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Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 1) 370

the pursuit of Happiness.

No...you missed that part "the pursuit of Happiness."....

The Feds are not responsible for your happiness, but they are there to help the states and keep law and order to provide an environment where you can pursue your happiness, and basically stay out of your way while you do it. This is different than the oppressive king they were declaring independence from.....

Also, the Declaration of Independence is not a governing document of the US Government. The US Constitution is, so, that's the one you need to be reading from....

Comment Re:Stop supporting this shit (Score 1) 65

>But shouldn't there be a line in the sand?

Yes. But I think this one is more of a 'espouse opinion whenever the opportunity comes up, encourage people to write their rep (or even better, their preferred candidate in the next election cycle) and then vote' type situation than a 'grab the pitchforks and torches' one.

> I suppose I should just leave my family behind, go buy a Hummer, and spend the rest of my days eating double-cheeseburgers and partying with hookers and blow.

If I can occasionally visit my family, go buy an airplane, and spend the rest of my days eating filet mignon and partying with hookers and alcohol... I could be convinced!

Comment Scheduling - It depends! (Score 1) 135

If the problem is well-defined and the developers have worked on similar projects before, they can probably give fairly accurate estimates on how long it will take. Mostly with mid-sized projects, I've found, because any delay is disproportionately large in a tiny project, and large projects are more likely to have significant managerial interference after the project goals were supposed to be set in stone.

If you're looking as something novel, then estimating the required time becomes more of a dark art. You simply don't know what issues will come up that you've never encountered before (and therefore you also don't know how difficult they will be to code around) when you're in unknown territory. Sure, if the problem is well-defined and the project manager successfully resists scope creep, this can be limited, but it can never be eliminated. Eventually, the UAT group is going to identify a problem that wasn't on the coder's radar, and then delays begin.

I usually double my gut feeling then inevitably have a few instances where I'm under stress trying to keep to that when something's gone wrong. Dark art.

Comment Re:Stop supporting this shit (Score 1) 65

>Distractionball is only there to keep your mind off of what the elites are really doing, anyway

Lemmie tell you something - LIFE is a distraction. One after another until you're dead. You just hope you get enough interesting distractions along the way that you mostly enjoy your time among the living.

If being a sports fan works for someone to the point they surrender their wallet to the media companies and their privacy to the government (and media companies...), well, OK. I'd like everyone to have the same priorities I do, but as long as they're not putting a gun to my head I'm pretty much OK with them doing whatever the hell they want.

In 100 years we're all going to be dead anyway; let the rabble have their circuses. They're probably having more fun than we are and good for them. The elites, for all the power they wield and riches they have, will ALSO be dead. And believe it or not, they don't enjoy life significantly more than anyone who has their basic needs met. Humans are discontented by nature.

Now, you find one of the elite doing something that messes with your personal path to happiness, yeah, you rally the troops and storm the castle. Other than that, you're just wasting your valuable time on Earth worrying about them when you should be worrying about yourself.

Comment People are a pain (Score 2) 69

They have their own worldview that doesn't have you at the center. They have their own competing needs and desires.

Give me a sufficiently complex AI that can be set to be as subservient as I like and I'd absolutely choose a factory build over Nature's own. And I can guarantee you I'm not alone in that.

AI (if we ever figure it out) is a serious danger to the continuation of our species, and not because it'll result in robots rising up against us. It will simply take our jobs and be our friend while we lay about not breeding new generations of ourselves.

Comment Not just software. (Score 2) 135

Performance predictions have an optimistic bias.
It's known as the planning fallacy
It amazes me how people who should really know better fall for this.
For example, if the last time you did it, it took 3 weeks, a good prediction is that this time it's going to take 3 weeks.
Yet most people will predict less than 3 weeks - even if you point out the planning fallacy to them before hand.
I can almost here the rationalizing; "It's not going to take 3 weeks again, because we aren't going to make the same mistakes again."

But it's far, far, worse than just an inability to predict accurately.
Frequently schedules are determined by need rather than reality. As in, we need this done by Tuesday - make the schedule accordingly.

Comment We need enforced standards (Score 4, Insightful) 65

The American definition of 'Person of Interest' is someone who has not been formally accused or charged with a crime, which means they don't have enough evidence yet. If you don't have enough to charge a person, you shouldn't have enough to run public facial recognition scans for them.

If you're ready to arrest them on sight, that's enough for me. That's a good standard.

But what about everyone else? Do you really think the cops won't keep every face they capture, for comparison against future images from security cameras? Do you think they won't start analyzing who shows up where and the correlation with criminal activity to create lists of suspects?

They cast this net as far and wide as the technology permits unless and until they're reined in by law. Given enough cameras and enough processing power, they'd gladly follow every citizen all day long, because it'd make their job much easier.

The public needs to decide just how much privacy they're willing to sacrifice in the name of security, and get their legislative representatives to give that decision the force of law... or the cops will take all their privacy without even blinking. Not because they're evil, but because their job is to catch bad guys, not consider the moral and philosophical issues of the tools and methods they use to catch them.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 0) 370

You're all hot to point out that the Constitution requires the government to provide for the common defense. But you seem to want to gloss right over the promote the general welfare part. Why is that, do you suppose?

See my other post in this thread about the General Welfare clause.

