45930's recent activity

  1. Comment on Capitalism isn't 'broken'. It's working all too well - and we're the worse for it in ~misc

    45930 Link Parent
    Well, agree to disagree for the most part. You're still sort of putting words in my mouth here: It's not the nation's success, it's the nation's successful implementation of socialist policies....

    Well, agree to disagree for the most part. You're still sort of putting words in my mouth here:

    I am going to strongly disagree with you about cultural and racial homogeneity being part of a nation's success

    It's not the nation's success, it's the nation's successful implementation of socialist policies.

    re:

    All kinds of insurance work the exact same way

    It's not like it's that simple to run an insurance pool. It's one thing in theory to simply lower prices a bit to the point that you're not making a profit, and get better-negotiated prices because you are a monopsony consumer, but the government still needs to review every claim, negotiate deals with hospitals and pharma, and do all the other shit that comes with operating an insurance company. Just because they don't care about a profit doesn't mean they don't care about running the business well. I believe this could work, but it's really really hard. The system has to be robust to a republican becoming president. The best way to do that is to actually get republicans on board. Republican voters are starting to turn on healthcare in polling, so maybe that's getting close. I don't think you will find long-term success with that kind of program by shoving it through during the first 2 years of a blue cycle. It would simply be removed later.

    Your city or county is now your ISP and maintains the network. You pay them for this service and everything works as it does now.

    I'm all in favor of this, but it's an area where rich liberal tech cities will be doing great, and everywhere else will be SOL. How will the Flint ISP hold up compared to Seattle's? Just like offloading welfare to individual states was probably good for people on welfare in blue states and bad for people in red states, I think local ISP's would be a disaster for a lot of the poor. Of course, I'll take it anyways. I think it's the way of the world that those people are going to be left behind by their inept leaders. But if you want national socialism to work, those are the exact people you need to slow down and wait for.

  2. Comment on Capitalism isn't 'broken'. It's working all too well - and we're the worse for it in ~misc

    45930 Link Parent
    We would? We'd all be better under socialism? I didn't say that it was, I simply defined what I think Capitalism means. Sure they are. Cultural homogeneity, racial homogeneity, physical closeness,...

    I'm sure people would be unhappy in the short run if they have to make some sacrifices, but in the long run we'd all be better off under socialism than we are now.

    We would? We'd all be better under socialism?

    I'm not saying do away with the concept of money, I'm saying it shouldn't be the end-all be-all of a person or country's success

    I didn't say that it was, I simply defined what I think Capitalism means.

    Happiness isn't a tangible thing to measure, no, but when the same few countries consistently rank at the top of the list of happiest countries I think they're on to something.

    Sure they are. Cultural homogeneity, racial homogeneity, physical closeness, lack of war, longstanding cultural predisposition to community, consumption of goods produced by USA and China. Last time I was in Norway, they seemed perfectly happy to trade their goods and services for my money. Under the definition that I put forth, they still operate under capitalism, with government intervention in various specific markets just like the USA. The markets they choose to interfere in are different, but the concept of the free market is not fundamentally different.

    we're the richest country in the history of humanity and have more than enough resources to make sure everyone is healthy and has a safe home.

    We became the richest country in the world through exploitation of the working class. If we stop exploiting the working class, we will no longer be the richest country in the history of humanity. At that time, neither you nor I can guarantee how many resources we'll have.

    The system I'm putting forth is one where the rewards of everyone's labor don't go to a select few at the top.

    Citation needed

    Limit the difference in compensation between the highest and lowest-paid employees of a company and suddenly everyone's getting a raise.

    Or they are getting fired

    Nationalize all forms of insurance so that people don't have to fight tooth and nail to get their cancer treated.

    Something I generally agree with, but you're lacking implementation details

    Outlaw all private schools so that the resources that were going to them can be shared among everyone and create better schools for everyone.

    How do you plan to capture the resources going to a $100k per year private high school? Will you charge rich people $100k to attend public school?

    Regulate internet service as a utility and nationalize that, too

    Again, sure, but what's the implementation?

