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Comment Re:you're both right (Score 1) 813

Nobody said it is a way to make sure you have a steady upward gain. But that in itself is no reason to not participate in stock market - or if it is, you don't show how in your longish replies to my short posts.

Let's try this:

That's in a diversified portfolio of long-term investments, a fairly reliable income.

A "diversified portfolio of long-term investments" is nothing. It's not a reliable income, it's not a reliable strategy, it's not even really a *strategy* in the stock market (diversification is a risk strategy, not an investment strategy; an investment strategy has to have some planning for how to select in such a way as to produce gain).

In other words: that sentence is just a bunch of gibberish and jargon, the kind oft-repeated to people who have *no* investment strategy, frequently *by* people who have no investment strategy, and otherwise by people who stand to profit by getting you into the market (e.g. funds managers who can skim a fee off the top). Buy and hold is crap and professional investors--the big capital investors stealing money hand-over-fist, and particularly the people employed to invest and make gains in investment banking houses--are buying and selling based on sentiment (buy low, sell high). The buy-and-hold strategy--the strategy of "keeping long-term investments"--imposes a timing restriction ("don't sell before X time") or a timing strategy ("buy things you won't have to sell for X time") blindly and bluntly, as a cudgel, with no actual investment strategy related to growth and gains-taking (i.e. actually increasing the value of your portfolio).

Nobody said it is a place where money is generated, instead of stolen.

The suggestion that you *should* be investing if you're not a skilled, well-versed, highly-competent investor implies that money is generated in the market.

There are exactly two kinds of people in the market: Con-artists and marks. If you're just leisurely walking through the stock market buying what looks good, you're a mark; if you're studying the market to determine when idiots are holding out their money to be happily taken away, you're a con-artist. Marks are marks because they believe money comes out of the market magically: they'll "invest" and they'll get a return.

You don't have to outright say a thing to *say* a thing. Smoking improves your mood, gives you more confidence, and puts you among peers of great smokers like John Wayne. A great mass of marketing is built around this--it's all true, of course--and historically has lead people to believe smoking would make them healthy, happy, relaxed, and virile because the marketing statements create an association between smoking and all of those things *without* ever stating as much. They greatly *imply* such things. That's the same as when you tell the fish they can easily make income by putting their money in a diversified, long-term investment portfolio; without a huge pile of additional information, it sure sounds like money just pours out of the stock market as long as you're "diversified"...

This sort of marketing by heavily implying untrue situations, by deliberately misleading the audience, is well-known. It's so well-known that most modern advertisement is based heavily in legal research to stick to common knowledge (which is often faulty--Vitamin C doesn't cure or prevent colds, but look at the orange juice ads...) or shaky research (there *is* research, with poor controls and bad experimental design... and we cite the one study that supports us out of 100 that don't) and avoid criminal false advertisement by deliberately misleading consumers.

But like vegetables are not grown in vegetable market but yet it might make sense to buy them in vegetable market, just because money isn't generated in the stock market doesn't mean it is not a good idea to buy stocks in the stock market.

Nigerian scams aren't created in e-mails, yet it might make sense to buy into a Nigerian Prince's $28 million account that you received in your e-mail.

You're essentially only saying that stocks are injected into the market by IPOs from companies, and so it might make sense to buy those stocks in the stock market. In other words: you're suggesting it's a good idea to buy stocks BECAUSE THEY EXIST, and not for any real strategic reason.

Comment Re:Good excuse... (Score 1) 125

It's not really the same business if the management structure has changed. In that case, they're not really backpedaling after getting caught doing something wrong; they're party to a lump of shit being handed off to them, and have to decide how to handle it.

