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Comment Re:cheaper mining? (Score 1) 421

Historically speaking, fiat currency has never proved workable.

In the most recent cases, they were receipts for gold on deposit. Once they abandoned that, it was simply a matter of time. Forty years for the U.S. dollar is a remarkable time-frame, but not special in the overall picture. And if you want to go back to the creation of the Federal Bank, you'll find that the dollar has done nothing but depreciate since then. As a store of value, it seems pretty unworkable to me.


Comment Re:cheaper mining? (Score 1) 421

That's wishful thinking.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Their goal is to extract the maximum value possible. Think strip mining. They will pull every last cent that can be economically retrieved, and they'll do it as efficiently as possible. The final result will be the same regardless -- no remaining value.

If you think the currency won't devalue because China is afraid to start extracting, well, that's like suggesting that a mining company is afraid to start stripping because they might jeopardize the stability of the load. Careful maybe, but afraid, no.

To be more specific, China has no choice in the matter. They purchased this mountain of money, and if they want anything at all back, they will have to mine it. Doing so will reduce its value, and unfortunately, the lower-bound on the price of the dollar is actually its value as used fabric/paper.

Here's the mechanism.

China: US government, you owe us $100.
US: We don't have it, but we'll print up $100 for you right now. Here you go.
China: We figured us much and thanks for the $100. Global market, we'd like to buy $100 worth of copper.
Global market: Done. Here's your copper. Oh, and since you bought it and are not putting it back in the market, the price of copper just went up by $1. Come back soon.
China: US government, you owe us $100...
Global market: I just traded copper for $100 that I know were newly minted. I better trade this quickly for something that will hold value or I'll get stuck with it...

And so the new dollars disperse into the market, China converts dollars to metals, and prices in dollars slowly rise as everyone who touches them quickly trades them away. Eventually someone gets stuck with them, either because they were too slow, or because they were on the losing end of a currency exchange option.

This is happening today. The input is continuous, not a unit step function at $100 a pop. The output may seem slow and linear now, but the rate is accumulative, so it's reasonable to expect exponential factors to dominate.


Comment Re:cheaper mining? (Score 1) 421

When you say "money," what exactly do you mean by that? And when you qualify that with "good," what precisely are you implying? Because aside from elements, rare elements specifically, there is nothing in this universe that meets any combination of those two words and their specific meanings. Just sayin'. -Hope

Comment The Heisig Method Is Very Effective. (Score 1) 508

There is another way.

Although I used the Japanese version rather than the Chinese, both are available. And there is an online version here:

The Heisig Method breaks characters down into smaller components which creates, in effect, an alphabet.

When studying Japanese, my instructors actively dissuaded me from using this method, so I never gave it a second look. But after ten years of brute force and only marginal success, I created my own method. I researched it and discovered that Heisig had invented it decades before, and it was now a fully mature system with books in their fourth addition. I use Heisig's method exclusively now.

As a benchmark, I completed all 2042 characters in 6 weeks time despite having a full-time job. That's approximately 50-100 characters a day, 6 days a week. I spent at least two hours a day during the work week, and eight hours on Saturdays.

The result is that I had 100% retention after one month and approximately 80% retention after one year with no substantial review.

I do not use Japanese that often, but I recently decided to refresh my memory. At present, I have approximately 50% retention after three years of only superficial usage. More importantly, I am finding that the characters are easily regained because the associations need only be refreshed.

The highest number of characters that I had been able to retain with the brute force method was about 500, and that was with constant, active studying. At present, I can go through the Jouyou kanji and identify and write over a thousand characters without breaking a sweat. With a week of solid preparation, I'm confident that I could regain 100% accuracy.


Comment Re:Snitch (Score 1) 457

It seems that you are making a lot of assumptions about how that facility is used. Unless you are omniscient, the correct response to signals that are not in sync with expectations is caution. This applies to traffic lights. This applies to construction notices. This applies to safety guards. This applies to... etc. etc. etc. In any event, if you are wrong, you may be incarcerated for a very very long time. And that's above and above the moral implications. -Hope

Comment Complete nonsense. (Score 1) 1018

It costs $20K/mo to get a box close enough to the market data to make reasonable high-frequency trades. The box itself costs about $10K. Everything else is sweat-equity. Put your $30K on the barrel and start making money. If you fail to recover your investment in the first month, you weren't as good as you thought. Try again next time. $30K is too high? Then get 6 guys together and pony up $5K. I don't see the what the complaint is here. Next thing they'll ask for is a union and profit-sharing. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the business. Programmers write code. You get paid for your time and experience. If you want your code to make money for you, then you are in the wrong business. Hire some programmers and start trading. -Hope

Microsoft Kills Support For XP SP2 315

Trailrunner7 writes "Microsoft's announcement this week that it is preparing to end support for machines running Windows XP SP2 not only represents a challenge for the thousands of businesses still running SP2, but also is the end of an era for both Microsoft and its customers. It wasn't until 2004 that the final release of XP SP2 hit the streets, but when it did, it represented a huge step forward in security for Windows users. It wasn't necessarily the feature set that mattered as much as the fact that the protections were enabled by default and taken out of the users' hands."

California's Santa Clara County Bans Happy Meal Toys 756

WrongSizeGlass writes "The L.A. Times is reporting that Santa Clara County officials have voted to ban toys and other promotions that restaurants offer with high-calorie children's meals. 'This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. 'This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.' Supervisor Donald Gage, who voted against the measure, said, 'If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers.' The vote was 3 - 2 in favor of the ban."

Comment Liberty is Not Entitlement. (Score 2, Insightful) 565

Nothing transcends Natural Law. The right to watch television, as with the right to watch anything within one's domain, is reserved to the watcher as per his Liberty.

You, like the poster below, are confusing Liberty with Entitlement. The television watcher is not entitled to a signal. If the signal exists within his domain however, he is at his Liberty to decode and view it.

Anyone who comes to persuade him otherwise may appeal to his senses, but if they persist despite his refusal, they are in fact coercing him. As such, no reasonable person should afford them any moral authority.

So, Mr. Brooke, if you wish to tell people they are not entitled to television, you would be correct. But if you wish to tell them that they are not at liberty to watch television, you would be quite mistaken.

When we talk about innate Rights, we are talking about the Right for someone to live. We are talking about the Right to exercise that life to the full scope of one's domain. We call this Liberty. And to ensure one's Life and Liberty, one must be secure in their Property. This means that they are not coerced into relinquishing their possessions or the land which they have acquired by moral, natural means and upon which they are subsequently dependent for life.

Think otherwise? Coerce a man from his home and take from him his clothing in the dead of winter. You will have deprived him of his life, his liberty, and his property. This is not immoral because the Law says so. It is not immoral because we've agreed upon it. It is immoral because it violates his Natural Rights. All three of them.


Comment Re:Rights? (Score 2, Interesting) 565

The right to interpret a signal passing through your property would fall under Universal Rights. The "right" to claim that the signal cannot be interpreted without permission is a misnomer. It is actual a property arbitration issue and would fall under Social Contract, more specifically under Law. As for God? I'm not sure how that has any bearing on the discussion at all. -Hope

Comment Re:What a shock (Score 1) 265

I just opened an account with Citibank. I received the first statement last night. It declares that beginning April 1, they may hold my money for 7 days regardless of how I try to access it. It simply says "withdrawals." There is no reference to account closures. That said, I will be closing this account first thing next week.

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