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Comment Re:Forget FAT/VFAT, make your own. (Score 1) 569

First of all, FAT is patent encumbered and Microsoft's willing to go to court to protect it; so that's out.

If you honor the patent, you reinforce it. If you ignore it, you weaken it. Millions of Lilliputian cuts make it irrelevant. Why not join in?

Someone needs to make a good file system that matches FAT, but is more extensible.

Well, the thing about FAT is it's recognized by just about every computer on the planet and a lot of non-computers. How are you going to make your post-FAT filesystem accessible to hundreds of millions of Windows computers? If you don't do that, what data exchange problem have you solved?

If you don't care about nonfree OSes, a simple convention would suffice. If the kernel understood that, say, uid==0 && gid=-1 meant the same thing as chmod 777 and that all files created in such a directory got the directory's uid and gid, you'd have everything you want without even touching the fs code.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

> Change in the price level, inflation or deflation, is a monetary phenomenon.

No, this is the manipulated effect. The natural effect is due to falling prices as inputs become cheaper and competition maintains or decreases the profit margin.

I can't help you, Matt. You think you know what value is. You think inflation a priori punishes savers. You questioned my math and then didn't refute it. You don't bother to address how banks can operate during deflation. You don't seem to realize why deflation led to farms being repossessed during the depressions 1800-1939. You don't consider that your "solution" has been discredited after widespread historical experience. Your answers are not even wrong.

Here's a basic question: Why is -1% inflation better than +1% inflation? Does the answer change if we double the rate repeatedly?

No industrialized economy has ever stayed on the gold standard. Elected/unelected, capitalist/communist, east/west: Nyet. It's not because of shortsightedness. It's because deflation sucks. You can fight that and dispute it all you like. I tried to illustrate for you why it sucks. This idea you have that there's something natural about economic activity, that's it's not a manmade phenomenon subject to chaos theory, is just gold bug claptrap, nothing more.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

$10 BOY deposit

$9 = $10 * (1.0 - 0.10) => value of $10 after one year with -10% change in price level (deflation).

$1 = $10 - $9 => nominal loss in value.

-9% => the bank's advertised APR.

$9.10 = $10 * (1.0 + -0.09) => EOY nominal value, what's in your account.

11% = $9.10 / $9.00 => your real return.

Simplifying somewhat, a real return Nominal - Inflation. If inflation is 4% and nominal interest is 7%, the real return is 3%. If inflation is -4%, and nominal 7%, the real return is 11%. To get a real return of 3% when inflation is -4%, nominal is -1% (because 3% = -1% + -4%).

That's the math: the bank pays you a premium over the prevailing changes in the price level — a real return — in exchange for your money. The problem is that you, as the holder of the original $10 in my example, are better off not depositing your money. If you accept the bank's deal, you're left with $9.10. If you ignore the bank, you're left with $10. And $10 beats $9.10 any day of the week, come inflation or deflation. Most people figure that out pretty soon when faced with the prospect, and banks quickly become unable to attract deposits. Etc., etc.

There is no such thing as real deflation from increases in efficiency. Change in the price level, inflation or deflation, is a monetary phenomenon. It's a function of the amount of money chasing the amount of goods and services produced. Holding the money supply constant while the economy grows (or shrinks) is no more "real" than changing the money supply while the economy is unchanged.

What I'm saying is very simple and uncontroversial: the money supply must grow with the economy, else there is deflation, and deflation is unsustainable due to the asymmetry in how interest works in the banking system. It is not a matter of trickery or psychology; it is a recognition of how people behave in the real world.

And, speaking of the real world, I'm also making an unassailable objective case: gold standards were tried and failed over the centuries, and today no government anywhere uses one. If you want to believe that's because governments everywhere prosper by deceiving the governed, I can only point out that they didn't used to.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

The rabble about banking ceasing when there is deflation is rubbish.

It's true and it's simple. Suppose it's January and $10 is worth $10. You put your money in the bank. In December, $10 is worth $9 — nominal, of course. The bank collects its, say, $0.90 leaving you with $9.10. That's fair, right? An 11% real return? Deflation allows your $9.10 to by ten cents more than the $10 + time-value-of-money you deposited.

Only one problem: no one will do it. They'll hold onto their $10 and collect the 90 cents in profit while prices are declining. No deposit, no return, no lending, no borrowing, no banking. I'm not making it up: it happened. That's what a banking crisis is, or at any rate (so to speak) what they used to be.