I would hope any responsible business would make such a decision--even if it looks, on the surface, unethical and *highly* illegal, you want to get a handle on the whole thing first to identify why it's in place, if there was some mitigating factor, and then *how* to handle it if it is in fact unethical and *highly* illegal. I'd rather new management fly with it for several months if that's what it takes to identify, understand, document, develop an action plan for, and explain the situation. In situations of urgency, the timing changes: management devotes large amounts of resources to stopping things which, for example, incur loss of life; they may possibly mitigate the situation first, e.g. by implementing crude lock-out systems on processes which regularly place employees in immediate danger of loss of limb or life, allowing them to continue business as usual while planning out how to permanently resolve the situation.

That's how proper businesses handle things. Improper businesses fire a bunch of people, creating fear, homelessness, tarnished professional reputations, ineffective countermeasures, and a sharp reduction of remaining employees capable of learning from the situation and making better decisions in future, similar situations. Then they make the same mistakes all over again in a few years.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 96

I did specifically qualify it as "without a sanitary cleanout". 20 days is most certainly not shorter than the life cycle than most plant pests, but is enough to keep them from establishing a colony so yah that would work.

However, i do wonder how much of this significant amount of work is being considered when saying its so much more efficient.

In many ways a closed environment can be worst than open air because open air crops attract both pest and pest predator, closed environments are far more resistant to predator establishment than pest.

Comment Re:you're both right (Score 1) 813

To eat them, yes. To trade them back and forth? Only as a show to get money out of other idiots who think they can make money the same way.

In essence, it's a giant pyramid scheme: as long as more people keep coming and bringing more money on the table, you can buy from the big winners above you and sell to the new fish below you, making income mostly by inflation or fool-hardy eagerness. The usual line that you can "invest your money and let it grow" (that just getting into the market and holding onto so-called "investments" means you *necessarily* *will* get more money later)--importantly, the narrative that everyone can do this and make money, properly *NOT* mentioning that *someone* else must lose money in the exchange, implied largely by telling people that investing in securities and funds is what they *should* do or else they're not being financially responsible--relies on the market being a pyramid scheme of this sort.

In reality, the market doesn't function exactly that way. It's sold as a glossed-over pyramid scheme, but it functions as a poker table. Poker isn't really gambling, in the strictest sense of the word: we legally and generally consider gambling to encompass games of chance, and exclude games of skill (this creates interesting situations where wagering on which baseball team wins is gambling, but wagering on whether your team can beat an opponent is not: your ability to collect on that wager relies on your skill, and you can affect it by training yourself and your own team). Skilled poker players regularly fleece every last dime out of new fish who come to the table thinking poker is a game of cards, rather than a game of psychological manipulation; the stock market also is a game of psychological manipulation, and immunization of the self thereof.

As a poker analogy, it's quite apt: someone must lose money for someone else to gain money; and you mostly affect this by reading the sentiment of the other players and avoiding distortions of thinking which cause unrealistic sentiments. That is to say: when you see a bubble market, you read how excited the others in the market are by identifying the movements of securities prices and the news and other reporting, and buy into it; when you see these indicators showing a slowdown and a loss of confidence, you sell out to the portion of the market which is still fully-confident and driving the (now more slowly climbing) price upward. You come out with a tidy profit, and those overconfident fools are left holding a bag of pink slips that suddenly become worthless.

Pure technical analysts would say this is why the stock market is curves and not spikes: it grows, its growth slows, and then it rounds off and accelerates downward; it doesn't grow linearly upward, then instantly reverse and start going downward in a straight line. More broad analysts try to read the sentiment from news, and identify if the small fluctuations and the slowdowns are a matter of growing disillusion or just slow trading days and cold feet in general. Nobody in-the-know really says it's like a roulette wheel waiting to hit even or odd and instantly reverse direction without warning, although black swans (like 9/11 or Fukushima Daiichi) happen.

All in all, the whole of this doesn't suggest diversification is a way to maximize profits; rather, it's a way to minimize losses in unpredicted, poorly-read markets where your skill isn't up to par or the situation is just uncontrollable. Nobody can predict a nuclear meltdown--anyone who does predict a nuclear meltdown *prevents* *it* *from* *happening*. Any business which predicts its own demise does something to stop or soften the blow. In general, businesses and governments have much better data than you--they have everything you can see plus loads of secret data, as well as better facilities to analyze it--and so most negative (and positive) situations you can see coming are already being handled (mitigate the negative, exploit the positive). Hedging your bets is necessary only so far as to sacrifice some of your profits in order to capitalize on other potential, less-likely, smaller profits and to reduce the impact of unpredictable losses--which means you make less, but you also lose less.

