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Comment interesting... (Score 1) 74

So what's the copyright on this tool? Can I embed it in the reports I write to spot if my competitors steal them? (they're not using LibreOffice or anything, if they were smart enough for basic security, they wouldn't have to steal my stuff...)

We'll see adaptations of this everywhere in the near future. I know a dozen consulting companies immediately who are afraid that their stuff is stolen by competitors.

Comment Re: It's my house though (Score 1) 152

Interestingly, on the other hand in porn and swinger societies, black men seem to be quite popular. There's probably a mix of the exotic and forbidden at work, as well as the fact that it's generally a safe environment with other people present.

Thanks for the link. I always find it fascinating how complex and full of different aspects a topic becomes once you move beneath the surface and dissect causality.

Comment Re: It's my house though (Score 1) 152

Once you use a listing service that opens it to the public then there are all sorts of rules and laws that follow.

Why? You just state that like it's an obvious fact, but compared to "the sky is blue" it does not immediately follow.

Want to keep your rules? Don't use a listing service.

Why? That I need to follow the rules of the listing service, fine. That's part of signing the EULA when you register with it. But why do these rules have to be/contain specific rules? Why can the listing service not make up whatever rules it wants? It doesn't follow.

Rent to whomever you want, but don't advertise it to people you have no intention of renting to. That is what is illegal.

Ok, so add a filter to the listing service that allows the landlord to say "no men and no asian people" if they want, or "only single mothers of african decent" if that's their preference. What's wrong with that? If you find that nobody wants to rent to group X - go and figure out what's the reason for that and put your energy into fixing that. At the same time, there's suddenly a business opportunity for people to rent specifically to that group. The more they are discriminated against, the less competition and the more interesting it is to rent specifically to them.

Suppressing prejudices doesn't work. They don't go away just because you can't say it. Addressing them in an intelligent way is a much better approach.

Comment Re:It's my house though (Score 1) 152

Oh I love it when Ignoramus Anonymous trouts of free market nonsense.

When is the last time you saw an actual free market? You know, the one with an infinite number of buyers and sellers, perfect transparency, zero handling costs and no barriers of entry?

That's right, the whole free market thing is a purely theoretical model. It is not a real economical theory. It's the economists equivalent to the physicist saying "let's ignore friction and assume a perfect sphere in a vacuum..."

You need to adapt it to the real world or you are in for a hell of a lot surprises.

Comment Re:Observation (Score 1) 152

Because we live in a post-political-correctness world, where you are shouted down as racist, sexist, nazi or whatever if you have a not-approved-by-the-mainstream-police uncomfortable opinion. Some of those opinions actually are some or all of those things, but once people realised that it's an easy way to shut someone up, the labels expanded dramatically. You are now labeled a rape-culture sexist if you point out that "equal rights" also means men have rights. You are labeled a slave-holder racist if you point out that there are cases where discrimination goes against white people. And god forbid you say anything positive about a heterosexual white male.

Sadly, people didn't understand that the reason sexism and racism and political extremism are making a comeback tour is exactly that their proponents are being shouted down, giving them this "rebel" feeling that tends to make people stick more strongly to their opinion instead of changing theirs mind.

We should engage racists and reveal - to their and our eyes - what's behind their thoughts. Most often, it turns out it's a simple mix of stereotypes and fear, and once revealed it can be healed. We don't do it because we are also afraid - that if you seriously engage the topic, you have to face some uncomfortable facts for yourself. For example that certain demographic groups actually are more prone to violence, or more likely to commit certain crimes, or other such things. Dissecting that into the parts that are inherent to whatever the trait is and those that are self-fullfilling prophecies (if everyone thinks group A is full of criminals, they are less likely to be given good jobs, leaving many of them no other option than to become criminals). So in a way, the whole shouting match is because the non-racists are afraid to face an uncomfortable fact or two that might shake their simplified world-view.

For the record: I'm a racist. My Bengal cat is different from other cat races and I won't let anyone tell me that she's the same as any street cat.
For humans, even the term is silly as there is only one human race. We extinguished the other ones (Neanderthals and such) tens of thousands of years ago.

Comment Tricky one this is (Score 1) 152

Wow, that's going to clash.

On the one hand, yes racism is stupid and backwater countryside last-century silly.
But on the other hand, this isn't some hotel room, this is, for many people, theirs home (or holiday home, or whatever). They should be able to decide who to let in, based on whatever criteria they want, including racism, sexism and I-don't-like-people-in-suits.

We will see these kind of things happening more and more as the "gig economy" blurs the line between the private and the business world.

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:example (Score 1) 115

I didn't say it was right, I said it was on to something.

When prosecution doesn't work as a deterence - and it obviously doesn't in high-stakes white collar crimes - then prevention needs the be stronger.

This could very well take the form of pre-crime investigations. I'm against imprisoning someone for something they didn't (yet) do. But why is it that police has to wait until a crime has been committed before they can even begin looking?

I was in this position once. Someone tried to run a common scam on me and I went to the police so that they could catch them in flagranti. The answer pretty much was "well, no crime has been committed so far, so we can do nothing".

A bigger stress on the part where in many crimes the attempt is a crime would help out a lot, especially with corporate crime.

Comment example (Score 3, Interesting) 115

Uber is actually a good example of what's going wrong with the world: They are openly criminal and it works. It's Al Capone all over again. Everyone knows what they are doing, but they're too slippery to be nailed.

Same with the tax evasion of multinational cooperation, wars based on invented bullshit, election frauds done almost openly (like in Turkey), and so on.

Minority Report may have been on to something: The legal system working after the fact, and with a delay often measured in years, does not deter criminals. If you can take over a country, or become a billionaire, the threat that ten years from now they might file charges which your $1000/h lawyers will then simply drag through the courts for twenty years - well, that is not a very threatening thing especially for people trained to think primarily about next quarter.

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.

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