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Killing Net Neutrality Could Be Good For You

Mystakaphoros Why stream? (361 comments)

Shouldn't we instead at some point focus on the fact that streaming itself is a silly and wasteful thing? So much more efficient to download something once and watch it to your heart's content. But then how to keep it under control...

about 2 months ago
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Researchers Try To "Close the Nutrient Cycle" Through Better Waste Recycling

Mystakaphoros Re:New Meaning to the phrase: (112 comments)

Make it rain, baby.

about 2 months ago
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How long do your computer mice last?

Mystakaphoros Re:meeses (361 comments)

So, you found yourself cleaning other people's balls?

BWAAAAK! It's a living!

about 4 months ago
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In an arcade with only the following games ...

Mystakaphoros Re:Preview (283 comments)

Fuck MLA, its Chicago or nothing!

Footnotes or blooooooood!

about 5 months ago
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I've done my current job in X time zones ...

Mystakaphoros Delaware Time (167 comments)

Just 1. The world outside Delaware has not been definitively proven to exist. That or Delaware hasn't been definitely proven to exist.

about 6 months ago
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DOJ Hasn't Actually Found Silk Road Founder's Bitcoin Yet

Mystakaphoros Re:Money for his defense (294 comments)

He might need some of that hoard to pay for his defense. I don't know that going cheap on this will be in his interest.

According to Wired he's using a public defender.

Remember, Ulbricht was living in a shared apartment and working out of a library. If his defense is that he's not the guy running Silk Road, it would be suspicious for a man in his situation to suddenly have an expensive defense team.

Maybe he could start a Kickstarter to fund... well, not his defense, because that's not a creative work, so to speak, but a DOCUMENTARY about his defense, including people who could just check by to see if he was dead yet.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

What then becomes the problem (such as at my local ShopRite) is that when there are long lines and only a certain number of self-checks, there aren't any cashiers waiting for you. But you wait, because you need food. And the company has already stomped out competition in the local area, so you're still waiting through a line of 10 people who don't know how to scan their own groceries, because they've already fired half the cashiers who could have taken you. And if you bopped over to Pathmark, it'd be the same situation. Of course, then there are those markets far enough away from bus routes who know they can just cater to the non-peasants, and they charge higher prices for staples but lower prices for healthy items.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

Though continuing to increase our prison population is one "safety net" we seem to be dealing with okay. Criminalize more and more things, increase enforcement constantly, you have an almost never-ending service industry of containing human beings. Unless you decide there's no reason to keep them around anymore, that is.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

Enh, wait until after. Or for even more fun you could work in university admin.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

What is of more concern is that the proliferation of technical jobs is gradually excluding people of less than average intelligence - a nontrivial fraction of the population.

Exactly. Because nothing ever goes wrong with millions of stupid, angry people with lots of time on their hands.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

You'll be able to leave your job at McDonald's and get a job cleaning the offices at the robot manufacturing plant!

Are you kidding? They have an industrial-sized Roomba.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Technological progress enables the shadow econo (674 comments)

If we can't even agree that infants should be fed, I sadly don't see the guaranteed minimum income coming about any time soon.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:it starts one way but ends another (674 comments)

That's one way of defining the average (mean) standard of living, yes. But that does not necessarily mean that the median standard of living also increases in the same scenario, without stronger assumptions on the distribution.

Grade-school level statistics actually showing themselves to be useful. My fifth-grade self's jaw just hit the floor.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:This article assumes... (674 comments)

I'm more inclined to believe in the second possibility. Social pressure would not permit the former IMO. But regardless, my post was just to criticize this idea that because Luddites were wrong once, during the industrial revolution, that their idea of jobs being lost to automation would be forever false. It is bound to happen sometime this century. We will eventually need to find an alternative to our current economic and monetary system based on a jobless (yet productive) society.

I think we share the same hope, though Bangladesh is a good case study of #1 being enacted as we speak.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Telemarketer (674 comments)

Also, the reason we 'need' so many telemarketers is because we can't use autodialers for telemarketing. Government regulations stop robots from taking that field.

...which is obviously an unfair intrusion by government into a problem (i.e. spending all that money on employees) that could be solved by the market.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Luddites aren't obsolete yet (674 comments)

In my area, we now have garbage trucks that pick up (standardized) trash cans. Presumably, this leads to fewer "garbage men" - who used to be the archetypal unskilled laborers. But the few garbage men that remain now must be skilled as truck drivers.

I actually know a guy who worked as a garbageman who got replaced by automation. It paid good money, because he had qualifications that most people didn't. He had the strength and agility to lift 70 lb barrels into the truck, hang on for dear life at speed, tolerate a "variety" of weather conditions and a living situation that allowed him to go to work at 4 or 5 AM. Unfortunately, when the demand for those skills and qualifications evaporated overnight, there weren't that many package handling jobs to absorb the influx, and his earning ability dropped just as quickly. Kinda sucks to be forced into a 6-12 month unpaid vacation while trying to find money to get trained for something else at wages that will never match what he made before. No way around it, of course, those jobs are just gone and he understands that. He's got another job, so I guess you could say his job wasn't "killed," it just became something else that didn't pay as well even after becoming proficient.

And now we have a potentially very angry man who has the strength and agility to lift 70 lb barrels into the truck and hang on for dear life at speed. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

You're essentially increasing the productivity of mankind per capita. There's nothing wrong with *that* - the one thing wrong is that once we have that productivity, we randomly deny the output to others even though nothing prevents us. Well, I guess that societies can get outdated as much as business models and technologies do.

