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Comment Re: A Porsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 212

This is a silly fallacy. It's a statistical manipulation to hide information by mashing disparate groups together, like saying half the world's population has ovaries.

The most egregious one I've seen was someone trying to explain technology didn't cut down the amount of time we spend collecting food because some 20% of the earth's population are farmers. In developed countries where agriculture uses advanced farm management techniques and powered machinery, we expend under 2% of our labor time producing food, including the cost of all that machinery and the fuel for it; low-development countries with subsistence farming tend to expend 18% or more. Taken as a whole, the statistic of how many farmers are working to feed 100% of the earth's population drastically weakens my argument; examined as developed vs developing, we see the countries using developed technology expend *much* less labor per unit food, which firmly supports my argument.

Your argument paints the world as one socio-economic unit. It's the kind of argument people use for pulling away from China, citing low pay and poor working conditions, while ignoring the low cost-of-living and the bare fact that a loss of jobs means more starving, homeless Chinese people. Treating Burkina Faso as if it's America with some people's rights getting infringed is a grand delusion.

Comment Re:APorsche Self-Drive? (Score 1) 212

Ridiculously inflated? I've looked at buying myself a Porsche. It's a little more than my standard fare, but nowhere near the nuttery of Ferrari's barely-functional, glass-construction shit boxes. Not only does a Porsche only cost a few tens of thousands instead of a few hundreds of thousands, but you can hit potholes without incurring maintenance costs exceeding the MSRP of a brand new Porsche.

Comment Re:Oh those poor hackers! (Score 3, Informative) 84

On one hand, it's not a lot of money. A decent job pays more.

On the other, apparently it's $29,000 for like two days of work.

I quit playing the stock market because it was hard. I averaged 1% per day on 3-5 day holdings (swing trading; day trading would be attractive if I had a large portfolio), but that was with 18 hours per day of research, waking at 4am to examine news and foreign markets, with loads of analysis of technicals and some fundamentals. It was technically sustainable, if I didn't go insane first.

Those two days of work for a hacker are followed by months or years of worrying which of the 40 odd jobs the FBI is investigating. I'd imagine an honest job provides a more enjoyable income than one in which you spend the following 7 years hoping the SWAT team doesn't boot your door in.

Comment Re:Yeah, but... (Score 1) 129

Because it makes heavy use of features inside the Linux kernel which isolate applications from the rest of the operating system. To make Docker work on OSX, you'd have to modify the OS kernel to dramatically change the way it handles system calls and application spaces. Essentially, it groups processes together as if they're running on different kernels, but runs them all in the same kernel.

Run a docker container that only runs the command 'ps -e' and it will tell you 'ps' is PID 1. The nginx container has nginx as pid 1, and 'kill -9 1' kills nginx; if you do 'ps -e' on the host, it tells you nginx is process 3719, and killing that process ends the same program. This is not standard behavior.

Comment Re:the point (Score 1) 129

It's actually kind of an inversion.

Docker base images for Debian, CentOS, and Ubuntu are typically 50-100 megabytes. Shrinking down that "base image" doesn't really make sense; instead shrunk down images for things like PHP, Node, and Ruby.

Even then, you have two main issues.

Firstly, if you have something stupid like e.g. PHP not coming with ANYTHING installed (no php-pdo, no php-ldap, etc.), you have to write your own Dockerfile to install PHP. Typically, you can just put "image: php/5.6-fpm" in your docker-compose.yml and mount your application as a volume, and it'll work; if you need additional php modules, you have to make docker-compose build a Dockerfile opening with "FROM php/5.6-fpm", running a bunch of install commands to compile and build stuff.

Second, that causes bloat.

Docker reuses base images. PHP comes from debian/jessie, so you download the 60MB debian/jessie image and then an additional 150MB php image which doesn't include any of the stuff in Debian/jessie, and you get 210MB of space usage. The same goes with Java: it mounts its 100MB image on top debian/jessie. Install php (210MB) and Java (160MB) and you're only using 310MB, instead of 360MB.

So now you have 11 PHP applications installed. Each uses a 30MB base image instead of a 150MB base image, so installing iron/php only requires 90MB of space instead of 210MB. Each of your 11 PHP applications needs a different set of PHP extensions, which each need a set of base libraries.