    Overall, I'm not in disagreement with the outcome you want, but I think you, like so many others are severely under-scrutinizing your assumptions. Part of the reason why socialism has been successful in some places is that in other cultures, people care about their countrymen. Americans, by and large, don't. Even you, in your first sentence, say "sure, socialism isn't popular, but I don't care about the people who will be harmed by it" (paraphrase). Rich people in socialist countries comply with the policies. There is so much efficiency gained by having people with more happily play ball and support people with less. White people in socialist countries think of black people as equals in citizenship and worthiness of support.

    Corporations in the USA today, generally speaking, only follow the law if it's convenient. Rich people don't pay as much tax as they're supposed to. Poor white people hate poor black people. There is a lack of trust in the police. Our culture from day 1 has been to break rules that you don't like, take what you want if you can, and value personal freedoms above personal comfort. I'm not saying that we can't change the culture, or that it hasn't changed over time. I'm not saying that you have to leave if you don't like the culture. What I am saying is that, IMO, the lack of national unity, lack of care for our fellow citizen, and overall personal greed filters us out of the list of countries that socialism would work in for now. Socialism NEEDS support from the people to work.

  3. Comment on Capitalism isn't 'broken'. It's working all too well - and we're the worse for it in ~misc

    45930 Link Parent
    That’s a valid line of thought, but a) Socialism still isn’t extremely popular in the US. Are we talking about you and your friends being happy or everyone being happy? b) There’s not a well...

    That’s a valid line of thought, but

    a) Socialism still isn’t extremely popular in the US. Are we talking about you and your friends being happy or everyone being happy?

    b) There’s not a well tested system that we know of to model happiness. If we get rid of capitalism and replace it with the intent of increasing happiness, we need to have a fairly good idea of how that will work.

    In the world where happiness is the metric, will there be happiness inequality? Will 1% of the most happy people have 50% of the happiness?

    It’s easy to say you’d rather have half the money but double the happiness with the lens of today’s understanding of money, but if you throw the concept of money out the door, how can you estimate how much you would need? In capitalism, everyone maximizes their own amount of money, and with that money they can do what they want. Many people find happiness that way. It’s also possible for the individual to earn less money that they could, but doing something that they love, and they have happiness that way. If you want to make the personal choice to halve your income, I’m sure that’s possible today, but what happiness do you gain? It’s sort of up to you to determine.

    Anyways, my whole point is that to enter a serious discussion (not tildes, more like senate floor) about replacing capitalism, you need to have something more tangibles than “what if we measured happiness instead of money”? Economic output of a certain level is necessary for happiness of the masses. If there’s no doctors because being a doctor doesn’t make people happy, then there’s no universal healthcare. If there’s no food because farming doesn’t make people happy, then you will not be happy. The system you put forth has to incentivize people to perform necessary actions.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others in ~tech

    45930 Link Parent
    I don't know if there is a good exchange but localbitcoins is always an option:...

    I don't know if there is a good exchange but localbitcoins is always an option:

    https://localbitcoins.com/instant-bitcoins/?action=sell&country_code=BR&amount=10000&currency=BRL&place_country=BR&online_provider=ALL_ONLINE&find-offers=Search

    Depending on the circumstances, maybe the scenario I came up with isn't actually solved today. It certainly works in the case that someone is in europe or china or anywhere else where there are perfectly legit crypto-fiat exchanges. The fact that you need an exchange at all is an imperfection in the system, but it's an imperfection that facebook isn't solving.

    I stand by the idea of decentralized money. In the transfer to brazil scenario, the only reason it might not work today is that most people don't accept BTC as money. That's society. But the technology that allows you to transfer ownership for yourself for essentially free is still profound. In the bank scenario, regardless of the fee, you are paying bank A to take some of the money that you've given them, convert it to a different currency through mechanism X, then send that to bank B, which you expect to then hand the money off to someone else. Bank A, mechanism X, and bank B could each just steal your money. They don't because we live in a society. And I'm not some crazy person that doesn't use or appreciate banks. I just appreciate crypto for what an incredible artifact it is, even in its current state.

  5. Comment on Capitalism isn't 'broken'. It's working all too well - and we're the worse for it in ~misc

    45930 Link
    In my experience with the DSA, they seem at best goodhearted without fully thought-through ideas. The biggest point of contention I have with them is the lack of definition about what capitalism...

