vord's recent activity

  1. Comment on Robert Reich: Everything You Need to Know About the New Economy in ~talk

    vord Link Parent
    Pardon my bluntness, but this is flat out wrong. Minimum wage in 1950 was $7.98 in today's dollars, but the costs of living were drastically more in line with that wage. Let's see how that breaks...

    No. Maybe this was true for a very small portion of people, but it was never the norm.

    Pardon my bluntness, but this is flat out wrong. Minimum wage in 1950 was $7.98 in today's dollars, but the costs of living were drastically more in line with that wage. Let's see how that breaks down for college and housing.

    As far back as 1931, college tuition was ~$19,000 in 2016 dollars for the most expensive college in the nation. In 2016, the average cost of tuition was $13,500. The school which had the $19,000 tuition in 1931 now has a tuition of $72,990. For $19k tuition, it required 60 (40 hour) week's wages. To afford a $72,000 tuition, that would require 225 weeks wages. This holds true across the board...there were and still are more affordable options, but broadly speaking, it was affordable in 1950 for someone to save for a few short years on minimum wage to afford a college education. This is no longer possible today.

    Housing is a similiar story: Median home price (in 2016 dollars) in 1950 was $73k. Median home price in 2016 was $300k. To buy a house with cash: ~230 weeks (4.5 years) of work in 1950, ~940 weeks (18 years) in 2016.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on We are back at square one of personal messaging in ~tech

    vord Link Parent
    The feature sets of Email/IRC are not why they are superior. It is because they are using a standardized protocol. Say what you will about email's or IRC's lack of features, but the real point is...

    The feature sets of Email/IRC are not why they are superior. It is because they are using a standardized protocol. Say what you will about email's or IRC's lack of features, but the real point is that anybody can create a new email or IRC client. That is not true of Telegram or Viber.

    The only reason there are 8000+ chat protocols is because everybody wants their own walled garden of users to be data-mined.

    7 votes
  3. Comment on We are back at square one of personal messaging in ~tech

    vord Link
    IMO, email is still the superior electronic communication medium, simply because it has a standardized protocol all clients can implement. IRC fits this bill nicely as well. Matrix.org (with...

    IMO, email is still the superior electronic communication medium, simply because it has a standardized protocol all clients can implement. IRC fits this bill nicely as well. Matrix.org (with Riot.IM as the definitive client atm) is a good step in this direction, but it's still immature and quashing bugs. I fear that while the app market of "build a userbase then monetize that base" is perpetuated, we'll never arrive at a modern, standardized protocol the way SMS, Email, IRC was in the past.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on This Week in Election Night, 2020 (Week 4) in ~news

    vord Link Parent
    Perhaps some sort of summary bot to assist with writing short blurbs? While your commentary on each link is delightful, if it's becoming too burdensome to give a personal touch on everything,...

    Perhaps some sort of summary bot to assist with writing short blurbs? While your commentary on each link is delightful, if it's becoming too burdensome to give a personal touch on everything, something like this might be useful?

    I've leveraged https://smmry.com/ before, to help cut the fat and get to the meat of articles.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Robert Reich: Everything You Need to Know About the New Economy in ~talk

    vord Link
    I would post every Robert Reich video here, but let's start with this one. A key point from this video is that the only way to fight the movement that elected Trump (Authoritarian Populism) is...

    I would post every Robert Reich video here, but let's start with this one. A key point from this video is that the only way to fight the movement that elected Trump (Authoritarian Populism) is with Progressive Populism.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Make Netflix Remove "DRM" in ~misc

    vord Link Parent
    All DRM systems, at their core, are essentially a combination of encryption, telemetry, and secrecy from the end user. Encryption is the only way to insure the content protected by DRM can't just...

    destroy[ing] users privacy

    All DRM systems, at their core, are essentially a combination of encryption, telemetry, and secrecy from the end user. Encryption is the only way to insure the content protected by DRM can't just be moved to a non-DRM format. Telemetry ranges from "phoning home periodically" to "reporting back every interaction." Secrecy entails trying to prevent the end user from disrupt the other two.

    Anybody who is familiar with these three underlying concepts should be able to see the problem: It is impossible to display encrypted DRM content without giving user decryption keys. Thus, all DRM systems can and will be broken, given enough time.

    I always just assumed they do it based on your account and whether you're paying or not, which is not exactly invasive.