You have to take that as it was meant when written...it means more of the welfare of the UNION of the states, and the ability of the Feds to lay taxation for that purpose. Defense is enumerated and the general welfare of the union was in large part for enumerated limited federal responsibilities for such things.

The union was to be kept strong, and then the states could then be responsible for the citizens in each state. If the states want to do healthcare, etc...sure feel free to do it.

But it doesn't mean "welfare" in the same way that people in this century try to translate it.

he ACA didn't give health care to anyone. It required the freeloaders who weren't buying insurance and driving the rest of our rates up to be adults and finally buy insurance. Maybe you didn't like the subsidies that the poor got, is that what your gripe was? Let me ask you, do you call yourself a Christian? Ask yourself, would Jesus have helped the poor? Should he have helped the poor? Would he have wanted you to help the poor? Is there a reason you don't think the poor should get help with buying the insurance they need? And want to buy?

There already is a safety net for the poor....Medicaid.

But for everyone else, I think we should all have more free HSA type pre-tax savings accounts for routine health needs, not tied to any insurance. If families budget for food, why not budget for routine health needs? Insurance should only be for catastrophic emergencies (hit by a bus, etc).

If this were the case, people would once again shop around for medicine and drs....like they did 40 years ago and prices would be lower.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 2) 370

The problem is routine medical not subsidized is several hundred dollars a visit. Times a wife and two kids and you are talking about thousands annually.


I mean annual check up for family of 4..say at $200 each would be about $800. Now with kids if they get sick a couple times a year, add another $800 maybe....so, $1600 a year for routine health is too much to expect a family to save for?

And..if we did what I was saying and go back to where insurance is only major medical, catastrophic insurance, people would be shopping around for Dr.s and not have middle men HMO's and the like....medicine was MUCH cheaper for routine care 30-40 years ago, even if you count for inflation. It is all the insurance covers everything and HMO's that drove the prices up.

Right now, one of the things that is trending, is groups of doctors that cover full range of the human anatomy are banding together and selling shares in health club type thing...you pay x annually and you're covered for most of your health needs.

If this type thing were allowed to grow, it might solve a LOT of the problems for routine care.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 0) 370

If "provide for the common defense" can be used to justify spending as much on the military as the next 10 countries combined then perhaps "promote the general Welfare" might be considered to include keeping the citizens of the country healthy.

Well, that provide for general welfare, has to be taken in the meaning of the day, not as "welfare" as we think of it today. Basically general welfare as used in the constitution was defined as the overall state of wellbeing of the nation as a whole.

This also was tied in with taxation, for the needs of the US to keep the union of the states strong, and to be able to fund the specific, limited enumerated responsibilities of the Fed. government.

It really didn't mean that the Feds were responsible for the health and happiness of the individual citizens, but for the health of the union, which then would lead to the states serving the needs of their citizens. In general that is...

Comment Re:Leftists are learning about pushing people too (Score 1) 240

One prominent example is minimum wage regulations. While the intent behind these may have been good, what they've ended up becoming are huge burdens to businesses that are already on the brink. It's not economically viable for a business to pay somebody far more than the value they're providing. What is the end result? Fewer jobs, and a lot more focus on automating away low-end jobs. This actually leaves people worse off than they were before the minimum wage regulations were put into place!

That's a very naïve view of reality. For every business that's on the brink, there are hundreds that are doing well, and many that are turning record profits. A business that cannot afford to pay its employees a living wage is almost certainly doomed anyway, so allowing it to pay a less than a living wage is just delaying the inevitable slightly. The business will fail. Let it fail.

Keeping a business on life support by letting it pay a subminimum wage doesn't help anyone in the long term, and doesn't help very many people even in the short term. But allowing businesses to pay a subminimum wage does hurt people who work for all those other companies that actually are profitable, because given the opportunity to pay their employees less, they will do so.

More to the point, if that is the only business providing jobs in a particular community, then that community is doomed. Keeping the business alive a little longer by depressing wages just encourages people to stay in the doomed community and make less and less money, thus making them less and less able to afford to move to a community that isn't doomed. So continuing to pay those employees a wage actually ends up hurting those employees more than it helps, at least in the aggregate, though the individual employees might not believe it at the time.

Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 0) 370

In the U.S. it's a particularly large one because as a country we've decided we want a huge military, whereas if we scaled that back we could provide better health coverage, even as unhealthy as we are as a population.

I whole heartedly agree with 99.99% of your post, but this part caught my eye.

The US Govt (at least on the Federal level) is mandated by the US Constitution to provide for defense...that is one of its few enumerated responsibilities and powers.

I don't really think it is anywhere in the constitution for the government (at least on the federal level) to provide healthcare for the citizens, at least not without a constitutional amendment.

Comment Who wants to retire? (Score 1) 370

I'm in my 40s, so I've started thinking about it. You know what? I can't see myself retiring, and it's not about money.

I just wouldn't know what to do with myself other than become a couch potato. I've already travelled the world as much as I care to (and have a bit more travelling to do to keep the spouse happy).

I'm not rich enough to just do 'whatever', but have more than I need to get by. Unless I win the lottery so I can fiddle around on a large scale, I'll keep working just for something useful to do.

What retirement looks like for me is slowing down, not stopping.

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