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Comment Re:We could never trust government (Score 2) 334

This shouldn't be the dawn of mistrust. Anyone who trusted the government was being, at the very least, gullible.

This is the surprise development of the information age... It was long thought that more information would give people a basis to make better decisions. The truth turned out to be that more information gave people more opportunity to discover facts that align with their beliefs. People trust data that says what they already think, they distrust data that says otherwise. It's always been that way.

The end result is that the trustworthiness of data is irrelevant in the public sphere. Regular people are simply discussing their opinion and hiding that opinion behind a "fact" they discovered.

Among experts in a field, data trustworthiness is important. However, experts are much better at validating data than the general public, so this usually isn't a problem.

Comment Re:Regular Taxi Service fears.. (Score 1) 672

Both could be true. Uber can be screwing people while taxi companies are trying to keep their comfortable status quo. There's also differences between markets - it's possible that taxi medallions in New York are an insurmountable barrier to free competition at the same time small-town Uber drivers are living below the poverty line.

Comment Re: Rich People Diet (Score 2) 176

Tip - blueberries are cheap twice a year in the US. Once when the US harvest comes in (exactly when depends on your latitude) and once when the South American harvest comes in (around now). They drop from $10 per pound to $3.25 per pound and the quality goes way up. Stop mold growth with a vinegar/water rinse and dry thoroughly and they'll keep for a week. Freeze them and they'll be good enough to use for cooking until the next season comes around - but don't expect them to be suitable for snacking.

Also, for anything but snacking, consider buying frozen. I always buy the cherries I use in my breakfast frozen. I can get big, sweet, pitted cherries for $3 per pound any time of the year.

Comment Re: Rich People Diet (Score 1) 176

Consider an apple. Unlike a peach (if you've never had an actual ripe peach off the tree you don't know what you're missing), apples ship and store extremely well. So it's not particularly remarkable that a Red Delicious apple cost only 25% as much on a weight basis as a boneless pork chop if you consider the labor inputs. It ought to cost even less.

The real problem is that "Red Delicious" as a term is a triumph of marketing mendacity. A Red Delicious is indeed red, but it tastes like Styrofoam. If you want a good eating apple, say a Honey Crisp, you'll be paying as much on a weight basis as you would for a pork chop. Last year Honey Crisps hit $4.50 a pound.

Learn what's in season. In the fall, Honey Crisps are available for around $1.00 a pound. There's almost always something in season. When there isn't, pineapples travel well, so they're decent all year long. On the vegetable side, you can always fall back on broccoli and carrots when there's no other produce in season. Also, canned tomatoes are better than whole during the off season.

Comment Re:Do like them thar foreigners (Score 1) 295

Honestly, this isn't that hard.

Apparently, it is. I used to work at a warehouse that shipped Class 2 Pharmaceuticals (Hydrocode, Xanax, etc...). We sent all of them "Addressee Signature Required". For packages sent to California, we were required to keep records of the proof of delivery receipts, so we got a chance to look at a lot of them. A good ten percent either said stuff like "left with girl", or had no signature at all.

Comment Re:Students are income tax exempt, too (Score 1) 158

In the US, low income citizens pay negative tax. We call it Earned Income Tax Credit. If you live alone and make no money (and therefore pay no income taxes), you get back a few hundred at tax return time. If you have kids, you get several thousand.

Also, the first ten thousand or so of income is non-taxable. Combined with the Earned Income Tax Credit, families with children usually don't pay taxes on the first twenty to thirty thousand dollars of income. 45 percent of the US pays no federal income tax.

Comment Re:iframe (Score 1) 25

Since video can't actually be binary embedded into HTML, all websites that present video are simply markup constructs that tell the browser to go get a video. Whether the browser uses the iframe, video, or object tag is what's irrelevant. The question here is how far copyright law goes in limiting other's use of presenting content. Unfortunately, this is destined to come down to intent and to become a gray area that will be expensive to litigate.

Comment Re:Modern kids are retarded (literally) (Score 0) 403

I feel wrong disagreeing with you, but...

I just watched James Randi's documentary this past weekend and I recall a story about how he put together a press packet for a fake channeler that called himself "Carlos". This was 35 years ago, and he was on a lot of major news programs and in a lot of publications. Not one of the staffers of any of these shows/publications checked his references - as they were all fake. The public bought every word he said. Fake news is a very old phenomenon and every generation has fallen for it.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

Did the founding fathers want that?

Yes, they specifically said they wanted that. Below is an excerpt from Origins of the Electoral College

A third idea was to have the president elected by a direct popular vote. Direct election was rejected not because the Framers of the Constitution doubted public intelligence but rather because they feared that without sufficient information about candidates from outside their State, people would naturally vote for a "favorite son" from their own State or region. At worst, no president would emerge with a popular majority sufficient to govern the whole country. At best, the choice of president would always be decided by the largest, most populous States with little regard for the smaller ones.

Comment Re: yes they should (Score 1) 1081

I read the summary. They used the popular vote result of this and previous elections to come to the conclusion that future election could be made better by changing the rules. That's a flawed analysis, because the rule change they propose will make the election an entirely different contest and the data they used to arrive at their conclusions will no longer be applicable. In other words, the popular vote results from an electoral college election won't be predictive of the popular vote results for a future popular vote election. Since the data referenced doesn't apply to the future they propose, without other data or theories, any conclusions are purely pulled out of their ass.

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