    In my experience with the DSA, they seem at best goodhearted without fully thought-through ideas.

    The biggest point of contention I have with them is the lack of definition about what capitalism means. I see it used vaguely and/or as an alias for <current US socio-political situation>. I think that this one point has huge implications in any debate about proper economic policy, and what the socialism-as-a-meme crowd is missing is that if you "dismantle capitalism", you will lose some amount of total output that can be shared amongst the people. I wouldn't venture so far as to quantify that, but it's too common to think the GDP is $x per year, so if you split that between n people, we'd each get $x/n per year! That's a fallacy. Actually plugging in the numbers and predicting how far total production would fall should be a priority for anyone proposing a socialist policy.

    When I talk about capitalism, I mean a system by which producers and consumers negotiate a market price for any given market without outside interference. And I also make the assumption that people are interested in their own benefit so that for any market, the highest bidder is not bidding more than they think something is worth, and the lowest seller is not selling for less than what they think something is worth. I couldn't agree on the assumption that people are self-interested with a DSA friend of mine in a facebook debate one time, and I think that's fine, but it disqualifies him and me from talking about capitalism, because we can't agree on what it is.

    Some things that that the US does, that are NOT capitalism, are give subsidies to special interests, limit who is allowed to provide certain services (trading securities, telecom services, etc..), and on the other side, restrict employment to specific conditions (min wage, overtime, safety standards), operate market entities to produce goods and sell them for less than what they are worth (primary school, NPR & PBS). Obviously not an exhaustive list, but I just mean to illustrate ways in which we are not living under capitalism and the C word can't be used interchangeably with America (using my definition).

    IMO, where me and DSA can find common ground is in supporting specific policies and politicians that will reduce the amount of aid that the US government is giving to corporations, and increasing the amount of aid that it is giving to people in need. Unfortunately, I think their rhetoric is far too incendiary and lacking in substance to be useful in shaping policy. While I have my differences with them, I am happy to recognize the value of local organizers in winning elections across the country for progressive candidates. Maybe rabid and undercooked populism is what the left needs to rile people up and get them to the polls, even if the candidates they're supporting are not rabid and undercooked. Yet I am all too aware of the power of people responding to us vs them rhetoric and their ability to elect utterly poor candidates to office. I hope that we don't end up over-radicalizing such that when the left comes back into power in force we make bad policy.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Anyone have experience going to school in their 50s? in ~talk

    45930 Link Parent
    I would also throw out coding bootcamps as an option. The good ones have career services after you complete it. I think the main benefit there is it’s cheaper and faster than most other options. I...

    I would also throw out coding bootcamps as an option. The good ones have career services after you complete it. I think the main benefit there is it’s cheaper and faster than most other options.

    I never did a bootcamp but I did “teach myself how to code” and got a job. I’d also be happy to answer questions if you have any :)

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others in ~tech

    45930 Link Parent
    I'm very much with you that a corporation being in charge of it's own currency sounds like disaster. I basically didn't touch on that at all but yeah. That's a new class of organizational power...

    I'm very much with you that a corporation being in charge of it's own currency sounds like disaster. I basically didn't touch on that at all but yeah. That's a new class of organizational power that we haven't seen in centuries.

    As for decentralized money, the only really good thing so far has been online gambling. That's not to say that it can't have use elsewhere but it's easy to understand and implement. My banks and credit cards won't let me send money to a casino based in the Caribbean, but I don't need a bank or credit card if I have decentralized money.

    Same thing with international money transfers. If I want to send my kid studying abroad in Brazil $5000 for school and food and spending money, I have to pay transfer fees, exchange fees, and maybe I don't even trust that the bank in Brazil will give my kid the full amount. I can send them bitcoin though, and from there, it's one simple local exchange of BTC for reals.

    It's the kind of thing that might not click until you run into how shitty the payment system is today.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others in ~tech

    45930 Link Parent
    You can send BTC across the atlantic today no problem. There is no established B2B money changer, but I don't see why there couldn't be. For far less than $2000 could you send someone BTC, have...

