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Comment Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1, Flamebait) 609

>NOMINATE scales people based on their choices relative to contemporaries

That's exactly *why* it works across decades. Because it allows a continuous chain of comparison even between people who never served together. (E.g, person A served with person B, person B later served with person C, person C later served with person D, etc)

Comment Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 5, Informative) 609

> "JFK was more conservative than most conservatives are today"


Keith T. Poole at the University of Georgia has built his career on quanitfying the liberality/conservativeness of politics.

I couldn't find his numbers for John Kennedy, but he gave John Kennedy a -.318 during the 83rd Congress, making him the 15th most liberal member of that body. By comparison, in today's Senate, he'd rank as the 31st most liberal senator, between Senators Wyden and Murphy, and more liberal than EVERY SINGLE Republican in Congress.

Comment Re:if you want your day in court (Score 1, Insightful) 215

> Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each), imagine a case where the harm suffered is small-but-nonzero. (For example, a few years back, the music CDs with the rootkits on them. For most people, the harm is the cost of the CD, around $15. Maybe twice to four times that if you want to include the cost of rootkit removal) In those cases, nobody in their right mind is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to file a lawsuit to recover $15. So the victim's choice is a class action suit or nothing at all.

Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 0) 661

About as scientific as climate science. Meaning, each have theories at the micro level that have been tested using experimentation (ie. supply and demand, absorption of radiation by greenhouse gases, etc). But at the macro-level, each attempts to model extremely chaotic systems through (mostly) observation and pattern fitting.

So, don't be all smug about economics not being very scientific, because climatology isn't all that far ahead of it.

Comment Re:Too Bad. (Score 1) 40

I'm not a lawyer either, but FYI even if the judge had agreed to dismiss the charges, that would not be binding on other courts either. It would not have become binding unless one side or the other appealed and the circuit court and got a decision there. That decision would then become binding on *only* that circuit.

Comment Re:Pitivi is such a POS (Score 3, Interesting) 79

Agreed - it's a POS.

I installed Pitivi .15.2 from from the repos. It literally took me less than 2 minutes to crash it. It died as soon as I imported an mp3 to use as audio. (NOTE: Their website says not to report .15.2 bugs. They are evidently not supporting it anymore)

Then, following the suggestions posted here, I grabbed the latest version from source (which through trial and error, I found required adding a source repo and installing build dependencies before attempting to install from source). I configured it, built it, and tried to run it. It immediately errored out, complaining that I need to install yet more missing dependencies (GES this time). I googled the problem, saw lots of people complaing about this, and found some vague instructions on the pitivi wiki ( explaining how to install it.

At this point, I threw in the towel.

Comment Re:or stop hiding... (Score 1) 377

"Face it, the evidence is that the USA has no real interest in Assange." - that's bullshit. Even while denying that he's under indictment, the official who said it was only half-hearted in his denial: "Nothing has occurred so far," ( -- )

"So far" being the operative word. And that sounds like a lot more interest than none at all.

Comment Re:or stop hiding... (Score 2) 377

"It would be easier for the US to get him extradited from the UK than from Sweden." -- except he isn't in the UK. He's in Ecuador. And when Whitehall floated the idea that they could violate the integrity of the Ecuadorian embassy to arrested him, it blew up in their faces. Doing so would effectively open up their embassies to similar retaliation by every other country in the world.

Comment Re:Land of the Free! (Score 1) 370

You know how I can tell you've not done any real fishing or hunting in your life? Because you believe if PETA can't "monitor" sportsmen, that sportsmen will not be monitored. But in reality, wildlife and natural resources officers constantly monitor sportsmen.

But please, don't let facts get in the way of you bashing the gun lobby.

Comment Re:Ungrateful krauts (Score 1) 606

I am thinking that most of those corporations measure productivity by hours spent in front of a computer, which means they see younger programmers working 80 hours a week spitting out the same code that would take an older programmer 40 hours to be "more productive".

But your point is well taken; perception of productivity is pretty messed up and I think that explains a big part of why these workers are striking.

Comment Re:Ungrateful krauts (Score 1, Insightful) 606

OMG. If that is what Europe really wants, then they can keep it. Maybe they don't realize that workers don't magically become "productive" out of the womb. Nor do they when someone hands them a diploma. Productivity increases with experience.

By saying a nation should only employ productive workers and leave the unproductive unemployed, you are effectively saying that anyone young should just be a dependent of the state while older people get to reap the benefits of labor shortages.

So what happens when your older "productive" workers all retire? All of those "unproductive" young people you wanted to keep unemployed will still be unproductive. I suppose you could just import productive immigrants. But eventually nobody will want to come to your country because you're going to have to tax most of their pay in order to support the multitudes of unproductive people in your country.

No. I think I prefer America's way of doing things. We provide subsidies to our low-wage earners in the hopes that they increase their productivity through experience. It isn't perfect, but it is at least sustainable.

The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to work.