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Comment: Curious... (Score 4, Interesting) 1074

by Loki_1929 (#49731983) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

What happens to those who were making $15/hr or $16/hr? They're likely frequenting places full of minimum wage workers and their costs will now rise - inevitably - to at least some degree because of this. Further, they've all now been reduced to minimum wage (or close thereto) by the stroke of a pen.

Beyond that, how many jobs will now cost enough that automating them starts to make good financial sense? How many people with little to no skills - especially those without a good education who are most in need of steady legal employment - will find that their lack of marketable skills make them not worth hiring at this higher price point?

This is the kind of feel-good thing that bring down the middle class, raises some in the lower class (those lucky enough to ride the wave), and leaves behind large swaths of the most vulnerable people. What's going to happen is that people with little to no marketable skills in surrounding areas will get hired at the state or Federal minimum wage, gain some valuable experience, become more valuable employees, and then move or commute into LA to take jobs from poor, undereducated residents. This is an anti-poor measure masquerading as a hand-up. It will drive the middle class further down the chain (by negatively impacting their purchasing power), reduce the number of available jobs for everyone (and especially for residents), and drive many of the poor right into the ground.

Mark my words, within 5 years of this taking effect, all or nearly all indicators of poverty will worsen in LA.

Comment: Re:The UK, trying to beat China, NK at their own g (Score 1) 118

by Loki_1929 (#49723809) Attached to: GCHQ Officials Given Immunity From Hacking Charges

Did you think rights just floated down from the sky, mana from heaven?

No, they're inherent to the fact that we're living, sentient beings with dignity and value.

All rights are given.

No, rights cannot be "given" because something given can be taken away. Privileges are given and privileges can be taken away. Rights are inherent (see above) and can only be infringed inasmuch as we allow them to be.

That doesn't mean that, as you claim, there is no such thing as the word "rights" and every time anybody says "rights" they really meant "privileges."

Strawman; no such claim has been made. Precisely the opposite. On the other hand, sometimes people say "rights" when they mean "privileges" and vice versa.

It does mean that words have context, and that the meanings don't always align with extremist principles.

There's nothing extremist about living, sentient, valuable individuals having rights. Whether you believe they're inherent to the existence of that individual or endowed upon them by their creator is irrelevant. In either case, the individual is naturally provided with their rights as a fundamental component of their existence. Once this is understood and accepted, it becomes obvious why no law or act of violence can rob you of your rights; rather, merely infringe upon their free exercise. As limited creatures, we lack the requisite ability to alter the fundamental nature of mankind.

Put another way: you can prevent me from exercising my right to self-determination or my right to self-defense, but you cannot eliminate those rights. You can - at worst - kill me.

Comment: Re:Lets cut through to the chase (Score 4, Insightful) 239

by Glock27 (#49710301) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook

The difference is that Linux and Mac GUIs get choppy under the slightest load, while Windows says smooth like butter in every situation. Some people have even installed Windows on their Macs and they are getting more graphics performance from the same hardware.

You're conflating a couple of different things. Windows general-purpose multitasking is terrible compared to Linux/MacOS (at least based on Win7 experiences).

On the other hand, Microsoft has had a laser focus on Windows gaming, with the obvious tie-in to Xbox gaming. This has resulted in very fast graphics drivers for Windows.

Linux seems to be doing well lately, with some Steam games getting higher frame rates on Linux than on Windows. Linux may end up being the best of all possible worlds (well out of three worlds anyhow) given its lean design, performance and stability. Perhaps eventually it'll see more proprietary software ports like Solidworks and ProEngineer.

Comment: Re: Whatever... (Score 1) 142

by Loki_1929 (#49695743) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

Inherently illegal isn't really a thing. Maybe you mean immoral?

No, I mean illegal. The US Constitution recognizes that there are things beyond the reach of any government's authority and by their very nature, such things cannot emanate from the government. Ergo, violation of such rights is inherently illegal regardless of what laws or judges or kings and queens might say or do.

In any case, courts in the US have been just fine with authorizing the killing of schoolchildren. None of the involved parties fried for it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G...

Regardless of the unfortunate case you cited and the suspicions that a grave injustice was done, capital punishment is not murder by its very definition. To clarify my example, the Supreme Court cannot order or authorize me to go out and kill random schoolchildren. They can order or authorize the capture and punishment of a person convicted of a capital crime, but they lack the requisite authority to allow or require that I go kill innocent people.

Comment: Re: Whatever... (Score 1) 142

by Loki_1929 (#49695727) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

There are things the state cannot grant or authorize because they would violate the rights of the people. The US Constitution recognizes some of that (at least on paper; in practice...). The government lacks the requisite authority to authorize those rights to be denied or revoked.

When they do it anyway, all involved should be hauled off to prison, even if it takes an army of the people to do so.

Comment: Re:Great. Let's sit here and wait for the next wav (Score 1) 422

by Glock27 (#49690603) Attached to: Ice Loss In West Antarctica Is Speeding Up

You appear to be getting some things confused.

The surface of the planet is warming up. We have models based on currently understood science that seem to give reasonable projections, at least so far. We can make some predictions as to what's likely to happen. That's the science.

The surface of the planet has been warming up for centuries, since the Little Ice Age. For the vast majority of that time, it had nothing to do with CO2. One of the major criticism of climate alarmism is that natural variability is massively downplayed.

