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Comment: Re:My sockets are made of high quality steel (Score 1) 152

by bluefoxlucid (#48675183) Attached to: NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS
Dude, sockets are positive-locking. They're not "the finer part of the tool"; they distribute stress among an entire surface, which is distributed to a round barrel. This is why you can shatter a socket that's slightly wrong (e.g. an 8mm socket on a 5/16 bolt) relatively easily: you have six contact points prying at the weakest part of the socket, instead of a fitted socket providing full contact.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

Again: you are quantifying death such that that lead poisoning is not fatal, cigarettes do not kill people, diabeetus doesn't kill people, lack of access to food doesn't kill people, etc. You are supposing that if someone is getting 70% as much food as they need, becomes chronically ill because of it, and dies after 10-15 years of this due to kidney failure, that it's because of kidney failure and not because of starvation (i.e. malnutrition causing degradation of the health of vital organs until they fail).

That is bullshit.

I know you want to cover your eyes and pretend the plight of the poor doesn't exist, and that people are just greedy and lazy assholes who can't even be bothered to get their EBT set up; but the real world doesn't work that way, it's not all roses and butterflies, and it's not cut and dried into geometrically perfect tessellations. The Just World Hypothesis is a piece of shit: people don't get what they deserve, and karma is as real as Santa Clause. Outcomes are the result of a myriad of factors, and sometimes the root cause of a problem is obscured. VERY obscured. That this conveniently allows you to not see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Some of us are just far more intelligent than you, and able to see the whole picture.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679




suffering or death caused by hunger.

synonyms: extreme hunger, lack of food, famine, undernourishment, malnourishment

Let's try English, shall we? Undernourishment, lack of food, EXTREME HUNGER. Like 14 million households, not getting enough food; like 7 million households, experiencing extreme food insecurity and pain from hunger.

It's hard to quantify starvation. It's hard to quantify malnourishment. It's hard to quantify death. Estimates of 3000+ per year dead in America by starvation stand right next to estimates of almost 50% of deaths under 5 (28,000 deaths under 5 per year in the United States) being caused by malnutrition--that is, we know people were eating, we know the kids were eating, but they weren't eating enough; we can't exactly say they died of ... well, starving to death ... but their bodies did stop functioning simply from stress caused by being hungry all the fucking time, essentially BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T FED ENOUGH. We can't exactly point to this in the muck of complications it causes, which brings other health effects, any one of which can be the killing blow, ultimately caused by chronic hunger but not itself chronic hunger, so not technically death by hunger.

In short: people who die because they don't eat enough may not have technically died of hunger, even though they wouldn't have died if they had adequate food security. In the same way, people who die of heart disease caused by smoking are marked as dying by heart disease, rather than "death by cigarettes".

You can be like this woman and argue that dying of complications caused by and related to chronic hunger aren't the same as starving to death, but you'd be intellectually dishonest and not credible.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

Whoops. Someone else was having a 9 mile long minimum wage argument with me; I thought this was a moving goalposts thing. My bad.

The hell? Remember when 80% of the workforce used to be farmers? Then they moved more towards factories. Do you not see that shift from the primary to secondary industry? There will always be some people in the primary industries (I don't think complete automation is really viable), but the bulk of the demand for workers has indeed shifted up the pipe.

Do you remember the Industrial Revolution? Do you remember greater than 70% unemployment, because machines took jobs? Do you remember it lasting 60 years, before we got back to some 5%-15% level of unemployment, like a normal, civil society?

Do you honestly think we're going to just up and move people to new jobs? We'll face major unemployment for decades in a giant paradigm shift. The demand for jobs will vanish until we invent a new way for people to be useful that cannot be equaled by machines. The ones we already have apparently haven't solved unemployment for us yet.

And... really? You think getting an engineering degree is going to "fail" since other people want those engineering jobs? HA! Well this might just be an anecdote, but it worked pretty well for me. And every other engineer I know.

Good to know no credible research shows an oversupply of the STEM market. There's news that STEM graduates have low unemployment, with half of engineers and computer people not working in STEM jobs, and 75% of STEM graduates overall not working in STEM-related jobs. CIS has found 8 million non-working STEM graduates, and thinks there are 50% more STEM graduates than STEM jobs.

