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NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

bluefoxlucid Re:Plastic socket wrench? (152 comments)

I've personally never rotated a wrench using friction force. It's always been a pull upwards (bracing) or sideways; sideways pulls are largely done by my body pivoting over some joint (legs, hips, etc.), with gravitational assist. I have, on occasion, lifted myself off the ground.

yesterday
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NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

bluefoxlucid Re:My sockets are made of high quality steel (152 comments)

Dude, sockets are positive-locking. They're not "the finer part of the tool"; they distribute stress among an entire surface, which is distributed to a round barrel. This is why you can shatter a socket that's slightly wrong (e.g. an 8mm socket on a 5/16 bolt) relatively easily: you have six contact points prying at the weakest part of the socket, instead of a fitted socket providing full contact.

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

Again: you are quantifying death such that that lead poisoning is not fatal, cigarettes do not kill people, diabeetus doesn't kill people, lack of access to food doesn't kill people, etc. You are supposing that if someone is getting 70% as much food as they need, becomes chronically ill because of it, and dies after 10-15 years of this due to kidney failure, that it's because of kidney failure and not because of starvation (i.e. malnutrition causing degradation of the health of vital organs until they fail).

That is bullshit.

I know you want to cover your eyes and pretend the plight of the poor doesn't exist, and that people are just greedy and lazy assholes who can't even be bothered to get their EBT set up; but the real world doesn't work that way, it's not all roses and butterflies, and it's not cut and dried into geometrically perfect tessellations. The Just World Hypothesis is a piece of shit: people don't get what they deserve, and karma is as real as Santa Clause. Outcomes are the result of a myriad of factors, and sometimes the root cause of a problem is obscured. VERY obscured. That this conveniently allows you to not see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

Some of us are just far more intelligent than you, and able to see the whole picture.

yesterday
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

starvation

.star'vaSH(e)n/

noun

suffering or death caused by hunger.

synonyms: extreme hunger, lack of food, famine, undernourishment, malnourishment

Let's try English, shall we? Undernourishment, lack of food, EXTREME HUNGER. Like 14 million households, not getting enough food; like 7 million households, experiencing extreme food insecurity and pain from hunger.

It's hard to quantify starvation. It's hard to quantify malnourishment. It's hard to quantify death. Estimates of 3000+ per year dead in America by starvation stand right next to estimates of almost 50% of deaths under 5 (28,000 deaths under 5 per year in the United States) being caused by malnutrition--that is, we know people were eating, we know the kids were eating, but they weren't eating enough; we can't exactly say they died of ... well, starving to death ... but their bodies did stop functioning simply from stress caused by being hungry all the fucking time, essentially BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T FED ENOUGH. We can't exactly point to this in the muck of complications it causes, which brings other health effects, any one of which can be the killing blow, ultimately caused by chronic hunger but not itself chronic hunger, so not technically death by hunger.

In short: people who die because they don't eat enough may not have technically died of hunger, even though they wouldn't have died if they had adequate food security. In the same way, people who die of heart disease caused by smoking are marked as dying by heart disease, rather than "death by cigarettes".

You can be like this woman and argue that dying of complications caused by and related to chronic hunger aren't the same as starving to death, but you'd be intellectually dishonest and not credible.

4 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

Whoops. Someone else was having a 9 mile long minimum wage argument with me; I thought this was a moving goalposts thing. My bad.

The hell? Remember when 80% of the workforce used to be farmers? Then they moved more towards factories. Do you not see that shift from the primary to secondary industry? There will always be some people in the primary industries (I don't think complete automation is really viable), but the bulk of the demand for workers has indeed shifted up the pipe.

Do you remember the Industrial Revolution? Do you remember greater than 70% unemployment, because machines took jobs? Do you remember it lasting 60 years, before we got back to some 5%-15% level of unemployment, like a normal, civil society?

Do you honestly think we're going to just up and move people to new jobs? We'll face major unemployment for decades in a giant paradigm shift. The demand for jobs will vanish until we invent a new way for people to be useful that cannot be equaled by machines. The ones we already have apparently haven't solved unemployment for us yet.

And... really? You think getting an engineering degree is going to "fail" since other people want those engineering jobs? HA! Well this might just be an anecdote, but it worked pretty well for me. And every other engineer I know.

Good to know no credible research shows an oversupply of the STEM market. There's news that STEM graduates have low unemployment, with half of engineers and computer people not working in STEM jobs, and 75% of STEM graduates overall not working in STEM-related jobs. CIS has found 8 million non-working STEM graduates, and thinks there are 50% more STEM graduates than STEM jobs.

Yeah, you're hearing 2+2=5, but that's not what I'm saying.

You're saying there is infinite demand for engineers. All current research says we have plenty more than we need. You know why I'm not listening? Because I have access to current data that says exactly the opposite of what you're saying, coming out of multiple research sources, and plastered all over the fucking place. In short: you're wrong.

Yes, that's harsh, and unfriendly. But you can take a fucking look and see. My sources linked above are 2013-2014 sources, not 2002 or some stupid shit. It's current. I'm arguing correctly, by credible and recent data. I understand that part of good negotiation is to give people a way to save face, but I'm going to call a lifeline here and say I know more about the job market in this discussion than about how to not make you look stupid for being wrong.

Wow, corporate control over not only the wages of all their workers, but also the primary force of upward social mobility.... yeah, that paints a pleasant picture of the future.

