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Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

MarkWegman Re:Comcast challengers? What is K been smoking? (187 comments)

If you read the article you'd know he was pointing out that with this merger Comcast could force other companies that provide them with content sweetheart deals.

about a month ago

Krugman: Say No To Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner

MarkWegman Re:Paul Krugman, 1998 (187 comments)

Krugman admits to not be a technologist. In the above quote he was asked to be provocative and he was -- and was wrong and admits that. However, this merger is more an economic issue and there he's studied (and has a Nobel) and prognosticated with a high degree of accuracy. Can he be wrong -- sure. Can this merger wreak economic problems for the economy -- more likely. We know monopolies can be bad and too much economic power can cause problems. The burden of proof is really on those who want to argue this will be good for the overall economy and other businesses.

about a month ago

Para Bellum Labs Will Attempt To Make the RNC a Political-Analytics Player

MarkWegman Ignore the data (212 comments)

Let's see. The RNC and it's friends want to teach Creationism as part of Science. They want to ignore mountains of data on Global Climate Change. They "unscewed" the polls last time around to believe they were going to win -- when their candidate was the most data driven businessman they could find. The economic evidence for austerity based changes or New Keynesian show the Keynesians have been much more accurate in predictions about things like inflation rates and GDP growth. We could go on and on. There's a reason that people say facts (or data) have a well known liberal bias. Someone who's really good with data is going to have to have some strange reasons to be a Republican. It will be hard for the Republicans to assemble a good team, knowing that they'll have to work for people that want to ignore what they have to say.

about 2 months ago

Healthcare.gov Official Resigns, Website Still a Disaster

MarkWegman Re:And this is only sign-up (559 comments)

Yup. Imagine something as terrible as social security. It seems to many people, who've been trying to repeal it for many years that it can't possibly work at all. Or even worse the concept that other governments who have better mortality figures than the US have medical personnel on their salaries and somehow the cost to their GDP is much less than the US. This law is in fact complicated because we decided that rather than having the government directly run things, we'd have the government pay insurance companies to run things, and extract a profit from running things, and yet have the similar impact on citizens as if the government was running things. The healthcare market has not for a long time been an example of free market where people choose their doctors, especially as they are dieing and when they have insurance in order to make an informed decision about how to save money. Adam Smith's invisible hand has not worked in the context of our system to keep prices down for a long time. The law is a kludge, to fix some of the problems. But it is probably better than what it replaced.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Should More Math and Equations Be Used In the Popular Press?

MarkWegman More than equations are needed (385 comments)

Graphs are very helpful in really conveying what is going on. What we need more in discussions of politics is facts and many facts are about numbers. When discussing who has the right model of the US economy you really need to think of it scientifically. Each model is a hypothesis that needs to be tested. Economics is about aggregate behavior and so it's really a statistical statement. Yes the models are equations and those are nice to show too. But you need to show graphs. Folks who are not innumerate often prefer for example what Nate Silver put on fivethirtyeight.com to talking heads on TV who use neither equations or graphs. Many folks I know prefer Krugman's blog http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/ to what makes it into his columns in the Times.
If you can't show pictures of aggregate behavior you can only tell stories. Those stories can tug at heart strings and motivate people to feel strongly about an issue without really understanding the whole picture. That's one of the problems with our political discourse.

about 9 months ago

Of 1000 Americans Polled, Most Would Ban Home Printing of Guns

MarkWegman feasibility (578 comments)

It shouldn't be that hard to have a 3d printer determine if it is making something with a hole the size of a standard bullet. For example, is it drawing a circle that's 9mm or one of the other common sizes. If it were to make the hole say 9.2 mm all the gasses that should be propelling the bullet would escape on the sides.

about a year ago

Koch Bros Study Finds Global Warming Is Real And Man-Made

MarkWegman Re:But the real question is... (769 comments)

Global warming is not just, it will be hotter in some cold place and a bit too hot for comfort in some hot place. It's perhaps better called Global Weirding. With more energy in the atmosphere more weird things will happen. Hurricanes, droughts, sea levels rising and the end of the Gulf Stream that warms much of Europe are most likely consequences. Some places that aren't used to it will get much more water and some that have gotten used to a lot of water will get less. If global warming happened over hundreds of years, our species and perhaps others could adapt or move to different locations. It's expensive to move population centers, e.g. Florida if low lying areas get flooded. The expected cost of accommodating changes on this scale dwarf the costs to the economy of drastically reducing our consumption of carbon. The US consumes a huge amount more carbon per person than the average country, but California has some very mild laws that have caused Californians to consume much less than the average American without making California a poorer state than the others.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?

MarkWegman Send them to school? (701 comments)

Why do they need to be home schooled? It would be better to be in a real chemistry lab with tables and proper equipment that a home can't really afford. Learning to be social might be an important benefit. Even if the teachers aren't as smart as the parents -- which happened with me -- you have to learn to deal with people other than your parents anyway. If it's the case that as you say he doesn't read as well as other kids his age, the kindest thing you could do for him is to get him out of the home environment. Trying to work around the problems may not be helpful in the end.

about 2 years ago

Patent Suit Targets Every Touch-based Apple Product

MarkWegman Why can't we have better Slashdot authors? (141 comments)

This kind of story repeats itself over and over again. Even after several posts have pointed out that the new insight here, which it's not clear to me that Apple infringes now, is about deleting something when it moves faster than a certain speed, we get more posts about just touchscreens. Is there some way to mod down the author of this story?

about 2 years ago


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