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202 comments

These people need to find jobs. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720454)

Seriously. What happened to the American work ethic? What happened to lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps, rather than whining about others that have done well? Why do they think they're entitled to what we have worked so hard for? The youth of today are a bunch of whiny crybabies. They need to be disciplined. I say bring in the Guard, either let them leave peacefully, or bruised and battered. Give them something to *really* complain about, if they think they have it so bad right now!

Re:These people need to find jobs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720466)

Obvious troll is obvious.

so do what load up on student loans and learn skil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720476)

so do what load up on student loans and learn skill that do not help on the job?

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (-1, Troll)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720608)

This is my main problem with this ``movement''. I would love to see bankers and their lobbyist dragged into the streets, hanged upside-down from lamp post, and eviscerated just as much as the next guy. I, however, cannot stand the idea of supporting those people. 99% of them are stupid whores who have 3 kids, got a $100,000 degree in some bullshit subject like Black Studies, and then wonder why no one wants to hire them and that a nonprofit that gives out needles to dopeheads doesn't pay $100K a year. *click* [imgur.com]

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720746)

99% of them are stupid whores who have 3 kids,

Actually fertility and marriage rates have been uniformly declining for decades, especially among college graduates -- it's a serious demographic problem, and if all of these people had three kids then Social Security and Medicare would probably be solvent, unchanged, for the next hundred years.

got a $100,000 degree in some bullshit subject like Black Studies,

While I cannot quote statistics, most corporate officers and successful entrepreneurs I've interacted with generally had undergraduate degrees in some kind of "soft" liberal arts, like American studies, history, political science, and anthropology.

Steve Jobs famously dropped out of college in order to study calligraphy. Worked for him.
 

and then wonder why no one wants to hire them and that a nonprofit that gives out needles to dopeheads doesn't pay $100K a year.

Needle exchanges save lives. And I know a lot of people involved in non-profits, doing things they love and believe in, getting paid jack and making no complaints.

The problem aren't the people who want $100k a year to distribute needles. The problem are the people who think that anyone who chooses to not be a millionaire is a chump, and should be exploited, because they "bring it on themselves."

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720810)

I was going to say don't feed the trolls, but then I realized that this might be a case of Poe's Law :/

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720850)

Since it was a different person than the original poster, I presume honesty -- trolls do not collaborate.

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721102)

I should really read further down the thread before I make a reply. If I had known that you had already dismissed me as a troll, I wouldn't have bothered responding.

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721064)

I'm sorry, did I disagree with you? I'm sure that that hurt your feelings, so I won't take offense to you labeling me as a troll. I understand that it's your way of comforting yourself.

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (0)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721054)

I didn't say that they those who weren't millionares were losers, I didn't even say that the cause wasn't worthy, I says that there are too many self-important people there who think that they deserve the world there. And they rarely even treat it like more than a fucking party. I've seen the ``movement'' here in Austin. A few dozens of weirdos who have nothing better to do, and college students who were tweeting about it on their $3000 Macbook.

Actually fertility and marriage rates have been uniformly declining for decades, especially among college graduates -- it's a serious demographic problem, and if all of these people had three kids then Social Security and Medicare would probably be solvent, unchanged, for the next hundred years.

I was utilizing hyperbole and using their `99%' rhetoric. I was under the impression that any human capable of abstract thought would recognize that I was not actually claiming such amazingly high birthrates. I suppose that I was wrong. I will try to be as painfully blunt as possible when making a point in the future, so that we can avoid such misunderstandings.

While I cannot quote statistics, most corporate officers and successful entrepreneurs I've interacted with generally had undergraduate degrees in some kind of "soft" liberal arts, like American studies, history, political science, and anthropology.

I don't give three fourths of a fuck about what people study. If you want to be an artist, that's great. We need that to advance culture. But don't expect that that expensive wine making degree is going to get you work.

Steve Jobs famously dropped out of college in order to study calligraphy. Worked for him.

I bet he never expected that people pay him the salary to be free spirit and retire at 45 as a a calligrapher either.

Needle exchanges save lives. And I know a lot of people involved in non-profits, doing things they love and believe in, getting paid jack and making no complaints.

Again, I don't give a shit about what they do, but it isn't Wall St.'s fault if that doesn't pay very well.

Let me try again: I have no love for unregulated capitalism. In fact, I hate it, it is terrible and leads to awful inequality and eventual subjugation. I am not saying that poor are `bringing it on themselves', I am saying that the ``protesters'' are making the cause look bad by being entitled fucksticks.

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720908)

"99% of them are stupid whores who have 3 kids, got a $100,000 degree in some bullshit subject like Black Studies, "

And 100% of the people that say things like that are completely uneducated idiots.

Yes I am calling you an UNEDUCATED IDIOT. Come on back when you actually have a clue as to what you are talking about.

Re:so do what load up on student loans and learn s (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720986)

Lol. I have a social work degree, and that woman is an idiot. Who the hell do you think is going to PAY you to support hairy clams?

Re:These people need to find jobs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720496)

It's best to just ignore them. You don't want to turn them into martyr's by beating them.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720512)

The youth of today are a bunch of whiny crybabies.

