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Comment: Re: Good news! (Score 1) 173

by lgw (#48670117) Attached to: Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

I've seen the flag-on-the-truck thing many times - never seen a confederate flag. While there are many in the South that still hate the damnyankees for the War of Northern Aggression, it's mostly pirate flags now. For a while I was confused - why were there so many Raiders fans across the South? But it's just the current generation's Rebel flag, without confusing the Northerners that it was about racism.

Comment: Re:Interesting. I'd think the opposite (Score 2) 185

by lgw (#48666741) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

conservatives saying "it was good enough for grandpa, it's fine, don't change anything".

I think you'll find most conservatives actually saying "it wasn't so terrible for grandpa, so let's see how this new untested idea actually makes it better". There will always be people opposed to any sort of change, of course, but don't confuse evidence-based (as opposed to "it looks good on paper, let's do it") and outcome-based (as opposed to "what matters is the lawmaker's intentions were good") with anti-progress. Any seasoned engineer will tell you that the way you'll make the best progress is to test before you ship, because it's so much less effort to fix mistakes that way.

Comment: Re:Risk = Reward (Score 2) 200

by lgw (#48665245) Attached to: Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Wait, you mean there's a life-threatening behavior gap? This is unacceptable, we must encourage women to do stupid things that may risk their lives. To not do so is sexist!

Actually, this is mostly done. The lifespan of women and men is quickly converging, as is pay (if you take into account lifetime hours worked - for professional women who haven't had a kid, I believe women are slightly ahead under 35 now).

Does Slashdot have to have a "gender gap story" every 2 Bennett stories or something? I guess it's out with "news for nerds" and in with "Reddit envy".


Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford 200

Posted by Soulskill
from the setting-the-standard-early dept.
JCallery writes: The New York Times has an in-depth look at the gender gap in tech through the eyes of Stanford's class of 1994. The article surveys the culture of the school and its attempts at changing the equation on diversity. It also examines Stanford's impact on the big companies (Yahoo, PayPal, WhatsApp, Stella & Dot) and big names (Peter Theil, Rachel Maddow, Brian Acton) that came of age during the pioneering era of the early web.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 3, Interesting) 250

by lgw (#48663977) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

It seems people don't get this, so let's spell it out:

Inflation requires both demand and supply of money. You can't cause inflation simply by increasing the money supply, unless you go totally crazy with it - however, if that supply is there when the economy heats up and demand appears, look out.

Hpwever, 5-10% inflation during a good economy isn't per se a problem: high inflation is a symptom of a bubble economy but may be there without the bubble. And it's the malinvestment associated with a bubble that hurts everyone - "medium" inflation only really hurts people who made the wrong bet on the future value of the dollar.

As long as you don't actually crater the currency, inflation is merely a warning sign of the real problem, and the real problem is people working on things no one wants: from bubbles to government make-work, the stuff we have is just the stuff we make, and if we're not working to make stuff we want or need, we'll all suffer for it.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 3, Interesting) 250

by lgw (#48663515) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

I wish I knew a good one! Most places are as crazy as ZeroHedge, in one direction or another. I read MarketWatch, but more to keep abreast of market fashion than reality (never read a stock market site for economic news).

The most useful stuff I've ever read on economics was the old-school stuff: on the business cycle, not just boom-bust but which sectors recover in which order - what leads recovery, and what's big when the end of the boom is near, and what survives best during the bust. The history of different kinds of currencies and the problems the had. The various big name economists from the first half of the 20th century, now that we can see the actual economic growth in various countries that seem to follow on or another of them. Everything old is new again.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 4, Interesting) 250

by lgw (#48663143) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

The dollar is much like capitalism and democracy: it's the worst imaginable choice, except for everything else that's ever been tried. That's really it: the US government is just less effective at ruining the dollar than every other central bank for a major currency. Much of the current value of the euro is simply it's position as "second lest awful currency", a hedge against a reckless Fed.

When the dollar looked rough a few years back, interest in gold perked up, and interest in the Swiss franc bloomed, but the Swiss were apparently uncomfortable with the idea of becoming a reserve currency, and committed explicitly to falling with the euro. Odd choice, but there it was.

If the EU ever finishes collapsing, all the sovereign debt in the region blows up taking the Euro with it (it's only a question of when), and then finally recovers and regains financial credibility, then finally the dollar might be displaced, Or if China has it's inevitable revolution, and happens to emerge as a capitalist democracy, or when India or Brazil finally reach first-world status nation-wide. we might also have other credible currencies. But for now, the dollar is pretty much it.

That's not to say the dollar can't be destroyed if the Fed tries hard enough. But over the past downturn they were actually quite clever: while they were printing ~$2 T in no money via QE, they were removing ~$2T in money supply via bank reserves (while we continue with a 0 reserve banking system, the Fed paid attractive-enough interest that banks voluntarily increased their reserves to unprecedented levels). And the Fed did actually wind down QE. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, when that ~$2T in "Excess reserves" comes back into the money supply and turbo-charges inflation, but hopefully that will just be Carter-like, and not a currency collapse.

Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 1) 275

by Jane Q. Public (#48653757) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

People who need to transport their legally owned firearms can do so through the simple act of checking them.


That was GP's whole point: anybody stupid enough (or forgetful enough) to try to carry something like this onto a plane just isn't much of a threat.

Comment: Re:Crime Lords (Score 5, Insightful) 224

by Jane Q. Public (#48653647) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

I'd say that the abuse of methods used by the authorities against normal citizens was revealed and that has also caused some trouble for the authorities when trying to monitor criminals.

This is a common syndrome in erstwhile free societies: the police are always complaining that they can't catch criminals, that they need more leeway and exemptions from the law themselves in order to do so.

And when people believe them, the inevitable result is less freedom and more Big Brother.

Anybody who thinks Snowden did not ultimately do us all a huge favor isn't seeing straight.

"One day I woke up and discovered that I was in love with tripe." -- Tom Anderson