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Comment Rationality? (Score 3, Insightful) 68

"much of the money still being invested is pouring into the upper echelon of highly valued start-ups like Airbnb and WeWork or younger ones with clear paths to profit," leaving "scores" of previously well-funded startups now struggling to survive."

If they're not a highly-valued (ie speculative) startup, or one with a CLEAR PATH TO PROFIT, why the fuck would/should anyone be investing in them?

Comment Re:Why is it wrong to care? (Score 1) 157

How is it not a problem if a repressive government gets ahead of the west in R&D? Do you like more, or less repressive government and the wrongful imprisonment of dissenters?

You speak of China as if they were the same as North Korea, or worse, which is manifestly untrue. China, in the 60es, was repressive, no doubt, and you could see it in the fall in living standards, but things have turned around in a radical way since then. Have you ever been to China? If you ask anybody whether they think their government is repressive, they will tell you that the government does what it should - that it does what the people wants. As an American you may not like it, but since this is not your country, your opinion doesn't really count. As for China getting ahead of the US: up your game, invest more in proper education. The US is still a bit ahead, but for how long? You are letting it slip through your fingers, playing with silly superstitions.

Again, would you like a militarily aggressive force controlling the moon?

Isn't that more of an argument against the US being present there? Or European nations? Or Russia? In fact, of all the superpowers, China seems to have conducted the fewest wars of aggression in the last few centuries. The West has always had its excuses ready - civilising the savages, rolling back Communism etc, but excuses is all they were. As for controlling the moon - how do you imagine they would do that? Send 100 million Chinese up there to occupy the whole surface? Planting a flag and going "Mine! It's mine I tell you! Mwahahaha!!!"? Even establishing a base similar to one of the Antarctic research stations is going to take decades, no doubt. It will be centuries before any talk of dominating the Moon is remotely relevant.

Comment Wrong criterium (Score 1) 371

The right criterium is not how old or old fashioned something is - if it does the job better than something newer, then it is the newer technology that isn't good enough. One of the things about COBOL is that it is in many ways such a simple language, compared to modern ones; the complexity is mostly the very heavy syntax and convoluted attempts at using language that would have been seen as solid, American and business like in the 50es. When you get down to the actual code that does something, it is surprisingly close to assembler in many ways:

        ADD NUMBER TO ANOTHERNUMBER.
        PERFORM PROCEDURE1 25 TIMES. ...

I think there is very little to optimise from the compiler side, and the lack of advanced syntax may well be a major advantage - business transactions are computationally very simple and mostly only require the things that COBOL does. I think, if one were to seriously replace the language, it should be with something equally simple - a kind of COBOL with a lighter and less convoluted syntax, and it would probably lose the identification and environment division. Things that actually make the code clearer to read would be added, like procedures with parameters, to avoid using global variables etc. Who knows, it may already exist - I haven't used COBOL for decades, and I think I have heard the term 'OBJECT COBOL'.

Comment Re:Duh, (Score 1) 69

BMW and Benz are Tesla's competitors. Of course Tesla is gonna want to "service" them as little as possible. What did he expect?

Common decency? Having grown a business, I think it is reasonable to think that he had done the normal due diligence, and that he had reasons to expect that existing deals with his customers would be honoured - it's hard to guess without knowing more details. It is not, in fact unusual for companies to have their competitors as customers; I can how it could have been an advantage for Tesla to own the patents and setting the trends for these technologies for a long time, by licensing them to other car manufacturers. I don't think they simply want to cut off all connections - they just want to squeeze them into a deal that pays more to Tesla.

Comment Re:After over thirty years of start-ups... (Score 1) 86

Success is mostly down to dumb luck: being in the right place at the right time. Things like intelligence, talent and ability have a role to play also. You need to be able to recognise the opportunity when you see it, you needs to have the knowledge and skills to exploit it, and you need to have that feeling of "entitlement" - but there are plenty of people out there with all the skills and talent, who don't make it. If you have worked for any length of time as a software developer, you know this is true, because you have seen how few, upper level managers and CEOs are anything more than moderately intelligent.

Comment Re:So give us your tax money (Score 2) 157

You want to waste money on all that?

What, do they write treaties on gold-pressed latinum now?

Compare costs of a typical treaty negotiation meeting to a just a single strike of ~50 Tomahawk cruise missiles at ~$325M each.

Diplomacy is ^always^ the cheaper option.

Now compare that same ballpark figure of the costs of negotiating a new treaty to the cost of effectively being cut out of the economic, technical, and scientific benefits of space exploration/exploitation.

Diplomacy is far and away the better option.

Strat

Comment Re:So give us your tax money (Score 2) 157

The treaty is required especially on the basis of preventing nuclear weapons use in space.

No.

*A* treaty is required, *this* one can be replaced/renegotiated. Isn't that what civilized nations do when circumstances change, renegotiate or replace a dated treaty with a new, more comprehensive one that accounts for current realities?

Strat

Comment Re:The correct course of action (Score 1) 201

but there's clearly a necessity that those services be provided in some form or function, and the 538 members of Congress are clearly not up to the task of managing all of that on their own, especially once you consider that most of those agencies are far larger than Congress itself.

That's precisely the point; those who wrote the Constitution and those today who believe similarly do not believe many of those things are the job of the federal government, and for those things which are, Congress should be the only body in government with the power to pass laws, as they are elected which gives the people some direct way to keep them accountable and not appointed/hired. This delegation of powers is a large part of how the government has gone about expanding it's powers and scope.

The other problem is reinterpretation and redefining words and meanings of the Constitution to achieve political/ideological goals rather than using the means provided in the document to alter it. Maybe there's some civil right like the 2nd Amendment you disagree with (not accusing, I don't know nor care, this is just for discussion) and maybe this achieves your short-term goal(s), but it weakens all the other civil rights most people, including yourself, value, and renders them vulnerable to the same methods and strategies to effectively nullify/rewrite/abolish them. A case of "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!" for those

Strat

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