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Comment: Re:"Need" definable for social integration? (Score 1) 285

You may not "need" the latest smartphone but at the same time, especially among younger people, you could almost say you need to have a smartphone capable of accessing social networks in a reasonable manner because it's extremely difficult to integrate with many peer groups without one.

I picture this in the physical world like being a kid who has to sit in the closet during recess.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 285

The choice isn't pay a high wage or pay a low wage.

The choice is grow strawberries that you can sell at a price people will pay, or don't grow strawberries.

And yet, we don't see a wide range of wages for different farm crops or different physical (menial) services. Apparently, every consumer on the planet is only willing to pay for fruit/services that cost minimum wage to produce. Coincidence?

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 1) 218

by jwhitener (#49595099) Attached to: JavaScript Devs: Is It Still Worth Learning jQuery?

In the age of ever-closer-to-desktop-application websites, I'm only seeing more and more use of javascript frameworks - of which jquery is one...

I don't get why people call jquery a framework. It has never been a framework. The first sentence on their site is: "jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library".

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 591

That's irrelevant, as the justice system is not to be a method for taking revenge,

There are many recognized 'goods' that we attempt to reach with a justice system. Justice for the victims (the victims may consider this revenge), mitigating future crime, rehabilitation, social control, protection of society, etc..

That is why a lot of people who oppose the death penalty sometimes hesitate to answer if they would be pro or con if the victim was a close family member. A lot of the voting public, and politicians, support death penalty specifically as a means of revenge for the family or as revenge for their future selfs if they are ever victims. Whether the justice system words things as 'revenge' or as 'justice' is irrelevant, since so many people view the 'justice' as 'revenge'.

Comment: Re:Here's a better idea (Score 1) 678

by jwhitener (#49573597) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Except modern conventional agriculture requires two things: 1) lots of sun, and 2) lots of water. Those two items rarely are in the same region at the same time.

It makes a lot of sense to have agriculture growing in desert regions as opposed to wet/dark regions. It is far easier to deliver water to a desert than it would be to deliver more sun to a shady region.

A market price for water doesn't make a lot of sense, if you are thinking about that market price being the same that consumers pay. Urban consumers are paying price X because it is supporting the infrastructure and other resources used to deliver the water to their individual houses.

Farms aren't using any of the urban infrastructure to get their water. They have a whole 'nother set of pipes (where I lived it was a river, and you bought your own water pump to fill your own set of pipes, private infrastructure per farm), entirely different usage patterns, etc... I can see value in have some more market forces influence the price of agricultural water, but it would never make sense to have it be the same set of market forces that influence consumer water prices.

Plus, there are some goods that we intentionally subsidize, because the forces don't exist in the market, or the market would do a poor job of delivering the outcomes we want. Keeping food/power costs down, are often things that get direct or indirect subsidies because it is beneficial for so many people.

It would be an interesting experiment though, seeing if people would really want something like avocados if they cost 10 bucks because water was pricey.

Comment: Re:Interstate Water Sharing system (Score 1) 678

by jwhitener (#49572689) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Most of the crops need the strong sun. That is the entire reason people started growing there.....

The Yakima Valley in Washington is identical: hot and dry climate, fed by mountain reservoirs.

Lets say you did move the farms to a wetter area, like Seattle. Now what? You think it will be cost effective to hang lights over all the fields to mimic the amount of sunlight that most modern crops require?

Right now, water is still far cheaper to move around (or engineer projects to produce more) than creating artificial sunlight. Desert farming isn't going anywhere soon.

Comment: Re:Only need one Steve Jobs (Score 1) 397

by jwhitener (#49450565) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

There is a huge layer of people between Steve Jobs and the engineers you missed. For one example, UX designers (not the art side of things, the technical "evidence based" side of design...usability studies, statistics, etc...).

However you are correct that a coder, whose only job is to take a requirement sheet (compiled by someone else who met with the designers, customers, etc..) and code it, probably doesn't need a liberal arts education. Is that the majority of coding jobs though?

I would think that the job market has a lot more places open for people that are a bit more well rounded. Like, take a well educated guess based on the current usability best practices of an interface, present it to a client, code it, return to the client, deal with criticism, be willing to compromise your design in a bad way to make a customer happy, etc...

I'll have to look that up sometime: total 'jack of all trades' type coding jobs vs 'hamster in a wheel' type coding jobs at the huge companies (MS, Oracle, etc...) I'm making the assumption that you will find a lot more job opportunities being a jack of all trades type person. I could be wrong.

