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Comment Re:It's kind of a - umm, no shit - statement, (Score 1) 361

Reality shows us, 99.999999% of the value is in the implementation of the idea, the idea is nearly worthless.

Obvious solutions are only obvious after they have been solved. The fact that I can explain how an incandescent lightbulb works, a semiconductor, nuclear fusion and fission, does not put me on the level of the giants (and teams of giants) who made those discoveries. Those discoveries were made from deliberate acts of innovation that Linus declares to be bullshit and you declare to be worthless. Who gives a shit about incrementalism. Of course all discovery is built on the foundations of prior discovery, I fail to see how that somehow devalues actively engaging in innovation.

You know, I can make perfect implements of all of those things every day for the rest of my life. I can sing the shit out of a Bon Jovi song. But no one will remember me for my perfect implementation of someone else's ideas. Because we all know that someone reasonably skilled could have done what I did.

To believe that having a solid grasp of the theory of relativity makes you equal to Einstein with respect to net value to the world, is the sheer epitome of hubris. 98%+ of those ideas fail not because the implementation was bad, but because they were bad ideas in the first place. I certainly concede that a good idea without a good implementation will have no realized value. But good ideas are HARD to come by. Implementing good ideas is just work, not to be diminished and certainly of value, but the implementation is rarely the thing of scarcity that leads to intrinsic value.

Comment Oh FFS (Score 1) 218

Some of the comments here are truly disheartening. A professional CONSIDERS computational complexity EVERY time they write a line of code. That consideration may be that there is no point trying to optimize some particular block of code for many valid reasons, but you still friggin' considered it. The poll question wasn't

When was the last time you went and performed static and/or dynamic code analysis and performance profiling to fully optimize the toUpper function of the String class that you wrote in order to squeeze 3 more clocks cycles over the version provided with your SDK.

But that seems to be the question that most are reacting to. This was not a question about premature optimization, we all (hopefully) understand the problems with that. But if you don't consider computational complexity when coding until it becomes a problem, then you have no business being paid for your work. Period.

Comment There is an easy solution (Score 1) 472

Unlimited H1-B's. Pure and simple. Oh, and each H1-B that is hired, because they are needed to fill a position that is vacant because of a scarcity of competent labor,and because the invisible hands dictates that scarcity drives price, must be paid a minimum of 2 times the going rate of Citizens employed in the field doing commensurate work with similar skills and experience. If no such benchmark can be established, they must pay 10 times the poverty rate, adjusted annually, minimum. If my employer wants to replace me with an H1-B and feels that it is worthwhile to pay twice as much for superior labor, then who am I to complain? That is a legitimate business case. If they aren't willing to pay the premium for the premium employees they seek, then they are just full of shit greedy little assholes and can go FOAD.

Comment Re:How valuable is trade? (Score 1) 73

That is a complete load of horseshit. Again, another trope from politicos who have manipulated the public into believing that they need to "take their country back" or "make America great again". Just go look at the stats, the WTO is a good place to start. The military issue isn't even a question, no one is close. Economically? The US's GDP per capital is almost 5 times China's. If that doesn't count as superpower, then I would like to know your definition of that word.

Are China and other countries gaining ground? Sure they are. But the sky most definitely is still up there, mon petit poulet.

Comment Re:Again With This Asshole? (Score 1) 73

Listen Webster, when in a hole...
This is an expletive sentence structure, and "a whole lot of folks just south of the border with a hole lot [sic] artillery aimed up their noses" is the complete subject.
The South part clearly refers to the South Koreans, unless you are from Australia. Not because North and South are different there, but because they allow Barnaby Joyce to continue to hold office under the guise of protecting animals and thus might be expected to get things diametrically incorrect.
You are correct though that "they" in the second sentence refers to the subject of the first sentence, you just misidentify the subject.
Props for using the correct form of "you're" though, that's not common for folks who refuse to issue a mea culpa after they are called on being so clearly and incontrovertibly incorrect.
Remember, sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool...

Comment Re:Tiny non-problem discovered (Score 1) 116

Yep. It's completely a non-problem when I go out to my car after work and it won't run. Oh, wait, your were trolling, right? Right? Maybe you didn't have time to put forth a more compelling argument because you are too busy adding security to an app that has access to certain controls on my car, though I can't possible see why any rational person in the world would have expected that SOME form of authentication/authorization would be included in a product that I paid money for. After all, I usually invite the neighborhood kids to come turn on the air conditioning and heated seats in my car whenever they get the urge. 'Cause, why wouldn't I, right? Such a non-problem.

Comment Re:His basic thesis is probably correct (Score 1) 373

All true. I hope, however, that there is still some room to engage in science for the sake of science and the unknown potential benefits it may bring. But you are right, I just don't see a mechanism by which it becomes feasible, financially or otherwise, without some technological breakthrough of the sort that hasn't even been conceptualized yet.

Comment Re:anti-business liberal scoring points (Score 1) 373

disclaimer: IANAL

That is where I said "unless their principal business is not risk". Having said that ...

Stone v. Ritter [Delaware 2006], while the court found on behalf of the company because the issue at hand was whether a failure to institute a particular program of internal corporate espionage to detect malfeasance or malpractice by its employees constituted liability upon its directors (the court found that in the instant case it did not), it did state that under a corporation's fiduciary duties is the duty of loyalty.

