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Comment Re:Ok, both parties are complicit, happy? (Score 1) 270

No, the buck stops back in Congress who can overturn the Veto. While their majority wasn't Veto-proof, I can't see them having a hard time getting (D) Congresscritters on board if Obama was willing to sign off on it in the first place.

Consider, also, that Obama would have nothing to sign or veto if not for Congress first passing it.

Comment Re:IMO this is a problem of experience. (Score 1) 280

I don't really know how to solve the problem, given that young adults need to eat regardless of their ethics.

This is another problem that UBI/"mincome" can alleviate. With that guaranteed safety net, people in general won't put up with bullshit like and walk, or refuse and be fired.

Companies will shape up real quick when their employees are comfortable quitting if management tries to screw them over.

Comment Re: They didn't succeed though (Score 1) 667

Christ, you guys sound like the naive Obama supporters in 2008.

You misread or didn't read the Coward's post; s/he wasn't saying s/he thought that Trump would accomplish anything, but that the promise was sufficient for most of the 24.8% of American voters that elected him:

But he promised SOMETHING and that sure beats promises of things staying the same, especially as things continue to get worse.

Of the two candidates, Trump was the only one that spoke to that very large block of voters about their #1 concern. Coward doesn't believe he can succeed, I don't think he'll even do anything (and will fail if he tries), but when your primary choices are between a promise and nothing, a lot of people go with the promise (and, yeah, that includes the "Hope and Change" of Obama 2008) despite whatever baggage they bring along. Even amongst third parties (I followed Johnson and Stein somewhat after the conventions) there was little-to-no focus on disappearing low-education jobs and diminishing mid-west potential. If Clinton had paid even half as much lip service to job creation/restoration, including actual visits to more fly-over states, she would have probably gotten half of Trump's voters.

Despair is a terrible thing; hope, I think, is even worse.

Comment Re:Twitter's format is a big part of the problem (Score 1) 427

I'd bring up Penny Arcade's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, but anonymity seems to be only part of the equation.

Earlier this year, NPR closed their comment system. A few different reasons were given, but two large reasons were that they felt the comments weren't used enough and the apparent negativity and abusiveness of some commenters:

"We've reached the point where we've realized that there are other, better ways to achieve the same kind of community discussion around the issues we raise in our journalism," [Scott Montgomery, managing editor for digital news] said, with money, and spending it efficiently, part of the issue. More than 5 million people each month engage with NPR on Twitter, compared to just a fraction of that number in the NPR.org comments. "In relative terms, as we set priorities, it becomes increasingly clear that the market has spoken. This is where people want to engage with us. So that's what we're going to emphasize," he said

Mike Durio, of Phoenix, seemed to sum it up in an email to my office back in April. "Have you considered doing away with the comments sections, or tighter moderation?" he wrote. "The comments have devolved into the Punch-and-Judy-Fest of moronic, un-illuminating observations and petty insults I've seen on other pretty much every other Internet site that allows comments." He added, "This is not in keeping with NPR's take-a-step-back, take-a-deep-breath reporting," and noted, "Now, thread hijacking and personal insults are becoming the stock in trade. Frequent posters use the forums to duke it out with one another."

I haven't seen a followup on if the changes they made did what they wanted, but looking at Facebook comments on their stories (where people are supposedly using their real name and accounts) it's obvious that the "Punch-and-Judy-Fest" is still in full swing, but now people can also say "fuck" because NPR can't put censors in place.

Comment Re:Dun dun dun (Score 1) 427

should a baker be forced to write things on cakes that they find extremely offensive?

When people ask that they usually mean hateful phrases like "White Power", "Dumb Fggot", or "Death to Jews".

But what happens when the baker finds a phrase like "Tim+Mike Forever" or "Happy Ramadan!" extremely offensive?

Comment Re:This is gonna be fun (Score 1) 1368

Because when you read things from or about him, you likely did a small amount of fact-checking. You didn't accept his words at face value. But a lot of people--millions, it appears--heard him say "I'll bring back/create jobs" and they boarded the Trump Train without reservation.

What's funny is that Clinton could have given the same lies but with half the heart and probably won the majority of his voters. But instead she ignored this large group of people and their primary concern: their personal livelihood. (At one point on the campaign trail, I think in the primary, she even said something akin to "I will get rid of coal mining jobs"--meaning that she would put more emphasis on alternative energy, and the intention that the miners would work for that sub-industry instead, but horribly worded and a nice soundbite for the opposition. See: "You didn't build that") Trump didn't win because of his various examples of bigotry, but in spite of them (still not good IMO). The same might go for any of the third party candidates, but I didn't see any of them discuss it, either (and I followed personally, so that's not due to the media ignoring third parties.)

(If only there had been someone available to the Democrats, who not only had a populist message and enthusiasm behind it, but a long record of actually trying to implement it. That person could have retained those Obama-turned-Trump voters (more than a few, apparently) and coaxed over many other voters who were uncomfortable with Trump's rhetoric. But, no, Clinton was the sole candidate in the primary. Oh, well.)

Comment Re:Drone Snowden's ass already (Score 1) 488

My quote came from a Republican consultant.

Yes, my apologies, I didn't mean to make it out as one you said (I should have written "the quote you referenced is").

That's why voting should be a national weekend holiday and made mandatory for all citizens. It's unfair that the future of the country is decided by so few citizens.

I mostly agree. I would like to see all elections that include federal positions be open for a minimum of one week, Sunday-thru-Friday, with the last day being a national holiday where no government services except polling places are open, and all employers are required to give at least one day off during the week beyond that holiday (which could be normal weekend/breaks, but ideally a paid day off even beyond those.)

I hold an individual's self-governance in high regard*, so I think people should have the ability to refuse to vote (though I will chastise them for doing so). If we can implement that extended voting period+holiday, get rid of bad voter ID laws, and turnout is still abysmal, then I'm willing to consider mandatory voting. I could understand mandatory voting more from an anti-coercion standpoint (so people can't be forced to stay home if $NEFARIOUS_GROUP thinks they'll vote the "wrong" way) but would still like to see those other things solidified, first.

* to the extent that it does not negatively impact the lives of others and, no, I don't think not-voting falls into that category

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

In this fashion you will essentially have a popular vote, quantized in a funny way. Giving these small states 3 electoral votes and winner-take-all gives them more power than they would have had otherwise.

It doesn't have to be a strict proportional allocation. States can choose how to allocate their EC vote, and I don't think that many would have a problem with, say, Wyoming sticks with winner-takes-all.

Maine and Nebraska, the only two states that have eschewed winner-takes-all (odd bed-fellows), use a Congressional District Method. Briefly: the state overall popular-vote winner gets 2 votes, and then the popular-vote winner of each congressional district gets an EC vote. Because these are fairly homogenous states it usually still works out to a single candidate getting every vote, but a candidate still has to work for votes in each district (rather than focusing entirely on one or two major cities.) For enormous states like California and Texas, however, you'd get far better representation at the Electoral College level, where one party doesn't steamroll by virtue of 51% popular vote (or, egads, a third party might get an EC vote?!)

In fact, since Wyoming has only one congressional district, they could adopt this method of allocation without actually affecting future results. Small (population) states like that would be an excellent place to start campaigning for such a change, because nothing actually changes for the state but you bring about peer pressure and they get to say "Look at us, we're so smart, we did the thing!"

States aren't locked into using that particular method if they get rid of winner-takes-all, but for reasons you list it seems like a good one to work with.

would feel better if it were the actual law that they had to (in all states)

More than a few states have a "trust break" law on the books for EC representatives that go against the state's popular-vote results. I think there's even been a Supreme Court case regarding them (and the SC said that it was the state's prerogative to create those laws, so they held.)

Comment Re:Drone Snowden's ass already (Score 1) 488

I thought of that before my response; your quote is (emphasis mine):

Given a choice between crooked and crazy, the American people will always vote for crooked.

Even if we took "always" to mean "vast majority of the time", it's still wrong. In fact, about 24.8% of eligible American voters choose crazy over crooked (and roughly 50% of eligible voters either had their vote suppressed in some manner, or just kept their lazy ass at home. I'm betting on the latter being more prevalent.)

Comment Re:The desire for religion (Score 1) 1042

I don't think it's religion, per say, but control.

If you already have a massive pile of money, you have a significant amount of power in the world. For some, that's not enough. But it's pretty obvious that "World Dictator" is incredibly unlikely, even with Gates/Buffet-level money, and that's small potatoes, anyway.

Let's presume that we are in a simulation, and that there is a way to "break out"--essentially going from a simple process to su. Unless the construct that holds our simulation is connected to machinery that can be manipulated to create a physical presence that a process can be transferred to, or the process that breaks out is able to convince an observing entity to grant them such abilities, then the process that breaks out is basically stuck there. Maybe they can read input of the surrounding world, but that's as far as they can go.

But even with that, the process can still use the new su status to manipulate the simulation as they please, essentially becoming a god for the other processes.

Look at the history of religion--it's often a tool of power, used by priests to control their flock, or attempts to curry favor with the deity du jour to defeat enemies or bring prosperity. If this (very silly) request has any connection to religion, it's more of a Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard connection than a Jesus Christ or Martin Luther one.

Comment Re:Better Programs (Score 1) 630

the inflationary pressure of just adding $x to everyone's income.

Like the cities that are implementing $15/hr minimum wage, it wouldn't be a sudden $x. (I should mention that this is all with an 'ideal' and thought out plan) You'd have a year of $1 just to make sure all systems are set up, then a year of $x/100, then $x/10, then $x/2, then $x. (Or an even more gradual roll out.) During this time wages would likely stagnate across the board, but income would increase. Min wage probably decreases in the same fashion until it's $0, rather than just being completely and instantly removed. Then $x is pegged to inflation.

With a gradual roll-out the year-over-year inflation should not be much larger than it would otherwise have been (disclaimer: I am not an economics shaman).

The other problem I don't know how you deal with is what prevents a UBI from simply raising the price of everything by the amount of UBI everyone gets? How do you guarantee food, shelter and clothing will be always available at UBI income rates without price controls?

While income increases, wages will depress, so at the end most people will see a financial wash except for the very bottom rung, who now has income, and the very top rung, who probably have higher taxes. After that, what "free market" forces actually exist are still in place. If property companies try to raise their rents by $x, they'll find a lot of tenants leaving (especially now that they are able to better move around the country, and aren't locked to a city). Similar things will happen for food and clothing: companies that try to super-hike will be undercut by those who just go with inflation.

A minimum wage hike doesn't lead to large inflation, and mincome is essentially a replacement for such a hike while also increasing the pool of people who have money to spend.

As for guaranteeing, that's where the government decides what $x is, based on the cost of basic housing, food, etc. This is one reason it might make more sense to have a per-state $x (and you deal with people changing states in much the same way you deal with immigration, except that after they move they would receive the amount from their prior state until they've been settled for Y months). Could companies hike to match $x? Maybe. What's stopping them from maxing out those prices right now, though?

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