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Comment: Re:Corruption? In Russia? (Score 1) 70

by drinkypoo (#49780177) Attached to: Russian Space Agency Misused $1.8 Billion, May Be Replaced

I think I see where you're both going, and I agree with him. It's not like just any asshole can broadcast. The government decides who's even allowed to bid on spectrum, so even if there were nothing fancier going on, there's manipulation at that level. But beyond that, Fox "News" and their victory in court against having to even try to tell the truth when they call it news is vindication of the position. The mainstream media does the will of the government, and buys legislation in same, to the extent that the lines between the two are blurred.

Comment: Re:It only increases accountability (Score 2) 222

by hey! (#49779303) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

Well, speaking of Amtrak employee accountability, I have a story about that. A few years ago my family took a train ride across the country. When we changed trains in Chicago I noticed that the reading light in my sleeping compartment was stuck on, which of course was bad if I wanted to actually sleep. I found the friendly and helpful attendant and reported it, and her reaction was like watching a balloon deflate.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"If we report damage they take it out of our wages," she said.

"What! What do you mean take it out of your wages?" I asked.

"If a car is damaged under my watch I have to pay for it," she said.

"Well," I said, taking out my swiss army knife, "I guess there's nothing to see here."

I have to say that I've never encountered such a nice, enthusiastic, friendly group of people with such an abysmally low morale as the crew of a cross-country train. With passengers they're great, but all through the trip I'd see two or three congregated having low muttered conversations. It didn't take me long to figure out they were talking about management. And while the experience was wonderful, the equipment was in horrible shape. It was like traveling in a third world country.

With management that bad, more data doesn't equal more accountability and better performance. It means scapegoating.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 724

by Tom (#49778637) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank, which you yourself point out is also effectively run by the German federal government.

I point out it's the other way around.

The other claim is backed up by every news article on the subject that you care to google.

I.e., they are lending money for purposes where any rational investor would say "Hell, no, too risky!" You know, like solar panels and the Greek government.

Crazy pills?

No, it's a "bank" in the sense that you would like all banks to be

You have an agenda here, and it is not to have an interesting discussion or provide useful information, therefore I'm wasting my time. Good bye.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 724

by Tom (#49778611) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The point is that private investors would not have "gambled" with their money like this;

Which is why Lehman Brothers is still a successful private bank, yes?

is pretty much the economic program of 20th century German fascists.

Let's not build roads, because the Nazis did it, too. What a solid argument.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 724

by Tom (#49778595) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

It doesn't make a difference with regards to their motivations: they invested in Greece not because they are run by private, profit-hungry investors, they invested in Greece because politicians wanted them to.

Sources?

My (german) magazines tell that they invested exactly because they were looking for profits. The mix of unexperienced bureaucrats looking for profits and too-good-to-be-true investment opportunities made the mess.

and if you give politicians more control over banking, they are going to do more of this, not less.

Nobody wants to give politicians control over banking. Some of us want regulations, which means courts can force banks to not play russian roulette with the economy.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 724

by Tom (#49776401) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

How misleading.

The "credit" from KfW was the german part of the bailout money. They didn't speculate in Greece, they were simple the vehicle through which the german government sent its share. Also, KfW is not a bank in the normal sense of the word. For example, you can't go there and open an account. It's a specialized government investment institute that is primarily used as a low-interest credit bank for government subsidized investment. For example, because the government wants to support renewable energy, you can get very cheap credits from KfW if you want to build solar panels on your roof.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 724

by Tom (#49776343) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

That's exactly the kind of program you like:

I usually exit these discussions when people begin to argue ad hominem. You have no idea what I like, because we haven't talked about it. Also, you're wrong.

As far as loans from Germany were concerned, the primary "bankster" was the German government.

As far as the partially government-owned banks are concerned, they're not owned by the German government, but by regional governments. The national government is too much in bed with the major banks (Deutsche Bank, etc.) to run their own.

Comment: Re:They're bums, why keep them around (Score 1) 724

by Tom (#49776323) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

Because the "big banks" you're talking about are primarily state-owned. So the tax payer is going to pay for them no matter what.

Actually not. Some of them are partially government-owned. That's a difference. It is now that all the debt is transferred to state-owned banks.

The only way a private bank or investor is going to give money to the Greek government is if he is reasonably assured by EU and/or German politicians ahead of time that he will be bailed out if Greece defaults.

Which is basically what happened.

Comment: Re:Maybe science went off the rails... (Score 2) 353

by hey! (#49775243) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?

If 99/100 scientists agree one thing is true, it's more likely to be true than the alternative backed by 1/100 scientists.

Which is beside the point. Consensus isn't about truth, it's about burden of proof.

Suppose Alice and Bob both try to make a perpetual motion machine. Alice claims she has failed, but Bob claims he has succeeded. The scientific community treats Alice's claims of failure without skepticism but it automatically assumes that Bob has made a mistake somewhere.

Does that seem unfair to Bob? Well, imagine you're a rich guy and Alice and Bob are both applying to you for a job. Bob says you should give the job to him because he's your long-lost fraternal twin your parents never told you about and which the hospital hushed up for some reason. When you mention this to Alice she freely admits she is not related to you. You automatically believe Alice, so is it fair to Bob to be skeptical of his claims?

It's a case of "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. In either case Bob can prove his claim, it's more complicated and time consuming because he has to explain what went wrong with all the prior knowledge. Alice's claims in either case are consistent with what you reasonably believe to be true so you can reasonably assume she's correct.

Comment: Re:Well there's the problem... (Score 1) 185

by drinkypoo (#49775113) Attached to: Court Orders UberPop Use To Be Banned In All of Italy

If you want to fix the streets of New York City, implement better public transportation. New York could use a nice bus system.

New York is also probably the only place in the USA with both sufficient population and population density to justify alternative transportation schemes. How about some overhead transport? Lots of room up there.

It seems intuitively obvious to me, which means that it might be wrong. -- Chris Torek

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