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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

American AC in Paris Shock (456 comments)

In case y'all hadn't noticed, our community is rife with hazardously inflated egos. This is a natural extension thereof.

3 days ago

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

American AC in Paris Re:Just use headlights (184 comments)

Those of us who don't live in cities have been driving fine at night without streetlights forever.

Of course, y'all have significantly more accidents than us mollycoddled city slickers, so you may want to reconsider the use of "fine" in this context.

5 days ago

Lies Programmers Tell Themselves

American AC in Paris Re:gotta love a site... (452 comments)

that does not work _at_all_ if you have a halfway decent content- and tracking-blocker installed

...well, once you've blocked the content, and once you've blocked the tracking, there's not much left to work with, yeah?


about a month ago

Lies Programmers Tell Themselves

American AC in Paris The Whopper (452 comments)

"Well if you let the programmers run the show, things would be so much better."

about a month ago

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

American AC in Paris Re: Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (240 comments)

Monetary policy is all but moot for people who simply have no capital to spare. Deflationary currency isn't going to do any better than inflationary currency + investment on this point.

The other thing -- and I am surprised you did not touch on this -- is that a deflationary currency is anti-consumerism. Why buy something when saving that money makes it worth more in a year or ten?

I touch very greatly on this. It's anti-consumerism and anti-investment. Why waste money upgrading or properly repairing the combine in the field when you're better off just letting that money enrich itself over time? Sure, you might get a better crop yield, but then again, you're sure to see your money increase in value, so just kinda run things by the skin of your teeth, and only spend when it's absolutely, entirely necessary.

You end up with a society where the people who can afford to not produce do just that: they live entirely off the fact that their money is going to be worth more tomorrow than it is today. Their lives are enriched by very literally doing nothing with the enormous wealth they have, whereas the people who actually are doing the work see their incomes steadily drop and reap virtually no deflationary benefit, owing to their near total lack of wealth.

A deflationary monetary policy, by its very definition, rewards people for hoarding their wealth instead of investing it in a productive fashion. Classes calcify; the wealthy take no risks and become wealthier as a result, and the poor have to make ends meet with an ever shrinking portion of the total wealth of the society, because the majority of money is locked away and earning value for itself. There is ample historical precedent for this. It almost always ended badly.

And with bitcoin, you keep your own coins, you don't deposit them in a fractional reserve bank that uses it to stimulate business.

...and yet we have all these exchanges for Bitcoin cropping up everywhere. It's almost as if there's inherent and significant value in institutionalized finance even in the Bitcoin world. It's almost as if banks actually provide an array of useful services that people are willing to pay good money for. As if most people acknowledge that yes, I could simply carry a wad of legal tender around on my person, but this bank over here enables me to transact my business so much easier and in so many ways. Odd.

This is what the Earth needs. We cannot go on consuming our childrens' futures. We must end our senseless consumption in the name of "progress" or the Earth will lose enough of its ecological web that we can no longer survive. Some say it is already too late. I maintain there is hope but we must adopt a more sustainable civilization or we will perish.

Oh wait, so your recommended vector to ecological stability is through a generations-long process of grinding productivity down via deflationary monetary policy? That is inane. After singing praises--lower costs for food! Greater saving! Helps the poor save!--you're now going to turn right around and sing the praises of how it naturally destroys productivity.

There exist far more direct, far more effective, and--despite the fact that we currently have a snowball's chance of getting them enacted--far more realistic and implementable ways to improve and protect the ecology of our planet than convincing everyone to throw sand in the gears until things eventually fall apart.

At the end of the day, the biology of deflation means our money more closely matched natural systems governed by scarcity.

You wish to align to a state of nature. On this, I will defer to Thomas Hobbes:

"In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

The life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. This is the direction you think we should move.

about 2 months ago

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

American AC in Paris Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (240 comments)

A deflationary currency helps the poor because the prices of goods go down over time.

The price of labor also goes down over time. Or, to put it another way, the amount of money you earn for the same amount of work goes down over time, since the money is worth that much more. Now, unless libertarians are also going to defend maintaining a constant minimum wage (ha!) this becomes an issue for people who rely on paychecks as their primary source of income--or, put another way, the vast majority of households out there.

Whatever you can save, no matter how little, becomes more valuable over time.

This is perfectly true, and perfectly useless to the poor. When you need to prioritize whether to feed your family, keep the electricity hooked up, heat the house, or be able to take the bus to work, saving $10 a month is a flat-out luxury. There are millions of working households in America living in this state[1]. MILLIONS.