    You can send BTC across the atlantic today no problem. There is no established B2B money changer, but I don't see why there couldn't be. For far less than $2000 could you send someone BTC, have them sell to buy dollars, and then pay whoever you were trying to pay dollars to.

    People have been doing this, decentralized, for years now. I'm not an idiot; obviously this isn't something that's appealing to large corps. But I don't think relying on FB for payment processing should be that attractive to corps either. There's a world where a well-regulated wall st bank could operate an exchange of crypto to fiat, and in that world, large corps could send crypto or tokenized fiat with the same level of confidence as they wire money today. Maybe we'll never get there, but if there's so much demand like you say, then maybe we will.

    As for Facebook, companies will not want to settle in facebookcoin. At least not for a looooong time. So the underlying issue of money exchange remains. Facebook can't snap their fingers and make crypto payments ubiquitous. Maybe on their own ecosystem of apps they can. FB and instagram users can pay each other. But it doesn't extend to "real life". If I'm buying a software license for my team, I'm not doing it on facebook. I can pay you in fbcoin for the license but then you need a way to offload it into fiat, same as if I paid you in BTC.

    Facebook can tackle these things, sure. But the Winklevii are trying to do the same stuff with BTC. Coinbase is out there trying to make it happen for traditional crypto. The EU might flex on FB and prevent adoption in Europe. What I'm saying is FB hasn't solved those problems at launch. It's just another centralized token. None of them have been successful so far. Regular people are already using crypto to solve all of your problems, so when it comes to regulation and normalization for business, BTC has a track record of success after more than a decade of experimentation.

    Certainly companies need to get involved to take any kind of crypto mainstream and tackle your 3 pain points. But companies can and are trying to built off of the work of the decentralized community and add value in that way. Centralized blockchains are necessarily counter to the strengths of the technology. What FB gains in making up a currency is that they can avoid dealing with the bank-based payment system and regulations. But like I said in my first post, the average fb user doesn't seem to get anything over using venmo, square, paypal, google wallet, or anything else. Payments settle faster, but if I want to cash out, I wait the same 2-4 days. It's still subject to any kind of downtime that FB might experience because it's not decentralized. You're giving more of your data to FB, which a not-insignificant number of people are starting to get wise to. I just don't see it. And for this to become the de facto B2B international transfer tool would require such an undeniable success in the P2P space, and years of proven security.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Facebook’s cryptocurrency to debut next week backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others in ~tech

    45930 Link Parent
    I'm not convinced that a coin with a pragmatic approach to the "real world", a best-in-class dev team, and a real grassroots developer base can't succeed (namely ether). That said, I sold all of...

    I'm not convinced that a coin with a pragmatic approach to the "real world", a best-in-class dev team, and a real grassroots developer base can't succeed (namely ether). That said, I sold all of my crypto while the getting was good. I don't understand what problem facebookcoin is solving, given that it's NOT decentralized. I can see how FB might use it to shirk various regulatory bodies, but I don't see why anyone else would want to use it. I have used bitcoin and ether to actually move money. There's a legit use-case that they're solving for right now, which is transferring money across borders, or to blacklisted parties without banks' knowledge or fees.

    Maybe that's not the world-changing use case that will give crypto the next big run, but it's something. Facebookcoin will just be the same as every other P2P payment app just with a different backend. Maybe it will enable tipping on instagram and FB. Maybe it will become somewhat popular and be an experiment in toppling nation-states' control over money (even though this is going to be pegged to nation-state money). In any case, it won't make other crypto's obsolete. The crypto-nerds are looking for a breakthrough in decentralized money, and this ain't it. But I don't think it will harm the progress. If anything, I see this as more harmful to central banks.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on 12 white male officers sue San Francisco police for race, sex bias in ~news

    45930 Link Parent
    Diversity and inclusion. It’s a phrase we use at my office a lot.

    Diversity and inclusion. It’s a phrase we use at my office a lot.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on 12 white male officers sue San Francisco police for race, sex bias in ~news

    45930 Link Parent
    If the test was introduced in the 70s as a way to make sure minorities were getting promoted, then by your logic, the same people that were not promoting minorities in the first place could “round...

