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Comment Re:Why does Apple hate America? (Score 1) 599

It's not money per se, but the velocity of money, that moves the economy.

The economy is not some beast that has to keep moving so that it doesn't die and if it moves faster that means we're generating more wealth and we're all happier and richer. That's completely missing the point. The function of the economy is to satisfy people's preferences. If people prefer to work more and consume more, then that's what will happen, and if people prefer to work less and lead simple lives then that's what will happen in that case. There's nothing intrinsically good or bad about either. And in the long run what satisfies people's preferences the most is capital accumulation. You have all the wealth that you have right now not because people are moving cash around really quickly and consuming a lot but because a whole bunch of people over the past ten thousand years decided that rather than producing to consume the whole product immediately they would produce things like factories, infrastructure and research for future benefit - they decided to _produce more than they consume and save the difference_. Human society is a fat cat that has been getting fatter since the dawn of civilization and you can thank that for cheap food, infrastructure, medicine and the computer you wrote your post on.

Comment Re:amazing use of resources (Score 1) 381

> It's easy to make a bitcoin-clone without this property, you just need to adjust the mining rate so that the early adopters don't get half of the total wealth to ever be available.

No, it's not. The only reason why so many people are so willing to sink their lives into Bitcoin businesses is that they are also holding tens of thousands of dollars in bitcoins which could potentially become tens of millions, and it makes sense for them to create businesses to support the currency in their own interest. A more fair economic model, while superior in terms of fairness, may never have acquired so much enterpreneurial dedication and would never have gotten anywhere.

Comment Re:Obesity (Score 1) 504

> Not many want to go back to the pre medical days of a 35 year average longevity, but it does have it's consequences....

Fun fact: in the ancient (ie. first few centuries BC) world, the average longevity was closer to 50-70 years (hence the Bible's "three score and ten"). Living for 35 years was a medieval problem caused by ineffective waste disposal and the resultant diseases within highly concentrated cities. Since then, the number of "bad things" we've had to deal with has actually been decreasing with each new generation.

Comment Re:Hey, fuck you. (Score 1) 714

You're wrong because most of that should not even come up at the office.

Yes, because offices should be clean, puritanical white laboratories of production where all concepts of cultural solidarity, friendship and conversation get hung up on the coat rack at nine and picked back up at five when you leave.

If it is an issue then the owner needs to be informed on the realities of operating in a multi-cultural nation.

We're supposed to be a mosaic, not a melting pot. There's a difference.

Comment Re:Desktops becoming more relevant, mobile is a ni (Score 0) 249

general all in one computing device which can fill the role of DVR, Game console, office management, home management, communications and web browsing, telephone and video chat from home, and so on.

DVR - mobile can do that just fine
Game console - mobile can do that just fine
Office management - desktop wins here
Home management - desktop wins here
Communications and web browsing - mobile can do that just fine
Telephone and video chat - mobile wins here

New flash: users don't care about RAM, super-overclocked multicore 4 GHZ CPUs or any other such acronyms. They care about UI responsiveness. We've had that since the 1980s, all you need is to keep the bloat down.

Comment Re:I hope he realizes he did more harm than good (Score 2) 332

> Paying rent to the company and being forced to buy from the company store IS a form of slavery

There is no slavery. Workers have a right to enter, and they have a right to leave. Guess what, some people actually prefer having the security of a meal every day to working 16 hours a day and being subject to the whims of the harvest on the field.

And labor laws and unions are really not as useful as you think. If you look at the historical record of what wage laborers' conditions have been over the centuries, you'll find that the chief determinant is not "greed" or unions or laws - it's supply and demand. 14th century, Black Death happened, and, as counterintuitive as it seems, living conditions shot up across the board. We had an 8-hour day for the first time. 19th century, population boom, wages at subsistence. Early 20th century, population growth started to go down as we invented birth control, and wages went up again. Now, things went down a little one more time for those of us lucky enough to be born on the right continent because the world markets got opened up, while living conditions have been measurably going up across the board in the rest of the world (somewhat less in Africa and southeast Asia, which just happens to be where the evil exploiting multinationals are the weakest). Freedom - it's a socialist wealth redistribution scheme :)

Comment Re:The people will be the ones who suffer (Score 1) 667

Democratic does not always equal morally or ethically correct.

Of course not. And neither is any non-democratic institution. Ultimately, morality is subjective and the only final arbiter of what's moral for you is yourself. I, for example, don't find Foxconn evil at all as its pay is better than most of its competitors, its suicide rates are lower than the Chinese and US average and its safety nets make it no more evil or foreboding than the Eiffel tower. On the other hand, though, I do not buy Apple products because Apple infringes on my freedom more than its Android counterparts.

I think social opprobrium provides a perfectly reasonable amplifier for ethical considerations; would you really keep buying your Apple products if you were in a social environment that publicly despised them? Studies suggest no; peer pressure, for example, is even more effective at discouraging smoking than the health concerns that are the reason behind the peer pressure themselves. That's the true bottom-up democracy. All it takes is enlightenment and awareness, and the internet's slowly but surely bringing that to us already.

Comment Re:Maybe if the schools actually taught math (Score 1) 489

In addition, if they actually taught arithmetic instead of trying to have kids reconstruct it from first principles, it might be less confusing.

No, that would make it more confusing.

"This is a derivative. The derivative of the nth power of x is n times x to the power of n minus one. The derivative of the sine is the cosine, and the derivative of the cosine is the opposite of the sine. The derivative of the exponential is proportional to the exponential itself multiplied by the logarithm of the base. Memorize that, test next monday"

What would work better - that, or intuitively explaining to people what functions and slopes actually are and why all those things are the case? Education isn't about shoving stuff in, it's about having students bring it out by themselves - that's right there in the etymology

Comment Re:Lax attitudes toward child pornography (Score 2) 722

You're totally missing the point. Police go after people possessing part of a dead plant to combat the production of said plant. Police go after possession of child pornography to combat the production of child pornography.

I think you're wrong here. With drugs, police go after production to combat possession (and use), which is what they ultimately want to reduce. With child pornography, police go after use and possession to combat production.

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