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Comment Silicon Valley does have its discontents. (Score 1) 168

Although the OP is about a rather crude way to deal with conditions in Silicon Valley, it does indicate that SV has its discontents and they are probably due to the lopsided economic benefits of SV and the large number of other people being disadvantaged by SV. I am surprised that there has not been more attacks on SV, rather than less.

So, infrastructure is the Achilles Heel of the boom in SV, in the bostering plans of all the politicians and investment managers, of the VCs and the banks that back them. Those who are on the outs, and that percentage gets larger every day, know that, and if they could rain on SV's parade they would, although it seems that drying out SV is more the order of the day than raining on it.

Shutting down a freeway, or causing commute congestion, may be more effective and less of a crime, and nay be a natural consequence of things being so out of kilter, like they were in 1999 and 2000, when congestion cut into the workday, along with power outages, may have contributed to the dot gone crash of 2000-3.

Infrastructure is vulnerable on many levels in the Bay Area, a 7.2 quake on any number of faults in the South Bay could happen at any time and the effects would take several years to recover from. That could end the current boom overnight. Lots of greedy property owners would be out of luck. The drought is actually a direct threat to infrastructure for not only do we need water but the wildfire season is upon us and a major fire destroying parts of the grid could do par more damage than cutting fibre optic lines.

But of course, it is the politicians who would take the blame if the overheated economy they are constantly boosting fails because of infrastructure failures under their preview. It serves them right, and us, when the investors move on. I wish they would. We would be better off with far less Capitalism.

Comment Re:Kids (Score 1) 168

I agree with you. It is intl. investment and investment run by banks and institutions that is driven by speculation that is ruining the nation. We should take our country back by shutting down all kinds of investment; in real estate and in financials. We might be better off causing a depression if we shut our boarders to outsiders; even if the Chinese screw us with their holdings in Gold. We would be better off if we shut the door on global Capitalism and isolated outselves to reconstitute our economic relaations, even if it results in massive loss of wealth. Wealth is meaningless if it can't be spent and the Asians will spend all their Gold on war. Gold leads to war. Let them fight themselves to self destruction. We would actually do better with less Capitalism, rather than more.

Comment Re:Have you ever taken the bus any distance? (Score 1) 341

So, in the resistance to Elon Musk or any other "visionary" dictating how you use technology, I offer as an example this very interface, the revised social media oriented version of the Slashdot interface which is even more glaring white than the original and without the horizontal rules that set one reply off from the text.

On the other hand I can see radical changes to the role of the automobile being possible when self-driving cars become the norm. I have a dog in this fight since I have never been able to operate a car due to poor vision, so, of course I could use a self-driving car. The idea raises many possibilities many of you who are used to individual transportation may not have thought of. One is to convoy together many cars headed for a common point on the interstate system and to move the whole at high speeds, 250 MPH until that point is reached. Another idea is to have a regional fleet of cars that can be used for public transportation that will operate entirely within an area. Buses and Bus stops will no longer be needed. Such a system could make it more desirable for most people to not own a car at all. An effect of self driving cars is that the roads and lanes in them could be made quite narrow. Much land would be reclaimed. The regional or urban car fleet could be stored in very high density garages and much of the land in cities devoted to parking and traffic could be reclaimed for other uses. Most people drive at most 25 miles one way to work and errands. Most of their needs could be met by a publicaly owned fleet. There would be very little need to own a car for most people who now live in cities

Comment Re:so how did they form? (Score 1) 219

What is interesting here is the potential energy in such bodies. Even planets with a mass of Earth would still be hotter than their surroundings after several billion years of wandering through space that is near Absolute Zero. They might be habitable in a special way. Bodies that happen to orbit ejected failed stars might even bask in the heat of their parent body even while traveling the the depths of interstellar space. The infrared radiation from such bodies would be usable by space travelers to make higher energy sources and light that could be used to make them a waystation. These may be among the nearest type of body to the Solar System and we could "Island hop" from one to the next.

Comment Re: Sweet troll bro (Score 1) 201

And you still haven't said why Th is a bad idea. Only about 1.5% of the U reserve is fissionable, whereas Th is much more abundant and it can be used in a liquid hexaflouride that can be drained away from the reaction camber if there is a shutdown. No need for a steam pressure reactor that can breech. The reactor can be quite small and portable and the reaction produces much less Pu. Right now Th is an annoying pollutant in available Rare Earth reserves. The Th could become an economic resource that can help this nation not be dependent on the Chinese reserves of Rare Earths, with which they can control the market in Rare Earths and nothing stops them from developing Th reactors and controlling access to that technology. The reason we use the reactor design we do is because Nixon was more interested in getting weapons grade products in 1972 than generating energy from less risky designs.

