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Comment Re:Onwards to victory. (Score 1) 117

I went to the supermarket today. According to the National Enquirer, Hillary Clinton has already been indicted for a whole bunch of illegal things she did. It was on the front page.

I'm still a little leery of jumping on the "OMG FAKE NEWS!!" bandwagon given there seems to be absolutely nothing new about the phenomenon. I'm inclined to blame a combination of an awful Democratic candidate (well, she was. And no, I don't think Bernie would have won either. Democrats had a dreadful choice at the primaries this year) and the seductive nature of Fascism, which has proven itself over and over again to be a message people respond to as long as they don't recognize it for what it is.

The supermarket tabloids have been peddling this crap for decades. TV news, especially local news, also has its own version of "reality", frequently mixing syndicated spots of dubious accuracy with genuine news. (And this is ignoring justified, if over stated, criticism of mainstream serious print media, which is a different category of misleading content.)

Comment Re:Security is an illusion (Score 1) 153

There's just too much volume to track all the content everywhere.

There are 350 million people in the USA, more or less. Including kids not of age to use computers. One computer, just one, operates at billions of instructions per second (when the code is written in anything efficient, like c.) The NSA has a newish huge data center located on the main trunks.

You do the math. If you still think they can't sieve that amount of data effectively, why then, good on you for your optimism. :)

Comment Re:They only show gorgeous women (Score 2) 155

Please ignore the correlation between "looks" and genetic indicators of reproductive health

That would be a nice argument if there was some universal agreement on what is attractive. In some cultures, thin is attractive. In others, fat. Some places like women who stretch their necks out. Others like their feet bound to the point that they can hardly walk. In Meiji era Japan, it was seen as attractive for women to paint their teeth black. Do you find that hot? There is no single standard of beauty. You cannot just declare yours to be universally applicable.

The majority of "beauty" traits have nothing to do with genetic indicators of reproductive health. That said, there are some. For example, for both sexes, "clear skin" is usually desirable, as that is an indicator of immune system fitness. And of course standard secondary sex characteristics, including having typical voice ranges appropriate to their sex, muscle mass in men, in women breasts and wide hips, etc. But the majority of the specific details that make up the "look" of an attractive man or woman versus other men and women in their society are simply cultural.

Comment Re:Hi , this is some random website called (Score 1) 442

The Intercept is a legitimate site co-founded by Glenn Greenwald. It has essentially the same reputation as Greenwald, it's truthful and focuses on certain issues to the point of obsession, but for fairly good reasons.

As far as not answering the question, the correct response to "Will you ever sell your services to make a registry for Muslims?" is the same one as "Would you build baby mulching machines in Toddler sizes?" or even just "If Trump asked you to make your workers wear militaristic uniforms with jackboots, would you do that?" - the answer is always going to be "Fuck no", not "At this time we'd prefer not to answer" or no answer at all. That's regardless of whether the questioner is from the New York Times or Breitbart.

Comment Re:Trump Derangement Syndrome (Score 1) 442

Trump is assumed by some to have won based on (anticipated) EC votes. However, three facts:

1 - The EC hasn't voted yet.

2 - The EC does not have to vote for Trump.

3 - Clinton got (a lot) more votes from, you know, the people.

Trump may well end up to be president. But he isn't the president yet; he isn't even the president-elect yet.

Comment Re:"Middle class" (Score 1) 434

I'll chalk this up as a poor interpretation of what constitutes 'middle class.' Most of the jobs automation would impact might creep into the low end of that range, but not very many.

The vast majority of software development jobs are making software that fundamentally does CRUD operations at the behest some business logic.

We've already "automated" the CRUD part in the form of libraries that make that trivial. A general-purpose AI could handle the business logic.

Or is "software developer" not supposed to be 'middle class' anymore?

Comment Re:huh (Score 2) 434

if everyone suddenly had a Star Trek replicator, do you think the entire world economy would grind to a sudden halt? No, it wouldn't.

It would not grind to a halt because............?

