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Comment: Re:End the Fed! (Score 1) 160

by istartedi (#49332017) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

Not to mention that many diseases were a death sentence in 1913. Sure, health care was cheap. The doctor would take a chicken in trade; but all he had was a black bag. Appendicitis? surgical mortality was much higher. Polio? No vaccine. That's why FDR was in a wheel chair. Today? We can even cure some cancers if we catch them in time. Yeah, paying premiums sucks. I just paid mine today. Hate it; but I have no desire to go back to 1913.

Comment: The design is relatively simple (Score 2) 338

by istartedi (#49331939) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

The design of the bombs is not the problem. Getting fissile material to build the trigger is the problem. Even a large corporation could probably not enrich uranium without attracting attention. Unless the book contains some method that Joe Sixpack can use to leach highly-enriched uranium from tailings or something, it's not a threat.

Comment: Reminds me of my old decision process (Score 1) 107

by istartedi (#49311225) Attached to: A Sucker Is Optimized Every Minute

It's been years since I've thought about it. When I was young and first got exposed to the whole concept of "making big decisions" I realized something. The process was like this: 1. Gather data. 2. Make chart of pros-and cons. 3. Come up with some kind of way to weight the data, ultimately arriving at some numbers that suggested the best course of action. 4. Screw it all and go with your gut.

It's obvious to think that you could cut out the first 3 steps. The big revelation for me was to realize that while steps 1-3 were important, the disappointment I felt over the numerical outcome was important too. It was like there was symbiosis between data and emotion.

An extreme example of "only looking at numbers" came to me in my late 30s. It was suggested that I should remain on the East Coast because "taxes are high in California".

Comment: If I really want to send money to friends... (Score 1) 95

by istartedi (#49280267) Attached to: Facebook Introduces Payment System

I already have a system. It works like this: "I'm out of cash, will you pick up this tab?". "Yeah, no problem. I owe you for pizza last night anyway". A long time ago, we were BSing over some beers and jokingly floated the notion of "pizza currency"--an entire economy backed by pizza as a highly perishable store of wealth, thus requiring some unique accommodations. In reality though, "pizza currency" transactions are small dollar figures that tend to cancel out in the long run among true friends. Everybody knows who the mooch is, and unless they have some legitimate reason for being that poor, they're not your friend.

So. It might be cute to have a hi-tech "friend money ledger" that keeps track of who is in debt, etc.; No actual banking is necessary for that. It could have been done with some Perl script in a few hours, and probably already has been done at some point; but it might do more harm than good to some friendships.

Aside from that, there's the obvious problem of giving real ACH power to FB; but others have covered that angle nicely.

Comment: Re:Or will it? (Score 1) 132

I think you may have done a better job of elucidating this than I did when I ranted along similar lines on Slashdot.

We still don't have a name for this Godwin-like law though, which perhaps is most succinctly formulated as "anything that can be inferred will be inferred". I suppose that would simply make it a corollary of Murphy's Law; but I still think it deserves its own law.

Comment: Re:Another explanation-economy is really bad (Score 1) 283

I would be happier if your links were from some place other than Zero Hedge. They're a broken clock when it comes to economic catastrophe. Sooner or later they'll be right, simply because recessions happen now and then. Sometimes I think that what might happen is that the US economy does really well, people lose interest in doom and gloom. Then, ZH shuts down due to lack of Interest, and just a few weeks later the market crashes 50%. On a smaller scale, that reminds me of Kitco firing John Nadler at the height of the most recent peaks in precious metals. Nadler was a critic of the gold market, if not an actual gold bear. He was repeatedly trashed on sites such as ZH. HIs firing, in retrospect, was a sign of a top.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 209

The internet is certainly better off without the 50% which is complete bullshit.

50%? You're way under-estimating, especially if you go on a straight SNR ratio. One stupid auto-playing video that should have been a brief essay (happens on Yahoo all the time) is enough to make a page almost 100% pure bullshit.

Comment: Re:Ban Jargon? Seriously? (Score 1) 44

Well, whatever. She has as good a chance at banning jargon as she does banning creole. It's human nature for distinct groups to communicate in distinct ways. As a man who has run afoul of jargon (I really embarrassed myself with "side effects" at some point) I didn't get bent out of shape about it. I learned and moved on. If you want to empower women, teach them how not to lose confidence when they look stupid. If looking stupid discourages you, software is no place to be. Anybody who has been programming for a while should have quite a few stories about how some bug made them feel stupid. Indeed, "all bugs are shallow" is a cliche, and yet they continue to bug us.

To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T