That's what universal college education is: cheap labor, pre-trained workforce, trained on the backs of the individual and the taxpayer, with an oversupplied labor market so wages can be kept low. When your education is no longer adequate, we'll replace you with a new college grad who is up-to-speed, unless you keep yourself up-to-speed using money from your wages we pay you, without costing more than a replacement grad.

Have you not realized that selecting an education career is a risk? It's a big risk: even if it's free, it's years of your life relegated to whatever useless McBurgerJackInTheAss fry runner drive thru job you can get, with the hopeful return of a career. If you pick the wrong career, you will not gain employment by your degree; your upwards mobility is destroyed. We can talk government loans, but I think you understand well the prospect a poor, black kid has with a $120,000 UofT degree and no job.

You think employers don't have control over the primary force of upwards mobility? They don't just choose a motivated hard-worker and build him into a tool; they wait for a flood of self-built tools, pick the cheapest from them, and go with that. The others who invested in this but got passed over can go fuck themselves in the ass with the burger flipper. Employers have no responsibility to their employees in this model: they don't have to provide them with careers; they just have to take them, use them, and throw them out when the newer college grads are cheaper than the cost of retraining old dogs.

Do you really believe employers would be better off with an untrained workforce? Do you think they wouldn't experience severe pain from the vacuum of skilled labor in the market? It'd be like grasping them by the wrists and shoving their hands into the fire, and the state-funded college education system provides the fire brigade to douse them; but we've taken that away, and so they have to pull their own hands out of the fire by building their own workforce. The businesses who fail to do just that will burn and burn until they char and crumble, and they will die screaming as a warning to others.

4 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

How about the fact that we need more and more knowledge workers in the tertiary sector?

Those aren't minimum wage jobs.

Also, historically, mechanization, paradigm shifts, and other such major business process changes aren't there to shift labor up the pipe. You're not turning 100 people into 150 people across more services; you're involving 30 people instead of 100 people in the entire process of making a shirt. The point is to pay less in wages by eliminating workers, possibly replacing them with far fewer workers of slightly higher wages (e.g. eliminate 10 $10/hr wokers for 2 $20/hr workers, you pay $40/hr instead of $100/hr for the same result).

Or the part where I threw out the idea that there is an infinite amount of work for scientists and engineers (and hence there are jobs there).

There really isn't an infinite demand market for scientists and engineers. Where would we get infinite money?

That's not an emotional appeal or just an ancedote that showcases the need to pick the right degree that has the ability to pay off college debt.

To speculate on a market, with other people speculating, deciding what limited resource to hedge their future upon, in a mode which will fail if other people select the same limited resource; as opposed to having businesses who understand their own needs develop the work force, hiring entrants and managing their education far more efficiently.

It's a bad plan, but it looks nice because we're physically handing something to individuals. The big businesses are the ones who reap the benefit; we're handing the costs and risks to individuals. Effectively, we're giving individuals shovels and land rights, and telling them we're helping them to mine gold, while the big businesses sit back with piles of cash to buy that gold for cheap off any of the few who find some; this is the alternative to making big businesses expend the resources to find fewer gold mines, prospect themselves, then get heavy machinery and hire miners to dig for gold, even though the businesses have expertise that allows them to more effectively prospect and find gold more often with less time and effort and cost.

You talk a lot but you don't listen too well.

You're mistaken. If you said to me, "Two plus Two is Five," a hundred times, and I continued to argue, it wouldn't be because I don't listen; it would be because I'd heard the mathematical arguments before, I'd examined yours and found nothing new, and I'd determined you're wrong.

I'm listening, and you're not saying anything groundbreaking here. It's all things I've heard before, things I've spent thousands of hours analyzing, and things I've determined don't work that way in the real world. You're saying things, I'm telling you what you're saying is nonsense, and you're assuming I'm not listening because I consistently discount your arguments about cats chasing carrots through the sky as if they have no merit.

4 days ago
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'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks

bluefoxlucid Re:Cartooney. (161 comments)

"Standing" has been dramatically changed in US law. It now allows people to claim they could be potentially harmed, or could be harmed, or could have been harmed, to make a lawsuit.

4 days ago
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Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

bluefoxlucid Re:Monkey Business (185 comments)

Nobody will feed it anymore, and it will face predation.

5 days ago
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Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

bluefoxlucid Re:Monkey Business (185 comments)

I'm not a Democrat. I'm a Banana Republican.

5 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

With 300 million Americans, that would be 45 million people [ population of Argentina, nation] starving to death.

Where are the dead bodies?

Depends on your definition of "starving to death". Conceptually, not eating for 2 weeks and dying is the same thing as eating half as much as you need for 4 weeks and dying. Those chronically unable to get enough food eventually die, over months or years, of "malnutrition"; medically, starvation refers to the most extreme form of malnutrition, whereby health deteriorates rapidly due to grossly limited access to food. Colloquially, we refer to limited access to food (such as during rationing) as "slow starvation", especially when it leads to death. This applies even when a person slowly starves over months or years.

These people are not experiencing the hunter-gatherer problem of having no kill for a day or two, and then taking down a buffalo and engorging themselves; they are not following a feast-and-fast diet. These people are chronically malnourished, and live with continuous health effects; nearly half of them live with worsening health effects, in the range where sheer lack of food is outright killing them slowly. These are the sickly and anemic who are suffering from deficiencies in iron or potassium, from loss of muscle mass and body fat due to sheer caloric restriction, from weakened bones and arthritic joints due to not getting the calcium and fat intake needed to maintain their bodies.

These people are dying, slowly, from being underfed.

That's as much starving to death as simply taking your food away and leaving you in a hole to rot. It's not as dramatic, but cancer isn't as dramatic as a bullet to the head.

