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Comment: Re:We need (Score 1) 257

by Bob9113 (#47437523) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Here's Snowden/Binney. I'm a little frustrated with the extra negative space below the "den" in Snowden, because Binney's name is too short, and the tall "i" and hanging "y" are messing with me, and I'm not a graphic designer. I've moved and resized everything but I keep coming back to the original layout. I'm tempted to change their roles on the ticket because Binney/Snowden fits great. grumble grumble

I guess I just have to remember that I'm making a statement, not an actual political campaign -- it need not be perfect to achieve its goal.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 295

But top-tier incomes are really unstable, they go down fast in a downturn and up fast in an upturn, so federal revenue takes it on the chin from that group during times like 2008-2011.

Is that a bad thing or a good thing? If the ideal case is for taxation to decrease during lean times, and to increase during times of plenty, that might make a rather nice automatic adjustment.

That's probably the dominant factor in changes federal revenue as a percentage of GOP these days, now that 1% of tax payers pay about 1/3 of all income taxes, and that noise drowns out any signal we might get from changes in top marginal rate.

Also worth noting that in the 1950s and 1960s, the period of greatest economic growth in our history, we had a much higher top marginal rate. As corollary evidence, consider that a lower Gini index (less income concentration) correlates to a higher GDP per capita (PPP, product per person) all over the world.

I don't care about equality for its own sake, I'm a heartless economist: Whatever maximizes long run GDP is the best answer; it makes the rich richest, and it makes the poor richest, and it makes everyone in between richest, in the long run. That is the only objective definition of "good" in my world. There's a lot of unfounded beliefs on both sides of the argument, but the data, if you look at it without presuming to know the answer, points pretty hard in one direction.

Comment: Re:We need (Score 1) 257

by Bob9113 (#47436431) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Thank you! Just yesterday, in fact, I submitted this one for an initial 25 prints as proofs, and if they come out right I'll be printing 2,000 to hand out at Burning Man. What do you think of Snowden Doctorow versus Snowden Binney? The upside to Doctorow is name recognition and the approachability of his writing, particularly Little Brother and Homeland. The upside of using Binney, of course, is that more people should know what he has done for his country.

Your thoughts? (and if you ping me off list at bob at thrhahxhehl.com remove all the h's, I'll mail you a few)

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 1) 295

Do you want to increase tax revenue, or tax rates? The two are not necessarily the same, depending on which side of the Laffer Curve we currently occupy.

Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is now, and has been for a decade, lower than it was in the 50's and 60's. Since the 50's and 60's were the two decades when we rose to superpower -- with the highest sustained GDP growth in our history -- empirical data says we are safe to at least go up to that level.

I would posit that we are almost certainly in the big hairy middle section of the Neo-Laffer Curve. That is, even without the evidence we gathered during our golden era, I would still suspect we are far from the point where excessive taxation becomes a primary cause of reduced GDP growth.

a revenue reduction concurrent with an even larger spending reduction.

Yes, as soon as we get that big spending reduction (which I favor), we can take revenue increases off the table. Meanwhile, I remain a fiscal conservative; our deficit is excessive, and we must do all of: cut defense, cut health spending, cut social security, and increase revenue until we bring the deficit under control. We cannot tolerate saying, "But not the one I don't like." Bullshit. Cut them all, and increase revenue, until we get the deficit under control. Then we can have our pudding, but we can't have any pudding if we don't eat our meat.

Comment: Re:We need (Score 1) 257

by Bob9113 (#47434335) Attached to: William Binney: NSA Records and Stores 80% of All US Audio Calls

Realistically, I'm not sure things would be much better if we had a different president. Even Ron Paul, who would assuredly do his damnedest to actually set things right, would be one man against an army of criminal, power-hungry scum. Still, I'd rather take a man that tries over a man that supports this evil.

Vote Snowden/Binney 2016.

Comment: Re:Obligatory Car Analogy (Score 1) 295

the Constitution is a blacklist of things government is not allowed to do, not a whitelist of things Citizens ARE allowed to do.

I get your sentiment, and support it, but I must quibble on a minor point: The main body of the Constitution is a whitelist of duties the government is charged with, and the means for doing so. The first ten amendments, The Bill of Rights, is a blacklist of things the government is forbidden from doing without a constitutional amendment. The 9th and 10th amendments specify that the Bill of Rights, being a blacklist, is not to be interpreted as a whitelist of citizen rights.

Comment: Re:Yay big government! (Score 4, Interesting) 295

The only defense is to give them just barely enough resources to do their job, ... It's all about taxes ... there are but a handful of congresscritters who actually are for less government spending,

Are you unhappy with taxes or with budget allocation? The first and third part above are about budget allocation, which, unfortunately, has very little to do with taxation. The middle part is about taxes, which, unfortunately, have very little to do with budget allocation.

