Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1082

by quintessencesluglord (#49748763) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

You act as if property taxes aren't currently being collected. The requisite agencies are already in place, including appraisers to value the property for tax purposes.

All that's left is to gradually implement it so it doesn't catch anyone by surprise, and disband all other tax agencies. The only fear is that property taxes go up and all other taxes remain in place.

You really aren't making much of an argument against.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1082

by quintessencesluglord (#49743573) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Does the possibility of effecting low-income houseowners over-ride getting rid of the IRS, doing away with shell corporate tax structures, and having a clear tax obligation?

Further, there is nothing to suppose low-income houseowners wouldn't be affected by other taxes, or even an increase in property taxes under the current or any other scheme. In all likelihood, they would end up paying less in total taxes, unless they are slumming it in Manhattan. And you've reduced the overhead cost of tax administration tremendously.

No system is perfect, but I have yet to hear of any other tax scheme that has more benefits.

Having a set dollar amount doesn't resolve the possibility of more people on the dole than working. You very much want it to be solvent regardless of what the economy does, with any type of welfare directly tied to what the economy can produce.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1082

by quintessencesluglord (#49732205) Attached to: Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

Already solved.

Land value tax and pegging the amount of basic income as a percentage of GDP or revenue.

There was a study I believe out of Canada that found replacing traditional forms of welfare with basic income was equivalent with welfare costs, excluding administration.

If you include administrative costs, the cost of welfare goes up to $61,320 per person


Certainly simply cutting a check would be cheaper, and you could get rid of several other programs like Social Security (as well as getting rid of the payroll tax). Pegging it to revenue (or some other measure of the economy) insures the system stays in check.

Land value tax also keeps taxation in check, so revenue has to track with the economy as well (no $100 houses in Detroit with $100,000 tax liens). As above, reducing the overhead costs also means you can get rid of other taxes and simplify the system while reducing corruption. As an added benefit, this scales easily with increased automation (which apparently California will be a hotbed of development).

I was leery of essentially taxing a form of wealth, but the benefits are just too great to ignore.

Comment: Re:"Whether or not you believe there’s a pro (Score 1) 612

by quintessencesluglord (#49697973) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

Ah, the Aristotelian idea of to rule and be ruled. Nope, that simply will not do. We jockey for positions of power less for absolute control than to keep ourselves from being directed by others.

And so it goes, the latest being to impinge on the goodwill of others, except more and more it looks like obligation, and frankly my sense of concern is near exhaustion.

The perverse side effect being more and more the geek community is starting to loath being baited this way, they will simply not give a damn about any sexism realized or not, and those who chastised them will have succeeded in creating the very thing they were trying to eliminate

You can only call someone a monster for so long before they are willing to prove you right.

Comment: "Whether or not you believe there’s a proble (Score 3, Insightful) 612

by quintessencesluglord (#49696853) Attached to: A Plan On How To Stop Sexism In Science

What an antithetical beginning to scientific thinking.

The proof thus far of rampart sexism in science is at best contradictory, and especially now, this push seems to have the flavor of if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes fact.

Also, I see no reason why women should be singled out in this regard with a myriad of social injustices that take place. By the HDI, they are a privileged class.

Right now there is a Supreme Court case pending of how affirmative action ends up being discriminatory to Asians, similar in effect to quota systems to keep Jews from higher education.

I caution attempts at social engineering result in greater injustices than those they seek to fight against.

Comment: Re:Not sure (Score 1) 360

by quintessencesluglord (#49695901) Attached to: What Happens To Our Musical Taste As We Age?

I'd also question the validity of "popular" music, and it seems to be dominated by the same 4 styles (rap, dance, alt hard rock, and country). That a pretty narrow field to judge calcification. It seems to me rather that popular music has calcified.

Especially now, as there is a fuckton of different music being made. Just taking in a small sampling has meant I have listened to something new every week for the past few years. I lament that I will never live long enough to hear all the good stuff available made in just the last decade.