As opposed to their whiny hippie (grand)parents from 40-50 years ago?

Re:These people need to find jobs. (2)

planimal (2454610) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720524)

i'm a firm believer that successful people are born from parents who beat and deprived their children, specifically the father.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (5, Insightful)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720526)

The American Work Ethic? I'd say they have it. They're pedaling to keep things going.
I've met many of those protesting. You know what? Many of them do have jobs. They do have lives. They're there anyway because they know things are messed up.

In my city the protestors are feeding the homeless. They're doing good works, and they're encouraging discussion about the future of our nation. There is no possible way this is a bad thing. Why are there so many unemployed out there? It isn't because the employed don't care, it's because the employed are trying to keep their jobs.

Pedal away, SF.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720876)

That's not what the geniuses on Fox News are saying.

Are you telling me those fine people at FOX NEWS are LYING?

Next you will tell me that trickle down is a lie...

Re:These people need to find jobs. (1, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720880)

Yes, they are altruistic morons.

March on the Capitol. March on Wall Street, you look like greedy morons who don't care about anything other than your own trust funds. March on the capitol, we have real problems to solve. Grow a fucking pair and encroach on the Capitol. I'll join you if you grow your own pair. Sissies.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720576)

Oh my! My webpost parser jammed up bad on this one! Either you are horribly deluded about the present situation and woefully ignorant of why freedom to assemble to address grievances is a constitutionally protected right, or you are a serious troll doing serious trolling.

In the case of the former, the problem is that the "american dream" you are alluding to no longer exists in the form you are implying; it is no longer possible to "pull one's self up by one's bootstraps" as you put it, due to artificial barriers to entry that are strongly enforced by power of law.

Beating the protesters to disperse them is a violation of their civil liberties, and the fact that their protest irritates you is simply a sign that it is working. A protest that does not illicit a reaction is a protest that means nothing. Simply because somebody is doing something you don't like is not reason to lynch them. Under that logic the protesters should drop their signs, and instead pick up ball bats and molotov cocktails and start firebombing rich people's houses and beating them bloody when they run out screaming from the fire.

So, as far as I can tell, the only whiny bitch I see here is the one whining about the protesters.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720762)

Oh my! My webpost parser jammed up bad on this one! Either you are horribly deluded about the present situation and woefully ignorant of why freedom to assemble to address grievances is a constitutionally protected right, or you are a serious troll doing serious trolling.

In the case of the former, the problem is that the "american dream" you are alluding to no longer exists in the form you are implying; it is no longer possible to "pull one's self up by one's bootstraps" as you put it, due to artificial barriers to entry that are strongly enforced by power of law.

I guess someone forgot to tell me. I had to drop out of high school in the 10th grade, because I was forced to support myself. I've since got my GED and paying for college courses out of pocket and will probably continue for the rest of my life (Non-degree seeking). Now, I'm a productive adult employing others and running a successful business. If that's not "pulling one's self up by one's bootstraps" I don't know what is. I'm not so diluted to think that everyone can do that, because no they can't. However, it is still possible.

I agree with you though. The right to assemble is very important and even if someone doesn't agree with the protesters they have should have the right to peacefully protest. However, a lot of their complaints seem to be silly and self severing.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720970)

It is also important to take the elapsed time since your "success" into account. The situation the protesters are protesting is the situation in the now, while the situation that gave rise to your success story is in the "then."

I agree that the movement seems nebulous. I attribute it to a total constellation of several effects, including but not limited to the following things:

The american school system sucks balls to the point that higher education is essential to become gainfully employed. The number of institutions offering that service has not appreciably grown to meet demand, causing prices to rise. Students leave colleges with thousands of dollars in debt for a slip of paper that essentially just says "I can finish what I start and am not an idiot who can't write his own name." Given the actual value of their degree in the job market, they are naturally angry to have been forced into having to take on mountains of debt to accomplish this simple milestone when a simple core competencies test would have sufficed.

Coupled with the proclevity for large corporations to offshore inexpensive and low training jobs to places like mexico, china, and india, there is a stark lack of entry level jobs for these debt laiden college grads to take to gain the much needed work histories they need to create careers.

The reasons why these trends are occuring is indeed because of systemic greed at many levels, so protesting against institutionalized greed sorta does make sense.

The greed of the accredation institutions motivates them to maintain the status quo of very high student tuition.

The greed of the public school system, coupled with absurd laws, makes it originate the need to require a degree for janitorial work.

The greed of multinationals makes them seek every possible means of squeezing profit from the market.

The greed of stockholders (and by proxy, wallstreet) drives the corporations to be ever more greedy to satisfy the already horribly unrealistic expectations of those stock holders. (Purpetual gains in profitability are not sustainable.)

So, the protest message as I can see it is "I have been victimized by the system you created. I had to sell many years of my life in the form of intractible debt JUST to be ABLE to work, only to have to fight for scraps with what are essentially slave laborers in other countries because of your insatiable greed. We want to be released from the burden of our unfair debts, and have the possibility of finding work without competing with HIB visas and slaves from china."

When you think about it, that doesn't really sound like such a terrible demand.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721178)

Sorry, but the situation hasn't changed. If you're a hard worker, you will do just fine. I'm 22 and graduated in December of last year. I worked full time while going to a cheap in-state school and graduated debt free. I have job offers coming out the wazoo, but I decided to stick with the company I was working with while in college.

I don't mean to sound bitter, and I certainly sympathize with the idea that it was unfair for banks to be bailed out (the oft quoted "privatizing profits and socializing losses" complaint) - but with that said, I can't sympathize with the position that many of these protesters take.

It was their choice to attend university - and more than likely, it was there choice to get a crummy degree. There are numerous in-demand fields where it is extremely easy to get a job (science/engineering courses in particular; anyone with a degree even somewhat related to petrochemical engineering will graduate and make six figures starting for example). I was warned by universities, student loan providers, and just about everyone else in the world about taking on too much debt - especially for a non-lucrative degree. If that advice is ignored, then there isn't much place for bitching for (or five) years later when they graduate with too much debt - that was their call.

Most of the people - probably around 2/3rds - that I know that graduated college are happily employed and have no problems even in this relatively poor economy. The other 1/3rd are, quite frankly (this is a generalization, there are always exceptions), LAZY. They decided to pursue a worthless degree, slacked in college, earned mediocre GPA's, and can't be that arsed to actually go out and get a job. And if they do work, they don't take it seriously. Even then, they still manage to do alright - they all seem to have iPhone's and fancy clothes and shoes (I own a four year old phone and my most expensive dress shirt probably runs at around $25).

I have no problem with the (few) valid points the protesters are making - but for the majority of the complaints, they are baseless and a result of poor personal choices. Just like the government shouldn't be in the business of bailing out business for poor decisions, it also should not be in the business of bailing out the poor decisions of people (in the majority of cases).

Re:These people need to find jobs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721250)

Also (and I hate to respond to my own post) - greed is not evil. The primary driver of economic growth is greed. Greed for profits is what increases efficiency and, subsequently, the standard of living for all. Similarly, I was "greedy" when I went to a cheap college - I wanted to save my money to purchase other goods and services because they were best in best interest. In other words, I was working in my self interest. Maybe if those who feel it necessary to go to a private school and earn a social services degree should be a bit more greedy themselves and they wouldn't be in the situation they are in.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721394)

I do not think you can build a society purely on greed. That seems to me to invite little more than a sort of hedonism. At some point you have to demonstrate a little altruism, otherwise how are you not essentially a sociopath?

Re:These people need to find jobs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721438)

Greed is an expression of self interest - and self interest is what drives society. Some people express self interest through the classical "greed" stereotype; others perform altruistic acts because it makes them feel good - i.e., it is in their self interest. Similarly, I wouldn't go around killing people that I don't like - even if I could get away with it - because I would feel bad about it. Again, I am operating in my own self interest. So, yes, you can build a society that is purely based on self-interest - which is, at it's core, the exact same thing as greed.

(interesting side note: the captcha for this post was "murder"; is Slashdot forming AI?)

Re:These people need to find jobs. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721486)

I don't buy it. There's enough evidence for altrusim in our nearest relatives that I think it is a real phenomenon. A society is held together by more than greed, and it's just greed, then that society will fling itself apart. There ought to be a sense of community, and not just everyone looking to cut other people down for spurious benefits. Like I said, if it's pure greed, then it's just sociopathy, but clearly it is not. A parent does not rush into a burning building to save her child, she does it because there are basic urges far greater than how much you've got in the fucking bank.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721500)

I meant to say "A parent does not rush into a burning building to save her child to feel good, she does it because there are basic urges far greater than how much you've got in the fucking bank."

Wall Street insiders steal from outsiders (1)

nido (102070) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721462)

There's a difference between "greed" as motivation to improve yourself to create more value for others, and "greed" as motivation to grow your bank account any way you can.

For example: Sheared By The Shorts: How Short Sellers Fleece Investors [wordpress.com]. If I owned stocks, I would be sure that "thieves" couldn't borrow them to screw me with a "bear raid". From the link:

Where do the short sellers get the shares to sell into the market? As Jim Puplava explained on FinancialSense.com on September 24, 2011, they "borrow" shares from the unwitting true shareholders. When a brokerage firm opens an account for a new customer, it is usually a "margin" account - one that allows the investor to buy stock on margin, or by borrowing against the investor's stock. This is done although most investors never use the margin feature and are unaware that they have that sort of account. The brokers do it because they can "rent" the stock in a margin account for a substantial fee - sometimes as much as 30% interest for a stock in short supply. Needless to say, the real shareholders get none of this tidy profit. Worse, they can be seriously harmed by the practice. They bought the stock because they believed in the company and wanted to see its business thrive, not dive. Their shares are being used to bet against their own interests.
...
In the meantime, Puplava advises investors to call their brokers and ask if their accounts are margin accounts. If so, get the accounts changed, with confirmation in writing.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721272)

I'm not so sure. I started in the job market as an IT professional before the dotcom bubble burst. At the time, computing and computer science related industries looked lucrative and promising. After the burst I was laid off and became hopelessly unemployed. I am lucky that there is a local major industry (aerospace), and used what money I did have to return to school and study to become an engineer. (A feat I would not habe been able to accomplish withou being very clever and creative.)