In the most optimal case, you install all of the PHP extensions and use the resulting image, which gets you back to where you started with that hulking 150MB PHP image. 11 separate applications all use the same image, no duplication.

In the less-optimal case, every one of your PHP applications installs all the compiler toolchain and *-dev packages to build the PHP extensions that image needs, then removes the toolchain and *-dev packages in the same RUN line so they don't get stored in any Docker image along the way. Every different combination of tools (or, really, any application not built with *exactly* the same commands in RUN, right down to the white space) creates a new Docker image containing all of the necessary libraries and other files.

Installed php-ldap and php-mysql in one container? That container contains libldap, libmysql, php-ldap, php-mysql, and all other required files. Installed php-ldap and php-postgresql in another container? That container contains A DIFFERENT COPY of the same libldap and php-ldap files, plus php-postgresql and all the required libraries to back it. Etc. etc.

You get to say, "Ah, my images are all tiny! ... why do they take up so much disk space in total?"

Comment Re:environmental impact (Score 1) 161

Read Adam Smith's "On the Wealth of Nations" and you'll see a quick explanation of how value is: A) The amount of labor put into a thing; B) The amount of labor purchasing a thing saves the buyer over making it himself (e.g. the seller is more efficient); and C) the amount the buyer is willing to pay. These aren't the same thing; he uses the term "value" without explaining which, continuously invoking an equivocation fallacy.

Karl Marx does the same thing, positing the value is the amount of labor put into a thing, somehow concluding we should avoid efficiency because things will have less value (less invested labor), thus we want *more* people laboring to make a thing, instead of *fewer*. He also somehow decided that a tractor made with 1,000 labor-hours has a value of 1,000 labor-hours even after new techniques start making the same damn tractor in 200 labor-hours.

Eventually, the concept of value posed so many problems that we got the subjective theory of value: diamonds are worth a lot because of belief. People believe it has value, therefor it is invested with inherent value.

Georgists believe in land value: value comes from the land, and we derive value from the land upon which we produce. There are so many things wrong with this I don't know where to start, and I don't feel like rambling on all the reasons this is *wrong* right now. The most obvious is we keep making more things with less land usage, building more efficient machines or building vertically.

I believe in *valuation*: Consumers identify a thing as worthy of commanding a certain price. They value (verb) a stock, a diamond, a hunk of gold, or whatever else at a price higher than its cost. That thing does not *have* value (noun); it has *valuation* (noun), the estimate of its worth.

Because of this, contemporary and classical economics have continuously tried to discuss what the price of goods should be, or how the stock market should work. Wikipedia explains Theory of Value:

"Theory of value" is a generic term which encompasses all the theories within economics that attempt to explain the exchange value or price of goods and services. Key questions in economic theory include why goods and services are priced as they are, how the value of goods and services comes about, and for normative value theories how to calculate the correct price of goods and services (if such a value exists).

In other words: Shopkeepers and accountants being shopkeepers and accountants.

I started writing my own economic theories in which I tried to avoid Drake equation bullshit and focus on economic mechanisms. For example: we expend human labor time to make things; technology is the creation of new techniques to reduce the human labor time per good created. By reducing the human labor time per good, we reduce the portion of a standard-of-living expended to purchase that good; we also increase the amount of human labor we can expend on other things. Instead of spending 50% of our time acquiring food, we spend 2% of our time doing that (using machines and modern farm management techniques), and some of the other 98% goes into building rocket ships and putting men on the moon. That's what I explained above.

I don't have a good way to measure productivity, and I'm disinclined to make something up. I don't have a good way to measure *production*.

We currently measure GDP by measuring money: how much money was spent on purchasing all the crap we made? This is a useful metric, with subtle problems. Let's first look at my theories about fiat currency.

It's obvious that every unit of currency (dollar) spent equates to every good or service produced and sold: what are you spending dollars on, if not some service rendered or some product delivered? Production may be as simple as pulling a rock from a ground, or as complex as fabricating semiconductors. It doesn't matter. People spend money, and that money goes to businesses; businesses write off the wages paid to workers, who then file those wages as income. Every dollar spent is either business profit or someone's wages.