Or, in short: it's not a way to make sure you have a steady upward gain; it's a way to make sure your movement is steady, rather than wild and dangerous. That movement may be downward. Calling a diversified profile "a reliable income" is a direct lie; it's lower risk and easier to read and respond to, but it's not a magical winning strategy.

Comment $150 doesn't even cover the cost of DC electricity (Score 1) 78

Just the cost of reliable datacenter electricity alone costs more than that cheap spindle. Order that drive and see if it magically gets filled up with video, and magically makes backups of itself, which are stored for the proper amount of time before being rotated. Spindles are may 5% of enterprise storage costs (and they're not bottom of the barrel consumer drives).

If you're a cheapskate like me, you CAN do 5 TB for $3,000 NRC, plus $150 / month.
Times two for a backup site, so $6,000 NRC plus $300 / month.
Obviously you don't want to backup just once daily, you should have rolling backups, a backup copy from last week, a copy from last month, etc.
So $12,000 NRC plus $1,200 / month.
Plus daily transfer to the backup site sites, so $12,000 plus $1,600 / month.
Plus a qualified admin to manage this, including testing backups, replacing failed spindles, etc @ $100 / hour.

Comment Re:Another possibility (Score 1) 611

There are some possibilities that you missed. This one, for example:

* God is a good experimentalist, and like all good experimentalists, he rarely intervenes with the way things play out in his creation/experimental system. He sits back and passively observes, for hundreds or thousands of years at a time, and Jesus is the product of "Ok, I'm tired of the dynamic that the most intelligent carbon units have gotten into; let's see what happens if I have one of them teach some ethical principles to the others."

I didn't miss it, because this is an inconsistent possibility (not that it is possible to come up with a coherent and consistent theory of God, but that's a REALLY long discussion) Let's see. How could God be a good experimentalist? Well we usually perform experiments to learn something where we don't know the outcome. But God is omniscient, and cannot NOT know the outcome (and remain God), at least not unless you want to become a Hindu monist pandeist and imagine Mahavishnu/Brahma splitting its omniscient universal self (Brahman) into all of the many sparks of life (Atman) that have forgotten the perfect knowledge of Brahman. However, this view is generally opposed by most Abrahamic theologists because it destroys the essential dualism required to have a God to worship who can punish and reward and make the whole system work (not to mention that it contradicts pretty much all of the sacred texts of the family of religions).

Now, God could also be an experimentalist by playing dice with the Universe -- just rolling out a big, unknown Universe with no idea how it will all come out, a big reality simulation, just to see what happens, and then he could sit there blaming the lifeforms that emerge for being precisely what the dice he used plus the ruleset he used produced and invent ANOTHER pair of realities, one in which those lifeforms can live forever being tortured by demonic merciless robots, one in which those lifeforms can all sit around and chant praises for eternity to make him feel Really Important. But I hope that we agree that this is a rather ugly picture of God as well.

Besides, you're contradicting a number of essential statements from the Gospels, notably John, and your comment stinks of the Arian heresy that was stamped out post Nicaea (with fire and steel). Jesus is the alpha and omega, dude, and was there at the beginning and will be there at the end. So God cannot decide to send us Jesus to teach us ethical principles because there is no real difference between Jesus and God. Jesus/God sent himself, as he knew he would at the beginning, to produce precisely the outcome he predestined at the end. If you are damned, you have no choice in the matter as you were damned from the beginning of time. Not that the Gospels are consistent on this point. But let's have a look:

Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Matthew: 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

So, apparently, Jesus and God are different, Jesus is not God and doesn't even claim to be good! He deliberately teaches those predestined to be saved in parables so that ordinary people won't get it and WON'T be converted and saved. Thanks, Jesus! I'll adopt his methods in my physics class, I guess, and teach physics using metaphors instead of equations just so I can flunk all of the students I confuse. Hey, it's OK! It was predestined! But it is Matthew that directly contradicts your assertion. God has come up with a scheme that he hides from the wise and prudent and reveals only to the young who are stupid and foolish!

