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Comment Worshiping the status quo (Score 1) 305 305

Everything bumps but CS and IT, for some reason, have refused to do that.

I think a lot of it is due to something I was observing just the other day: Americans, by and large, seem to feel that the way things are now (or were at some idealized point in the past 50 years) is The Way It Was Meant To Be—not just a good way, but the divinely-intended end result of all of history. Thus, changing things from that point is not only a bad idea, but to some extent, impossible. It's just not something that their brains can even conceive of.

Unless, of course, the things you're changing are in an attempt to bring about the End Times. Then it's totally allowed.

(Though this statement of the problem does make heavy reference to believing in a divine plan, I've seen the same sort of mentality in people who weren't particularly religious. They just still couldn't wrap their brains around the idea that the way things are wasn't the way things would/should be forever.)

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 391 391

You are starting to see alot of talk of tiny homes, downsizing, and even nomadic lifestyles.

That's not something that's happening in a vacuum. An awful lot of that sort of movement is arising precisely because profits from increased productivity are not, in fact, "trickling down" to regular people—particularly since the 2008 recession, but it's a trend that's held true since the late 1970s.

Create a bunch of good jobs, increase working wages (as opposed to executive compensation and "investment" income) across the board, and I guarantee you'd see those movements shrink significantly.

Dan Aris

Comment "Increase jobs" != "Increase jobs in every field" (Score 1) 391 391

and I'll say it again - technology INCREASES jobs, never decreases it - over the long term. Over the short term it can make certain skills worthless, putting some people out of work, but that's it.

If your position is correct, the number of jobs in Agriculture has increased over the long term.

So, for instance, the number of people working on farms has increased over the last century or so.


That would only be true if he had said that technology increases jobs in every field—or, perhaps more pertinently, increases jobs in proportion to their current distribution.

He didn't. He just said that it increased jobs overall—that is, if there were 950 farm jobs and 50 office jobs before a particular technological advance, maybe there are 1450 office jobs and 50 farm jobs after. Significant increase in total jobs, even though people who can only do farm work got the shaft.

Now, perhaps his point could be debatable, but it doesn't mean anything remotely like what you've said here.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:An actual question (Score 1) 727 727

GamerGater here. Were not assholes.

Thanks for clarifying, but isn't that precisely what an asshole would say?

The problem is, most people—no matter how big an asshole they are—don't actually believe they're assholes. And almost nobody likes being called an asshole, or admitting it, even if they believe they are one.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Priveledge (Score 1) 727 727

. It's not a problem that men don't face problems

No, it's a fucking lie.

Men face problems too. White people do. Rich people do. Everybody does.

The whole meme about privilege is just utter fucking bullshit and anybody that pretends it's real is just a cunt that needs educating.

Of course men face problems, and everyone faces problems. Can you actually read the post you're replying to?

Why is it a problem that men enjoy privileges (read: don't face problems that women do)?

(Emphasis added) That's what privilege is: it's not having problems that other groups do because you're not a member of that group.

If you think privilege isn't real, that doesn't prove you're a big strong man. It proves you're a bloody idiot who hasn't a clue about history or current events. Given the way you talk about it, it seems to also prove that you're a self-centered misogynistic bastard who's scared that with the rise of equality and greater awareness of the problems of sexism and, yes, male privilege, society will start to turn against you because you're unwilling to leave behind your bigotry and actually try being a real human being.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:I hope they realize... (Score 3, Insightful) 264 264

That's where not being a leftist comes in handy. I get paid well, and don't have to feel guilty about it, nor about wanting more. And I can walk past the beggars in the subway faking disabilities or telling some sort of bogus sob story and feel nothing more than mild irritation.

s/leftist/uncaring, selfish bastard/

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Renting other stuff (Score 1) 940 940

There are simple arrangements of sales that emulate rent in that capacity (a "rental shop" would sell above market price on long installment terms, and buy back below market price in one lump sum). The same kind of arrangement would also be fine for land, and would serve the functions where people actually want "rental" housing, while automatically becoming more like a sale for people who really just wanted a sale in the first place (or who just find themselves renting for so long that they might as well have just bought one... and it turns out, they technically did, and eventually it's paid of and done).

Ah, OK. Putting it on a long installment plan does makes it work.

Dan Aris

Submission + - US Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide ->

westlake writes: In a ruling that is the court's most important expansion of marriage rights in the United States since its landmark 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia that struck down state laws barring interracial marriages, the US Supreme Court has declared same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
In the background of an unexpectedly liberal turn in Court, as seen by conservatives, is the growing power and influence of "the technocrat," by which they mean the dominant economic forces of the 21st century, Hollywood in entertainment, Silicon Valley in tech, Amazon in retailing, and so on.

Link to Original Source

Comment Renting other stuff (Score 1) 940 940

Alice gives Bob some stuff. In exchange Bob gives Alice a thing. Then Alice has to give back the thing, and Bob gets to keep the stuff. Bob has profited at Alice's expense; Alice lost some stuff, and didn't get any thing for it. Why the hell would Alice put up with this? Because she has no choice; Bob has the thing that Alice needs to survive, so she either gives up her stuff and accepts the loss in order to buy herself a little more time, or she dies. (Or gives up the stuff to Charles instead, or Doug, etc, but same difference there).