I currently have what many would consider to be a dead end job that I took to build career experience, but I have been exercising "people connections" to advance to better employment. (I am not lazy, and take pride in my work. I am not in the job I am in because of lack of quality, but because I lacked industry experience. That is no longer the case.)

I am fortunate that my employer can afford to hire low experience engineers due to his being an old tightwad.

If I had been saddled with obscene debt I would not have been able to take this job, as I wouldn't have been able to pay my bills. I was very adamant against taking any such loans, despite fairly constant pressure from student affairs at the local university. (I wasy paying my tuition by killing myself with moonlighting as a student assistant, donating plasma, and by holding paid study sessions in "hard" classes like chemistry. Having a mom with 3 degrees in hard sciences has some advantages it seems. Many students don't know how to actually study, and helping them do so for a fee paid off for me.)

I barely pulled my entrylevel job out of my rabbit hole. I can only imagine what the kids in SF have to deal with considering the H1B visa problems there.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721338)

In other words, you made wise decisions regarding your investment in your education and you're doing (mostly) alright. Creative destruction will always mean that people will have to adjust their skillsets over time as industries are always going to be in flux.

The number one issue with student debt are students who take on too much debt. That sounds tautological, but it is ultimately a personal choice. Education is an investment in your future earning power - it should be considered as such when selecting the school and cost of said school. I realize that in California (as an example), even the state schools are relatively expensive - but there are still ways to minimize costs relatively easily. For example, graduating in three years and spending the first year and a half at a much cheaper community college would reduce one's bills immensely (by over 50%, depending on the schools). You can turn that $50,000 bill into a $25,000 or $30,000 one - which is hardly a crippling debt load, even for a relatively low income job.

College prices are skyrocketing because students don't seem to care about price - there is some self-delusion that the cost doesn't matter. If students focused more on price and colleges actually had to compete on it, tuition prices would drop. Unfortunately, college is overly idealized and price is viewed as only a small factor in college selection choices. That's a cultural problem - which is something that isn't going to be fixed by the stroke of a legislative pen.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721310)

I find two things very curious about the 'confusion' surrounding, and some of the reactions to, the protesters:

1. The 'confusion': Ignoring the stuff manufactured purely for rhetorical effect("Those crazy kids are just lazy communist anarchists who don't even know what they want!"), you don't really have to be able to trace every detail of exactly how American financial and labor systems have evolved to produce a practically banana-republic wealth distribution in order to take a look at the numbers and see that they, however the details work, definitely have. This is basic "black box" analysis here, the sort of thing that you use (formally or informally) all the time when dealing with complex situations. I don't understand why some people suddenly fall flat on that.

2. The "53%"-er response, and its ilk: Yes, everybody realizes that is, in fact, possible to make money and survive in the US without being a member in good standing of the plutocracy. Were that not the case, things would be a little noisier. That is orthogonal to the displeasure people feel at having to work increasingly hard for a steadily dwindling slice of the pie and no chance of the handy state handouts received by the people who need them least. This school of response isn't false, per se, it's just an enormous non-sequitor.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721086)

rather than whining about others that have done well?

The "done well" game is rigged, that's why.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (2)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721148)

That is the lie that has been pulled over your eyes.

Admiring the rich, successful people and thinking you could make it too if only you work hard enough - and then most often inevitably blaming and loathing yourself when you don't, that's the great American swindle.

Re:These people need to find jobs. (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721434)

Seriously. What happened to the American work ethic?

It's been downsized by corporate America, along with all the other types of ethics.

Uh... (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720536)

So I've been researching this OccupySF thing (I googled once, I'm not really too interested) and I have no idea what it is.

From the website I found it's about solidarity, which seems like an awfully nebulous concept to be campaigning for...

Re:Uh... (0, Flamebait)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720624)

It's driving force is a desire for equality, where equality means that you get free money from the government.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720640)

No, you get the same amount of free money as big business, and you pay the same taxes as million/billionaires.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720652)

If they banks get it, why should we not?

Re:Uh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720722)

Well, as long as you pay it back as quickly as the banks did, no problem (actually, if you owe the IRS money on April 15, in some sense you have received a bailout because you didn't pay on time -- if course, if you get a refund, you're probably an idiot).

Re:Uh... (5, Informative)

demachina (71715) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720998)

The TARP was a TINY fraction of the free money the banks got. They paid back the TARP money they got directly but they didn't even have to pay back all the money that was funnelled through AIG directly in to their pockets, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche bank in particular. If AIG has been allowed to fail and those tax payer billions hadn't been funnelled through AIG, Goldman Sachs and the rest would have failed.

The banks are still getting free money by the truck loads.

First, they got to unload hundreds of billions in toxic assets on the Fed in exchange for fresh green backs at 100 cents on the dollar.

