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Comment Re:Oh, this is going to be great (Score 1) 241

It's mostly the online community that's lost it's ability for critical thinking.

Actually, it's mostly you who appears to have lost the ability to think critically (if you ever had it). Simply put, If you were able to think critically you wouldn't have resorted to personal attacks when I told you that your anecdotal story doesn't back up the position that you claimed it did.

Regardless of the laws of where I live, the Internet is not a place where free speech is appreciated or respected.

Maybe, or maybe people just don't like it when you act like an arrogant, condescending jackass. Especially when you're acting like that and unequivocally wrong at the same time. Free speech means the government doesn't interfere with your right to say what you like, it doesn't mean people have to like you or the odious things that you post. People can like free speech and still think you're an overbearing, know-nothing ass who they'd rather not associate with.

Comment Bad data from poor implementation (Score 2) 214

With that said, if they do this pilot correctly it will yield very interesting data.

I very much doubt it will because it is implemented in a way which directly undermines the arguments for universal basic income which is normally taken to mean that everyone gets a fixed income regardless of circumstances. Instead this project reduces that income at the rate of $1 for every $2 earned. Unlike the real deal this provides a reasonably strong motivation NOT to take low paying jobs since you only get a benefit of half the wage you earn. It also means that you now have to start means testing people to see how much they earn which requires bureaucracy and officials and incurs expense.

The whole point of basic income is to cut the administration expense because everyone gets it regardless while also preventing the disincentive to work of typical unemployment schemes by clawing back money when people get even a low paying job. The Ontario scheme fails to achieve either aim and so seems unlikely to work or provide any data about whether such type of schemes could work.

Comment Not Really Universal (Score 1) 214

The province will explore the effectiveness of providing a basic income â" no matter what â" to people who are currently living on low incomes, "whether they are working or not," Wynne said. ...
A single person could receive up to about $17,000 a year, minus half of any income he or she earns.

None of these studies really seem to study true universal basic income, in which everybody, rich or poor, regardless of how much money they make, receives the same basic amount.

All the current trials going on seem to be focused on giving money to people who have no jobs or make very little. We already have program in place that do this kind of thing already, so they probably won't find a whole lot of difference with the systems that we already have. They are basically making small changes to the welfare system in order to not cut off benefits as soon as you find a job. But other than that, there isn't much difference.

Comment Re:Many examples, if you remember history (Score 1) 205

No, the simple answer was the reason and not some weird illuminati conspiracy theory about environmentalists with vast amounts of political power controlling everything from the shadows.

My point was that at the time, some people did consider plastic bags more environmentally friendly.

It was known, (especially in areas where they relied on tourists visiting beaches) but ignored for financial reasons. It's not "history" to me.

If you say so, though I'm not sure how people would have known that plastic bags would be a trash nightmare before they were in common use.

Comment Yes still a dream (Score 2) 133

1 99.999765% of car drivers can barely handle 2 dimensions, going flying in 3 dimensions? Not a chance in hell.
2 the FAA will require a pilots license
3 the FAA will require aircraft maintenance. This means 99.999768% of all typical car owners will never be able to own one as they will whine like hungry babies when told they need to spend $8900 to have the engine rebuilt that is working just fine. Yes the FAA requires scheduled engine rebuilding.
4 Parking and FAA flight restrictions means you cant just fly from home to work.

Comment Re:Hubris Much? (Score 1) 92

Sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and hope for the best. Other times, its better to wait.

Consider the implications of failure of a plan like this. If the consequences of failure are worse than doing nothing.... then yes. Do nothing.

I remember some bright idea to genetically engineer mosquitoes to wipe out malaria... A noble goal. The fish population in the area they tried it on took a nose dive. So yes... sometimes nothing is better.

Comment 34 years (Score 3, Interesting) 148

So, after 34 years, in a world of on-demand entertainment, mobile devices, in-home electronics, video conferencing, etc., Stallman is using a decade-old laptop, watching no entertainment at all, presumably has nothing in the line of other devices (e.g. tablets, phones, CCTV, etc.) and can't talk to anyone who doesn't use the same kind of software as him (e.g. everyone on Skype, WhatsApp, etc.). And he also thinks you should go to jail for wanting to put a restrictive licence on things you own?

