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Comment Re:I Love You (Score 1) 281

They do have a point. You know, whenever someone says "thank you" to me, I always naturally assume that they are working for Citigroup. When it turns out they don't work for Citigroup and they were just saying it to be nice, it confuses the hell out of me. Could everyone please stop abusing registered trademarks like that? Thank you.

A Citigroup lawyer somewhere just read this post, willfully ignored the sarcasm, high-fived the intern who found it, then filed it as evidence in support of their ridiculous trademark...

Comment Re:Hope you're happy.... (Score 2) 106

Let's do a thought experiment with some made up, but representative numbers.

We have French Fries 'r Us, which is open 16 hours per day. Each day, they have 2 employees dedicated to making the french fries (each doing an 8 hour shift), and the owner is considering automation to eliminate the position of Fry Frier. He finds that the French Fry Machine can be purchased for $180k.

Paying each of his 2 full time Fry Friers $15/hour comes to ~$62k per year. So, the machine has a 3 year ROI, what a deal! He decides to eliminate the positions and personally reaps the financial rewards (after 3 years).

Paying each of his 2 full time Fry Friers $10/hour comes to ~$42k per year. So, the machine has about a 4 and a quarter year ROI... what a deal! He decides to eliminate the positions and personally reaps the financial rewards (after 4 and a quarter years).

This is simplified, ignoring things like the costs of employee benefits, employment taxes, the impact of sick days or of employees just not showing up... and maintenance costs for the machine... but you get the point. Automation is coming; every day we build better machines that can do more work, and every day the cost of those machines goes down as we figure out better ways to build them.

The only way to keep those menial jobs around is to *reduce* the minimum wage so that human labor becomes cheaper than automated labor (which is constantly becoming cheaper). And there's a dangerous situation; we are financially incentivizing the degradation of humans, while pulling business away from the people who are inventing better/more efficient machines.

I think that the ideal end-goal is to have a population that is entirely capable of doing interesting, meaningful work... such as improving the automation of menial tasks. Rather than focusing on how to protect menial tasks for our unskilled labor force, let's focus on how those people can live decent lives while developing the skills that they need to actually contribute to society.

Comment Re:This worries me (Score 1) 175

I'm a tech nerd, but I had similar reservations. Up until my first son was 2, we let him watch children's television and generally were the normal American household. A friend of mine told me about Waldorf education and so we went to some seminars at a local school. I'm not really onboard with the spiritual philosophy, but I've been totally won over by their educational philosophy. They stress the importance of social development for young children, introducing scholastic skills later than public schools. They strongly discourage the use of most entertainment technologies during this period, as the human connection is so important to children.

After the seminars, we reduced TV time to 30 minutes per week (one show on Saturday morning). The first week or two were tough, as we all had to develop new routines, but it made a huge difference for us. Our son made very swift leaps in his communication ability and his imaginative play. We're lucky enough to live near a character school that follows the Waldorf educational philosophy, so we've been able to join in a community of like-minded parents. How does this tie into your worry about having internet access or becoming a social outcast? Well, there are communities where the average kid doesn't have that level of internet access, but you do have to find them.

Comment Re:This is nuts (Score 1) 566

I agree that state-sanctioned killings are disgusting. What about state-sanctioned euthanasia? In addition to being an option for terminal patients, perhaps offer euthanasia as an option to convicts who are undergoing life sentences. I'm not personally sure which is crueler; taking someone's life or forcing them to live in a prison for decades, where they can not contribute to society or even take care of themselves in any realistic fashion.

Comment Re:Because catering to heterosexual men = EVIL! (Score 1) 586

While we're busy catering to human interests that aren't directly related to the subject matter from the conference, should we get Neil deGrasse Tyson to give a lecture on astronomy, Julie Zeilinger to give a speech on feminism and Anatoly Karpov to talk about the fascinating world of stamp collecting?

Comment Re:Slipery slope (Score 1) 819

I really like the sentiment, but I disagree with that argument because the caliber of weapons (both figuratively and literally) that are available to me as a private citizen are so dwarfed by those weapons that are available to the government that the concept of a militia of citizens standing up against the government is just laughable. It doesn't matter how many shotguns or rifles I own when a Predator drone is lining up a shot...

Comment Re:Total lack of power analysis (Score 1, Insightful) 674

I think that the problem with your theory is that the government doesn't really care where its money comes from, as it is not an entity. Instead, politicians care where their income money from, and that's mostly from the lobbyists. I've never heard of a normal person hiring a lobbyist, so we're basically already in your situation where the government is only incentivized to take care of the rich/corporations... and it shows.

Comment Re:People still don't know? (Score 1) 342

No... I know the most crazy anti-government person and he'd admit no such thing. He'd suggest that the free market forces would inspire the community to move to a place where corporations can more efficiently satisfy their needs (or that the community should stratify so that only the independently wealthy live in such an expensive place, as they, through their money, are able to take care of themselves in all regards).

Comment Re:That exists also (Score 2) 1089

What's with all of this elitist livingism. A hundred years ago, we realized that African-Americans deserved the right to vote. A few decades later, we realized that women deserved to vote. When will we, as a country, wake up and realize that everyone in our country is created equal, no matter if they are alive or dead!

Comment Re:It is time to get up one way or the other (Score 1) 1089

These are really good points about forcing the uninformed (and presumably easily swayed by unsubstantive claims) to vote. What about requiring voting, but simply including an "I abstain" option for each category? Those who don't care or who want to protest can select "abstain" but it's now an active choice. No longer can the protest non-vote be explained away as simple laziness. Hell, we could even have another option, "I abstain and I'm pissed" to really drive the point home about how we're feeling about these non-options.

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