Even when you can save $10--or even $50--a month, and even when your family manages to avoid savings-rending life events for several years, (like an illness or injury that knocks an earner out of commission for a couple of weeks, or the car breaking down, or needing to move for a new job, or needing to move because your landlord is converting to condos, or getting downsized, or you have another kid, or needing a prescription medication for a chronic condition, or wanting to send your kid to college, etc, etc) you'll have a stack of money that is worth...very little. Keep it up for a few decades, (with the number of dollars actually saved constantly shrinking, thanks to the fact that you're earning fewer of them,) and you'll have a stack of money that could maybe sustain you for a few years of retirement. That's winning.

[1] http://www.prb.org/Publication...

about 2 months ago

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

American AC in Paris Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (240 comments)

It's not your greenbacks or gold coins that build a factory; it's the people, equipment and raw materials that do it. If Joe McDuck doesn't want to buy them, then all that means is that Joe Glamgold gets them cheaper.

Do you think that the class that controls wealth controls only monetary wealth? They own the land, too! They own the resources, too!

Where do you, plucky upstart, get the land and resources to build your factories, when the land and resources are part of the wealth of the hoarding class? I can answer that for you: you don't. The people who control the world's resources--for there no longer exists a rich frontier from which a plucky upstart can carve an existence--get to dole and rent them out as they see fit. They're not going to indulge you, plucky upstart, with the chance to knock them from their perch; that would be stupid of them. They might let you run the things that they own, as the world will still need foremen, but they won't have any incentive to cut you in on the big action. That would be a needless risk.

Ultimately, you end up with a massive, destitute underclass that eventually snaps, revolts, and slaughters the hoarding class. This typically comes at the cost of very many lives needlessly lost, very many things needlessly destroyed, and very many institutions wiped out, regardless of whether or not they were dysfunctional.

You would create an entire class of people who would control the substantial majority of human wealth and would have strong incentive to completely disconnect themselves from productive activity.

That might be an improvement over the current situation where speculation and outright manipulation disturb said productive activity to the detriment of everyone.

There's historical context for this. It's called the landed gentry. In olden times, they controlled the vast majority of wealth in their societies, and despite the occasional fall from grace or meteoric rise, the landed gentry was quite stable, and landed families could maintain themselves over centuries.

As it happens, systems of landed gentry throughout history have had this nasty habit of having the destitute masses snap, revolt, and slaughter them, at great cost. Funny, that.

about 2 months ago

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

American AC in Paris Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (240 comments)

The wealthy are getting more wealth and the poor are basically screwed. they are rapidly on the way to becoming a permanent dependent underclass.

...so how would implementing a deflationary currency, where people who control wealth are given strong incentive to simply sit on it, make this any better?

Today, the wealthy make more money by reinvesting it and reaping the benefits. While this perpetuates the increasing disparity between the wealthy and the poor, it at least forces their wealth to circulate through society.

You make things deflationary, then the wealthy will simply sit on their pre-existing heaping hoards of wealth, as it's effectively guaranteed to increase in value, risk-free. They'll have enough wealth to continue to live like gods, but instead of having to send their money off to other people as risky investments, they'll be able to simply make sure to never spend their hoard faster than it appreciates in value. It's like living off the interest, but they get that interest by doing exactly nothing with their wealth. You would create an entire class of people who would control the substantial majority of human wealth and would have strong incentive to completely disconnect themselves from productive activity.

How on earth does that make the disparity between rich and poor better?

about 2 months ago

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

American AC in Paris Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (240 comments)

bitcoin is to banking what guns are to feudal castles.

Let's say, hypothetically, that we woke up tomorrow and the U.S. Treasury announced that they'd be abandoning the traditional definition of the USD and effectively re-launching it as a cryptocurrency.

Would the Bitcoin community, as it exists today, be happy about this?

If your answer is "no", then ask yourself: which is more important to today's Bitcoin community--the cryptocurrency itself, or the financial system that has grown around it?

about 2 months ago

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

American AC in Paris Re:Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess (240 comments)

Well, we're at the fighting stage I guess

Naw, we're still pretty squarely in the "laugh" stage. It's amusing to watch y'all rediscover the joys of bank panics.

We'll be at the fight stage once the Bitcoin folks start seriously introducing independent regulatory bodies; governments will likely not be on board with that.

Of course, being as the very soul of the Bitcoin movement is rooted in distrust of and independence from central regulation and oversight, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

about 2 months ago

Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink

American AC in Paris Re:Edge Cases (249 comments)

I would agree that this improves what is currently--and will likely still be--middling accessibility support from Google as a whole. Getting accessibility right is challenging and expensive, and impacts a comparatively small user base. When your strategy is a core strategy, accessibility is not one of your leading concerns.

about 3 months ago

Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink

American AC in Paris Re:Edge Cases (249 comments)

Well isn't it theirs to do with as they please?

Of course it is, and I did not state otherwise.

