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Comment Re:So you say, Solandri.... (Score 2) 246

| But by abandoning the gold standard and not coming up with anything concrete to replace gold, we effectively said our currency is no longer tied to anything tangible of any value, so only faith in our leaders managing everything keeps it afloat.

| IMO, that's proven to be a terrible fiscal policy

Monetary policy, not fiscal policy.

| -- as we saw with the Federal Reserve running out of techniques or ideas to control things during the last economic crash.

To the contrary, the Fed employed a large variety of new techniques.

| Interest rates were dropped to near 0% and none of the decreases were having the expected/desired effect on the economy.

To the contrary, they had the expected effect. The european central bank stayed more orthodox and less accomodative, and their recovery has been weaker and later, to the degree that their interest rates and growth is still extremely low and the US Fed is on a path of rising interest rates thanks to an economic recovery, far lower unemployment, higher output, and still moderate inflation.

Ben Bernanke is the best Fed Chairman in the history of the institution.

Comment Re:Wrong even if correct (Score 2) 246

"The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates."

The point is that targeting 0% inflation results in much more harm to employment than targeting 2% inflation as is done.

And given that people have the opportunity to invest in all sorts of instruments that take this into account, it is not theft.

Comment Gold had a useful value once, but not any more (Score 1) 246

That value was proof in a low-information-velocity economy. Prior to the discovery of electromagnetism and its technology, there was no easy way to guarantee monetary payment over distances. I.e. payee didn't know for sure that payor was good for the money. In some limited areas where such thing could be checked and punishment made if found to be false (e.g. in a city or small political entity with reliable enforcement), you might be able to get away with more but in general, gold was the most effective and reliable transfer of that information.

That central advantage outweighed the other problems. And before the 19th century, economic growth rates were low all over the planet.

Today, electronic funds transfers can give notice of insufficient funds either immediately or with short notice, so the prime technological argument for gold is no longer applicable, and the monetary disadvantages are central.

The unsuitability of bitcoin as a currency for general economic use is the primary reason for its spontaneous popularity. Almost everybody who wants some is speculating on the possibility of instability in the 'shortage' direction. There is no bond market in bitcoin.

The other primary use case for bitcoin is of course enabling criminality---a means of clandestine monetary exchange outside the standard payment systems and their regulation.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1, Insightful) 1028

Why is Russia willing to pick a fight with the US again, and keep building new nuclear weapons and threatining people with them?

The US is maintaining only a 1960's ICBM and a 1970's SLBM, but Russia keeps building and designing new ones. Why? Why do they get a free pass to act like they are lead by a KGB thug?

Comment Re:No, they didn't. (Score 4, Informative) 1028

Actually most of the fallout comes from the fission products themselves. Modern nukes like a 300kT warhead from a MIRV are 2/3rds fission, mostly in the secondary. So the amount of radionuclides is almost proportional to yield and about the same between airburst and groundburst and it is a large.

It would be more widely dispersed in the air however, and perhaps that's the difference.

Comment Re:A tritiumn lab? (Score 4, Informative) 55


Because substantial amounts of tritium are essential for "boosted" fission nuclear weapons. Tritium (and deuterium, which is cheap and easy to procure) adds fusion to the core of a fission warhead. It's not significant in energy production directly (unlike a true H-bomb) but it substantially increases the efficiency and potency of the fission reaction by adding a boost of neutrons at the moment of maximum compression.

It is considered essential to producing warheads which are small enough for militarily capable missiles.

Hackers were hence probably DPRK.

Comment Re:It can join python 3m=, vb.net, and perl 6 (Score 2) 121

| A fundamental difference between regular business people, and computery people. They don't want to rework everything, and we'll rework everything because of because.

They don't want to rework everything (in the technology), because their career success depends on advancing the business. In the areas that they work on and are part of their career evaluation, there is plenty of churn in initiatives, reorganizations, and management styles and 'paradigms'.

The technologists have the same problem doing excessive reworking and rewriting their frameworks and 'paradigms' and deployment platforms etc for their own career desires, and have the same opinion of useless management fad changes as the business has with technology fad changes.

Comment Re:Does anybody really doubt it (Score 3, Interesting) 706

It doesn't sound like a robbery. And it doesn't sound like something the Clintons would do.

It does sound like something Putin's men would do. Putin is clearly running the old KGB playbooks and interfering in US elections they way they used to interfere in Europe, but in the modern way.

Pressure Rich for dirt, and then ice him when he starts getting nervous and talks to FBI.

Comment Re:History repeats itself (Score 3, Informative) 387

| Higgs was ridiculed for good 50 years.This is no different.

It's completely different. The scalar "Higgs/6 other authors" field was never ridiculed.

Higgs field was an essential part of an extraordinarily empirically successful theory and was generally accepted as 'probably real' by the 1970's, but was difficult to find experimentally.

Comment Re:My thoughts... (Score 1) 387

> And the mathematics behind these things is very primitive and simple, there is no elegance.

> But string theory is different. Although it has not been a success phenomenologically, it has led to many beautiful results in mathematics and field theory,

That is judging physics approaches by how fun are the mathematics they induce. Which is exactly the attitude which is being criticized.

As far as 'primitive and simple'----a primitive and simple phenomenological theory which gets the core behavior right and predicts O(0) and O(1) and maybe even O(2) effects is a fantastic and insightful triumph in most areas of physics!

If string theory is clever mathematics, let mathemeticians do it, and judge it their own way. In practice, as there is a roughly zero-sum competition for theoretical physics funding, I submit that string theory approaches have taken up far too much attention compared to so many other areas of potential study, most of which have not yet demonstrated themselves to be, over 40 years of intense study, fiercely repellent to experimental implication.

> These other "quantum gravity" approaches that Smolin champions are completely disconnected from any kind of real physics

Other than quantum mechanics and gravitation?

Comment Re:The Ultimate Computer (Score 1) 441

> Because I'd use that massive wealth to provide people with bread and circuses and invest the rest to developing promising new technologies,

And you'd be outcompeted & defeated by the other trillionaires from SPECTRE who don't bother wasting their resources at disposal on that sort of wussy stuff but on dominating people like you.

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