    If the test was introduced in the 70s as a way to make sure minorities were getting promoted, then by your logic, the same people that were not promoting minorities in the first place could “round out” the results and continue to not promote them. If that happened then, minority police would probably file a similar suit right?

  12. Comment on 12 white male officers sue San Francisco police for race, sex bias in ~news

    45930 Link Parent
    I guess I let my ignorance color my comment, but the part about the SF cops being progressive is besides the point. My main point is that if you set a standard of some kind, then ignore it, you're...

    I guess I let my ignorance color my comment, but the part about the SF cops being progressive is besides the point. My main point is that if you set a standard of some kind, then ignore it, you're opening yourself (or in this case, your cause) up to issues. It's just a broad take based on skimming the article, and I'm not trying to delve into the situation specifically so much as call for as much careful planning and forecasting as possible when designing systems.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on 12 white male officers sue San Francisco police for race, sex bias in ~news

    45930 Link Parent
    This is actually sort of an interesting look at the other side of d&i. I don’t think that there should be some kind of standardized test to promote police officers, but if there is, and 3 people...

    This is actually sort of an interesting look at the other side of d&i. I don’t think that there should be some kind of standardized test to promote police officers, but if there is, and 3 people get promoted over 11 higher-scoring candidates, then that’s fishy. A big asterisk here is how big is this population? Is it 600 cops and numbers 12-14 got promoted, or is it 14 cops?

    Anyways, it gives the white supremacists a foothold with the “changing the goalposts” argument. In 1979, I assume it was supremely difficult to get promoted as a minority or female officer. But SF is so liberal that I doubt it’s an issue today (source: my ass), but this artifact that they put in place to even the playing field is now being used against them.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on What are you reading these days? #21 in ~books

    45930 Link Parent
    Thanks for the recommendations!

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  15. Comment on What are you reading these days? #21 in ~books

    45930 Link
    Reading The Grapes of Wrath currently. I've been dabbling in Steinbeck for the past year but I decided it's time to read the "big" one. Goddamn am I enjoying it. It's shocking how well Steinbeck...

    Reading The Grapes of Wrath currently. I've been dabbling in Steinbeck for the past year but I decided it's time to read the "big" one. Goddamn am I enjoying it. It's shocking how well Steinbeck is able to write about humans. I wouldn't necessarily call it a "page turner" in the way that a lot of the Fantasy I read is, but he's not falling back on contrived plots and magical worlds to hold interest. He's not heavy handed in explicitly describing characters' thoughts, yet he somehow manages to convey all of the tension and desired and humanity of each character.

    Also recently read Oedipus the King, and plan to read the rest of the Theban plays soon. This is a continuation of a project of mine to work my way through a skeleton of western Canon. So far I've read Homer and Herodotus. After Sophocles, I am thinking Aesyclus or Plato, depending on my mood. I thought Oedipus was fine. I feel like it was pretty obvious where it was going, even without the modern connotation of the titular character's name. I think it's incredible that I can read such an ancient work, and I appreciate it for what it is. But it's not like it made me want to swear off books written after Christ.

    Before those 2 I read Bad Blood: The... Theranos book. I enjoyed it. I guess there's not much to say about it since the story has been covered to death in all mediums. I basically didn't follow the story at all before reading the book because I knew it was on my list. I recommend that approach if it's still possible. And before that I read The Wayward Bus, another Steinbeck. Compared to like goodreads consensus and what I've read on the internet as far as reviews, this is the Steinbeck that I have the most differential view on I guess. I thought it was an absolute gem. For me it was the best of Steinbeck in a smaller package. It was all the incisive on America and the stories of different kinds of people that represent Americans in different social classes, without as much in the ways of setting up that his great novels have. You could read all of The Wayward Bus before East of Eden really starts its main story.

    That's the past couple months for me. I don't always read so much, but I've been enjoying having the time and interest in it lately.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What are you reading these days? #21 in ~books

    45930 Link Parent
    Might go without saying but checkout "Song of Achilles" as well. I liked it even better.

    Might go without saying but checkout "Song of Achilles" as well. I liked it even better.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Transgender hurdler CeCe Telfer easily wins national championship by more than 0.5 seconds. in ~sports

    45930 Link Parent
    When it comes to sports, women’s divisions are almost always less competitive than men’s divisions. IMO if someone does not obviously meet the criteria to participate in the weaker division, then...

