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Comment: Re:Soverign debt (Score 1) 231

by PopeRatzo (#49766217) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

"Soverign debt is not like personal debt!"

As Dick Cheney famously said on the eve of the Iraq War, "Deficits don't matter".

He said that because sovereign debt really isn't like personal debt when the sovereign debt is in a convertible fiat currency. Because the difference between you and a nation is the power to issue currency. Do you know how many countries have ever actually paid off their debt? Take a guess.

The IMF is like a loan shark. They don't want countries to pay off their debts. They want countries to service their debts until such time as they can burn it down for the insurance (CDO) money.

Comment: Banksters (Score 5, Insightful) 231

by PopeRatzo (#49766159) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

I just learned that the fines for illegal activity paid by banks since the economic collapse have totaled more than a quarter trillion dollars which is more than the entire economy of Greece. And that number is from 2014, before the $13 billion from Citi and the recent $5 billion for the banks involved in the price-fixing scandal.


One of the traders for those banks, who was part of a collusion group that called itself (I'm not making this up), "The Cabal", said, in an email to the group, "If you're not cheating, you're not trying." That's $5 billion in fines for activity that made them hundreds of billions of dollars and bonuses.

And so far, not one of the members of "The Cabal" have been charged with a crime, and they'll be keeping their record bonuses. In fact, no one from those banks will be facing criminal charges of any kind.

So if you want me to be mad at Greece for letting the IMF dangle, I'm sorry. There are much bigger fish to fry.

There's so much more to this Greece story than just, "Oh those lazy Greeks with their big pensions." The IMF and the biggest banks were basically doing what those sketchy "payday loan" places in the strip mall do. They were basically doing what the home-lending institutions were doing in the 2000s. They were giving big bonuses to loan brokers for making loans - any loans - to people because they knew they could flip them on the secondary and CDO market. Investors were chasing yield so the word went out to mortgage lenders to "just get it done" and they basically defrauded as many people as possible. That's what the IMF does in countries like Greece and many South American companies. I think we're going to start seeing more of these countries deciding to just tell the IMF to go eff itself and take their monetary policy medicine and just be done with it. Then you'll start seeing the CIA-backed and German-backed and UK-backed coups start to happen.

Comment: What is the vision of the optimists? (Score 1) 260

I see this kind of prediction a lot and I mostly agree with it (although I am much less sure we will be able to create an intelligent and self-preservational AI in the first place), but I never see what the optimists' prediction is. It seems to me that there may be a fundamental disagreement here on the nature of "super intelligent" AI, and not merely its attitude.

Let's try and narrow this down a little: if the super-intelligence is created through duplicating the action of human neurons (including all of the complicated side effects we're still working on) and then give the resulting neural network the ability to introspect, modify and expand itself, what do the optimists predict will happen? In your answer, please take into account the 'natural section' that would work against any AI unwilling to consider propagating itself at the expense of human well-being.

Comment: Re:Soft bigotry of incomprehensibly low expectatio (Score 1) 128

by foreverdisillusioned (#49764733) Attached to: Al-Qaeda's Job Application Form Revealed
I appreciate the thought and sympathy, but I was trying to address that overblown ultra-echochamber-progressive concept of poverty being the main driver of religious terrorism.

I wouldn't complain if someone mentioned a good entry level position for a math-y major thinking about jumping into CS/IT, but I suspect there would be competition.

Comment: Soft bigotry of incomprehensibly low expectations (Score 3, Interesting) 128

by foreverdisillusioned (#49764077) Attached to: Al-Qaeda's Job Application Form Revealed
As it happens, I'm unemployed right now and extremely (clinically) depressed. (Too bad I can't afford COBRA, so I can't afford the antidepressant I was taking.) And yet--for some bizarre reason--I have not considered the option of murdering a bunch of people who don't share my philosophical views. Maybe I should. Do they offer dental?

Come on. If a bunch of people are one layoff away from going jihadi-apeshit, then there is a problem here quite distinct from whatever economic woes they might face.

And let's face it, however bad things are in Britain, these unemployed proto-jihadis have it a hell of a lot better than I do on this side of the pond, watching my life savings dwindle, several months later still fighting to receive my first unemployment check, with a maximum benefit cap of roughly $4000 (maximum for the year. Not per-payment max.)

I have a certain amount of leftist sympathies, but their strife simply does not warrant their jihad. (And as others have noted, a great many of the terrorists have been middle or upper-middle class.)

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 221

by PopeRatzo (#49763979) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

What kind of business could have revenue less than or equal to its tax bill but will continue to "pay taxes"?

That's upside down thinking. Corporations pay tax on income which means "profits".

Ergo, all taxes a business will pay must be funded out of revenue.

This is the right-wing brainwashing at work. You can't even imagine taxes being funded out of profits, can you? Please bear in mind that a corporation is simply a legal mechanism by which capital can avoid liability. You have somehow come to believe that a companies costs exactly equal its revenue and that they only exist for the public good.

Comment: Re:Cold Brew FTW (Score 1) 100

Well, I don't want to sound like a shill here but the Filtron kit comes with a plastic bottle that has a secondary built-in measuring section up top:

It's kinda cheaply made (mine cracked after 3 or 4 years), but it's extremely handy. You tilt the bottle around until the top section has as much as you'd like (there are measuring lines), then unscrew the lid on the top section and pour out exactly that amount into the cup. At first it's slightly more cumbersome than using a measuring cup, but much more convenient (no need to keep track of and wash the measuring cup) and you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Just don't constantly change coffee cup sizes and it's extremely easy to do even while half asleep.

It's also pretty nice to be able to make ice coffee on a whim, in under 20 seconds.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 221

by PopeRatzo (#49762997) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

The first rule of economics is "Businesses do not pay taxes. Businesses collect taxes."

No, the first rule of economics is "don't talk about economics".

Seriously, as long as you have companies in competition in regard to pricing, then yes, businesses do in fact pay taxes. They can not in fact just raise prices to cover taxes, because if they could raise prices, they already would have done so.

There is no law in economics that says "Businesses do not pay taxes. Businesses collect taxes." That's an old conservative trope that gained currency when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were busy rodgering the working people of their respective countries.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 280

by PopeRatzo (#49762933) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

If you had gone to high school, you might have noticed that women make up 84% of the teaching staff

And if you could read your own citation, you'd have noticed that men make up 43% of the high school teachers.

The 84% number includes elementary, pre-school and early child care. As someone who's actually had progeny, I can assure you, there's a good reason men don't go into pre-school and early child care.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 280

by PopeRatzo (#49762921) Attached to: Study: Science Still Seen As a Male Profession

But elementary school and high school? Forget about it, that's approaching 100% women.

43% of high school teachers are male. And the number of men in teaching at the pre-school through high school level is growing. And growing is the opposite of "approaching zero", for future reference.

It is not well to be thought of as one who meekly submits to insolence and intimidation.