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Comment Re:Good Literature Recommendations (Score 1) 244

Wouldn't necessarily be opposed; could be more stagnant as a society, but on the other hand, having 'leaders' who may actually face the prospect of having to live with the long-term consequences of decisions they made 500 years ago might bring some much needed sobriety to our political and economic landscape.

Another technology I'm curious to see the societal impacts of will be iron-wombs. On-demand population production at the fingertips of government and business. The only fictional setting I'm aware of even touching this idea is, weirdly, Battletech (really, not where you'd expect to see it). Although the societal changes aren't as well-thought out, or fleshed out, in the setting as I'd like.

Comment Re:$2500 a month? (Score 1) 866

I just want to say: You feel free to quit your job. I will absolutely take it while your gone.

GBI proposals don't give you a lot of money to work with - maybe that's fine for you; you've got a large nest-egg already perhaps, and can go into early retirement. That's also still great for people like me who definitely need more than what a GBI would give.

You take an early retirement, and people like me replace you and get actual decent jobs at decent wages, and perhaps in 10 or 15 years I'll join you in that GBI-backed early retirement.

Comment Planted evidence (Score 1) 306

Supposing the police were to plant evidence;
What could you even do to prove in court that the police planted evidence on your computer after it left your custody and entered theirs?

Full encryption and locking them out might work until you're forced to disclose passwords by a judge, granting them access.
Perhaps running your own "snapshot" system via backups similar to a git repository?
Maybe some sort of hardware/software checksum?

It just seems like a really simple and easy way for pretty much anyone (not just police) to incriminate you without much/any effort on their own part.

Comment Re:They already do. (Score 4, Interesting) 266

It's one of the reasons 4chan is as popular as it is.

I can go there, say whatever I want; "burn the gays!", "kill the niggers!", "Hitler did nothing wrong!", or even something as mundane as "Yeah, I actually support Trump" - anything and I won't be persecuted, ostracized, or otherwise attacked in real life for it.

And you know what that enables?
Actual political discourse. Because you no longer have to temper anything against the prospect of retributive action from people who oppose your political ideas. If someone thinks your idea is full of shit they can't just censor you, they can't just throw you in jail or even kill you. No matter how asinine (in fact, the more contrarian the post, the more visible it is due to the larger number of replies it will garner) someone will have to argue against your position in order to refute it.

And it's absolutely fantastic. It and the few *chan copycats are the only places on the internet where actual political discussion can take place. Where, rather than posting in a hugbox of like-minded people who echo your thoughts, you put yourself in a hurt-box where everyone tells you you're a dumbfuck moron who doesn't know what he's talking about, and you're forced to actually defend whatever argument you've made.

The only two issues the format has are: [1] signal-to-noise ratio; as there is a very large amount of spam that takes place due to the free-speech nature, and [2] moderation stepping in and censoring certain viewpoints/topics. (This doesn't tend to happen much on 4chan's popular boards just for the sheer number of posters that makes censorship almost impossible, but on the smaller sites as well as the smaller boards on 4chan itself, it's definitely an issue).

If you want to get the pulse of what the political undercurrents and beliefs in present day western society actually are, without the politically correct censorship that takes place, you go to 4chan and get the whole ugly truth of it.

Comment Re:Claiming patent on web pages with javascript? (Score 1) 123

IBM's basically excised everything important for the long-term functioning of their company, in the name of 'cutting costs'. They've got to monetize their few remaining assets somehow, and patents and lawyers are probably the most obvious to the beancounters. Sue everyone who looks like they might be infringing an IBM patent (And there's a lot of such patents); profit!

Inventing new products, systems, services? Fuck that. That takes long term investment, there's huge costs paying for labor that can't simply be replaced with H1B visa holders, and it's extra risky compared to almost guaranteed profits from abusing the courts and running shakedown 'protection money' scams on other companies who actually do the inventing and creating.

Just another item on the huge pile that's stagnating western economies - and with every politician bought and paid for by these corporations, in addition to corporate astroturfing/advertising, there's no effort on the governments' part to fix it. A lot of people are hoodwinked into believing it's a good thing. It's frustrating to watch this, because the long-term consequences are so obvious to anyone who can look further than next quarter's profit margin.

