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Comment Best fix for poverty is removing regulation (Score 1) 1

One of the worst aspects of the regulatory state is how it gets in the way of people helping themselves. Occupational licensing, state-sponsored cartels like taxis, land zoning, regulations which prevent people planting vegetable gardens, all these things hit the self-supporting the most. Minimum wage laws hurt the unskilled by cutting back the opportunity to learn skills from entry level jobs. Too many places even make it illegal to feed the poor without restaurant-level food prep, or for groceries to give away food on its sell-by date, or fruit and veggies which are too ugly for commercial sale.

US local, state, and federal governments spend $7-8 trillion every year, which is around $50,000 for every household in this country. It's amazing that people have anything left for themselves, and since income taxes don't come close to matching this, it must come from sales taxes (10%), property taxes, business taxes (35%, I think, which is just passed on to consumers), and all the other taxes that are hidden away and people aren't aware of. This is an incredible drag on the economy -- 40% of GDP. Estimates are that somewhere around 15% of the work force get their pay from taxpayers -- whether directly (employees, military) or indirectly (military and other contractors).

Certainly a lot of this would be spent anyway (roads, schools), but competition would make it cheaper, better, and more innovative.

If welfare were cut way back to the essentials of people who cannot take care of themselves, if unemployment insurance were obtained privately like car and home insurance and related directly to work record, if health care were privately obtained and insurance was strictly for catastrophes, and if the poor and unskilled could help themselves by cutting hair for friends and neighbors without six months or a year of full time schooling, if neighbors could baby sit for neighbors without government regulators setting standards that parents are better able to judge -- if, if if the government would just stop making it so hard for people to help themselves --- the need for government welfare would drop like a rock. /rant

Comment Re:Cut full time down to 30-32 hours to start! (Score 1) 880

The entirety of your post is rather selfish. You admit that the average person is marching almost futilely into destitution at the end of their life. But no, let's not do anything about that, that would "ruin the progress of society". The progress enjoyed by only the tiniest sliver of society, riding on the backs of everyone else, for all of history. Who's really selfish here?

Comment Re:Cut full time down to 30-32 hours to start! (Score 1) 880

I make almost exactly the mean personal income / median household income. I still live virtually the same way I did as a poor college student, saving as much as possible as quickly as possible so that someday I will have a chance of securing the most basic bit of security: having a place I'm allowed to sit and (at least) starve to death in peace, without having to bribe someone else every month for the privilege of doing so in their space. That is to say, to own a home (outright) and stop renting. As things are currently trending (including the long-term growth trends in my income, inflating cost of living over time, etc), if I can keep up the breakneck speed I'm saving at right now, I might be able to accomplish that by my 70s, giving me a mere handful of years before I will probably die in which to "save up for retirement" (i.e. food money, etc).

Cutting full time down to 30 hours will merely reduce my income to 75%, which will reduce my rate of progress toward that goal to 25%, which will extend the date that I am free from rent and able to start saving for other retirement expenses to some time near my 200th birthday.

Merely cutting everyone's hours is only going to help those who are unemployed (and not even all of them), at the expense of those who are employed (and a proportionally greater expense for the lower-paid), at not cost to the richest of the rich who are currently siphoning up all the wealth of society. A real solution to poverty has to be at the expense of those who can afford it, not merely dragging the rest of society with barely any hope already down into the same depths of hopelessness as the worst-off of us.


WikiLeaks Publishes Cryptic UFO Emails Sent To Clinton Campaign From Former Blink 182 Singer ( 205

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The former lead singer of Blink 182, Tom DeLonge, has publicly admitted to his obsession with UFOs -- but that still doesn't explain why he was sending two cryptic messages about alien spacecrafts to Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today. The former rockstar's UFO emails became public in the latest Wikleaks dump, published earlier this month. DeLonge, who is best known for his shitty guitar riffs and vocals in songs like "What's My Age Again," emailed Podesta at least twice from his personal account, urging him to meet in person so he could introduce Podesta to high-level officials (presumably with info about UFOs). Here's a small taste of one of the messages: "I would like to bring two very 'important' people out to meet you in DC. I think you will find them very interesting, as they were principal leadership relating to our sensitive topic. Both were in charge of most fragile divisions, as it relates to Classified Science and DOD topics. Other words, these are A-Level officials. Worth our time, and as well the investment to bring all the way out to you. I just need 2 hours from you." In another email, DeLonge said he's been working with someone named General McCasland, and explained some of the General's public comments. The email is rather strange, given that there's no specific request made or really any context at all for the message: "He mentioned he's a 'skeptic,' he's not.... He just has to say that out loud, but he is very, very aware -- as he was in charge of all of the stuff. When Roswell crashed, they shipped it to the laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. General McCasland was in charge of that exact laboratory up to a couple years ago." It's unclear if Podesta ever responded to the messages, but he has shown interest in UFOs in the past. When he stepped down from his role as a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, Podesta tweeted, "Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files. #thetruthisstilloutthere cc: @NYTimesDowd." The famous tweet now appears under the name of Obama's new senior advisor Brian Deese.

