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Comment: Re:well.. (Score 1) 760

huh? we have fines and taxes that regularly force people out of their homes. In fact, non-payment of fines is a valid reason to have your home seized and forcibly sold to pay for the fine. It's why American fines can be very unfair, they are fixed, rather than scaled to impose a burden but not shatter a person.

No one sitting on millions in paid off assets would have any trouble paying a 50,000 dollar fine. But most farmers aren't sitting on paid off assets beyond the land (which is also difficult to sell in small batches, as people want to buy large contiguous land for farms, go try to sell a 7-9 acre plot in the bread basket to pay for a fine like this). Farmers usually have very large debts for all the heavy machinery required to farm (like any capital intensive business) and as they also run large debts to handle all the perishables required. Depending on when in planting season you find yourself, a farmer has a very variable net worth.

But some farmers are just rich, even if you don't "see" it. For example, I knew one who happened to have a family farm in what ended up becoming a major metro area (due to urban sprawl). He very smartly rezoned his agricultural property to residential before rules shifted to make that difficult, and now has a "farm" that sits on 150 acres of residential land. That land, in that area, is worth into the 10s of millions. He specifically is keeping it as a large scale asset that can be sold after his death and passed on to his heirs. But if he did something that required a 50,000 dollar fine, it would be trivial for him to pay it off, as anyone would extend him credit against the assets he is sitting on and he is in no real risk of ever losing that asset.

Comment: Re:well.. (Score 1) 760

there is one purpose to charging a higher fine to a very wealthy person than a poor person: incentives.

a 200 dollar fine is more than enough to convince a poor person to drive safe. It is hardly a blip on the radar for a rich person. The purpose of a punishment is to try and induce a change in behavior. You would probably do a lot better if when caught, the driver is forced to walk to his destination (without a cell phone or any such electronics to help pass the time or do work) and his car would be towed there (at his expense). But in a world where creative and highly embarrassing punishments are not allowed, and the only choice is fines, this is the best way to fine someone so it can be felt. That is the only point, a punishment that induces a change in behavior.

There is the other option of suspending licenses, and maybe a choice of "6 month suspension or 50k fine" would be better. Hiring a driver for 6 months would still be a significant cost.

Even switzerland, a country that loves rich people (if you have ever been there, you would understand just how much, including negotiating different income tax rates to induce wealthy people to come) uses this system:

Comment: Re: turn-about isn't just fair-play, it's PROPER p (Score 1) 765

by gordo3000 (#49318977) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy

The university is not a government institution and they didn't send these kids to jail. The university chose to no longer affiliate with that particular frat.

That sounds perfectly reasonable. The university has some standards of behavior to be an affiliated organization and chose because the behavior was not in keeping, to kick them out.

Under what law do you think the frat is protected?

Comment: Re:But they help also (Score 1) 366

by gordo3000 (#49291739) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

as you said, some regulations are out of date, but that isn't going to royally piss off people (i.e. radio isn't important when your car doesn't have radio in it).

But you get a bit extravagant on some of the arguable ones.

A cab and a customer have a commercial, short term relationship. Unless you want the government to require all cabbies to make their driving record available for inspection before I take the cab (unreasonable) a certain minimum amount of caution is warranted because customers are effectively stuck once in the cab. When a customer has no real way of distinguishing certain types of sellers based on quality, some minimum standards are required. Presumably, if I am a regular speeder, my family knows and has chosen to take the risk of being with me. Why can't the private market adapt? because there is no way for me to know anything about my driver.

Criminals are banned in many places, but without knowing German, Ii'm not sure on the extent of the law. Most places I have seen ban violent offenders, and at times drug offenders or DUI'ers. But of course, maybe Germany bans drivers who were caught jay walking. I doubt it though as I've been through their regulatory framework once and it was pretty damn reasonable (though mine was in a different sector).

Comment: Re:Why make it complicated? (Score 1) 366

by gordo3000 (#49291379) Attached to: Uber Shut Down In Multiple Countries Following Raids

The problem the GP was referring to was your insistence that the situation in NYC is somehow the standard for all taxi services in the world. That NYC is a fucked up place for taxi service does not in any way mean every place is (and of course, in NYC, where barriers are obscene, Uber is legal and hugely successful, with more cars on the road than medallion cabs).

Every city has different taxi standards, and Uber fails to live up even to the basic ones (commercial driver's licenses for drivers, adequate insurance, background checks, and note there are neither exhaustive or applicable to every city).

Many cities don't have the ridiculous limitation on cab count that NYC does. In London, literally anyone can become a licensed cab driver, and there is no spoken or unspoken limit on the number. So the question is, can you show an individual case where Uber is being shut down simply because it has not amassed required licenses that are artificially suppressed in amount by a city? I don't follow closely enough to bet the ranch, but so far the answer has been a resounding "no" in almost all cases.

