Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment home cinema (Score 1) 309

The main reason left to go to a cinema is that the screen is bigger and the sound system is fantastic. Everything else you can have at home.

With a good home cinema setup, you can come close, and you have none of the expensive popcorn, queues, guy next to you getting on your nerves, obnoxious advertisement and other bullshit. Plus you can pause the movie to get a drink from the kitchen and cuddle your cats while watching.

Cinema is on the way out. Once Hollywood understood the lesson that the music industry had to understand, things will get better.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 320

The equivalent of "stop outsourcing" would be like Wyoming blocking imports of almonds from CA just because it wants its own local almond farmers to have business.

I agree that the question isn't borders. If you are in Texas, northern Mexico is more "local" than NYC. But in either case, China is not local.

People *are* permanently unemployed. Not a large percentage of the population but unemployment has never been 0. Ever. I'd say what well-intentioned tariffs we've passed to try to keep unemployment down aren't working very well. And with the upcoming onslaught of automation...I don't see how you *can* keep people from being unemployed for long periods of time.

The part that's never zero is called "structural unemployment", and was mentioned in the part that you cut. People between jobs, people who are moving, etc.
But unemployment-because-you-cant-find-a-job is not god-given, and in fact in various countries around the world there have been periods when this unemploymend was zero.

"the upcoming onslaught of automation" - the 60s called. They want their argument back.

Rather than cling onto the idea that everyone needs to be employed (when reality obviously isn't letting that happen), perhaps it's time to revisit how we make sure every citizen is taken care of in a post-industrial society and this idea that "everyone needs to work".

Oh, I agree on that. I've had periods in my life without a formal job (self-employed, my own small company, not working very much) that were wonderful except for the not-much-money part. If that were somehow covered, I'd immediately go back to working 20 hours a week, or 80 hours a week on stuff that I love.

Trade and technology are the 2 pillars that create wealth

How we are all caught in the Silicon Valley mantra and the Venture Capitalist religion. Most of the really large and powerful companies in the world are not called Google and Facebook. They are energy companies, food companies, and a dozen others. Trade and technology matter, but you buy an iPhone every year while you buy food every day.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 320

. It also makes him a huge liability if they run into financial difficulty

History proves you wrong. Fords model worked, your bullshit is just that.

Considering that i device sales have flatlined or in some cases decreased,

And Apple is still insanely profitable, so your point is what, exactly?

Not many people gives a shit where it's made - they just want it cheap.

That is my point. Because it's been drilled into our heads that profit aka "buy cheap" is the only margin of success, the only thing important. My mother still bought her meat and vegetables at farms whenever she could, because knowing where it comes from and being able to trust its quality was another important value. Having an actual business relation used to be important, now we just use some price comparison website to save ten cents. But when you buy the same stuff from the same guy all the time, things become possible that Amazon won't do for you. That has value.

There are a few areas left where more than profit thinking is alive. Many people go to the same restaurants again and again, even if they're not the cheapest, but they're the best (in food quality, taste, atmosphere, whatever is important to you). I've had restaurants where I can sit down, say hi to the owner and order "the usual", and I don't care if there's another restaurant nearby where the food is ten cents cheaper.

Yes, not many people care. But maybe they should. Maybe we should pay the real price of global trade. Just putting a price on the ecological damage of these container ships (have you seen them? What comes out of your cars exhaust pipe is refreshing clean air compared to theirs) would instantly make local manufacturing economically interesting again.

People don't yet make the connection between the social systems downfall and the increase in global trade. Or that them buying cheap shit on Amazon is the reason their uncle is out of a job. Or that there is an inherent contradiction in the shouts of politicians who a) want you to earn less money and b) want you to spend more on consumption.

If you put people out of a job because you outsourced the factory to a low-income country, there are less people left to buy whatever your factory makes. It really is that simple.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 320

Really? Your house is chinese, your gasoline japanese and your food korean? I mean, not by taste but manufactured there? That's amazing.

You might spend 90% of your disposable income on some electronics from Asia, but for the average household, that is about 20% or so of the total income. The rest goes for rent (or mortgage), food, taxes, insurances and other stuff that is part of the local economy.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 1) 320

You don't want to get rid of that. You don't want to slow down the economy by making goods more expensive. What you *want* is to allow companies to make tons of profit, *tax* that profit and use that money to pay people who were unemployed due to jobs moving away.

Have you thought that through?

So in the end, you will make everything abroad, only companies earn money, and everyone lives from the taxes? I don't think that is a sustainable economic model.

