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Comment Re:Poster does not understand Algebra (Score 4, Insightful) 272

I know I've seen the idea of taxing wealth commonly derided in the past seemingly with mountains of evidence of why it's worse than taxing income. That said I'm not an economist and can't remember much about why so I'll just point out what I can think of off the cuff.

1. Taxing wealth directly makes it much harder for people to actually build wealth over time as eventually significant portions of your income will be eaten up by it if you're trying to build enough wealth for retirement.

2. Such a policy might encourage people to save even less than they do now and instead fritter away income on intangibles resulting in more rapid accumulation of wealth in the pockets of fewer individuals who can afford to buy their way around the wealth taxes and or have the income to support just paying it.

We do actually already have some wealth taxes implemented, property and estate taxes come to mind. I'd rather see the tax code simplified by just eliminating the special treatment for edge cases, and treat all income as income regardless of its source. Rebalance the tax brackets accordingly and move on. The income tax code that most people actually deal with isn't that bad. I file an itemized return every year and it only takes about two hours to sort out when I actually sit down to do it. I'd prefer a system that just presents me with the pre-filled forms and asks for me to file an objection or sign off on it, but what we've got is tolerable for individuals.

Comment Re:Slightly overhyped (Score 1) 160

I want my cake and to eat it as well, that's all really. It's great that they are investing in the super charger network. But it's going to take a long while for the network to become ubiquitous enough that you don't have to plan your routes around them. The advantage of having a generator, built in or on a trailer, is that you could still take those rest breaks to eat and stretch and have the car charging the whole time, but you wouldn't be tied to the super charger station's immediate vicinity.

Comment Re: minwage $11.40-$9.90 (Score 1) 487

I get the distinct feeling that you don't understand how the mod system works here on Slashdot. Your post was likely down modded such that you can't see it anymore with whatever filter settings you have. If you had posted as a registered user you could go back and actually examine your posting history to find it. It is also possible that the site crapped the bed when you hit post and lost it in the shuffle.

With that out of the way, I would agree that UBI and Minimum Wage are related. Mainly they are related in that they would likely be distributed using the same currency. Additionally as UBI approaches whatever the actual minimum living salary would be then minimum wage could and should be proportionately reduced until such time as it is eliminated. The whole point of UBI is to provide for the minimum requirements of living, which was the point of minimum wage from the beginning. The aims of both systems is the same, but minimum wage is likely to fall by the wayside because we are approaching the point at which there may not be enough jobs for those willing to work in our society. If and when we hit that point potentially very large numbers of people could become disenfranchised by the current system and left with the decision to let their family die quietly of starvation and exposure, or attempt to seize the means to survive possibly through violence.

Historically there has always been the possibility of emigrating elsewhere. Finding a place where you can settle to provide a subsistence level of survival for yourself or a family is a thing of the past. The Earth has been measured and claimed for a long time now, anywhere that you might think to go is going to have an owner already who is unlikely to just give it away.

Comment Re:yeah i've heard of this... (Score 1) 68

What's the citation for the 30 million years with nothing eating dead wood. I've always heard that it was wood and other plant matter that was deposited in bogs and protected from bacteria by acidic water and mud. 30 million years seems like an inordinately long time for a bacterium to go before evolving to eat such an abundant food source.

Comment Re:Slightly overhyped (Score 2) 160

I wish Tesla had stuck with the original plan of including a small gas powered generator. That said I'm pretty sure that as the Model 3 gains market share you'll see someone commercially producing a small efficient generator on an attractive trailer complete with matching body styling and signal lights. Then you can either buy one to keep in a shed until you need it for long trips or rent one from a place like U-Haul or something.

Comment Re:Relevant XKCD (Score 1) 102

The problem is that you are still talking new cars and new car pricing. I think that it is possible that >95% of new vehicles in 2030 will be EV's. But there is no way we'll see anything close to 50% of the vehicles on the road being EV's by that time. It's simply a numbers game and people just don't replace their vehicles frequently enough to hit that kind of target even if all new vehicles were EV's. The only way it'd be possible that I can see would be if the cost of new EV's was low enough to compete favorably with the huge supply of used ICEV's on the road.

I'm a fan of EV's. I own stock in an EV company. I want an EV as my daily driver. That said I drive a Toyota that is over a decade old and will likely continue as my daily driver for another decade at the least. The operating and ownership costs for that car are so low that there is no practical reason to replace it. Sure an EV would have lower costs but I'd actually have to spend a huge chunk of money for that. I'm better off milking every last economical mile out of my current car, in the meantime the costs for EV's will get lower and their features better. When I do eventually replace it I imagine I'll be able to get a 500 mile charge, super car like performance, and just maybe a high quality auto pilot feature all for the price of a luxury sedan.

If I were rich I'd be driving a Tesla already. Sadly I'm not and I'm stuck making car decisions based on personal finance choices.

Comment Re:Relevant XKCD (Score 1) 102

I'm not sold on legislative groups taking that kind of action. Those representatives are still largely dependent on an electorate and most of the population I can't see switching to EVs when they are still so expensive. I wouldn't expect that kind of uptake to happen until we start seeing used EV's suitable for city driving available in the $5000 or less range. I think we'll see those of us in the higher income brackets switching much earlier, but that'll just push even more perfectly usable ICE vehicles into the market that the poor/working poor will snap up and likely continue using for decades.