I am all for renewable and clean energy, but you tell me how those resources are going to be added to a grid controlled by carbon-fueled utilities? Not any time soon. I hope that fusion works, as I said in my original post, which fact you ignored, and you assert that Th is bad, without supporting facts. So, do you work for a carbon fuel interest? Do you want alternatives to carbon fuels, even nuclear alternatives? Do you want the grid built out to use renewables and can they meet the demand? I think that fusion is the best solution, but it hasn't been proven yet. If it is, its California good bye to te rest of the U.S. especially the carbon-fuel states of the Midwest and South.

Comment Re: Yes yes yes (Score 1) 405

I think the implications are far worse than you suggest. The problem begins with the revenue providing role of the Congress as given in the Constitution. Congress, the House, levies taxes. That includes a disconnect between law passed as PR but then not funded to be effective or unfunded in subsequent budgets out of public notice as special interests weigh in to degrade laws that have popular appeal. You may know that cabinet departments are not specified by the Constitution and that the Executive must negotiate with Congress to fund them in each budget. This sounds like a reasonable separation of powers until you factor in the power of large businesses and large business lobbying groups that did not exist when the Constitution was ratified. The result is that Congress nearly always under funds the mission of te departments, especially those that regulate segments of the economy. Futhermore, those departments are given a built-in conflict of interest to promote as well as regulate industries and political patronage often results that industry insiders get appointments to regulatory roles diluting them. In addition since the Congress deliberately underfunds regulators, the agencies, notably the FDA, depends on research not independenly verified from the drug companies it is supposed to regulate. If you look at drug recalls they are often due to biased studies that the FDA does not have the means to check. This is true of many other segments of the economy. It is the reason GM could sell cars for the past 15 years that are dangerous for consumers and that it far from an isolated incident.

If Congress rigged the ACA to subsidize insurance companies, whose business model is failing, and protects health care providers from justifying costs. It is part of the pattern of too much business influience in government and is very much the fault of the Constitution. There are enough splits in the country so that if one part of it can gain economic indepedence, it will not wait for Constitutional reform to repair the corruption. This is especially true if we have another financial meltdown caused by the failure of Congress to pass reasonable reforms to the financial systems. It is California and the West Coast that given the advent of nuclear fusion energy giving almost limitless energy resources and enough to desalinate sea water, could basically depreciate the States Rights stance of the Central and Southern U.S. and their carbon-based fuels, and succeed from the Union.

Comment Re: Facebook hurts the Internet (Score 1) 141

And you won't build it? What ideas do you have for the alternative? I have many, see my other posts in this thread. In a nutshell, I would use a less monolithic CMS, regionalize it, distribute it, cloud it. Secondly, I would allow for more conversation complexity. I would allow for Markdown format in replies with quoting of previous comments and allow for topic change. I would allow for users to define their own layout and themes. Facebook had to be extremely stingy with comment formats, ruthlessly squeezing out white space, not allowing for other formats than a Javascript Textarea, because of the economics of the backend. All this can be defeated, and the experience for users would be much more wholesome. FB sucks because of the business model and the implementation. It could be done for much cheaper on a smaller scale that would require less advertising. The abuse with FB begins with its design, and we aren't even considering the ethical abuses described by the OP, but the design already limits what people can say usefully and it is why people self-censor because using a blog design does not work for more than a couple of replies on FB.

Comment Re:Facebook hurts the Internet (Score 1) 141

That is easy, but if you want to keep track of family, for example, it is quite hard to ignore it. I use it with greater and greater caution, and I don't post much to it. I believe that FB is totally manipulative and that most of its features are annoying. I'd like to leave it, but what I would really like is competition with it. I'd like to see someone come along and destroy its business and drive it out of existence. I have thought about how I think it fails and why. I know that someone could do a much better job and not just from the point of view of its business model, which is corrupt, but as a service to people. Most of the ways FB fails its users are due to its design choices. We don't even have to delve into the many ethical problems FB has created. its very design is manipulative and exploitative of people. The blog format, without greater complexity, being able to quote from others' posts and change topic, imposes a great restraint on what people feel comfortable in saying. It is, by itself, a restriction on communication and people self-censor because of the reaction they get if they want to communicate in a more normal way. So, already, without considering the advertising, the grid layout, etc. people are being manipulated in the design, and most are unaware of how te design affects them. I know how to answer FB, now we need someone to do it, to raise the money to build the alternatives. We need to put Fuckerberg out of business.

Comment Re:Let me handle this one guys... (Score 1) 141

Yes, and Fuck You Too! America is a business-powerful state, not a democracy, not even a decent representative republic, because business has TOO much power to influence law and taxation, the members of Congress are not bought by workers, but by billionaires and an increasingly powerful plutocracy who would destroy personal expression and political freedom if they could. Facebook is a good example of how one elitist, spoiled, rich kid, sociopathically manipulates people. The model is Harvard and the Face Book the social fraternities use to let pledges reveal incriminating facts about themselves. There is nothing liberating about Facebook. It is yet another example of American business exploitation. Mark Zuckerberg is building a fortress in San Francisco and making his neighbors angry, good, he needs to be afraid because he knows how evil he is.