    Account access is a very different beast from DRM. DRM is a tech which effectively says "we, the providers of this content, continue to dictate what you can and cannot do with this content after rent/purchase." That is why any content that has DRM is never really yours. Steam could revoke every game you own in a heartbeat, Amazon could remove every book in your digital library, so on and so forth.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on Make Netflix Remove "DRM" in ~misc

    vord Link Parent
    Your heart is in the right place, and I agree on a philosophical level, but unfortunately, DRM is the only reason Netflix is able to exist. You see, Netflix itself largely has no reason to want...

    Your heart is in the right place, and I agree on a philosophical level, but unfortunately, DRM is the only reason Netflix is able to exist.

    You see, Netflix itself largely has no reason to want DRM... if anything, it adds tremendously to their development and server costs. The issue is, that they are dependent on licensing deals from assorted media companies, and by and large, all media companies understand is that DRM is the closest thing to some sort of assurance that people can't just download everything off Netflix once, then re-distribute on P2P sites.

    24 votes
  8. Comment on “Just Switch to Linux” Is The Loser’s Game in ~tech

    vord Link Parent
    @Deimos, might want to verify parent post's warning and disable link.

    @Deimos, might want to verify parent post's warning and disable link.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Move back to your dying hometown. Unless you can’t. in ~life

    vord Link Parent
    Agreed, the only way to preserve nature is to only allow access by foot, in limited quantity.

    Agreed, the only way to preserve nature is to only allow access by foot, in limited quantity.

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Should I go to college for computer science? in ~talk

    vord Link Parent
    If I terrified you, that was definitely not my intent. I was intending to open an alternative path, for those who might try to jump fully into CS without knowing the nature of what they're getting...

    If I terrified you, that was definitely not my intent. I was intending to open an alternative path, for those who might try to jump fully into CS without knowing the nature of what they're getting into, get frustrated and give up on coding professionally.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to note, that I consider my programming skill somewhere between "can assemble blocks of stackoverflow answers into a working program" and "occasionally can write something of moderate complexity without making a google search every 20 lines," but I still find immense joy in it, and strive to improve slowly over time.

    Do what you love, don't be afraid to fail.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Sekiro: Accessibility in games is about far more than 'difficulty' in ~games

    vord Link Parent
    I do agree that accessibility is important for games... But I don't think it should extend fully to the game design space, much the same way other creative works do not have these limitations. I...

    I do agree that accessibility is important for games... But I don't think it should extend fully to the game design space, much the same way other creative works do not have these limitations.

    I think the vast majority of important accessibility can be achieved by fairly simple things that do not drastically alter game design. Things like completely configurable controls (a staple of any good PC game), basic awareness of color blindness and deafness cover the most important factors of accessibility, without being a huge burden on creativity.

    Beyond that, it's really a matter of subjectivity, and so long as there are a wide selection of different games available, and people can get refunded if a particular game doesn't meet their needs, I don't see a huge need for an extended debate.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Should I go to college for computer science? in ~talk

    vord Link Parent
    Exceptional points! Best bet to sort these things out is to talk directly to admissions counselors for schools you are interested in, and ask them very detailed questions. If they don't know the...

    Exceptional points! Best bet to sort these things out is to talk directly to admissions counselors for schools you are interested in, and ask them very detailed questions. If they don't know the answers directly, they'll be able to find someone who can.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Should I go to college for computer science? in ~talk

    vord Link
    As someone who has an Information Technology BS (from a reputable college), and does not have a CS degree, here's my thoughts: Computer Science is, at its core, a very math intensive degree...a...

    As someone who has an Information Technology BS (from a reputable college), and does not have a CS degree, here's my thoughts:

    Computer Science is, at its core, a very math intensive degree...a lot of people don't realize that. This is the primary reason I don't have a CS degree...my natural "peak" was around Calculus II, and I wasn't able to advance much past that without immense help, and I stopped enjoying it. If you can get through the harder mathematical aspects without losing that joy, having a proper CS degree will give you skills that enable top-tier programming ability.

    If you love coding, but can't quite get past the high-level mathematics to finish a CS degree, I would advise some sort of Information Technology related degree. It will open lots of doors for job opportunities that allow you to write a lot of code. You might not become the world's best programmer without a CS degree, but you can certainly make a decent living as an above-average/good coder with some sort of Information Technology degree.

    11 votes
  14. Comment on This Week in Election Night, 2020 (Week 2) in ~news

    vord Link
    Regarding Elizabeth Warren's proposal to imprison execs, I think the Slate article listed is incredibly off-base, bordering on propaganda. Their sub-heading for the article is "This is how mass...

