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Comment I'm not crying in Shanghai (Score 1) 75

At least when there are deals, it's cheaper to get a ride in what's often a nice, shiny luxury sedan than a worn-down, stinky taxi.

So what if Uber gets the whole market? The instant their prices go above what's competitive, someone will spend a few hundred thousand bucks to start a cheaper service. People here can be kind of stingy, which seems to be what Uber is banking on.

Comment Re:reasons for anonimity are more than drugs (Score 1) 251

It's a paraphrase of Cardinal Richelieu, who not only made the following quote, but practiced what he described: "Show me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough therein to hang him."

When the powerful can manipulate their societies into killing as they see fit, it's best to give them as little excuse as possible. The sitting US president claims that he can legally kill Americans on American soil without trial.

Comment Growth is necessary (Score 1) 331

It depends on whether you agree with Malthus that population growth is inevitable or with Condorcet, who believed that birth control could prevent the consequences of exponential population growth.

If the population continues to grow, so too must the economy, or the share of resources available to each person will shrink. There's really no room for argument on that point.

Comment Re:Maybe not extinction... (Score 1) 608

In what sense was the Roman empire not capitalistic?

The major source of labor in the Roman Empire was slave labor, not wage labor, and the major source of wealth was military conquest rather than commerce.

It's extremely difficult for modern people living in industrialized societies to even imagine an alternative to capitalism because it's so pervasive in our world, but it hasn't been around forever and even now capitalism exists only as an imperfectly realized ideal.

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"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham

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