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Comment Re:free choice (Score -1) 270

Yeah, they're perfectly free to go back to dire poverty and hunger if they want.

- correct, the key word in your sentence being *back*. Back is where they would have to go in order to get away from these 'horrible companies' that are giving them something they never had before - a choice of not going back, from where they came.

I guess they are making their own choices every day regardless of what you think they should do.

No one is holding a gun to their heads to force them to feed their kids and have basic shelter.

- precisely, nobody is forcing them to eat and to feed their kids. They are choosing to do so by working for the companies that are offering them these jobs. They can go *back* of-course, back from whence they came.

Comment Re:Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in (Score 1) 74

At least you can learn interesting history.

No you can't you can be presented with a strange grab bag of facts ascribed to the wrong subjects, at the wrong moments in the wrong context. Its fine enough for folks that mostly know the real story. Its a source of confusion for everyone else.

Comment Re:Who are the main characters based on (Score 1) 74

I have to agree, I have never cared for the spaghetti western and the spaghetti tech story isn't really any better. The real events are plenty interesting and certainly can be dramatized with some little interpersonal side stories, and self reflection history obviously did not record without veering to pure fiction. You can also go the strait facts documentary route like "Triumph of the Nerds", which as far as docs go probably belongs up there with the "The Civil War" in terms of excellence.

Treating history as a grab bag of events and ascribing them to different people, and simply ignoring the greater context and historical backdrop does not compelling story telling make. Its confusing, and it usually feels hackney because its to close to reality to suspend disbelief your brain therefore is keeps pulling in everything else you know and remember from that time and saying "but this would never have happened because..."

Comment Really I am not so sure (Score 1) 453

"If you're getting a refund after playing a game for 50 hours you're a thief."

I have not played the game but its basically marketed as expansive. Could it take 50 hours to be sure that content you were lead to believe is include isn't, that features you were anticipating and paid your money on the expectation you'd get them are missing?

Comment Re:Wikileaks absolutely does "vetting" ... (Score 1) 304

For example when US helicopters kill some journalists in Iraq they will remove the early parts of the video showing these journalists traveling down the street with a group of armed militants only blocks from where US ground forces are engaged in combat.

And whether that's true or not isn't even the point. It's not the journalists we care about in that encounter.

Actually it is entirely the point. The point of this thread is not the justifiability of the attack, its the credibility of Wikileaks' reporting on the attack. And given their editing their credibility is suspect. Wikileaks has an agenda, and just like politicians and advocacy groups they selectively offer the facts that support that agenda.

Comment Its about "fraud and identity theft" (Score 1) 85

Did those 100 arrested people crash their cars at a statistically significantly higher rate than the population of 'normally' licensed people? If not, what was the benefit?

From the first sentence of the summary: "leading to 100 arrests for fraud and identity theft, plus another 900 open cases." The benefit is not letting an identity thief get a valid official identification card from the government.

Comment Re:Ban drug ad's like most developed nations do! (Score -1) 383

'Most nations' do all sorts of crazy shit (and so does the USA) however drug ads to me are not different from shoe or car or food ads, drugs are a business, the only problem is government involvement, be it fda or medicare or medicaid or any form of government taxation and spending on anything related to healthcare or any form of business regulation beyond fraud. Ads are fine.

Comment Re:Nope, and missing the point (Score 3, Insightful) 74

You're absolutely correct. Bemoaning the loss of these "jobs" is like fretting that indoor plumbing will put the "night soil" collection crew out of business. Inane busywork is not a particularly lofty goal for any wise civilization.

Besides, think about how preposterous and decadent pizza delivery is: you pay someone $X/hour to deliver a 1 lb package in a vehicle that weighs ~3000 pounds and is powered by oil, a finite resource that took literally millions of years for nature to create. In Critical Path, Bucky Fuller argued that one gallon of gasoline should really cost $1 million, given the time and energy (solar, geothermal) required to create petroleum [1].

Entrepreneurship is about discovering and eliminating inefficiencies in the economy's production structure as much as creating or inventing Shiny New Things. In fact, efficiency improvements are paramount if we want to support 7+ billion human beings on this planet.


