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Comment The post-scarcity economy is coming either way. (Score 1) 136

I think what many people don't get is that the post-scarcity economy is coming, one way or the other.

Point in case: I do web development in an agency, and while my work isn't always all-out pointless like that of some of my peers who produce power-point presentations (no joke - they produce presentations for a living - we make quite an amount of money of this), I also see clearly that most of my work comes from LAMP and WordPress being so shitty that building something that resembles a useful model often requires hours of custom programming per project. I work part-time, 5 hours/day, so I don't go insane and even that remaining work is mostly a classic "bullshit-job".

We are moving into an all out cyberpunk post-scarcity economy - that's a plain and simple fact. Meanwhile the luxury problems I have come from cellphone manufacturers artificially inflating phone-storage prices or not offering the exact type of phone I'm looking for, the girls I meet often being to tied up in social media to be useful for quality time and me being to lazy to book my surfing vacation for late summer.

Money in it's current for is either becoming worhless (negative interest) or being removed alltogether (sharing economy, access culture).

The problems that await us will stem from people and societies who can't deal with a post-scarcity economy and turn fanatic - religiously, politically or otherwise. That is the problem Jack Ma is probably talking about.

Other than that I personally see no problem with the rise of robots.
If we play our cards right, we can have an utopia in a century. But probably the nutbags are going to screw this up again, using religion and/or totalitarianism, as usual.

My 2 eurocents.

Comment Functional Programming is a good thing. (Score 1) 318

So is knowing and understanding it.

FP basically forces you to do multiple steps in one and trains your brain to think faster. Getting rid of state wherever possible is a neat thing too and enables more complex programms and routines that are less error-prone and more vertasile.

As long as you can wrap your head around what your doing FP is great. I've made a habit of using it whenever I can. ... Although sometimes I'm just to lazy or tired and start wittling about with variables again.

Comment Re:Money stores value (Score 1) 130

The American Revolution is proof that you are wrong, as they won the war using only paper money.

Might want to brush up on your history a bit. They won despite the paper money, which was a major hindrance. Google for the phrase "not worth a continental". When the constitution was written, the memory of America's first hyperinflation was very fresh in their minds, which is why the gold and silver clause in the constitution forbids fiat currency.

-jcr

Comment Errrm, yes. ... And? They're friggin' CHROMEBOOKS! (Score 1) 84

They run Chrome OS. Basically an extension of Google into your lap. Like android phones are a extension of Google into your hands and pockets.

Complaining that Google is observing it's users is like complaining that water is wet. Observing users is Googles freakin business model, that's what they earn money with. That's why you get all the neat stuff including cloud storage basically for free. This is also the reason Google is not another MS or Apple. They are a different league. They don't care what your device costs and which software it runs, as long as you use Google. Plain and simple.

And because of this, Google could offer services for minors no other company could. Like, for instance, warning parents when the child is communicating with a person that is obviously an unknown middle-aged man posing as a teenager.

I guess the EFF get's the Captain Obvious Award for stating that Google observes it's users. ... Allthough I do like them basically doing public education on the matter - probably needed in the US I presume.

Comment I bike. Never owned a car ... (Score 1) 223

... and I'm usually judged 7-12 years younger than I actually am (47). I even feel that way too. Given, I also dance a lot. But I combine my biking with PT, so that evens it out.

I offen get angry seeing avalanches of SUVs and full sized cars with only one Person in them. Germanys cities are clogged to the Brink with Cars and it's a freakin' Pita for everybody. We even start seeing the push for larger Bike Infrastructure at federal Level ... two decades or so too late imho.

Everybody I know who uses the bike as a main means of transport is a healthier happier person for it, including myself. We have too many cars. We need less better cars and caresharing at national level. And a private car limitation for cities.
Everything would improve. ... Probably even peoples sexlives.

