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Comment: Re:Common sense here folks (Score 1) 107

Sometimes common sense is just wrong, particularly when it comes to predicting the behavior of other people who might not agree with what you consider "common sense". If you check his publications in Google Scholar, this guy's been publishing surgical neuroscience papers in real journals since around 1990. I think he really intends to try this.

Comment: Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 1) 331

The main problem of receiving compensation commensurate to the "value" your profession is that you're at the mercy of the other people who share your profession.

People who become lawyers tend to be good negotiators. People who become accountants tend to be risk-averse. You could argue that the baseline value of these two should be similar, but it isn't because there are far more unemployed and underemployed lawyers in the market than accountants. Yet the average salary of lawyers is far higher than accountants. Why? Because accountants as a whole aren't as opportunistic, don't tolerate as much risk, and nobody is sticking their neck out to raise the bar.

If fast food work could attract the same kind of people that lawyering does, fast food workers would be some of the highest paid workers in the country. But it doesn't, that work attracts disengaged or otherwise engaged people who just need some job for the moment. People like that tend to negotiate towards a minimum of commitment and responsibility so they can focus on other things rather than towards a higher paycheck.

Comment: Re:Solar is here to stay (Score 1) 533

by Maxo-Texas (#49540049) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

In another 10 years, those will be actual renewable system batteries. A lot of money is going into batteries now-- prices are dropping at microprocessor like rates. And they recently found a new technology around non-rare, non-explosive elements.

I greatly prefer conservation up front over power generation on the back end however.

But batteries are improving rapidly at this point while at the same time prices are dropping rapidly.

Comment: Re:More from wiki... (Score 1) 252

by hey! (#49538351) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

Fraud she certainly is, but the fraud was so transparent that clearly she's not right in her head.

While the financial aspect of this makes her culpable, building an outrageous fraud around readily disprovable details of your personal biography is a very bad idea in the long run if you're simply a con artist. Doing that suggests that there are short term needs that trump simple financial considerations. Perhaps she felt she deserved more sympathy, nurturance and nurturance than she'd gotten in life. That's common enough that there's name for it: Factitious Disorder.

Over the years I've read many stories of people who assumed false biographies. Most often this took obvious forms -- passing for white before the Civil Rights Era. But in some cases people chose to assume minority identities, particularly as American Indians in the early 20th C. Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance was (by the terminology of the age) a negro with some Cherokee ancestry. He ran away to join a wild west show where he learned from Cherokee language from other performers, used that to get into Carlisle Indian School and later traded up his "Cherokee" identity for a Plains Indian one. Wenjiganooshiinh -- "Grey Owl" -- was an Englishman who was abandoned by his father in childhood then later adopted an Apache/Ojibwe identity.

What makes these two men relevant to this case is that they were both advocates of Indian rights. As outsiders, they understood what sympathetic outsiders wanted Indians to be better than an Indian would. And they would't have been able to pull it off if they weren't a little off their nut; if they didn't want to escape who they were for a more glamorous alternative.

Comment: Re:Stolen valor, anyone? (Score 1) 252

by hey! (#49537759) Attached to: Wellness App Author Lied About Cancer Diagnosis

If involves breaking the law -- not just some kind of namby-pamby administrative regulation but the basic stuff of civilization like like the prohibitions on assault or murder -- then I'll sure as hell tell what not to do.

If you're a veteran I'll gladly shake your hand and thank you for your service. I'd be honored to buy you a drink. But I won't hand you a get out of jail free card.

Have a little perspective. Yes it's wrong to impersonate a veteran, but it doesn't impugn the character of veterans. But claiming that all veterans will and should overreact to a breach of propriety with violence *does* impugn their character. Which is worse?

Comment: Re:Back to the future (Score 4, Informative) 78

by Obfuscant (#49533067) Attached to: Facebook's "Hello" Tells You Who's Calling Before You Pick Up

Because the corporations who started off using these call centers got exemptions to be able to spoof it,

Corporations who run telemarketing call centers didn't have to get an exemption to spoof calling number id services, they simply used the existing mechanisms available to all users of bulk phone services.

Corporations who have their own PBXs have always had a need to be able to specify the calling number ID of their outgoing calls. Those who have multiple outgoing lines often want to have a unified, common outgoing caller id sent that points to their main incoming number.

As for Facebook being able to help out, that's only for people who have told Facebook their phone number. If you're stupid enough to do that, you deserve to have all your data sent to anyone you call. The solution is simple: don't call people you don't want to know who is calling.

And here's another tidbit: you think you suppress your caller id when you call a business, but if you call their toll-free number they get it anyway. They're paying for the call, they get the data.

Comment: Re:They should be doing the opposite (Score 1) 297

Well, the idea of copyright is to incent creators to create, not to reward them per se. So the sensible way of approaching is to ask how many years in advance a reasonable person would make economic plans for.

Corporations seldom worry about income streams ten years out; such future income is discounted to insignificance. On the other hand an artist planning on managing his own creations might very reasonable think about fifty years out. Seventy-five years is beyond the pale of reason if we're talking about incenting creation. So is any extension of pre-existing copyrights.

If we wanted to maximize the present value of future income to an artist contemplating creating or performing a song, I think a fifty year term would be reasonable, with the proviso that any assigned rights automatically return to him without encumbrance after ten or fifteen years. Such an arrangement would have no impact economic on his ability to sell the rights to his work immediately, and hold out the promise of getting a second bite of the apple in a decade or so.

Comment: Re:I'm driving a rented Nissan Pathfinder while my (Score 1) 605

by hey! (#49530413) Attached to: Cheap Gas Fuels Switch From Electric Cars To SUVs

There's a phase people go through in life where commitments pile up and play becomes something we intend to get around to. Look around. If you decorate your office space with posters of kayaking/rock climbing/whatever you're into, but you haven't actually done it in the last year because you don't have time, you have entered that phase.

The thing is, people in that phase still dress the part of their younger selves. And for a while at least they even still buy the stuff, until they don't have space for it.

People buy SUVs, even though they're ridiculously impractical for their situation, as a fashion statement. Turning a car from a utilitarian object into a fashion statement is what automobile marketing is all about. Look at SUV ads; what you're telling the world (or perhaps yourself) is that maybe on a whim you'll go off-roading or picnicking on the beach, instead of commuting to and from work, making runs to the supermarket, or chauffeuring your kids to soccer and music lessons. It could happen. Only it won't.

That's the reason SUVs back into parking spaces. Subconsciously their drivers are longing for a quick escape that will never come. SUVs would be the saddest of vehicles, or they would be if the people who bought them had a little more self-awareness.

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