My point is that Google is actively pursuing a core user strategy, and there are clear winners and clear losers as a result. I have my own personal biases on this topic, and I'll argue that leaving edge cases behind in an effort to solidify the core is not the best path to take.

My being critical of their decision, however, does not indicate that I think they shouldn't be allowed to make it.

about 3 months ago

Google Planning To Remove CSS Regions From Blink

American AC in Paris Edge Cases (249 comments)

Google is aiming more and more for the core, at the edge's expense.

They provide middling accessibility support, because it isn't something most people need. They dropped MathML support, because it isn't something that most people need. Now, they're dropping CSS Regions, because it isn't something that most people need.

It increasingly appears that you can have your Google product in any color, so long as it's red, green, blue, and yellow. One size fits most, and tough for you if it doesn't.

about 3 months ago

Largest-Yet EVE Online Battle Destroys $200,000 Worth of Starships

American AC in Paris News For Nerds (463 comments)

Yes, yes, but more importantly: how good of news is this for Bitcoin?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?

American AC in Paris Perhaps not a time for DIY (384 comments)

Choose the right tool for the job. The right tool for this job is not Slashdot.

Go see a doctor. A good GP will be able to point you to a specialist who may be able to better pinpoint exactly why you're having these issues and help you sort them out.

Do your research, by all means--you'll need to be your own advocate--but there are people who dedicate their lives to figuring this sort of thing out. Talk to them, not us.

about 3 months ago

A Rebuttal To Charles Stross About Bitcoin

American AC in Paris Deflation (396 comments)

From TFA:

Bitcoin is more of a hybrid system than a true deflationary system. The gold standard is considered deflationary and Bitcoin is often seen as the digital equivalent of gold. Gold has a limited supply, so it is scarce, just like a digital currency. But real gold can only be subdivided so far. It can only be chopped up so far before it’s nothing but dust. Bitcoin has no such limitations. Theoretically, it can be subdivided into fractions of a coin almost indefinitely, growing as needed with people’s demands. Its current limitation is eight decimal places. Even with only 21 million Bitcoins, that’s still 2000 trillion of the smallest unit. The protocol is designed to be upgradeable, so if we ever need to divide it further we can.

The problem with a deflationary system is not one of divisibility. The problem with a deflationary system is that the value of a given amount of currency is basically guaranteed to increase over time, as the total amount of possible currency has a hard limit--by design, in Bitcoin's case. Unless human civilization starts becoming less valuable as a whole (which is BAD), this is basically inevitable.

That you can chop your Bitcoins up into Nanobitcoins doesn't change the fact that the currency will simply continue to increase in real value. That's like saying you can make a ten-ton boulder less heavy by crushing it into pebbles.

That this is advanced as a serious counterargument to deflation should tell you everything you need to know about the author(s) of this piece.

about 3 months ago

Nissan Plans To Sell Self-Driving Cars By 2020

American AC in Paris Re:Annoying (333 comments)

All these cars will religiously follow the speed limit, boxing up roads and not permitting those of us who are in a rush to get around them. The road rage will cause accidents, I guarantee that.

These accidents will likely be mostly minor fender-benders that result in the road-ragers losing their licenses (unless, of course, they get a self-driving car.) Or, That, and you'd also probably see road-ragers driving themselves off the road and into fixed objects. The automatic cars'll generally do a pretty good job of avoiding serious collisions--far better than even a reasonably skillled human driver could.

If a person is so lacking in maturity and self-control that they'd start ramming automated cars for not letting them treat the road as their own personal speedway, it's highly unlikely that these individuals are able to conduct themselves in a mature manner in today's traffic. We're not looking at a substantial net-up of people who have no business driving a car, y'know?

about 8 months ago

Paper: Evolution Favors Cooperation Over Selfishness

American AC in Paris Extrapolating (245 comments)

One wonders if this doesn't help to explain both the perennial popularity of libertarianism and the ongoing lack of a viable libertarian state.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Development Requirements Change But Deadlines Do Not?

American AC in Paris Re:Change Management (221 comments)

I don't believe this answer will be well received on /. because it is usually practiced by project managers, and /. doesn't believe in project management.

Slashdot most decidedly believes in project management. In fact, The Slashdot Consensus very fervently believes that project management is too important to be entrusted to project managers; like marketing, sales, management, and pretty much every other non-technical facet of business, project management is doomed to fail unless the technical people are doing it.

We'll call it "Slashdot's Rule of Business": No matter what the task, the only people to which it can be reasonably entrusted are the computer geeks.

about 9 months ago

Best Buy Recalls MacBook Pro Batteries

American AC in Paris Wow. (56 comments)

The summary might have mentioned that these were third-party batteries, yeah?

about 10 months ago



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