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Comment Re:Human (Score 1) 115

The argument is that software is largely making things unique, and that functionality is not important.

Information systems are a hard science of process improvement. You are either solving off-the-shelf technical problems (this is why we have libraries), combining off-the-shelf technical solutions into business processes which meet requirements, or developing new solutions to technical problems (like process scheduling or video compression). The vast majority of computer programming, network engineering, and data center management are the second form: implementation of processes to produce a particular result.

The design and improvement of processes was described over a century ago as a scientific endeavor. In manufacture, scientific development of the workforce involves first identifying the best skilled laborer tasked with the process you intend to improve. From there, you, as an outsider with only general understanding (avoiding the taint of professional specialization), observe and eliminate all unnecessary motions from the worker's process. You then have that professional worker train other workers to perform his job in the way he does, and they in turn train other workers.

In Information Technology as the application of Computer Science, each task is carried out in the most efficient manner available. Availability hinges on understanding: nuclear quantum technology is all well and good, unless you have the box full of quantum components and don't have the know-how to assemble and put to effective use that which you possess. As such, your job is not to be an artist embellishing your programs and network topologies with creative, expressive forms; your job is to identify the needs of your process, to implement it, and then to examine it and identify where your process most suffers and how to make those particular parts more efficient. This is evidence-based scientific development.

This is no more of an art form than air plane design. Oh, you may be able to embellish an airplane with aesthetically pleasing shapes and curves; and you'll have to account for the impact on its drag, its stability, its fuel efficiency, its manufacturing complexity, and so forth in every modification, chiefly constraining yourself to those specific designs which maximize first the engineering considerations, and then selecting from variations thereof which sacrifice nothing in favor of better aesthetics--frequently, this means choosing the color. To do any less is to fail to understand your job as an engineer.

Comment Re:Core subjetc my a$$.... (Score 1) 115

There is no best course of action for everybody. Some people aren't cut out for school and should get on with getting a skill.

You're assessing this in the wrong way.

Every single potential student is better off WITH A DEGREE than WITHOUT A DEGREE. Creating a market where EVERYONE CAN AND IS EXPECTED TO GET A DEGREE means should 10x as many people be in a position to get a degree as available jobs will support, the best decision for every single one of them is to get a degree.

If only as many students went for degrees as available jobs, you'd get the same amount of employment, but higher salaries, more worker power, and, of course, more time spent finding other jobs and employing your time (and money) in something profitable instead of wasteful college degrees in oversupplied labor markets; however, with everyone else going to get a degree independent of your better grasp of the situation as a student, your best option is to make the situation as a whole worse for you and all of your peers by getting a degree anyway.

Have you ever worked with a net negative worker? Someone who goes around creating 1.5 hours of cleanup for every hour they actually work?

You assume an entrant worker must be useless or outright toxic. The type of worker you describe is the type of worker whose work ethic is bad, not the type of worker whose experience and training is low. Good work-ethic employees consistently provide value, even when they're heavily engaged in on-the-job training; bad work-ethic employees constantly create costs, even when they're top-tier technical resources. This whole ideal of churning out endless cheap labor from college has produced a situation where hard work and dedication get you nowhere, and where such things are ignored in their value under the assumption that the well-trained "Chinese Army", as you put it, will automatically perform better--except the Chinese Army is better trained than your shitty American workers who, miraculously, do a better job anyway.

Comment Re:Too bad (Score 0) 42

A 64GB NAND MLC flash chip trades for $1.60-$3.57. That means 1TB of MLC NAND costs about $57 at most ($25 at the least). This TLC uses half the die space to store the same amount of information--notably, it uses one multi-level transistor to store more data than one of some other type of multi-level transistor--so the production cost will be the same, but the first batches may have production problems cutting off a portion from usefulness, scaling costs (e.g. 50% fail, double the price). That means we could soon see $20/TB or cheaper NAND.

