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Comment Re:cultural aggression (Score 1) 380

...the freedom and liberty you celebrate might erode the family unit that is the backbone of some other culture somewhere else. Who knows? Who are you to judge?"

On intellectual level I agree with this but not in the practice. There is certainly costs to everything but in this practice this means that some homosexuals get executed in name of "traditional values", people are not allowed to use Twitter in name of "keeping society peaceful" et cetera. Human societies consist of all kinds of groups competing with each other for status and resources, and usually a big web of shady beliefs are needed to keep those in power. Just look at the recent Snowden leaks.

But seriously though those (Indian tribes? Care to give real examples?) are extremely small costs compared to the world peace that Internet and spread of culture is pushing. Lack of communication between people leads to groups starting hostilities with each other. For example, I've met a lot of people from my neighboring country online that I would not otherwise. I think those relationships will help to promote peace between our countries more than any diplomats could. Similarly, I think Hollywood movies and tv-series will promote more peace in the Middle East than any of the war operations ever could. The only reason these extreme Islamists have power is that they protect their power hierarchies with strong rhetoric about traditional values, and a group of lies along that.

Comment Re:cultural aggression (Score 1) 380

Cultural aggression is nonsense. By who? US Government? US Government trying to get Chinese people to play BF4? Really? That's like saying Japan is culturally attacking the West because people started watching anime in the Western world? Are you serious? Spread of cultural things back and forth is the best thing ever for world peace. Obviously local people whose Ivory Towers are crumbling get annoyed by that. Just look at Middle East. Wonder why would you think local fundamentalists are trying to tell the story that watching Sex & Cit.. err Battlestar Galactica is a sin? Sometimes it makes me think posts like above are paid by someone.

Comment Some analysis (Score 1) 691

I don't like this polemic article which is basically telling good vs evil story. I don't own Bitcoin but I think it deserves a fairer treatment than this.

For starters, BtC is inherently deflationary ... Less money chasing stuff; less cash for everybody to spend (as the supply of stuff out-grows the supply of money).

BtC maybe deflationary but so is the price of say PC components too. The real value of computers has declined exponentially since the 1970s yet the market is booming. Anyone knows that most PCs will sell a lot less next year than today yet people buy PC's. There's a great book called Less than Zero about this. I think bigger problems of deflation come around business cycles when wages don't adjust but deflation does not have to be the nightmare everyone is afraid of. In fact deflation is the whole purpose of economy, to get more stuff with less resources.

Mining BtC has a carbon footprint from hell (as they get more computationally expensive to generate, electricity consumption soars). This essay has some questionable numbers, but the underlying principle is sound.

Lack of deeper abstract thinking. Carbon footprints are moral masturbation because anything you produce has carbon footprint, either in fixed or marginal costs. By trying to regulate the end products, the author falls to economic calculation problem. As long as the externalities of pollution are paid by those who produce them it doesn't really matter for which purpose the carbon is produced. Saying one product is preferable to another is just politics. You can redistribute money for whatever things (research, medicine etc.), but that's beside the point.

There're valid points about problems but I think it's quite one-sided article. The reality has much more dimensions to this. I can see both good and bad sides of having an anarchist crypto-currency, just like piracy. On other hand it prevents the big institutions from rent-seeking (in piracy, making things cost more than their marginal and fixed costs and with crypto-currency excessive taxation), on the other hand it comes with all the problems anarchy comes with.

Comment Just one gaming customer perspective (Score 1) 108

I would switch on my upcoming desktop from Windows to Linux if all my games would work on it, and also some other things like Adobe tools. I'd much rather have Linux for work-related reasons than Windows on my desktop.

If Steam could get Linux Support for a lot of games, it could put Windows between rock and the hard place with gamers. They seem to be making this SteamOS to be something like playstation, but I hope they could also bring it to the desktop (even if it's a custom-installation). I hope the games they make, also support desktop-based Linux gaming. Playing straight console ports on PC is not worth it. I have no problem with consoles though, but they serve a different style of games.