Look, it's only math. You're welcome to believe whatever you want. But if you want to understand what you're talking about instead of making vacant assertions about the government's trickery — that only you and your ever-so-clever friends see through — then do yourself a favor and go find out about it. It's written down. You could read about it in the library should you ever darken the door.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 1) 394

The value of those shoes can't be destroyed by the government printing presses.

Yes, but their illiquidity makes them a poor medium of trade.

I don't understand your comment implying parent has no economic understanding. It sounds like his understanding of economics is what is driving his issue with paper currency.

I'm sure you're right, on both counts.

The OP is flat-out wrong regarding the constitution. The word "gold" appears exactly once, prohibiting the states from coining their own money. It's left to congress to "coin money and regulate the value thereof", full stop. Simple words, not scare tactics.

It's impossible to explain even a tiny part of one Econ 101 lecture in a /. comment. Reference material isn't hard to find for anyone interested enough to want to learn.

The value of money, like anything else, is subject to supply and demand. As the economy grows — through population and productivity — the money supply has to growth with it. If it doesn't, the value of money increases, which by definition is deflation. (Even gold bugs have to agree with that proposition because they're always the ones talking about the opposite: "debasing" the money i.e. inflation.)

Deflation is a whole subject its own. The basic problem is that banking stops because interest rates are (again, by definition) negative, and no one will deposit money in an account that pays negative rates. It also means your mortgage payments effectively increase, because the bank has the money and you're selling your crops (or earning your wage) at ever-decreasing rates.

The basic problem with the so-called gold standard is that there's only so much gold. The gold supply can't grow with the economy, forcing deflation and its attendant deleterious effects. That effect is more pronounced the faster the economy grows. In the 19th century the US economy experienced high growth — through both immigration and productivity growth as a function of the Industrial Revolution — and in fact suffered four depressions (culminating of course in the Great Depression early in the 20th). These were all in part attributable to the inability (and lack of understanding for the need) to increase the money supply.

But don't take my word for it. We haven't had a depression since 1937. Living standards have improved, measurably, in many ways. The system has flaws, sure, but it works. By contrast, no country has a gold standard today. That doesn't mean it's untested; it was tested by many countries over many years, including by the US. And was found not to work! A simple, obvious, plain fact the gold bugs choose to ignore.

Comment Re:School is for people who can't read (Score 1) 474

If you want to learn about databases, install mysql with about ten clicks, and read the mysql documention. It's not a puzzle, it's just a process.

That's terrible advice. Relational databases are neither puzzle nor process, they're math and logic. Unlike practically anything else in software, they have a scientific underpinning. Learn the theory. Then apply it.

If you get a copy of MySQL or Microsoft Access and putz with it, You'll sooner or later find your way around, sure enough. But what will you know? How to use version Y of product X. Great. Not only will your knowledge be obsolete in a year, but it's inapplicable everything else. And you'll be whistling in the dark, because you'll know how but not why.

A man that knows how to do something will always have a job. The man who knows why will always be his boss.

So. Start with Chris Date's introduction to databases. Just read it. Then get yourself some software and a problem to solve. Don't make something up; find a friend or nonprofit or a small business somewhere, someone you know or that a friend knows, who needs something solved. Ideally it's a report or other batch process, not an interactive data-entry system, because that simplifies your work and lets you focus on the data aspect.

Attack the data end first, carefully, applying what you learned. Diagram your logical model and explain it to the user. (I find people can understand E-R diagrams and normalization well enough to facilitate discussion. Sometimes there are "too many tables", but they usually accept when it needs that, it looks it up there.) Normalize until you're sure you've got it right. That's the "process" that matters.

By the time you're done — before you're done, really — you'll have learned more about database design and application development than most people do in college. You'll actually know something about Relational theory and normalization (not the same thing). And you'll have a reference for your next job.

Comment Re:Face Value vs Ore Value (Score 5, Insightful) 394

What they're terrified of is people going back to hard currency.

Terrified? Please. I suppose they're also terrified of all those Econ 101 students learning about what money is, what the value of an exchange is, what value is. Oh, no, I forgot: that's the indoctrination that keeps six billion people in the Matrix. Except for a few laser-eyed gold bugs, that is.

The IRS collects tax on income. Lots of in-kind income is taxable just like cash. It should be, else non-cash income would have a tax advantage, and the whole economy would be encouraged to seek less efficient forms of payment. If you think that's a good idea, talk to my friend who, in Soviet days, got paid in shoes.

Really, it's too bad your comment can't be scored +1 ignorant. Try learning some economics before having an opinion on it. Or at least have the humility not to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

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