The Fed has their interest rates to banks set at approximately zero. The economists term for this is "financial repression", where interest rates are substantially below inflation. Its designed to completely screw people who save to bail out debtors including banks. It especially screws seniors who live on CD interest. It is designed to force them to gamble on the stock market to just stay even. Many seniors who remember the '29 crash dont want to play the stock market.

There are also still trillions in loan guarantees that will dealry cost someone if those assets crater which some of will if there is a double dip.

And the Fed constantly pumps hundreds of billions in short term, low interest loans, to all sorts of troubled banks, all the time through the discount window.

Companies like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are pure gamblers, they pocket the profits when they win. They should NEVER be allowed to come to the U.S. taxpayer or the Fed when they lose.

Bottom line, banks get their money at zero percent. The poor get their money from payday loans at 30% and up.

Re:Uh... (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720660)

It's driving force is a desire for equality, where equality means that you get free money from the government.

To be fair, I think the driving force is more like frustration. While they don't seem to be focusing that feeling very much, I think it's reasonable to be frustrated with a lot of things in the world, including a lot of economic things. In some ways I think that the "we're angry and we don't know what to do" attitude is more rational than the more commonly espoused "we're angry and that means we should vote for [insert name of newest doppelganger candidate representing a major political party and promising change in Washington]."

Re:Uh... (3)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720706)

I understand they are frustrated, but they are so completely unfocused, or focused like laser on expanding the same problems that created this situation in the first place, that you can't define it.

      But the one common theme is that they want to take money away from people who have a lot of it. And not pay their student loans.

        I am frustrated, too - that a bunch of people are trashing things my tax dollars pay for.

Not the same problems, different ones (2)

MaizeMan (1076255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720854)

It seems to me neither taking money way from rich people nor people not paying their student loans were responsible for creating "this situation" (I'm assuming you mean the ongoing bad economy). So while I agree the protests are unfocused and/or advocating extreme positions, at least their positions are extreme in the OPPOSITE direction from what got us into this mess.

Re:Uh... (2)

arthurh3535 (447288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720928)

Total BS. Most of these guys aren't saying (just) take from the rich. They *are* saying that the rich have been gaming the rules because they have money to pay for politicians.

Re:Uh... (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721070)

And since you are on the topic, check out who and which party gets the most contributions from Wall Street Fat cats. I bet you don't have the guts to post the results.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720982)

If people got paid by the quality of the work they have performed rather than by what they do as an occupation, it's likely we wouldn't have this problem with the current economy and those out and protesting would be much more content with how things are going.

Now some will say so and so has a more important impact on things...

Well perhaps they do. But it's still wrong that somebody who acts like an asshole and has a shitty fuck-all work ethic and ruins a company from the CEO seat still manages to land a few million dollars for all the damage they caused. Meanwhile some polite and courteous guy that toils away for some park district getting a dozen parks clean of all garbage and having the landscape tended to near perfection such that the public can enjoy it without worry gets paid near minimum wage. I'm sure both may have an impact on the well being of a comparable number of people within a similar time frame.

I wish people claiming that certain jobs are more important than others would man-up and treat them as such. Society would be better off if such attitude could be adopted. Unfortunately it's not happening, and the trend often seems to be for the worse.

Re:Uh... (2)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721040)

I have a job, and I'm successful at it, but it's clear that a number of things we're doing right now aren't working and I'm frustrated that no one is proposing anything other than things that will advance their party platform. So here's MY proposal:

We push for a constitutional amendment to require a national confidence vote every 50 years, starting now. The ballot will consist of a list of American institutions (e.g. congress, the executive branch, the judicial branch, the RNC and DNC, and any other institution you want to hear the voice of the American people on) and those institutions which fail to meet a certain vote threshold will have their headquarters bulldozed. Following this, a Constitutional Convention will be held, without any delegates from the failed institutions, to attempt to establish what we're going to do to move forward. Their goal is to establish new compromises and to make a new direction that hopefully will hopefully put us back on the right track. If their new proposal is not ratified, they will be subject to charges of treason, which is the fate the founding father's would have met if they had proposed a new government which was not ratified.

Re:Uh... (3, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720680)

Perhaps for some. For others it might be better explained as a desire to be free from the defacto serfdom that comes with bearing the label of "consumer."

Say for instance, with "owning" a ps3, but being dictated to about what you can use it for, or what services you connect it to.

Or perhaps in regard to being held hostage by the fallout of the market manipulation that comes about by driving speculation trends by wallstreet? (Eg, perhaps some people might not like having the equities in their 401k devalue radically after some random wallstreet firm shorts millions in stock based on a tiny deviation from expected value.)

The protest appears to be about this radical imbalance of power, and the flagrant diregard these organizations and individuals have for the consequences of their greed motivated activities.

Re:Uh... (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720766)

It's driving force is a desire for equality, where equality means that you get free money from the government.

Or maybe it just means that rich people should have to pay their own way too.

Re:Uh... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721118)

The top 10% of income earners pay 70% of the taxes. They don't make 70% of the income... about 45%. The US has the highest corporate tax of any industrialized country, with is a double tax: profits taxed once as a corporation and again on personal taxes as the profit is paid out to the people who ARE the corporation.

