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Comment Re:huh? (Score 1) 250

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) 470

"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) 71

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) 518

" 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.

Comment Re:Why not let the market sort this out? (Score 1) 266

The market is absolutely a real thing. Government is artificial. People would be engaging in commerce with or without government and often do so despite government. Notice that every single time a government tries to ban commerce, the market simply moves underground? Supply finds a way to meet demand regardless of what government tries to do.

If you think it's bad that companies sometimes move in lock step with one another, how is it any better for a government bureaucrat to impose a "one size fits all" policy on the companies thus forcing them to move in lockstep? You also make it sound like you have no options for air travel when you always have the option of buying a first class ticket and getting plenty of space. Some airlines also offer a "business class" which is somewhere in between economy and first. That's the market at work, providing options for a small number of people who are willing to pay a premium for amenities. The overwhelming majority of people are just looking for the cheapest way to get somewhere, so it's hardly a surprise that airlines focus on that segment of the market.

Airlines are not going to give you space for free because some bureaucrat waved a magic wand. Removing one or two rows of seats means that the cost for those seats gets distributed over all the other passengers. Small and average sized people will now be forced to subsidize travel for tall and fat people who are too cheap to buy better tickets.

Comment Finally! (Score 1) 648

Complain if you want to, but when was the last time someone actually had the guts to propose spending cuts to ANY federal government programs? For decades, federal spending has vastly outpaced GDP growth. The federal budget has more than doubled since the early 2000s and increased by 18% in a single year 2008-2009. These people now have a $4 trillion annual budget! Isn't that more than enough?

Spending cuts are not popular. You're going to stir up a shitstorm no matter what you propose cutting. Tax increases are likewise not popular. The scumbags in Washington DC therefore avoid making the hard decisions about spending priorities and play "kick the can down the road" by borrowing. Not only have these assholes racked up $20 Trillion in debt, they've made well over $100 Trillion in future promises that cannot possibly be kept.

I'd certainly prefer that the cuts be made in other areas, but any net reduction in federal spending is a welcome development. Cheers to Trump for having the courage to actually make such a proposal. Let's see some of these critics come up with a competing plan that also cuts spending. Cutting defense would just bring a new set of critics out of the woodwork.

Comment Re:the new age (Score 1) 110

What gives you the idea than indie music is getting "flattened" by the Internet? That seems counter-intuitive. Don't streaming and downloading help to level the playing field because production and distribution costs are so much lower? Wasn't it the old model of distribution via physical media that severely disadvantaged indie music and assured us an ongoing supply of popular garbage?

A few searches on Indie music market share seem to indicate that it's thriving under the streaming model. e.g.

"as popularity of streaming services continues to increase, major labels have increasingly less access to defining and funneling music discovery. The tipping of the scales has resulted in more exposure for indie artists."

Comment Re:Small details. (Score 2) 91

"How is that any better than an independent single body that could be more easily changed?"

What makes you think that a single, centralized gatekeeper could be "more easily changed"? How would that system work and who would get to make the changes?

I'm open to ideas, but trusting any single body with the mission of defining "misinformation" seems really dangerous. That's a huge amount of power and I think it would be extremely vulnerable to corruption and abuse. Imagine what it would be worth to big corporations to get their representatives in place as the single arbiters of truth/reality? They would be looking at every possible way to influence whatever system you created to establish and change that "independent" single body.

Creating that single body as a government agency would be totally insane for obvious reasons. I think that's what he was warning about when he said we can't put the control under a "central authority". Just picture the idea of a Donald Trump or a Hillary Clinton appointing the person who will run the federal "Ministry of Truth"? Scratch the idea of making the single body changeable via the electoral process.

At least with the plural "gatekeepers" model with individual corporations controlling their own services, we have some degree of choice.

Comment Energy & shopping? How about personal use? (Score 1) 352

I didn't even know that energy saving and commerce were the motives behind DST. I thought it was based on the fact that most people work during the day, and it's nice for us to have some extra daylight for outdoor activities after leaving work.
Summer is so freakin' short at 45Â N. Latitude that I want as much daylight as I can get in the evening when the weather is warm. Do we really need to make a political issue out of this?

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