Comment: Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 1) 397

by jwhitener (#49450477) Attached to: Why America's Obsession With STEM Education Is Dangerous

Technocrats are often valuable additions to a society, but they cause unrest because they believe that there is nothing to the human condition other than the application of technology. This is often hilariously, and occasionally horrifically, wrong.

Very true. And it needs to be said more often.

There seems to be another side to technocrats: the assumption that because their subject matter in school and later in work is difficult for most people to master, that any subject that is perceived as easier to master is a subject that they are qualified to discuss intelligently or comment on.

For example, take every Slashdot discussion on the Humanities. Or...sadly enough most discussions about things like AGW. "I can write kernel code so of course I'm smart enough to figure out why all the climate scientists are wrong...." etc...

Comment: Re:Fuck so-called religious "freedom" (Score 1) 1168

Every time you come up with an example situation, replace same-sex with black. Does it still feel right to say "legally compel them to bake a cake depicting a black couple is forcing my values on them"? No, it doesn't. Your right to swing your first ends at the tip of my nose. In other words, your right to refuse to bake a cake ends when my nose happens to a be a legally protected attribute, like race or religion.

The tricky thing here, is not all states legally recognize sexual orientation as a protected class. But that is rapidly changing. People not recognizing that sexual orientation should be fully protected just like race/religion, will find themselves on the wrong side of history in short order.

Comment: Re:Energy balance over temperature (Score 1) 442

by jwhitener (#49395477) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Here's the important bit though. As the IPCC's most recent AR has observed, the satellite measurements show that for the duration of the CERES project, there has been NO TREND in the energy imbalance. The earlier ERBS data showed the same as well. Our satellite measurements have shown significant and very steady trends in energy balance cycling monthly, but the average over the years and decades we've measured is just a steady and consistent average neither shifting noticeably up or down. Meanwhile, CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere over that same time have climbed like nobody's business. All our models and expectation for X degrees of warming for so much CO2 kinda hinges pretty heavy on CO2 pushing up the energy imbalance. If it's not, and observations suggest that. We may not need to be so worried as some of the panic ridden crowd wants.

Is that your interpretation of those results, or the scientists?

Every time I look one of these "I read the study and it is clear to me that the majority of climate scientists are wrong" slashdot posts, I find that there is a good scientific explanation for how the data still fits into the prevailing AGW theories.

Comment: Re:Tired of Consensus = Fact (Score 1) 442

by jwhitener (#49395455) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

AGW concerns are not about the change, but the rate of change.

For instance, if the sea level rise predications are accurate, then re-locating 40% of the planets people in 100 years is going to be extremely expensive. Way WAY more expensive than using the next 25 years moving to renewable energy.

Comment: Re:what's the C in AC stand for? (Score 1) 1089

by jwhitener (#49350845) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

If what you say is true, then it seems like the solution would be better maintenance of voter registration databases. Why do most conservatives still think voter ID is the solution when...


"We also find that one of the favorite policies advocated by conservatives to prevent voter fraud appears strikingly ineffective. Nearly three quarters of the non-citizens who indicated they were asked to provide photo identification at the polls claimed to have subsequently voted." ...while countries like Australia, who require all citizens to vote or they get fined, do not require voter ID.

Comment: Re:HUH (Score 1) 341

by jwhitener (#49340583) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers"
"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
"...we do not have the technology to do it to the extent that the manufacture will be willing to except the liability in the event of an accident. "

Famous words and maybe some soon to be (20 years) famous words.

Comment: Re:and what will happen to people automated out of (Score 1) 341

by jwhitener (#49340543) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

The REAL problem is twofile: (1) that we are no longer creating new, higher-paying jobs to replace those that were automated away, and (2) that the benefits of increased productivity per worker haven't been shared by the workers for 40 years.

The REAL problem is that you can't imagine what you could possibly ever do without a 'job'.

"no longer creating new, higher-paying jobs to replace those that were automated away" Well we aren't replacing high paying manufacturing jobs with high paying manufacturing jobs, but we sure are creating new high paying 'knowledge worker' type jobs all the time. However, I have no idea if the rate of knowledge worker job creation is keeping pace with the decline in manufacturing jobs. I wish it were easier for the layperson to search for things of that nature without having to wade through dozens of biased/politically motivated 'articles'.

Lavish spending can be disastrous. Don't buy any lavishes for a while.