You might think about this (this is hardly the only time this is stated in the NT). Even at that time, Christianity made no real progress with people who weren't idiots, because even 2000 years ago, sensible people could recognize a charlatan when they saw one. Look earlier in this same chapter! Not even John the Baptist, who supposedly baptized Jesus to the accompaniment of many miracles, is certain Jesus is the messiah -- he doubts it from inside his prison cell as he supposedly awaits execution! But not to worry! Jesus proves it by rubbing spit in a blind man's eye:

Mark 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

or was it mud, made with spit?

John 9:6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,
9:7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

This, apparently is a record of how Jesus cured things like blindness. With spit and dirt from the ground in a country where all non-foot transportation is provided by animals and where there is nothing like a sewer system or sanitation, dirt that has been urinated on and shat upon by animal and human alike since time immemorial. The mouth, you might recall, is literally the dirtiest part of the human body as far as dangerous bacteria are concerned. But not holy spit! That cures anything!

Interestingly, this story is in both a synoptic and in John. If you take the gospels seriously, that makes it rather more likely that this is an authentic account of how Jesus worked his magic in the crowd -- take the person out of town (away from the crowd), "heal them" with a show of traditional magic (because it certainly wasn't medicine) where only a few people could see, and then let the rumor spread. This is how he tried to convince John the Baptist that he really was the messiah over his apparent doubts. And since just a bit further down, he disparages John to the crowd and makes himself and his listeners out to be much greater (if they follow him) it doesn't take much imagination to think that just maybe he was trying to replace John and take over John's disciples and followers.

You can go to many third world countries and watch witch doctors work exactly this kind of "miracle" today. They even still frequently use, and used in the past, spit:


(see e.g. page 229). Holy spit isn't limited just to Jesus:


or even only to humans:


Holy Horse Spit! Or if you are willing to "believe", you can join a contemporary cult that uses this sort of technique:


Oh, wait, SGI doesn't do this. This was used as the archetype of cult fake medicine.

But I could do this all day. If you simply applied precisely the same common sense to Christianity and its scriptures and claims that you have absolutely no problem applying to Hinduism, Shamanism, the Great Spirit, Islam and Muhammed, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Heaven's Gate, and so on you would not conclude that sending Jesus to the Earth to model healing techniques based on rubbing muddy spit into the human eye is an ethically defensible practice for an omniscient omnibenevolent being. You would also just possibly have to face up to the true magnitude of the problem of theodicy.

Finally, Jesus is hardly the first, or the best, of humans who have supposedly taught ethical behavior to carbon life forms. The teachings of the New Testament, looked at objectively, fall far short of a perfect ethos for human existence, with or without the God component. And yes, I can quote the NT all day on the issue because, unlike most "believers", I've actually read the damned thing, multiple times, especially the Gospels. As well as a lot of the OT (I get bored too quickly to properly finish it). As well as the Quran, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Book of Mormon. I would strongly recommend reading it, carefully, and asking yourself "is this the consistent record of anything LIKE perfection on earth?" Sure, Jesus has some decent ideas, although pretty much all of them are not unique to him and are common threads in the moral system of many religions or philosophies. But give him some credit. But don't blind your eye to the crap! Cursing a fig tree? Preaching in parables so many listeners will stay damned? Curing blindness with spit and mud? Telling his followers they have to hate their parents and relatives and love only him or they cannot be saved? This stuff isn't even consistent with the half-assed "morality" of the ten commandments (some of which are OK, or would be if the prescription for breaking them weren't to be stoned to death by the tribe, and others of which are sheer nonsense)!


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