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Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 311


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.

Comment Re:like what? (Score 1) 537

... and creating a new social network for cat videos.

This comment induced me to ponder the social utility of cat videos. Your implication seems to be that whatever value they confer is negligible.

I've seen these videos create bonds between people and to bring a sense of humanity to meetings, between co-workers, and between friends. The content itself may be fungible with other cultural talismans, but their existence and ease of sharing may perform an essential role in bringing people together. It may be the virtual equivalent of a neighborhood barbecue.

Comment Re:Technology is a tool (Score 2) 537

It seems that your point is that technology is a zero-sum game where advancements are never net-positive good for humanity.

I think, as a generalization, this is entirely wrong. Pasteurization, automobiles, the cotton gin, antiobiotics, modern farming techniques, etc, all seem to me to be dramatically net positive. The US requires only 3% of its population to work on food supply and has, compared to history, a miraculous food security. This is a marvel of technological progress.

Specifically speaking to your comments about the internet, it is bringing down the cost of consumer goods, it is giving global communication to new areas (even if asymmetrically), it was used to organize arab spring, it was also used to help bring down the USSR, it gives us GPS, it gives us the ability to connect with friends and family, it makes small businesses easier to start, it makes it possible to trade on the market without a human broker, and on and on and on. The fact that it's used to also recruit for ISIS seems like an anemic negative. It might be radicalizing politics or politics maybe undergoing a messy reorganization. Either way, my position is that the bounty of positive consequences of the internet currently seem to outweigh the speculative and definitive negatives in such a manner as to be patently conclusive. Time and retrospective should improve our understanding of this.

Comment Re: Techies ARE improving the world (Score 2) 537

Your comment is so glib that I shouldn't respond, but I will give it a go.

Europe itself was basically in a never ending war for quite some time. WW1 really destroyed a lot of old organizational principles, these empire like entities. WW2 smacked down the next wannabe empire-like entity and we've gone since then without one on the world stage having any real sort of first world power. Technology and industrialization seemed to make both 'major wars' possible, but they also, I would submit, made the environment inhospitable for pre-industrialization empires. I think we can safely say techies made it possible to reorganize along lines that ended eternal war in the first world, even though the reorg itself was particularly gruesome.

Comment Re:Techies ARE improving the world (Score 4, Insightful) 537

I don't think you're trying to grok in good faith.

You addressed his comments about nuclear weapons in a dismissive way without overwhelming evidence on your side.

You ignored the comments about google, wikipedia, literacy, prosperity, solar cells, and wind mills.

You straw manned him by suggesting his position was that technology has already saved the world, which you followed up by using to paint him as an extremist (the anti-luddite).

So not only do you begin from questionable premises, but you don't really read to understand.

Comment Re:Yea America! (Score 1) 828

Now that I've responded to your enlightening objection, if you feel like actually discussing the subject of "don't ask, don't tell" and helping me to understand why some people believe it is homophobic, that would be appreciated.

Sex is definitely one of the most prevalent topics in our daily lives.

Expression of sexual things is arguably in almost everything we do as human beings and fundamental to how groups of people interact.

Consequently, sexual identity is more than just a small facet of one's identity, it is a major element.

One's own esteem is not, nor should it ever be, considered an individual's responsibility, but is instead enmeshed in the social situation with which they are taking part. Social acceptance is a generally necessary element for satisfaction with life.

Thus, not being able to express one's identity openly leads to self-repression and thus a policy that asks someone to do such a thing is repressive.

Things that repress gay people, specifically, are generally labelled homophobic.

That is why I consider DADT homophobic. But, I tend not to use that word and would prefer the less ambiguous, "repressive" word.

If you can't understand how something is repressive without putting it into context, imagine not being able to wear your wedding ring, not being able to talk about your marriage, not being able to discuss your kids, not being able to express affection for that cute girl you admire in front of your soldier friends for fear of letting them know you're heterosexual, and then really begin to understand just how much of your social communication has your sexuality embedded in it, in some form or fashion, and then try, however impossible it is, to understand what life would be like if you had to neuter everything you say from having any relevance to that.

Comment Re:In b4 shitstorm (Score 1) 435

There are a number of people of prominence throughout history where there is some evidence to suggest they were in fact homosexual. Granted, its assumptive, but I think a moment's reflection says it is not at all irrational to think that these people hid their sexuality in order to be successful.

Isaac Newton is just one of those individuals with whom we can say the possibility that he was homosexual is increased. I think this statement so offends some because they view it with stigma. If you are truly ambivalent as to the morality of sexuality, it is also assumptive to say he was heterosexual. The evidence of his marriage to a woman is not decisive, there are sufficient numbers of modern homosexuals in heterosexual marriages because of social pressure and many more that left them because of a perceived relaxation in social pressure. It is rather bold for the other poster to claim him to be gay, but there is evidence to support the claim.

Would we even know Alan Turing was a homosexual if he wasn't caught by the policeman? I'm not sufficiently caught up in the details of his life to know. I think there is a great desire on the part of homosexuals to claim some luminaries in their camp because it shows homosexuals can be pillars of society. Certainly some of these historical people with evidence are in fact closeted by the laws of probability alone.

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