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Comment Uber isn't stupid (Score 3, Interesting) 230 230

Uber isn't stupid. They know the existing transport monopolies are maintained due to political connections aka lobbying. Uber knows there is no way it will be able to upset this status quo without support from local politicians. That, unfortunately, means lobbying. Love it or hate it, it's how things get done these days.

Comment Do you want a diversity hire? (Score 5, Insightful) 287 287

Google hires people based on talent. Women and minorities are under-represented in the technical and engineering community. That is a fact of life. Until more women and minorities CHOOSE to enter this field, getting a "diverse workforce" would have to mean you exclude more qualified white males in order to hire less qualified minorities and women.

Think about that for a moment. Suppose hospitals did things this way? If you need critical brain or heart surgery, do you want your surgeon to be one of the best in his or her field, or one that was a "diversity hire"?

Until you're comfortable with the second option, this "diversity" idiocy needs to stop. It's one thing to exclude perfectly qualified candidates because they're female or minority. It's another thing to make that the primary reason you're hiring them instead of making sure they're the best qualified for the job.

Comment Re:You don't have to go faster (Score 2) 226 226

How exactly is space expanding, and what exactly is expanding into?

This is difficult to answer without getting into a long discourse on spacetime. However, you have to get away from the notion that there is some kind of "edge" to the universe and space is somehow expanding that edge into infinite nothingness. There is no "edge" to the universe anymore than there is a definable "edge" to our planet (i.e. a flat earth).

Comment Poorly written (Score 2) 226 226

Poorly written article and misleading summary. Basically the article says you can "travel faster than the speed of light" without violating relativity...but neglects to mention which "speed of light" you're beating. Light speed is different in depending upon what medium -- or lack thereof -- it's traveling through. It's possible to slow light down to the point where you can walk faster than that speed of light. But you're not violating relativity by doing so because you're moving through a different medium.

So, hyperdrives...not so much.

Comment Re:The begining (Score 1) 52 52

Here's where I have to be a bit cynical and pragmatic. Googling around, it seems it cost $13.25 billion to find the Higgs. I remember a lot of people in the US were very ticked off when the budget for a US-based collider was eliminated, but let's get real here: does it really matter which country found the damned thing, other than the pride of the physicists involved in finding it?

And now that it's found, and given it's somewhat unlikely -- although admittedly not impossible -- the LHC will find something new and exciting at 13TeV, what are they gonna do with a $13.25 billion collider that can't find anything new?

Comment Re: And what about the infrastructure issues? (Score 1) 294 294

So you punish a guy who makes little money when you could install comprehensive safety systems to prevent any deaths?

Since when does the amount of money he makes factor into this? If his negligence resulted in the death or injury of people on the train, he should be punished. I don't care if he's a pauper or the richest man in the world, if you take responsibility for a train carrying hundreds of people and you don't respect that responsibility, you deserve every iota of punishment that can be mustered against you.

Comment Why carry everything with the astronauts? (Score 1) 46 46

For the life of me I can't understand why everyone wants to keep insisting we load everything on a ship with the astronauts and send it all there at once and HOPE nothing goes wrong along the way that kills everyone.

Instead, how about this: we send automated "builder" ships to Mars with a mission to excavate pits in the Martian surface, place inflatable habitats in them, inflate them, then cover them with enough soil to protect against radiation. Monitor the damned things to make sure they're working properly, THEN send the astronauts. If anything goes wrong, at least you know they've got a place to stay until we can get help to them. Obviously you'd need more than just inflatable housing, but this idea pre-supposes you send some sort of power generation facility (nuclear would be best), life support, and enough food for a year or so.

Even better, in addition to the above, send one or two "return trip" ships to Mars ahead of the astronauts so they have a redundant way to get home if something goes wrong. Send a fuel refinery as well that can take Martian atmospheric CO2 and turn it into rocket fuel so you don't have to send fully-fueled ships all the way to Mars. If you start it refining before the astronauts leave Earth, you can have full tanks ready to go by the time they get there.

All of this is completely achievable with current technology and reasonable timelines. Why in the world we're screwing around with trying to do everything in one trip -- along with the massive risks and massive risk mitigation costs that go along with it -- are beyond me.

Comment Re:Who will win? (Score 1) 176 176

Spoken like a true drooling idiot who has lost all critical thinking skills.

Those who cannot argue logically resort to ad hominem attacks.

Yes, choice is a strong aspect of the market. But if you think the market achieves perfect outcomes in the long run just simply because it's the market ... you're delusional.K

No one said it was perfect, but thank you for creating a strawman, another weak logical fallacy.

f you think removing all government regulations will produce anything except anarchy, you really need to step back and look at reality, and what the actual evidence is for your ideology, instead of just thinking your ideology is 100% complete and infallible.

Again, another strawman. I never said anything about removing all government regulations. Some things -- like not being able to shout "fire" in a crowded theater -- make logical sense. Others -- like forcing nail salons to obtain a license in order to do their specific business -- are idiotic. If you're unable to sift the wheat from the chaff, that's your problem.

Stop pretending otherwise.