What you want is a balance between a strong local economy and beneficial trade. You want to import cars from Germany because they just make the best cars, and movies from Hollywood because they make the best movies (bear with me, it's only an example) and iPhones from China because they make the best electronics. But you want to grow your food locally because shipping it halway around the world doesn't improve its quality, and everything where it doesn't matter where it is made you want to make locally because global shipping is a major contributor to climate change and it's just crazy.

You do not want people permanently on unemployment benefits. There is no imaginable scenario where that is beneficial to anyone. You want unemployment to be a transition phase, for people between jobs.

There is more to the system then just who makes profits. There is also the psychological damage of unemployment, there is the fact that you become dependent on your suppliers, there is the fact that you don't want to lose the capability of manufacturing, even if outsourcing somewhere else would be cheaper, there is the whole insanity of global trade which would be prohibitively expensive in its current form if most of the cost (especially the environmental one) wouldn't be externalized.

There are reasons beyond profit that should guide an economy. The pure quarterly-profit perspective is the main damage the financial industry has done to the world. We now all think the way that stock brokers do, without realizing how narrow and limited their perspective is.

Comment Re:Be careful how hard you squeeze (Score 3, Insightful) 320

So much crying and so little understanding of systems theory.

Sure, americans want more money than chinese children. However, what does it cost to support all the unemployed people and to fight the higher crime and other problems that come with unemployment?

Also, money goes in circles. The american worker paid well will spend a large part of his salary on some other american business (say, the fast food store near work, the gas station on his way to work, etc.) while the chinese child spends his money somewhere in China.

Ford was the first to understand that paying his workers well would actually give him an advantage - if they can afford to buy one of his cars, they will. The same is true of this. Maybe the price of iPhones will rise - or maybe more people will buy them and the price stay the same. Or something inbetween.

It's too easy to just cry that prices will rise. In fact, that's usually a strawman.

Comment Yes, we do (Score 1) 324

Both sides in this information war are using propaganda.

Does Russia spend money to improve its image, including on social media? You can bet they do. Just like every other country in the world. Are there people paid to troll anti-russian comments? I wouldn't be surprised. But the question the article raises is a good question as well: Are there people paid to troll pro-russian comments? I wouldn't be surprised, either. And frankly speaking to me it seems like it, because if you post anything pro-russian or just with a balanced view, you do get shouted down as a Putin-lover or whatever.

Comment Re:Every Fucking Day with this Shit (Score 1) 104

Ever walk down the street in the city and a bum comes up to you begging? He can smell and look offensive. Should that be censored?

Yes. My purpose of being there is not to be a begging target, I didn't invite him to approach me, he is, in Internet terms, spamming me.

Ever been on a farm and smell the pigs or the cow manure? That's offensive.

But it is a necessary part of the operation of the farm. It is a direct consequence without which the farm could not function. In Internet terms, it's the annoying login dialog.

Ever see guts at the scene of a car wreck? That's offensive.

That is an unintended side-effect, not desired by anyone and not intentionally inflicted upon me by anyone. In Internet terms, it's lag or slow loading times.

You are comparing completely different things, not understanding that for some of them, there is no reason we should have to endure them (for the record: The proper solution is that the bum doesn't exist, our society is rich enough that every homeless person is a shame to us all)

Get off your ass, unplug, get out there into the real world and get offended! Trust me, it gets easier after the first few times. And you'll probably realized that being offended isn't anywhere near the worst thing that can possibly happen to you

I'm with you on that there's no right to not be offended.
However, I can absolutely want to protect myself from what I don't like. I keep my house clean because I don't like trash and smells. I keep my door closed because I want to decide who I invite in and who not. I don't hang disgusting pictures on my walls, etc.
I can filter my view of the world. You have a right to Free Speech, but not a right to force me to listen. Individual filters are a necessity or we would all drown in spam. What we need to prevent is centrally controlled filters.

Comment Re:Sour grapes (Score 1) 1429

Uh, Obama didn't lose the popular vote either time (the last president who was elected despite losing the popular vote was Bush in 2000.) In fact, he won an absolute majority (not merely plurality) of the popular vote both times. Not sure what you expected people to complain about there?

There's a lot more broken than the imaginary "popular vote" or the EC. There's the whole gerrymandering issue, the voting machines debacle, the voter registration issues, the fact that many people are stopped from voting, that the voting is on a working day and a hundred more.

I wouldn't even agree that the EC is broken as a concept. It's a slightly odd way of doing it, but there were and are reasons for making it this way, and while they can be discussed and maybe don't apply to the world of today anymore, many of the issues I listed above are much more clear-cut examples of why the election system is fundamentally broken.

Slashdot Top Deals

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun

Working...