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Comment Re:Fiat Currency (Score 1) 692

Well, considering that Forbes in TFA claims "We donâ(TM)t really know how this coin is created. You canâ(TM)t have a functional money without a basic transparency. " I would argue that the actual problem is Steve Forbes lack of understanding of bitcoin. I doubt any other currency in the world is as transparent about how it works is created.

It's a pity as there are reasonable arguments (like yours and the GP's) for the short term, but his are merely uninformed.

Comment Re:No that is the inevitable outcome (Score 1) 353

True. The issue is how we ascertain when human labour is obsolete as most economic models do not contain any provisions that deal with it. For example, the idea that lowering interest/expanding monetary supply will stimulate growth in employment is only valid if added demand actually leads to higher employment which may not be the case anymore.

Perhaps connecting 'standard' working week to unemployment levels would be possible to slowly adjust the economy and balance it, but that has its own problems as well.

Comment Re:No that is the inevitable outcome (Score 3, Interesting) 353

By the time remote controlled robots would be usable enough to carry around and install office equipment it won't be long before we have robots that can do it without any remote control.

And I doubt there will be a significant time span where robot-maintainer is a useful job; we'll have robots for that too.

There needs to be a serious discussion on what kind of society we are going to have when human labour is obsolete. The current system will start seriously breaking down when capacity outstrips demand by a significant degree and any increase in demand will be met by further automation.

Comment Re:Ahhhhhhh.... (Score 1) 309

You cannot selectively enforce a law of nature or a mathematical law. Human laws are selectively enforced all the time. Intent and circumstances are often taken into account. Often history is considered. Sometimes even connections, wealth and race. All of those influence whether laws are enforced in any particular case.

Many judicial systems have significant discretionary powers, to the extent where, for better or worse, the letter of the law is often less important than the circumstances of the case.

Submission + - Evernote Hit by Hackers (

plsuh writes: "Evernote is the latest victim of an attack. According to their website,

"In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost. We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.

"The investigation has shown, however, that the individual(s) responsible were able to gain access to Evernote user information, which includes usernames, email addresses associated with Evernote accounts and encrypted passwords. Even though this information was accessed, the passwords stored by Evernote are protected by one-way encryption. (In technical terms, they are hashed and salted.)"

No indication as to the hashing mechanism — is it a simple, easily brute forced MD-5 or is it a harder, more secure PBKDF2, Bcrypt, or Scrypt with lots of rounds? Anyway, Evernote has reset the passwords of all of the affected users."

Comment Re:It is all that America has left (Score 5, Insightful) 150

IP is ultimately a form of taxation and redistribution and as such it contributes to the general cost level of the economy. Saying that IPR is needed because the jobs are the only ones that don't get outsourced to cheaper countries is equivalent to saying that we need higher taxes to pay for government jobs that are the only ones that don't get oursourced.

IPR simply makes an economy less competitive and is part of the reason why everything is too expensive to do in the west.

And frankly I can't see any reason why blockbuster couldn't trivially be outsourced. The script for most films could probably be written by, eh, a script. Effects can certianly be done anywhere and I really doubt actors will last beyond the decade before they start getting replaced by rendered versions.

Comment Re:Of course it protects the small investor (Score 1) 267

Exactly. As long as the patent system is built to be an adversarial system where one of the parties has to get screwed for it to function, well, somebody is and chances are it's the little guy.

If someone actually wanted to make inventing and patenting easier and more consistently worthwhile then the system would be reconstructed so, for example, the patent office pays the inventor when his patent gets used, while the funding would be gathered as VAT or something general. It would become just another tax/subsidise scheme (just like it is anyway) handled like every other such scheme, accounted for within state budgets and evaluated for efficiency.

Comment Re:potentially worth... (Score 1) 361

Actually it's a quite interesting topic as it highlights the deficiencies of economic measures like GDP. Measures that could take into account all value created in society, ranging from pro-bono work to free software to the value of free time would be far more useful to maximize the wealth creation in an economy as a whole.

Comment Re:Demand More (Score 1) 665

The reason why we would get a world without professional musicians would be that there was a vast surplus of musicians leading to supply massively outstripping demand. Which means we'd have a world with a lot of amateur musicians playing for fun, without pay, because they enjoy doing it. Much like we have today.

To answer the question of what the GP does for a living, one can assume he's doing something that nobody else would do for fun or as a hobby. Probably not trying to be a professional starcraft player or a pro angler. Much like most people who hold paying jobs, making the choice between fun or a paycheck. It's not a question of the value of the work, it's a question of wether the value is available anywhere and everywhere without remuneration or not.

The reaction from 'professional musicians' when Amanda Palmer invited amateurs to play with her on tour locations is an exceptional example of what must be the most spoiled and conceited group of people ever to grace the labour market.

Comment Re:Can someone explain how multinationals work? (Score 2) 132

As a general rule it's not 'one company', but many and varying forms of companies in many countries depending on the forms of incorporation that are available in each country. Most countries have variants that can be owned and controlled by outside entities, which is why the local ones don't go around doing their own thing.

This of course creates all sorts of ways to move money around to the place in which profits are best taken, as they can usually make internal sales for imaginary numbers to their subsidiaries which allows them to control exactly where the profit goes. For the specific corporate structure used by google and many others you can look up Double Irish on Wikipedia, which is a structure that allows any corporation to basically pay very close to no taxes at all.

Comment Re:Modern Luddites (Score 1) 544

For most of history there has been a large pent-up demand, and a demand whose fulfillment has almost always required labour. There are indications that both of these factors are changing; both the demand side where the demand pretty much only exist if it never has to be paid for (the pre-crash massive credit expansion, do people wan't macmansions, or do they want free macmansions?) and on the labour side where scaling demand simply doesn't create new jobs to any significant extent. In the economic end game we have all resources extracted and recycled by self-servicing automated machinery, that can be turned into anything you can get a semi-ai blueprint creator to create for you for an automated manufacturing unit to produce. When there's no manual labour involved in the whole process at all, in a functioning competitive free market the price would fall to zero. And if you can get most things that you can reasonably well describe or copy produced for you at zero cost, what exactly do you foresee will be something you want so bad that you're going to foresake a lot of free time to try to find something someone else wants that they can't get for free that you can help them with? There will be things, of course. But at the point where most things are free, a whole lot of people are going to say, meh, I'll go have a (no-human-labour-was-involved) beer with buddies or play an online (largely ai-generated) game or something.

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