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Comment Re:I Predict... (Score 1) 307

Since you said "seriously," I'll answer. Because otherwise no one would invest in any business that they were not personally operating. Suppose you own some shares in a mutual fund. Is it reasonable to hold you personally responsible for actions of businesses whose stock you hold? Exxon has millions of shareholders. Is it reasonable to track down each one of them and shake them down for the costs of the Exxon Valdez cleanup? How many of them had any *control* over Exxon's corporate policies?

Limited liability is an essential component of having any sort of industry beyond the cottage level. How likely would you be to invest $10,000 in a startup business if you knew you would be personally liable for all the business's debts if it failed?


Science's Breakthrough of the Year 92

johkir writes "Last year, evolution was the breakthrough of the year; We found it full of new developments in understanding how new species originate. But we did get a complaint or two that perhaps we were just paying extra attention to the lively political/religious debate that was taking place over the issue, particularly in the United States. Perish the thought! Our readers can relax this year: Religion and politics are off the table, and n-dimensional geometry is on instead. This year's Breakthrough salutes the work of a lone, publicity-shy Russian mathematician named Grigori Perelman, who was at the Steklov Institute of Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences until 2005. The work is very technical but has received unusual public attention because Perelman appears to have proven the Poincaré Conjecture (Our coverage from earlier this year), a problem in topology whose solution will earn a $1 million prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute. That's only if Perelman survives what's left of a 2-year gauntlet of critical attack required by the Clay rules, but most mathematicians think he will. There is also a page of runner-ups. Many of which have been covered here on Slashdot."

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One possible reason that things aren't going according to plan is that there never was a plan in the first place.