Comment Re: What about the rest of us? (Score 1) 76

The cost of living on the Vinyard is insane - cheap housing would just be a cruel market distortion.

Let the grocery stores all go bare and then see if the employers really can't pay much above minimum-wage. I suspect the customers will pay what it costs. Your plan of taking money from working-class people in Worchester to subsidize the grocery prices on the Vineyard is classic elitist abuse.

Comment Re: Young engineers ... (Score 1) 239

Have you ever used a Dyson product? They suck (except the ones that are supposed to).

Good news that this little battery company had its own R&D staff, perhaps some of them who've had some life experience. If they just need a billion dollars to succeed, then I'm all for it and hope Dyson profits handsomely.

Comment Re:Kellogg had a 30-hour work week in 1930s (Score 1) 181

Thanks for sharing. Just from reading about that era, I picked up vibes that shortening the work week was taken seriously by a lot of eminent people, but had no idea about that bill.

One of the reasons I enjoy studying history is that you see lots of sensible ideas and movements that were somehow lost or abandoned along the way. For example, Colonial America was probably the most literate society in history up to that point, and without a massive education bureaucracy. That's interesting to me -- how can we learn from that experience and outcome? How can we educate people without an Education System per se? You don't want to idolize the past or fall into Lost Cause-type romanticism, but you also don't want to discard it, either.

Comment Kellogg had a 30-hour work week in 1930s (Score 5, Interesting) 181

There's an interesting book called Kellogg's Six Hour Day by Hunnicutt. Here's the synopsis:

"Kellogg's six-hour day was the pinnacle of a hundred-year process that cut working time virtually in half. Kellogg Management, propelled by a vision of Liberation Capitalism, insisted that six hours would revolutionize society by shifting the balance of time from work to leisure--from economic concerns to the challenge of freedom."

The employees grandfathered into the 30-hour week stayed on it until they retired in the 1980s. A 30-hour week gave employees more time for clubs, gardening, sports, family, etc. When you think about how wealthy we are in, say, energetic terms (useful work extracted from an ox vs cubic meter of natural gas), it's amazing how much time and capital we spend on destructive bullshit like sitting in traffic or paying people to do our taxes because the system is too complicated (we're paying a tax on paying taxes ffs). Just unbelievable how needlessly dumb the world is in light of automation, nuclear power, blah, blah, blah.

The ancient Greeks viewed labor as a necessary evil that got in the way of more enlightened pursuits [1]. This is not to say they condoned laziness, but TPS reports, patent lawsuits, and $ModernBullshit are not the highest forms of civilization. Why we focus on metrics like GDP -- which in no way accounts for quality, or whether the "work" should even be done -- is absolutely beyond me. In the end, complex, industrial civilization is still relatively new compared to the species' time on the planet, so we're still trying to figure this out.

[1] =

Comment Re:They actually want to kick appliances off. (Score 1) 155

I have to agree with you on this one having done the same experiment in the 90's myself. AC savor switches are aggressively stupid. Guess when all the summer time "peak times" are, hint its when everyone spins up the 2500W HVAC systems.

If your AC was installed by a reputable professions who correctly sized the unit and it has a decent SER rating 14+ than turning it off at peak time is a terrible idea. These things are designed to cycle, to short a cycle the wear prematurely to long a cycle (well that won't happen they will cut off ) or rather to frequent cycles they wear prematurely and will be less efficient (hot side of the loop stays to hot).

The outcomes will be that you are less comfortable. Your total energy use might actually go up with you unit always playing catch-up, unless the utility really leaves you shut down for a long time. Net energy wise recall most of us don't get billed less for off peak on residential circuits won't be improved unless you live in a very poorly insulated home, meaning you will be subject to even more violent temperature swings.

The whole point of investing in AC is so that you can be comfortable, if you sabotage the things ability to deliver that why have it at all? No a much much better solution would be have enough generation/storage and distribution capacity to meet peoples needs.

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