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Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 258

So then sex with Monica Lewinsky has been decided to be a good thing because Clinton was elected?

Last I checked, neither the House nor the Senate had made a vote asking Clinton to fuck her, so no.

Not every action by an elected government is the will of the people or the "right thing". And given that people are arguing here that it isn't even protectionism, makes me think that it isn't as settled as you assert.

First point: Of course not, but until we have a perfect liquid democracy, it is the closest thing we have, and for the moment, like it or not, it is the modus operandi of our western societies. So taking into account the realities of our lives, it has been decided.

Second point: Of course there will always be discussion in a multi-valued society. In every democratic decision, there's also a minority whose opinion did not win the day, and we allow them to continue voicing it.

Comment: Re:Things are simple... (Score 1) 258

Shop at the store to find what you want then order it online for $1 less is a fantasy you made up.

Not at all. I know both customers who do this and shops that had this problem and went belly up (very likely not just because of it, but it contributed).

Your examples are bad examples and they miss the point. We're talking about small, personal book stores, and you come with Best Buy and Fry.

Comment: love cash (Score 1) 331

by Tom (#47446843) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

I love cash. You can have it when you pry it from my col... wait... not quite. But for me to stop using cash, you have to make electronic cash work first. That means three things that are absolute requirements and I will not ever negotiate:

  1. It is anonymous and untraceable, at least for any practical purposes.
  2. It is as fast and easy to use as taking a bill from my wallet. If your e-cash solution takes more than about 5-10 seconds for a simple payment, it is too slow. I'm talking start-to-finish, including everything I have to do, the recipient has to do, and your system has to do.
  3. It works between two private individuals who meet in the middle of nowhere and don't have Internet at that moment.

As long as even one of these conditions is not met, I will have to carry cash around me anyways, and if I have cash with me, I will use it wherever I can.

Comment: Re:Many worlds (Score 1) 149

by istartedi (#47446703) Attached to: How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

You've still missed the point.

No I haven't. If we were discussing the set of prime numbers and I said "how about six" you could say, "No, because it's divisible by 2 and 3". The set of prime numbers is an infinite set with well known restrictions.

We're discussing alternative universes. If I say, "How about the one where I'm GWB?" You have nothing to say because this discussion started with the premise, and ONLY the premise that alternative universes are an infinite set. There were no other criteria specified. I submit that in the absence of such criteria not only may we speculate on all possibilities, we must.

Comment: Re:Many worlds (Score 1) 149

by istartedi (#47446497) Attached to: How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

OK, you've done a good job now of explaining what you mean; but my possibility is just as valid as yours. Maybe the multiverse has to include numbers beyond 1.0, and maybe it doesn't.

Maybe it's an infinite set full of bizarre possibilities, and maybe it's an infinite set full of subtle variations on our known theme. We just. Don't. Know.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 258

simply shrinking the market doesn't radically change things,

The market doesn't shrink. The market is the number of exchanged goods. The market doesn't care if there are 200 merchants or 250 merchants. What changes is the distribution of goods and merchants, and when the number of merchants is very low and their concentration of market power high, we get into situations (oligopoly, monopoly) that we do not want because we know they are bad.

If you want a book that isn't in the bestsellers list, then in your local town there's probably only one or two book shops that stock it at best and most likely none.

For the past 20 years, when I go to a bookstore and I want a book they don't have, they could almost always order it and have it for me the next day.

while it'd be nice to have geographically distributed demand for labour, in practice this has not been true since the invention of cities.

I'm not talking about a perfect equilibrium. I'm talking about the simple fact that if your country has one region with 50% unemployment rates and one region where employers can't find workers, your whole country will destabilze.

Of course there will always be differences. But if they get too extreme, the consequences are much higher and much more expensive then the costs of some small interventions.

What's more once you decide that lots of people deserve to be protected from changing times,

I never said anything like that and my arguments are completely unrelated to technical or other progress. So please burn the strawman somewhere else.

Comment: Re:Many worlds (Score 1) 149

by istartedi (#47444091) Attached to: How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

Except in the one where you posted saying it wasn't, but were mistaken because it actually was. That might not be too far from the one where I'm GWB, a frequent Slashdot poster. It's interesting to ponder the concept of what "infinity" really means when you consider all the possibilities on some mundane thing like that.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 258

small local bookshops are inherently worth protecting. Why is that?

Because you need many, many competitors in a market for it to actually be a market. The amount of large corporations any market can support is limited and fairly low, general business wisdom has it that it is around 3-5 with the first 3 being profitable and two or so more being able to just barely make it.

If you want many participants in a market, most of them will be small. That is why small shops are worthy of protection.

You also want to have employment in your country be fairly even, and not have some areas with high demand and low supply and some with low demand and many unemployed, which is why local shops are worthy of protection.

Really, you just need to use your brain a little more and it's all very simple.

Perhaps the space the bookshops used up can be replaced by coffee shops

Maybe, but this is not at all about bookshops being replaced by something else, it's about small competitors being driven out by large competitors, so put the strawman away again.

Comment: Re:Not France vs US (Score 1) 258

Protectionism is protectionism,

And sometimes it is needed. The whole "free market über alles" philosophy makes assumptions that are not true in the real world, such as perfect transparency. To come even close to working as it should, the free market needs to be guided. Among other things, protecting small competitors guarantees that it remains a free market and doesn't turn into an oligopol or a monopol.

Comment: Re:Things are simple... (Score 1) 258

The ones that actually provide value to the customer will stay due to people actually visiting them.

Unfortunately, they will not. Too many people will use the cozy atmosphere and the good service to make their selection, and then order it online because it costs a dollar less.

Yes, poor buggy whip makers will be out of jobs in the short term, but we can't all be riding carriages into the future...

Except that Amazon has not invented the car. The buggy whip makers are not going to be out of jobs, they are going to be replaced by minimum-wage buggy whip warehouse slaves.

Comment: Re:@CauseBy - Re:Yes (Score 1) 351

by Tom (#47441227) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

* Displace smart phones/dedicated GPSes used for turn-by-turn directions (visual and audio) while driving. It's going to be great for motorcycle users. I'm not sure yet whether it will be legal for this use.
* It will make the policeman's job more difficult by allowing drivers to check their emails/texts while driving without it being obvious to an observer.

Having the stuff on your wrist in a way that may often require you to turn your hand is quite probably no less dangerous than having a phone in your hand.

* Provide quick updates to stock/commodity traders who are on the go or not near a desktop/laptop.

They're already being replaced by fully-automated trading systems, in a few years we'll wonder why humans ever even did the job in the first place.

* Allow joggers to skip songs without carrying their smartphones in their hands.

Earphone pieces already allow for this. Those from Apple, for example, let you stop, start, skip forward and backward. And it only requires one arm to do it, not both, which is more important in running than having a cute gadget.

"Engineering without management is art." -- Jeff Johnson