While that may be true--let's just take it as postulate--the world is a complex economic system. Firstly, we exchange currencies across international bounds, and have trouble measuring all that. Second, the whole system doesn't change state instantly: it *approaches* this value for a reasonable time frame, i.e. for the past year, just like how pushing down a piston propagates a pressure wave through a closed vessel which (quickly) settles down in line with the ideal gas law.

So I have a mechanism, but the real world is so complex that this mechanism is duplicated a whole hell of a lot, and then the duplicates are crudely smashed together. Surprise. The universe is made entirely of four fundamental forces (gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, weak nuclear) and look how complex that turned out.

Back to GDP.

We measure GDP by the dollar amount we sell products for, in total. We adjust that for inflation based on Consumer Price Index, which we gather by recording the prices of goods and comparing their change over time.

What happens when you double the amount of money people have? Double their income, zero additional productivity. Prices rise (otherwise we just dump money that never gets spent in people's mattresses, and all that money rolls straight off the printing presses rather than coming from jobs). You now have a zero change in GDP. So far, so good.

What happens when you improve productivity, reducing the cost of a product, and inject more money?

Well, you get inflation. Everyone has $15 instead of $10; food costs $12 instead of $15. CPI then says inflation is 20%, and spending all this money to buy new goods (using the same labor-hours) gets you a GDP increase of 25%. Seems close enough.

What if you don't get *any* more productive at making food? Rising prices anger the consumer, and so you went from $7 cost and $10 price (30% mark-up) to $10.50 cost and $12 price (14% mark-up)?

Your GDP goes up, and you peg food at 20% inflation. Two problems: Food has gotten 33% cheaper by price, but food productivity has not increased at all. In other words: you're not suddenly capable of producing 25% more food with the same labor; people are just spending less on food, and spending that money elsewhere, creating new jobs (broader consumer market spending does this in general, but it's not strictly a rule--big government spending takes up *enormous* infrastructure projects that a broad consumer market can't support, which create a *ton* of job demand).

So GDP actually kind of works; CPI doesn't quite work as well; and the interaction between the two occludes a lot of the movement.

Again: my take on this is "here's a mechanism. I don't have math for you." This is why. These metrics are *useful*; they're not *perfect*, which means they're wrong, just within a tolerance which doesn't quite render them meaningless.

I have no interest in computing the supposed value of a good for the same reason: it's a meaningless term. Goods have cost, price, and so forth. Goods even have valuation, so far as the consumer assigns their perception of a good's worth to that good. Goods do not embody the command of some inherent worth; that's not a thing.

Comment Re: Hah! (Score 1) 634

What's the difference between a run of 6 consecutive tosses and an arbitrary selection of any 6 consecutive tosses made in history?

Answer: Nothing.

A run of 100 or 1,000 consecutive tosses could have 8 or 10 or 12 heads in a row. It's just as likely to *start* with 8 heads in a row as it is to have a run of 8 in the middle.

What you have is an arbitrarily-linked set of 6 tosses out of the entire run of all tosses in history.

Comment Re:Hillary Clinton is the worst that can happen to (Score 1) 634

I know I don't want Sanders or Trump; I'm uncertain of Hillary. Bill *was* in the driver's seat, even with Hillary's influence strongly over him; what would we get with Madam President Clinton? It's not going to be another 8 years of Bill, which would be suboptimal, but relatively benign.

I favor Gary Johnson because his policies are relatively inoffensive (we have disagreements) and he's fiscally conservative. This is the least-harmful option I see on the table. Even I would make a non-ideal candidate: I have great economic plans with risk controls and contingencies to fix a lot of our basic problems, but I'm short on a *lot* of other stuff, and have no idea how to implement some of the things I *do* generally understand (education and workforce development--two separate things we currently treat as a unit--both come to mind: I know what to do, but not how to do it without wrecking shit). There are some things I don't even know how to address. We're putting a lot of expectations on our candidates, and can settle for "not too bad" at best.

