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Comment Precious metals are kind of like fiat currency (Score 1) 37

They only have value above their utilitarian value because people say they do.

Two major differences between precious metals and fiat currencies are:
* The utility value for fiat currencies is zero for book-entry money, almost zero for paper/plastic currency, and that of base metals for coinage ("melt-down value"). The utility value for gold, silver, and most other precious metals is at least as much as base metals, there's just a lot less of it to go around.

* precious metals have a known, reasonably-predictable caps on long-term future supply based on active mines and known deposits (subject to technology disruptions such as what aluminum went through in the 19th century). The "future supply" of fiat currencies is about as predictable as politics. That is to say, it may be reasonably predictable in the short- or even medium-term but for anything longer than a decade or two, the political risk can become significant even in countries that currently enjoy stable govermnents, stable banking systems, and stable currencies.

I'm leaving out the difference that fiat currencies are typically legal tender in their country of origin. Precious metals might have been legal tender in the past, but I can't think of any major country where they are legal tender in any practical sense of the word (that is, the are legal tender, AND when you pay your debts with them you are credited with the current spot price of the metal in your local currency, or at least something very close to it).

Comment Re: Underpaid? Vote with your feet (Score 1) 486

If something is being done to undermine your value in a market then you are being underpaid.

One could argue that if something is being done to lessen - or raise - your value in the market, then that's just the market at work.

One could also argue that the "baseline" with regards to immigration would be "free borders" and anything else is an artificial deviation from that "baseline." In other words, if NOT allowing anyone and everyone on the planet to move about freely and compete in your industry in your city causes your wages to be higher than they would be if there were no such limits, then your wages are "artificially high."

Likewise, one could argue a complete protectionist labor force, where any labor from outside the country would be taxed enough so that the company hiring them would automatically be paying more than they would for even the most expensive domestic applicant and the "baseline" would be "set" by supply-and-demand accordingly. If you are being paid less than this amount due to a less-protectionist legal regime, you could argue that your wages are "artificially low."

I'm not going to claim that either argument is more logical than the other.

Comment Underpaid? Vote with your feet (Score 1) 486

Most tech workers in American earn at least the median income for their local region, or at least they could do so easily if they wanted to.

Those workers shouldn't complain about being underpaid - they should either "vote with their feet" or admit that they like their current job even with their current pay and stop complaining.


Yes, I realize there really are some tech workers in American who are underpaid and, for whatever reason, don't have the freedom to look for work elsewhere. I'm talking about 90% who aren't in such situations.

Comment Re:Can't see the forest for all the trees (Score 1) 388

Batman vs Superman was an okay one time movie, not worth the popcorn and soda that a theater experience requires, but watchable one time movie, just to see WonderWoman and Aquaman.

Certain actors shouldn't fill certain roles. It would have been much better to find an unknown to play Batman than put Ben Affleck in that role. He doesn't have the ability to pull it off. Being behind the mask, requires greater acting ability than normal, because you have to convey more with movement. It doesn't work for Ben as Batman. Though He works in "The Accountant" because his acting ability is fairly wooden, like the character, it works.

Henry Cavill sort of works for Superman, mainly because he "looks" the part.

Comment Re: Use a POTS-simulating phone at riots (Score 1) 226

My implied point was to only take what you absolutely need when you go to someplace where you might be searched, e.g. a demonstration, an airport, etc.

You need a phone call to make outgoing calls.

You may need an incoming number that you can leave with friends.

If you need a camera, take a stand-alone camera with a blank memory card.

If you need a smart phone, buy a burner phone. But most people don't want to spend $50 on a burner smart-phone for each rally they go to.

Comment Use a POTS-simulating phone at riots (Score 1) 226

There are companies that make "plain" cell phones that do nothing but send and receive calls.

They are mostly marketed to people who want "a land line in their pocket." One even advertises "it has dial tone!" (oooh, ahhh, shiney!).

If the feds seize a phone like this, all they will get is the electronic serial number an, consequently, your phone number and whatever they can get with that information. They won't get anything else useful of the phone itself.

Comment Corporations triumph over people again (Score 1) 397

We see corporations go to great lengths to make sure their own data is protected by law and monetized but individual's personal data can be spied on and sold without consent or compensation. If I were to use my Internet connection to analyze my ISP's traffic I am an unauthorized hacker who could receive a prison sentence; my ISP on the other hand could profit by selling my location browser history to the highest bidder with no repercussions under this proposed law.

Being that corporations are entities defined by the State and gain all their power from the State let there be no doubt that the Republicans that support this bill value the power of the State over the individual, antithetical to their publicized platform of limited government and individual rights.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

If the situation is exactly the same up to the point of your two options, then there is a "Self digging shovel" available at some level in both situations. In situation #2, it isn't for sale, and unless you can conclusively promise shovel in one year, for only $5,000 then option 1 is still the only valid consideration. Further, if option 2 says there are no patents (assuming that is the change) then I can build a shelf digging shovel today for whatever price, and as long as the value I get out of it is better than before, I'll get my $20,000 shovel either way.

1) 20000 for shovel get 30000 use from shovel in year one. Year two is how much (no answer in option 1) is it free, or nearly free? Does it cost 20K / year forever (unlikely) or what. Incomplete information leads to bad decisions.

2) Can't buy Self Digging shovel (unknown reason). Promise that they will be available in a year for $5000 (if you believe vaporware promises)

all the unknown variables make your assumptions useless, which is why I chose (and still choose) option 1. Based on the INFORMATION I have, it is the only real choice.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

Heck, you can still charge the same amount as a well-written patent, but can crank it out in an afternoon!

Legal profession robots coming soon for this reason alone. Yes, good lawyers will always be needed, but most "lawyering" today is boilerplate legal forms and processes that can be replicated by a series of questions that pick which process one needs. We can get rid of most lawyers and and streamline the legal processes.

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

In that world, do you think we'd successfully get rid of patents? Also, have you given thought to the implications of getting rid of patents?

No. And Yes.

We'll never because its in the Constitution, and that is next to impossible to change. And I have, and it is liberating of enterprise. I prefer "trade secrets" to Patents for protection anyway.

Comment Won't stop the analog hole, and other holes (Score 1) 248

This does nothing to keep me from pointing a high-speed, high-resolution camera at my screen.

It also does nothing to stop me from doing a "tear-down" of my high-resolution, HDMI, DRM-compliant monitor and monitoring the electrical signals that make the pixels light up.

Sure, this is awkward and expensive, but I, er, I mean people like me in other countries, only have to do this once (per video) then put the results up on the Interwebs for everyone to download.

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