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Comment Re:This is, how the system should work (Score 1) 158

Standard Oil was accused of "predatory pricing" moving into an area, underpricing until the competition left, and then raising its prices using it's new-found monopoly power.

It was only a couple of decades ago that anyone looked at the data.

Turns out that they did indeed move in with lower prices, and that their competitors fled, but they kept the lower prices. (and why not? unlike their competitors, they were quite profitable at those prices).

hawk

Comment Re:They are also often newer (Score 1) 167

Don't look at me for sympathy :)

I bought this house in a middle class neighborhood about 30 years ago. It has degraded to lower middle class. (Hey, it makes for cheap security: noone in the neighborhood has anything worth stealing, so burglars don't bother us . . .)

I can get highspeed from Cox, may many poxes befall their house.

Centurylink, which used to be the phone company, can't deliver more than 3 mbit service here (but, gee, if I dig the trench to the street, they'll supply 8 conductor rather than 4 conductor phoneline . . .).

Bizarrely, they send an add every week or two for their Prism and high speed, even though it can't be purchased . . .

I'd take it in a heartbeat. Heck, I'd probably buy from russian hackers or the devil to get away from cox . . .

hawk

Comment Re:I hope he wins his suit (Score 1) 730

"Doctor" had a long established meaning before the modern MD in the US was concocted: a doctor was a person who had acquired significant knowledge in an area, *AND* had contributed to that body of knowledge. (It comes from the Latin verb "to teach").

The modern MD was created specifically to borrow the prestige and legitimacy of the doctors of the university at at a time when contemporary medicine was at least as likely to cause harm as to help. It created a system of training, but dropped the second prong (contribution to knowledge).

As a real doctor, I find the borrowing of my title an adequate tradeoff for the vastly improved healthcare, but I get a good laugh when a mere MD tries to distinguish that he is a "real doctor." (If he as actually published in a peer reviewed journal, or developed a new technique, he is indeed a real doctor. But they are a small minority).

MDs also like introducing themselves as "Dr. Smith"; real doctors rarely do--I've never done it outside of a classroom.

The DDS is kind of an MD knockoff with the same missing second prong.

Chiropracticy, well . . . they should only be allowed to operate under the direct supervision of real physicians, but that's another issue. "Menace" would be a better title than "Dr." for them, but I digress . . .

And as for attorneys . . . the (american) JD is actually the old LLB (Bachelor of Law). In about the 1960s, law schools started switching over, even offering replacement diplomas to their alumni. It was about some kind of parity with MD.

The LLM is a legal master's degree, almost always in tax in the US.

And then there is the LLD, the PhD equivalent, an actual doctor. These are rare, you see an occasional law school dean and so forth. And, notably, Neil Gorsuch, the newest Supreme Court Justice, holds one. (for all I know, he's the only JSD or LLD to ever sit on the court, but I haven't bothered to look, as it's really not that important).

Substantially all medical school and law school faculty have published and contributed to their bodies of knowledge.

hawk, doctor of economics & statistics

Comment Re:It's true (Score 2) 286

Pixar was unique in Silicon Valley companies in that we had deadlines that could not move. The film had to be in theaters before Christmas, etc. I'd see employees families come to Pixar to have dinner with them. I took the technical director training but decided to stay in studio tools, first because Pixar needed better software more than they needed another TD, and second because of the crazy hours.

Comment Re:Damage from BASIC (Score 1) 630

This.

I used BASIC as it was what was available on the machine I was paid to write.

My BASIC, though, looked more like good FORTRAN than most basic, with thought out calls, etc.

If the language you need to use doesn't have the control structure you need, just write it.

Although I don't miss worrying about what line number to put routines at for efficiency (MBASIC until 5 or so would search through memory on a GOTO or GOSUB, making low-numbered calls faster than high-numbered).

And it's amazing that noone has pointed out the adage that a sufficiently skilled programmer can write bad FORTRAN in any language . . .

hawk

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 307

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

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