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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Vintermann Re:Let me get this right (837 comments)

Consumption taxes are inherently regressive. A poor person has to spend (consume) all his income, a rich person can afford to use it to get more money instead. Not to mention that when time comes to consume it, the rich guy can buy his yacht in New Zealand, or wherever they don't have a consumption tax on yachts.

It would also be horribly intrusive/impractical to make an increasing consumption tax, they would need to keep track of everything you buy.

The charitable interpretation is that Bill Gates doesn't have a clue what he's talking about. The less charitable interpretation is that he knows.

about a week ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

Vintermann Re:Plus ca change (323 comments)

Hamburgers are still hamburgers, though.

about two weeks ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

Vintermann Re:I am SHOCKED! (323 comments)

You don't really need to rebuild much to do the kind of stuff the Germans were best at. As German was at its high point as the language of science from 1880 to the outbreak of the first world war, mathematicians like Georg Cantor, David Hilbert, Gottlob Frege, Kurt Gödel, Ernst Zermelo, Dedekind, Felix Klein and Richard Dedekind were active. Then there were the physicist like Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger and Arnold Sommerfeld. You can kind of understand why German was used for math and physics.

about two weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Vintermann Re:Feminism (1134 comments)

That would be the motte in the motte-and-bailey doctrine. If you define feminism like that, it's extremely defensible.

But as soon as you're going out to do any actual good work in the name of feminism, you're going to need a broader definition, one that opens it up for criticism.

Retreating to the defensible but useless definition whenever your ideas are criticized, is dishonest.

about a month and a half ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Vintermann Re:"Death to Gamers and Long Live Videogames" (1134 comments)

First and foremost, The boyfriend did not make that claim.

But also, corruption does not work that way. What do you want, an invoice? "One sex for so and so"?

If a politician takes money from a special interest, you don't say "but we can't prove it affected his decisions in any way!". So also with a reviewer who sleeps with people he's paid to pass judgment on.

Infidelity is especially bad, because it gives you extra reason to not disclose your conflict of interest.

Isn't it suspicious how little people care about the power dynamics of this? If a student sleeps with a teacher, that may be wrong by the student, but it's especially wrong by the teacher, who has the power in that unequal relationship. Same with driving instructors, parole officers etc. If you get too intimate with someone it is your job to judge, you're a tremendous ass and possibly a criminal. The dependent party also has a responsibility if they're adult and of sane mind, since they create a climate where improper relationships become the norm. Saying this doesn't matter is a slap in the face to all indie developers who wouldn't get that intimate with people judging their work.

So you see, we don't need an itemized invoice at all to say that this reflects extremely poorly on the gaming industry.

about a month and a half ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Vintermann Re:The world we live in. (595 comments)

One who is aware of this could check up to 10 drinks for their friends.

Yeah, if those ten friends don't mind you sticking your finger in their drinks. If you don't explain, you might get unpopular very quickly. If you do explain, why aren't you just using a paper strip or something?

That this silly invention is taken seriously at all is a testament to moral panic.

about 2 months ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Vintermann Re:The world we live in. (595 comments)

Sorry for what you went through man, but this is a great example of a case where this would not have worked. Assuming this nail polish existed, and no one would think twice about a man wearing it, would you have dipped your finger in the kool-aid?

There's a very narrow use case for this nail polish, and that's when you expect there's a good chance someone will try to drug you, but you still aren't sensible enough to stay the hell away from that place.

about 2 months ago
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New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

Vintermann Re: The world we live in. (595 comments)

Any social structure that diminishes personal responsibility is suspect.

I agree. It follows from this that alcohol use in itself is suspect, though, even more so than frat boys. Temporarily and selectively evading personal responsibility for your actions is the reason people get drunk in the first place.

about 2 months ago
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Aaron's Law Is Doomed and the CFAA Is Still Broken

Vintermann lack of interest (134 comments)

There are a thousand laws where "lack of interest amongst the general population" was no obstacle to getting them passed.

about 3 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Vintermann Re: You're welcome to them. (402 comments)

Many of us use it because it's simply more productive to do so.

You feel more productive, but the usability research showing mouse navigation is faster, and non-modal editing is faster, is older than vi. Xerox PARC found it in the seventies, Apple confirmed it in larger studies in the early eighties.

What happened to "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool"?

about 3 months ago
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Comparison: Linux Text Editors

Vintermann Re: You're welcome to them. (402 comments)

Yeah, illustrates nicely why it's not a good solution.

Of course, how we do things is largely a matter of habit and standards. Not entirely - for instance, there was solid usability research coming out of Xerox PARC showing that mouse-based editors were better than keyboard-only ones, and nonmodal editors were better than modal ones. Emacs was made in part in response to that research. But for the most part, one way of doing it is as good as any other.

It's just that vi and emacs (and wordstar!) lost that battle ages ago. Your browser, your IDEs, your widget libraries, your anything-that-isn't-actually-vi-or-emacs, use a standard based on IBM's CUA standard + Microsoft's defaults for cut-copy-paste (inherited from Apple). Odds are this very web from supports the old IBM shortcuts for cutting and pasting, (ctrl-insert, shift-delete, and shift insert), even though no one ever uses them.

You can keep forcing them to conform to obsolete standards with plugins if you must, but that is IMHO creating more trouble for yourself than it's worth,

about 3 months ago
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Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

Vintermann Re:Good Thing (195 comments)

The reason that power is cheap there in the first place, is that it isn't easy to transport elsewhere and they have more of it than they can use for other things.

about 3 months ago
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Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

Vintermann Re:Good Thing (195 comments)

It was overturned with good help from Australia's coal lobby, not quite the same as "didn't work".

about 3 months ago
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Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

Vintermann Re:20 megawatts (195 comments)

It looks like Georgia has a lot of hydro power. It's probably a good share of the power production too. Anywhere power is cheap (and they wouldn't be mining bitcoins there if it wasn't) they probably use renewables, because coal and natural gas have more or less the same price everywhere.

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Vintermann Re:let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

Oh no, East Germany was less economically oppressive than the Soviet Union, but it still was a planned economy with a few market elements. The outputs of the economy as a whole was dictated by government plans and quotas. Even at its most socialistic, that was never the way it worked in the west.

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Vintermann Re: let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

EU laws dictate that free market rules and no state interference is tolerated.

Mwhah ha.

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Vintermann Re:let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

There was little scarcity actually threatening day to day living in East Germany. They were the most productive eastern bloc economy by far, maybe because they experimented with some market pricing and even permitted some private enterprise.

What there was, was really invasive spying and political censorship, and bad coffee.

about 3 months ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Vintermann Re:let me correct that for you. (619 comments)

Fascism was the one from Italy, remember? It was the nazis with the gas chambers. The fascists were content with torture chambers, executions and shipping the "undesirables" to other countries to do the dirtiest work.

But don't worry, you're not in the torturable class, so it makes little difference for you.

about 3 months ago
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UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Vintermann Re:UK is not a free country (147 comments)

Like the ethnically homogenous Switzerland, I suppose?

A discussion on democracy is usually two idiots disagreeing on which sheep shit to eat for dinner.

about 3 months ago

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