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Comment Re:This is a good thing but for the shaky transiti (Score 1) 353

"So we take power away from those who 'wield the power', and come up with a better means."

I'm talking about "those who wield the power" in whatever system you come up with. Throughout human history, it's always been one person or a small group of people who wield power over everyone else and that power is always abused. Forcing people into collectivism fails because it destroys the incentive for any one individual to produce wealth. That's why you don't see people living and working in communes.

"The other thing we need to fix is the system of government..."

Isn't that essentially the same thing as finding a different means of deciding who wields the power?

There was an economist named Henry George who proposed that government should levy taxes on land, precisely because it is a shared and limited resource. i.e. we should all benefit from the un-earned value of that resource. He makes some good arguments and it might be a very good system of incentives. It still doesn't address the problem of corruption and abuse by those who wield the power to collect & distribute the taxes.

Comment Re:George Soros, the Rothschilds (Score 3, Interesting) 208

Wealth is not the determining factor.

You either believe in the idea of sovereign nations with borders, autonomous governments & a national identity


you believe in open borders, unfettered immigration and subverting national sovereignty to international institutions.

Trump, Steve Bannon, the Koch brothers and Putin are nationalists.

George Soros & The Rothschilds are globalists.

Wealthy people tend to be globalists because they benefit from policies like free trade & open borders, but it's not a given that a rich person is a globalist

Comment Re:This is a good thing but for the shaky transiti (Score 1) 353

"We need a society..."
A: "where the essentials (food, shelter, healthcare) are taken care of,"
B: "where people can choose to do what they want with their life"

Those two things are completely antithetical except in science fiction utopias like the Star Trek universe or "The Culture" novels by Iain M. Banks.

In the real world, the people who wield the power to confiscate the wealth necessary to "take care of" (as you put it) your food, shelter and healthcare would never allow you to choose what you want to do with your life.

Comment Re:Says them (Score 1) 123

That does sound fascinating. Can you provide a link the study or any other info?

I can't seem to find the right combination of search terms.

There are tons of psychology and temperature experiments. Compensation/Overcompensation have their own meanings. There's a "placebo thermostat" experiment and plenty of "placebo button" experiments. We have the psychology of climate change, etc. etc.

I even found instructions about how to use the thermostats from the psych department at UC San Diego!



Comment Re:Dear Funny Americans (Score 4, Insightful) 364

The U.S. federal government has a $4 TRILLION annual budget, more than 22% of GDP. State and local governments in the USA spend another 18% of GDP, so call it $7 TRILLION total in government spending. That's more than $20,000 for every man, woman and child in this country. Don't you think that's more than enough wealth to fund a government?

I'm glad that you feel you're getting value for your money. Would you feel any differently if 25% of your federal taxes were being used to bomb and kill people in foreign countries and to maintain a worldwide network of over 700 permanent military bases? How would you like paying taxes to house the largest per-capita prison population in the world? What if your schools were expensive as hell, but still produced sub-par results? We fund some absolutely enormous welfare programs for seniors, the poor & the disabled, but these programs are unsustainable. Anyone under age 50 is now paying taxes based on government promises that will never be kept.
(I could go on)

And that's only the spending part. The U.S. federal government has also given us GATT, NAFTA, the WTO treaty, The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act, the FISA Revisions Act, the 2012 NDAA, established a ubiquitous and largely secret surveillance state and militarized our police forces. And even with the $1 trillion they spend on "defense" they can't "defend" our borders against an invasion by 20 million illegal immigrants.

And you wonder why a USA resident just might have a negative view of government and be opposed to any further taxation? Not only are we being screwed out of a huge portion of our wealth, many of us are paying for shit that we don't want and for future benefits that we will never receive.

Comment Re:huh? (Score 2) 253

That was my thought as well.

It would certainly never occur to me to associate an ad, or the company whose product is being advertised, with the content of a video in anything more than a marketing sense. I don't think other users make that connection either. Most people realize that Google is targeting ads toward the individual based on all the data they have accumulated about the person.

It was some social justice crusader working at a newspaper in the UK who started looking for videos containing "hate speech"(not sure exactly what it was) and then told the advertisers that their ads were appearing with these apparently "offensive" videos.

Comment Obsession with "self reliance"? Since when? (Score -1) 474

"At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance ..."

Obsession? Not hardly. That aspect of the American system of values is dying, if not dead. I grew up in a culture that valued self reliance as a virtue. Being "on the dole"(on welfare) was viewed as shameful except in the most dire need. Able-bodied people milking the system were rightly viewed as the scumbags that they are. These days, "self reliance" is hardly an "obsession". It doesn't even seem to be a cultural norm anymore. In fact, we now have tens millions of people who shamelessly live their lives by sucking off the hard work of their fellow citizens. People recklessly procreate without the slightest thought about how they're going to provide for the children or do it to increase the size of their welfare checks. Tens of millions more demand not only "Free" food stamps & Section 8 housing, but also demand "Free" education, "Free" healthcare, "Free" childcare, etc. etc.
Where the hell is this "obsession" with self reliance within the ranks of the progressive left who want government to support them in every conceivable way?

That's not to say that the economy isn't fundamentally broken, but fostering a culture where self reliance is a virtue is a good thing.

