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Comment Re: A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Do you like their methedology [sic] now that they show clinton winning 72%?

Whoops - "methodology". You are right that I should take the time to spell-check my postings. I blame the parents. Oh, and my spell checker says that "clinton" [sic] should be capitalized.

In any case, I like their methodology regardless of who it predicts, since I am trying to use it to get information about probably outcomes rather than to convince myself that a particular outcome is likely to occur.

Granted, I am generally happier when my preferred outcome is indicated as more likely, but like weather reporting I would prefer accuracy over inaccuracy, even if the forecast is for unpleasant weather.

Besides, my favourite candidate never seems to perform well in these models:

Comment Re:It depends. (Score 1) 993

Yes, first-past-the-post is a bad bad system, because it inevitably leads to situations like this. The sensible response, however, is not to pretend we don't have first-past-the-post, because we do!

The sensible thing to do, from a game-theoretic viewpoint, is to vote strategically (because that's provably the best thing to do with FPTP), and, in the mean time, try to get other voting systems accepted. My city uses instant runoff (IRV) instead of FPTP. If more cities used IRV or Single Transferable Vote (STV) or similar, then we'd be able to talk about getting the state to do the same, and if enough states switch, then maybe we could get the country to switch. Then you could vote for your favorite candidate without worrying that you'll case the worser of two evils to triumph. In the meantime, however, vote using your brain, not your gut. You're supposedly a nerd, unless you're on the wrong site, so that shouldn't be a difficult concept.

(And again, "vote strategically" does not necessarily mean "vote for the lesser of two evils". That's simply one possible--albeit frequently useful--strategy of many.)

Good advice! I like STV a lot.

Comment Re: 32% would vote clinton (Score 1) 993

I'm not sure what you mean by tactical voting, as opposed to any other kind of voting, but I would argue that the problem is the system, not the users. There are any number of alternative election or voting systems we could be using instead of a winner take all representative democracy. Many of those would at least better represent public sentiment, if not provide more desirable outcomes as well.

I think I supposed to say something hip like "This!", so show my heatfealt agreement.

Comment Re: A wasted vote... (Score 1) 993

Actually, it's not. Trump only has one path to victory, and that involves winning Ohio, where he has 0% support among blacks. So, even though the media would like you to believe that it's an ongoing contest, so they can keep you reading articles and watching pundits, the election is already over.

I suspect that you are broadly correct, but the polls agrigators over at actually have Trump with a 60% chance at winning Ohio.


I like their methedology.

Submission + - Indian Student Jailed for Cheating on Exams writes: BBC reports that Ruby Rai, a 17-year-old schoolgirl in India, has been thrown in jail after cheating on her exams. Ranked first in the Bihar state exams — Rai said in a video interview that her main subject political science was about cooking. After the video went viral, Rai was made to re-sit her exams, and was arrested after she failed and had her original results cancelled. Examiners who retested Rai told reporters they were "shocked" by her performance. When asked to write an essay about the Indian poet Tulsidas, she only wrote "Tulsidas ji pranam (Salutations to Tulsidas)". Meanwhile, arrest warrants have been issued for several other students who performed well in the exams, including Saurabh Shrestha who topped the science stream, but later could not say that H2O was water. Last March as many as 300 people were arrested for cheating in Bihar after the Hindustan Times published images of dozens of men climbing the walls of a test center to pass answers inside.

Comment Re:Absurd conclusion (Score 1) 760

Taxes are collected from privately owned assets. Tax deductions are government taking less private property.

One can only believe what you do if one believes that the concept of private property does not exist. For your premise to be true, all property would have to be owned by the government.

If you want that shit, move to Venezuela.

Well, to be fair, all of these "privately owned assets" are only "privately owned" because society has decided to enforce certain legal constructs through the use of a police and courts system. "We the people" have ultimately decided what all these things mean, and to what extent we are going to protect those meanings from other possible ones.