It's not quite literal theft, but it's close enough.

As a somewhat ancillary point, how do you feel about renting things other than land? For instance, a pressure washer? I have absolutely no desire to own a pressure washer for good; I might need one once every 2-3 years, if that, and it's ridiculously inefficient for everyone who needs one once every 2-3 years to own one. So when I need one, I go down to the local hardware store, which has a couple that it rents out, pay them something like $20 for an hour of its use, and then give it back when I'm done.

I've gained nothing tangible from that save the use of the pressure washer (and the products of my labour with it—to wit, a clean deck/house/whatever). In the absence of the ability to rent, presumably if I wanted such a thing, I would have to either pay the full purchase price of the pressure washer with the understanding that I would be paid back almost all of it when I returned it—which ends up amounting to exactly the same thing, with the added burden of needing to have enough money to purchase a big-ticket item like that—or I would have to pay significantly more for an actual person from the hardware store to bring the pressure washer and use it to wash my deck/house/whatever, in which case I'm paying for a service.

So what's your thought on that sort of rent, and how does it—or does it not—differ fundamentally from renting land?

Dan Aris

Comment All nurture. 100%. (Score 1) 490 490

In the Victorian era, pink was considered a color for boys—it was a lighter version of red, which was considered a very masculine color.

There's absolutely nothing biological about the current trend of girls liking pink. It's entirely a product of our culture, which says "girls should like pink."

Similarly, any research that shows differences in job or academic field preferences by gender had damn well better show some kind of controlling for cultural factors, or it's got absolutely no value in showing what girls "naturally" like.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Say Good By to the Rainforests .... (Score 1) 851 851

I think I see where you're coming from better now, though I'm not entirely sure I agree :-)

Part of what I'm not sure about is that you seem to be positing a singularity of will—of thought, intent, and desire—that I think is an oversimplification of how humans actually operate.

I think that what you're saying is that a "moral decision" is a decision that you make to do what you believe is best in the circumstances, according to whatever heuristic you're using for "best"—whether that's "it will make me happiest," "it will bring the greatest good to the greatest number," or "it will make the people I care about happy (even if it makes my life more difficult)". (As an aside, I would dispute that definition of a "moral decision," but I think that's getting into semantics, rather than the actual issue of free will.)

What, then, do you do when, within your own decision-making process, whatever you want to call it, there are two or more heuristics weighted close enough to the same as to be effectively indistinguishable? "I really, really want this, but taking it would be bad, and I want to be a good person" would be a nice, (possibly deceptively) simple example. In such a case, the selfish heuristic, "what will make me happiest right now," is in conflict with (for the sake of argument) a genuine desire to be good, as society defines good. So, if I'm understanding your argument correctly, even though both desires and intentions are strong and clearly formed, the person's decision would not be highly predictable.

On a separate note, I am interested in the characterization of people who let the judgment of others strongly guide their actions as lacking (strong) free will of their own. I can actually think of two people I know personally for whom that's true, though they're very different in nature. One has an almost slavish devotion to her particular idea of religion, even though I'm fairly sure that she doesn't actually like doing most of what she feels she's supposed to do—and if she allowed herself to really think about it, she's certainly got enough critical thinking faculties that she'd see that the specific things she feels are required of her make little sense, even within the context of the stated doctrine of her church. But thinking about it, questioning it, is one of the things she's not allowed to do, so she doesn't. The other person is strongly driven to please his significant other, and I see him frequently tell her that she should make a decision—and he's genuinely fine with the decisions she makes either way. He's just an easygoing person who enjoys doing a lot of different kinds of things, and is happy to leave that decision-making to her when she's got a firm opinion and he doesn't.

So while I suspect that you would say that both of these people similarly lack strong free will, I feel that labeling them in the same way is unnecessarily—and perhaps even unhelpfully—reductionist. In this case, one feels that she has an unshakable obligation to follow certain rules in her life—and is unhappy even while fulfilling it—while the other has made a conscious decision to put another's happiness first—and that makes him happy. So, in the end, while this has been somewhat rambling, perhaps I'm coming back around to the same argument as before—that human brains and their decision-making processes are more complex than your definitions can account for.

Dan Aris

Comment Re:Say Good By to the Rainforests .... (Score 1) 851 851

Free will is not just random noise introduced into our decision-making process. Quite the opposite: free will is responsiveness to moral reasoning. Free will is self-control, the ability to direct one's behavior according to what one judges to be right, rather than just whatever one happens to feel like doing. Free will is almost exactly synonymous with moral judgement, and beings with more perfect moral judgement, better able to correctly discern right from wrong, plus the ability to bring their own behavior into accordance with that, would have stronger free will, not weaker.

Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding something; I never studied philosophy formally. But shouldn't free will also include the ability to judge which of two choices is the more moral—and then choose the other one? It sounds like you're saying that "free will" necessarily implies an increase in moral action, when it should imply nothing of the kind. (From my view of it, it should, in fact, imply less ability to predict whether someone will take a moral action when an immoral one is also an option.)

Dan Aris

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.