    When it comes to sports, women’s divisions are almost always less competitive than men’s divisions. IMO if someone does not obviously meet the criteria to participate in the weaker division, then they should compete against “open company “. Maybe people can start funding transgender competitions as well as male and female but I sort of doubt that would ever get as popular even as women’s sports.

    Im not actually super familiar with the history of women’s sports and how they ended up carving out their own competitions. But we’ve seemingly respected that until now. It seems like it sort of has to come down to that group of people, female athletes, judges of female athletes, etc... to decide who’s allowed to compete because they’re already an exclusive, discriminatory group.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper in ~books

    45930 Link Parent
    Im not trying to take away from your work personally, or put down anyone for their own hard work. I’m taking a critical view on the process though. If you cite 50 papers to build a geological...

    Im not trying to take away from your work personally, or put down anyone for their own hard work.

    I’m taking a critical view on the process though. If you cite 50 papers to build a geological history, but you say yourself that many if not all of those 50 are unrelated to your own study then whats the point?

    I think one valid reason is to make students go through the process of citing things and discovering relevant papers.

    But there are other skills that aren’t getting trained by this exercise, namely critical reading and reading comprehension. Any given student can take it upon themself to read and understand some of the research they are citing, and even be critical of certain methods, but that’s not required to succeed at the research paper. The most important things, at least in my experience, is adherence to form (e.g. geological history) and proper methodology for your own experimentation.

    So the only point I’m trying to make, building on top of the comment about searching digital documents for good one-liners, is that potentially there are other skills that we should be developing in our students/future researchers in addition to those that are currently being developed.

  19. Comment on The Books of College Libraries Are Turning Into Wallpaper in ~books

    45930 Link Parent
    I think the bigger point, at least for me, is that no actual survey of literature is being done by college kids. You can just look for stuff with a title that seems to support what you’re saying...

    I think the bigger point, at least for me, is that no actual survey of literature is being done by college kids. You can just look for stuff with a title that seems to support what you’re saying and throw it in as a citation.

    I don’t know what the point is of citing 200 works for your thesis. If you “don’t have time” to read and understand another person’s work, then you shouldn’t use their work as a basis for your own.

    Now I understand that in the timeframe and level of baseline knowledge a college student has, it’s silly to expect any real research to be done, and I wouldn’t hold anyone to that kind of standard. But imo, maybe in addition to going through the motions of writing a paper with all these sources, another assignment could be to simply read and get very deep into something that interests you. Start with one paper and maybe a paper that it references and then the assignment could be a short summary of what you learned and how the more recent work built on the older work. Just as an example of an assignment that rewards reading comprehension rather than the copy paste game.

    1 vote
  20. Comment on Music Streaming Services Are Gaslighting Us in ~music

    45930 Link Parent
    I don't mean lazy as a value judgement. I mean if you use ONLY Spotify and complain that it isn't recommending you music that you like, you can either suck it up, or spend more time discovering...

    I don't mean lazy as a value judgement. I mean if you use ONLY Spotify and complain that it isn't recommending you music that you like, you can either suck it up, or spend more time discovering new stuff. It sounds like you chose the latter. My point is if someone didn't follow music discussions in 2005 and they still don't follow music discussions in 2019, they are getting much better recommendations now than they did then. Therefore everything has only improved. Honestly anything bashing the tech involved with music streaming, I'm going to take issue with. The artists rights and general capitalism things can always be addressed, but streaming sites put the entire fucking world at our fingertips and people still find something to complain about.

    In 2005 if there were a listen_to_this equivalent, you would not be able to listen to a lot of the stuff that was posted. You could check the library or the record store, but who knows how much you would find? Now you can essentially listen to all of it. Even if the occasional track is not on a streaming service, it's still a better hit rate than it used to be.

    So comparing Spotify's recommendations to human is not fair. The latter takes time and energy to be spent discovering good sources and people whose tastes match your own. The only fair comparison for passive music discovery is like the itunes store top 100 songs page.

    3 votes