Even doing *nothing* is non-ideal, and that's accounting for the President's entire body of power being his influence. As a Representative or Senator, you have the influence of one voice in hundreds; as the President, you have the influence of one *BOOMING* voice in hundreds. The media listens to you; the Senators listen to you; the entire god damned world listens to you. When the President speaks in front of your assembly, you had better prepare a response. If you can't convince your constituents the President is wrong, you're going to have a bad time holding favor; your constituents largely do not care about what the other Congressmen are blathering about.

The President makes things move. He doesn't have legislative power, but he has a hell of a lot of impact on the legislative process.

If I'm ever President, I'm allocating like ten million U.S. tax dollars per year to direct-hire some intelligent cabinet members. Somehow I'll make Congress give me an army a fifth the size of Congress to check my math. There is no way I could handle that job myself; I suspect this is true of every human being on the planet, and I know some folks who spectacularly outclass me in terms of raw intellect. House Representative is more interesting: I'd need a 40-year term to work out all the problems, and Reps get it as long as they don't fuck off too much. America doesn't need a 10-term emperor.

Comment Re:97% odds against either winning all flips fairl (Score 1) 634

Out of the past 48 super bowl coin tosses, there has been one streak of 5 heads, one streak of 4 heads, two streaks of 4 tails, two streaks of 3 heads, and two streaks of 3 tails.

Overall, you have the greatest probability of winning if you call whatever came up last time, somehow.

Comment Re: Hah! (Score 2) 634

For a homework assignment in a statistics course, half the class was asked to record the actual results of 100 coin tosses while the other half was asked to fake the same results by writing down what they thought might be a reasonable random sequence of heads and tails. With only a quick glance at a student's homework, the professor was able to determine whether the statistics were real or faked, with 90% accuracy! The giveaway clue was the occurrence of runs of 5, 6 or even 7 consecutive heads or tails. These are likely to occur in actual sequences, contrary to some naive intuitive notions about randomness.

Comment Re:environmental impact (Score 1) 161

In the United States, we have 2% agricultural workers. We export half our food; and textile and biofuel crop account for more than a third of our agricultural production. We import 17% of our food consumption.

That means 0.67% of the American population supplies 83% of the food we consume. Our major import sources include Canada (2% population is agricultural production) and Mexico (employs 13.4% of the population as farm workers, as of 2011). Canada has, by itself, 13% of the US food import share--leaving 5% to Europe, China, Mexico, and so forth.

That means the equivalent of approximately 1.6% of the U.S. population feeds the entire U.S. population. Let's call it 2%, and I'm wrong because it's *smaller* than 2%.

Here's the important bit, about technology, cut straight from Wikipedia:

Given the historic structure of ejidos, it employs a considerably high percentage of the work force: 18% in 2003, mostly of which grows basic crops for subsistence, compared to 2–5% in developed nations in which production is highly mechanized.

Developed nations--you know, the wealthy ones, not the blown-out backwaters what can barely hobble along on feudalism and haven't yet got running water working--are running 2%-5%, whereas less-developed nations use more labor to produce the crops needed to feed themselves.

You can, of course, lie through your teeth by using global numbers and including all those undeveloped subsistence farmers and low-tech societies to try to dismiss the impact of technology on a society's economic behaviors. It works as well as mixing bile into a pool and then claiming water is brown.

Comment Re:environmental impact (Score 3, Informative) 161

Hunter-gatherer man used to spend 15-20 hours per week per person to collect food. Now 2% of our population are farmers; the rest are busy building information super highways and rocket ships.

I should start over with this paper. I instead started blogging, as I wanted to study more classical and modern economic theory so as to directly assault the field. One of the biggest problems I'm having is dividing the information: I've got a general theory of economic behavior, covering the growth of wealth, the cycle of (un)employment, scarcity, and population growth and restriction; and then I have things like inflation, supply-and-demand theory (mine explains why high-demand goods are cheaper, while low-demand goods are more expensive--this is what subjective theory of value tried to handwave away), and extension theories all the way out to taxes.

The description of how reduction of labor per good creates a cycle of unemployment and re-employment leading to the production of more goods per person (and thus a higher general standard of living) is *not* in the same class as an explanation of how taxes on labor affect unemployment. My biggest criticism about modern economics is its pathological focus on store prices and stock markets; the base theories I produce may lead to arguments about store prices and unemployment, but they're not about value. I've rejected value as a valid economic concept.

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