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Comment: Wealth is electrons, Money is holes (Score 1) 91

by jd.schmidt (#46626141) Attached to: Book Review: Money: The Unauthorized Biography
Once upon a time, gold money may have been wealth in itself, but today that quaint method of business is long gone. Money, holes, facilitates the movement of wealth, but is not wealth itself. Frankly the last thing any rich person wants is a big pile of money sitting around doing nothing. To a large degree our fascination with money has caused us to lose sight of the wealth it really represents. Money today is just a measuring stick of wealth, and an elastic one at that. Had more people looked not at the loans, but at the real property and wealth it represented, the real-estate bubble could have been avoided. Indeed most bubbles could deflate if people better understood what they really had bought.

Comment: Re:What. (Score 1) 284

by jd.schmidt (#46606555) Attached to: U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'
The fairness doctrine, at the time is was implemented was specifically ruled as constitutional. Technologically at the time, bandwidth was severely limited and so those leasing publicly shared airwaves had multiple obligations to insure the majority of the public had an opportunity to use them, or at least have their opinion represented on them. Today they serve little purpose of course, well other than as rallying cries for paranoid conservatives.

Comment: Selling your ill gotten gains (Score 1) 704

by jd.schmidt (#46400955) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft
I wonder how much the coins can really be sold for? How much has actually been paid for Bitcoins over the years, sure someone somewhere paid $40 for a Bitcoin, but for the most part people paid much less for the coins they have, if they paid anything at all and didn't mine them. The market seems small enough that you could pump coin price with a bunch of bogus transactions between parties in cahoots, then dump your coins.

Comment: Re:Here's what's funny about all of this (Score 1) 159

by jd.schmidt (#46124857) Attached to: Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi
To me the resolution to the apparent paradox is more information not less, in this case more oversight and transparency in government agencies. J. Edgar got away with the total BS he did because he himself was not being monitored. If we openly know and discuss how policing is done in our country, at least we have a chance to talk about if we like it or not.

Comment: Secret of Immigrants, lazy people stay home (Score 1) 397

The real issue with immigrants has little to do with culture, immigrants by their very nature have self-selected to be more ambitious. If good enough is good enough then you stay in your home country, immigrating to another country is a great deal of work. I wouldn't look at the culture but rather of the qualities of the individuals themselves. Of course people come to the U.S. for all kinds of reasons, so the nature of how they came matters. Where culture does matter is in expectations. When you look for something, once you find it you tend to stop looking. At the end of the day your culture doesn’t accept good enough, then you won’t either. Of course high expectations and cultural pressure has a personal cost also and can lead to unethical behavior.

Comment: Re:China is overreacting (Score 1) 94

Well, to be clear I don't deny addiction can be real (as I mentioned in my post), but on the face of it this program seems more like a feel good "get tough" kind of solution than a real one based in science. Indeed the one size fits all kind of approach doesn’t sound like treating underlying issues to me.

Comment: China is overreacting (Score 1) 94

Really, the parents can's just take away the kid's computer and money for accounts? I don't think I would trust this place with my kids. While I am sure some kids have a real problem, unlike most drugs computer games have no physically addictive properties. This sounds like overkill to me, whipping up parents fears against reason. I have two kids, two full time plus working parents and we have enought control to at least cut the kids off when we need to. I can't see how this kind of nonsense is needed.

Comment: What every high scoring country has in common (Score 1) 715

by jd.schmidt (#45945945) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?
There are many different systems throughout the world, but there is one thing every country with good schools has in common. Teaching is a highly respected job. Not always the highest paid, but always desirable. This should be a big DUH moment if you think about it, a teacher skills and talents really matter, and the more desirable a job the more candidates you have to select from. If you care about schools, attracting the best teachers is the first step always.

Comment: The military perspective is myopic by nature (Score 1) 341

by jd.schmidt (#45900101) Attached to: The Quiet Fury of Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
It is very good to get Gates point of view of the situation, but remember the Military has a specific mission that doesn't always match the goal of the society. Take for example Vietnam War, the military rightly asks themselves how they could have better fought the war and win it, also how the military could have avoided most of the political fallout from the cost of running the war. However what the military never, and can never, ask themselves is are we fighting the right war. Even people who still believe in the domino theory, like Henry Kissinger, think that Vietnam could have been a cheaper delaying action and neighboring countries where we had more stable governments could have been the better place to make a stand. Likewise in Iraq and Afghanistan today, there is no reason to believe a democratic government reflecting the will of the people would be a staunch U.S. ally. That doesn't mean they shouldn't have democracy, but to me it puts sharp limits on how large a price the U.S. should pay to achieve the goal. It will be inherently frustrating for the Military, after all real people are dying (big HINT, think very carefully before starting a war!), none the less that doesn’t mean you throw more lives away without real measurable benefits. Interestingly, Gates has much worse words for Congress than the President, though most of the headlines I see are about the Gates comments about the President. I bet the lack of support in foreign policy from Congress figures into the President’s decisions about the war.

Comment: Real issue is people are adapting too slowly (Score 1) 674

by jd.schmidt (#45890649) Attached to: The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

First, there is infinite work in cyberspace. There is no limit to the number of ways things can be done better, and since these types of improvements take very few resources there is no reason for employment not to pick up.

If you think about it, you realize that when a robot replaces a job, it *should* be making every other job the robot can't do more valuable. The issue is people need to be able to stand up for themselves and get more money for what they do as the economy becomes automated. Many of these so called bad jobs pay low because of inertia and tradition, not because the pay really reflects their true value to the economy.

Comment: Re:Is Bill Nye qualified? (Score 4, Insightful) 611

by jd.schmidt (#45851959) Attached to: Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

Probably more qualified than most scientist. Being used to public speaking puts him ahead of the game if anything. This kind of thing tends to be more broad than deep. In the occasions where it does go into deep and narrow specifics, those are mostly gotchas, they normally do have answers but unless you know that specific one it is hard to come up with an answer without time to think about it.

"Life sucks, but death doesn't put out at all...." -- Thomas J. Kopp

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