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Comment Re:Very wise decision making (Score 1) 43

Usually childhood is when you find out you have asthma, though. If you've got an island of 100 kids on summer vacation or in school, one of them is bound to develop it sooner or later. Sometimes this requires helicopter assistance!

The case described is infrequent, sure. But it and things like it happen often enough it's totally worth the effort to develop a cheaper solution.

Comment Re:No Change symbol (Score 1) 167

The full study is at http://www.appliedanimalbehavi...

Symbols were painted on a white wooden board.

It was a horizontal line for "blanket on", blank white for "no change", vertical line for "blank off".

In all cases, the blanket was adjusted by a human handler (if only to put it back where it was).

Comment Re: The U.S. ain't perfect, but... (Score 1) 522

I don't think you'll find anyone disagreeing with the notion that people can't just do whatever they want, that there needs to be some form of law.

But it seems you have something in mind that fewer people would agree with.

Most of the "checks and balances" on business is simple rule of law: You have to fill the terms of a contract, you must respect property rights, transactions must be voluntary, offers must be filled if accepted, you can't have banks manipulating the currency, etc. Some of this we're good about, some of it we're not. (For instance, I argue that our monetary system unfairly biases our economy towards fewer, larger corporations than would otherwise be possible.)

The "robber baron" article doesn't actually list anything they did wrong and by and large, the listed people ran businesses that dropped costs of then-luxury products. Rail transit, clothes, refrigerated food, oil, and steel all saw huge drops in price and cost, and resulted in the biggest increase in standard of living for the typical (median) person ever.

Comment Re:Real costs are gaining on real income (Score 1) 399

The 1% of what? If you're implying all output of all the extra automation is never seen by 99% of the population, then 1% is a number you're pulling out of your ass.

Real prices in most sectors have gone down. Though this is hard to pinpoint because of the rampant monetary inflation that has been pursued (and this does negatively impact the working class disproportionately!). Prices that have gone up are usually sectors where there's subsidized credit or third-party-payers... particularly housing, education, and healthcare.

Here's the very most favorable data point I can find for you, real median personal income.

That is to say, take everyone's income, adjusted for inflation, and we still find with the exception of two years, decade-over-decade, a person in the very middle of the pack (so as to exclude very-rich outliers on a long tail, someone making $30k/yr now), has still gotten richer.

Comment Re:ROBOT TAX. (Score 1) 399

Those lost "proceeds" surface in the form of cheaper products and being able to buy more things with the same amount of work, not necessarily higher wages or higher revenue by itself.

"real wages" -- the amount of time you need to spend working in order to feed yourself and provide other basic needs -- has never stopped falling decade over decade.

Every income bracket, every quintile, has gotten richer since 40 years ago, and people also move between quintiles with astonishing frequency (something like 95% of people fall out of the top quintile after a decade).

Comment The tl;dr (Score 1) 141

Canadian Government imposes a price ceiling on a market, then proceeds to run around like a chicken with its head cut off wondering why the markets managed to react the way they did.

Price ceilings and price floors have predictable consequences, and for some reason we keep ignoring them.

It's also a great way to reduce competition, a direct result of left-shifting the supply curve of the supply/demand plot.

Comment Re:Spaces are for people who don't understand tabs (Score 1) 391

If you're using NOTEPAD to edit code then that means you have to hit the space bar or backspace multiple times to indent code one level, and you risk highlighting or indenting only a fraction of an indent. So even in that case, tabs are STILL preferable!

Most developers aren't writing on very small screens anymore, and even if you are, you should know better than to write spaghetti code that goes more than a few levels deep (the "Inception Rule" of don't go more than four levels deep).

Comment Re:Government is not the answer. (Score 1) 66

The only thing that changes when you substitute "government" in for "corporation" is now the people managing the Internet have guns.

What a great idea THAT has been shown to be /s

- Have you considered that the price is going up because demand is going up?
- Have you considered that a higher price encourages new entrants into the market?
- Have you looked into how local policies effectively grant monopolies and raise barriers to entry?
- Have you considered that Enron was merely outright criminal, the same way the government is on a daily basis?
- Have you considered that profit actually represents the transformation of scarce, valuable resources (labor, capital, materials) into something more valuable (Internet service)?

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