong muscles consume more energy), and that eating even small amounts can build up to obesity, comes down to an actual, evolutionarily-sound reason of saving as much energy as possible. Ancient environments are quite energy poor, and nature selected for that.

Comment: Re:A right to be remembered? (Score 1) 113

by alexgieg (#47606559) Attached to: Spain's Link Tax Taxes Journalist's Patience

Here in Brazil the government is the hugest advertiser in most of printed media, to the point of paying for 12-page advertisement at the biggest weekly news magazines for weeks on end. It has progressively forbidden the most lucrative private market companies (tobacco, alcohol, and now going for toys) from advertising due to this or that feel good policy, and so there's no one out there with enough money to pay for their existence other than the government itself, either directly or indirectly through State run corporations. As such, except for one major magazine that still refuses to run government ads, all the others are very tame in criticizing the government. If they don't, any of the State corps threatens to stop advertising, and that'd cause it to go bankrupt.

As for this single independent major news magazine, it is constantly attacked by the governing party's militants as "serving the interests of capitalism".

So, either corporations, or the government. Unfortunately the third alternative, of fair priced, no-ads, fully independent, consumer (not corp- of gov-) serving news, and thus expensive but worth its value to those willing to pay, is almost unheard of.

Comment: Re:Not Culture (Score 1) 314

by alexgieg (#45810701) Attached to: France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

I'd say it touches the hearts and minds of quite a few, considering French titles dominate the French box office.

France has a restrictive system of screen time quotas. If the French were so in love with French titles forcing theaters, TV and other venues to show French titles wouldn't be necessary. The day France removes its quota system and French titles continue dominating box office is the day I'll believe in their strength.

As for your considerations on my knowledge or lack thereof of French cultural products, you assume too much. Or, rather, too little.

Comment: Re:Not Culture (Score 1) 314

by alexgieg (#45808105) Attached to: France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

why spend 1B us$ for avatar if you can "convey" the same thing with 30K&euro

Because that's called "targeting profit". If your goal is art you do art and don't care about profit. If your goal is profit you do everything to increase profit, including extensive market analysis to make sure your audience will be the biggest possible, and that includes spending $1B to make a movie an unparalleled visual spectacle.

(it's called star wrecked: in the pirkenning ...)

Yep, I know and loved it when I watched it a few years ago. Good memories. :-)

Comment: Re:Not Culture (Score 1) 314

by alexgieg (#45808051) Attached to: France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

So either you say ok: let's forget about doing movies that are relevant to us, or you find different way of financing them....

No, you can adapt. Instead of making that super-duper scifi epic with real actors, sets etc., do it in animation, even Flash animation if needed. Adopt the means to convey the story you want told that are within your budget constraints. The story itself, and its cultural relevance, will remain intact and as meaningful as ever.

"Ah, but the target audience won't accept watchin this as an animation, they want actors etc.!"

Then you have a different problem that you need fixing first.

Comment: Re:Not Culture (Score 1) 314

by alexgieg (#45807853) Attached to: France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

Problem is that the only yardstick you’re using to measure quality is profit. Things can be valuable yet unprofitable.

No, I'm not. I'm saying that if the director or similar wants to profit from their art, they must make art that targets being profitable. It is no surprise to anyone except the entitled that art that is valuable as art isn't profitable, and the other way around. Both criteria are orthogonal, and it's a lack of understanding of this orthogonality that lead so many to think that artistic value can and should be exchangeable into monetary value.

Comment: Re:Not Culture (Score 1) 314

by alexgieg (#45807825) Attached to: France's 'Culture Tax' Could Hit YouTube and Facebook

On the other hand, why does every single piece of art have to be solely judged by how much revenue it takes in?

That isn't the issue. The point is that if you want to do art for the art, why do you expect to also make a profit or even demand a profit? Do it from the goodness of your heart and be done with.

And I'm not joking. I participate in fanfic circles and it's usual for extremely good novels and epics, sometimes with 1 million words or more, to be written by excellent authors who do it for fun and of it and to please a following of sometimes only 50 readers. The get $0 monetary compensation, in fact they're prevented from ever getting any compensation due to their usage of copyrighted original material, and they just don't care either way. Doing it for the sake of doing it is all that matters.

Artistic merit and profit are entirely different matters. They shouldn't be mixed at all, including by those who otherwise demand money because they feel entitled to it. They aren't. Either do something that's profitable and profit, or do something artistic and enjoy the artistic benefits that come from it. If you're extra lucky both things might happen simultaneously, but that isn't how things usually work, and it shouldn't be expected.

"Our vision is to speed up time, eventually eliminating it." -- Alex Schure