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Comment Re:What about non-factory jobs?? (Score 1) 510

For that matter, from what I've gathered (on Slashdot) of working conditions in the IT industry in the US, they could certainly use a union. Unions are there to provide a counter-force to the interests of owners who would most like to have free 24 hour slave labor if it was possible. I would never go along with the working conditions told of here on Slashdot and they would never fly in a country which does have some measure of employee power. (even if it's quickly diminishing in the wake of 30 years of neoliberal policies here in Sweden)

Comment Re:The rich, the robots, the rest of us (Score 1) 510

I neither want to waste my life in front of daytime TV nor do I have any desire to become "powerful" or rich. Your view of humanity is excessively pessimistic, most people do want to contribute something to society. There have been experiments with a basic income which does indicate that the vast majority still work despite having enough to survive and watch daytime TV if they so wish. The few who do not *want* to contribute something most likely aren't going to do a very good job so forcing them to work while those who do want to work have to stay at home does not seem very logical from a productivity standpoint.

The viewpoint that automation would negate the need for unions also doesn't make any sense. Why would automation make employers want to pay their employees more than the absolute minimum they can get away with? Unions are the reason we in Europe have the working conditions we do have, without them fighting for workers rights, 8 hour days and 5 week vacations would have never been realized as there would have been no counterpoint to the power of the very wealthy whose interests do not coincide with the average worker. The same is true in the future regardless of whether automation puts large parts of the population out of work, those who do work still need a counterweight to the capitalists who still do not have their interests at heart, but their own.

Comment Re:Social Responsiblity (Score 1) 469

I agree with most of your post, but I do have a minor quibble with your first statement. The definition of socialism is essentially worker ownership of the means of production, there has never been such an era in the United States. Though one might argue that the world in general is moving even further away from such a society with most of the previously "petite bourgeoisie" (essentially, small-scale capitalists, such as small business owners for instance) replaced by companies owned by large and disgustingly wealthy capitalists who wouldn't have to work a day in their lives and yet still live a life of luxury off the backs of the workers of the world.

Comment Re:OK, but what about the hours? (Score 1) 342

This differs from country to country. Here in Sweden, Ph.D. students are (generally, there are exceptions) employees of the university and get a salary and all the benefits of any other employee, although they don't get overtime pay but do get "traktamente", per diem, for conferences and such. Yes, Ph.D. students here are often still in the lab later in the evening than is the norm outside of academia but it's also coupled with much more flexible hours where the reasoning is that as long as you get your work done you can do it whenever you want (provided of course that you can still work with others when needed and be there when teaching, going to class, etc). In my experience, Ph.D. students tend to be at work about as much as other employees, maybe slightly more.

Comment Re:Captain Obvious (Score 1) 341

On the first point I would agree, but on the second point not so much. A good driver will reduce gear and coast to a red light rather than race up to it only to brake and then have to use a lot of extra energy to get going from a standstill again. There are occasions where this is not possible of course, but in most cases you won't be getting any benefits from regenerative braking though you'll be saving fuel by not wasting the kinetic energy of the car in the first place.

Comment Keyword is "mature urban cycling systems" (Score 3, Insightful) 1651

The keyword here is "mature urban cycling systems". I'm pretty sure no US cities can even remotely compare to Amsterdam or Copenhagen (I've biked in both and you really notice that the bike is considered the equal of the car, not an afterthought as is so common), neither can my city (Stockholm). When bikes interact with cars to such a large extent and the bike network tends to suddenly disappear, leaving cyclists to biking on roads with motorists who tend not to notice cyclists. This is a big problem in Stockholm and I recently biked in San Francisco where it seems to be an even bigger problem, a motorist completely cut me off in order to park when I was coming fast in the bike lane, I was barely able to brake in time, this is even worse than I've ever experienced in Stockholm where motorists like to use bike lanes as "temporary" parking spots, but at least look around first when driving into a bike lane. In an environment like this, I would never leave the helmet unless I knew I was not going to interact with cars at all during my trip.

Comment Re:Thanks (Score 1) 229

I do subscribe to GNU's "bullshit", because it's important to distinguish between "GNU/Linux" and "Dalvik/Linux" (or whatever you wish to call it). The latter is lacking many of the abilities of the former so just calling both "Linux" because they share a kernel can cause alot of confusion.

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