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Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 169

by minstrelmike (#49639433) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

are bad laws. Period. I am hard pressed to think of an exception.

Laws need to be public, but negotiations must _always_ be private or else they aren't negotiations. If you know my bottom line, I've got no wiggle room which means I have zero ability to negotiate.

Comment: Re:Scientifically driven politics (Score 3) 347

You mean sanity and logic in politics? Laws that make sense and are rooted in reality instead of panic?

No, we can't have that! That could be sensible, and we can't have that in our legislative.

Not in a democracy, that's for damn sure. And I'm not being sarcastic.

We like choosing our government policy the same way we choose Top 40 hits or internet memes--purely by the popularity of personal preference. It's my right to vote for people who say good government can be done for free.

It's the same reason our American government prefers to support dictators. You can rely on them better than you can rely on the fickle desires of the general population. Governing is difficult because these are not bullshit issues. It seems to be part of the essential biology of human civilization.

Comment: Re:Chrome - the web browser that's added as bloatw (Score 1) 240

by minstrelmike (#49615409) Attached to: Chrome Passes 25% Market Share, IE and Firefox Slip

I am very surprised to see that IE is still up at 56% while Chrome is at 26%. Seriously, that many people still use IE?!

For a lot of installed applications, especially in the medical field, it is as mandatory as Windows XP is (there are hardware reasons why that is still in use many places).
In addition, lots of businesses have client-server software that really only works with I/E (altho they may call their internal thing a web-based system)

Comment: Re:Remeber (Score 5, Insightful) 123

People who have money tend to feel entitled to it.

That's because they buy into the Libertarian myth that they made their money themselves.
Daniel Boone couldn't build his own rifle from rocks and sticks, because he didn't have the time nor the skills and Bill Gates could not get rich in Yemen or Somalia simply because the market wasn't big enough, regardless of whether it was steady enough and supported by laws and regulations and trust-worthy money.

Business folks refuse to recognize the need for a government and a market, thinking those things just happen naturally. Even today, the conservative voters and their politicians (get cause-effect correct if you're defining a problem) still want to fix the Bush-recession by raising interest rates even tho most economists recognize the lack of recovery is because of a depressed market and not because of a depressed ability to borrow money. There is no reason to expand a factory if you cannot sell what's already being produced.

The top tax rate in the US during the 1950s was 90%. That meant businesses paid their top employees a lot more (instead of giving _all_ the money to the CEO) and the government had enough money to build the interstate highway system (what is that worth for marketing) and fly to the moon. Then we decided rich people needed to keep "their" money and gradually for most of the people in America (more than half), life started to trend downhill.

We're all in this together. Whether you believe it or not is irrelevant. And this isn't a plea for communism which many conservatives scream at folks who aren't on board with them 1000%. We already know communism doesn't work in groups larger than about 280 or so (but it works fantastically well for a nuclear family. We also know unfettered Capitalism that puts all the money into the rich folks hands without investing in infrastructure will destroy the society. You can see this in any kingdom that didn't invest in bridges or roads or put the collected tax money back in the hands of the people somehow.
Adam Smith (1776) didn't push for complete economic freedom, just for competition within a well-regulated marketplace. Of course, he was writing to kings, most of whom had an interest in keeping their country runnning for mutiple generations.

That doesn't seem to be a true statement about voters nowadays.

Comment: Water? (Score 3, Interesting) 123

I actually did RTFA. The historical stuff is interesting. The assertion that no place else will ever come close is completely unsupported.
I remember reading excerpts from historical articles about NYC and London in economic texts and how they would never be eclipsed.

1. Both NY and London hit certain sizes and then the close interaction (required according to the author) between peoples cannot happen as well because of the size of the crowd.
2. When the prices of renting get too high, the smartest students can't afford to move there, not unless they go into finance (or can live on H1-B wages)
3. The price of water in California is going to skyrocket. That changes everything about the immediate area.

Tulips in Holland (1500s), Tea from Asia (1600s), Beaver pelts from America (1700s), Watches from Switzerland (1800s), all highy profitable markets not only guranteed to never fail by their salesmen, but ones that failed spectacularly fast when the end did hit.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 407

by minstrelmike (#49529809) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead
A social worker friend of mine said that Ritalin was a _diagnostic_ drug. If you had ADD symptoms and they went away with Ritalin, then you had ADD. IF the symptoms didn't go away, you had something else. I thought that was interesting and weird, but if you think about it, actually useful too in a backasswards kind of way.

Comment: Gaia (Score 3, Interesting) 58

by minstrelmike (#49529653) Attached to: NASA Teams Scientific Experts To Find Life On Exoplanets
NASA will use all sorts of experts, but they will of course ignore the discoveries of the first expert they hired to help find life on Mars, James Lovelock.

Hired to build machines to search for life on Mars, he investigated biology and quickly realized that over geologic time, extremophiles such as bacteria found in hot springs or in the arctic could not survive without all the rest of life creating the free oxygen and other elements and compounds necessary for life. NASA ignored The Gaia Hypothesis completely yet that was a discovery they paid for.

Comment: Re:Idiot writer - Uber driver notes (Score 2) 96

by minstrelmike (#49506129) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works
I appreciate your on-the-spot insight, but it seems as if there would also be facts to back up your assertion. Granted, it would be hard to discriminate between the folks who drive for Uber every Saturday vs the ones who drive only on the Saturdays they "think" there might be surge pricing.

With prices changing every 5 minutes, seems to me the astute driver would foregoe the first surge that attracts other drivers to an area and try to be in the vacant area that receives the next surge 5 minutes later.

By the way, he isn't poking holes in anybody's approach. Everyone agrees there are three ways surge prices address scarcities. Uber says their approach worksby doing option 1 but the researcher says it works by doing option 3. It thought it was pretty clear in both the summary and the article but apparently not.

Comment: Re:Summary; Uber solves some but not all economics (Score 2) 96

by minstrelmike (#49506105) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works
Actually, it is Uber that says their surge pricing puts more drivers on the road and the researcher who says that is not true, that Uber's surge pricing merely redistributes the current drivers, it does not add new drivers.

I'm so sorry you confuse explanation of facts with conspiracies.

+ - Measuring Millennials->

Submitted by minstrelmike
minstrelmike writes: Zipcar has noticed that the desires of millennials tend to match those of urbanites of any age. The writer of the Washington Post article says "we evoke the word "millennial" to describe a subset of people born after 1980 who hold college degrees and live in cities. We're not talking about 20-year-old single moms in small towns, or fast-food workers in the suburbs trying to get by on only a high school diploma. This bias skews how we think about the entire generation, and it obscures the fact that a 28-year-old professional in the city has more in common with the 42-year-old living in the apartment next door than a 28-year-old mom who chooses to live in a subdivision."
Link to Original Source

+ - How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works->

Submitted by minstrelmike
minstrelmike writes: "At the core of Uber’s wild success and market valuation of over $41 billion is its data and algorithmically fueled approach to matching supply and demand for cars. It’s classic economics, supposedly....but is Uber’s surge pricing algorithm really doing what they claim? Do surge prices really get more cars on the road?

My analysis suggests that rather than motivating a fresh supply of drivers, surge pricing instead re-distributes drivers already on the road."

The writer goes on to analyze 4 weeks of pricing info from 5 areas in D.C. and plotted prices versus wait times. "Price surging can work in any of three ways: by reducing demand for cars (less people want a car for a higher price), by creating new supply (providing an incentive for new drivers to hit the roads), or by shifting supply (drivers) to areas of higher demand."

It moves current drivers from one side of town to the other. It does not put new drivers on the road. It can't because the prices change every 3-5 minutes.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:No need to be a genius (Score 2) 385

by minstrelmike (#49500877) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Actually, studies show that the higher one's intelligence, the more they hold on to their positions, even if shown to be wrong. It is the idiot, that is more readily swayed, than the genius.

That's who demagogues rely on for their support.
There are upsides and downsides to _everything_.

The smarter you are, the more that fact hits you in the face every place you look. There actually are benefits to mankind from religion, not just costs. Same with Capitalism, science and whatever pet aspect of life you completely hate or love.

Computer Science is the only discipline in which we view adding a new wing to a building as being maintenance -- Jim Horning

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