Comment Re:The big lie of the pols (Score 4, Insightful) 194

Jobs are only created when entire new industries open up.

Let's simplify things down a bit to make this easier to grasp:
In order to compete in an established market, you need to produce a better/cheaper product than your competitors.
Every 'cost' in the entire chain of production fundamentally boils down to human labor
Reducing human labor reduces costs
Reducing costs improves efficiency
Improving efficiency allows better competition in the marketplace

There are no new jobs being created; only jobs being lost as we create new practices, techniques, and technology to reduce the amount of human labor needed for production of goods. Walmart replaced all the local grocers because walmart was more efficient than they were. Walmart "created" jobs only insomuch that nobody bothered comparing walmarts' "job creation" to their "job destruction" from undercutting local competition.

Yesterday we needed a team of 1000 to create a widget. Today we need a team of 100. Tomorrow it'll be a team of 10.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to say this is a bad thing. It just is.

So remember, the next time a politician or CEO talks about how many jobs he's creating; what he really means is that he's moving a bunch of jobs into a certain location from another, and almost certainly the end result will be a decline in total jobs in the world, not an increase.

Comment Re: Interesting (Score 2) 440

UBI can't increase inflation - ever. It's not adding money to the economy, it's redistributing what already exists.

It's not the same thing as just giving everyone a million bucks. UBI is essentially a reformation of pre-existing welfare that gets rid of all the overhead and administrative costs involved in deciding who gets what.

Taxpayers on the high end (the upper 20% certainly) are paying tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in taxes. They avoid what they can, but they still pay a lot. These people will get say, $800/mo back from the government. It's a pittance to them, and doesn't offset their taxes whatsoever.

Meanwhile someone making less than $10,000/year, is now doubling that to almost $20,000. That's HUGE for them.

UBI is, in essence, a redistribution of money from those who pay the highest taxes to those who pay the least, and it's done without even increasing taxes. Been a long time coming, to be quite honest.

More importantly, doubling the income of people in the lower income brackets is going to massively increase consumer spending. This is the connection that finally completes the circuit on the flow of money in our economies. Right now it's just been accumulating in the coffers of the very rich, being invested and re-invested in ways that always gain and never lose them money, which has resulted in stagnation across the western world.

Increased consumer spending will also come on top of and out of, increased wages that will result when people aren't faced with a reality of work for a pittance or die, and can now actually negotiate fair wages for themselves from a position of financial security.

The biggest winners in UBI economies are the lower and middle classes, but there are no actual losers in a UBI economy. Even the ultra-rich who are most effected by taxation, are going to see their investments and businesses increasing in profits due to the explosion in consumer spending. The only real issue is overcoming everyone's preconceived notions of what UBI is and does - like this idea that it increases inflation because people now have more money to spend. It might be more apt to say that UBI will 'simply' massively increase the velocity of money in the economy.

With that said, there's a fair number of the ultra-rich who seem to think the masses deserve to wallow in misery - it's not enough that they win, everyone else also has to lose. UBI won't be able to fix that, and these types will be the ones hardest to overcome in regards to implementation of UBI, because they have the wealth necessary to fight it to the death.

Right now, the solution our "elites" have come up with to offset our unsustainable stagnating economic systems, is to import foreigners to continue massive economic growth: More people to tax, more loans to give out, more debt to add to GDP "growth", and lower wages across the board to save money. It's the wrong approach because they aren't considering most of the actual social/economic costs doing this. As such, I'm not particularly concerned about all this for the future of humanity - in the long run something like a UBI will be implemented regardless. The alternatives are completely unworkable and will result in collapse or at least greatly reduced economic efficiency; while UBI achieves the opposite, both with increased velocity of money and allowing the economy to continue to function while it is further automated.

The nations that implement UBI-like systems will succeed, and the ones who don't will fail. The actual choice we're faced with in the near future here, isn't whether or not we should implement a system like UBI, but whether we'll put it off until after economic collapse, political/social instability, and civil unrest/war, or before.

