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Comment What does Apple get? (Score 5, Insightful) 127

Since this is in no way a rare instance of a powerful man cashing in public clout for some private wealth, ask yourself what the corporations get in return.

A few hundred million in under priced stock options and bonus money for what? You may or may not like Apple, but they're not a stupid company. The value of a few meetings, a couple of favorable trade exceptions, and some lucrative government contract work probably more than covers this expense.

The really civilized thing is, we do almost all of our bribery above board these days.

Comment Re:There might be light but it is not the big pict (Score 3, Informative) 132

And we have the HFCS to thank for this unfortunate condition

The link between HFCS and diabetes is very, very weak. It is more myth than reality. One study found a correlation at the national level between countries that use a lot of HFCS and also have higher levels of type 2 diabeties, but that is a weak link with very few data points that could have a lot of other explanations rather than direct causality. AFAIK, no study has found a causal link between HFCS and diabetes in humans. If the link was really as strong as many corn critics claim, then it would be very easy to show causality, yet that hasn't happened. I am very interested in this topic, so if someone can cite a study, I would be very interested to see it.

Disclaimer: I try to avoid HFCS (and other sugar as well), but I am not a fanatic about it.

Comment Re:Lifestyle disease (Score 4, Insightful) 132

You *chose* to eat a ********CORN-BASED******** diet and then you blame ********EVERYONE ELSE******** when you get diabetes.

Yes you can. For 30 years, we had public institutions telling people that they should eat a diet based on grains and starch. That was finally exposed as bogus nonsense unsupported by evidence. We can't just shove all the blame onto the individuals who followed the advice of the "experts".

Comment Re: Only? (Score 1) 140

Also it sounds like you were suggesting shitty places to eat lunch and they were doing their best to politely tell you better places to go.

If you leave lunch up the the Japanese, you will eat at Denny's everyday. For some reason, Denny's is considered a good restaurant in Japan, even though the food is just as terrible as what they serve in America.

Comment Re:Back? It never left. (Score 1) 198

Let's take your homeopathy example. Suppose your kid comes to you and says, "Crystals can cure cancer." Start by getting her to think in a scientific way, with questions like, "That's interesting. How would you devise an experiment to test that idea?" You want to at least get them thinking scientifically. If there a little older, you can ask her what experiments have been done to test that idea. This is really easy now with the internet. When I was a teenager my dad taught me to do research at the library, and it was a pain.

As for the 'definition of Pluto,' you can tell her that it's just a definition, and it doesn't fucking matter, you could call it a rose and it wouldn't change the actual physical nature of the object, and arguments over definitions are a waste of time, best left for potheads and morons.

Comment Re:Overtime not paid beyond 80 hours a month (Score 1) 140

Wouldn't this encourage everyone to work as a contractor an be paid hourly? Or is that not a thing in Japan?

In Japan, it is common for women to be paid hourly, while men are paid salary. The result is that early in their careers, women tend to make more than men, but as they age and gain seniority, the men make more. But older people have high mortgages and families to support. So the result is that about 80% of the disposable income in Japan is control by young women in their 20s and 30s. This distorts the economy in surprising ways. For instance, new technology is often packaged primarily for young women, because that is where the big market is. So you see yakuza with tattoos and shaved heads hanging out on the street corner in Harajuku making deals on their cellphones ... which are pink and shaped like "Hello Kitty".

When I was a Marine stationed on Okinawa, 90% of the tourists on the beaches in Nago and Henoko were young single women travelling together from the main islands. I have many fond memories of living on Okinawa.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 0) 140

Hogwash. There is no way that employees would put up with that crap in today's economy. I notice that you don't actually name the company, which is a good idea when you are making up BS. Unemployment in the Seattle area is below 4%, and tech unemployment is around 2%. Every company in the area is desperate for talent, so these workers could quit and walk across the street for a new job. I might tolerate 100 hour weeks for a few years if I was getting paid $300k, but no sane company would pay that when they could hire two workers at normal hours (50 or 60 hour weeks) for the same cost, and get far better productivity.

Comment Re:Only? (Score 5, Informative) 140

The Japanese put in a lot of hours, but not much of that is "working". Japan's productivity is only 60% of America's. There is a social taboo to leave work before your boss, so people stay late and surf the web. The bosses are promoted based on seniority rather than ability, and are often incompetent with no incentive to take the initiative on more enlightened working conditions. It is better to just stick to prevailing social conventions and keep a low profile.

America: The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Japan: The nail that sticks up will be hammered back down.

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