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Comment Re: "Mimic the act of driving"? (Score 1) 157 157

This would be better than wrong regulation. No regulation means that each car company is exposed to civil liabilities and brand damage, which is all the incentive they need to keep things pretty safe.

You could make exactly the same argument with respect to human drivers and driver's licenses - that you don't need licenses because each person is exposed to civil liabilities and has a personal reputation. Yet we still require humans to be licensed to drive, and that's when we know the failure modes very well. We have no idea what the failure modes might be for some new algorithm. We can't just release them into the wild all willy-nilly and hope for the best.

Yes, regulation slows progress to a degree. That's fine - it is both a feature and a bug. Self driving cars don't need to be here tomorrow. Why not take our time and do it right, rather than rush it and run the risk of deploying the technology before it's ready?

Comment Re: To be more precise, Amazon will collect on tax (Score 3, Insightful) 243 243

You don't seem to get it either. If you can increase your profit by raising prices, you should do it, regardless of the tax rate. Yes, we understand your point that at some level taxation lowers ROI to the point that it's not worth it to invest. Nobody is suggesting the tax rate should be that high.

Comment Re:What a wonderful unit! (Score 1) 332 332

Actually it's even worse than that 178 gallons per capita per day ~ 670 liters. A lot of that is probably due to watering lawns though, something you don't need to do much in the UK I imagine. Swimming pool evaporation is another one you don't have much of.

I wonder where the rest of the difference goes? Less efficient clothes and dish washing machines maybe?

Comment Re:Everyone loves taxes (Score 2) 173 173

get back to being a government, not a sociology project.

What does this even mean? Isn't any government a sociology project?

we all see government waste every single day, why would anyone want to give them more money?

Waste is everywhere. In fact, Americans in general are the moste wasteful people in the world. Just look at their energy consumption and refuse production per capita. Just because government is wasteful doesn't mean that we should just abandon it completely. Many of our government services (protection, education, utilities, law enforcement...) we don't have a more efficient alternative for. Yes, you can privatize them, but only at the expense of losing control over them.

Also, private doesn't necessarily mean more efficient. Just look at the US's health care system. It is far less cost-efficient than the public systems of Europe.

Comment Re:Less Hedonic ahttp://slashdot.orgnd Imputed GDP (Score 1) 417 417

Indeed, the reason hedonic and imputed values are added to the GDP - together about $6 trillion - or a spare Japan - is to keep the debt/GDP near 100%.

Or maybe it's because (in the case of imputed) we need to quantify the value of someone owning their home and living in it. Consider that if everyone owned a home, but rented it to someone else (and rented a home for themselves with the proceeds) , you would have the exact same situation as if everyone just lived in their own home. Except that without imputed value the latter would contribute nothing to GDP, while the former would contribute massively.

To remove the (artificial) fluctuations from people switching from ownership to renting, we just calculate it as if everyone was renting.

In the end all that really matters is that you calculate GDP consistently from year to year - and including hedonic and imputed values makes our measurements more consistent. All that matters is the trend.

Disobedience: The silver lining to the cloud of servitude. -- Ambrose Bierce

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