Comment Liability insurance as a feature? (Score 1) 180

I read one proposal which suggested that liability insurance might be bundled with autonomous vehicles as a marketing tool. Or perhaps an optional feature like leather seats & a sun roof. That seems like a really good idea to me. It would certainly answer this question about who is responsible for an accident. As a selling point, it would make expensive autonomous vehicles extremely attractive to drivers considered to be "high risk" by insurance companies. For someone with multiple accidents & a DUI, insurance could be as much as $5,000 per year. Even more for a young driver. Putting $400/month into a car payment instead of an insurance payment would obviously allow a person to finance a much more expensive car.

Comment Do people make that association? (Score 1) 76

I'm confused. Are people writing angry letters to these companies because of where their ads appeared?

It would never occur to me to associate an advertisement(or the company whose product is being advertised) I see on a YouTube video with the content of that video except in a purely market-driven sense. e.g. I'm watching a video of someone driving a sports car and I see sports car ads.

Do people think that the advertisers pick & choose the specific videos where their ads are going to appear?

Comment Re:While we're at it... (Score 1) 520

" and lets be real, the logic falters when you exercise that right against a military as heavily funded as in the US. "

Your logic falters because you're thinking about warfare only in conventional military terms. Do some reading about guerilla warfare.

Consider Afghanistan, where an insurgency armed with rifles and IEDs was able to fight the U.S. military to a decade-long standstill. What makes you think that the U.S. military would do any better fighting a similar insurgency on U.S. soil? A place with 10x the population and 12x the land area(lower 48)?

Tanks, jet fighters, cruise missiles, artillery and nukes aren't particularly useful when you're fighting an army that's indistinguishable from the civilian population. If 1% of the U.S. people were willing to engage in armed insurrection and 20% were willing to provide logistical support, the government would be destroyed in a war lasting less than 2 years.

Comment Re:Precious Metals? (Score 1) 270

The only reason e-gold crashed and burned was because the feds charged the operators with money laundering and with violating some regulations about money transfer passed as part of the Patriot Act.

It won't be that easy with bitcoin because of the decentralized aspect of it. If there was a "Bitcoin Inc." with a corporate HQ, the feds would have shut it down a long, long time ago. When they really want to crack down on bitcoin, they might just make it a crime to use it for any transaction.

Comment Re:Just for the affluent (Score 1) 374

Schools are going to charge the highest prices that they can get away with, but only up to the point where they start losing students.

The problem now is that students have access to all of this guaranteed loan money. Schools know this, so they will crank up their prices because students have the ability, and thus far, the willingness to pay.

There are ~20 million students enrolled in higher education in the USA. How many of those students have 1%ers for parents? 1 million? Maybe 1.5 million? Schools are not just going to close their doors or lay off 90% of their staff. If they start losing students, they will decrease their prices.

Comment End guaranteed loans (Score 1) 374

Cost: What the university must pay to provide an education service to the students.
Price: What the students are charged for the service.

It is certainly not "cost" increases that have driven the ridiculous rate of "price" increases. Professors aren't getting rich. Costs for building & maintaining classroom space haven't skyrocketed. Nor has anything else that's critical to providing education.

Colleges & Universities, even the supposedly "non profit" institutions are providing a service for a price. Like any other business, they crank up the price as high as they can without losing customers. The availability of "guaranteed" student loans is the only reason that these ridiculous price increases have not caused a sharp decline in enrollment. The schools keep charging more because they know that the students have access to tens of thousands of dollars in debt and can thus pay the price.

Time to get the federal government out of higher education completely. Get rid of this guaranteed access to credit and eliminate loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Tuition prices would have to come way down because the overwhelming majority of people could not afford the price.

Comment Re: Next! (Score 1) 155

"The constitution is quite clear, people are allowed to block public thoroughfares to protest."

Which part of The Constitution would that be? First Amendment protection of "peaceable assembly"?
I would disagree.

One of the fundamental ideas of liberty is that your liberty ends at the point where it infringes on the liberty of others. Restricting someone's freedom of movement seems like an infringement.

When you block a road, you've essentially imprisoned people in their automobiles. They obviously can't proceed because you've blocked the road. On many roads, they would not be able to turn around either, so their only escape route is to abandon their vehicles. You do not have a "right" to put people in that situation as a means of protest.

Taking it a step further, if you believe that you have a "right" to block a public thoroughfare, can you therefore block a public street and sidewalk to prevent a person from leaving their home? Could you surround one or more people on a public sidewalk and prevent them from moving at all?

"If police deem it a problem, they can arrest them."

If the matter is left to the discretion of the state or local police on the scene, the only relevant parts of The Constitution would be the 9th & 10th Amendments. That would mean that there is no Constitutional Right to block a public thoroughfare & it would be within the purview of the states and localities to restrict the practice.

Comment Re:After Trump won the election... (Score 1) 151

Actually, I think that will be a question for the jury. Consider this one.

There was a vehicular homicide case in NJ where a guy was driving way over the speed limit and had a crash which ended up killing his passenger. The fact that the passenger wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time was ruled admissible as evidence for the defense. The jury could thus consider whether it was reckless driving that caused the death or if it was the victim's failure to buckle their seatbelt

Forgot how it turned out, but the penalty for reckless driving causing injury would be way less than vehicular homicide. IANAL, but the penalty for trolling a person with epilepsy by sending a tweet saying "Look at this, I hope you have a seizure!" would be much less severe than for sending something that actually DID cause a seizure.

If the NJ case is any kind of precedent, the jury should at least be allowed to consider the guy's failure to take precautions to guard against his phone causing a seizure. Yes, he should have disabled animation. He also should have turned down the brightness and used the phone only in good ambient light. We'll see.

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