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Comment: Which alternative exists? (Score 1) 3

by damn_registrars (#47446261) Attached to: 1k words
The cartoon appears to be stating that the stranglehold that big banks have over the federal government is the problem. I will agree that it is, indeed, part of the problem.

However I don't see any political movement that has gathered any amount of attention as having a serious plan to break that dependency. The libertarian party wants to give more power to the people with the most money, which just reinforces this problem. I have not seen any indication of the Tea Party giving a shit about it. The green party only cares about it as much as it interferes with their ability to buy pot.

Comment: Re:Maybe... (Score 1) 26

by damn_registrars (#47442203) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive
I suspect the actions were more likely out of the desire for self-preservation. I don't have first-hand experience with the systems in Taiwan or South Korea but I know that in the US many academics live and die by their publication records. I would put money on the parties involved here having done what they did not because they thought their ideas were better than anyone else's, but because they wanted to keep their jobs.

That doesn't make it right, it just explains a more probable explanation for how the situation arose. Not that academia is free of ego, but it is undoubtedly full of conflict.

Comment: Re:Will we ever stop celebrating Jesus? (Score 0) 154

I think you win the internet there for the most absurd comparison of the year.

Or can you point me to the chapter in the bible where Jesus the carpenter set down his hand tools, stole his neighbor's air compressor, power tools, and precut lumber, and proceeded to craft stuff from it in his own name?

It dulls the impact of an important event,

Which "important event" do you have in mind here? Are you talking about when he opened up a network closet and slowed down the network traffic of an entire academic library for his own aims - when he could have downloaded all the same material from the desk where he worked his job? Or are you talking about when he got scared about the possibility of having to face trial, and took his own life rather than object to the laws that he was potentially facing trial under?

Comment: Will we ever stop celebrating him? (Score 0, Troll) 154

There is an argument to make that he was intentionally trying to make a martyr out of himself. He could have done what he did without opening up the network closet - which is the most significant charge that was filed against him. Yeah, the overall response was heavy handed without a doubt, but he wasn't exactly rational himself.

Granted, I guess this is a slightly more interesting story than facebook, the movie but still not that great.

Comment: Whose privilege are you referring to? (Score 2) 26

by damn_registrars (#47431597) Attached to: These secular priests just keep slicing on the drive

we should just quit privileging these guys

The case of the 60 papers that your link refers to primarily is a case of a researcher in Taiwan. What is it that you want Taiwan to do to him?

And the other top case they mention - the South Korean researcher who apparently published nonsense about a way to make stem cells that didn't actually make stem cells - was from South Korea.:

South Korean researcher Hyung-In Moon, who was caught in 2012 making up fake email addresses to review his own papers. He has had dozens of retractions so far.

If you read to the end of the link you gave, it even says

It's also hard to tell whether things are getting worse. True, the number of retractions each year has been on the rise. That could be because of more problems. But it could also be a sign of more thorough policing. Plagiarism-detection and image-detection software, for example, have allowed journal editors to more easily screen for duplication problems. The rise in retractions might also be influenced by the fact that people are publishing more and more papers every year.

In other words, I would appreciate a clarification of your argument. The privilege bit doesn't parse. If you're trying to suggest that the problem is getting worse for some reason, you haven't supported the notion yet.

Comment: I wish there were more stories like this (Score 4, Insightful) 91

by damn_registrars (#47413941) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician
Unfortunately, very few people who complete a PhD in this country go on to acheive much financially. Even as the chair of a math department his salary was dwarfed by that paid to the football coach of the same university. It is sad that research pays so poorly in this country in spite of its great benefits.

Comment: This should surprise nobody (Score 2) 349

by damn_registrars (#47412433) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies
The insurance industry has owned Washington for some time now. Naturally they would be able to get away with this kind of invasion of privacy with zero backlash. In 2010 the insurance industry started cashing in on their investment by pushing through the ACA bill, but that is only the start of it.

Comment: What happened to Scheme? (Score 3, Interesting) 412

by damn_registrars (#47410417) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language
The overwhelming majority of CSci graduates that I have known started undergrad by learning Scheme. IIRC that language was actually built for the purpose of teaching the fundamentals of programming. Why was it replaced (beyond the fact that hardly anyone in the real world uses it)?

Comment: Who designed this one? (Score 1) 245

by damn_registrars (#47383683) Attached to: Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E
The model E looks awful in comparison to what we've seen from Tesla so far. The Roadster, the S, and the X are all great looking cars. The E looks like it was co-designed by Nissan or Kia. If they shortened the E by around a foot by lowering the roof line it would look much better.

I do like the idea of finally seeing a RWD sedan for $30k or less for sale in this country again, though. The big 3 have been completely ignoring this market for a long time and the Asian car makers have basically never even acted as though it ever existed.

Comment: Re:So what you're saying... (Score 1) 66

by damn_registrars (#47379391) Attached to: Why capitalism works

Is the presumption then that natural market forces (ie, not regulations from governmental forces) will prevent the employers from either colluding against employees or from buying each other out?

The presumption is that due to differing currencies between markets, with such small governments, there will be natural monopolies or oligarchies of single industrymen and maybe an apprentice or two. And that the control will be social- you are not likely to cheat a neighbor that you have to continue to live with.

The last part, which I put in bold, seems overly optimistic to me. I'm not sure that social pressure was ever a solid deterrent for cheating one's neighbors.

Now whether separate currencies will help to suppress it is another matter. I'm not sure though how a large country such as the US, which presently has one currency, could realistically split up into a large number of city-states where each has their own. The division of the country does not seem that outlandish but the division of the currency seems like a big problem.

It would seem that you would eventually end up with markets where > 90% of the population is involved in food production or trades that exist to aid in the same. To me that seems to operate counter to the types of gains in efficiency that we have tended to celebrate in the past century or so.

Yes, and that's the point. Efficiency reduces the number of jobs available drastically, and centralizes ownership of first level maslow industries such as food, shelter, clothing. This is a great thing for the few centralized aristocrats, but a negative thing for consumers and workers.

I'm not sure that the loss of efficiency is a net gain for many people. While it would put a lot of people to work would it not also leave a lot of people to find themselves in jobs with no demand? If everyone is producing food, shelter, and clothing, then what happens to the demand for computer programmers (for example)? To me it seems that you are calling for a deterioration of society as we know it (I don't mean simply by reduction of that one job that I specified but others as well).

Comment: Re:What's your argument? (Score 1) 9

Minimum wage is supposed to be a reflection of the cost of living (not necessarily enough to fully cover the cost of living, but enough to be a meaningful step towards is). This of course makes a federal minimum wage fairly useless for many parts of the country as minimum wage is not even remotely close to the cost of living, but the idea is to try to at least give working people (of course you've demonstrated plainly your disdain for working people in the past) a chance to try to exist.

So while Walmart is, in that town, paying quite a bit more than the federal minimum wage, they are not actually paying a wage that is in any way adequate for someone to live there. Put it another way, if the cheapest room you can possibly rent in town is $2,000 per month and the only job you can find in that town pays $1,500 a month would you take that job or go look elsewhere for work?

That said Walmart is known for keeping large number of people (ie, its own employees) on food stamps across the country (and beyond as well).

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.