Reaction is very relevant. That's why it is a demand CURVE, not a demand vertical line.

No, it's a demand curve because businesses, on extreme modal average, don't throw tantrums; they operate based on profitability. If you squeeze them, they will pay; and if you keep squeezing them, they will take up a different management technique that is suddenly cheaper than you are; and if you keep squeezing them after that, they simply expire from being crushed to death. They don't just decide, hey, fuck you for minimum wage; we're going to instead spend millions on some other strategy that is going to cost us more and leave us poor, or we're not going to hire people even though we'd be making twice as much money if we did. There are actually rules against that (CEOs get fired for that behavior).

Your math is making an assumption that completely contradicts what a minimum wage does. Your math treats the minimum wage as raising labor costs uniformly across the board, such that optimal profit is achieved with the exact same number of workers.

Boundaries. A minimum wage raise of 1 penny isn't going to change profitability strategy.

The problem with this analysis is that the minimum wage only increases the costs of workers who earn less than the minimum wage.

Which makes it less of an impact than a wage increase on the whole workforce.

The optimal number of workers for profit for the average businesses is going to change, even if you can find a few businesses who are not affected.

No, wrong. The optimum number of workers is the number of workers that can produce the supply of a good or service to meet the demand at a price below the cost of the good or service, including labor. That's... a lot of gobbledygook, but it's meaningful enough: if that last worker is still giving you the ability to produce as many widgets to meet demands, and the price you sell them for still turns a larger profit versus removing that worker and his output, you still need that many workers.

Again: A minimum wage increase of 1 penny isn't going to do anything.

That's like saying no one is unemployed because you can find a single worker who has a job.

This is a strawman argument that doesn't actually analogize to anything I've said. I've given you the behavioral conditions which govern the impact of minimum wage on the size of the workforce; this is a model in broad terms, whereas the analogy you give is an illustration of cherry picking.

I even carried the model out as far as the factor of alternate management strategies, illustrating that the raising of minimum wage isn't the issue; rather, it is the convergence between profitability and cost, and the convergence between wage labor costs under various management strategies.

A human produces 1 unit output per 1 hour of work; at a wage of $7.25/hr, the human is cheaper than a machine which can produce 1 unit output for $10.25, and so automation is not profitable. A new process may produce the same 1 unit of output in less time, e.g. 1.1 units per hour, changing the human cost per unit to $6.59 (and allowing a reduction in the number of jobs). Over time, machines become cheaper to produce, operate, and maintain, and so the machine produces 1 unit output for $8.50; eventually, the machines may produce 1 unit output for $6.50, and so the laborers are eliminated.

Looking at the above, raising minimum wage does not immediately result in job loss. New processes are always coming, always becoming cheaper, always approaching the wage line. The labor market isn't restricted; labor is firstly required to be profitable, and secondly evaluated against other methods requiring less labor. In the case of business process improvements, this is often not a cost issue: A laborer costing $7.25 to make $10 profit is still valuable at $17 (making 25 cents profit), discounting risk (risk is important, but it just means your laborer is suddenly not valuable above $15 or $12 or some such; concept is the same); but a method to use half as many laborers to make as many units produces one laborer's cost per unit more profit. Automation involves more laborers: the robots have a cost to own and operate, but they're effectively lower-paid workers.

Honestly, machines are dangerous to an economy. Dangerous and wonderful. The industrial revolution brought 60 years of 70%+ unemployment; but look at what we can have for cheap, with machines able to weave cloth and harvest grain for us at a mere fraction of the cost of human labor. We found new uses for our labor; it took us a half a century, but we did it. I do not fear automation: I want to prepare for it, prepare for the economic fall-out, and prepare us to recover more swiftly.

I'm looking at multiple complex interactions here, though.

Let's take your own example - if minimum wages removed the 16-yo exception, making minimum wage to affect all workers - all those 16 year olds would be out of their jobs, even if they were willing to work at $6/hour. Maybe a handful would get hired on at $7.25/hour, but there would be some who were not worth $6/hour.

To correct your observation: 16-year-olds are perceived as cheap, risky labor. Adults, costing the same, would be hired instead. Less legal bullshit to go through, and they don't cost any more. (The adults were more immature than the 14-year-old school children at my job, though; when I left, I recommended firing all of them, and they did exactly that 3 months later.) The labor market would shift to a different group of the same number of people.

Mind you, a minimum-wage increase would push us closer to automated hamburger machines. They're still expensive, and we're not there yet; they're coming sooner or later, though.

We're mostly agreed on the problems of the current welfare system. I don't have much to say on your proposed fixes, but you do need to understand what minimum wage actually does if you want to make public policy about wages.

I know full well what wages do, thanks; and the point still stands: once we have eliminated the desperation of survival, we can eliminate minimum wage. This will give us a smoother curve in the coming transition to automation, which will be delayed and stratified; but it will still come staggered, as businesses aren't going to sit too much on the fence with $5-$6 labor versus a $5.15 machine. Once they decide to pull the button, they're eliminating their risk of increasing demand for wage; it's simpler, cheaper, and easier to manage a wholly-assisted or wholly-automated operation, and they'll pick a strategy and go balls-deep.

When it happens, I don't want to see millions starving in the streets, and emergency government welfare programs drawing ten times as much money. I want to see exactly the spending we have, give or take a few tens of billions of dollars, already supplying a broad social safety net that effectively keeps people alive--even if they fall straight to the bottom and find out their lives are now shitzoned. Not one dime of additional assistance to get us through the sudden crisis.