Comment Re:Honest Thought: Free Speech + No Platform = ? (Score 3, Insightful) 369

The ISP level is where the no-platforming line should be drawn, so long as ISPs are government-granted monopolies. There is no barrier to choice in social media platforms or web hosts, but most people in most municipalities have one or at most two choices of ISP, so they must be required to be common carriers and not discriminate based on content.

If there comes a day when anyone can connect to any... I dunno, wireless patch network or something like that... and there's no barrier to choice in ISPs either, then the ISPs are free to no-platform you too.

United States

Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Endorses Gary Johnson For President ( 523

Long-time Slashdot reader SonicSpike writes: Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic, Dilbert, has decided to endorse Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson for President. He writes at his blog: "Clinton supporters have been telling me for a few days that any visible support for Trump makes you a supporter of sex abuse. From a persuasion standpoint, that actually makes sense. If people see it that way, that's the reality you have to deal with. I choose to not be part of that reality so I moved my endorsement to Gary Johnson. I encourage all Clinton supporters to do the same, and for the same reason...

"To be fair, Gary Johnson is a pot head who didn't know what Allepo was. I call that relatable. A President Johnson administration might bring with it some operational risks, and policy risks, but at least he won't slime you by association and turn you into some sort of cheerleader for sex abuse in the way you would if you voted for the Clintons or Trump."

The essay concludes, "You might enjoy my book because you're not sure if I'm really endorsing Gary Johnson or just saying so to protect my brand."

Comment Re:When did "The Matrix" become a religion? (Score 1) 1042

I did bother reading the rest of this thread, and all you gave was further "how". How did it come to be that living things that are around today behave in ways that tend to increase the propagation of their genes? Those that didn't died out, leaving only these ones behind. That's a "how". And to be fair, "why" is an overloaded term, and one sense of it does mean "how", so you've technically answered one sense of the question, but clearly people are asking for an answer to the other sense of it, which you might put as "how come?" In other words, for what purpose?

Purposes are not causes. They don't explain why things are, and no amount of explaining why things are will tell you its purpose. A purpose is why something ought to be, what it's good for. To answer that, you first need to answer what is good, what ought to be, in the general (which no amount of discussion about what is or is not will accomplish, as it's a completely separate, orthogonal question); and then answer how the something in particular furthers that end (probably quite indirectly).

You could actually be interpreted as having given an answer to that question, if "My biological function..." is meant not to merely describe what you do do, but to prescribe what you ought to do. If you're saying "the good that my existence serves is propagating the existence of organisms like me", then that's an answer. One that implies that the existence of organisms like you is good (either intrinsically or at least instrumentally), and that your existence tends to propagate their existence (which is only the case if you're actually likely to procreate).

I'd argue that it's possibly not the best answer (if you mean that the existence, or propagation thereof, of organisms like you is an intrinsic good, rather than merely an instrumental one), and it's possibly a rather sad one (if the only thing you're good for is giving someone else a chance to try again next generation), but it could still technically be an answer, if you meant it in that sense.

Your doubling down on the "how is all the why there is", though, makes me doubt you did mean it in that sense.

Comment Re: Many believe that we live in a computer simula (Score 1) 1042

People stupidly vote for who they think is going to win, rather than who they actually want, like it's some kind of goddamn horse race and all that matters is "picking a winner", rather than making the winner. If it weren't for the superdelegates predetermining that Clinton was going to win, chances are Bernie would've seen a much better popular vote too.

Comment Re: Many believe that we live in a computer simula (Score 2, Insightful) 1042

Unless you live in a swing state, "protest votes" are the only way to effect any change. Voting for either major party in a non-swing state neither changes who wins the election nor sends any kind of feedback inducing any party to change. You're just voting for business as usual, whatever that should happen to be.

Voting for a third party doesn't influence who wins the election either, but it influences the statistics that the major parties use to target their platforms to capture those lost votes.

Comment Re:Just let it fold and be done with it (Score 1) 254

The cancer went malignant years ago and has already infested most of the rest of the internet.

Online used to be my respite from the idiocy of the real world, back in the days when it was mostly college professors or at least students, and nerdy little kids like I was, on the nascent public ISPs, were the worst of the noobs. Now, most of the idiots (and definitely the worst of them) that I encounter seem to be on the internet, and more and more, the things they have in common all seem to stem from 4chan "culture" and its derivatives.

It's really all just an extension of Eternal September, plus Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. More and more, the internet is populated by the same morons who make the real world a shithole, their swarm overwhelming whatever moderating influence the indigenous population may have once had on such newcomers; and the anonymity and large audience the internet provides to them just brings out the worst in all of them.


Interviews: Ask Martin Shkreli a Question 410

Martin Shkreli has agreed to answer your questions. Shkreli is the co-founder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, the co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of the biotechnology firm Retrophin, and the founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli has been active on Twitter about a wide range of topics, including the 2016 presidential election. Most recently, he expressed interest in buying 4chan.

Ask him your questions here, and we'll post the full interview with Shkreli's answers in the near future.

Comment Re:do people really talk to their phones? (Score 2, Insightful) 197

Everyone I know who does it, does it for stupid trivial shit and it still fails. It seems to be ineffective and greatly annoys those around them, but they don't seem to care when people are angrily looking at them for yelling "set timer for 10 minutes" 7 times.
Happens to android and iOS users

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