Comment Re:Relevant XKCD (Score 1) 102

That is all great stuff, but the problem is that only some relatively small fraction of car buyers purchase new cars. Additionally if EV's do wind up being more reliable for longer than it is very likely that we won't see them changing hands as much, so it'll take longer for them to percolate down to the chunk of the population that buys cars with cash or personal loans. That could also be slowed by the value of EV's not dropping as rapidly as with ICE vehicles.

Then there is the matter of the rate at which vehicles are replaced. A news blerb I just perused said we had about 253 million cars on the road, and only about 10 to 12 million of them get scrapped per year. I presume that the big automakers actually sell more than that each year by some fraction. If we went with the crazy premise that the automakers started only selling EV's as of the beginning of this year then we might be on track to have 60% of the cars on the road being EV's in 2030.

The comparison of the shift from horses to cars isn't really applicable to ICE vs EV's. The automobile outclassed horses to such a degree that it was an obvious choice for everyone that could afford it. Yet automobiles were still relatively inexpensive at the time compared to factory workers wages when you looked at what they offered. EV's of today, and likely the future, just don't offer the same kind of drastic advantage over an ICE. From what you've posted even you aren't projecting them to be available as apple to apple competitors until 2023. And even then that is for the new car market, when the huge majority of people are driving vehicles a decade or more old.

Comment Re: Golden age of remakes maybe (Score 1) 1222

I couldn't agree more on Space Odyssey. I read the book and loved it, then watched the movie and wished I could have 3 hours or my life back. I really liked HAL 9000 in the movie but that was about it. I can understand how impressive some of the technical stuff was, and I get that it was meant to be artistic. It's like I went to a fine restaurant but instead of being trusted with my own utensils the chef periodically comes out of the kitchen and spoon feeds me a bite every five minutes over the course of three hours.

The most memorable bit was a 15 minute scene where a space ship is landing. It's memorable because nothing happens of any importance whatsoever and I kept watching it because surely something had to be about to happen which would warrant actually filming the scene. But nope, apparently they had made the models for this scene in their spare time or something and just had to use it in the movie.

Comment Re:Slashdot's racist bias evident in data of comme (Score 1) 384

I don't know that I'd go so far as to say that the US is the only place with systemic race problems. I think the reason we don't hear more about it is that the US is more diverse than many other countries do to the nature of it's colonization and formation. Regardless of whether or not others are doing better or worse though we can definitely improve and should fight for that.

Some of the examples cited in an article about this that I was reading earlier today seemed a little frivolous. Such as facial recognition systems that couldn't recognize the face of a black woman. To me that sounds like a limitation of the way the software is coded and how it extrapolates borders of objects from a camera feed, maybe depth perception as well. Meanwhile the system that rates people on their likelihood of re-offending, which ProPublica reported on, is a very obvious case of racist outcomes as a result of racist laws and enforcement providing a racist data set.

Comment Re:So many stupid questions (Score 1) 143

I'm always amused by the importance that people place on having a security clearance from the government, like it's a badge of pride. They seem to have this belief that they've been investigated and found to be super trustworthy people. Like an official certification of worthiness. In reality the whole purpose of a security clearance is to ensure that a person isn't already or likely to be vulnerable to blackmail, paltry bribes, or a bout of guilty conscious. And of course, despite that whole process, people are just people and even the NSA has historically made errors in this area, Snowden being the most obvious example.

Comment Re:Wind resistance doesn't care (Score 1) 273

EV's have more flexibility in location of the radiator but I believe some if not all still have them. The battery packs have to be climate controlled to stay stable and the cooling is most efficiently handled via water cooling using a radiator. Aerodynamics are important to gas powered vehicles but arguably more important for EV's because of the range constraints from using a battery. Whereas putting a larger fuel tank in a gas powered car is trivial both in difficulty and expense.

Comment Re:Something I've been trying to get a friend of m (Score 1) 399

Just knowing where the money is going can help a lot because you then will have that in mind whenever you're spending money. Years ago I analyzed my spending for the previous 6 months and realized I was eating a significant chunk of my paycheck by going out for lunch everyday. So I started packing leftovers for lunch 4/5 days a week and started saving $200 a month on that alone. I was still spending money for food to eat but the cost for food you prepare yourself is a small fraction of what you pay for even cheap food from a chain restaurant.

Comment Re:After a couple of decades of doing income... (Score 1) 399

Yes and no. I grew up in a part of the country where we had four seasons and pipes could burst from low temperatures. However houses were built with that kind of weather in mind so you usually only heard of pipes bursting when somebody did something wrong like leaving a door open overnight. My Father did that once, forgetting to check that a basement door he used was latched. The next day he went down to his shop to find that a pipe that ran very close to the door had burst. Not that the pipe was all that well protected to begin with as only a cinder block wall separated it from the exterior, no insulation or anything. Now I live in a different part of the country that really only has two seasons and whenever the temperature is predicted to get anywhere near 20F there is all kinds of panic about winterizing exterior faucets and leaving a sink dripping through the night to prevent burst pipes. The building codes here just don't account for the fact that it might possibly get cold in the winter. My Sister in law had a pipe burst just a couple years ago because it had been run through an attic crawl space above the insulation.

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When it is incorrect, it is, at least *authoritatively* incorrect. -- Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy