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Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1) 132

Is that why Europe was always about a decade ahead of the USA in terms of cell phone tech?

I think it's due to two factors, the usual one of higher population density of Europe and the poorer quality of land lines in large parts of that region encourage adoption of cell phones.

Also, if European cell phone providers are so much better, then they should be able to make inroads in the US market. But the top five are all US providers though two are majority owned by Japanese or German interests.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 1) 132

USA phone bills started increasing drastically some timer after the breakup, when PUCs started allowing local monopolies and mergers in exchange for promises to roll out sorely needed infrastructure upgrades.

Still doesn't fit the narrative of rates quadrupling overnight and it's not a consequence of the AT&T breakup.

If you want to know why your phone service is so bad, don't look at AT&T, look at the corrupt public servants and politicians in your state chambers who took bribes to allow AT&T to regain its monopoly. The USA political system is corrupt from top to bottom and the the problem is FAR worse at state and local levels than federal. Overall you're generally only a couple of steps better than the funnay asian countries you like to poke fun at and only a step further from being like the Philippines (Which is your former colony and its politicians are applying lessons learned under American colonial rule)

So somehow this corruption would be better under an AT&T monopoly? I don't buy it.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 311

You've taken a position on science for entirely political reasons. Childish as fuck.

Pure projection. One of the many anti-scientific games played here is equating carbon dioxide emissions with pollution of the historical sort (more usually done to spin the yarn that the US is the most polluting country on Earth, er, per capita). But you would have to continue to crank out CO2 at current rates for something like a millennium to get similar air quality health consequences to the non-CO2 pollution of current China.

But somehow it's "entirely political" and "childish as fuck" to point out the error in that.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 311

The costs are too high because of greed, which many believe are still good.

Like the people who put $1 into Medicare and expect to get $3 of services out? Or is it only the ebil corporations who can be greedy?

But personally, I don't think it's relevant whether three of your four examples actually did cost too much because of "greed" or some other cause. Someone said that they would cost too much and lo, they did. Maybe when someone says "the costs are too high", they'll be right again because of "greed".

It says a lot about America when the example you agree with - scrubbers- is one that industry fought so hard against and delayed implementing for so very long.

Not at all. Different interests are a fact of every society and culture, and aren't magically unique to the US.

Comment Re: Pretty sure I read this story last decade. (Score 1) 311

Same excuse was used against smokestack scrubbers, pollution cleanup, healthcare, social security, you name it.

Being right about one (smokestack scrubbers) out of four ain't bad. The obvious rebuttals to your other three (US-centric of course) is that Superfund is a disaster both in terms of cost and abuse of the law which demonstrates that the cost of pollution clean up can indeed be too high. You might have heard that US health care is like 50% higher cost than the runner up. Too high? Youbetcha.

And of course, social security pays more out than it gets. That's a Cost Too High.

I have to wonder when three of your examples really are costs that are too high.

Comment Re:No Von Neuman Machines yet (Score 1) 207

You have lots of rust, contaminated with other stuff. Even primitive smelters were really resource intensive and used LOTS of coal and free oxygen. Hint, what atmosphere mars has doesn't have lots of oxygen and as far as we know, there's no coal. So turning that rust into steel is in itself a non-trivial exercise.

It was a nontrivial exercise in the first place so I'm just not seeing the big deal here. My view is that getting 1000 people to Mars alive is going to be far harder than figuring out how to make stuff and grow food once you get there. It's also worth noting that Mars probably is littered with a vast number of iron-bearing meteorites which aren't oxidized.

Comment Re:Plant plants (Score 1) 207

We don't know what we'd have to "wash out" of the regolith.

But we do know that washing will work.

it really is nearly delusional to think that what we've learned on Earth (and orbital experiments) will be *all* we need to know

Sorry, the laws of physics haven't changed. It's the same chemistry on Mars as it is on Earth.

Comment Re: The big gap in the plans (Score 1) 207

Mars doesn't have dirt- it has regolith, an abiotic rock dust that can't support most plant life, even if it weren't full of volatile poisons

Those "volatile poisons" happen to be a valuable oxygen source among other things. So a considerable quantity of viable Martian soil would come out of any oxygen extraction process.

And abiotic is so easy to change, it's not funny. Just handling it with human hands would add a fair portion of the necessary bacteria. Bringing a little soil from Earth and some earthworms from Earth as a starter. Compost food, human waste, and any biodegradable plastics, for example, with that Earth-based soil, mix it in with your de-poisoned Martian soil and there you go.

