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Comment Re:hahaha! (Score 1) 932

Except that 70% of Republicans in that district are in favor of immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, so essentially what Cantor was proposing. If that's among the Republicans, I would expect people to the left of that to me more in favor of it. Where are those polls you talk about?

Comment Re:Hurray for Japan (Score 1) 274

I don't think just looking at rate of gun ownership is the answer. At least in North America, most gun homicides are committed with handguns, but most of the guns in Canada are rifles and shotguns, so I think it's quite possible there's a very strong correlation between rate of handgun ownership and murder rate.

Comment Re:US dollar (Score 2) 192

Value is a function of supply and demand. A classic question in economics is why water is cheap, when it is essential to life, and diamonds are expensive, even though they just look pretty (of course, that doesn't hold totally nowadays, but the question is centuries old). The standard answer is that while people want both water and diamonds, there's a lot of water, but not a lot of diamonds. These basic forces also govern the prices of most things.

Well, US dollars have an incredibly high demand. The first part comes from how a couple TRILLION dollars are needed a year to pay taxes. The government won't take anything else for taxes, and will punish you if you don't pay what you owe, so that's a massive source of demand. The other is that US dollars are legal tender, and while that doesn't matter as much anymore, for a very long time most payments were made in cash, and if you received a service by law you could pay in USD and the merchants couldn't refuse it. That's still true but secondary, however the financial system is designed for it (in the USA of course) in large part because of that. So USD have intrinsic value because people NEED them to pay taxes, whereas bitcoins aren't needed for anything, and can't compare with a couple trillion dollars' worth of guaranteed demand.

Comment Re:Comparison from a real climate modeler (Score 2) 560

The error bars on some of those graphs are so monstrously large it would be almost impossible for the real data to fall outside that range (in the first one, the margin of error for the forecast grows to a range of almost 0 degrees to 1). Anything with that much error has no real predictive value whatsoever.

Comment Re:Why sell mining rigs? (Score 1) 250

Bitcoin prices are very volatile. It's a death knell for a business if your revenue can drop by 50% or more in the space of a few weeks. You'd need to keep a ton of cash on hand just in case. While you might make more money in the long run mining bitcoins rather than selling rigs, it's very hard to run a real business that way. Selling the rigs is the lower-risk, lower-reward option.

"Free markets select for winning solutions." -- Eric S. Raymond