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Comment: Remove the Public (Score 0) 514

by johnwerneken (#48941233) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Democracy is NOT about people getting government to do stuff, regardless of what. It is about using the people's collective diversity and stability as one of the CHECKS on the government over-extending its power in any direction, i.e. throwing the bastards out.

It ought not therefore to matter if people in general were 100% wrong or 100% right on anything besides their judgement of the over-all state of affairs as affects they themselves (which is the only thing most of us can be trusted to grasp accurately at all).

Leave arguments about harm to lawsuits for damages. Let those who think they can mobilize capital, workers, ideas, and organization to produce goods and services that will provide an attractive investment attempt to do so, whether they frack, nuke, gene splice, rocket, Uber, burn coal, or whatever. Those opposed need not buy. Those damaged can sue. Those providing allegedly more attractive alternatives can try their luck too.

Comment: traditional and for good reason (Score 1) 206

by johnwerneken (#48810427) Attached to: China's Engineering Mega-Projects Dwarf the Great Wall

Megaprojects tend to be viewed as impressive or as to impress; as useful or not; as profitable or not. Chinese megaprojects are ALSO, perhaps MOSTLY, about creating and sustaining China as a nation, a people, a unified and long lasting thing. The Great Wall and the Grand Canal both had predecessors, going back to the earliest days of unified China. no megaprojects, no China.

Comment: Action matters facts do not (Score 0) 839

by johnwerneken (#48161755) Attached to: Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

How much to tax from whom by what means: these are matters of opinion, as Gates says. Tax labor less, consumption more, and eliminate subsidy granted by silly tax breaks (such as 'carried interest') for the earnings of capital, especially finance capital.

What to do is the core of these kinds of discussions, just as it is with pollution impacts on climate. Exactly what is going on is not relevant.

Piketty is clueless about capital, except as to the point Mr. Gates restates: inequality is a NECESSARY part of capital and of progress by any means, inescapably so. But social cohesion is also, and at some point, inequality can undermine social cohesion, just as boneheaded support for cohesion can suppress progress.

Comment: great idea you go Gates (Score 0) 363

by johnwerneken (#47843427) Attached to: Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?

Gates has made a life out of taking good ideas and making them universally known and available, but as OPTIONS. Fearing capability is stupid.

I'm with Einstein: "There are two infinite things, the Universe and Stupidity, and I am uncertain about the first". The hoi polloi are not infinite although their stupidity may well prove to be.

Afraid of Bill? Are you kidding?

Comment: not a Holy war (Score -1) 159

by johnwerneken (#47723449) Attached to: Microsoft Lobby Denies the State of Chile Access To Free Software

Free software can be problematic also.

For one, serious use isn't free...enterprise use requires growing or renting expertise. Many of the major stuff, such as Mozilla, are supported by groups that actually do at least in part require funding.

For another, all open licenses are not the same - can matter depending on what one intends to do

Yet another, sometimes unintended consequences like Heartbleed are included equally 'free' yea right.

Then there are things like shooter games and windows vs linux.

Finally, some of the commercial stuff works well in some respects,; Chrome is not bad on security although personally I do not like it's approach to customizations and store aps (Chrome is not exactly free it's part of the driving forward of the Googlezillan Empire)

Also, some political entities, being supposedly sovereign, actually support intellectual property in the sense that Windows or Nvidia or HP drivers are not penetrable by ordinary mortals, but at least most of the time developed in a coherent manner. I myself prefer the idea that inventors/investors/first movers will do at least as well without DMCA, but not everyone agrees.

Comment: About time something intelligent was tried. (Score 0) 194

by johnwerneken (#47511221) Attached to: A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

About time something intelligent was tried.

People who have never paid for a product normally available only for sale ought to pay. Those who pay ought to be able to do exactly what they please with it. Including giving away free copies.

People wishing to exchange such free copies will find a way to do so, including by forming groups for that purpose, no matter what.

People whom attempt to PROFIT out of running such groups are another matter - these people are properly targets for lawsuits by the people who should be receiving that money.

Comment: GOD economists are STUPID (Score 0) 778

The places likely to raise a minimum wage are the places where stuff cots too darn much. Because people want to be there. Because they or parts of them are booming. So lower wage people are angriest there. And also there is where one finds both the most people whose wages are so high they don't care what stuff costs, and the most people ideologically inclined to think that it is legitimate for government to attempt to be charitable to the things they themselves believe deserve charity. Hence the minimum wage kikes don't cause unemployment at the low end, as the hikes are being CAUSED by employment at the high end.

Those who think any government should do anything besides what governments are intended to do - protect life liberty and property by providing military security and domestic order and law, and foster prosperity through sound currency, sound law and sound infrastructure - those people really need to either pay the bill for it personally, or convince a majority in 3/4 of the States to impose a national value added tax to fund their goal.

Otherwise to Hell with it, no matter what it is.

To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most.