My 2 eurocents.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

If you look in the FEMA site, they say that they provide gramts to perform repairs not covered by insurance. And no, they don't do a needs test. Now, the typical rich person does not let their insurance lapse just so that they can get a FEMA grant. Because such a grant is no sure thing. They also point out that SBA loans are the main source of assistance following a disaster. You get a break on interest, but you have to pay them back.

Comment Re: The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

I understand your point about view land being desirable even though it's a flood risk. I live a mile or so from the Hayward fault. But I have California's risk pool earthquake insurance. The government wouldn't be paying me except from a fund that I've already paid into. I imagine that the government does pay some rich people in similar situations, but as far as I'm aware disaster funds go to the States from the federal government and should not in general become a form of rich people's welfare. Maybe you can find some direct evidence to show me that would make the situation more clear.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

What you are observing is economics. As a city or town population grows, the best land becomes unavailable and those who arrive later or have less funds available must settle for less desirable land. Thus many cities have been extended using landfill which liquifies as the San Francisco Marina District did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, or floods. Risks may not be disclosed by developers, or may be discounted by authorities as the risks of global warming are today.

Efforts to protect people who might otherwise buy such land or to mitigate the risks are often labeled as government over-reach or nanny state.

Comment Re:The problem with your explanation (Score 1) 306

Oh, of course they were caused by misguided engineering efforts. Everything from the Army Corps of Engineers to Smoky Bear goes under that heading. The most basic problem is the fact that we locate cities next to resources and transportation, which means water, without realizing where the 400-year flood plane is. Etc. We have learned something since then.

Our problem, today, is fixing these things. Which is blocked by folks who don't believe in anthropogenic climate change, or even cause and effect at all. They don't, for the most part, register Democratic.

Comment The problem with your explanation (Score 5, Insightful) 306

The problem with your explanation is that it's fact-based, and stands on good science. This is the post-truth era. Thus, the counter to your argument will be:

  • Evidence for a human cause of erosion is thin and controversial, and is being pushed by loony liberals.
  • We need those oil and shipping jobs, and jobs building and maintaining levees, not more regulation that stifles them!
  • Cause and effect is not a real thing, except for one cause, God is behind everything.
  • This is part of God's plan for us. The end time is coming, and when the Rapture arrives it will not matter that Louisiana's coast has eroded. Cease your pursuit of unholy science and pray to save your soul!

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 336

so far hasn't done anything irreversible.

I think the first victims have been farmers who can't bring in their crops. Just the people who voted for him in California's central valley and wherever else we depend on guest workers. I don't see citizens lining up to pick those crops. The small family farmers, what's left of them, will feel this worse, the large corporate ones have the lawyers necessary to help them break the rules and truck people in from South of the border.

The second group of victims will be the ones who need health care that doesn't come from a big company. It's a lot more difficult to start a small business when there is no affordable way to get health care. And that is the case for my own small business - I'd be in bad shape if my wife left the University. I think that's the real goal - to keep people from leaving employment in larger companies and going off on their own.

Comment And yet it's not Amazon that creeps out Oracle (Score 1) 81

I see two ends of the spectrum:
Want an own DB?
Use FOSS.
MariaDB, MySQL, Postgres, Mongo, Couch, ... tons of really cool stuff, all of it industry-grade software.
I see virtually no usecase at all for non-FOSS DB technology in a fresh project these days.

Want to do the cloud DB thing?
Use Google Spanner.
That's what Oracle should be afraid of ... and probably is.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Interesting) 336

Donald Trump, unfortunately, satisfies a common desire among the populance to right things by means that won't actually right them. It's a desire to rid Washington of inaction by cleaning it out of the current folks who don't seem to get anything done: and then you find that the things they were working on are harder than you understood. It's the feeling that you can get things going right by having a manager who lights a fire under the responsible people: just the way that bank managers pressured employees to increase revenue or be fired until those employees started opening accounts fraudulently for customers who hadn't asked for them.

What I am having a hard time with is how our country gets back out of this. I fear Humpty has had such a great fall that there is no peaceful recovery.

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