Knowing humanity, we're definitely going to kill each other a bunch first.

Comment Re:Can you *know* something you don't even believe (Score 2) 385

suggests that disbelief does not entail lack of knowledge. Can that be?

It's pretty easy to see how it works in this case:
Elephants evolved, but humans didn't because humans are special.

These people don't seem to disbelieve evolution, they largely seem to disbelieve that humans evolved.

Comment Re: Ok. (Score 1) 675

I run with no-script on, and whitelist websites that I find myself frequently visiting and trust.

Whenever I see a website with a list like

wired.com, optimizely.com, disquscdn.com, amazon-adsystem.com, ajax.googleapis.com, pinterest.com, adobedtm.com, scorecardresearch.com, mookie1.com, omtrdc.net, yldbt.com, demdex.net, dff7tx5c2qbxc.cloudfront.net, disqus.com, dy48bnzanqw0v.cloudfront.net, condenastdigital.com, facebook.com, outbrain.com, googlsyndication.com, googleadservices.com, polarmobile.com, twitter.com, mediavoice.com, doubleclick.net, zqtk.net, parsely.com, chartbeat.com, tiqcdn.com, typekit.net, googletagservices.com, moatads.com, mediaplex.com, twimg.com, adsafeprotected.com, dotomi.com, google-analytics.com

I literally just close the page. It isn't worth my time trying to temporarily allow these websites one by one to see which one actually ends up serving me the content I originally requested.

Fuck'em. Even the porn sites are better.

Comment Re:John Oliver (Score 1) 954

The USA's gun death rate is far far far higher than places like Canada, France, UK, etc.

I just want to requote this part here, because it's a perfect example of the duplicitousness of the anti-gun rhetoric I see. If you look this fact up, you'll see it is absolutely true - here is an example showing a correlation between gun ownership rates and gun death rates.

But examine the actual words being used, and you quickly see the deceit: Gun death rate.
Not homicide rate. Not violent crime rate. Not suicide rate. Not rape or anything else. Gun death.

What, exactly, is a "gun death"?
It's anyone killed by a gun, for any reason - suicide, homicide, justified homicide, accident. It is the equivalent of saying that greater access to guns leads to more deaths by gun, in much the same way that greater access to anything would result in more deaths by that thing. Whether it is swimming pools, cars, kitchen knives - if you have them, someone will eventually die as a result of them, and so you can show and correlate kitchen knives with the kitchen knife death rate quite clearly.

But that doesn't mean kitchen knives are turning people into criminals and murderers.

So what do the statistics look like when you look at something more relevant, like overall homicide, suicide, rape, etc. vs gun ownership?
Like this

There is no correlation. That's why the anti-gun rhetoric focuses on deceiving you with the "gun death rate"; the actual statistics do not back them up on ANY of it.

The spree shootings make up ~0.003% of the total homicide rate. Gun ownership doesn't correlate with homicide, violent crime, rape, or suicide. Rifles are used in less than 5% of overall firearm homicides, with by far the majority coming from handguns. Almost all the firearm homicide is a result of inner city gangs shooting each other in densely populated urban centers; over 60% (in some places more than 80%) of the victims already have a criminal record!

The more I look into all the data I can find, the more I find that guns have absolutely nothing to do with any of the problems the US faces.

Comment Re:land of the the free ? (Score 1) 563

What is stunningly stupid are people who don't know the first thing about guns attempting to regulate and ban them.
Why, it'd be like people who don't know the first thing about computers, or networks, attempting to regulate and ban them.

Nobody who knows a thing or two about guns has anything but contempt for a congressional district representative who starts describing "shoulder things that go up" or a state senator who talks about "ghost guns with 30 caliber clips".

The few anti-gun laws that DO get passed, are full of nonsense like this. These laws are created by clueless morons who quite frankly hurt the entire anti-gun position far more than they have ever helped it.

And for those who still wonder about the actual effects of firearm ownership on violent crime, homicide, suicide and so forth, I invite you to read through the following: https://imgur.com/a/b7HSM

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