Comment Re:Streetlights useful to remark road in bad weath (Score 1) 304

In the US, the "parking lights" on every car I've ever driven lights up all the same bulbs as turning the headlight on, minus the headlights themselves.

So, not the same bulbs as the headlights.

This includes the taillights, all the marker lights, license plate lights, and even the nighttime illumination for the gauges and controls inside the car.

Yes, parking lights. If you're driving a GM car from 1996, it probably has it marked "P" next to that setting.

In many jurisdictions it's actually illegal to drive with your parking lights on

It's also unwise to drive with your parking brake on.

Comment Re:Human (Score 1) 115

professional economists don't understand real economics?

Somebody just published (in 2010) a dissertation explaining capitalism, how markets work, and how this affects economic policy creation. Dissertations add new knowledge to the field.

I encourage you to reflect on why economists frequently publish dissertations citing all of their peers's contributions as things they've identified as wrong.

Comment Re:Human (Score 1) 115

I only get that line from people who hold up the Holy Writ of Smith, Ricardo, and Marx. Too bad all modern economics is based on an equivocation fallacy in which the term "value" means several different things, yet is interchanged to justify things even when the definition of value is unfixed between two suggestions.

Real economics--economics that surpasses all currently published treatises--dispenses with the term "value", applying only "valuation" in market economics to indicate what the market or a particular transaction sees as the acceptable price of a good. In macroeconomics--in discussing the wealth of nations--the term "value" is inapplicable; the correct terms are cost, price, and wealth. All discussions on economic principles to date have come disturbingly close to correct, yet have always been a hair's breadth away, with enormous implications, due to the mistaken ideal of value.

Comment Re:Core subjetc my a$$.... (Score 1) 115

It's not that. The standard argument is SELF-ACCESSIBLE college gives people the ability to get jobs by allowing them to, on their own, by their own assessment, using their own resources (time at least; money, if doing student loans instead of government-paid college), obtain a marketable job skill.

In a market where students can reasonably self-propel (that is, where anyone not sufficiently rich can send themselves to college), the absolute best course of action for the individual is to go to college and get a degree. Further, the best course of action is to get the degree in whatever field appears to provide the best immediate employment opportunity. These are both direct manifestations of the Prisonner's Dilemma; the latter involves a massive amount of market analysis, much of which is blind and long, meaning a lot of uncontrollable risk.

In such a market, students primarily face the risk of other students trying to enter the same market. Students cannot readily project how many jobs will be available in a field, how the field will grow, or how many other students will gain credentials for that field. Because *not* studying in that field provides even *worse* results, students must simply accept these risks. This creates floods of labor in the market, dynamically, driving down labor costs by creating high unemployment and a reduction of labor power, all through the simple mechanism of making skilled workers an over-supplied and readily-interchangeable commodity.

Besides the bargaining power problem, I believe this is plainly inefficient as an overall market strategy. It's an expensive way to produce an effective workforce.

In a non-intervention college market (where the government focuses on K-12, but not career education), the great majority of individuals cannot send themselves to college. Businesses, thus, suffer from a lack of required skilled labor. This sharply impacts each employer's ability to execute business strategies, placing them at sharp disadvantage to any other business which can effectively execute their own strategies. It's incredibly painful and destructive to business.

In such a market, the best action for any business is to hire entry-level employees and train them. Entrants can, almost immediately, take over low-skill, time-intensive work. Even shit programmers can hunt down and identify bugs, clean up code, and so forth; these things take the most skilled programmers some time, sometimes even hours or days, and so letting your $40k worker grind it for a week or so instead of having your $100k senior software engineer spend five days trying to track it down is at least breaking even. Carpenters who can't make intricate carvings can at least build rough furniture; those who can't can plane floors; those whose skills are so poor can at least lay joists; and those who are too inexperienced and terrible to lay joists can, at least, spend the hours of the day cutting wedges and shims, tasks which are too time-consuming for an expensive artisan to waste his day on.

