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Comment Re:Good (Score 2) 284

Good...the cesspool of political correctness is blowing up in their faces

While I don't agree with political correctness either (and do agree with what John Cleese says on the subject) , the Twitter problem is more general than that: Twitter's decision to police speech on their platform at all was the idiot move there. While their customers do reasonably want filters, those customers should be able to collectively create and individually select those filters, or none at all. Consider in comparison the Slashdot rating system: it is primitive and flawed, but its is the right kind of approach and more-or-less sort of works to permit free speech while de-emphasizing crap. The Slashdot editors censor and some great points get modded down by unfair moderators, but usually the better posts do percolate to the top.

Milo Yiannopoulos has made the point that Twitter's most controversial posters are also its biggest draws, so that therefore banning them is stupid for the platform and stupid for business. He's predicted its financial decline on that basis since he was banned on Twitter in July. Twitter stock has mostly hovered under $20/share since, so not down, but not the growth they need.

Comment It's a good test of skill (Score 2) 715

Russia's influence on the recent U.S. Presidential contest further legitimized the electoral outcome. Because Russia is a potent adversary, confronting it during the campaign as a candidate made the electoral competition a better test, one more representative of the winner's subsequent and challenging work in international relations. Hillary Clinton failed that test abysmally by surrounded herself with incompetent sycophants who fell for the stupidest of phishing scams, by her having engaged in such scandalous conduct for so many years that the leaks were significantly damaging, and by relying on such a thin veil of secrecy to conceal her dishonesty; Information wants to be free and those million-dollar speeches to Wall Street bankers were getting out one way or another.

It is backwards to assert that her evident ineptitude in protecting herself from the hacking and leaks which exposed her corruption recommends her for the office of U.S. President. On the contrary, getting owned by Russia in a presidential campaign is a good indication that the United States would have lost big to Russia in any subsequent foreign relations dispute with her as President.

Comment Return the 1920's (Score 3, Interesting) 488

After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. I am strongly of the opinion that the great majority of people will always find these the moving impulses of our life. Of course, the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence, but we are compelled to recognize it as a means to well-nigh every desirable achievement. So long as wealth is made the means and not the end, we need not greatly fear it...But it calls for additional effort to avoid even the appearance of the evil of selfishness. In every worthy profession, of course, there will always be a minority who will appeal to the baser instinct. There always have been, probably always will be, some who will feel that their own temporary interest may be furthered by betraying the interest of others.

--Calvin Coolidge


Comment Re:meanwhile (Score 1) 196

The only government subsidy specific to fossil fuels is a home heating oil subsidy available to consumers; it is targeted at those too poor to afford winter heating to prevent them from freezing to death.

Democrat party congressmen rant on about how terrible are fossil fuel subsidies then they all turn on a dime and vote for that one with perfect reliability. The point is not that home heating oil subsidies are either good or bad, but instead that critics of fossil fuel subsidies are absolute hypocrites.


Comment Re:An MBA attempts to think (Score 1) 162

Actually, in followup to my own post, Netflix might not really believe their own story about viewer indifference to movie catalog size. Rather, it is a negotiating tactic: They tell that to the studios when negotiating for streaming rights, "see, we don't really need a deal with you guys to be successful, so you'll have to lower your prices." By that interpretation, the Netflix executives are no dummies, but they assume the studio executives to be.

Comment An MBA attempts to think (Score 1) 162

It's funny to watch executives try to reason from statistical evidence through to a valid interpretation of that evidence. I mean "funny", not in the ironic sense, but in the clownshow sense.

So it has not occurred to any of these bozos that that American viewers who care about the the size of the movie catalog do not use Netflix but choose an alternative, and Canadians who care about the size of the catalog do choose Netflix? American thinks, "Netflix sucks, too small a catalog, I'm renting elsewhere." Canadian thinks: "Hey, Netflix has a good size catalog, I'll go with them". It fits the evidence which Netflix offers perfectly. It's not a proven fact, it is an alternative explanation which must be excluded on the basis of evidence before concluding that the audiences do not care about the catalog. It might be the people who are not your customers who do care.

MBA : noun, A magical power which greatly increases the ratio of income to brains.

Comment demagogic nationalistic mercantilist nonsense (Score 4, Informative) 416

While it's not an exact match, Trump and Bannon are best described as mercantalist. Mercantilism is an antiquated and discredited economic theory and practice largely abandoned in Europe after the 18th century.

Among the flaws in that system is that it trades visible gains for hidden losses. (Over at the National Review, Kevin D. Williamson cites Frédéric Bastiat on that point in a great analysis of Trump's Carrier deal). An interesting thing about China luring away talent is that it draws attention to that loss of talent, making it less hidden.

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Wasn't there something about a PASCAL programmer knowing the value of everything and the Wirth of nothing?