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Comment Re:sort of makes sense (Score 1) 75

Yes, and it's your choice to interpret surge pricing as necessarily inevitably excessive. You haven't explained why there can be no instance of non-predatory surge pricing.

Wrong. The whole point of surge pricing is to only offer taxis to those who can afford it, screw the non-rich folks. That's gouging.

But for some reason, you haven't broken into an art gallery and stolen a Picasso to give it to some of those non-rich folks. And before you tell me that a taxi is different because it's a basic necessity, 1) there is already a federal almost-ban on surge pricing during disaster events, 2) Uber isn't a monopoly, 3) there is a difference between limited surge pricing and absolutely no surge pricing, which you have failed to address, 4) did I mention Uber isn't monopoly, which is typically a pretty damn important component of price gauging?

And look, I can link to articles too. Here's one:

Hey, look at that, even the NYC council isn't considering completely banning surge pricing, only limiting it:

And even that seems to be dead in the water:

Comment Re:Another example (Score 1) 728

Doesn't that kinda prove that religion - or lack of it - is an irrelevant detail to the issue of people doing horrible things to other people they consider expendable in the name of their cause?

I don't think anybody's saying religion is what makes people capable of doing bad things. I think they're just saying it's been one hell of a motivator. So no, it doesn't prove anything of the sort.

Comment Re:sort of makes sense (Score 1) 75

The purpose of surge pricing is to gouge customers who want the service desperately

It's funny how you can say literally the same idea as the person you responded to, but make it sound bad by using negative words like "gouge" and "desperately". Without any sort of explanation as to why his characterization is invalid.

Comment Re:Disaster "surges" (Score 1) 75

In practice, the result is that the provider is strongly encouraged to under-provision their network so they can charge extreme rates for normal use, citing "high" utilization as an excuse. So you end up with a poor experience at all times, rather than just during disasters.

How is that any different from charging more for their service, which they are already free to do? It might give them a tiny sliver of a PR defense, but that won't stop people from switching providers. Phone service, unlike wired internet, is actually a competitive market.

Comment Re:Disaster "surges" (Score 1) 75

Price gouging is already generally illegal. If you're worried about excessive disaster surges, talk to your local, state, or federal representatives to put caps, or lower existing ones, on the maximum amount you can be charged, or to put in place a policy of especially low caps in the case that a state of emergency is declared.

Comment Re:Why should scientist write for the common peopl (Score 1) 160

You're right, public communication is an important part of academia, and an often ignored one. But there is a time and place to communicate to the public, and a scientific publication is neither. Inevitably, invariably, when communicating to the public a scientist must make simplifications and take shortcuts which diminish or destroy the scientific usefulness of what it is they are communicating. There is a great deal of loss of information content when translating a text intended for consumption by other professionals to make it adequate for public consumption, and academia simply wouldn't work if researchers didn't communicate to each other with full technical precision. Now, you might say that it's possible to expand a piece of technical writing to include both the technically rigorous content and a simplified explanation, but what's the point in marrying the two? For one thing, the vast majority of scientific publications are so esoteric that it is neither possible nor useful to do that, and also it would be much easier and less cumbersome for everyone involved to put the public communication in its own space, be it a university's press page, or a researchers website, or a popular science publication, or literally anything other than the original scientific publication itself. So yes, communication is a problem, but it is not one that needs to be addressed by means of changing academic writing.

Comment Re:We are the Tamarians (Score 1) 160

It's a land-grab for esteem by having something named after the researcher.

The person doing the naming that way is never the researcher who came up with the concept, it's other people who quote the concept and refer it by the original author's name. If the concept is sufficiently useful and gets cited that way a couple of times, the name sticks.

Fun fact -- experienced researchers know their field sufficiently well that they can refer to papers by naming the authors (disambiguating by context). If you can't even remember a couple of the most important concepts by non-descriptive names, you have no hope of making it in any field anyway.

Comment Re:Uhhhh (Score 1) 65

Yeah but that's basically what statistics is too. Not all of statistics needs to have a probability distribution involved. Again, the emphasis of the fields is slightly different, so you might have more people calling themselves machine learners working on, say, adversarial online algorithms, but that's not completely outside the purview of statistics either.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.