Although if Apple started shipping some customizable Mac's without double the price of PC hardware (allow proper customization) and Mac supported bigger number of games, I would use Mac over either Linux or Windows on desktop. The perks of Mac just aren't good enough if I have to pay even 30% more for hardware, that is not very suitable for games (I don't need Xeon for gaming), when I can buy a decent PC and OC with 20% of the price tag. Maybe Apple has bad rep among gamers but I think they'd have low-hanging fruit if they started focusing on beating Windows on desktop without catering to some niche market of over-priced furniture buyers. Maybe the money is moving away from PC market but it still seems like a low-hanging fruit for me. Gaming on desktop is still on another level compared to other platforms (some of which are complementary rather than rivalry).

But the devil is in the details, and there's a lot of things that could fail which would make me switch back to Windows in an instant. Something as a simple as inability to turn v-sync off etc. would be major problems for me, but probably not for most of the gamers. Also I imagine any company could fail a lot of things when making an operating system (I'm waiting for C++-esque rant by Torvalds). I hope they bring the right people on board.

Comment Please read economics (Score 1) 386

People should read this which is written nobody but Paul Krugman himself, the intellectual leader of left-wing. Some of these economic fallacies are repeated here like fifteen times. It is like going to mainstream news and saying downloading is stealing. Sure, there're efficiency issues here but 5 second hunch isn't an educated opinion.

Moralizing about these factories is maybe signalling caring to others but it isn't helping. Increasing labor regulation is probably worst thing you could do. They have actually done some of that in Bangladesh, and people ended up in their next best alternative: dead due to lack of food or prostitution. Good intentions don't mean good results.

People who say we shouldn't buy these chinese products could do the worst damage. Living standards don't rise because of regulation, more than Moon orbits Earth because of law makers. The only reason is that all these commentators can get away with this cheap talk, is that they nothing on the line. If you actually had money on the line how to rise people's living standards, you would maybe pick up an economics textbook, or *gasp* remain silent.

Comment Re:historically yes, but varies (Score 1) 727

Honestly, China's PPP-adjusted GDP per capita $7500 a litte above El Salvador. Scandinavia has something around 30-40k GDP per capita and little to none high-speed rail. Its a fiscal stimulus for jobs, and has probably quite little value outside it. Maybe in 30 years. I see it kind of funny to see this left-wing meme being repeated.

Comment Economics of charity (Score 1) 570

By investing in something (that's not a fraud) you're doing charity aswell. Nothing has increased our living standards as much as increase in productivity that only investment in better production can bring. Basic Adam Smith. Maybe investing in developing countries is marginally more "charitable". Basic charity, while it can provide temporary relief with high marginal benefit, usually does not have this effect (externalities are not simple but ahem).

Another thing you can do is just not use the money, which will increase the purchasing power of other people equally. There was an article on slate about this.

Put a dollar in the bank and you'll bid down the interest rate by just enough so someone somewhere can afford an extra dollar's worth of vacation or home improvement. Put a dollar in your mattress and (by effectively reducing the money supply) you'll drive down prices by just enough so someone somewhere can have an extra dollar's worth of coffee with his dinner. Scrooge, no doubt a canny investor, lent his money at interest. His less conventional namesake Scrooge McDuck filled a vault with dollar bills to roll around in. No matter. Ebenezer Scrooge lowered interest rates. Scrooge McDuck lowered prices. Each Scrooge enriched his neighbors as much as any Lord Mayor who invited the town in for a Christmas meal.

Investing or saving works, probably much better than charity, but of course it isn't as high social status as charity and you won't get the warm feeling of helping someone. But if you want to go with charity, give money the recipients weren't expecting (advice I got from one economist). Helping the poorest of the poor might be better than helping the poorest of Western country. Helping children and people who are in bad position of no fault of their own is probably better too. But other commenters have better opinions on different charities so I'll leave it at that.

Comment Re:End Game (Score 1) 211

Sure. How many companies are you going to pull out? :)

Also, find a stock broker, he can probably help you short these countries. Talk is cheap.

This antitrust legislation is probably quite inefficient and pointless. That I do agree with. Its not European invention though, such regulators are everywhere.

Comment Open Source can reduce social welfare (Score 1) 530

Because marginal cost of information is zero, competition from open source software can reduce social welfare in theory. This argument however has little to do with the argument of the Slashdot's article's British blogger, who probably should talk to some economists first. Generally creative destruction is good and efficient, but these things are a lot more complex than can be analyzed here (and not really my specialty).

"Impact of Competition from Open Source Software on Proprietary Software"
Vidyanand Choudhary and Zach Z. Zhou

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