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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

silfen Re: It's getting hotter still! (624 comments)

You're being very blasé about the whole extinction thing. You seem uncertain that it is even happening

No, you are simply being sloppy in your terminology. There is no doubt that extinction rates have been elevated for about the past 10000 years, and that has been clearly due to human activity. But you claimed that we are in the "sixth mass extinction", and a mass extinction is different from simply elevated extinction rates. At the current rates, a mass extinction would likely take a very, very long time to happen. (It's also not clear that extinction events are bad, but that's a different discussion).

I don't see what you think that has to do with a discussion on climate change. There have been many periods of rapid and large climate change that had much lower extinction rates that we have now. On the other hand, elevated extinction rates started long before human fossil fuel use and long before industrialization, so there is no reason to believe that switching to renewable energy would reduce extinction rates.

The only plausible way of reducing extinction rates is, in fact, through economic development, since economically developed societies generally protect their environments better and have low or negative population growth. But limiting carbon emissions would actually impede economic development of developing nations, therefore prolonging high extinction rates.

6 hours ago
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

silfen Re:Pay These Geniuses What They're Worth! (208 comments)

That's not always true. Depending on where you are in the green card process, you may be able to continue to stay in the USA beyond the 6-year period while your green card is processed.

Neither of those are relevant to my point, which is that H-1B's have low average earnings because they are mostly people at the beginning of their careers; the link that Baldrson pointed to was biased and misleading.

H-1B's are the only realistic way to immigrate to the US based on skill. Kill H-1Bs and you kill skill based immigration. Canada and Europe would like nothing more than that, because they make it easy for skilled immigrants.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

silfen Re: It's getting hotter still! (624 comments)

You have never responded to the 6th Great Extinction issue.

What is there to respond to? We may or may not be experiencing the "6th Great Extinction", but if we are, we are at the very beginning of it, we don't know what to do about it, and there is no urgency to act either.

Your whole position is based on the idea that wrecking our environment doesn't matter!

No, my position is that going to 1000-2000 ppm doesn't amount to wrecking the environment, it amounts to a benign and possibly desirable change. Since we couldn't reach those CO2 levels for several centuries even if we tried, there simply is no urgency to act.

Start thinking like a member of a species, rather than a single selfish individual.

My recommendation to you is: start thinking, period. As I was saying: I know where you are coming from; when I started looking at the climate change issue, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat and progressive and took exactly the positions you took; my views changed after I looked into the science and economics of it.

There is no urgency to act. According to IPCC's own projections, we can easily keep going until the end of the century with no change and suffer no grave consequences. And my prediction is that if we do nothing, the more rapid economic development will reduce emissions more effectively than any government intervention. You have failed to come up with any counterargument to either of those observations.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

silfen Re: It's getting hotter still! (624 comments)

Energy companies (and the stock market) treat fossil fuel reserves as money.

You're arguing as if energy companies are sitting on a huge amount of fossil fuel that they are gradually selling and that would lose value if we reduced carbon emissions. None of that is true. Energy companies are a business like any other: they produce something at cost and sell it for what the market will bear. Their profit margins are around 7%, boring and low compared to most other industries.

You're going to equate the $6 trillion which energy companies have at stake with essentially, book sales.

Well, I own those energy companies, like everybody who has a retirement fund or a 401k; they are publicly traded. And I tell you: I don't give a f*ck about fossil fuel per se; I could put my money into renewables any day, no big deal. But renewable energy companies have failed to deliver; several of them were outright frauds. There is no way we could replace fossil fuels with renewables today even if it were necessary (which, fortunately, it isn't).

For politicians and activists, spreading fear and outrage, on the other hand, is their livelihood and their entire ego.

How can you say it's not going to be a problem for centuries to come, when it's already a huge problem, and we've already got decades more pain loaded into the pipeline?

There is no scientific evidence that it is "a problem" already, let alone a huge problem. Any scientist who claims this is a charlatan.

Ultimately, the issue is that we all depend for our delicate existence on the health of our Earth.

The world is fine, really. Our existence is not "delicate". The only thing that has ever hurt societies on a large scale is the kind of madness people like you fall prey to: "follow me or the world will end". Spreading FUD has been the bread and butter of politicians, dictators, and other leaders from Christ to Stalin. Gore, Clinton, and Obama don't quite make that league, but they are using the same political tricks.

yesterday
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

silfen Re:Pay These Geniuses What They're Worth! (208 comments)

Ah I see. So the violation of the H-1B statute is so pervasive now that people are under the impression that it is for people who are just starting out.

An H-1B visa is a temporary work permit; it's for a maximum of six years. If you haven't gotten a green card by then, you have to leave the US. The H-1B visa is the primary way in which skilled immigrants arrive in this country. After they get hired on an H-1B, the employer sponsors them for a green card, and then people become citizens. And I'm not "under the impression", I'm an immigrant; I know the process by heart.

My mistake.

That's no mistake; you're a xenophobic idiot.

yesterday
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

silfen Re:Pay These Geniuses What They're Worth! (208 comments)

Its tragic that Mark et al are being forced to put up with just sort of OK US workers.

Well, yes, it is tragic. It's tragic because if the US doesn't hire better workers from abroad, US companies with just-sort-of-OK-US-workers will be competing against the better-than-US-workers that US companies would have wanted to hire.

What's the consequence? Big US companies just hire people overseas instead of moving them to the US. Small US companies compete against small foreign companies staffed by the people the US companies couldn't hire. It's a surefire way of driving more and more companies abroad and destroying the US high tech industry.

See The Bottom of the Pay Scale: Wages for H-1B Computer Programmers

Yes, H-1B workers are at the bottom of the pay scale for the simple reason that H-1B visas are for people just starting out. They soon apply for green cards, and when they get citizenship, they generally have higher salaries and perform better than native born Americans of the same age.

yesterday
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

silfen stop dreaming (208 comments)

Hey, Mark, MSFT just laid off 18,000 people; Cisco just laid off a bunch; MSFT just the other day closed its research center right down the street from you - filled with gifted coders and brilliance. Mark, there is a MOUND of studies showing NO shortage of STEM works in the US.

If you mean that there is no shortage of people with STEM credentials, you are absolutely right. But most of those people are the product of a dysfunctional US educational system. They have fancy degrees but not the skills the US needs. US industry doesn't want them. The fact that there is a worldwide shortage of qualified STEM graduates is easy to see, since many other nations basically just rubber stamp work visas for skilled workers.

And the idea that you can force American companies to hire American workers that don't meet their needs is ludicrous. What those companies are going to do is hire the workers they actually want overseas. And eventually, they are just going to leave the US altogether, by moving their headquarters abroad, by "inversions", or eventually by just getting acquired by overseas competitors.

yesterday
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Mark Zuckerberg Throws Pal Joe Green Under the Tech Immigration Bus

silfen Re:Most transparent ever? (208 comments)

Super PACs are run independent from individual campaigns and are not allowed to coordinate with candidates. So he wasn't part of Obama's staff, in theory...

It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is anyway.

yesterday
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

silfen Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (316 comments)

Try giving this a read: http://www.kelleydrye.com/imag... [kelleydrye.com] in particular paragraph 2 of page 8.

A US court may have jurisdiction over a Swiss citizen in some proceedings according to US laws, but it doesn't generally have jurisdiction over a Swiss citizen in Switzerland according to Swiss laws (unless established by a separate treaty). In order for the US court's judgment to be effective, it needs both kinds of jurisdiction.

Obviously, when talking about "the jurisdiction of Canada over Netflix", we are already assuming that the Canadian court has jurisdiction according to Canadian law (otherwise the discussion is moot), and we are talking about the ability of Canada to enforce its laws against Netflix Inc.

yesterday
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

silfen Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (316 comments)

You're right that the US has a lot of ways of pressuring foreign companies, but that's for the simple reason that the US is a big and desirable market. Saying "if you do X, you can't use US banks, you can't travel to the US, and you can never open a branch in the US" is pressure, but it doesn't establish jurisdiction.

yesterday
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

silfen Re: It's getting hotter still! (624 comments)

And yet, as I think you and I agree, there is in fact an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that global warming is occurring. And I think it's fair to say that it's a given that it is ultimately caused by what is termed "economic growth".

No, it isn't caused by economic growth, it is caused by economic activity. Even if we had zero growth, we'd still be steadily increasing carbon concentrations in the atmosphere. That's why you are not going to appreciably reduce carbon emissions through any kinds of mandates: nobody is going to accept negative growth.

If all Americans understood that A) global warming is occurring, and B) we are causing it, then I think you'd find much stronger support for action. Why? Because most people are not like you. Most people are, I think, willing to take some pain now for the benefit of coming generations. Your ideas about climate are reckless, to say the least. Most people aren't so reckless.

I'm willing to take some pain for the benefit of coming generations. But all you and climate change activists have to offer is a massive con job: take a lot of money, hand it over to greedy corporations, and not affect the climate one bit. And all of that for something that doesn't even look like it's going to be a problem for centuries to come, if ever.

It's clear what the industrialists have to gain in trying to discredit climate scientists (and science generally, as fallout).

Really? Like what do they have to gain? What difference does it make to "industrialists" whether they sell you fossil fuel-related crap or green energy related crap? And why would you believe green energy industrialists are any more trustworthy than fossil fuel industrialists?

What "agenda" do you imagine the environmentalist lobby has, anyway?

There is no "environmentalist lobby". There are politicians, non-profits, journalists, bloggers, and scientists, and they all behave in the same way, whether they are conservatives or progressives. All of them get rewarded big for saving society from destruction; that's why both progressives and conservatives love to constantly invent threats. Progressives like to spread FUD about climate change, racism, inequality, while conservatives like to spread FUD about homosexuality, atheism, and socialism. Your fear of climate change is no different than other people's fear of homosexuality: you are both the victims of self-serving political FUD.

yesterday
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

silfen so? (377 comments)

I also can't make watches like a Swiss watchmaker charging $300000 for a watch. Who cares what kinds of specialized equipment Apple temporarily corners the market on in order to build their expensive and fragile jewelry-like devices?

2 days ago
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Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

silfen Re:what's the point? (113 comments)

But the thing is that they're not going to because of the mindset that so enjoys the freedoms of being separated from a working class of people that are miserable anyway.

Funny that that "working class of people" keeps voting for the people who impose that kind of government on them.

A lack of obeying these laws, in a peaceful manner, is what needs to start happening.

No, what needs to start happening is to take away power from the federal government and bring it back to the state and local level.

2 days ago
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

silfen Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (316 comments)

Doesn't matter how you "addressed" it; the fact remains: your criterion of "significant ties" is nonsense. Jurisdiction only exists where governments can enforce that jurisdiction. Unless Netflix actually operates as a business in Canada or the Canadian government has some kind agreement with the US, Canada has no more jurisdiction over Netflix than Iran or North Korea do.

2 days ago
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Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

silfen Re:what's the point? (113 comments)

The complexity serves a purpose. The tax code is the easiest example. Do you have any idea how much you pay in taxes? Any clue at all? Income tax, property tax, sales tax, Gas tax, vice tax, drivers license fees, etc... etc... After all that you likely have no idea what you pay in taxes. Which is exactly the point.

I have a fairly good idea how much I pay in taxes. And you can easily find out what the tax burden is in various cities, states, and countries. Except for the federal tax burdens, much of the rest you can easily avoid by moving.

We have a problem with law enforcement in this country. It's turned into us against them. And "Them" now have Tanks and machine guns.

Actually, I have no problem with the law enforcement in my local community. Most of the insanity seems to come from the federal government and federal laws, which is what we are talking about here.

2 days ago
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Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

silfen Re:what's the point? (113 comments)

Harder said then done. The USA doesn't like lots of government direct investment in the economy so all sorts of adjustments have to occur via. taxes.

That's the most insane argument for high taxes I have heard yet: "we have high taxes because the government doesn't meddle enough in the economy".

You are a certifiable idiot.

2 days ago
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Proposed Law Would Limit US Search Warrants For Data Stored Abroad

silfen what's the point? (113 comments)

Instead of weird exceptions like this, which are likely to cause only further problems, the US should reduce the intrusiveness of law enforcement in general. Stop the war on drugs, simplify the tax code, consistently require court warrants for searches, etc., and we could reduce online searches by 90%

2 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

silfen Re: It's getting hotter still! (624 comments)

What is striking is that there is ovewhelming consensus among climate scientists that global warming is occurring, and that it is being caused by humans

I agree with all of that, as do most Americans. What's your point?

How do we explain the discrepancy? ... But in a more sinister vein, the problem is that in their efforts to counter the solid scientific consensus, vested industrial interests have been marketing anti-scientific ideas to the general public.

There is no "discrepancy". Your error is that you jump from "it's getting warmer and humans are responsible" to "government must intervene globally in order to curb carbon emissions immediately". There is no urgency to act, and government intervention wouldn't be able to have meaningful impact anyway.

Unfortunately, loss of scientific literacy among the general public has been part of the collateral damage.

I think you have demonstrated time and again in this discussion that arguments for government intervention are rooted in scientific illiteracy. Everything we know points to the notion that even if we could release all fossil fuels, we'd get to about 2000 ppm CO2 and a nice global climate; in reality, we can only release a fraction of those fuels. Your fear comes from calculating with unreleasable carbon, having preposterous notions about the supposed fragility of mammals or ecosystems, falsely believing that all released carbon says in the atmosphere, getting your climate history wrong, etc.

I used to be a strong advocate of government action on climate change: carbon taxes, emission limits, etc. It was after I dug into the science that it became clear that the arguments in favor of government intervention are hogwash, advanced by people largely as a pretext for their political, social and economic agenda.

2 days ago
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

silfen Re:why does the CRTC need this list? (316 comments)

Your reasoning is idiotic. And your premise that throwing government money at artists is going to produce competitive programming or attract viewership is utter nonsense.

Take it from someone who grew up in a country that actually has a bigger and better public TV system and art funding than Canada: you are wasting your money.

2 days ago
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

silfen Re:Fuck Canadian content welfare system (316 comments)

educating Canadians about Canadian values and awarenesses.

And by that, you mean instill nationalism, jingoism, and anti-Americanism?

2 days ago

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