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Comment MiddleEast Wars (Score 1) 681

I don't understand why it's a problem over there.

Many of the US cops are veterans with PTSD. They blew away people in Fallujah and have barely more compunction about doing it in Tulsa.

It's "us" (cops) vs. "them" (citizens) and they're trained to think that way explicitly, and there's even a whole movement about it ("The Thin Blue Line").

The local governments appreciate their ability to prey on the citizenry and milk them for revenue, so there's little political pressure to change things. They steal money from innocent people and the States' Attorneys General support them in buying pinball machines, race cars, and the occasional hookers with the stolen money.

People are turning to alternatives like Cell411 and not calling the cops unless they "need" government paperwork. The problem in this particular case is that the victim never called the cops, so it's not a foolproof plan.

Comment Re:Fiat cash? (Score 5, Insightful) 85

In the US, real money is defined as gold or silver, as is similar in the Constitutions of several states and the Bretton Woods Agreement.

Historians, economists, and traders use the term 'fiat' all the time, but this may be the first time any of them were accused of being 'leet' rather than 'nerds'.

Why do you have a burr up your ass about a particular economic term?

Comment Re:Uhh (Score 1) 106

It's not the nose sensors, it's the number and percentage of neurons in the brain wired to olfactory pattern recognition.

Humans have good hardware for many senses, but our visual system is so good that we tend to favor it over the others and don't pay as much attention to the others because of it, which leads to a matter of practice. Dogs just rely on scent far more and get better at it, and are probably thus evolved to be fast learners with those neurons.

Comment Re:Meh. M. E. H. Meh. (Score 1) 128

He doesn't care if he makes money, he just wants to get rid of traffic jams.

Of course he cares about making money - profit is a price-mechanism signal that value is being provided to consumers.

It just so happens when you do useful things for mankind, and you do them well, that you make profit. I do assume that he's not making money for the sake of making money, but he better be intent on making money if he wants to do a good job.

Comment Re:This caused massive environmental damage (Score 1) 101

How many people will die from climate change that this contributed to? I suspect the answer is a lot of people will. Why isn't the penalty proportional, something like being executed?

Are you dumb? The diesel engines with this defeat were still more energy efficient than gasoline engines. The effect of making it impossible for diesel engines to pass emissions is to push the industry to gasoline (or maybe coal-electric).

How about everybody calling for death because of the cheat be sentenced to death for not understanding thermodynamics and advocating for more fuel consumption and oil wars? How many people will die from oil wars? Or, not because that kind of talk is simply insane.

Comment Re:That is not "crypto" (Score 1) 52

"Crypto" is a well-established short form for "cryptography". It has nothing to do with "crypto currency", except that the latter uses the former, nicely demonstrating what was first. Stop abusing the language for desperate attempts to sound cool.

It has a second meaning now. Words have done that for all of recorded history. Deal.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 468

Where is the economic calculation that includes the American Empire which is founded on the USD as the world reserve currency, which costs trillions of dollars a year, and including the well-accepted fact that the USG is the world's largest polluter?

This whole "we only look at first-order effects" trend in economic analysis is boring and a waste of everybody's time.

Comment Re:Corrects its own headline in the third sentence (Score 2) 474

Also, it's not just the finance costs on the downside, it's the capital costs on the upside, if you could have put that $17K delta to work for you over the same period (even in an index fund).

My kids learned "the time value of money" before kindergarten - how can a professional economic analysis ignore it?

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman