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Comment so what method does he propose? (Score 1) 309

Lessig didn't even make the top 7 of the list of potential Democratic candidates. If anyone has a claim that they've been unfairly removed from the candidacy, it's the candidate at #4 or 5 who didn't get included in the debate -- yet no such claim has been made by any of those others.

*Some* method has to be used to gradually reduce the list of people to debate. What does Lessig propose? He could not even gather the support for that. Is that the fault of the process, or him?

Comment Google Fi project (Score 1) 190

The only reason I've been considering this phone is to let my family join the Google Fi project, because of the reasonable plan $ options ($20/month, and good data rates), and the ability to roam globally without extortionate fees. (and just to stick it to the major carriers assholishness).

However, regardless of how good the phone may be relative to past versions of Nexus, they're all familiar with iPhone and iOS now, and to break out of that is a big hurdle in itself. The tie-ins of iMessage, ease of using apps, user interface, etc, all conspire to keep us using iOS.

This is why it's hard to break up ecosystems... iPhone does most everything we want, but it just costs too much to switch.

Comment don't blame Apple for all this (Score 1) 117

Don't just blame Apple for all this. Blame the Australian government and their protectionist policies that enable companies to take advantage of customers because they have no alternatives.

Go to Australia and you will see ridiculously priced cars, books, food items, software, tons of other consumer items. All protected from imports in the name of "promoting Australian industry", i.e. protecting them from competition.

Software licenses that cost 2-3x in the US or 10x in India. And books? Are you kidding? Books? No -- it is real. Australian authors "protected" from competition by charging more for books from overseas. As if you can promote Australian writing by taxing foreign books more...

These are the idiots that we put in charge of our interests.

Comment old warning that should be repeated over and over (Score 4, Interesting) 213

Issues like this were already being flagged in 2013:


First of all, shame on authors for either not checking their models enough, not asking others to check them, and not opening their models for others to see before publishing "important" results.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, shame on the rest of us (and especially policymakers) for relying on such kinds of work so quickly and without validation to support generally political agendas. It's almost the equivalent of funding vaccine-skeptic studies by choosing which doctors will speak in your favor without regard to a rigorous scientific review process.

Comment CEOs gone wild (Score 3, Insightful) 327

The problem with a lot of leaders is that after they achieve some initial (and maybe even really big and sustained) success, they start to see it as validation of stupid ideas they may have on other things that are not related. And they begin to view their companies as experimental labs for their personal unvetted ideas. This is dangerous.

You saw it in Google's daycare fiasco where some progressive schooling agenda was rolled out, leaving lots of parents with no affordable option for their kids because an executive wanted this, and everyone else had to follow. There are other (better) examples too.

I get the sense that this is the same kind of thing in action. A CEO has some utopian dream about a fully collaborative workplace where everyone is equal, meritocratic, and maybe actually some noble goal of making a better company.

But the thing you learn about groups of people over time is that not everyone can or wants to be equal all the time, and have a content-based battle for leadership every day of their lives. Sometimes you just need a factory workplace to get stuff done, and you don't need everyone to be equal and coming up with ideas every day of their lives. People often want someone to be the leader, to take the responsibility, say what others need to do, and they do it. You evaluate how it went, and try another idea where someone else leads.

You can see examples of this in your own workplace, your friends, your family. You very rarely will see a successful or satisfying group structure where everyone has to debate every decision all the time and be thinking on their toes to do it. It's tiring, and sometimes very much the opposite of what you need to happen. Get a group of friends together where no one feels they can say what the evening's plan should be and I think you get the frustrating picture.

Go home, start making dinner, and debate and negotiate with your spouse and kids about every step of the process because it's sure to make it better, right? I suggest you try it in your life before rolling it out to 1000 employees as the company policy.

Comment testimonial privilege is not immunity though (Score 2) 178

Good to understand though, that not having to be compelled to produce something that could be used against you, doesn't mean that you are protected from that thing being produced... by others. So if somehow their phones were brute force unlocked or decrypted, that evidence could definitely be used against them.

Comment system failure (Score 1) 67

What is with the epidemic of half-assed, unqualified, reaching-beyond-their-capabilities public servants we have lately?

Whether corrupt police, incompetent city government, school principals, etc, when did these kinds of people start getting elected to important public service roles?

Or is it just that now we have more access to tools to expose their idiocy and it seems there are more of them?

Comment finally, some responsibility (Score 4, Insightful) 545

I am all for free speech and entitlement to personal opinion. But the very role of government and public policy is to have a rational and objective view on what is reasonable for citizens to do and not do as part of civil society. It is not to merely sway with the wind and throw up one's hands and say, well, we can't offend anyone's beliefs so we shouldn't do our jobs for fear of being voted out of office.

It is high time that both we as citizens and we as government not put up with or enable a small ridiculous minority of extremist views to hold the rest of society hostage, with the threat of lawsuits.

There is such a thing as being overly reasonable. And there are many more issues that don't rise to this level of publicity, that policy makers give in to, for fear of negative repercussions, rather than doing the right thing.

Comment but on the ground... (Score 1) 203

How will it be at all reasonable to shut down LGA and move traffic to EWR and JFK? Traffic is already a nightmare getting out of Manhattan and on the GCP/Van Wyck. The problem is getting people to the airports.

It is a joke to try and take subways/buses to LGA. La Guardia and NYC need to make some hard and bold public policy choices to cut through a couple of neighborhoods, and make public transport more efficient to/from the airport.

The level of infrastructure quality in our supposedly world-leading financial center is a total embarrassment. You come back from Singapore or HK or even Munich, and you wonder, how are we still #1 with this shit? Fuck the investment required and cost/benefit ratios -- it's a indicator of your country's standing and priorities.

Comment you cannot fight the tide (Score 4, Interesting) 407

Aside from the normal arguments about a shortage of workers *at what offered wage level* etc, etc., the more interesting question here is a question of demographics.

When the world offers you endless numbers of reasonably well-trained workers who can fill your job openings at 1/2 the cost of US workers, what is a country to do? How long can a country resist that pressure? We may politically shout for better wages and training for US citizens to fill these jobs, but the deeper issue is that borders/barriers are less and less effective lately against a flood of competition from people who are cheaper and better (or hungrier).

Americans I believe will have to come to grips with the possibility of a stagnant or even decreasing standard of living as the rest of the world takes what was once our position. No amount of restriction of H-1B visas will prevent that.

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