The crisis is coming. You can't deny it if you bother to look: machines will get cheaper, and they will replace workers when they can do the worker's job for less. Machines don't demand a minimum wage or a negotiated wage. Machines don't form unions. Machines don't have rights. Machines don't get fired; they get upgraded. When a machine can do your job cheaper and just as good, you won't have a job.

5 days ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

bluefoxlucid Re:This is worse than mythology. (390 comments)

A free-willed AI is an academic problem.

American Express uses an expert system AI to model a person's credit history and spending patterns, which then determines if a particular charge is fraud; it's more accurate than humans, and provides a full explanation of how it got there, including a list of information it's aware of but doesn't understand and thus hasn't factored in. This AI has no free will, and is not a thinking machine; it appears to make judgments and decisions, but is only a data analysis program. A very fancy data analysis program.

Dr. Sbaitso wasn't actually intelligent, or a doctor.

5 days ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

bluefoxlucid Re:This is worse than mythology. (390 comments)

AI is an artificial lifeform at best; in reality, it is an approximation of outcomes.

5 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

You wish to argue that what you thought while working at a single Wendy's restaurant is indicative of how all businesses as a whole will react to a minimum wage?

Reaction is irrelevant. A business can react to a moral issue for the owner by shutting down. Hobby Lobby, for example, could close its business or cut hours to below-ACA limits in reaction to the birth control mandate.

What is relevant is the technical impact of minimum wage. My argument is correct: wages do not sit exactly on the threshold of job loss; if they did, then you could just wait a few weeks, and the costs of whatever strategy would eliminate jobs would decrease further, triggering the exact same impacts as raising the minimum wage. Robots get cheaper, new management strategies become better-understood and easier to implement, and so on. The pressure comes from both sides.

More to the point, if the business can gain a greater increase profits by hiring more workers than it can by any other strategy, it will hire more workers. Exact wages are irrelevant; the only mechanism that is relevant is whether adding workers produces the greatest possible profit. If a business can profit $1M/year on 100 workers, and $0.999M/year on 101 workers, and $0.999M/year on 99 workers, it will hire exactly 100 workers; if you raise wages such that the business profits $0.8M/year on 100 workers, $0.799M/year on 101, and $0.799M/year on 99, it will still hire 100 workers. When a new management strategy comes along that allows for profits above what 100 workers can provide, that strategy is selected and workers are eliminated.

Did you manage payroll? Were you and ALL of your coworkers paid exactly minimum wage?

Of course not. Front-line workers were paid a minimum wage of $7.25/hr at the time; except for about 30% of us, who were paid $6/hr. Workers below the age of 16 are not legally required to receive minimum wage, so we were paid less. The single manager on shift at any given time was paid in the vicinity of $11/hr ($10.25 up to $11.50); the district manager made more, but I was never able to find his wages or salary.

The money that currently pays for welfare is not a free pot of money. It comes from taxation on the productive.

It's not, but it's also not going away. Social welfare has real value: laborers can easily be destroyed in a few short months of unemployment, but they are valuable and can be maintained with a slow drip of income. This is another huge economics argument; it is well known, however, that unemployment insurance is of high value. Old-age pensions are not; Social Security exists as a social benefit, purely on the moral grounds that people who work for 60 years deserve to rest in retirement with no troubles. This isn't necessarily bad; but there's a difference between welfare for economic efficiency and welfare to support what we as a society envision as the quality of life society should make possible.

Accounting for all of that, it's obvious we're not cutting welfare away--it's plain to see that cutting away all welfare would even be economically harmful. I propose welfare improvements which are efficient: I want more return for what we, as a society, invest; I don't want to pay $500 billion more for $500 billion more social safety net, but I might pay $100 billion more to turn our $1,600 billion social safety net into what we would imagine as a $3,500 billion social safety net.

A new system which more efficiently protects the laborer would reduce crimes of necessity (stealing food to live), support economic activity, reduce health care issues (which eventually put load on welfare systems and hospitals, which pass the costs on to everyone else), ad so on. This has obvious benefits: less property damage, less theft, less policing required, less sunk costs in the various welfare systems, less sunk cost in the healthcare system. These are things we pay for when we don't pay for a social safety net; these are the reason a social safety net has value: If you pay $50Bn and reduce the damage done by $100Bn, you just gained $50Bn. I think our current system is bad at this.

This is the 3rd time you've contradicted reality. People aren't starving to death. They're not getting worked to death.

Number of homeless in the United States: 600,000.

Hunger in the United States: 17.6 million households (2.4 persons per household each, 42 million people) are food-insecure, going without food from time to time. Of these, 7 million households (16.8 million people) experience very low food security: they not only do not get enough food, but they experience several occasions throughout the year in which members of the household experience physical pain due to not eating.

15% of the United States of America is starving to death. There are some statistics about children, but I honestly don't care; I have numbers of human beings. Adults with low food security will either underfeed their kids or will underfeed themselves; I can't control that, so the only solution is to minimize the number of persons without food.

Eliminating both of these problems eliminates the need for minimum wage. These people will take anything they can get; if you don't work for your meager wages, you don't eat. When that's no longer a thing, these people will have no reason to work for obscenely low wages; they'll have plenty of reason to work, but not for $2/hr. I actually expect that, using today as a model, $5/hr would be culpably fair, as it would represent a doubling of standard-of-living; but, as inflation comes, so will the demand for higher wages, and the freedom to quit your job if your wages stay low right until you're working for the same quality-of-life you'd have if you were not working.