Of the 10 of you, we've replaced 9 of your jobs with a machine. Steve can keep his job, unless someone amongst you is willing to do it for less. Oh, and we're not gonna feed anyone who's not hauling his weight.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to *differently skilled* jobs (674 comments)

It also fails to take into account that the skills required for the jobs that disappear are entirely different than the skills required for the new jobs that replace them. This means you lose everything you've worked for, career-wise. I might have 30 years in as a buggy whip craftsman, but that doesn't mean I have the skill set required to assemble an automobile. It also means that the salary I've been building up disappears. Even if the jobs are equivalent pay ranges, a senior buggy whip architect probably makes a lot more than a junior steering column technician.

If I started at $40,000/yr 30 years ago and make $75,000/yr today and suddenly lose that because my entire industry has been obsoleted -- including my retirement possibly -- and can now only take a new job at $50,000/yr... I'm still screwed.

I'm not arguing we should stop inventing, but its hugely callous to ignore the difficulties inflicted on people when this kind of thing happens.

"Callous" is really the only possible word I think we can use here. Look, I respect people's understanding of the benefits of capitalism. There are some brilliant capitalists around here. But when the problem is "solved" by market forces, there's another problem left over-- lots and lots of now-unqualified, unemployed people. Just using their children's hunger as a whip to scramble for a new job may again be a market force in action, but it's certainly not kind.

And then you run into the problem of... if we're all broke on our asses, who is going to buy your products?

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

Telemarketers are the scum of the earth. If you meet one kick them in the head.

Enh, usually they're already regretting every life-decision they've ever made that landed them in that job in the first place.

about 6 months ago
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The Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Why Tech Doesn't Kill Jobs

Mystakaphoros Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (674 comments)

Who are we kidding? Developers don't start at grade B, they clearly start at grade F.

And if you're like me, you basically remain at Grade F and then go become an English major.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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The Luddites are Almost Always Wrong

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  about 6 months ago

Mystakaphoros (2664209) writes "Mike Masnick of TechDirt argues that we can all put down our wooden shoes and take a chill pill: technology "rarely destroys jobs." For example, telephone operators have largely gone by the wayside, but a (brave) new world of telemarketing and call center support jobs have opened up because of advances in technology, not to mention the Internet.



That being said, I think it's worth asking... if machines are going to replace all our fast food workers, are we going to start paying our gourmet chefs minimum wage just because we can?"

Link to Original Source
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Tylenol a Psychotropic Drug?

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  about a year ago

Mystakaphoros (2664209) writes "Nobody's putting Tylenol up there with LSD or DMT, but a 2009 study shows Tylenol to lessen pain associated with social rejection, "sort of like alcohol or Xanax," says The Atlantic. According to University of British Colombia researchers, "Physical pain and social rejection share a neural process and subjective component that are experienced as distress." This giving anybody a headache-- and are you reaching for the Tylenol or the aspirin?"
Link to Original Source
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"Micro-Gig" sites undermining workers rights?

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  1 year,7 days

Mystakaphoros (2664209) writes "An article in The Atlantic examines the effects sites like TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and Rev.com are having on employment and freelancing. (I would add Amazon's Mechanical Turk to the list as well.) As the article mentions, "Work is being stripped down to the bone. It's as if we're eliminating the 'extraneous' parts of a worker's day--like lunch or bathroom breaks--and paying only for the minutes someone is actually in front of the computer or engaged in a task." How many Slashdotters have used these sites, either to hire or work? What's been your experience?"
Link to Original Source
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Congressman Calls to Ban 3D-printed Magazines

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  about a year ago

Mystakaphoros (2664209) writes "Looks like 3D printing is an intersection of First and Second Amendment rights again... U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-Huntington, N.Y.) has suggested a ban on 3D-printed magazines and a renewal of the 1998 Undetectable Firearms Act. What are people thinking? Is this a bigger First or Second Amendment discussion?"
Link to Original Source
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Washington Pirate Party - PirateBox Meetup

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  about 2 years ago

Mystakaphoros writes "Recently, the Washington branch of the Pirate Party met up to assemble some pretty swank PirateBoxes. Each PirateBox [http://wiki.daviddarts.com/PirateBox] creates an open wireless network that nearby devices can connect to and upload or download whatever they wish. An interesting alternative to P2P across the Internet?"
Link to Original Source
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David Lowery on the Ethics of the Cloud

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  about 2 years ago

Mystakaphoros writes "Musician David Lowery (of Cracker fame) takes NPR intern Emily White to task for her stance on paying for (or failing to pay for) music. While he makes some cogent moral points about failing to support artists, I still have some issues with conflating the "cloud" and other (peer-to-peer) file-sharing methods."
Link to Original Source
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Setting up a Folk Sneakernet... Tips?

Mystakaphoros Mystakaphoros writes  |  about 2 years ago

Mystakaphoros (2664209) writes "I'm about to move down to the University of Delaware area, and I'd like to establish what I'm currently calling a "folk sneakernet," where we meet up face-to-face to swap USB drives and get back to that same sort of feeling of pre-Internet excitement when a friend had a great shareware game on a floppy. Could anybody chime in with some of their experiences with sneakernets amongst friends or how they can work in a small community (say like a coffee shop)?"
Link to Original Source

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