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Comment Re:Civics Lesson (Score 1) 586

No, you're right. The best solution is to keep dumping a metric-fuck-ton of cash into the medical industry, via a layer of insurance that people don't treat like insurance, then distribute the expense of even paying for *that* to the rest of society.

The more you distance the insured from the medical costs and the more you reduce their individual bearing of the cost and offload it to the rest of society, the less reason there is for the medical industry to ever address the absurd costs.

If all you're doing is shifting around the obligation to pay among different sources, then YOU ARE NOT DOING ANYTHING TO PROVIDE LOW COST HEALTH CARE. The health care remains the same expense. You just spread the cost around. I mean, if you're fine with forcing every individual to participate in granting a sort of "welfare check" to the medical industry, then by all means . . . but I'd rather see the medical industry and insurance treated like car insurance. When it is, everyone will be able to pay their own way, just like car insurance.

Comment Re:Civics Lesson (Score 2) 586

I love when you hear people bitch and moan about how the federal government ought to impose more federal laws on every state to do things *they* want to see done. They are often the people most celebrating the changing marijuana laws in some states. You know, the laws that exist because of the structure of our government which allows states to operate independently and determine their own laws without regard to the federal government?


Comment Re:News for Nerds? (Score 2) 586

I don't see how that matters. They spent $300m on building and advertising the program. Who cares how much of that was spent on printing pamphlets and how much was spent on shitty little jingles from the cello project hipsters to entice people to enroll? It's the same amount of money for the same purpose/program, any way you slice it and in a state of 3.9m, they've only had 44 web sign ups.

Comment Re:News for Nerds? (Score 2) 586

You're kidding, right?

I know a number of people who likely would have benefited from this program, took a look at what it was going to cost them and how extraordinarily high the deductibles were, and said "nope" and intend to continue without coverage. Even if they have to pay the $100-ish per year penalty for not having a plan.

Comment Re:the rest? (Score 1) 124

Hey, right. That's a good point.

Something like 66% of traffic was supposed to be Netflix and Youtube.
And 35% is supposed to be bit torrent.
And 61% is bots.
Something isn't adding up, here.

Also, they seem confused. They talk about "traffic", but then they talk about "hitting the website". Traffic is the data transfer, not a "visit".

Comment Re:Youtube? (Score 1) 124

Traffic is data.

We were just told that Netflix and Youtube account for something like 66% of all traffic. Now we're told bots account for 61% of all traffic. Guess that means there is a tremendous amount of overlap, there, where bots are watching Youtube and Netflix.

Comment Re: All Feds. (Score 1) 841

Regular Guy: My employer doesn't embrace open source and took away our free sodas every friday.

Slashdot/Internet: OMFG! Don't put up with that shit! You are obligated by morality to dump that job and find another!

NSA Guy: Everyone is mad at me for participating in violating the constitutional and every inherent right of the entire American public and our biggest cheerleader won't even come visit us and make us feel better about what we do!

Slashdot/Internet: Oh, you poor baby. That is awful. Clearly you have no choice but to work there and it isn't your fault that you are participating in something so fucking hideous and heinous as this.

Comment Re:Of course it could be big. (Score 1) 276

Gold, silver, and other precious metals and gems have intrinsic value that can not be erased by government or corporation and has a history of being valuable, what, more than ten thousand years? If all forms of government vanished overnight and we all regressed to grunting beasts coming out of trees, we would probably *still* give value to gold and silver and other pretty, shiny, rare items.

The problem with currency is that it is only representative of an agreed-upon make-believe value, but it does benefit from being something you can hold and possess and control (physically), if not having any influence over its value which isn't tied to anything "hard".

The problem with "cashless" currency is that it is only representative of an agreed-upon make-believe value *and* is only allotted to you at the whim of technological stability, human accountability, and government. It is different from hard cash in that hard cash that is in your hand does not accidentally get sent to the wrong account, seized (unless physically by force), deleted, siphoned, etc.

Of course, it's an ideal dream to have all of your money in life entirely stable and secure sitting on a server somewhere digitally that can not be stolen, can't be hacked, can't be lost, can't be seized, etc . . . but until someone discovers something much better than anything we have today, it has all the negative aspects of all the forms of currency/trade and pretty much none of the benefits.

PS: I'm not saying to become a Glenn Beck nutjob and start filling your pantry with gold coins -- just using it as an example of a form of established currency and valuable items dating back pretty much since the dawn of man's history to reference off of.

Comment Re:Of course it could be big. (Score 5, Insightful) 276

I can't put my finger on why, exactly, but the whole pushing a cashless society thing really makes me uneasy. Especially things like , which is targeted at the poor and developing countries. I realize that much or even most of our current financial lives are carried out digitally, but when it comes down to it the only thing better than cold hard cash that can not be directly seized from you, subjected to computer or human errors, or denied to you during emergencies are things with intrinsic value (gold, silver and other items mankind puts real value into as a thing unto itself). When people like Bill Gates, Citi, BofA, the United Nations, Mastercard, and Visa are all on board the "physical money is bad" train, I don't trust it one fucking bit.

Comment Re:High-school computer classes already in the 198 (Score 1) 95

More importantly, why are we wasting time and resources asking children to propagandize implementations of technology in education for the sake of it rather than worrying about the quality of education, itself? If technology itself somehow inherently improved education, you wouldn't need to promote it. Steve Jobs understood this ages ago.

I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.

It’s a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. The problems are unions. You plot the growth of the NEA [National Education Association] and the dropping of SAT scores, and they’re inversely proportional. The problems are unions in the schools. The problem is bureaucracy. I’m one of these people who believes the best thing we could ever do is go to the full voucher system.

I have a 17-year-old daughter who went to a private school for a few years before high school. This private school is the best school I’ve seen in my life. It was judged one of the 100 best schools in America. It was phenomenal. The tuition was $5,500 a year, which is a lot of money for most parents. But the teachers were paid less than public school teachers – so it’s not about money at the teacher level. I asked the state treasurer that year what California pays on average to send kids to school, and I believe it was $4,400. While there are not many parents who could come up with $5,500 a year, there are many who could come up with $1,000 a year.

If we gave vouchers to parents for $4,400 a year, schools would be starting right and left. People would get out of college and say, “Let’s start a school.” You could have a track at Stanford within the MBA program on how to be the businessperson of a school. And that MBA would get together with somebody else, and they’d start schools. And you’d have these young, idealistic people starting schools, working for pennies.

They’d do it because they’d be able to set the curriculum. When you have kids you think, What exactly do I want them to learn? Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable things you don’t learn until you’re older – yet you could learn them when you’re younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a curriculum for a school?

God, how exciting that could be! But you can’t do it today. You’d be crazy to work in a school today. You don’t get to do what you want. You don’t get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?

These are the solutions to our problems in education. Unfortunately, technology isn’t it. You’re not going to solve the problems by putting all knowledge onto CD-ROMs. We can put a Web site in every school – none of this is bad. It’s bad only if it lulls us into thinking we’re doing something to solve the problem with education.

Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting human beings with technology.

It’s not as simple as you think when you’re in your 20s – that technology’s going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some ways it won’t

-- Steve Jobs


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