What's important is doing it without jacking up taxes or reducing the ROI. The welfare system has to be more efficient and not substantially more expensive. I don't like the idea of taking an extra 1% out of people's paychecks, and I especially dislike the modern plans to jack taxes up on the rich to 60%, 80%, 92% (Reagan era taxes, occasionally used as a target). Robbing the rich to feed the poor is not a virtue; it's bullshit. We need to solve our problems as a society, not as a bunch of bandits waiting to catch a coach with silk curtains.

5 days ago
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Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

bluefoxlucid Re:This is not the problem (679 comments)

Why should we make that assumption?

Because it sets some bars that are useful in illustrating a point that is actually real, but that is impossible to convey without creating an artificial situation that exemplifies it. The set-up is legitimate: when I worked at Wendy's, it was clear we wouldn't sell more burgers by staffing more people; but we were profiting, and we had exactly enough people that we could make the burgers and fries as fast as they were ordered at any given time, and we would still be profiting with a few pennies increase in wages, and still be cheaper than buying and maintaining machines at the time. This is a thing that is actually real.

If labor is cheap, they will use business strategies that take advantage of that abundant resource (and drive up demand) If labor is more expensive, they will find alternatives.

It's not a blending though. It's this behavior, and there is a lot of ground to cover on both sides to hit that cross-over point.

Who is this "we" that are "ensuring" things? Where are the resources coming from? You cannot cheat market value. Trying to manipulate market value with top-down governmental policies will backfire when people take advantage of any perverse incentives created.

It's possible with the amount of money we currently spend on direct welfare. Our current welfare system discourages work. By creating a more efficient welfare system using the same financial resources, we increase value by moving power into the hands of workers and allowing for a free-market solution to wages and employment.

The current solution is "if you don't work, you will die." That's an artificial market solution with a dictatorial nobility oligarchy. We try to counter that by minimum wage; it has problems, but they're smaller than the problem of supplying work to desperate workers. My solution eliminates minimum wage, its problems, the problems of qualified welfare, and the problem of desperation, without eliminating the demand for employment; demand for employment increases, compared to our current welfare system, because getting a job when you're on our current welfare system tends to leave you with less money.

about a week ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

bluefoxlucid Re:This is worse than mythology. (390 comments)

Because an AI that does what you need an AI to do is not actually an intelligent, free-willed machine.

about a week ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

bluefoxlucid Re:This is worse than mythology. (390 comments)

There's been a trend of treating science like speculative fiction. A few dissenters have tried to explain to us that AI is a set of computer algorithms that make intelligent decisions, not necessarily by human-like thought process, but with human-like outcome; but people are fixated on the idea of AI being a warlike species with infinite reach, immediately taking hostile control of all network systems, rewriting firmware to turn anything capable of generating or measuring electromagnetic noise into a transceiver, and turning every piece of electronic machinery into a drone node specializing in the killing of biologicals.

about a week ago
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Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

bluefoxlucid Re:Commerce clause abuse (482 comments)

Yeah I see nothing in the Constitution allowing the Federal government to actually criminalize the possession or use of substances like marijuana. The Supreme Court could decide the DEA is unconstitutional, and decapitate it. That could be ... chaotic.

about a week ago

Submissions

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US Currency Finally Achieves Universal Suffrage

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 9 months ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "On April 2, precisely one day later than expected, SCOTUS voted 5-4 to eliminate the cap on individual donors political campaign contributions, finally granting universal suffrage to US currency. "Now, at long last, all U.S. money has a voice in Washington—a strong, loud, clear voice that can no longer be suppressed or silenced by anyone.”"
Link to Original Source
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Retro-Bit's Retro Duo: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 9 months ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Retro-Bit is serious about conquering the living room: the American technology firm has launched Retro Duo, a gaming console that not only allows 16-bit game play, but also 8-bit. That 8-and-16-bit capability makes Retro-Bit a threat to Nintendo, which rumors suggest is hard at work on a software implementation capable of doing the same things. In addition, Retro Duo puts the screws to other gaming hardware, including Sony and Microsoft's PS3 and XBOne, as well as smaller game consoles such as Ouya (a $99, Android-based device). Much of Retro-Bit's competitive muscle comes from its willingness to sell hardware for cheap (the Retro-Duo retails for $35) on the expectation that owners will use it to enjoy time with and without their friends, ultimately garnering further sales. Those players who've grown a library of NES and SNES games have an advantage when it comes to migrating software to Retro-Bit's new platform. While Retro Duo could represent yet another opportunity for game developers looking to make a buck, it also raises a pressing question: with so many platforms out there (iOS, PC, etc.), how's an indie developer or smaller firm supposed to allocate time and resources to cartridge manufacture?"
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Speed reading apps for ebooks?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 10 months ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Speed reading has matured into technological solutions. Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP, provides faster reading than the manual finger-following method, with retention on par with standard reading at 250 words per minute. Research shows most people can start at 400WPM, and reach 800WPM in an hour; and further advancements used in products such as Spritz and Sprint Reader claim 1000-1800 words per minute when practiced by offsetting and context pausing.