Stone v. Ritter cites Guth V. Loft [Delware 1939] in helping characterize that the duty of loyalty

...demands of a corporate officer or director, peremptorily and inexorably, the most scrupulous observance of his duty, not only affirmatively to protect the interests of the corporation committed to his charge, but also to refrain from anything that would work injury to the corporation, or to deprive it of profit or advantage which his skill and ability might properly bring to it, or to enable it to make in the reasonable and lawful exercise of its powers.

So while the courts do give wide latitude to directors to make decisions on behalf of their companies, to include significant propositions of risk, it is clear that there is some threshold at which a reasonable level of risk crosses over into territory that constitutes a violation of the Duty of Loyalty as it posses a likelihood to

... work injury to the corporation, or to deprive it of profit or advantage...

Under that guidance, a corporate officer needs to be able to show that their decisions pose a reasonable likelihood of being profitable to the company (conceding that what constitutes reasonable is generally quite broad).

So you are correct to say, in as much as I can find, that there is no such law, but there is such guiding principal which colors the law and the rulings of the courts and, more importantly to corporate directors, the disposition of shareholders. If you are tossed from your directorate position by a shareholder led initiative, or have to spend months or years fighting to defend a decision that you made because of the same, do the semantics of the process really matter? Does that not work to seriously disincentivize actions that are more likely to fail than to succeed?

Again, you are correct that a company is more tightly bound to abide by its articles of incorporation. Somethings, however, won't fly. You could file as a non-profit (though we aren't talking about non-profits here) but generally you must turn a profit some percentage of years (3 of last 5) or demonstrate that you can turn a profit or basically, show that the business is viable in order to receive tax deductions for expenses. There is a window of opportunity where start-ups can by-pass these requirements, but eventually you will be relegated to hobby status, and my recollection is that some states will rescind your articles of incorporation if you fail to demonstrate viability for X period of time. All this ignores the fact that exactly what kind of IPO or valuation do you think a company is going to have when their 10Ks say they don't intend to make a profit? You drop that valuation too far, particularly in technology rich turf such as space exploration, and you are some other company's lunch, and if you are public there isn't a damn thing you can do about it. So this all leaves you back at the wealthy individual territory which we previously covered.

Lastly, with respect to your example of SpaceX, the regulatory bodies (both public and private) place certain profitability and market capitalization requirements on corporations as a requirement for listing on exchanges. Even if SpaceX makes those requirements (and it looks like they may well be near that) they have to maintain them to some degree after IPO. That means hugely costly efforts that would deplete market cap are almost certainly not possible. Elon Musk has basically said the same thing, and that's part of the reason he hasn't taken SpaceX public.

Comment Re:His basic thesis is probably correct (Score 1) 373

Valid points, but I think the distinction is that if the general public wants a business to take on debt to perform some function for the public, well that ain't going to happen unless the shareholders want it. Shareholders are shareholders because they want to turn a profit, preferably quickly; they tend to have a dim opinion of things with an unknown return potential at some vaguely distant time in the future with a quantifiably negative impact on dividends in the near term. That's the trade-off of public investment.

However, if the public wants such a program to happen (and I'm making no statement about whether that's the case or not here), then it is usually something that a government is logistically more able (though not necessarily more capable) to do. That said, you are correct in that there needs to be some weenie, some potential payoff for the investment in one form or another, regardless of whether it is a public or private (or hybrid) program. The differentiator is that the confidence threshold for payoff for a government is generally much lower than that for a publicly traded business (particularly when the investment is huge).

Comment Re:anti-business liberal scoring points (Score 4, Informative) 373

Sensitive much? There was nothing anti-business about what NDT said. He stated simply as fact, the exact same rational that pundits on the right-hand side of spectrum have used repeatedly when explaining why business-oriented individuals are better candidates to run the government: businesses are results oriented, and generally risk averse. If they are publicly traded and their principal business is not risk, then they are required to be by law.

Tyson wasn't making a qualitative statement about business competence or capability, he was talking about the fact that there is not even the teeniest tiniest business case that can be made for building a human spaceflight program to Mars. None. No CxO could present such a proposition to their board without running the very real risk of receiving a vote of no-confidence. This is fact, not the bias of a left-wing statist (though ad hominem is clearly the appropriate mechanism through which to debate your point and win people to your position).

Now, could a counter argument be made to NDT's point that perhaps a single, very rich, individual might be able to accomplish such a feat without having to worry about the ROI implications, perhaps even more nimbly and efficiently than governmental bureaucracy would allow? Sure, and I believe that Elon Musk is exactly that type of individual. Though I suspect that even he doesn't have the resources to pull it off alone, and will need outside investment. Which brings us back to challenges faced by business that Tyson identified.

Argue your position. Stop with the my team/your team red vs. blue bullshit and engage in an honest debate. If we don't find a way to do this as a society, to step away from demagoguery and ideological obstinence in order to find consensus, or at least rational, well-reasoned disagreement, then we have much, much bigger existential problems to address than the challenges presented by a manned mission to Mars.

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