Yeah, you're hearing 2+2=5, but that's not what I'm saying.

You're saying there is infinite demand for engineers. All current research says we have plenty more than we need. You know why I'm not listening? Because I have access to current data that says exactly the opposite of what you're saying, coming out of multiple research sources, and plastered all over the fucking place. In short: you're wrong.

Yes, that's harsh, and unfriendly. But you can take a fucking look and see. My sources linked above are 2013-2014 sources, not 2002 or some stupid shit. It's current. I'm arguing correctly, by credible and recent data. I understand that part of good negotiation is to give people a way to save face, but I'm going to call a lifeline here and say I know more about the job market in this discussion than about how to not make you look stupid for being wrong.

Wow, corporate control over not only the wages of all their workers, but also the primary force of upward social mobility.... yeah, that paints a pleasant picture of the future.

That's what universal college education is: cheap labor, pre-trained workforce, trained on the backs of the individual and the taxpayer, with an oversupplied labor market so wages can be kept low. When your education is no longer adequate, we'll replace you with a new college grad who is up-to-speed, unless you keep yourself up-to-speed using money from your wages we pay you, without costing more than a replacement grad.

Have you not realized that selecting an education career is a risk? It's a big risk: even if it's free, it's years of your life relegated to whatever useless McBurgerJackInTheAss fry runner drive thru job you can get, with the hopeful return of a career. If you pick the wrong career, you will not gain employment by your degree; your upwards mobility is destroyed. We can talk government loans, but I think you understand well the prospect a poor, black kid has with a $120,000 UofT degree and no job.

You think employers don't have control over the primary force of upwards mobility? They don't just choose a motivated hard-worker and build him into a tool; they wait for a flood of self-built tools, pick the cheapest from them, and go with that. The others who invested in this but got passed over can go fuck themselves in the ass with the burger flipper. Employers have no responsibility to their employees in this model: they don't have to provide them with careers; they just have to take them, use them, and throw them out when the newer college grads are cheaper than the cost of retraining old dogs.

Do you really believe employers would be better off with an untrained workforce? Do you think they wouldn't experience severe pain from the vacuum of skilled labor in the market? It'd be like grasping them by the wrists and shoving their hands into the fire, and the state-funded college education system provides the fire brigade to douse them; but we've taken that away, and so they have to pull their own hands out of the fire by building their own workforce. The businesses who fail to do just that will burn and burn until they char and crumble, and they will die screaming as a warning to others.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

How about the fact that we need more and more knowledge workers in the tertiary sector?

Those aren't minimum wage jobs.

Also, historically, mechanization, paradigm shifts, and other such major business process changes aren't there to shift labor up the pipe. You're not turning 100 people into 150 people across more services; you're involving 30 people instead of 100 people in the entire process of making a shirt. The point is to pay less in wages by eliminating workers, possibly replacing them with far fewer workers of slightly higher wages (e.g. eliminate 10 $10/hr wokers for 2 $20/hr workers, you pay $40/hr instead of $100/hr for the same result).

Or the part where I threw out the idea that there is an infinite amount of work for scientists and engineers (and hence there are jobs there).

There really isn't an infinite demand market for scientists and engineers. Where would we get infinite money?

That's not an emotional appeal or just an ancedote that showcases the need to pick the right degree that has the ability to pay off college debt.

To speculate on a market, with other people speculating, deciding what limited resource to hedge their future upon, in a mode which will fail if other people select the same limited resource; as opposed to having businesses who understand their own needs develop the work force, hiring entrants and managing their education far more efficiently.

It's a bad plan, but it looks nice because we're physically handing something to individuals. The big businesses are the ones who reap the benefit; we're handing the costs and risks to individuals. Effectively, we're giving individuals shovels and land rights, and telling them we're helping them to mine gold, while the big businesses sit back with piles of cash to buy that gold for cheap off any of the few who find some; this is the alternative to making big businesses expend the resources to find fewer gold mines, prospect themselves, then get heavy machinery and hire miners to dig for gold, even though the businesses have expertise that allows them to more effectively prospect and find gold more often with less time and effort and cost.

You talk a lot but you don't listen too well.