Comment: Re:English belongs to the world (Score 1) 667

by gordo3000 (#49271301) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

people forget it is because the rest of the world has a leg up on American English. Hollywood and our music spread American English around the world, but there is no real force (besides crocodile dundee and an amazing first scene to Dumb and Dumber) to disseminate Australian English or British English in the US.

Most people don't realize how many American idioms or substitute words are subtly ingrained by this, and then wonder why Americans struggle with words they literally have never heard before.

Comment: Re: Breaking News (Score 1) 205

by gordo3000 (#49259501) Attached to: Steve Jobs's Big Miss: TV

And of course the GP missed out on all the varied music around the world that only recently was written down to "read". India. With an incredible breadth of music, I have never seen taught via sheet music (or seen sheet music for that matter) as it is almost all ad lib. And many other cultures (almost all outside Europe) never felt the need to write down a score.

Comment: Re:If "yes," then it's not self-driving (Score 2) 362

by gordo3000 (#49188307) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

I have never seen a single study to show that 0.08% is "too strict". In fact, it is extremely lenient by most other country standards. A quick perusal showed this:

It concluded impairment begins with any deviation, and almost all people are significantly impaired by 0.08% (lending credence to the idea that the line is too lenient, not too strict).
If you have a study that actually shows what you purport, I'm sure people would love to see it.

Comment: Re: Bad move (Score 1) 375

by gordo3000 (#49163381) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

really would probably be easier to just do "traditional pagerank search" or "fact rank search". Looking at both would give a nice spread of information, and shouldn't be too hard to manage. or, as you said, bring back the damn qualifiers. Those made life much easier.

I think one issue is that most websites that posit fringe theories don't posit any evidence at all. It isn't like there is a climate change denying website that posts ocean temperature data and land data along with relevant analysis that shows the current analysis is wrong when looking at a different data set. But when I do search about climate change, I would love for websites that walk you through the current data and how it is analyzed, without all the "hockey stick" pseudo controversy.

And of course, we assume google is trying to be some great arbiter. Instead, it is trying to get the information it's users are looking for to the top of a search result. I certainly hope people doing real research don't use google for data gathering. There are proper journals and forums for that. But me, as a non-professional with a random interest, don't know any of that.

Comment: Re: Bad move (Score 2) 375

by gordo3000 (#49163001) Attached to: Google Wants To Rank Websites Based On Facts Not Links

actually, on the point of zoroastrianism and fire temples,
I think this could make google so much more useful. If I want to see the research (I mean real research) on human reaction to mercury , and maybe any studies or abstracts about it, I can't really use google now. The first 200 website are anti vaccine websites. Instead I use something like wikipedia and work my way toward some research from the citations, and then use those base studies to scan for references that cite it (or the other way).

some things would be nice to sift facts from pseudo bullshit that spreads like wildfire.

Comment: Re:Drop it on Europa (Score 1) 119

by gordo3000 (#49035123) Attached to: NASA Releases Details of Titan Submarine Concept

I'm confused, and you seem to know something or another. why would the rate of heat loss be low? titan is extremely cold, and heat loss goes as the gradient of the temperature correct? Or are you saying there are obvious choices of gas which have very high levels of thermal expansion at those temperatures to make it that the temperature gradient isn't very large?

Comment: Re:Testing != Teaching (Score 1) 252

by gordo3000 (#49023557) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

if your career involved physics, you would run across that integral all the damn time. And just understanding the trick of squaring the integral and then implementing a change of variables can help later on with different problems. I always found that question to be the simplest way to check if you have learned about the value of doing a change of variables.

but then, (and I'm reaching into the way back machine here) I don't recall AP Calc of either level ever testing a gaussian integral. Maybe you really mean e^x^2 and they were just checking if you knew to ignore any work and just realize it is divergent and positive in both directions?

Comment: Re:Wrong Koch (Score 1) 222

by gordo3000 (#49002109) Attached to: GPG Programmer Werner Koch Is Running Out of Money

wait, you are so ignorant of the candidates the Koch brothers have supported in the last 3 election cycles you actually need someone to show you each candidate and their stance on the above policies? I am including the PAC money and which candidates it is deployed to support as well, of course.

Maybe you should actually start opening your eyes to what different candidates stand for. You seem to have fallen for the theory as compared to the political realities.

Here is what 3 minutes of searching did. Both Tom Cotton and Joni Ernst have said the Koch brothers funding was instrumental in getting them elected.

Both supported and continue to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
Both are strongly against gay marriage

But if you have a list of candidates who were well supported by the Koch political machine that actually opposed the wars, the drug war, restrictions on gay marriage, and civil asset forfeiture, I'll happily reconsider.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.