I favor reducing spending and increasing taxes. That is because I am a fiscal conservative and we are currently running a wildly excessive deficit. I believe in running a balanced budget except during exceptional economic downturns, in which a short-term deficit is fiscally prudent for the long-term outcome, and in times of plenty, when a short term surplus prepares our larder for the next downturn.

Conflating reductions in spending with reductions in taxation is a premeditated psychological manipulation tactic. There are bad people out there who want to maximize their personal short-term outcome by cranking up the deficit and damn the consequences to the economy. Those people are not helpful to America. Do not fall victim to the false equivalence of taxation and spending.

Comment: Re:"Rare talents"?! (Score 1) 586

by Bob9113 (#47415663) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

Programming is not something that requires grueling training or rare talents. Algebraic topology, cardiothoracic surgery, and competitive chess require those. If you're writing code that requires elite skills, you're doing it wrong - no one is going to be able to understand it, and you will never be able to troubleshoot it. Someone with an IQ of 100 can become a perfectly competent Java or C++ programmer with two years of intensive training.

You said "competitive chess" which implies a high skill level and "cardiothoracic surgery" which implies doing it well enough to have zero fatal errors most of the time. Those don't correlate to "competent programmer", nor to a programmer who can perform well in a job that requires code that works, has a long service life, and can be maintained. Writing a PGP key manager that can traverse the web of trust without granting privs to an attacker, for example, really does require elite skills -- just like your elite electrician and elite body mechanic.

Anyone can write Hello World, many can write an address book. It takes a lot of study to be able to write a cluster management system.

Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 5, Interesting) 586

by Bob9113 (#47415539) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

First off, love your post. Well said.

The tools, well I know people who swear vim is easier to use than the latest IDE that has full intellisense and refactoring builtin, and they are probably right - in that they have learned their craft using that tool and actually are more productive than the bloated and slow IDE could make them.

I would add that very little of my programming time is spent writing code, which is what an IDE is most helpful with; refactoring, code skeletons, reminding you of the order of args, etc. Most of the time I spend programming -- at least on anything that I expect will have a long service life -- is spent thinking through the right way for the code to work so it will be clear, fast, easy on memory, and work in a way that makes sense when we apply it in a different context. There is no IDE or language that can help with that part of the problem.

Comment: Re:OMG, not my tooth brushing!!! (Score 1) 150

by Bob9113 (#47409377) Attached to: Coddled, Surveilled, and Monetized: How Modern Houses Can Watch You

While your comment sounds like over-the-top sarcasm, keep in mind the time when you go to the dentist and your dental insurance company refuses to pay their portion of the bill because you have not been brushing your teeth properly....

It's good, and coming soon.

Not too much further down the road: When your average time spent brushing suddenly falls and the 7:00 PM brushings stop altogether, the analytic engine interprets this as having broken up; so it starts sending you ads for Haagen Dazs and cookies, because it knows you are vulnerable. You succumb to temptation, which creates a credit record, and your health insurance company ups your rates for the diabetes risk.

It's not just about responding to weaknesses, it is also about preying on them.

Comment: Cell Swapping Group? (Score 1) 60

I'm wondering about the idea of having a group of friends who swap their cell devices. You'd have to change a lot of your comm, but if you use the cellular system just for bandwidth, you don't really care about your cellular identity except for you phone number. If you can migrate your friends to contacting you via internet comm, you don't need to have the same cellular identity from one day to the next.

Toss in dynamic proxying through SSH, and you aren't exposing your comm fingerprint to your cell provider. Use OwnCloud to swap in your files and contacts (a bit of data overhead there, maybe keep most of your heavy content data on a separate device that tethers to whatever cell phone you happen to be carrying).

They'd still be able to analyze your tracking footprint to figure out who held which phone at which time, but it would make surveillance more expensive.

Comment: Foreplay? (Score 2) 110

by Bob9113 (#47404139) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

I'm not saying I think they know it now, or are intentionally moving in this direction, but consider the market forces involved: Is this, Netflix's similar effort, and ISP throttling, ultimately just foreplay to getting in bed together? They have the potential to really harm each other, and that has to get through to them eventually.

Seems to me, barring common carrier or another path to true net neutrality, both sides have more to gain by colluding than by fighting. If big content and big ISPs work together, they could create a barrier to independent ISPs and content.

Comment: Re:Not githubs fault (Score 1) 349

by Bob9113 (#47387963) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice

This is a problem with the law, not with ... Qualcomm. Fix the damned law.

I agree we should fix the law, but it absolutely is a problem with Qualcomm also, and we (especially the many network admins here who specify network hardware purchases) should hold their feet to the fire over this.

I own a software engineering consultancy. The business tax code is sufficiently vague that I could slip in all kinds of things that are not really business expenses. I do not, because I will not cheat my nation. Good people do not abuse bad laws. Those who do cheat their society are defectors and society's interests are best served when they are punished by the people for their behavior.

No quarter for legalism.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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