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Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 57

by ultranova (#47437195) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

Why not let everyone who qualifies swim in the taxicab business leaving those who cannot stand the waters perish?

1) Do you really want two-ton land missiles driven by desperate people who are driven to cut corners to stay competitive?

2) More generally, as you noted, a competitive market is a swim-or-sink situation. That means profit margins will get razor-thin. That sounds awesome until you realize that wages are also a form of profits. In other words, a competitive market is good for customers and horrible for everyone else in it. This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces. So of course anyone who can tries to use whatever leverage they can to make any markets they're competing in less efficient. It's the only way to avoid starving.

Comment: Re:and... (Score 1) 109

The whole point of the DMCA is that you can take stuff down but you have to put your own ass on the line in order to do so.

No, the point of the DMCA is that those with money can take stuff down.

We do this for a reason. The DMCA was written like that for a reason. What we see right now is the direct result of lack of enforcement.

What we see right now is the real face of copyright. This is the spirit of all such laws, no matter what their letter might say.

Comment: Re:sounds like North Korea news (Score 1) 104

by ultranova (#47435159) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

Worse than that. It's like Brave New World news. The only things fit to publish are the things that keep us happy(and thus amendable to advertisements in this case). It's not trying to make on specific entity look good, it's trying to engage in actual mind control via selection bias.

Ironically, this might actually end up giving a more accurate picture of the world, because disasters and scandals tend to be big and flashy, while good news come as constant stream of small things. Overall, the stream drowns out the flames - our civilization would had never gotten off the ground otherwise - but it's the odd flame that becomes ever so more newsworthy by its very rareness.

Politics of fear are based on and enabled by this very phenomenom, and we've all seen them cause completely irrational - and often very destructive - decisions. So feel-good popular newsfeed could very well end up undermining demagogues by acting as counterpoison to fearmongering.

Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 1) 369

by ultranova (#47434957) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Nature -- specifically evolution -- disagrees.

Evolution doesn't deal with life or death, it deals with the relative abundance of properties in populations. If anything, our innovation - cultural evolution - is such success precisely because it removes death from the equation. Now the main thrust is on the evolution of our various superorganisms - cultures - rather than our bodies, thus allowing adaptation at blitzkrieg speeds compared to even bacteria, much less any other complex organisms.

Comment: Re:Why is this news? (Score 1) 369

by ultranova (#47434641) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

In other words, even though the statement about cars kill a lot of people is true, the statement does NOT make the cyclist are menace to be false.

"Menace" is a subjective value judgement. "Cars kill a lot of people" does affect "cyclists are a menace" because both are statements about the dangers of various forms of locomotion. Locomotion itself is unavoidable, so the question becomes which form is safest, and "menace" implies cycling is far from it.

Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 211

by ultranova (#47429977) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart

The Gestapo actually wasn't that good at spying. The German people were, however, quite good at turning their neighbors in to the Gestapo.

Which means Gestapo was good at spying. The indicator is whether you get results, after all, not whether you get them because you're smart or scary.

There's a lot of myth concerning the Nazi police force. It's unfortunate that even today people repeat it without thinking.

"He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you."

Tyrants stay in power, not because they're stronger than their very source of power, but because they're good at building myths. A nation, company or any other organization is nothing more than a myth shared by its members. And the myth of the Third Reich is so strong it still persists, long after its embodiment is gone, as a kind of ghost nation. Time will tell whether Hitler will take up permanent residence in our collective pantheon along the Caesar's and Napoleon.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach

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