Comment Re:The big gap in the plans (Score 2) 207

I assume we would feed them food which magically makes its way to my mom's fridge and then to my basement lair. Just make sure they have fridges and the rest will follow.

More seriously, Mars has all the nutrients plants need, sunlight, and dirt. Whatever you can already grow in a greenhouse on Earth, you can grow in a Martian greenhouse as well.

Comment Re:Everything's consolidating (Score 2) 132

I don't see how his statement requires one to assume wealth inequality (WI) is an important metric. He's just saying one consequence of WI is what we're seeing.

And the consequences of aren't important? Let us recall he claimed a pretty big thing:

When you let the rich have all the money they've got very little left to spend it on besides conquest.

He also claimed that things were different for the last century due to a "rapid onset of technology".

What's so odd about it? If something is seen as bad, there is no such thing as a "desirable" level it. Do you have a "desirable" level of turd in your sandwich?

Everyone who eats sandwiches implicitly has a desirable level of turd in their sandwich. Small enough that they never know it's there by taste, smell, illness, etc.

But wealth inequality doesn't even come close to the disagreeability of the turd-free sandwich. Virtually everyone agrees that someone who tries should have better ability to accumulate wealth than someone who doesn't try. That leads to an inequality which near universally agreed upon. The connotation of wealth "inequality" deceptively implies that the ideal of wealth "equality" is better, but few actually buy into that unlike the ideal of the turd-free sandwich.

Actually, rich people would be LESS successful under such conditions. All those poor people can't afford to buy the luxury stuff that richer people would buy, limiting what new businesses the rich people can create, which means less new jobs for poor people, which creates a downward spiral.

Utter fantasy. We only need to look at the developed world to see that you aren't even remotely accurate. Rich people got richer because capital, the primary sort of wealth of rich people, continues to climb relative to the wealth gathering value of labor. It'd be nice, for example, if my wages had tracked the NASDAQ Composition, for example. My minimum wage of $3.65 per hour in 1987 would be roughly $50 per hour today.

You're also using a particularly erroneous version of the demand-driven model of the economy. Somehow it's really important that developed world people have a weak inflation-adjusted increase in their wages, but not important that the far more numerous developing world workers have massive increases after inflation in their wages.

But even if we ignore that, demand is not just driven by consumers. It's also driven by employers who always get short shrift with this particular model. I consider that a major error of the model just on its own.

If left alone, this would eventually decreased wealth inequality (e.g weaker businesses close down, the rich become not so rich anymore). So the fact that it has shifted so little is a sign that the elites are propping up the system, preventing the market from correcting itself.

And it has in the developing world. But it hasn't in the developed world. The excuses are numerous, but I think I nailed it with global labor competition.

Comment Re:Everything's consolidating (Score 2) 132

You're begging a lot of questions here. The biggest is assuming that wealth inequality is an important metric. I think wealth inequality became a popular metric in the first place because it is something that can always be said to be a problem and thus is an evergreen measure of inequality.

Notice also that there is no desirable level of wealth inequality. Isn't it kind of odd to have a control system without a set point?

Finally, why do you think wealth inequality is out of control? The US has been suffering from heavy labor competition with parts of the world that are a large factor cheaper. Rich people should be massively more successful at accumulating wealth in such an environment than people whose wealth is solely labor-derived. It's surprising that wealth inequality has shifted so little which indicates to me that you're just missing outright the successful control of wealth inequality.

Comment Re:Indeed (Score 4, Informative) 132

Phone bills quadrupled almost over night.

Well, for starters how about stuff that actually happened. Here's a story from 1984 a year after the AT&T break up. It notes a decline in long distance prices (around 5% decline) combined with somewhat sharper rises in local service costs (but 16% increases rather than your bullshit 300% increases). One could buy their own phones and telecom equipment.

And cell phones are a huge benefactor of the breakup. AT&T had been sitting on cell phone technology for years. Within the decade, its pieces had set up viable cell phone networks.

Comment Re:I don't agree that these are "conservative" vie (Score 1) 235

Not really: mod games as you put it are not a waste of time in that sense. Man readers only read the highly upvoted comments or scan for remarks about that. How things are moderated does influence what people see.

How many are "many readers" again? You're speaking of hypothetical people who read the comments, but are unaware somehow of mod bombing and the other mod games. Needless to say, I think we want our foes to waste their time on this particular readership.

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