    Regarding Elizabeth Warren's proposal to imprison execs, I think the Slate article listed is incredibly off-base, bordering on propaganda. Their sub-heading for the article is "This is how mass incarceration happens," as if the USA doesn't already have a mass incarceration problem. The key argument they're making is that "negligence is a very low standard of criminal punishment," which is disingenuous at best. I'm fairly certain that Elizabeth Warren is referring to criminal negligence, which has an important place in law. IANAL, so I will link to an article from someone who is: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-criminal-negligence.html

    Executives currently have lots of legal loopholes to enable them to make decisions that are morally questionable at best, and destroying the planet at worst. EW's proposal helps close those loopholes, and start making progress towards holding corporations accountable for their destructive decisions.

    8 votes
  15. Comment on Should harder games have "Easy modes"? in ~games

    vord Link
    Game developers should just do whatever they want. I'm not much of a capitalist, but in this particular case, the statement "Let the market decide" makes a hell of a lot of sense. Games as a whole...

    Game developers should just do whatever they want. I'm not much of a capitalist, but in this particular case, the statement "Let the market decide" makes a hell of a lot of sense. Games as a whole are not a critical part of society's functioning, let alone any one game. If there's a market for a hard game that has no easy mode great. If there's a bigger market for a different hard game that has an easy mode, that's great too, but it doesn't have any bearing on the hard game with no easy mode.

  16. Comment on What are you an "expert" on? in ~talk

    vord Link Parent
    As a semi-casual Star Trek fan, I would also say The Oreville could be considered a suitable companion to the classic treks. While it is certainly more comedy focused than most trek episodes, I...

    As a semi-casual Star Trek fan, I would also say The Oreville could be considered a suitable companion to the classic treks.

    While it is certainly more comedy focused than most trek episodes, I would say the fans of it or Trek can find a lot of common ground.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    vord Link Parent
    Largely agree... UBI is most likely to take root in the USA by a large expansion of Social Security. NIT means more beauracratic hoops for those who need the money most. Another factor is the...

    Largely agree... UBI is most likely to take root in the USA by a large expansion of Social Security.

    NIT means more beauracratic hoops for those who need the money most. Another factor is the psychological impact of both systems.

    To an economist, NIT seems just like a cheaper version of UBI. To a recipient, I think NIT has massive (unintentional) undertones that send a message along the lines of "you should be ashamed you are this poor". This is why many who are food insecure don't reach out for food stamps or food banks.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    vord Link Parent
    NIT is much harder to administer, thus is less efficient, even if the apparent out of pocket cost is lower. NIT is also not well suited to insuring stable income consistently, which is more...

    A NIT is a better way to implement the same thing.

    NIT is much harder to administer, thus is less efficient, even if the apparent out of pocket cost is lower. NIT is also not well suited to insuring stable income consistently, which is more important to people in poverty.

    I think the biggest danger is short term before people psychologically acclimate to a UBI payment not being disposable income, but as being a source of cash for basic needs.

    Why would this even matter? If they have enough income already that UBI will purely go to luxuries, then they'll eventually be paying back more than their UBI payment in taxes.

  19. Comment on What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? in ~life

    vord Link Parent
    Yes, but I would say the existing tax return process is one of the worst tax collection systems in any first world nation, and should probably be fixed first The only refund structure in place for...

    Isn't the administration of a NIT handled by the existing tax return process?

    Yes, but I would say the existing tax return process is one of the worst tax collection systems in any first world nation, and should probably be fixed first

    file your tax return normally, and if the lowest bracket(s) are changed to have a negative rate, you obtain a larger tax refund via the IRS's current refund infrastructure.

    The only refund structure in place for the IRS is lump-sum checks, which are terrible for a wide variety of reasons. UBI works because it's a fixed amount that you receive no matter what, every month (or possibly more frequently). The reason it can work at all is because one can be certain that they will always have a fixed minimum amount of income, no matter the circumstances.

    Say for example someone works a job that gives them income just over the NIT threshold annually, but they still live mostly paycheck to paycheck (aka, a very large population of the USA). They are laid off in the middle of June. How would NIT accommodate for the fact that this person now have 0 projected income for the foreseeable future, but already has earned enough for the year that NIT would be substantially reduced? With UBI it is simple: Come July, they will have their UBI, just as they always have. With NIT, it could be horrendously complex to get a payment to them of a reasonable amount, in a time frame that will help them pay bills without resorting to shady middlemen like payday loan companies.

    3 votes