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Comment Re:Trains (Score 4, Informative) 146

Why am I obsessed with cars? Because my crappy 35 minute commute by car becomes a 2 hour 20 commute by BART + Bus + walking (according to Google Maps). And trains can't take me to the hikes or parks I like, aren't really a practical way to bring around my kid and all the random shit he needs, etc.

I suppose we could bulldoze the entire Bay Area to organize it around a train system, but that's not going to happen.

Good username/comment synergism, though. I will say that even in NYC, taking the subway to go between my brother in North Brooklyn to my friend in South Brooklyn is like an hour, even though they're just about 4 miles away. Even NYC needs cars, although it makes more sense to use Uber/taxi for many people.

Comment Re:COBOL isn't hard to learn (Score 2) 367

Indeed. If there is a market for COBOL programmers (and it's clear there is), then the obvious solution is for unis and colleges to spit out more COBOL-literate CS graduates. Honestly, if I was ten years younger, I'd probably delve into it myself. It is, after all, just a programming language, and hardly on the same level of trying to learn Sanskrit.

Comment Re:Justice (Score 1) 35

It's sad that people conflate free speech with pirated episodes of "The Flash, Season 3, Episode 19."

Free Speech is important because it allows the distribution of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" or the Federalist Papers. Saying that obviously Free Speech means you don't have to pay content creators cheapens the value of Free Speech into something people don't consider a right.

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 5, Interesting) 542

Exactly.

I'm a gen X'er and I *know* I won't have a pension. Even if I retire, the government or the pension providers will default on me - either through inflation, or just because the damn pension providers will flatly announce they just don't have anything left in their coffers. I know this because they've already done it to my dad, who was born in the silent generation. So it's nothing new, but it sure won't get no better.

So, I'm not putting any money in a system that'll shaft me and I'm not saving anything for old age - most likely I'll be working until I die anyway.

What I do instead is, I enjoy as much free time now while I'm still young: I found me one of the last "old-style" jobs still available that lets me work 36 hrs/week with unreasonably great pay, in a heavily unionized old company that does business in a market that doesn't know the word recession.

In other words, I've maximized my salary/work ratio and I do as little work as possible to enjoy life the the fullest while I'm still in a condition to enjoy it. Time enough when I'm old and decrepit to kill myself at work for a living.

Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 4, Informative) 478

The problem is that even if coal is completely deregulated, it's not miners who are going to be doing the extraction. The future of mining is automated. At best this will just give the coal barons a few more years of profit and do dick for the miners.

But it's not even going to be that good. Natural gas is killing coal, so there isn't even going to be a coal industry by the time renewables dominate. This is a classic "buggy whip" problem, in that there ain't gonna be no more horse-drawn carriages, so there ain't gonna be no more buggy whips. Whatever you think of Clinton, she was telling the miners the truth, their jobs are quickly becoming obsolete.

And the same goes for lots of other industries. Manufacturing is rapidly automating, so that even mass repatriation of US industrial capacity is not going to deliver the same level of employment that was there even thirty years ago. There's nothing the US government can do about it, short of outlawing automation and renewables, which would be sheer madness.

Christ, no less than Rick Perry himself has admitted the US needs to stay in the Paris Accord. Even the most pro-oil of pro-oil politicians know full well the jig is up. Oil isn't coming back, and as the price falls away it's impact on the economy diminishes. Coal was the first because it's the most expensive and most obviously harmful, but it applies to all the fossil fuels.

Comment Re:Incorrect (Score 1) 478

Do you have any actual evidence that wind farms have this effect? This strikes me as arguing that NASA shouldn't use gravity assist because it robs a planet of some of its momentum.

In other words, while you're technically correct, the effect is so small as to be irrelevant. But tell you what, if you have evidence that wind farms actually have this large an effect, then provide citations. And no, some blog is not a citation. I mean peer reviewed or primary literature.

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