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Comment Re:Meh. (Score 1) 111

It takes a lot to actually wipe out a human population. It has happened, but in general, a lack of local resources, while leading to high mortality, also leads to migrations. The fact remains, however, that the developing world has far higher birth rates than the developed world, and that many nations in the developed world are actually in a net population decline, where immigration is discounted. Among the worst are Japan and Spain, but most industrialized nations have birth rates below 2.1.

Comment Re: A model can't confirm any hypothesis (Score 1) 111

A model based upon data and able to predict future observations is, well, by definition a demonstration of the validity of a hypothesis.

It strikes me that you may be committing an etymological fallacy, using a definition of the word "model" that doesn't really fit with how scientists use the word.

Comment Re:Cable TV companies = Cable internet companies (Score 1) 201

That may keep them going for a while, but we're probably little more than a decade away from fiber roll out in many areas (even my small town of around 20,000 people is seeing fiber coming soon). Cable's business model is doomed, and even the networks are likely to put a lot more investment in online streaming offerings as they see cable's ability to deliver their product to large numbers of people fade.

I give cable ten, maybe fifteen years at best.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 111

Or we could, you know, reduce pollutants and emissions, rather than hoping that somehow in a just a few generations an immunity develops (hint, it would take a lot more than a few generations to develop communities to pollutants, and in some cases, like say mercury or carbon monoxide, it's hard to imagine any evolutionary pathway that would lead to immunity).

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 4, Insightful) 111

Bullshit. Rich people tend to have far far better health care. The size of your parents' wallet is not genetically heritable, therefore your claim that somehow Darwinism would solve the problem is utter crap. As with all Social Darwinists, you either twist what Darwin was saying, or you just simply don't understand it.

A few points:

1. Cooperation is as much a result of Darwinian selection as competition. Humans are social animals, not solitary hunters. Even Neanderthals appeared to take care of their infirm, for chrissake.
2. You can legally inherit money, but it confers no genetic advantage. A moron can just as easily have a trust fund as a genius.
2a. There is an at least partial caveat to that, in that poor nutrition during the key developmental years that is often found in the poorest societies can in fact stunt cognitive development. But again, that still doesn't mean rich people are genetically superior, it just means good nutrition and health care allows them to reach a sort of maximum of cognitive development that members of poor societies are often deprived of. The same would happen to a baby born in a rich society if it is deprived of protein and calories necessary for development.
3. There may be a genetic component to earning lots of money; in that either intelligence or risk taking behaviors can likely influence a person's ability to earn money, but high intellect and risk taking can also be associated with some potentially deleterious behaviors as well (i.e. links to depression or, in the case of risk takers, to physically or legally dangerous exploits).
4. The wealthier society, the lower the fertility rate, which generally means it isn't the poor societies who are going to be wiped out, but rather the wealthier ones, which is why they end up having to build big walls which they then are forced to open the gates to because to remain economically viable you need to have some way of generating the required 2.1 children per female to at least maintain a stable population over time.
5. As one can see from poorer societies, women can produce a number of offspring even if their average lifespans are considerably less than your average citizen of an industrialized country, so the idea that "Darwinism" (whatever you mean by that) is just going to leave all the nice rich people in place, and all the poor people will drop dead doesn't even make any bloody sense.
6. Social Darwinism has about as much to do with Darwinism/evolutionary biology as horoscopes have to do with astronomy. It was long ago debunked, but remains oddly popular among Libertarians in wealthy countries who either directly or indirectly benefit greatly from the labour of people in poor societies, and who seem to feel that it somehow justifies that pecking order. If Social Darwinism resembles any kind of evolution, it is the Lamarckian evolution that Darwin set about strongly critiquing in his theory.

Comment russian programmers (Score 1) 271

To be fair, in my 30 coding career, some of the top programmers I've ever studied and worked with were Russian. Their skill was just vastly, disproportionately better than any other peers and colleagues. No idea why. I'd actually look forward to Russian made software! Except for all the pesky back doors.

Comment Re:Our financial foundation is strong (Score 0) 89

The reality is that they've been overstating cash flow for a while, using asset sales to maintain a positive cash flow. Revenues have been in the dumps for years, and BB has largely been living off the large cash reserves it accumulated during the boom years of its business. They should have shuttered the windows a long time ago and returned the investors the cash, but they had managed to turn BB into some sort of weird stock cult, and had legions of idiots running around declaring "any day now, BB is going to take off again" even as the stock plummeted.

BB has been dead for seven years now, it's just that there was enough cash in the bank to keep the corpse twitching.

Comment Re:Probably actually illegal (Score 1) 249

The "value" doesn't exist. Things don't have value; people place a valuation on things--a property of the observer, not the object. You might value (verb) a candy bar at $1, but it has no actual value (noun).

Things have a cost and a price. That cost is directly related to human labor time required to make the thing. All business expenses go to pay wages, buy from other businesses, and take profit. Recurse this and all business expenses reduce to wages, {alie profit+wages}, profit; which just becomes wages and profit. In aggregate, price can never be lower than wages; and the minimum sustainable wage is one that keeps your labor force alive (even slaves must eat and be sheltered from the cold, and it's cheaper to treat illness than to raise a new slave).

If that candy bar requires $1.80 to make and you value it at $1, you're not buying a candybar. If that's what people think of candy bars, then candy bars aren't a product until we invent technology to use roughly half as many people to make the same number of candy bars.

Your complaint essentially boils down to, "Stacker could have conned someone into paying a lot more than the business and its products were actually worth. You don't know how successful they'd have been at convincing people to overpay."

Comment Re:Not gonna happen (Score 1) 43

"Easy to audit" is bullshit. It's hard to hide; it's not easy to audit. The "public ledger" is a history of when each object has had its blockchain extended. The problem is an account consists of assets of value, such as dollars; those assets are semi-fungible, in the sense that the account has value and any set of assets producing that value is representative. Accounts typically have one or several kinds of fungible assets--a single currency or separate lots of fungible assets (e.g. your commodities account may contain oil, gold, and FCOJ; your stock account contains stocks)--because *which* of each of those things is irrelevant.

Blockchains mean you can tell which gold piece moved where; if you want to audit financial behavior, you need to know which accounts moved what. You might be able to piece that together from a blockchain; but only by auditing every single object to determine where it once stood, collecting all objects that ever entered a particular account, and then generating an account ledger from that. It'd be like going into every bank vault and every wallet and inspecting every dollar to see whose hands it's changed through in its history. If you don't have the ability to inspect the current state of every single piece of blockchain currency in existence *and* to guarantee that you've done exactly that (i.e. that you haven't missed any), you can't audit.

Any given dollar telling you the history of how it's been owned and spent is different than any given account describing its financial history in its ledger.

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