You're mistaken. If you said to me, "Two plus Two is Five," a hundred times, and I continued to argue, it wouldn't be because I don't listen; it would be because I'd heard the mathematical arguments before, I'd examined yours and found nothing new, and I'd determined you're wrong.

I'm listening, and you're not saying anything groundbreaking here. It's all things I've heard before, things I've spent thousands of hours analyzing, and things I've determined don't work that way in the real world. You're saying things, I'm telling you what you're saying is nonsense, and you're assuming I'm not listening because I consistently discount your arguments about cats chasing carrots through the sky as if they have no merit.

Comment: Re:This is not the problem (Score 1) 679

With 300 million Americans, that would be 45 million people [ population of Argentina, nation] starving to death.

Where are the dead bodies?

Depends on your definition of "starving to death". Conceptually, not eating for 2 weeks and dying is the same thing as eating half as much as you need for 4 weeks and dying. Those chronically unable to get enough food eventually die, over months or years, of "malnutrition"; medically, starvation refers to the most extreme form of malnutrition, whereby health deteriorates rapidly due to grossly limited access to food. Colloquially, we refer to limited access to food (such as during rationing) as "slow starvation", especially when it leads to death. This applies even when a person slowly starves over months or years.

These people are not experiencing the hunter-gatherer problem of having no kill for a day or two, and then taking down a buffalo and engorging themselves; they are not following a feast-and-fast diet. These people are chronically malnourished, and live with continuous health effects; nearly half of them live with worsening health effects, in the range where sheer lack of food is outright killing them slowly. These are the sickly and anemic who are suffering from deficiencies in iron or potassium, from loss of muscle mass and body fat due to sheer caloric restriction, from weakened bones and arthritic joints due to not getting the calcium and fat intake needed to maintain their bodies.

These people are dying, slowly, from being underfed.

That's as much starving to death as simply taking your food away and leaving you in a hole to rot. It's not as dramatic, but cancer isn't as dramatic as a bullet to the head.

Reaction is very relevant. That's why it is a demand CURVE, not a demand vertical line.

No, it's a demand curve because businesses, on extreme modal average, don't throw tantrums; they operate based on profitability. If you squeeze them, they will pay; and if you keep squeezing them, they will take up a different management technique that is suddenly cheaper than you are; and if you keep squeezing them after that, they simply expire from being crushed to death. They don't just decide, hey, fuck you for minimum wage; we're going to instead spend millions on some other strategy that is going to cost us more and leave us poor, or we're not going to hire people even though we'd be making twice as much money if we did. There are actually rules against that (CEOs get fired for that behavior).

Your math is making an assumption that completely contradicts what a minimum wage does. Your math treats the minimum wage as raising labor costs uniformly across the board, such that optimal profit is achieved with the exact same number of workers.

Boundaries. A minimum wage raise of 1 penny isn't going to change profitability strategy.

The problem with this analysis is that the minimum wage only increases the costs of workers who earn less than the minimum wage.

Which makes it less of an impact than a wage increase on the whole workforce.

The optimal number of workers for profit for the average businesses is going to change, even if you can find a few businesses who are not affected.

No, wrong. The optimum number of workers is the number of workers that can produce the supply of a good or service to meet the demand at a price below the cost of the good or service, including labor. That's... a lot of gobbledygook, but it's meaningful enough: if that last worker is still giving you the ability to produce as many widgets to meet demands, and the price you sell them for still turns a larger profit versus removing that worker and his output, you still need that many workers.

Again: A minimum wage increase of 1 penny isn't going to do anything.

That's like saying no one is unemployed because you can find a single worker who has a job.

This is a strawman argument that doesn't actually analogize to anything I've said. I've given you the behavioral conditions which govern the impact of minimum wage on the size of the workforce; this is a model in broad terms, whereas the analogy you give is an illustration of cherry picking.

I even carried the model out as far as the factor of alternate management strategies, illustrating that the raising of minimum wage isn't the issue; rather, it is the convergence between profitability and cost, and the convergence between wage labor costs under various management strategies.