What jobs do you think can not be automated? And since those currently pay better than the more "mundane" jobs, why isn't everyone already doing them?

Comment They don't have to completely program themselves (Score 1) 434

Currently, I'm the only person writing any code for my project.

20 years ago when I started my career, this project would take around 20-30 people to code. I'm not 20-30x better than they are. Instead, a whole lot of what I need is "automated". I don't have to write a network stack. I don't have to write a server or client. I don't have to serialize/deserialize the messages between the services. I don't have to write the deployment, monitoring and automatic recovery software. I don't have to write most of the testing code. And so on.

It's going to continue to get easier. So about the time I'm old enough to think about retirement, I'll probably be doing the work of 50-70 1990s-era programmers. If I'm still needed.

A near drag-and-drop "programming" interface for a typical business CRUD application would not be all that hard to do today, except for handling all the day-to-day edge cases. Add in a general-purpose AI, and suddenly you can handle those edge cases too.

And then the "programming" will be done by a relatively unskilled business analyst, except for the very, very, very few computer scientists working with AIs to produce the next version of the framework.

Comment Re:Average income down, fewer people working (Score 1) 502

Arguing about long-term economic trends like incomes going up or down requires a long-term context

Except you're the one who switched to a long-term context when your previous argument wasn't going so well. TFA is talking about a month-to-month report. That's inherently a short-term context.

How much inflation do you suppose happened--or was even measured--between October and November?

November's numbers aren't out out. Here's September 2016 to October 2016. While that's CPI and not a percentage, you'll note it is going up, not down. So a drop in wages would mean a reduction in purchasing power.....if that chart was the same months. We'll be able to make a new chart in a week or so.

For that matter, with holiday sales, wouldn't inflation over a few weeks be negative, if you picked the right weeks?

Consumer goods are only a part of the CPI "basket". There's lots of other things that also fluctuate wildly - food, gasoline, whatever you use for heating, and so on.

It's unreasonable to assume an economics discussion about the general state of the US economy is a short-term discussion

When the story is about the change between October and November, it's inherently a short-term discussion.

If the discussion were meant to be in a one-month total context, then OP and GP are just morons [...] have some sort of pathological mental illness and exhibit defense mechanisms that look an awful lot like, but are distinct from, schizophrenia.

Psst....you wrote the grandparent post.

Comment Re: Surprised (Score 1) 502

The "official state statistics" are actually the bullshit here. There's lots of arcane rules about who can get unemployment benefits and who can stay on them, as well as wildly different policies in each state. As a result, "number of people receiving unemployment checks" has very little to do with the number of people unemployed.

And remember, unemployed people have plenty of time to fill out government surveys.

Comment Re:Meanwhile, back in the real economy... (Score 1) 502

hat ratio is 59.7% at the moment, which is barely one percentage point above the lows it hit in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown. The whole "economic recovery" and the "unemployment rate" which has gone from 8-9% down to 4.9% is an illusion. The real economy and real employment situation still suck.

Here's the employment/population ratio going back several decades. Please provide the statistics showing the US economy was terrible in the 1950s and 1960s, when the employment/population ratio was significantly lower than it is today.

People fall into this category when their unemployment benefits run out, but they're still unemployed.

This is wrong. Unemployment benefits have nothing to do with unemployment statistics. Unemployment statistics are created by surveys, not by counting people receiving unemployment benefits. U3 (the unemployment number in headlines) includes plenty of people who do not get unemployment benefits. Such as contract employees who have reached the end of their contract and people who got fired.

If you're really worried about people being left out, you can use U6. U6 includes people in U3, as well as people who are currently employed but want to work more hours, as well as people not actively looking for work but would take a job if they could find one.

Actually, I think an even more interesting metric would throw kids into the equation. They need to be supported too. In that case, we've got a country where ~152 million people are supporting 320 million people, so the unemployment rate is really 52.5%

So how long should newborns wait before taking their first job? Do they have to leave the hospital first? 'Cause the statistic you just came up with implies they should get a job about the same time their umbilical cord is cut.

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