Businesses in this context have stronger (still imperfect) insight into their individual needs, their market growth, their departmental expansion, and so forth. Often during times of expansion we approve budget 2-3 years in advance of hiring new accountants, programmers, sales people, digital artists, and master control engineers; during normal times, we approve budget 6-12 months in advance, when the need is recognized on the horizon. No student can so accurately and consistently project that there is a job somewhere out there waiting for him after college.

This arrangement is undesirable to businesses, as it makes workers valuable (this is a lay-term, not an economics one; the term "value" must be ejected from economic theory, while the term "valuation" must remain for market economics). Valuable workers are problematic: you can't just fire them and hire another interchangeable part. Workers, in an economic sense, have an up-front cost and a continuous cost, which become part of the cost of whatever product they produce; to fire a worker and hire a new entrant, you must now invest the up-front cost into the worker again, increasing the cost of whatever they produce. Such displaced workers save the up-front cost to the next employer, and may command an increased price if an employer needs a more senior developer and cannot wait to train a new laborer.

That means workers gain bargaining power and, ultimately, job security and stable salaries. On one hand, this raises their wage, which raises labor costs, which makes the economy less wealthy; on the other, this avoids a lot of poorly-invested expense in unnecessary college education, training laborers as needed rather than as a constant, freeing up a lot of capital (money) in the consumer's hands to spend on other things, creating new markets to obtain that residual wealth by selling the consumer new things, thus creating new jobs to produce those new goods and services, in all increasing total wealth.

As I said, our current strategy is inefficient. Considering 74% of STEM degree holders don't have STEM-related jobs and half of engineers don't work in engineering, there's a lot more waste than just liberal arts degrees.

Comment Re:Core subjetc my a$$.... (Score 1) 115

in order to flood the market with code monkeys that know how to write an if-then-else statement in order to deflate CS salaries

Why is it people can understand this effect, but can't understand government-funded or government-backed (loans) college initiatives do this on a grand scale, deflating the value, power, and, ultimately, salaries of the individual? Even when I explain the whole of the mechanism fully in ways people can understand, they eventually go, "Well, yeah, that makes sense; but it's still empowering to be able to get an education!" when they just agreed it's the best and most effective way to strip employee power and make them tradable, low-cost commodities.

Comment Re: Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 886

I called you daft for not understanding the concept that someone who runs a swapping service station covers all costs related to their business activities and rolls them into what they charge for service, just like every other business does.

I raised the question because it's a point you seemed to ignore. There are costs inherent in there, which means the cost of battery swap is significantly higher than the cost of charging your own batteries.

Really, you think that bad fuel can't damage an engine? It can and does. And it's the supplier who ultimately bears the cost. No, "bad electricity" is not a proper analogy (although your sarcasm in this regard is funny given how many devices are damaged by surges every year); a gas station fuels vehicles by insertung fuel into them, while a swapping station fuels vehicles by inserting pre-charged batteries into them. Batteries correspond to fuel in this context.

Nope, you're using the fallacy of whole body analogy: X has aspect similar to Y, therefor X is similar to Y in all aspects. The problem is fuel and electricity are most similar, although bad fuel can damage a car and bad electricity can't. Swapping a battery for a defective battery can also damage a car (much worse, if it catches fire), but so can swapping in a bad radiator.

The battery is a car part. It isn't simply fuel, and it can't be fully analogized to fuel. You're swapping in a car part which may be bad and may damage the car or kill the driver.

In what world do you live where car parts are regularly inspected by the manufacturer after being installed into the vehicle?

A battery is a type of fuel tank. It's a storage container holding an electron charge (energy). This is substantially similar to a propane tank swap, which, yes, every single tank is individually inspected in the industry. Batteries, of course, don't fully analogize to propane tanks; they do tend to EXPLODE WHEN DAMAGED, and they explode or burn with the energy they contain: a Tesla 80kWh battery has as much energy as 64kg of TNT. A stick of dynamite is equivalent to .216kg of TNT, so that battery is potentially 300 sticks of dynamite.