Nearly half of America pays NOTHNG in Federal Income tax. Many many many get more back than what they paid in. We used to call it Welfare when people got money from the government that they didn't pay in. Now it's Earned Income Tax Credit. Cute...

It's Mobocracy at it's best. Lets all vote to have 5% of the people pay 100% of the taxes.... People vote in their own self interest and it passes with a majority. Simple... and it's how Democracy commits suicide.

I thought 'bullying' was the worst thing ever these days. 99% of the people ganging up on 1% ... Humm....

Re:Uh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721274)

You must be spending all that money wrong. Places that I thought had high taxes, like Sweden, are better for people if you look at general not being shot or homeless or poor or sick or dead metrics.

And I thought Sweden was comparatively socialist. If you pay/mooch as much or more than we do, then what the fuck is wrong with you 'murricans?

Re:Uh... (1)

dvdwholesale3 (2432850) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721370)

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Re:Uh... (4, Insightful)

Flipao (903929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721042)

It's driving force is a desire for equality, where equality means that you get free money from the government.

Well that's how FOX News viewers would perceive it, the demonstrations come out of frustration with the state of the current financial system, and the fact that the people who caused it are very well off whilst the middle class is being obliterated.

People aren't protesting to get free stuff, but to express their disagreement with a country where 1% of the population control 40% of the wealth and growing, being able to use this to influence legislation in order to keep it that way.

So yeah, maybe you should get a clue before making incorrect assumptions/uninformed statements.

Re:Uh... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721162)

People aren't protesting to get free stuff, but to express their disagreement with a country where 1% of the population control 40% of the wealth and growing, being able to use this to influence legislation in order to keep it that way.

Very nicely put.

Re:Uh... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720628)

Relevant:

http://i.imgur.com/FIZuV.png

FWIW... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721152)

That's a cartoon/comic supporting the protests, not an anti-protest message (not a gross-out image either, for that matter.)

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720678)

Based on your response and taking into account your signature I would ascribe your statements to ignorance.

Re:Uh... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720690)

One effect of being well organised is that only a few need to be taken out for the movement to fail. Taken out can include bribery, change of attitude, killing, etc.

Not having one key demand makes it very hard for the power structure to undermine the key message.

It is often considered to be one of the strengths of the movement that saw NZ buck its dominating partners (Britian and US) and become the first country in the world to go nuclear free. There were attempts by the authorities to undermine the power structure, only they could not find it as there was no heircachial power pyramid for them to comprehend.

Many other example can be quoted but the real message is the effect - a group with similar goals but no strong structure can be a very effectivce counter to a strong power structure with rigid form and plentiful resources.

Hopefully Occupy Wall Street will remain somewaht amophus. Tight enough for people to agree they support it, loose enough to be hard for the indrisal-military combine and allies (banking and oil included) to comprehend.

Re:Uh... (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720752)

From the website I found it's about solidarity, which seems like an awfully nebulous concept to be campaigning for...

Yeah, did nothing for Poland, the Warsaw Pact, and the Soviet Union.

Alternative Internet (1)

virb67 (1771270) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720602)

The logical progression of this idea -- autonomy, self-sufficiency, self-ownership of resources, etc.-- leads toward the creation of an alternate, non-corporate, user-owned internet. I think that could be amazing.

Re:Alternative Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720912)

Of course, until some users are more users than others...

Or car batteries + masturbating over The Bell Jar (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720686)

Or car batteries and goblin farts. Car batteries and pixie snot. Car batteries and invisible pink unicorn spunk. See where I'm going with this?

Re:Or car batteries + masturbating over The Bell J (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720778)

Or car batteries and goblin farts. Car batteries and pixie snot. Car batteries and invisible pink unicorn spunk. See where I'm going with this?

Thankfully, no.

Re:Or car batteries + masturbating over The Bell J (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720918)

You're protesting the unethical treatment of protestors, and mythical animals.

It really sickens me to learn they might be wasting pink unicorn spunk. That's an incredibly rare substance, which is merely powering network gear instead of something more noble, like curing republicanitis (apply liberally).

waste of time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720702)

Can the protesters focus on winning instead of trying to be techie?? Such a classic mistake -- find something that sounds cool to do, then try to justify it.

Their efforts would be *much* more effective if they spent that time calling people to recruit more people to join. Cell phone batteries last a really long time these days, and can be recharged a zillion ways, all of which are easier than hooking up some sort of bike-converter-stepper-battery thing. I guess if they hook it up to the cloud and leverage some social media powered crowdsourcing they'd be all set.

The movement is doomed if they won't discipline themselves to do the hard, effective work. The fun, worthless stuff, like this, is a distraction. Maybe they could go ask John Lewis how he and SNCC changed american history while being dirt poor and without technology.

Re:waste of time (2, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720972)

Can the protesters focus on winning instead of trying to be techie??

The media didn't even cover the protests until they put up videos of cops beating them on Youtube. Now, with this story, they have more coverage.