Thus far I have not found any software to read ebooks with these methods. Are there any open source applications, Nook or Kindle Fire applications, or otherwise to read ePub or Mobi or Kindle books via RSVP?"
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Should we research new kinds of nuclear bombs?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "The Orion Drive never got off the ground primarily because, essentially, blowing up a lot of nuclear material in atmosphere is a bad idea. That means a new kind of nuclear bomb--for example, clean-pumped fusion that uses a non-fissile source to initiate chain reaction hydrogen fusion into helium with only neutrino output and no ionizing radiation or fall-out--would provide a great enabler for space flight. Unfortunately, such an awesome bomb would also provide great opportunity for military uses--and associated politics. Infinitely scalable (notably smaller) nukes with no fall-out are just conventional bombs, right? Is the promise of effective launch and space flight worth the bitter in-fighting at the UN table that would occur just for implying new research into new nukes, as well as the moral implications of greater, more deadly warfare?"
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Why are there no open printers?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "With Printer Steganography, we can trace any document printed on a modern color laser printer back to its printer. This is because the serial number and time of printing are encoded into the document as a series of small, yellow dots scattered about. With all the concerns about privacy flying about, we must ask the question: why no open printers? These could have multiple, RepRapable adapters for various manufacturers' drums and cartridges, avoiding the need to become an ink or toner supplier. They could also run Linux, BSD, or Minix internally, with a replaceable, open source OS. The implications of adaptability to various toner and ink cartridges is also interesting, especially for inkjets: a color inkjet that could select for Lexmark or hp cartridges with a cheap carriage replacement would foster price competition."
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Why no 5.25 inch hard drives?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Back in the day when you kids weren't all up in my lawn, we had "Bigfoot" style hard drives--5.25" form factor hard drives. A 5.25" circular platter would be 2.25 times as big as a 3.25". The actual platters are smaller, making the difference less striking; but then there's a spindle in the middle too, cutting away at the space on a 3.25" but not diminishing the extra space added by widening the total diameter. With Seagate getting 1TB per platter and drives hanging in bays with plenty of space around them in all but the smallest form factors, why aren't we running 5.25" hard drives and doubling the disk size?"
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Account of LAPD protestor's arrest

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "There is now this account of Patrick Meighan's arrest in LA. The LAPD were brutal and abusive. Protestors were held without bail--bail was set, but not accepted, and there was no access given to legal council. Physical violence was used by police to provoke reflexive reactions to pain, which was then reacted to with more violence. I must be missing something here, because the police seem to find peaceful protesters more dangerous than rapists and murderers."
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JP Morgan Calls In a Bribe

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Well, it seems that JPMorgan threw $4.6M at the NYPD recently. In other news, the NYPD has arrested 700 people who were annoying JPMorgan. Just for the record, these people were blocking traffic and engaging in other dangerous stupidity on the Brooklyn Bridge; but also for the record, it seems the police guided them out there, then arrested them en masse. Most of these people got citations, so I guess $4.8M isn't a lot of money."
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OnStar to Track You No Matter What

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "From the article:

Navigation-and-emergency-services company OnStar is notifying its six million account holders that it will keep a complete accounting of the speed and location of OnStar-equipped vehicles, even for drivers who discontinue monthly service.

OnStar began e-mailing customers Monday about its update to the privacy policy, which grants OnStar the right to sell that GPS-derived data in an anonymized format.

Enjoy your Chevrolet."
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Incandescents use less energy, CFLs an elaborate c

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "From the article, "BANNING the humble 60-watt light bulb to make way for so-called energy-saving ones and 'help save the planet' was last night exposed as an elaborate EU con." What justification could the have for such accusations? "The carbon footprint of manufacturing, distribution and disposal of a compact fluorescent bulb is far greater than the energy usage of a standard bulb." Imagine that. Complex electronics and mercury tubes are harder to make than an evacuated glass bulb with a wire in it; and reclaiming hazardous waste takes more energy than just chucking a harmless glass bulb in the standard recycling bin."
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Cancer Cured by HIV

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Apparently cancer has been cured, by injecting people with HIV. From the article, "As the white cells killed the cancer cells, the patients experienced the fevers and aches and pains that one would expect when the body is fighting off an infection, but beyond that the side effects have been minimal." Nifty. Poorly edited run-on sentence, but nifty."
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Terrorism, Money, and Oil

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "A recent submission about the cost of terrorism to the economy brought a few things to mind. This article looks like a repeat of an article Bruce Schneier linked to on his blog in November, 2010 which, among other things, explains how terrorists spend $1 for every $1,000,000 of economic damage done. The Rolling Stones blames Goldman Sachs primarily for the oil and food price hikes due to speculation on futures, although I also tend to blame Monsanto for raising seed license fees while lobbying heavily for biofuels--and selling even more corn and soy seeds for ethanol and biodiesel. We also can't forget the news media, a modern circus designed to grab attention so the networks can get sponsorship money; they have a huge incentive to create panic, which only over-hypes the low risk posed by the terrorist "threat" (more of a "minor annoyance"), allowing politicians to pull the Politician's Syllogism and strip us of our rights while derailing our economy further. Does anyone work in our favor anymore?"
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Books and Audiobooks in Other Languages?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "I've been learning various languages and I want to get some deep exposure. Sans-$100k employment, multiple 2 week vacations every year to various countries is untenable; therefor I have found an excellent solution: audio books and dead tree books in German, Japanese, Urdu, Russian, and the like. The only problem: I can't find such a thing. Amazon doesn't sell audio books on Amazon.de that I can find; maybe this is because my German is poor and I just can't find it. Any idea where to get audio books in other languages?"
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Why does the new slashdot look like ass?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Is anyone else quickly getting sick of staring at this fuzzy, overly-cartoony iteration of the Slashdot UI? The last one was fine; this one is starting to cause nausea. Overly softened, looks like a kid's site. Digg's aesthetics look much better now."
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US to reduce fluoride in drinking water

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "The US is slated to reduce the amount of fluoride recommended for drinking water. According to WebMD, "The HHS is recommending that water supplies contain 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, replacing the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. [...] The new HHS recommendation, Messina says, makes sense because in recent years the population has gotten more fluoride from other sources, such as toothpaste and mouthwashes. [...] Some data suggest that excess fluoride may also be linked with skeletal bone damage, she says, and possibly hormone disruption. It has also been deemed an emerging neurotoxin." Fluoride supplements are sourced directly from industrial toxic waste, which cannot safely be dumped into the environment and so instead goes into the water supply. Conspiracy theorists and crazy generals obsessed with commie plots to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids are, of course, rejoicing."
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9/11: Time to Forget

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "After almost a decade (it will be so in 9 months and some days), we still all remember 9/11. I can't for the life of me recall (or care about) the date for the Oklahoma City Bombing... in fact I can't recall anyone caring that much when it happened. Somebody blew stuff up, people died, it hit the news, there was a manhunt. It was time to demote 9/11 to this level of care back in 2005... beyond time. So why do we still remember it like a big important thing? Why do people still wave flags on September 11 of each year and claim it as a patriotic American holiday, a day of celebration, a day to applaud the stripping of our rights and the deaths of thousands? Is it time to move on? Must we actively antagonize people who make a big deal out of 9/11 until they feel foolish and give up on the whole thing?"
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UK to vote on Doubling, Tripling Tuition

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 4 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "As per Wikinews, "The new policy on tuition fees will allow universities to double the current tuition fees from £3,290 per year to around £6,000 per year, as well as allowing some universities to get special approval from the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) to raise their fees to £9,000 per year." Apparently teachers were encouraging high school students to walk right out of class for this, too; I guess when you can't hope to afford college it doesn't much matter. The economics here are, of course, non-trivial; but this is a huge fee hike all at once. This has got to be the only useful thing I've actually seen televised news cover in the US in a long long int time."
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Game review: Go

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Before Risk, before Axis and Allies, before Pentago and Polarity and Settlers of Catan, before Dungeons and Dragons, even before Chess, there was Weiqi. Weiqi appeared somewhere around 2200BC in China, and soon spread to Korea as Baduk and Japan as Go; over 4000 years later, the game is as well known in Asia as Chess is in the rest of the world. Played by taking turns placing single, non-moving stones on a grid of 19x19 lines, the rules of Go are extremely simple; the playing of Go, however, is uniquely complex and contemplative.

Breaking with traditions, an up-front listing of resources for Go would seem appropriate. First off, the absolute best way to learn Go is to find a Go teacher and study with him; this works about as well outside of Japan as ordering Haggis in a Denny's works outside Scotland. In the English speaking world, however, Janice Kim's book series, "Learn to Play Go," is widely considered the best resource for beginning students. Sensei's Library provides an online resource for Go players in the form of a Wiki. Finally, the Internet Go Server allows players to observe or play games against each other online and automatically calculates rank and handicaps.

With that out of the way, Go is a fantastically simple game. The aforementioned book or a YouTube tutorial would introduce the game more clearly than a wall of text; but the rules are brief. Two players elect to play either black or white; black plays first. Players play on a 19x19 grid, or for faster games on 13x13 or 9x9 grids, by placing stones on the intersections. Each open space on the four cardinal directions represents a liberty; if one player surrounds the other player's stone on all 4 sides, that stone is captured. Stones of the same color sitting on adjacent liberties become a connected group, and thus the whole group must be surrounded to be captured.

The final rule, as consequence of the above play, is the Ko rule. The Ko rule simply states that one play cannot put the board into the exact preceding position. The Ko rule results in "Ko Fighting," a phenomena where a player cannot play a stone to recapture a point immediately, and thus instead must play a stone in a position that produces disproportionate gains if not answered immediately. The opponent will either respond to this threat, allowing recapture of the taken point and capture of the attacking stone; or settle the Ko, ignoring the threat and losing something in exchange.

Based on these simple rules, players must move to make territory: controlled area surrounded by the borders of their own stones. Players can reduce each others' territory by taking control of areas inside the opponent's border. For example, if black controls a third of the board mainly around the lower right corner, white can reduce this territory by taking control of a fifth of the board including the lower right corner. White must do this by creating life in that area: a group of stones is alive if there is no possible way to capture it. At the end of the game, the rules of scoring give each player one point for each point of surrounded territory minus one point for each stone the opponent has captured.

Between all this, the simple game of Go gives rise to many, many concepts. The primary concept of Go is that of Life and Death. A group of stones that is impossible to capture by correct play is "Alive," while a group of stones that cannot avoid capture by any means is "Dead." Groups are otherwise "unsettled." Further, there exists the concept of seki or "Dual Life" by which two groups of stones are both alive only because whichever player plays first to kill the other group will instead kill his own group. The study of life and death greatly improves a player's skill at Go: players that recognize shape early and move to prevent life can more easily retain territory; players who recognize shape and move to create shape that leads more easily to life can more easily invade their opponent's territory. As a final consequence of Life and Death, by the way, dead stones are removed from the board and captured automatically during scoring; therefor there is no reason to waste moves capturing unless your opponent forces the issue.

Another concept in Go is Joseki, which indicates a "settled pattern" of moves that produces a balanced outcome. Joseki are usually played in the opening and represent optimal play by both players: the outcome is balanced because neither player has a sufficient advantage to overwhelm the other, and thus deviation from Joseki weakens the player who deviates. Proper joseki helps players avoid entering midgame at a disadvantage when hostilities break out during the opening.

Other studies in Go follow connections and basic moves to play. While groups are only formed with solid connections, players can eliminate the threat of cutting a connection by playing non-solid connections such as diagonals and bamboo joints, or even wider shapes that cannot be effectively cut. Often moves such as the Knight's Move, hane (Turn the Corner), or Monkey Jump represent complex play that turns what appears at a glance to be a somewhat scattered set of stones into a strong, solid shape during combat and capturing races. Thus the playing of Go relies on extremely distant abstract thinking in situations that can rapidly change and have many, many open options for play.

Go does not rely on fate (as in Backgammon and other dice games) or conflict (as with Chess). It can be said that Backgammon is a man versus fate game, where winning depends on pure chance; while Chess is a man versus man game, concentrating on the concrete goal of outmaneuvering your opponent to capture his king. One can consider Go, on the other hand, as a problem of man versus self: the playing of Go is only improved by judgment, balance, and understanding of play, and such conflict and capturing that arises between the players is often brief and only a minor part of play. Go is a matter of playing the position, not playing a calculated military strategy. This makes Go extremely challenging and enlightening, and very rewarding for players who spend a fair amount of time not only playing, but also studying."

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Amazon.com handles passwords really freaking bad

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Got an Amazon.com account? When it asks for your password, you can tack on extra character at the end or mess with the case. If "password" works, then "PASSWORD" works, "PaSsWOrD" works, "password123" works, "PasswordOHMYGODMYEYES" works, and so on. Oops?"

Journals

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What really causes global warming?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 5 years ago In trying to solve the world's energy problems on the back of a napkin (see blog), I think I figured this global warming thing out. Mind you, I don't believe in human-caused global warming; but this one's a little more generalized. Basically, the sun and the earth are the same; the earth's a lot dimmer, but it radiates thermal energy out into the universe, and has struck an equilibrium with input (from the sun) versus output. Plants store thermal energy; bacteria and animals eat plants and release thermal energy. Well, every machine running on electricity also releases thermal energy. Whether we burn biofuels or throw up solar panels, we're absorbing energy from the sun that's normally reflected wholesale back to space and/or releasing it faster into the ambient environment than useful (i.e. burning plants in 30 seconds, rather than letting them decay in 3 months). With all the extra absorbed and wholesale-released heat, the equilibrium point shifts upwards, and the earth maintains a higher temperature-- it gets hotter! It gets hotter with every man, animal, and machine that walks the surface of this damn planet!

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Dynamic story rating?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Having a simple idea, I figured I'd write it into the journal as a first usage; and why not let them post it as a story too if they want? Anyway, the basic idea: users ranking stories, users accepting rankings. Why let armchair security experts and self-described IT experts rate your stories? Why not pick the users your think have a clue and only count their votes? Read on to see how this fleshes out in my mind.

The premise for this idea is that some Slashdot stories are good, some are bad, and some come from armchair experts who know nothing and can hype a good but inaccurate and relatively useless pile of FUD. The editors are not experts on everything either, and have let a few FUDs through in the past under the guise of breaking news. At the same time, we can't rely on armchair warriors to tell us whether or not stories are good.

The solution I've come up with is simple. Stories are rated by any user wishing to cast a rating. Users select other users they believe are knowledgeable, selecting which topics they believe the users are knowledgeable in. Each user then sees a story with a rating computed based on the opinions of users he's decided understand what they're talking about; other users are discarded.

At the simplest level, a user has other users he believes understand a topic. A more robust solution is also possible where users can go a certain depth into a web of trust. In order to accomplish this, the user sets whether or not he trusts those knowledgeable users to also recognize other knowledgeable users, and thus considers those users that the knowledgeable user considers knowledgeable as knowledgeable as well.

This trust model can be set to a specific depth, where this evaluation is followed down 1, 2, 5, or 10 steps deep. A full depth evaluation would also be possible; however it would require caching and triggering on modification of the full depth with loop detection, otherwise it would be very slow. Even with caching, a lack of loop detection will allow the system an easy route to an infinite loop. A mandatory maximum depth will prevent this, but will still bring the system to its knees for a short time.

Loop detection is important to avoid a DoS for anything more than even 1 step deep; 3000 users with all of each other trusted will otherwise cause the second step of evaluation to pass through 6,000,000 nodes, fully evaluating each node 3000 times. Simple loop detection will check if the node has been evaluated yet, and skip it if so.

Caching on changes may be the most CPU effective solution, where when any user changes his settings the changes are applied upwards through those users that depend on that setting, to avoid on-the-fly evaluation. On-the-fly evaluation may reach the 9000-node-evaluation problem at only a few steps, where users may trust 30 users who each trust 30 users, giving 9000 total users; building this list at each page view would be too expensive.

As a final measure, some users may just want to know what "the experts" think is hot. This is a low hanging fruit problem; users can simply allow the top 100 most popular, top 5%, or users accepted directly by over 1000 or 1% of Slashdot users in each topic. These selections would not be counted in these statistics; only users directly accepting individual users as knowledgeable would count. In this way, users can pull in ratings based on the users other users think are smart.

I believe this system would be useful in allowing users to weed out useless headlines and promote useful headlines because it would allow users control over who they are relying on to judge the articles. Those users not thought capable of making useful decisions are ignored in this system, giving every Slashdot user a personalized rating. Most appreciated Slashdot users are publicly known, allowing users to blanket accept the most knowledgeable users per topic. This should allow users to customize their Slashdot experience with high quality ratings of a personal value.

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