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Comment Re:There are only four programs that matter (Score 1) 249

You and Laffer both have an unstated and hidden assumption, that maximizing tax revenue is a good goal. It's not; the long-term maximization of the income of Americans is a good goal.

It's not clear that the goals contradict. If government isn't productive (i.e. generating benefits to society) then the optimal (maximized tax) would theoretically be less than if the government were giving good value for the taxes received. Of course you'd have to know how to measure civil service productivity and unfortunately politicians have little incentive to do that.

Comment Large room (Score 1) 370

A theater size screen requires a large room which provides a physical setting/vibe you can't get at home. A computer monitor with headphones, a large screen in a home, and a movie theater can all provide the same field of view with relative comfort and good audio but the experience for each is slightly different. For increasing numbers I suppose the unique theater experience isn't really worth it, but for some it probably always will.

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 1) 117

if I could run Ubuntu on Windows 10

Maybe it's more like porting Linux apps to Windows using Cygwin. I have both Linux and Cygwin. Cygwin is for applications that are both portable and have need to access files also regularly accessed on the Windows side. Bothering with two operating systems (virtual or real) or cross OS file shares might be more effort than necessary. I rarely boot Linux and don't need to bother setting up file sharing. YMMV.

Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 0) 207

I've commuted in some of the worst bits of LA and you're way off. Although I no longer commute regularly, I notice that even with more people on the road they're behaving better.

Tailgating in traffic jams, allowing no room for merging or changing lanes, causing everyone to have to slam on their brakes when someone does need to move lanes.

You're overestimating the frequency of necessary lane changes. You either move left to pass or right to exit. In heavy freeway traffic there ain't a lot of either going on. Too many people changing lanes trying to chase the faster moving lane causes a lot more problems.

Waiting until the absolute last second to merge when lanes are reduced.

I saw this often enough and what I noticed is that these people would often fill in spaces that idiots opened up by failing to pay attention and

stay exactly right behind the car in front.

I'm not sure what you're advocating here. Everyone maintaining a fixed distance behind the car in front creates a rigid body effect. I've also noticed less last minute merges going on at the 405 and 101 interchanges in LA as more people pay attention, leaving fewer gaps to fill which discourages the number of last minute attempts.

Comment Re:Interesting how few controls there are (Score 1) 129

I've worked for big companies most of my career, and regular employees making purchases, signing contracts, etc. takes an act of God. I can't spend $100 on supplies without getting competitive bids.

See, that's where you're going wrong. I've actually had clients tell me that a proposal has to be _over_ a certain dollar amount - if it's less than (for example) $50k, it's subject to a lot more oversight than, say, $1M.

Regular employees don't typically have much involvement with big purchases. Due diligence has been known to drop when you're spending someone else's money.

Comment Kneejerk budget (Score 3, Insightful) 649

I think it was the Lexington columnist for the Economist who said that Republicans are for small government, except when they aren't. And when it comes to defense, they aren't. Trump complained about wasted defense spending in the Middle East and complained about our allies not paying their fair share - so his solution is to spend more. Businessman my ass, now he's playing army with other people's money.

Comment Re:" Faye must've skipped that part" (Score 1, Offtopic) 199

And literally no one cares.

Well, yes and no. While few may actually care what won best picture, more might find the idea of this type of human error involving a simple task finding its way into an such an expensive, over produced media event to be interesting. Poor procedural planning, a cellphone distracted starstruck flunky, and now poor typography. I guess we now know what could go wrong.

Comment Re:so what? (Score 1) 644

Low, and especially middle and high-end service jobs increased in tandem with factory labor as part of a growing middle class which didn't just spend on manufactured goods. Full blown modernization has yet to kick in due to globalization which expanded the pool of low cost labor, and by it's inability to adequately replace most services. Even if modernization enables manufacturing to return to consumer societies, there of course won't be near the jobs it provided when it left. Then compound that with modernization evolving to the point of taking over many middle and high-end services, and lots and lots of people.

Comment Re:I'm not surprised. (Score 1) 917

Extreme examples like this are more likely to occur in places like Silicon Valley, where the competitive culture and veiled acquisitiveness drive people crazy in interesting ways.

Local culture (or lack thereof) and demographic isolation. Finance, the c-suite, and maybe in some rural areas. I confess some surprise that these pockets of primitive behavior still exist to the probable extent that they do. Though there's the flip side of frivolous, exaggerated or false complaints that can turn corporate culture into baby food.

Comment Re:Myopia... (Score 1) 361

Like if they were doing Google's self-driving car project they'd spent tons of time on an overarching architecture concept that'd essentially say sensors -> analysis -> decision -> execution -> feedback and spend six months and 100 pages to say it

I've seen this. The theory is that with a sufficiently detailed specification the code essentially writes itself (so specification gets most of the budget). Of course those writing specifications typically have little or ancient experience writing code and upper management can't see why that would be a problem, even after schedules and budget aren't met.

Comment Re:which is why everyone can't be a programmer (Score 2) 361

...brute force coding. There's no innovation involved.

I disagree. You can always innovate to make yourself (typically your code) more productive and efficient. For a lot of brute force tasks you've not really succeeded until you've made yourself redundant. Theoretically the savings this generates gets recognized and you get promoted/assigned more innovative tasks.

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