Diversity is helping them.

Re:waste of time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721060)

So, they got the videos without wasting time with the stupid pedal thing, right?

Re:waste of time (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721096)

Interesting that you brought up the point about 'wasting time'. Tell us more about their time usage both before and after they set up the computer station.

Re:waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721136)

Do you understand that the whole point of the protest is being there?

Re:waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721122)

Yet I'm definitely reading about their thing on the frontpage of slashdot. Would a story about people making phonecalls have made it all the way to my screen over here on the other side of the world?

Re:waste of time (3, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721296)

Can the protesters focus on winning instead of trying to be techie??

Winning what? Nobody knows what they actually want, including the protesters. Their message ranges anywhere from simply giving unions a bigger piece of the pie to outright Marxism.

Meh: (1)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720704)

I think I'd get hold of a small camp generator. They're small, pretty cheap and very quiet. Someone might even loan or donate one.

But, I guess that doesn't have the suffering for your cause appeal of pedaling a hacked up bike generator.

Given the food conversion efficiencies, fuel used in production, transport fuel usage for getting it to the city, the mentioned conversion inefficiency, etc. how carbon neutral that all is compared to just saying screw it and buying a little gasoline.

Re:Meh: (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720806)

The problem is that this is SF. There are emmissions control laws against such petrol generators. Many inhabitants don't even have petrol powered lawn mowers. Many even use old fashioned mechanical push powered rotary mowers, due to the taxes on owning gas mowers.

Generators would be hard to own in SF

Re:Meh: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720950)

Many inhabitants don't even have petrol powered lawn mowers. Many even use old fashioned mechanical push powered rotary mowers, due to the taxes on owning gas mowers.

Wow, what a narrow minded response.

Has it ever occurred to you that many people around here (I live in Berkeley) don't have gas mowers because we live in a dense area, don't have huge McMansion style lawns, and that a push mower is perfectly adequate, and that a gas mower would be way overkill, not to mention annoyingly noisy and polluting?

Also, fwiw, a push more is actually more expensive than a cheap powered mower, probably because it's a low volume product. But it's still imho a better solution for many people.

Easy solution (-1, Troll)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720738)

Maybe they could capture the electrons from all the "Look Ma, I'm Getting Arrested" messages, and use them to power their systems.

Go solar (1)

f97tosc (578893) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720780)

I would propose purchasing a couple of solar panels to do the same job. It may be a little bit more expensive, but not by much - PV prices have completely collapsed this year. Granted the solar panels won't work after dark...

Re:Go solar (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721124)

No kidding. They're already going far too long without showers. Why make things worse?

Harbor Freight has a 45 watt solar kit for $180. Just add a battery and an auto adapter for your laptop and you're good to go. That'd be plenty for my little i7 notebook and charge a few phones even if I was sitting there all day playing FarmVille. And probably store enough power to run a 4G hotspot thru the night.

And this part really gets me:

However, one bright spark managed to cobble together a new converter that downstepped the 12 volt supply directly to five volts much more efficiently, using mail-order parts and a bit of ingenuity.

What mail-order parts? They could go to any electronics store in the area (even a mom-n-pop store!) and buy that off the shelf. It's called a USB Vehicle Charger on most sites and Best Buy has a dual-port for $11.99. You can get a cigarette lighter socket with alligator clips at Rat Shack for $9.99. [facepalms.jpg]

Did nobody think about this stuff ahead of time?

Really.... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720856)

"The group were having to run a 12 volt supply, convert it to 150 AC and then back down to five volts for phones and the portable radios used to maintain emergency contact."

Glad to see that there are NO electronics engineers or other people that have a clue as to what they are doing.

12V run into inverters to make 120VAC (not the 150AC the writer failed to fact check) and then using wall chargers for the devices. Nobody had a fricking car charger for their phone? This is getting utterly comical.

I am glad to see this because it means in the SHTF situation, most of the populace will die horribly because they are far too uneducated about basics of life so they will pedal 40% more than they need to to make up for the power losses because they cant be bothered to think through what they are doing.

get some basic education people. learn about electricity, you fricking use it every day.

Dollar store solutions. (2)

darkonc (47285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720960)

They have 12V -> usb converters in the dollar store here in Vancouver. Each $1 unit provides 2 USB sockets ..one is 1Amp the other is 0.5amp. Then all you need is a 3 head Accessory splitter from Radio Shack (whatever they're now called), and you can charge 6 cell phones at once.

Another potential solution is to have someone park a car nearby and keep it running with a 20foot extension cord attached to the accessory plug. Put a car battery at the other end for when they have to drive away and you have your backup power supply. The expensive part is buying the 50foot extension cord and loping it's ends off.

Re:Dollar store solutions. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721388)

The expensive part is buying the 50foot extension cord and loping it's ends off.

The other expensive part is keeping a car idling for a long period of time...

Re:Really.... (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721004)

Bizarrely, the double conversion might be more efficient than a car charger. Car chargers are often just linear regulators, which means they're dropping 12v to 5v by dumping the difference to heat. They're only about 40% efficient.

