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Comment Re:How does this happen? (Score 3) 214

That was my experience in the Japanese IT industry as well. Fastidious and near anal retentive attention to detail.
Unfortuantely it's also got it's fair share of it's bumbling halfwits that the company can't/won't fire due to the lifetime employment custom.

The head honcho representative of the large Japanese-IT-company-that-many-people-will-have-heard-of at the place I was working once had to apologise for accidently unplugging the wrong production server (Nope he didn't even shut it down or turn it off)

The Japanese actually need the anal retentive planning, because they recognise that they are actually pretty hopeless. The REAL problems begin when something happens OUTSIDE of their plans. They lack a complete inability to think on their feet and respond in a timely manner... preferring to sit on their hands and wait for a roundtable discussion and confirmation from their higher ups. Contrast that with the situation at Fukushima. In fact it was the initial Fukushima engineers at the beginning of the disaster that made some critical calls in defiance of Tepco (who were only interested in saving the plant), that may have prevented a greater catastrophe.

In fact, when the Tepco engineers were starting to explain and reassure people about what had happened at Fukushima on TV on the 12th of March, they sounded just like the voice of the bumbling server engineer, trying to apologize for unplugging the server, that i remembered from years earlier.
It was at that time I knew that they had no control over the plant....

Comment Technological progress enables the shadow economy (Score 4, Interesting) 674

Technical progress has enormously boosted productivity worldwide and is still increasing it at a rate of about 2% per year. Theoretically, we needed to work four days less every year for producing the same goods and earning the same income. However it does not happen this way. Producers use productivity boosts for reducing costs - mostly wages and salaries. This is supposed to improve their profits, but it also has an adverse affect. Layoffs, unemployment, subsequent demand shortfall and economic crises eat a large part of the benefits from increased productivity. The remaining excess profits are invested - however not in production of goods, but in financial assets. Hedge funds, investment banks, and trading firms circulate an immense money volume (up to seven trillion US$ per day) through the financial markets, this way creating a shadow economy that largely surpasses the market of real products and services. It consumes most rewards of technical progress, and gives back occasional market crashes and financial crises.

But it also offers the opportunity to redistribute some of the excess profit back from the rich to the poor. Providing many people with a small but regular trading income will take liquidity out of the financial markets and inject it back into the production cycle. This will boost demand worldwide and soften the world's economical problems.

It's the regular trading income thing that has a lot of people stumped though.

Comment Educated Islamic women a threat (Score 1) 2

I was reading a book entitled "How Civilizations Die (And why Islam is dying too)" by David Goldman.
Essentially the thrust of the book lumps Islam in with the death of Christianity in Europe: The more women are educated, the less likely they are to have children. The less children, the more the society falls apart due to related factors.

The more educated the woman, the better her job prospects improve, and then they can escape the possibility of marriage so that they can independently look after themselves. This results in less children..... and with less children, the culture starts to fall to bits.

In essence, the fanatical elements of the Middle East who seek to suppress women, are increasingly aware of the fact. When you have the Taliban shooting at girls trying to get an education, it seems to suggest that their ability to control women, and the amount of fun they can have with them, is directly under threat by educated women.

Women are seeking ways to avoid being men's married "property", and the men are becoming increasingly emasculated and made redundant by women (cry me a river). They are not going to take this very well.... and IMHO the comment from the article should be viewed in this light.

Comment Religion as Placebo (Score 1) 1293

Derren Brown did a TV special on religion as an exponent of the placebo effect. This video is, in my opinion, one of the best smackdowns on religion that I have seen. Aside from demonstrating how to brainwash an athiest into having religious belief using neuro-linguistic programming along with auditory and spatial anchors, he mentioned that religious belief was not necessary.

This is why, I think, that just about any kind of religious belief, or any crazy meme for that matter, if dressed up correctly can induce the Placebo Effect (yes, even Scientology).

Hanging on to faith, in absence of evidence, is the only thing that can keep the placebo effect going... but the truth is that religion need not be the placebo!

Comment Re:AMD Experience (Score 1) 148

Same here.

I had been on Ati and then AMD for a number of years and the only reason I moved away is Sapphire sold me a dud 6970 and didn't replace it, attempted to fix it, took my money, and then sent it back to me broken. And then I managed to fry a new Radeon 6970 HD card to replace that one when it overheated.
Then discovered that the Nvidia equivalent GTX 670 not only used less power, took up less space in my PC case, ran a lot, cooler (and thus didn't fry), and actually performed marginally better as well. Also it was supported in a hackintosh unlike the AMD card.

Not going back.

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