Since you're the one who's consistently stooped to ad hominem, strawmen, and completely refused to address any of the logical arguments presented -- namely, why should choice be restricted when it harms no one but the person making the choice? -- it's clear you're the one who needs to quit pretending. This is not about Uber being a corporation trying to flout rules and screw the public. It's about the rules being ridiculous in the first place and Uber is disrupting the status quo. Get this through your thick anti-capitalist skull: Uber would not exist if there was not a demand for its services. Ergo, if Uber exists, it's because the existing services model is flawed, inefficient, expensive, outmoded, or some combination thereof. Replacing something flawed with something less flawed -- or even differently flawed -- is probably a good thing. The only way to know for sure is to let the idea compete in an open market where it will live or die on the merits of its usefulness. But you don't want to do that. You want to maintain the status quo, quash choice and innovation, and tell people you know what's better for them than they do. Because reasons. And corporations bad. Yadda yadda yadda. Your vitriol in this respect is as predictable as it is laughable.

I have yet to hear anything logical or reasoned from you regarding why choice should be quashed. If the idea is bad, it will die on the vine...as all bad ideas should. If it's good then what it replaces will die on the vine...as it should.

Comment Re:Who will win? (Score 0) 176 176

See, "the market" isn't "nature", and "undercutting competition by ignoring laws and regulations" isn't a vacuum. That is a complete lie.

Oh really? Then explain why people are using Uber at all instead of the licensed, regulated cab companies that are omnipresent at all Uber-served locations? Saying something is a "complete lie" doesn't make it so, you know. The obviousness of reality proves you're incorrect.

And we have those laws because in the past greedy, shady douchebags with little regard for the welfare of others have decided to act like greedy, shady douchebags. And this whole crap of "people are free to not buy from greedy, shay douchebags" is so so much garbage it isn't funny.

Spoken like a true Social Justice Warrior. So, do you buy products and services from greedy, shady douchebags yourself? Or do you exercise your own free will and avoid buying from companies that exploit sweatshop workers, cut environmental corners, and screw their employees? I do, and it works out rather nicely. If you do as well then you've just invalidated your premise that government is required to keep the greedy, shady douchebags in check. If you don't, you're a hypocrite. Or, perhaps there's a third case where you're forced to buy goods/services from greedy, shady douchebags but only because they're protected by a government-sanctioned (officially or otherwise) monopoly.

Companies that consistently act in a fashion counter to what their customers want don't usually survive long. In fact, they typically only survive if -- drum roll please -- government regulation or subsidies allow them to do so, usually in the form of a protected monopoly/oligopoly or by excessive regulatory action presenting a nigh-insurmountable barrier to entry.

But go on thinking government is the solution to all that ails you. Knock yourself right out on that one.

Comment Re:Who will win? (Score 1) 176 176

One thing is for sure, some poor Uber driver's life will be destroyed the first time there is an accident causing injury with another uninsured driver. Uber won't be standing behind them.

So? It's not like someone put a gun to their head and said "you will drive for Uber or else!"

For crying out loud folks...grow the fuck up and take some responsibility for your own actions. If you don't want the risk, don't take the job.

Comment Re:Who will win? (Score 1) 176 176

Are you glad that the pilot of your airline has a license, the mechanics who work on the plane are certified, etc or is that "nanny state"?

I'm glad they have licenses, certified mechanics, etc., but you miss the point. I don't have a choice in the matter. All these things are mandated and regulated. However, if I did have a choice, I would choose of my own free will to fly the licensed, certified airline. Most other people would probably choose the same way, and the unlicensed, uncertified airline would wither and die for lack of business...all without the almighty hand of government forcing the populace to think and act a certain way.

Maybe I should buy a plane and start flying people around. I have a history of heart disease and haven't actually flown anything apart from my dad's piper when I was a kid and he let me take the controls, but I have plenty of simulator time. I should start my own airline.

Then nothing should stop you from doing so. If you can attract paying customers to your business and you prosper at it, you're filling a market need that wasn't being addressed to begin with. Your customers are happy, you're happy, and nobody is harmed by these free choices. If you give bad customer service, endanger your passengers beyond their willingness to accept risk, or run your business poorly, your endeavor will fail as it should based strictly on the merits of your idea and enterprise. Government should not be in the business of determining who can or cannot come up with a useful service. Period. Government is too corruptible, too faceless, and far, far too powerful to trust with something like this.

Comment Re:Who will win? (Score 1) 176 176

I do when what you do involves me, and it turns out I might be on those public roads, and I might even be asked to pay for the expenses when you get in an accident, and I surely am expected to deal with the fumes released by the ICE vehicles. You know, when you make your business my business.

I'm not asking you to pay for any of my expenses if I get into an accident. If the government is forcing you to do so, however, your issue should (again) be with the idiotic government regulations that compel you to do such things, not with me for exercising my free will.

The "fumes" crap is just that -- crap. It's a non sequitur to the argument at hand, namely whether the government has any right to shut down a useful service that's in demand by a willing population.

We do not living a sovereign anarchy.

Nor did I say we should. A sovereign anarchy would mean I can do whatever I want regardless of how it might affect anyone and everyone. Quite the contrary, I propose the government has no business telling me what I can and can't do when it only affects myself. For example, if I want to sit in my house and get blind stinking drunk, that's my business and the government has no right to stop me. If, however, I choose to get drunk and drive, then it affects others, so that should rightly be a crime. See? It's pretty simple. You get to do what you think is best for you, I get to do what I think is best for me, and so long as neither of us tread on the other, why should either of us care what the other did or does?

Your problem is you think what's best for you ought to be best for everyone else. The height of arrogance. Let everyone make their own choices, even if they're the wrong ones. In the end, the "right" choices will eventually win the day and society will progress.

Many people write memos to tell you they have nothing to say.

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