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Comment: Re:Software is the wrong villian here. (Score 1) 307

by complete loony (#49142733) Attached to: The Software Revolution
MMT? They have some ideas I would agree with, but they don't recognise the current importance of the banking sector IMHO. Though government spending is important, it's the banking sector that has created most of our spending power by issuing loans. I'd like to see that balance shift back towards fiat currency in the future, but we need a working model of the actual economy. A model, consistent with the practice of double entry book-keeping, that is capable of predicting our most recent crisis and warning about the next one.

Comment: Re:Battery life (Score 1) 139

by complete loony (#49125659) Attached to: Pebble Time Smartwatch Receives Overwhelming Support On Kickstarter

A dumb watch has a hardware logic circuit to drive a segmented display. A smart watch has a general purpose CPU that has to render the time using a supplied font to the pixels of the display. This might be just a blit from a pre-rendered buffer, so long as the fonts align to the pixel grid. But even with a "paper" screen, the CPU is *always* going to be an order of magnitude more power hungry than a hardware implementation.

Comment: Re:Jump That Gun (Score 1) 102

by complete loony (#49093757) Attached to: Supermassive Diet: Black Holes Bulk-Up On Dark Matter

This seems to indicate there is extra, non-luminous mass out there

And that's the statement that I question. Sure there's an extra force, but is it due to more mass or just more gravity than we expect? Can a super-massive black hole contribute more gravitational force at greater distances than other forms of matter?

I don't have the data at my fingertips, and I suspect I'd get the maths wrong. But is this new finding inconsistent with my above poorly defined idea?

Comment: Re:Jump That Gun (Score 1) 102

by complete loony (#49084491) Attached to: Supermassive Diet: Black Holes Bulk-Up On Dark Matter

Or this research should point us in the other direction. Perhaps it's the size of these black holes that is the source of the extra gravity that we currently attribute to the existence of dark matter...

I've always figured there is a term missing from our formula for gravity that is only significant at large scales. Perhaps with larger black holes, this theoretical missing term is similarly larger.

Comment: Re:Software is the wrong villian here. (Score 1) 307

by complete loony (#49077861) Attached to: The Software Revolution

Cash is a real thing, bank deposits are just numbers on a ledger. There are some limits to the amount of money banks can create, but there is no mystical stock of money that they lend from. The stock of money has very little to do with how often that money flows around the economy each year. Don't mistake the level of debt and money, with the flow of that money as we measure it in GDP.

If you really want to understand how money is created I suggest you read this report from the Bank of England. Though there's probably a lot in there I'd disagree with.

Comment: Re:Software is the wrong villian here. (Score 1) 307

by complete loony (#49071057) Attached to: The Software Revolution

Money isn't a commodity like gold. When a bank issues a loan, they create an asset and liability at the same time. When you pay a loan back, the asset and liability are cancelled out. Most of our spending power is based on ledger records in a bank's double entry book-keeping system. But as an entire country, we haven't been paying back our loans at all. Each year we've borrowed more than we've repaid, even when you take inflation into account.

If you're running a business, your income is based on what your customers spend from their income plus new debt. Therefore the growth in your income is based on the growth of your customers income and the *acceleration* of their debt. If the acceleration of debt slows down and turns negative, even if the velocity of debt is still positive, your flow of income will reduce. If income is growing, you'll probably hire more people. If income falls you'll be forced to let people go.

So if we can extrapolate this to an entire economy, we should see a strong correlation between employment and the acceleration of debt. This, IMHO is the smoking gun.

For similar reasons I'd expect to see similar relationships between mortgage acceleration and house prices, or margin lending and share prices.

Private debt drives the economy. And yet economists have convinced themselves and us that we can safely ignore the role of banks debt and money. This situation is absolutely insane.

Comment: Re:Software is the wrong villian here. (Score 1) 307

by complete loony (#49070645) Attached to: The Software Revolution
I assume you mean "countries with tighter regulations on government debt" eg anywhere in Europe. That's a symptom of what I'm talking about. When the private debt bubble collapses, taxes fall and government debts rise. If you try to limit government spending through austerity measures, you take even more spending money from the populous, making the problem worse.

Comment: Software is the wrong villian here. (Score 5, Interesting) 307

by complete loony (#49070333) Attached to: The Software Revolution

It appears that the banking sector will do what they usually do—extract wealth and destroy jobs.

The most serious problem our economy faces is the mountain of private debt we have accumulated in the past 50 years. And the huge wealth imbalance this has caused.

The banking sector has successfully transformed most asset markets into heavily leveraged ponzi-like schemes. Each new entrant to the market pushing up prices with borrowed money, so that other people can cash out. This borrowed money caused asset prices to rise, giving the appearance of creating wealth. But debt levels end up rising faster. When the market runs out of greater fools, the bubble collapses, leaving the mountain of accumulated debt mostly intact.

While the bubble is rising, the economy begins to depend on the creation of new debt just to continue functioning. Once the debt gravy train slows down, it doesn't even need to stop, the flow of spending money in the economy dries up. Companies that were pretty much already insolvent go bust, others survive by tightening their belts. It is the workers losing their jobs that suffer the most for the problems that the financial sector created.

We can't repay the debts the financial sector lent out. The only question left is how we choose not to pay them.

We need a huge shift in how we create and manage money. We need to drastically shrink the parasitic financial sector, wipe out the loans that represent most of our money supply. And replace the money created with credit cards and home loans with government fiat currency, given directly to the people.

Managing the flow of money is essential to keeping people employed.

Comment: Re:Well duh (Score 1) 216

by complete loony (#49066271) Attached to: Valve Censoring Torrent References In Steam Chat

It's a cat and mouse game, but the pirates have been quite successful from time to time. Download the game content and update from somewhere, and most games can't tell you haven't bought it. At one point steam would completely trust the list of games you owned that was saved on disk, but most of the time there has been a crack of some kind that would convince steam you owned everything. I think there may even be a reverse engineered steam server that you can set up for any number of users to download games from.

But I don't think there's much active development in that community at the moment. Steam has been going for ages, and most crackers have burnt out or gotten real jobs.

Comment: Re:So? (Score 1) 520

by complete loony (#49062137) Attached to: Nim Programming Language Gaining Traction

I'm still sitting on the fence about Rust, I haven't tried to use it in anger yet. I think the design is interesting, but the language syntax looks a little confusing.

Rust programmers must either spend time thinking carefully about ownership design ... tend to see this as a virtue

With some C, Java & .net experience I see this as mostly a good thing.

Java and .net mostly convince you to ignore memory management, but often end up writing messy code in order to manage other resources. Or leave you with object graphs that can't be GC'd.

C forces you to think about practically everything, but gives pretty good control over how objects are managed. What is on the stack, what ends up on the heap. But it's far too easy for a novice to shoot themselves in the foot.

Looking at Rust, the OO developer in me sees the encapsulation, memory and resource safety that C is missing but laments that lack of exception handling. The C developer sees the level of explicit control that is often needed.

But Rust is definitely a language I'd need to think about more when using. Hopefully that's something that will become more natural with use. It doesn't hide much from the developer. While I see this as a good thing, I think this will limit adoption.

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose

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