Do you think inspection regulations for damaged and dangerous batteries won't appear overnight?

Lastly, you're still stuck in bizarro world where ICE vehicles full of combustible fuel are incombustible,

We don't routinely swap critical fuel management components in gasoline and diesel cars for other components which came out of other, random cars. We tend to install new or refurbished parts, and even then in vary rare cases (every few hundred thousand miles). Gasoline and diesel also don't massively explode, although Li+ batteries tend to burn--more rapidly than gasoline and diesel would, but they still tend to not detonate (they can). Both failure modes are more likely and more dangerous than liquid fuel failures, and harder to cease (dry chemical or CO2 onto gasoline will put it out; that won't work with a battery, because it's an oxidizer and reducer in one package--it has its own oxygen source).

You can live in a delusion where people (and, subsequently, governments) won't demand safety inspections on every single battery swap, but reality will happily ignore you.

Comment Re:SD Card? (Score 1) 154

Go back and read it again: "this isn't marketed at the premium price point ".

Listen you fallacy-of-equivocation prick, I said it's a PREMIUM OFFERING. It's their premium offering. It doesn't matter if it doesn't cost as much as an expensive-ass HTC phone; a Chevrolet Cobalt SS doesn't cost as much as a Mustang Cobra, but the Cobalt SS is a premium car (which costs $25k). Why? There's a base model, and a premium model.

No, it isn't. Nowhere did I write or imply that.

I said the 64GB model is their premium offering. You said it's "nuh-uh".

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 886

It's worth noting that mortgage interest is tax deductible

So your interest, minus about $12,000, is cut down by about 2/3, and given back to you. If you pay $25,000 in interest this year, you get $8,000 back from the Government. Cool.

in addition to the other misc. tax benefits of home ownership.

Which are all lower than the costs of home ownership.

In my city, a mortgage payment is significantly lower then the corresponding rental prices

That's why I bought my house. Normally, rent costs less than a mortgage, slightly; it also saves you on maintenance and homeowner's insurance ($892/year HOI, $118/year RI), as well as taxes (although my house is reported as worth $3,000, so I only pay $72; if it were reported as the $50,000 I paid for it, it would cost about $1,200/year in taxes, or roughly 3 month's 15-year mortgage). In this case, house prices had dropped, and rents hadn't followed (a lot of realtors had new mortgages...); a lot of houses got abandoned, and I picked one up from an investor cheap.

How does home ownership give you more control over your finances?

I managed to plan to pay my mortgage off in 3 years, and then decided to divert that to updating the insulation (cut my heating needs by 80%), installing a split system (cut my $500 heating bills by 2/3, not counting insulation), and installing new windows--it'll be a 5 year pay-off instead.

I tend to take ~$10k loans to do work in blocks. I took $10k for a project to remove the trees from my back yard (before they eat the sewage line, and of course so I could kill the poison ivy by saturating the ground with triclopyr--90 days to non-kill levels, 420 days to complete decomposition, and any run-off immediately decomposes in water), and also to buy a piano. That leaves several thousand dollars in my bank account, instead of just draining my accounts (and then my car needed $1000 of work, so you can see why I took a loan instead of paying out of pocket). I'll pay that down in a few months, and then get another $10k loan to install a split heat pump system, insulate the rear wall (foam panel exterior), and rebuild the master bedroom (drafty, no insulation, gets hot and extremely humid during the summer).

Each cycle will end with more cash-on-hand, and the months I take to pay down those loans only holds me to a $250/mo obligation in case of financial trouble. I can take them down by $1000-$2000 each month otherwise. Same with my $450/mo mortgage that I dump $1200 on, when I'm not managing other loans. Flexibility.

The reward for working hard is more hard work.