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Comment Re: Robots are good (Score 1) 241

Doesn't matter how essential the goods are. All that matters is that competition exists in the market. And if robots can make anything, competition is trivial - just buy some robots and sell the thing cheaper (but still at a profit) and completely displace the other guy.

For that matter, we've seen this curve before - for normal consumer goods, why not have your own manufacturing robots at home, and avoid the markup? There are a few good reasons, but only if the markup isn't too high.

Comment Re: Robots are good (Score 1) 241

Self-checkouts, for instance do not offer any savings to consumers that use them over using a checkout with a human teller, for instance.

The store saves on overall labor costs. Given how competitive grocery stores (usually) are, prices go down at least a little for all shoppers. This is an example where automation won't kill all the jobs any time soon, as many people like the human contact of the checker, and avoid the self-checkout. But one day maybe checkout-free stores (like Amazon is pioneering) will displace normal stores, due to lower price.

Supply is one variable. Delivered cost is another. Technology is mostly about the latter - technology is that which makes it cheaper to produce something.

Comment Re:CEO's now ... (Score 1) 241

The CEOs in Atlas Shrugged won their war by unionizing and going on strike.

More than that. Rand realized that a well-managed company could continue for a long time without its CEO, as the next tier down would be good leaders as well, so she had the striking CEOs actively destroy what they had built.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 1) 380

When functional programmers talk about state they're referring to mutable state. What you are describing is simply data.

That isn't a function, not in the mathematical sense.

Until functional programmers start speaking the same language as people in industry, we'll keep rolling our eyes and ignoring you.

Comment Re:Vigorous debate? Surely you jest (Score 3, Insightful) 358

Your problems are twofold.

1. You think libertarian is a synonym for conservative,
2. You believe that now that leftist voices don't drown out all others, that Slashdot is now a "conservative echo chamber." This is the response of people who are not used to having their ideas challenged.

Slashdot has always leaned left. Now it's centrist. And that bothers you. Ars Technica is leaning further left these days, so go hang there. They have a user moderation system that's dumber than Slashdot's, but at least you won't get the banhammer for irking any of the hired moderators on the articles anymore.

Comment Re:Bad data from poor implementation (Score 1) 358

Indeed. This system is a fraud that only replaces multiple welfare programs with cold, hard cash. It might reduce costs of administration, but it isn't basic income.

I would like to see a basic income program that truly pays everyone, but with the ability for those who don't need it to opt out. Let's see the wealthy progressives literally put their money where their mouths are.

Comment Re:Unintended consequences (Score 2) 358

This is clearly need-based in thinking.

If one person can get by on $X, it doesn't mean two people need $X*2. Housing is normally the greatest cost to a household. My rent or mortgage has always been my biggest bill, even when I lived in a dump in the 1990s. I had a new car, and the rent was still double the car payment.

Comment Re:Moderate usage okay (Score 1) 380

Just guessing what AC means, but assuming he's talking about Java, enum's in Java can take arbitrary values (they're just instances of a class, and so can have as much state as you'd like, including lambdas). It lets you do the equivalent of creating an interface with one method, and a class that implements that one method specifically for each enum, without all that clutter and boilerplate. But it's a bit hacky, and best kept to small, self-evident lambdas. Java-style enums, aka "class enums", let you avoid a lot of switching in general, since often you were just getting some constant value associated with each enum value.

Comment Re:Wrong question (Score 1) 380

"To understand recursion in programming, first we must discuss recursion in programming".

To understand recursion, first we must understand recursion, and then we must understand tail recursion.

To understand recursion, we must incrementally increase our understanding of primitive recursion.

Comment Re:It has its uses (Score 1) 380

None of that sounds right. Every heard of currying? There's no real difference between a lambda and an object full of state, beyond the syntax. Lambdas capture arbitrary state. (Plus, in real software, the results of some functions is often some measurement of some changing real-world thing.)

Comment Re:Cultural ethics won't allow work-free life (Score 1) 241

As long as the capital class continues to manipulate the tax code to fund government on the backs of wage earners,

Did you just feed Marx into a Markov chain generator (Marxof generator!)? Short-term capital gains and dividends are taxed the same as income. Long term gets a discount, which is a hack to account for the fact we don't inflation-adjust capital gains taxes (and a hack that of course favors the powerful - every bit of complexity in the tax system exists to favor the powerful, in any economic system).

The sensible course is to inflation-adjust capital gains, then tax them exactly as income, no distinction. So of course we'll never do that.

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