And even for genres I favor, the bands of my youth are still putting out reasonably good albums, there are new bands taking up the torch, and obscure bands I missed the first time around.

And there are whole histories of music that laid the groundwork that I'm starting to investigate as the internet has made them easier to locate, and there is a push towards preservation (such 1930s blues).

I mean in the context of ALL the music available to me now, popular music is a minor blip, and it is absurd to use that as the yardstick to quantify diversity of taste.

Comment: Re:How... (Score 3, Insightful) 131

Thing is, when I went to school... mumble, mumble years ago, there was a basic computing courses available, as well as a computer lab with instructors overseeing it that taught basic coding and other bits if they saw you putting in the effort to learn.

But there was also music classes, art classes, PE, etc. I'd be had pressed to say a computing course served me better than the art course, but imagine some think tank arguing that art education should be reintroduced so people could better understand relationships, abstract thinking, and non-verbal communication.

Not nearly as sexy without the implied "or else you will be scuttled for a cheaper body in India".

Anyway, now all that has been replaced with the advisor to the advisor to the assistant manger of the vice principal, and everyone being very sage about how to best spend other people's money, and near hysterics about how a 2% increase in taxes will collapse the economy. But only for them. If you have to pay more, well that a just sacrifice for the good of our tax structure in Nevada.

So after gutting the educational system, now it's a Big Problem, and requires immediate money so you can finance being a plebe to them for ever.

Fuck 'em.

Comment: Re:How... (Score 4, Insightful) 131

Don't you find it... questionable that so much corporate welfare and education reform is solely to create widgets for Microsoft to use? Of all the education reforms I could think of, adding coding to a core curriculum that mismanages so many other things seems questionable, although I applaud Microsoft's benevolence with tax money they aren't paying.

Certainly biotechnology is also an expanding field for the future. Do American workers have a solid basing in science to fulfill those needs? Prostitution also seems to be a growing field. Are American workers ready to accept the challenges?

Maybe it would be nice to consult the general public about education reforms they would like to see, especially since they are the one's primarily paying for it. I'd personally like to see logic introduced into the core curriculum so maybe more voters would be able to call bullshit on initiatives like these.

It also gives people a solid basing to pursue coding if they wish.

Oh, in passing, has their been a study on CEO productivity recently? While it is wonderful that worker productivity is of such great importance to require furrowed brows over a 2% drop, my own think tank suggests that loss can more than be made up for by eliminating much of the corruption in business and government, so we won't have to endure further rounds of "nice economy you've got there. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it".

Comment: Re:Why would anyone start there? (Score 1) 123

True, but Austin has been a cultural hub (SXSW, live music capital of the world, etc.) for the weirder aspects of Texas for quite some time (and truly, Texas makes industrial strength freaks to survive the rest of the state), and it started well over 20 years ago with cheap rents, a college educated populace, and a mostly hands off government. That the rest of the country decided to take notice and drive up the costs isn't anything new. Boulder is going through the same now.

Truth is the next Big Thing could be almost anywhere that is cheap, well educated, and free to fail without it being catastrophic. I'd bet on any of the college towns in the South, especially given drought concerns out West. Even their governments are starting to take a clue and realizing the legislature isn't the place to fight a cultural war.

Comment: Re:false positives (Score 4, Informative) 174

More to the point, this is a problem of funding in all fields.

No one wants to pay for basic research, even if it yields other useful ideas for further research. Unless it hyped to high heavens, the possibility of getting dollars is nil.

Gent I know was a decent researcher who got demoted to teaching community college. After a year of not being able to produce the "right" (read: able to secure further funding), he was canned, and another researcher who was more accommodating to fudging results got the position.

It's not like the experiments were going to be reproduced anyway. Just fodder for additional grants because you produce "results".

Comment: Worse: they're multiplying (Score 3, Interesting) 211

Place I work at had a single manager over the entire department. Under two expansions, she still managed consistently good performance reviews and kept the idiocy of other departments at bay.

She was replaced by two managers. One was forced to retire early after a near fatal accident she caused, and the other...