And we're supposed to follow this guy's ideals?

The guy's a moron. And that's coming from someone who does do an awful lot of things the open-source way, including my own programming.

If you want to fix this problem, rather than mouth off, try and fix some of the primary problems identified by the FSF - which has included open-source video conferencing for years. Hell, they're still talking about an open-source alternative for Flash which has lived and died in the time they've been trying to create one.

The sentiment is overblown, the direction is a good one, but the reality is so poor that everyone gave up waiting (e.g. for Hurd which only recently got SATA functionality...). And you're seriously advocating a years-old laptop as the way to live? That laptop stopped manufacture before millions of the users of things like iPads and WhatsApp were even born.

Not only are you bad at fixing the problem, you're bad at finding interim solutions, and bad at making suggestions, and nothing but bad press for people who DO still want free and open kit.

I'm incredibly disappointed that NOBODY with these large organisations with tons of skilled people on board has thought to monetise the exact thing they can do : Make a series of machines that are free and open from top to bottom. You can use sales from them to develop further. People would buy one just for a certified "open" tag.

But, no, the closest you can get is System76 who recycle old IBM laptops still and who have just thought about getting into the game of end-to-end production.

We could have been doing that since the 386 era when this guy first started mouthing off publicly, but nothing has been done in that direction.

I'm all for free software but, you know what, I have to talk to real people. That means a mobile phone. I have to use computers. That means ones I can buy in a shop today. I have to live and enjoy. And that means playing games on Steam and watching movies on Amazon.

Because there are precisely ZERO viable alternatives, short of a 10-year-old laptop and giving everything else up.

Comment Hubris Much? (Score 2) 92

On the one hand we complain about man interfering with natural processes and bemoan climate change caused by our greed and shortsightedness... on the other we propose deliberately altering the natural processes in order to cause climate change because we know better?

And if it goes horribly wrong due to our shortsightedness and arrogance? I know several people who truly in the depths of their hearts believe that they know better, are brilliant, and can do no wrong. A little self doubt can do the world a lot of good.

Comment Basic (Score 1) 610

My first programming language was a form of Basic (I forget which one) on Apple IIe computers. During middle school, we were instructed to program a slot machine program. Essentially, the assignment was to pull three random array entries and display those. Easy, right? I coded mine, looked up, and everyone was still working. So I decided to add more features. I added in betting with the game repeating until you lost all your money or decided to walk away with your winnings. I looked up and people were still coding. So I added in a loan shark who would lend you money which you had to pay back (with interest) or he'd end your game for you. (I actually had it display that he "took an arm and a leg.") I looked up and FINALLY people were finishing their assignments.

I blew the teacher and my classmates away with what I had made. That SHOULD have been my sign that I needed to go into programming, but it took me until college where I almost failed quantum mechanics as I aced my computer science classes to switch on that light bulb.

Comment That's the ideal...the reality is different (Score 1) 254

Capitalism is based on the idea that both sides agree to exchange what is promised, not merely something someone else thinks is close enough.

In reality though capitalism is based on the exchange of something which one side can persuade a court is good enough...which is one of the big problems with capitalism because typically one side can afford far more lawyers than the other. In this case what they provided was so far from what they promised that even an army of lawyers could not win the argument that it was good enough but note that they only got 30%, not 50%, of child care and there was zero compensation for the emotional damage to the family.

Comment Re:Many examples, if you remember history (Score 2) 205

I think there is some truth to both of those versions of events, in that plastic bags were considered both more environmentally friendly and they cheaper when they were introduced. The problems of plastic bags not decomposing wasn't yet a known issue when they were first being introduced in the 70s, and at the time, it took about 1/4 of the energy to produce a plastic bag as a paper one, so it seemed like an environmental win at the time. But while the adoption of plastic bags may have been supported by environmentalists at the time, it's pretty clear the reason stores started offering the choice of plastic or paper was because they could buy 4 plastic bags for every paper bag. That's a clear cost saving and the fact that some customers found the plastic bags more convenient that paper (because they had handles) made it also a goodwill win. Blaming environmentalists for the change, however, is so one-sided as to be beyond the point of self-delusion.

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