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Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 2) 310

Corrupt, terrible, awesome, tremendous, disaster. I feel like powerful words have lost all their power through capricious use.

Hotel owners are part of the polity and deserve to have a voice in government. Hotel owners were not the only ones asking for this. Corruption is a serious charge which you throw out with no evidence. Maybe your point is that they have undue influence?

It wasn't the land owners that decided the original zoning in your stated example. There's a reason that these things are decided at a more encompassing level than just HOAs.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 0) 310

If we did away with all restrictions, we could stack people in 70 square foot rooms, 10 people to a bathroom, for almost nothing. Especially if we did away with fire safety codes. Housing costs cannot be the only metric upon which we try to min/max with residential codes. Of course, they increase housing costs. It is patently obvious. Still not sure it makes the point I infer that you're attempting to imply, namely that we're overrun with zoning policies.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 311

https://www.citi.com/credit-cards/credit-cards-citi/citi.action?ID=chip-technology-questions

How is it a complete farce if the chip is more secure? My understanding is that the magnetic strips were frequently swiped into card readers in order to steal, but the chip is harder to steal in this way. To use your terminology, it moves from a model where it's "something you can both have" to a model where "only one of you can have it."

Comment Re:Yelp 2.0? (Score 2) 77

Amazon was the first retailer to invite accurate reviews of its products and it clearly carries very poorly reviewed products. I doubt they are without bias, of course. They stated it was in their long term interests to allow accurate reviews. They implemented it in the face of serious complaints on the parts of their sellers. Given their track record, it seems cheap to call bullshit so quickly.

Comment Re:Incentivized is not necessarily fake (Score 1) 77

There was a recent study that basically showed incentivized reviews were significantly more positive on products.

Given the bias, we should probably downvote those reviews. Even if some of them are trying to help, on balance, if they really wanted to help they wouldn't write a review on a product they didn't pay for.

Comment Re:This is stupid (Score 2) 334

Here's a list of 100 entrepreneurs who succeeded with little or no education ...

I suppose it depends on your definition of education.

Abraham Lincoln is the first gentleperson on your list and I would submit that he is one of the most educated presidents the US has had. He managed to become educated without much formal schooling, which is quite the accomplishment. This is based on my understanding of the word educated, however.

If you define an education as the transmission of wisdom or knowledge from those who have it to those that don't, I can conceive of few better ways to acquire an education than to spend one's youth reading books, provided one has the appetite for it. Mr. Lincoln seems to have been no slouch in this regard! Not to say that a great institution cannot generally out perform reading to one's self if the student maintains an equal appetite.

On the other hand, quite a large number of people attend school without receiving much knowledge or wisdom, and I concede some would claim they received an education. I wouldn't agree. If ITT was giving people an education, as I define it, I suspect the value of the experience would more easily subsidize the cost, regardless of the reputation of the degree.

I strongly believe that no one is really successful without an education, and many are able to achieve great things by acquiring an education in an unusual manner. Lincoln is no exception.

Unfortunately, I think the modern conception of education serves institutions, more than the population, who charge tuition and distracts from the original intent and meaning of the word.

Comment Re:Bottom line... (Score 1) 184

I think it is more like, the chances my wife or kid will die are lower in the free market over the long haul than in a hyper-regulated one. It is a little easier to connect the lack of regulation to a death, than to connect hyper-regulation to death, but the latter is possible, too. I'm not a libertarian... I just feel we should have the best arguments going.

Comment Re:Capitalism is charity (Score 2) 537

Capitalism is at it's best when it is taking more jobs than it replaces. Take AWS, for instance. It takes less people and capital to run a web app in AWS than it does to build a traditional data center. More DC techs lose their jobs than gain one any time a large web app is moved into AWS.

And, this is a great thing. It makes it easier and cheaper to build web apps in AWS. Moreover, freeing people from a role may seem harsh to those people, ie it removes from them an income and gives them security issues, but in the larger scope of society, it means those people are free labor to work on something new, something different. Capitalism has historically also created new markets and 'created' jobs when there is a combination of cheaper labor and cheaper platforms (like AWS). All this leads to innovation in products and services which benefit us all.

I'm not saying capitalism is without ill, but it's hardly a zero sum game. The top five largest cap companies have all brought us innovations that make everyday life easier in the last 10 years. Apple has provided solid consumer electronics, Google has indexed information better than anyone else, Microsoft has provided office productivity and an OS with a remarkably stable API/platform (yes, yes, it sux0rs compared to linux's beautiful, ever evolving arch, but it does have this one good property), Amazon has brought down the price, increased the selection, and increased the availability of consumer goods and also provided the world with a cheap virtual data center for small businesses.

Each of these top 5 companies have some seriously questionable business practices, sure. Still, they all have delivered products or services that their respective consumers consider significant advancements in their lives or places of work. They all created new markets and cannibalized old ones, simultaneously. It isn't zero-sum. While we may debate this point, and on slashdot many would, I would submit that most people consider our lives better for the existence of these five companies.

I definitely agree that food security should properly be going up and that it is disturbing when it goes down. Hunger in America stats suggests food insecurity increased in 2008 but has been going down steadily since then. I'm in agreement that bull markets and exotic derivatives were a significant ill our capitalist system. We've done some things to reverse or prevent those trends, and I'm willing to agree we haven't gone as far as we should, maybe even that we've significantly missed the mark. In the context of history, these trend lines exist in a very short window and the history of the United States and post-perpetual-war Europe shows a miraculous increase in quality of life and food security. What atrocities capitalism commits seem over-matched by the miracles it induces.

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