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Comment Re:China Might Try It (Score 1) 439

So yeah maybe this dudes system would work. But *only* if he can measure *everything*.

The dangerous part here is that those attempting to implement such collectivist-oriented, central-planning type systems know this and opt instead to take the easier option to institute control/regulation where they cannot measure, and eliminate/ban/outlaw where they can neither measure nor control/regulate. The failure is that the measurement/control/regulation they seek to implement can never become perfect enough on large scales except to create tyranny, and the attempts become increasingly harmful and counterproductive until the system breaks down and/or revolution replaces it. You cannot have a successful system that runs counter to and/or ignores basic human nature...or requires it's elimination.

What Capitalism attempts to do is simply set up a common framework to allow peaceful, law-abiding people to do what they do and have always done normally anyways (trade goods/services, buy/sell land/property, make investments/contracts, etc) on a relatively even playing field as far as pragmatically and realistically possible.

Although no system is perfect, Capitalism has successfully raised more impoverished people out of poverty over the last ~250 years and consequently empowered them with more control over their lives, than any other system yet orders of magnitude...while simultaneously driving science and technology ahead at an amazing pace, from Kitty Hawk to Apollo 11 in under 100 years.


Comment Re:Trust no one (Score 1) 51

"I'm the only one who can fix this problem", run away as fast as you can.

"Come with me if you want to live!" (- from the movie "Terminator" [and hand in your geek card if you needed this citation])

It seems that "question authority" has more recently been all but replaced by a more-PC "question only authority (and those who hold it) that we say to question...all other authority that agrees with us is sacrosanct".

Start questioning the authority of certain things and suddenly all that "question authority" crap goes right out the window for many, many people and turns to "get 'em!"...sometimes even to the point that calls are made for laws which would criminalize publishing certain arguments and opinions. This sort of behavior is not limited to only one of the 2 major US parties in case you think I'm being partisan. I'm not.

When any group/party/etc must resort to supporting a position by silencing speech and criminalizing opposing thought and opinions, that's a sure sign that they and their position are another "authority" that must be strongly questioned.


Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 0) 444

Well, having male and female bathrooms at all is discriminatory (it's the same shit as whites only bathrooms/ drinking fountains).


There are male and female bathrooms because males and females are anatomically different because they are different sexes and have methods of expelling bodily waste which are different! The two sexes also each have personal and individual rights and needs for privacy.

And did you really actually just dare compare separate bathrooms for males & females to fucking *slavery*!?!? OMG! You think MLK or Malcolm X would be OK with that comparison? Do you think anyone with any knowledge of the history of slavery, with a rational and reasonable sense of proportion and relative importance/significance, would agree?

I can easily understand why you would post this garbage as AC.


Comment Re:Kicking millions of Chinese out of jobs... (Score 2) 136

Part of the cost of automation being less than labor is you create unemployment. This is fine--it's how progress works--and the displaced labor creates a gap between prior cost and new cost, which eventually leads to lower prices (prices don't keep with inflation, in part because it's impossible to hold all prices at the same buying-power equivalent in an economy where the relative price of everything constantly shifts thanks to population expansion, money supply increase, and productivity gains all interacting, and the buying-power total doesn't go up until the price of something goes down).

If you create 0.1% unemployment, no big deal. That gets washed away as the workforce turns over; give it a few months to a year and there's no evidence of that blip--save that we're all a little richer. Those people got new jobs, because we're buying more stuff thanks to that 0.1% difference, and somebody needs to make and move that stuff.

If you create 40% unemployment, that's a problem. Things got cheaper... okay? Who is buying all these cheaper things? Never mind that the money hasn't moved down into the hands of the unemployed (400 times more excluded than when they were just 0.1%); the people still working just found that nearly half their work isn't needed anymore, and you know what that means: they get laid off, too.

It's economically feasible when the cost of new technology is lower, and when the risk proposition across growth spans that technology in an uptake not significantly faster than re-employment. The economy has to respond to lower costs by offering lower prices, which businesses don't do unless they're pressured (e.g. competition, desire to get 5% on 100,000,000 units instead of 15% on 10,000,000 units, etc.). The universal competition--that consumers have limited money, and that every product bought is taken from that pool, thus all products are in competition with all other products--takes some time to launder the changes and produce a fresh, new economy.

China has labor shortages and might just be in a position where the reduced labor shifts chinese labor around such that the outcome is 2% or 5% or 8% unemployment, rather than 40% or 80% unemployment. If it cuts their production costs by 20%, that's a hell of a draw for import labor--China's financial position becomes that people will trade them something (to be determined at a later date; here's money as an IOU) for something China can produce cheaper than the buyer. In the mean time, places like America suddenly see a 20% drop in the price of all kinds of goods, and can buy more; this means we need more shipping, more retail operators, more people at VISA managing your accounts, and so forth. It means poor people spend a smaller chunk of their income on clothes and cell phones (which they probably need today), and more on food (which puts demands on local refineries, chemical producers, municipal water systems, John Deere, and farmers). It means more jobs here in America.

