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Comment: Re:Nuremberg: fully automated subway, works. (Score 1) 179

by ductonius (#47958653) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

Vancouver, BC, Canada has Skytrain, which is fully automated. No drivers on any of the cars at any time. They can be driven manually at the yards and in emergencies, but never as a part of normal operation. The system is so reliable that the biggest problem they have is people getting impatient with short delays and forcing the doors open to walk down the causeway to the next station. Then they have to shut off that section of tracks until everyone is off, which makes the delay much longer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Comment: No wierdos allowed (Score 1) 299

This is why I have never been tempted to buy a ticket into Apple's "walled garden". It's not that it's overtly bad, it's just has a giant "no weirdos allowed" sign at the entrance. I *like* the weirdos. I find the fact that the weirdos can do their weirdo things comforting. When the wierdonium level in the social construct around me drops below a certain level I go into withdrawal. It's not a good thing! Weirdonium starts running from my pores in an attempt to fill the void. Luckily there's a place on Amazon that sells wierdonium cream. It helps.

Comment: Re:Corporate tax... not sure. (Score 1) 626

Your first paragraph could easily be reworded to show that personal income tax of the employees would be the "triple dip". This would make more sense since people have physical bodies with physical needs and thus taxing them hurts the whole socioeconomic system more than taking the money of a bodiless, nebulous entity that can exist on unicorn dreams and pixie dust.

You say you loath corporations that amass wealth without giving back, but that's exactly what a corporation is for. The entire idea of the limited liability corporation is to create an entity that functions to realize far more wealth than it produces while shielding it's owners from any loss it might incur if what it does turns out to be a bad idea.

The crux of the problem with corporations is that everyone and everything exists inside a economic system which requires constant maintenance, both in the form of policy shifts to take into account changing conditions, and in the physical form with the maintenance of infrastructure (transportation, communication etc). Governments at various levels generally perform this maintenance and need funds to do so. Taxes are how these funds are raised and as such function as a fee on participation in the system that enabled profit in the first place.

A properly functioning corporation will never voluntary give up wealth. At the same time, maintenance of the economic system needs money.

Taxes on corporations need to be strictly enforced and extensive enough to ensure corporations pay for what they've benefited from. The alternative is exactly what you loathe: giant corporations that exist simply to capture and hold as much wealth as possible.

Comment: Re:Balancing risk vs. reward indeed (Score 2) 204

Human beings are a technological species. Without the things we know and the tools we make, merely reproducing often proves fatal for women. The idea that the future should or even can hold a fewer, not greater number and complexity of human technology is both shortsighted and foolish in the extreme. It condemns millions to short, brutish lives and painful, tortuous deaths. The solution to our problems is an increased knowledge and awareness of the world around us. That is, the solution is an increase in technology, and with that increase of technology is an increased need for energy to process raw materials into the products of technology. The peculiarities of a particular dysfunctional country aside, the solution is always more energy.

Now, where are we going to get it from? Renewables do not scale big enough or fast enough and they aren't available where the energy is needed. They're great for supplemental power where they're available, but they're not the solution. That leaves coal and nuclear.

The energy will come from somewhere. There is no option for "no increased energy production". If you don't pick nuclear you pick coal.

Comment: Re:Balancing risk vs. reward indeed (Score 1) 204

I am far more concerned with human lives than bank accounts and while I realize that the current economic system tends to make the former dependent on the latter, that is not an argument against nuclear power, it's an argument for the restructuring of global finance.

Not all nuclear technologies are equal. Conflating the reactors at Chernobyl or Fukushima with other designs like CANDU or even Magnox which have suffered no major accidents is itself disingenuous. The only argument the anti-nuclear side has is highlighting the worst and ignoring everything that has gone right and is going right with nuclear power while at the same time ignoring the very deadly, very damaging and very real consequences of choosing not to adopt nuclear power.

Comment: Re:Balancing risk vs. reward indeed (Score 4, Informative) 204

All I see in your post is a bunch of "ifs", "mights" and "maybes".

Your brain seems to be operating on nothing but ignorant fear. Proof of this is when you said: "There is no other energy source that can create problems on such scale in such a short time."

Hydroelectric dam failure has already created worse disasters in a smaller amount of time. Coal slurry pond failure has also already created larger disasters in shorter periods of time. Normally operating coal plants are creating a larger disaster over a larger area over a longer period of time as we speak. Even if you count the deaths in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear energy has killed fewer people per TW/h than any other source of energy.

You seem to show ignorance of both nuclear and conventional energy sources. Your lack of insight and understanding have created a preference for larger assured disasters that you can understand easily over smaller possible disasters that are difficult for you to understand.

I would recommend you inform yourself and reexamine your opinions.

Comment: Welcome to my world! (Score 3, Insightful) 143

by ductonius (#38935029) Attached to: Simulators Take the Humans Out of Hiring

Companies are only now figuring out that desk monkeys actually have to *do* something? Performance based evaluation is the norm in skilled trades. I have to pass practical test to retain my welding certifications. I will be asked to do something fairly complex when I start a new job (which all have trial periods akin to extended interviews) just to see what I can handle. Hopefully this type of evaluation eventually gets applied to management.

Comment: Re:Apprenticeships (Score 1) 427

by ductonius (#36647122) Attached to: Calling BS On Unpaid Internships

The fact that inexperienced people need to be watched out for is a normal part of life and a normal part of human existence. If you or your company cannot handle this is unable or unwilling to pay your least experienced workers a decent wage then your company does not possess sufficient merit and is not worthy to be in business.

If your circumstances are such that you wish to produce products upon which the human lives depend, it is your job to hire competent employees who are up to the challenge. If they cannot be hired and you still wish to produce such products then it is your job to train them and pay them a decent wage while you do. If you are unwilling to pay them decently while you train them then you should not be producing products upon which human lives depend.

Comment: Re:Apprenticeships (Score 5, Interesting) 427

by ductonius (#36643212) Attached to: Calling BS On Unpaid Internships

I work in industry, and apprentices get payed in every blue collar job I've had contact with. Not only do they get paid, but get payed above average starting wage for that place in the world. If you're an apprentice that means someone with much more experience recognizes you have talent that's useful and can develop. You get treated like you're worth something, because you are.

The fact that many interns are unpaid is a tacit admittance that the workers are inherently worthless to the company. Unpaid internships need to be made criminal. They are the systematization and normalization of worker exploitation.

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