The models don't appear to be giving "reasonable projections" at the moment. Remember the hiatus, which has been acknowledged by the IPCC. Those "predictions" won't be worth much until the models better correspond to reality, and have been validated in some meaningful way. They are far from first principles models.

What we should do is a political matter that should be informed by science. Whether or not we build more nuclear power plants (which I'm strongly in favor of) is a political matter that should be informed by science. Unfortunately, there's a lot of politicians and environmentalists that have their own strong (and often subsidized) opinions that take no account of the science, or positively deny it.

I don't have much of a quibble with that, except that what we should do should also be informed by desirable outcomes in general. For instance, LED light bulbs are clearly a win, as they save money while presenting no discernible downside except higher initial investment.

I'm glad to see you support nuclear power, keep it up!

There's other things we can do to cut the amount of carbon dioxide entering the air that aren't going to hit poor people disproportionately. I understand the argument that we're not sure enough of what's happening to do anything drastic, and the argument that we want to keep up economic and technological growth so we can do something when we're more certain of what to do, but I would like to see the science at least accepted.

The basic science is accepted by virtually everyone - CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas. The science that attempts to inform policy includes other controversial facets such as water vapor amplification. If the expected peak concentration of CO2 (550-600 PPM) will not cause problematic heating, there is no need for expensive, drastic action. Whether CO2 related warming will be problematic is still absolutely in dispute. Recent estimates for climate sensitivity to CO2 have been trending downwards.

Comment: Re:"Ends spy agency bulk collection of phone data" (Score 1) 142

by Loki_1929 (#49687383) Attached to: House Votes To End Spy Agencies' Bulk Collection of Phone Data

It looks like they are trying to say that, in order to bulk collect data, they must have a specific search they are running that involves a specific telephone line. See SEC 201.

Can someone define "tangible things" as in "SEC. 103. Prohibition on bulk collection of tangible things" or "“(i) Emergency authority for production of tangible things."

Well I'm sure the Executive branch can define it for you, though you may find the particulars of their definition convoluted and self-serving.

Comment: Re:Great. Let's sit here and wait for the next wav (Score 1, Insightful) 422

by Glock27 (#49675895) Attached to: Ice Loss In West Antarctica Is Speeding Up

Look at tetraethyl lead, the lead industry, and the scientists who discovered in the 1940s the horrible things TEL does to children, then read on why it wasn't banned until 1973.

Look at smoking, the scientists who started figuring out all the awful shit it does to the body, and the tobacco industry that spent 25 years fighting a systematic FUD campaign (and personal character attacks against them).

Now scientists have spent decades fleshing out the basic idea that Arrhenius articulated about 120 years ago and it's becoming increasingly a sign of lunacy to claim he wasn't right...

What was Arrhenius' estimated value for transient climate sensitivity to CO2 again?

There are many informed skeptics who understand the science, but don't believe we have enough information yet for drastic measures.

Yet just as smoking-causes-cancer denialism was the unbelievably stupid meme that Just Wouldn't Fucking Die because the tobacco industry kept funding it, and the leaded-gasoline-is-harmless denialism that was funded directly by the lead industry before that, now certain interests that want to burn and/or strip mine the word in the name of the Holy Lord's Next Quarterly Profit Report are funding a massive, systematic attack against any coherent action on climate change. And you people are falling for it. AGAIN.

What "coherent action on climate change" do you recommend, exactly? Not a single suggested mitigation will make a significant difference in the estimated (guesstimated) temperature by 2100. The one thing that would make a significant difference, if in fact there's a problem worth the effort, is a mass transition from coal to nuclear power worldwide (ESPECIALLY in China and India). However, apparently nuclear is anathema to the vast majority of climate alarmists and environmentalists, despite it being the safest power generation method in use by far.

Are we seriously expected to believe that 97% of the world's scientists are involved in some sort of massive scheme to... uh... steal grant money?

I think the majority of scientists involved are honest, if not doing a great job with the science. You should read Judith Curry's site for some rational discussion of the issue from a highly qualified climate scientist. As far as the way the science is being used to advocate social change, remember that the most effective lies contain a grain of truth...

Or that maybe damn near everyone who looks into what's going on realizes we really gotta do something about this crap?

Actually, that's not obvious at all. It is clear that more research is needed before taking drastic measures that will harm the poor around the world more than any other group. In the meantime, we should embark on win/win efforts such as a mass conversion from coal to nuclear energy. Coal power is bad from many perspectives, such as killing tens of thousands of people every year, increasing ocean acidification, and providing a rich source of organic mercury. Solar and wind are fine as long as they're cost-effective, but they aren't a good fit for base load power.

Comment: Re:Compares well (Score 2) 408

No-fault is about taking money away from lawyers, who used to litigate each and every auto accident as a lawsuit in court before the insurers would pay. Eventually the insurers decided that they spent more on lawyers than accident payments, and they had no reason to do so.

If you want to go back to the way things were, you are welcome to spend lots of time and money in court for trivial things, and see how you like it. I will provide you with expert witness testimony for $7.50/minute plus expenses. The lawyers charge more.

In general your insurer can figure out for themselves if you were at fault or not, and AAA insurance usually tells me when they think I was, or wasn't, when they set rates.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long

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