China would get richer and America would get richer just by China reducing the cost of manufacture, at least in a projection where China doesn't create an unemployment crisis in its own country.

Submission + - SPAM: A Basic Income is a Trillion Dollars Cheaper

bluefoxlucid writes: Last week, Slashdot covered a story by some bloke named Robert Greenstein claiming a Universal Basic Income would cost around $3 trillion. Like all such reports, the report uses simplistic policies and bad math: it assumes we give every single American $10,000 more than they have now, with no remediation of existing services or the tax system at large.

In response, I’ve crunched some numbers to demonstrate the real impact of a Universal Social Security, both on poverty and on taxes. The short and long of it is it costs over a trillion dollars less, not three trillion more.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Spotify Is Now Selling _Customer_ Information (Score 1) 106

It sounds like FUD because the article describes Spotify selling targeted ad spots, but there's not much value in just dumping the user's data to every customer buying ads. They'd need an expensive data engineer to come up with all kinds of statistical analysis methods to categorize and analyze that data, and then decide what to do.

It seems more likely Spotify is selling ads based on aggregate statistics. "We have 46 million teenage-college students listening to Bieberpop, and 2 hundred listening to Nickelback; it's $150,000 for a Bieberpop spot."

Comment Re:Thanks for the great answers (Score 1) 158

Then Larry Wall avoided the question by giving an answer to something else. The original poster was talking about EXACTLY WHAT I AM DESCRIBING. He linked to videos of presentations by Netanel Rubin, who demonstrated this code is vulnerable:

use strict; use warnings; use CGI;

my $cgi = CGI->new;

if ( $cgi->upload( 'file' ) ) {

my $file = cgi->param( 'file' );

while ( <$file> ) { print $_; }


This allows remote code execution. He also showed how to break REST APIs that create hashes from user input, as well as the myriad of options opened up if the Perl script uses Catalyst or Mojolicious instead of CGI.PM, which allows you to fill variables with things like lists of hashes.

To be clear about perl: when you evaluate a list as a variable, perl gives a result essentially idempotent with performing the operation on each element of the list and returning the final state--i.e. the immediate result is whatever the result would be if you passed the last element of the list. When you pass a variable containing a list to a function call, perl interprets this as passing the next several parameters, i.e. foo(a, b, c) if given (b) as a list will pass the first element of (b) as (b) and the SECOND element of (b) as (c). This means a lot of validation code breaks quickly when the user sneaks a list into Perl somewhere.

Hashes do similar things: if you can manage to append a value to a hash, it will overwrite an earlier value. Again, perl processes in serial: {a=1, b=2, c=3, b=4} will do exactly what you'd imagine it doing if you iterated through that list as a step-by-step operation instead of an atomic operation, and you will get {a=1, b=4, c=3}. This effectively allowed people to create admin accounts on Bugzillas for a while by submitting their verification form with a list in the password field: Perl would expand the password {pw=$foo} to include all list elements {pw=(foo, bar, baz)} becoming {pw=foo, bar=baz}, and so, of course, you could stick a new entry for an e-mail address into their hash {email=foo@bar, pw=foo,}. Congratulations: you are now a Bugzilla administrator.

THAT is what the OP had asked Larry. Specifically. With examples.

Comment Re: Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 1) 336

There's always work for people to do; but there's not always someone to pay for it. There's a certain total amount of income. Raising minimum wage transfers more of that income to fewer hands, making some people poorer, putting others out of jobs, and making others richer; minimum wage increases can't increase the number of jobs because there isn't actually more money being spent per year, and if you supplied more money you still wouldn't have more stuff being made until technical progress improved productivity.

That means, no, 5% of people aren't out of a job because they're lazy; 5% of people are out of a job because you, me, and everyone else have enough spending money to employ 95% of all of us. 40% of the population turns over every year--almost half of Americans leave their jobs--so there are *always* jobs available. There are slightly fewer jobs than actual people looking for jobs--hence unemployment.

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 1) 336

The rich paid 56% of the collected taxes in 2014. The poor paid 0.15%. The $50,000-$100,000 range paid 19%. That's not marginal rate; that's the proportion of all individual income tax dollars collected by the IRS.

The Universal Social Security plan I designed is four times more effective than existing welfare at under 1/3 the cost. That means literally everyone ends up richer. It stabilizes the economy as well, preventing dips and accelerating growth, meaning the level of total wealth at any point in the future is higher than all modern alternatives.