If we were truely following this type of ideal "private ownership" principle, the vast majority of the real estate on this continent would not be held by decendants of immigrants I am confident. Even after killing the vast majority of the continent's inhabitants, ownership should have passed to "nearest relatives", rather than "those who did the killing".

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1) 760

Straight to the labor theory of value. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Realize your fallacy and be enlightened. Value is set on the market. Including the value of labor and capital. The fact you don't like that, doesn't change it.

To think that the way we have implemented "the market" is optimal is pretty shortsighted.

The USA has one of the lowest amounts of "socio-economic mobility" amoung developed nations. Peole in the USA have a harder time moving "up the ladder" than in most other places.

We would be better off developing policies that give everyone more access to those top rungs.

Comment Re:But which one is more likely (Score 1) 180

Our nuclear arsenals are rotting today, and they're doing very little to prevent war. What is preventing war is the fact that war reduces populations and reducing population is bad for business when you're in the business of controlling as many people as possible. Terrorist propaganda is much more effective than war.

There seems to be some truth to the argument that war is reduced when nations are more tightly interlocked by trade and other exchanges. It is not so much that the evil puppet masters have decided to prevent wars, but rather than the whole system is so interrelated that large scale conflict becomes so obviously bad for everyone that it never gets considered.

Comment Re:Fuck off (Score 3, Insightful) 403

The first amendment begins "Congress shall make no law..."

Neither buzzfeed nor Facebook are Congress, obviously. Private businesses are free to publish or not publish whatever they wish. .

So I, as the owner of a private business, could post messages on the website of my place of business about the inferiority of various races, and the fact that women don't belong in the work place taking jobs away from men who have families to feed.

Thanks for letting me know about this. I'll get right on it.

Actually I don't think there is much legislation that would prohibit you from doing so. If you are found to be making hiring decisions based on those ideas, or vetting your clientel in that way, you may be in contravention of a variety of statues. Perhaps creating a hostile work environment by way of your website postings might also be a problem.

Comment Re: Lastpass (Score 1) 637

I do this, too, but will caution others who want to start -- some sites (usually those that don't publish a max length) will allow you to set really long passwords but then break when you try to use them.

I have encountered this. A site may silently cut a "too-long" password short to an acceptable length, so testing that the passwords you have recorded actually do work is important. I try to send a note to such websites letting them know their system sucks. Best practices for websites should be to actually document what length and character sets are acceptable for use, and some sanity checks that give useful feedback when unacceptable passwords are being attempted to be set.

Comment Re:Password Generator (Score 1) 637

But then you have to write them down somewhere to remember them. That's very bad.

I don't think it is as bad to write them down as you think. Sure, if someone is targeting you specifically, they might be able to steal your little black book and get your stuff, but is that the threat model you are most likely to encounter?

I suspect that for most people, their safety would be improved by having different, long, random passwords recored somewhere reasonably secure is much better than memorized, short, easy to remember, or reused passwords.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 1) 1023

You have no clue. There are millions of working people in America working for cash. Almost everyone on SS disability to start.

I don't doubt that there are a lot of cheaters out there, but actually the US's compliance rate is pretty good in comparison to many countries (83% or so, that is by dollar so the per capita rate could be a lot lower if a few people are doing big dollar cheating). Do you have any reference to the idea that "almost everyone on SS disability" are cheating to a significant degree?

The odds of being caught cheating are fairly low, but they are not insignificant, especilly in cases where someone turns you in, and anyone working for cash has a lot of people who know about their non-compliance, and who have incentives to turn them in.

Comment Re:Cool (Score 1) 1023

A niece and a friend's wife have been cleaning homes for the past 25 years; they constantly turn down new business and if they lose a client, there are many more interested in their services. Neither of them work weekends. They each make $40k/yr cash, unreported revenue. Neither of them will ever be without work.

Until someone reports them to the IRS (for the reward) and they get a hefty fine or jail time, or at least big bucks in lawyer fees. Not to sound too cynical, but only the uber-rich get away without paying taxes.

"The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects."

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