There were week long celebrations after her retirement. I can only imagine it was similar to the relief felt when Carly Fiorina was drummed out of HP. It was that bad.

Now we have four additional middle managers. The entire department is a clusterfuck of miscommunication and petty turf wars. They haven't quite grasped the exodus that has been happening with people quitting, and certainly seem oblivious to the contempt the underlings have for them. Lawsuits are starting, and the complaints are written off as the disgruntled.

And of course, since we are short-staffed now with increasing demands, there is talk of... even more managers and dividing the department into smaller departments, since it is too unwieldy for 6 people to handle.

Fuck me.

Comment: Re:Insurance industry viewpoint (Score 1) 247

by quintessencesluglord (#49565887) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

Give and take. Sports cars also tend to be the safest cars on the road in that you have more options to avoid getting into an accident in the first place rather than just slamming down on the brakes and hoping for the best. Especially for top tier sports cars, their capabilities far exceed legal limits and cost too much in insurance and repair costs for much risky behavior.

Comment: Re:How you drive (Score 1) 247

by quintessencesluglord (#49565833) Attached to: The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

Thing is I can't control what other people around me do. Even with anticipation, there is a too much of a difference between what a safe, prudent driver do or an idiot with a death wish would do. The responses to each vary considerably, and miscalculating can lead to a white knuckle moment, not to mention the same applies to a minivan following a motorcycle normally, but the minivan driver doesn't care, which is really the issue.

And even with good safety measures from engineers, I think there is such a thing as making the vehicle seemingly too safe in that people do even more stupid things behind the wheel (vid of the guy on the highway climbing to the back seat because his car has lane assist and adaptive cruise control) thinking technology will save them. The safest car has what appears to be a gigantic steel spike pointing directly at the occupants faces, and no indication of any modern safety features at all.

Comment: Re:Stuff Happens (Score 3, Informative) 334

Um, no.

Obama greatly expanded the policies of Bush the Younger, even when he promised to pull out of Iraq (pull out, not forced out), has had a multitude of foreign policy mishaps (ISIS anyone), and has made the region far worse overall.

And more importantly, has greatly expanded drone operations.

One of the arguments for not using drones is that they are too far removed from the area of conflict. It is too easy to take risks when there is no skin on the line.

Boots on the ground tend to make better risk assessments, and have a better feel for what they are getting in to.

Drone operations are too abstracted, and it's not like this isn't in a long line of unintended killings, the only difference being the US gets to take this one on the chin instead of some brown people.

There is a reason people are adamantly against using drones. That's all Obama.

Comment: Re:Propaganda Works (Score 2) 686

by quintessencesluglord (#49536533) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

You've got the same biological responses that have always been in play (sex, emotional cues, peer pressure, etc.) that do just as much to serve as inhibit propaganda (some of the propaganda from WWII inferring peace-niks were back home having relations with lonely wives were just as likely to cause doubt as remind people what they were fighting for), and also disinfo campaigns (serving up several platitudes that you probably accept with a few questionable ones so you are less inclined to question their validity), as well as buzz (think of any viral videos you've seen that were far beyond what you would normally watch).

But especially with fragmented media, it allows you tailor a message to a specific group to where Snowden could have been represented as youthful rebellion to a certain segment, and then altered to following in the grand traditions of the country in another.

What I think most people overlook is that with so many media choices, they think they have a better chance at getting at some type of "truth". Not really, they've just opened themselves up to several venues of manipulation. Especially at a time when everything is seen as biased, you can tell huge bold-faced lies with little in the way of consequences, and for the time it takes to research and debunk, move on to another bold-face lie until no one trusts much of anything (even their neighbors) and leaves them primed for more instinctual propaganda.

And even then, the propaganda only really has to target the vocal. This is why education has become such a partisan issue. Sure, not everyone is going to accept things like they did in the age of Cronkite, but you only need those willing to shout down the dissenters for it to be effective.

Innovation is hard to schedule. -- Dan Fylstra