An inverter is usually 80-90% efficient. AC switchmode power supplies (which is what USB wall-warts are) are 80-90% efficient. That's about 65-80% efficient, full-cycle. The inverter won't do well at low-load, but if they have a half-dozen wall warts on a plugstrip, they'll do better than your average car charger.

People recombining technologies to make a new thing isn't bad. From a philosophical standpoint, electrical engineers are doing the same thing - they're just recombining slightly lower-level technologies. Sure, a 12v-5v DC-DC converter will do better, but is it really worth the extra engineering effort when you already have the necessary higher-level components to build something that works?

Re:Really.... (-1, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721194)

Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man. This isn't, like, Occupy Physics, OK. I just need my phone to work here at this awesome protest so I can Tweet about evil corporations and order some sweet tacos with the Chipotle app on my new iPhone 4S.

Re:Really.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721452)

Oh shut up. :-)

They

Re:Really.... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721316)

i've taken apart about 20 no-name car chargers now. linear regulators are too expensive, too much dissapted heat means you need expensive metal to make a heatsink. counter-intuitively, switching regulator designs are cheaper to produce. they are almost all based on the mc30463 or equivalent circuit.

Re:Really.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37721320)

RRRRRTTTTTTFFFFFFAAAAAA

I wish I could make RTFA in a bigger font. For your convenience:

FTFA: "The conversion process is highly inefficient, however, and the admins reckon they were losing over half the available power in the process – power that literally cost blood, sweat, and tears from the peddlers.

However, one bright spark managed to cobble together a new converter that downstepped the 12 volt supply directly to five volts much more efficiently, using mail-order parts and a bit of ingenuity."

Re:Really.... (5, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721108)

Glad to see that there are NO electronics engineers or other people that have a clue as to what they are doing.

Two paragraphs after the one you quoted from TFA: "However, one bright spark managed to cobble together a new converter that downstepped the 12 volt supply directly to five volts much more efficiently, using mail-order parts and a bit of ingenuity."

The other problem with stepping 12V DC down to 5V is that often, the only charger people have for their phone is the proprietary AC one. The industry has standardized on mini/micro USB lately, but most older phones will only charge with an AC adapter. And almost nobody will be willing to chop up their laptop's AC adapter plug to be able to hook it up to straight DC. So the universal power supply remains 120/240 V AC.

I do have to wonder though, given this report is from San Francisco and the type of people drawn to OWS, why hasn't anyone thought to set up a windmill or some sort of solar array (about 4-5 m^2 @ 0.15 capacity factor should generate as much power as people taking turns cycling 24/7). PV solar sucks in comparison to other electricity sources, but it's forte is off-the-grid applications like this.

Re:Really.... (2)

theoriginalturtle (248717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721508)

Indeed. I've been off-grid at various times, and my ace in the hole is a 2x2 solar panel with alligator clips charging a 12v automotive jumpstart box that had a built-in inverter. Charge it all day, power the laptop and charge the phone all night.

Re:Really.... (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721164)

I can see how a slashdot person would focus on that aspect of things. But I'm more interested in what that sort of cluelessness says about the rest of these clowns' practical and critical thinking skills as they insist that they know best how to set fiscal policy, fund businesses, hire people, conduct foreign relations, and all the rest. Blah blah blah. Everything would be just, like, you know, great, man, if, like, only the cool people were, like, saying stuff and like there weren't any rules except like, you know, about who has to pedal the phone charger when, you know, like some hot girls show up at the protest.

Re:Really.... (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721420)

I don't think it takes a degree to see people who were at least partially responsible for the meltdown getting their asses saved through government largess doing rather well, while the average person is worse off for it. We can debate a lot of things, but what we can't debate is that those who are most responsible are getting off rather easy; that's politicians and corporate leaders alike.

What's become pretty apparent to me is that while the protesters don't know shit about economics, neither, it appears, do those at the top of the food chain.

Other options... (5, Interesting)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37720884)

Probably the easiest and most sustainable setup would be to convert a port-a-potty into a biogas digester, and use it to run a small gas genset or even a thermoelectric generator. Of course that would make something of a target for police.

Some motorcycles or scooters have alternators, that can be used for battery charging. Or if size is an issue, there's always a small generator like the Honda EX350 that can be had for around $200.

Tmare (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720914)

TIME WHOLESOME AND Conducted at MIT lead developers BUWLA, or BSD gave the BSD And other party The hard drive to

Did anyone read this article? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37720984)

I know this is /. but did anyone read the article? The second page is ridiculous.

“We’d love to get an Apple, because a lot of the software we’re used to is on the Mac,” What software does a protest need other than maybe a web browser to organize and spread your message? Where are all of these people's computers? I'm guessing sitting at home because they don't want to have it broken, stolen or lost...

Then they continue on to make a cellular hotspot or an android phone sound like complicated network infrastructure being managed by the protestors...

Re:Did anyone read this article? (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37721380)

Video editing apps so they can post to Youtube... That's my first guess.

Frankly, they could probably do JUST FINE uploading cell-phone videos and having a friend offsite to edit/caption/comment and whatnot.

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