Comment Re:Buyer beward (Score 1) 141

It may be that Facebook's business strategy results in something other than what most people use it for, and it may be that the uses it is put to should drive its design more than its business strategy. That implies that somebody ought to bury Facebook, develop an alternative that undoes the wrongs in the design and that undercuts the economics of the design. It takes an analysis of the model Facebook uses and a means to undercut its viability and offer an alternative that gains traction by better supporting uses that the basic idea could be put to.

That Facebook's user base in naive and unaware of how its design shapes their behavior is clear, and that alone constitutes manipulation of its users against their will. That it is driven by a business model is no justification that that can be undercut by a simple reconsideration of the design.

The first issue is the scale of the monolithic backend that Facebook touts as a feature, that it can support a billion users at once. That might appeal to advertisers, but it is surely no matter to most if not all of its users who communicate with something under 100 friends. If Facebook's business strategy is driven by the scale of the backend CMS, then certaintly alternatives could be found. If the amount of revenue Facebook needs to raise to operate this backend drives the offerings it makes to advertisers and business partners, then alternatives can also be found to mitigate the bothersome effects of this business strategy.

The scale of the backend drives all of the other features of the design, including its failings. The blog design of conversations, the rigid three-fold grid design, the ruthless squeezing out of white space in comments. All of these lead to user dissatisfaction and to unfortunate outcomes in relationsips. Users that are unaware of the effect this format has on how they can communicate are going to be hurt by personal misunderstandings.

It is irrestable that Facebook users want to create discussion topics, but this is largely unsuccessful because of the rigidity of the blog format. Blog conversations can only be short and that the inflexibility this imposes on them makes people subject to attack for doing what is quite normal and acceptable in other forms of human communication. A suggestion to allow for context, quoting, and topic change, has been resisted at Facebook. It is clear that te design is intended to restrict discussion. It does citizenship in a free country a disservice and people self-censor because of the design. Facebook is disingenuous about this issue. It expressed interest in why people self-censor but did not examine its own design; or it did and decided that it wanted the control over conversations it gives them. Complexity in conversations for Facebook is an old topic that as been rebuffed again and again.

An alternative could operate on a much smaller scale, regionally, I suppose, and offer richer conversation and less spam. If Facebook's strategy is to go mobile in the third world, then fine. It it operate on three line cheap phones and leave the space for others to have decent communication on bigger devices.

Comment Re:Dissolution of the middle class! (Score 1) 261

So, this makes me wonder if having Facebook on your resume would be a plus or a minus? I am serious about this question, you could argue that an (over) capitalized company like Facebook would have enough status so that even if you were a janitor there it would be a plus. The issue would be the company mission and its poor reputation for ethical practices. It would be arguable that someone with an interesting technical specialty might not have to face these issues, but in terms of experience, it might not be that compelling, especially if your work is close to the design of Facebook. It is like saying that you wrote the regular expression engine for Facebook's CMS. To me that is like saying that you wrote PhP for a porn site :-)

Comment Re:News flash, citizens!!!! (Score 1) 227

I think that the U.S. Educational system was called a "factory" system because it was intended to crank out assembly line workers who would do as they are told by a managerial class, not to think creatively and independently. Americans can be very independent and that is one reason otherwise smart people leave the confines of the educational system. There is another flaw in the American character as concerns learning and thought. In a word it is Pragmatism, that ideal of John Dewy writing in a manufacturing English nation whose orientation was for getting assignments done. Knowing practical goals was perverbial, which is to say, indoctrinated. To deal with change, such as we are going through now, requires much more creative thinking than the business regime or the educational system tolerates. By the way, this orientation predates Dewey and it was seen as a preoccupation in America going back to the Federalist and "Democracy in America", a focus without a depth. Could it be that Mark Zuckerberg is but a reincarnation of this thinking of the payout before understanding the effect?

Comment Facebook has no right to talk! (Score 1) 227

I am not addressing the need for diversity and more access for women and non-white people to tech. There are too many white male geeky engineers in tech, and it shows in product missions and designs. There is not enough humanity in tech, as yet. But this is not why I have something to say about this topic. It is that Facebook, of all companies, has the least justification to say anything about the quality of software, of product design, or of product engineering and its relationship to hiring diversity. I have a Facebook account and use the site to keep tabs on friends and family members and yet I am disgusted by most of what it is, and my objections have to do with business and engineering and if that means that fewer women work or want to work at Facebook, I would not be surprised. The OP cites that Facebook has about 7100 employees, in my view most of what those people do is misdirected and a waste if my freedom of expression is encumbered by manipulation and spam as a result of their business model and Mark Zuckerberg's philosophy. So, it hardly matters that Facebook has 31% women or more as long as the result of its design is so bad as to limit conversation and exchange between its users in a design that is designed to create problems for users. Facebook needs an alternative. Judging from reactions I've heard from women in my life, I'd say to them, go and bury Facebook in a service that is kinder to people and better designed for humane communication. Do away with the three-fold grid and the blog and allow for real exchanges. I sincerely hope that Facebook fails.

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