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Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 258

So then sex with Monica Lewinsky has been decided to be a good thing because Clinton was elected?

Last I checked, neither the House nor the Senate had made a vote asking Clinton to fuck her, so no.

Not every action by an elected government is the will of the people or the "right thing". And given that people are arguing here that it isn't even protectionism, makes me think that it isn't as settled as you assert.

First point: Of course not, but until we have a perfect liquid democracy, it is the closest thing we have, and for the moment, like it or not, it is the modus operandi of our western societies. So taking into account the realities of our lives, it has been decided.

Second point: Of course there will always be discussion in a multi-valued society. In every democratic decision, there's also a minority whose opinion did not win the day, and we allow them to continue voicing it.

Comment: Re:Things are simple... (Score 1) 258

Shop at the store to find what you want then order it online for $1 less is a fantasy you made up.

Not at all. I know both customers who do this and shops that had this problem and went belly up (very likely not just because of it, but it contributed).

Your examples are bad examples and they miss the point. We're talking about small, personal book stores, and you come with Best Buy and Fry.

Comment: love cash (Score 1) 334

by Tom (#47446843) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

I love cash. You can have it when you pry it from my col... wait... not quite. But for me to stop using cash, you have to make electronic cash work first. That means three things that are absolute requirements and I will not ever negotiate:

  1. It is anonymous and untraceable, at least for any practical purposes.
  2. It is as fast and easy to use as taking a bill from my wallet. If your e-cash solution takes more than about 5-10 seconds for a simple payment, it is too slow. I'm talking start-to-finish, including everything I have to do, the recipient has to do, and your system has to do.
  3. It works between two private individuals who meet in the middle of nowhere and don't have Internet at that moment.

As long as even one of these conditions is not met, I will have to carry cash around me anyways, and if I have cash with me, I will use it wherever I can.

Comment: The shoes are us (Score 1) 3

by PopeRatzo (#47446285) Attached to: 1k words

Even knowing that, Republicans will vote for Republicans and Democrats for Democrats and Libertarians for people who are not libertarian. Even knowing they're just putting the yin and yang into those crushing boots, they will continue to believe if they could only defeat other leg, once and for all, their lives would be glorious.

The one thing a Libertarian cartoonist won't tell you though, is if you follow those boots up to the legs, and the legs up to the pockets and the pockets up to the head, you will find the corporate wizard pulling the levers, whispering, "God...guns...gay rights...family values...free markets...climate change...Sarah Palin...Michael Moore...liebruls...wingnuts..." into the megaphone. He's a wizened little man, looks a lot like Sheldon Adleson, in fact, whose own legs have withered. He's the subject of the Picture of Dorian Gray. Call it, "The Picture of John Galt". Corrupt, suppurating and certain of his position among The Elect. Plump and parasitic.

It's so easy to blame team red or team blue, but only because The Commissioner likes to keep our attention focused on the heels and away from the head.

Comment: Re:Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (Score 1) 314

by PopeRatzo (#47445493) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

History is not going to be kind to the only liberal democracy in the middle east?

That's correct. A "liberal" democracy the same way South Africa was a "liberal democracy" during apartheid.

Now that I think about it, the Weimar Republic was also a "liberal democracy", as was the United States during the genocide of Native Americans and it's promotion of slavery.

Atrocity in a country that is otherwise supposedly "enlightened" stands out more, doesn't it? And make no mistake: the current government of Israel is perpetrating an atrocity right this minute.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 258

simply shrinking the market doesn't radically change things,

The market doesn't shrink. The market is the number of exchanged goods. The market doesn't care if there are 200 merchants or 250 merchants. What changes is the distribution of goods and merchants, and when the number of merchants is very low and their concentration of market power high, we get into situations (oligopoly, monopoly) that we do not want because we know they are bad.

If you want a book that isn't in the bestsellers list, then in your local town there's probably only one or two book shops that stock it at best and most likely none.

For the past 20 years, when I go to a bookstore and I want a book they don't have, they could almost always order it and have it for me the next day.

while it'd be nice to have geographically distributed demand for labour, in practice this has not been true since the invention of cities.

I'm not talking about a perfect equilibrium. I'm talking about the simple fact that if your country has one region with 50% unemployment rates and one region where employers can't find workers, your whole country will destabilze.

Of course there will always be differences. But if they get too extreme, the consequences are much higher and much more expensive then the costs of some small interventions.

What's more once you decide that lots of people deserve to be protected from changing times,

I never said anything like that and my arguments are completely unrelated to technical or other progress. So please burn the strawman somewhere else.

Comment: result of the lab/funding system (Score 4, Insightful) 96

by Trepidity (#47444813) Attached to: Elite Group of Researchers Rule Scientific Publishing

It's increasingly the job of professors at research universities in the sciences to be more of a "research manager" than a "researcher". They're expected to have a big lab of 5-15 students and postdocs, and to bring in enough grant funding to pay for this lab. The ones who are successful at this lab-head game bring in a bunch of money, have a large lab, and as a result oversee a lot of work that comes out of that lab, most of which has them as a co-author. Individual researchers without a team can't really compete against that.

"Engineering without management is art." -- Jeff Johnson

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