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Comment Before anybody tries UBI I'd like to solve traps (Score 3, Insightful) 346

Before anybody tries UBI, I'd like to see trapless welfare. I don't know how bad this is in Canada, but the USA has a lot of "welfare traps". That's a situation where people remain on public assistance rather than work because their real income falls when they start working. We do so many stupid things such as labeling people "low income" and making them wait a long time for "low income housing". Then their "low income status" actually becomes an asset!

Fix that first, then get back to us.

Comment Turing (Score 1) 616

My first 'formal' computer programming training was in High School, using a language developed at the University of Toronto called Turing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

It was a cute little language, and I remember doing some fun stuff in it, including some basic 3d wireframe engine work. Which was pretty exciting stuff in high school computer programming in the early 90s on a 386.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

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) 306

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:Huh? What? (Score 2) 223

What if the common factor is that all of these artificial sweeteners stimulate the "sweet taste" centers of the brain but don't supply any energy? So then one part of your system says, "hey sugar coming" but the pancreas says "no dummy, this ain't sugar". They then proceed to duke it out, smashing bottles and breaking chairs all over the circulatory system.

It could be like virtual reality. Driving a car doesn't make you sick because your eyes and your balance system provide congruent information. Now put on a VR system and driving games can give you a headache because they only feed information to your eyes.

It's virtual sugar, only feeding information to your taste buds. It doesn't matter who makes the VR, they're all deficient.

Comment Re:Not exactly a neural lace (Score 1) 63

We may not have a good interface directly into the brain for memory, math, and facial recog; but that seems like a problem would could solve. After all, what are our eyes and a phone but a kind of klunky prosthetic for a deficient brain?

What we really don't understand is how this impacts our state of being. If I have a cybernetic implant that allows me to preserve the memory of my family, I'm still alive, right? Simply having access to knowledge of my life doesn't steal my consciousness. Otherwise, family photo albums would make me legally dead.

What we really don't understand is how all the stuff in our brain and body make us conscious human beings. We'll still die; but what does death look like? Is a machine with all my data still me? Will death just be a slight twinge of existential angst, followed by me no longer being a real human being? Or, is a full upload still conscious? What's going to happen? Real immortality, or just a slow transformation into a fancy animated corpse/memorial?

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

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) 306

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.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 306

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:It's not his arrest that is a priority (Score 1, Troll) 369

Making an example out of Assange won't help anything though, there will just be someone else stepping up. Assange is not the problem, you are.

There's an old proverb: "When everyone you meet is an asshole, it means that you're not beating up all the assholes fast enough and if only you can speed it up, everyone else will eventually become convinced that you must be one of the good guys."

I know it doesn't sound eloquent, though.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 338

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

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