So do you want yourself, Warren Buffet, me, and EVERY OTHER AMERICAN to all be poorer just so your ideals can be cradled and you can have some vengeance against poor people for their crime of being poor?

Comment Re:Amazon is awesome for knockoffs! (Score 2) 336

One, your rant is interesting because your sole fix for a really bad economy is taxing people more. Can you name a single example where taxing people more, improved things?

Current Federal taxes taken is $2.4 trillion; I modify this to about $1.2 trillion. I guess 1.2 is greater than 2.4 in your world.

Two, you can tax 100 % of the people you think aren't paying enough, and it won't help anyone. The rich can always avoid taxes, where the middle class cannot. The bottom 50% don't pay taxes (because they are poor).

I'm aware of that and accounted for it. You're in "repeat mantra instead of thinking" mode: you haven't engaged your brain in any way except to retrieve tired, old arguments.

Taxing the rich isn't going to fix this problem,

Let me repeat this:

Oh, and the top-tier tax bracket is bounded at 40%. Our flat-tax rate--if we used a flat-income-tax system--would have been 29.97% in 2013; in large part using the top-tier bracket of 39.6% as a sort of risk meter, I conjectured that taxing the richest-of-rich more than 4/3 the effective tax rate was poor tax policy

Let's put this simply: The group of people who end the day with MORE TAKE-HOME PAY in my system is EVERYONE.

As for housing, HUD and Government subsidies PROMOTE being locked into poverty. Because if you earn enough money, you get kicked out and lose your subsidies.

So let's quote myself again:

I wanted a system that would absolutely compensate for inflation, diminish (and survive) recessions, and eliminate welfare traps (i.e. adding employment should *always* add to your income, rather than competing with a welfare service; it's no good getting a $10/hr job and losing $9.75/hr of welfare, because then you get to work for 25 cents an hour and fuck that).

Congratulations: you took the solution I gave and cited the problem I solved.

Repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insane.

This is a tired and often-repeated lie. It's the lie that sells real estate books. "I'm rich; if you do what I did, you'll be rich too." No you won't.

The economy today has a much higher productive output per person, which means some things are possible which weren't possible before. If you're out of air in the tank and suffocating, pulling your mask off underwater means you drown; pulling it off when you're on land means you live. Same action, different consequences. You can't explain that.

You're repeating mantras and not thinking. Use the part of your brain that hurts when it's turned on.

Comment Re:Try Upgrading (Score 1) 409

Sure, let's spend $1,863 billion upgrading the network to 40 times its capacity. Never mind all the cell phone signal on that limited spectrum; more towers in the same spectrum will fix it, somehow!

Polymath here with accounting, finance, and economics as side-interests. Verizon has a 7% average profit margin across its business. They've historically kept their ridiculously-high prices as low as they are by cheating the government (changing the definition of their operation, taking multi-hundred-billion-dollar grants, rebuilding infrastructure, then changing again to reduce their tax obligation), performing strategic projection of network use (figuring that people will use data of a certain size in bursts of smaller sizes, thus will benefit from speeds higher than their network can support at simultaneous 100% saturation from all users, and offering those speeds based on likely saturation during likely time frames), and dangling fees for random shit off the end.

Verizon's operating costs will increase if they try to upgrade their networks out-of-pocket; as you pointed out, they'd have to cheat and try to con the government into giving them hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money. Again. Meanwhile, people have found ways to use those high-speed connections to download more and more shit, rather than accessing the same shit faster.

Ultimately, the users want something for free. To put "something" into perspective: I pay T-Mobile $10/month for 2GB of high-speed LTE+; I've banked around 18GB (I use under 500MB/month) in roll-over data, and I stream Spotify high-quality in my 25-minute commute to and from work, as well as for two 20 minute sessions walking around outside to burn a few extra calories. It wasn't until about 8 months ago I bought Spotify Premium and started storing my most-used playlists on the phone, which cut me down to under 200MB/month of usage.

If we look at my $10/month 2GB and multiply it by, oh I don't know, 50? That's $500/month. That's 100GB on a plan that was blind-sided by text messages and cell phone videos giving way to unlimited NETFLIX streaming to your HDTV! That's right: Some people plug their phone into their TV, boot up Netflix, and use those three little copper dots on the side to send 1080p to their 55 inch LCD all god damn night. Maybe they should get on Wifi!

We set an expectation in a world that was fascinated by the Internet being so fast compared to dial-up modems. We set an expectation in a world of 400K 3G, a world where you could download anything you wanted because data was e-mail and cat pictures. Now we're using 26MBit/s connections for video chat with 6 people and Twitch in HD, and we still expect it to be infinite forever.

You give a man an inch and he wants a mile; you give a woman an inch and she wants eight. Nobody considers you just might not have it.

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