A human produces 1 unit output per 1 hour of work; at a wage of $7.25/hr, the human is cheaper than a machine which can produce 1 unit output for $10.25, and so automation is not profitable. A new process may produce the same 1 unit of output in less time, e.g. 1.1 units per hour, changing the human cost per unit to $6.59 (and allowing a reduction in the number of jobs). Over time, machines become cheaper to produce, operate, and maintain, and so the machine produces 1 unit output for $8.50; eventually, the machines may produce 1 unit output for $6.50, and so the laborers are eliminated.

Looking at the above, raising minimum wage does not immediately result in job loss. New processes are always coming, always becoming cheaper, always approaching the wage line. The labor market isn't restricted; labor is firstly required to be profitable, and secondly evaluated against other methods requiring less labor. In the case of business process improvements, this is often not a cost issue: A laborer costing $7.25 to make $10 profit is still valuable at $17 (making 25 cents profit), discounting risk (risk is important, but it just means your laborer is suddenly not valuable above $15 or $12 or some such; concept is the same); but a method to use half as many laborers to make as many units produces one laborer's cost per unit more profit. Automation involves more laborers: the robots have a cost to own and operate, but they're effectively lower-paid workers.

Honestly, machines are dangerous to an economy. Dangerous and wonderful. The industrial revolution brought 60 years of 70%+ unemployment; but look at what we can have for cheap, with machines able to weave cloth and harvest grain for us at a mere fraction of the cost of human labor. We found new uses for our labor; it took us a half a century, but we did it. I do not fear automation: I want to prepare for it, prepare for the economic fall-out, and prepare us to recover more swiftly.

I'm looking at multiple complex interactions here, though.

Let's take your own example - if minimum wages removed the 16-yo exception, making minimum wage to affect all workers - all those 16 year olds would be out of their jobs, even if they were willing to work at $6/hour. Maybe a handful would get hired on at $7.25/hour, but there would be some who were not worth $6/hour.

To correct your observation: 16-year-olds are perceived as cheap, risky labor. Adults, costing the same, would be hired instead. Less legal bullshit to go through, and they don't cost any more. (The adults were more immature than the 14-year-old school children at my job, though; when I left, I recommended firing all of them, and they did exactly that 3 months later.) The labor market would shift to a different group of the same number of people.

Mind you, a minimum-wage increase would push us closer to automated hamburger machines. They're still expensive, and we're not there yet; they're coming sooner or later, though.

We're mostly agreed on the problems of the current welfare system. I don't have much to say on your proposed fixes, but you do need to understand what minimum wage actually does if you want to make public policy about wages.

I know full well what wages do, thanks; and the point still stands: once we have eliminated the desperation of survival, we can eliminate minimum wage. This will give us a smoother curve in the coming transition to automation, which will be delayed and stratified; but it will still come staggered, as businesses aren't going to sit too much on the fence with $5-$6 labor versus a $5.15 machine. Once they decide to pull the button, they're eliminating their risk of increasing demand for wage; it's simpler, cheaper, and easier to manage a wholly-assisted or wholly-automated operation, and they'll pick a strategy and go balls-deep.

When it happens, I don't want to see millions starving in the streets, and emergency government welfare programs drawing ten times as much money. I want to see exactly the spending we have, give or take a few tens of billions of dollars, already supplying a broad social safety net that effectively keeps people alive--even if they fall straight to the bottom and find out their lives are now shitzoned. Not one dime of additional assistance to get us through the sudden crisis.

The crisis is coming. You can't deny it if you bother to look: machines will get cheaper, and they will replace workers when they can do the worker's job for less. Machines don't demand a minimum wage or a negotiated wage. Machines don't form unions. Machines don't have rights. Machines don't get fired; they get upgraded. When a machine can do your job cheaper and just as good, you won't have a job.

Comment: Re:This is worse than mythology. (Score 1) 390

A free-willed AI is an academic problem.

American Express uses an expert system AI to model a person's credit history and spending patterns, which then determines if a particular charge is fraud; it's more accurate than humans, and provides a full explanation of how it got there, including a list of information it's aware of but doesn't understand and thus hasn't factored in. This AI has no free will, and is not a thinking machine; it appears to make judgments and decisions, but is only a data analysis program. A very fancy data analysis program.

Dr. Sbaitso wasn't actually intelligent, or a doctor.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva