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The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 05:48am
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"At 2100, on 29 October 1969, engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) prepared to send data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8331253.stm

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Monday November 16, 2009 @ 05:52am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

"What has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap?" - Dr Bob Kelso, that's who


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Monday November 16, 2009 @ 06:32pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

that's pretty interesting... love shit like this

Good, Bad... I'm the one with the gun


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @ 07:29am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

that's pretty interesting... love shit like this

It really screws with my mind thinking about how much the damn think has gone from nothing to what it is now. Tech is the b0mb.

"> In practice this is an engineering problem
You misspelled "fundamental limit of thermodynamics" -- Slashdot post


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Tuesday November 17, 2009 @ 10:24am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

that's pretty interesting... love shit like this

It really screws with my mind thinking about how much the damn think has gone from nothing to what it is now. Tech is the b0mb.

Imagine what we could do if we didn't let economics stymie progress. Of course without economics there would be no progress, but still...

Good, Bad... I'm the one with the gun


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @ 07:17am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

that's pretty interesting... love shit like this

It really screws with my mind thinking about how much the damn think has gone from nothing to what it is now. Tech is the b0mb.

Imagine what we could do if we didn't let economics stymie progress. Of course without economics there would be no progress, but still...

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary? That's what gets you." - J. Clarkson


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday February 17, 2012 @ 09:42am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Another interesting article (to be fair: an opinion piece) as maybe a splash of cold water on the faces of politicians longing for the "good old days".

Nostalgia for factory jobs that will never come back
http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/17/opinion/bergstrand-factory-nostalgia/index.html

If there is a central public sentiment about economics prevailing in America right now, it seems to be this: We want to go back to our manufacturing roots.

The heyday of manufacturing, the block-long plants that produce not just tangible goods, but big, heavy ones like cars, gave us economic stability once; it can do it again.

On Wednesday, President Obama spoke at the Master Lock factory in Milwaukee and said, "What's happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. What happens in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh and Milwaukee, that's what we've got to be shooting for, is to create opportunities for hardworking Americans to get in there and start making stuff again and sending it all over the world -- products stamped with three proud words: Made in America."

But as with most nostalgic visions, this one doesn't reflect economic realities.


"it's good that they shop and spend and camp out waiting for the great deal to save $5 on a toaster." - Stealth


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @ 09:08am
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Good for a laugh: Sweden outsources to "cheap labor" in US.

Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ikea-union-20110410,0,5341610.story

Bill Street, who has tried to organize the Danville workers for the machinists union, said Ikea was taking advantage of the weaker protections afforded to U.S. workers.

"It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico," Street said.

[...]

Global competition has motivated all manner of companies to seek out low-cost sources of production, said Ellen Ruppel Shell, the author of the book "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture." Ikea is no exception. What's different, she said, is that the company has done such a good job of burnishing its own corporate image.


"That dude has the world's biggest forehead... great, now I have to watch that again" - Caliber


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Wednesday April 13, 2011 @ 09:38pm
>>reply ][ rating +1  ]

Good for a laugh: Sweden outsources to "cheap labor" in US.

Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ikea-union-20110410,0,5341610.story

Bill Street, who has tried to organize the Danville workers for the machinists union, said Ikea was taking advantage of the weaker protections afforded to U.S. workers.

"It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico," Street said.

[...]

Global competition has motivated all manner of companies to seek out low-cost sources of production, said Ellen Ruppel Shell, the author of the book "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture." Ikea is no exception. What's different, she said, is that the company has done such a good job of burnishing its own corporate image.


obvious socialist propaganda... We all know that the only thing Sweden has is a swimsuit team and some fucking fjords and shit...

And terrorists... because they aren't America

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck...


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Thursday April 14, 2011 @ 09:38pm
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And terrorists... because they aren't America

Damn straight. God damned terrorists.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday April 15, 2011 @ 08:45am
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Blonde terrorists with big terrorizing boobs, though.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Saturday April 16, 2011 @ 08:41am
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Blonde terrorists with big terrorizing boobs, though.

Hmmm....



Well they do have that.

But clearly they can't be trusted and are up to no good, as you can see here



"Over the trackless rolling dust-dunes under Krux's coffee table, electromagnetism is at work." -- Dun Malg


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Saturday April 16, 2011 @ 03:19pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Well they do have that.

I wonder if it is possible to rain nuclear destruction while sparing a very small few... I say we test the theory. After all, we still have hot chicks in Brazil if it fails

But clearly they can't be trusted and are up to no good, as you can see here

fuck... you... The Chef is a dyed in the wool American

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDA9NbPAK8o&feature=youtube_gdata

Welcome to the Internet, everything is ridiculous here.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday January 21, 2011 @ 09:52am
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Another good article.

We Should Take More Pride in Our Manufacturing Dominance; We Still Make LOTS of Stuff Here
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2011/01/we-should-take-more-pride-in-our-global.html

There are frequent claims that "nothing is made in America anymore," because all of the manufacturing jobs and production have been outsourced to places like China, Mexico, and Korea (for example, Donald Trump makes that claim, as Don Boudreaux points out here). Such claims about U.S. manufacturing have been circulating so persistently and for so long, that most people now blindly accept these myths, even though the empirical evidence provides a completely different story?a thriving and growing U.S. manufacturing sector. (For example, see yesterday's front page WSJ article about manufacturing being the "shining star of this recovery.")

"That dude has the world's biggest forehead... great, now I have to watch that again" - Caliber


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by rub on Friday January 21, 2011 @ 11:29am
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I would be willing to bet they lump manufacturing and assembly together for their numbers.

<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @ 07:36am
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Interesting articles on US manufacturing jobs:

Trade is Good
http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2011/01/trade-is-good.html

Increases In U.S. Worker Productivity, More Than China?s Currency, Responsible For Loss Of U.S. Jobs
http://www.dailymarkets.com/economy/2010/10/03/increases-in-u-s-worker-productivity-more-than-chinas-currency-responsible-for-loss-of-u-s-jobs/

"It's true that the U.S. has lost more than 5.5 million manufacturing jobs in the last ten years, from more than 17 million jobs in 2000 to fewer than 12 million jobs in 2010 (see top chart above, data here), which is a 32.5% reduction in factory employment. And yet during that same period, manufacturing output actually increased by more than 5%, from $3.1 trillion in 2000 to $3.26 trillion (measured in 2005 dollars) this year. On a per employee basis, manufacturing output per worker increased by more than 50%, from $182,000 in 2000 to $278,000 this year (measured in 2005 dollars).

[...]

Manufacturing worker productivity has doubled in the last 17 years since 1993, and that has contributed to the loss of more than 11 millions jobs. That is, if factory workers were only as productive today as their counterparts in 1993, it would require more than 23 million factory workers today to produce $3.26 trillion worth of manufacturing output today, instead of the 11.7 million workers employed today to produce that much manufacturing output."

"That dude has the world's biggest forehead... great, now I have to watch that again" - Caliber


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday July 19, 2010 @ 07:53am
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And a good brief summary of how much a worker really costs:

The True Cost of Hiring You
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1743056/the_true_cost_of_hiring_you.html

"To be an effective economic thinker, you cannot think as an "employee". Escape that mindset and think like a CEO. To top management you are "labor" and there are costs to hiring you that reach far beyond your hourly wage.

For example, when you get hired, the true cost of hiring you is your hourly rate plus additional costs. In other words, your employer pays you $10 an hour, but it costs him, at least an extra five dollars to keep you employed and happy. Again, if you get paid an hourly rate $10.00 you cost your company at least $15.00."

"That dude has the world's biggest forehead... great, now I have to watch that again" - Caliber


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday July 19, 2010 @ 07:51am
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Some hard data on manufacturing in the US (plus, a brilliant title):

Increased Worker Productivity Has Destroyed Millions of Jobs, and We Should Be Grateful
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/07/increased-worker-productivity-has.html

"The graphs above tell the story. U.S. Manufacturing output has more than doubled since 1975 while manufacturing employment has decreased by about 8 million jobs, resulting in more than a three-fold increase in worker productivity (output per worker) since the 1970s. Therefore, it's the dramatic increase in the productivity of American workers that helps explain the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs, and this a a cause for optimism, not pessimism, as Don points out.

Just like we should celebrate, not mourn, the loss of millions of farm jobs due to the ongoing and significant increases in worker productivity that reduced farming jobs as a share of total jobs from 90% in the 1700s to the current level of only about 2.6%. Any time we can get more output with fewer workers, whether it's farming or manufacturing, it's a sure sign of economic progress and a rising standard of living."

"That dude has the world's biggest forehead... great, now I have to watch that again" - Caliber


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Wednesday July 7, 2010 @ 03:15pm
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A good analysis (based on well-researched supposition) of the where the money from purchasing an iPad goes.

Apple iPhone: Designed in U.S., Assembled in China
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/07/iphone-designed-by-apple-in-us.html

Turn over your iPhone and you'll see that it's "assembled in China." But that doesn?t mean that most of the profits or revenue go there. In fact, only about $6.54 (a little more than than 1%) of the full $600 retail price of an iPhone goes to China and more than 60% goes directly to Apple and other American companies and then indirectly to American workers (see chart above), according to a recent "teardown report" by iSuppli that was featured in a New York Times article yesterday.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Tuesday June 8, 2010 @ 11:29am
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More good stuff (though from a blahhhg):

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/does-studying-economics-make-you-more-republican/

Does Studying Economics Make You More Republican?
By PATRICK MCGEEHAN

Several academic studies have found that there is a link between education levels and civic behavior. But a new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has concluded that how much economics people study can influence their political activity and how they spend their spare time.

The study compared the behavior of economics majors with those of business majors and other graduates of four large public universities: Purdue University, the University of North Carolina, Florida Atlantic University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The subjects attended those schools in one of three years: 1976, 1986 or 1996.

Most notably, the study found that the more economics classes a person took, the more likely he or she was to be a member of the Republican Party and to donate money to a political candidate or a cause.

But students of economics were no more or less likely than other graduates to have voted in the 2000 presidential election, the study found. Business majors, on the other hand, were less likely than other former students to have voted for president in 2000 or to have volunteered their time for a cause, political or otherwise.

The authors of the study: Sam Allgood, William Bosshardt, Wilbert van der Klaauw and Michael Watts, said they could not say

if those in different majors perceive the costs (value of time) or the benefits of these activities differently. But our results clearly suggest there is more to the story than simply "being educated" so that what people study in college, or what they choose to study, is associated with their civic behaviors many years after they graduate.

The study also gathered responses to seven questions about public policy issues, such as tariffs, trade deficits, the minimum wage and oil prices. On five of the seven, the authors found a link between the opinions expressed and the number of economics courses the respondents had completed.

The more economics courses they had completed, the more likely they were to agree that tariffs reduce economic welfare and that increases in the minimum wage raise unemployment, and the less likely they were to think that trade deficits adversely affect the economy and that government should regulate oil prices.

"In sum," the study said, "those taking more economics classes favored less regulation or government intervention affecting prices for specific goods and services, including wages and salaries."

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Tuesday June 8, 2010 @ 10:26pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

yeah, but fuck this guy, what would he know...

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck...


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday May 3, 2010 @ 08:59am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

So there was an interesting article in the The Economist on 24 April 2010 that is vaguely related to this discussion. I don't have a link, but I have the whole text of the article and I'm just going to repost it because hey. Note that the article isn't talking about some supposed moral/social altruism of companies in the old days or lamenting the evil of corporate profit; rather it does talk about a firm's focus on stakeholders rather than shareholders, which is a management style. This might be much more in line with what SPS was talking about in the giant back-and-forth below.


A New Idolatry: Shareholders v stakeholders

The economic crisis has revived the old debate about whether firms should focus most on their shareholders, their customers or their workers.

The era of "Jack Welch capitalism" may be drawing to a close, predicted Richard Lambert, the head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), in a speech last month. When "Neutron Jack" (so nicknamed for his readiness to fire employees) ran GE, he was regarded as the incarnation of the idea that a firm"s sole aim should be maximising returns to its shareholders. This idea has dominated American business for the past 25 years, and was spreading rapidly around the world until the financial crisis hit, calling its wisdom into question. Even Mr Welch has expressed doubts: "On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world," he said last year.

In an article in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review, Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, charts the rise of what he calls the "tragically flawed premise" that firms should focus on maximising shareholder value, and argues that "it is time we abandoned it." The obsession with shareholder value began in 1976, he says, when Michael Jensen and William Meckling, two economists, published an article, "Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behaviour, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure", which argued that the owners of companies were getting short shift from professional managers. The most cited academic article about business to this day, it inspired a seemingly irresistible movement to get managers to focus on value for shareholders. Converts to the creed had little time for other "stakeholders": customers, employees, suppliers, society at large and so forth. American and British value-maximisers reserved particular disdain for the "stakeholder capitalism" practised in continental Europe.

Now, Mr Martin argues, shareholder value should give way to "customer-driven capitalism" in which firms "should instead aim to maximise customer satisfaction." This idea is winning some converts. Paul Polman, who last year became boss of Unilever, a consumer-goods giant, recently said to the Financial Times, "I do not work for the shareholder, to be honest; I work for the consumer, the customer... I'm not driven and I don"t drive this business model by driving shareholder value."

Nor is it just customers who are expected to benefit from a backlash against the cult of shareholder value. Mr Lambert reports that a recent survey of the CBI's members found that most expected that a "more collaborative approach would emerge with various different groups of stakeholders", including suppliers and the institutions that educate workers. And a forthcoming book by Vineet Nayar, the chief executive of HCL Technologies, a fast-growing Indian business-process outsourcing firm, takes a quite different position to Mr Martin, as is evident from its title: "Employees First, Customers Second".

Has the shareholder-value model really failed, however? The financial meltdown has certainly undermined two of the big ideas inspired by Messrs Jensen and Meckling: that senior managers" pay should be closely linked to their firm"s share price, and that private equity, backed by mountains of debt, would do a better job of getting managers to maximise value than the public equity markets. The bubbles during the past decade in both stockmarkets and, later, the market for corporate debt highlighted serious flaws with both of these ideas, or at least with the way they were implemented.

A firm"s share price on any given day, needless to say, can be a very poor guide to long-term shareholder value. Yet bosses typically had their pay linked to short-term movements in share prices, which encouraged them to take measures to push the share price up quickly, rather than to maximise shareholder value in the long run (by when they would probably have departed). Similarly, private-equity firms took on too much debt during the credit bubble, when it was available on absurdly generous terms, and are now having to make value-destroying cuts at many of the companies in their portfolios as a result.

In some ways the current travails of Goldman Sachs epitomise the problem. The investment bank embraced the maximisation of shareholder value when it went public in 1999. Although it insists that it does not live quarter to quarter, senior figures from its previous incarnation as a partnership, when it naturally championed the long-term interests of its employees (the partners), argue that it would have been much more wary in those days of any deals that made a quick buck at the risk of alienating customers. But, as Mr Lambert points out, "It wasn't just the banks which had a rush of blood to the head. For a few years, a fair number of other companies seemed to put almost as much effort into managing their balance-sheets as into wooing their customers." In his view, "If you concentrate on maximising value to shareholders over the short term, you put at risk the relationships that will determine your longer-term success."

Yet this need not mean that the veneration of shareholder value is wrong, and should be replaced by worship at the altar of some other business deity. Most of those preaching reverence for other stakeholders concede that the two are usually not mutually exclusive, and indeed, often mutually reinforcing. Mr Martin, for example, admits that "increased shareholder value is one of the byproducts of a focus on customer satisfaction." Likewise, in India's technology industry, where retaining talented staff is arguably managers" hardest task, Mr Nayar's devotion to employees, which he says has helped increase revenues and profits, may be the best way to maximise longterm shareholder value.

In other words, the problem is not the emphasis on shareholder value, but the use of short-term increases in a firm"s share price as a proxy for it. Ironically, shareholders themselves have helped spread this confusion. Along with activist hedge funds, many institutional investors have idolised short-term profits and share-price increases rather than engaging recalcitrant managers in discussions about corporate governance or executive pay.

Giving shareholders more power to influence management (especially in America) and encouraging them to use it should prompt them and the managers they employ to take a longer view. In America, Congress is considering several measures to bolster shareholders at managers' expense. In Britain, the Financial Reporting Council has proposed a "stewardship code" to invigorate institutional investors. "This is a phoney war between shareholder capitalism and stakeholder capitalism, as we haven't really tried shareholder capitalism," says Anne Simpson, who oversees corporate-governance activism for CalPERS, America's biggest public pension fund. "Rather than give up on shareholder value, let"s have a real go at setting up shareholder capitalism."

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Tuesday May 4, 2010 @ 06:55pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It was very tempting to tl;dr this, but as I was actually interested, I read it... :D

To be honest, I'm not sure of my opinion. Anything with the word "obsession" in it implies a lack of moderation. As moderation is one of my "principle truths," anything outside of that tends to be negatively opined upon. That said, I can sort of see the point.

All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

--Voltaire


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Tuesday May 4, 2010 @ 07:05am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

So there was an interesting article in the The Economist on 24 April 2010 that is vaguely related to this discussion. I don't have a link, but I have the whole text of the article and I'm just going to repost it because hey. Note that the article isn't talking about some supposed moral/social altruism of companies in the old days or lamenting the evil of corporate profit; rather it does talk about a firm's focus on stakeholders rather than shareholders, which is a management style. This might be much more in line with what SPS was talking about in the giant back-and-forth below.

The link to the article is here - http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15954434 There are also some good posts in the comments section that have some interesting view points. I liked this:

2. Big companies are obsolete; they need help from the government to stay afloat - gvt. feels obliged due to the huge number of employees.
I'm finding it hard to think of a company that doesn't expect/need a hand out/tax exception/benefit in order to stay where they are or lay people off.

It was a good article.. and I liked it, but I wasn't understanding the last paragraph. Giving more power to shareholders seems to be counter intuitive to helping stakeholders/employees. Shareholders want more profit. Shouldn't the managers manage the company and still have a desire to provide a profit increase, not as big as the ones they have now, but also without hurting the stakeholders? What's the difference between 'shareholder value' and 'shareholder capitalism'?

I also found it interesting that (according to the article), the drive to "obsession with shareholder value" started in the mid 70's. Which makes sense - 80's - Greed is good.When you look back at the good/happy times, you think of post WW2, late 40's, 50's and early 60's. Then you start having the Korean war/Vietnam era (also civil rights issues) and then no-holds barred capitalism.

If you have a large company (which this mostly applies too) shouldn't managers and shareholders be different people with different goals? Personally, i think shareholders should stay away from the companies more.. they hire CXO people to do the job, let them do it without pressure to perform to new higher numbers every quarter/week/etc.

"Stuff sold by the gram is always going to be more exciting than stuff sold by the pound" - J. Clarkson


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Wednesday May 5, 2010 @ 09:11am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

2. Big companies are obsolete; they need help from the government to stay afloat - gvt. feels obliged due to the huge number of employees.

I'm finding it hard to think of a company that doesn't expect/need a hand out/tax exception/benefit in order to stay where they are or lay people off.

There are something like 25 million corporations in the US. I'm sure one or two do OK without lobbying a senator for some of that cheese.

It was a good article.. and I liked it, but I wasn't understanding the last paragraph. Giving more power to shareholders seems to be counter intuitive to helping stakeholders/employees. Shareholders want more profit. Shouldn't the managers manage the company and still have a desire to provide a profit increase, not as big as the ones they have now, but also without hurting the stakeholders? What's the difference between 'shareholder value' and 'shareholder capitalism'?

Everybody wants more profit. If you're an employee in an employee-driven firm then bonuses come from what? Profit. If you're an investor in baseball cards you want the cards to appreciate so you can what? Profit. You're an unwashed hippie working at a local co-op so you want the farmers to what? Profit. Only the customers don't have a piece of the profit equation; their preference is for lower price. But everyone on the selling side: management, shareholders, employees, all want profit. You really treat that word like an evil unto itself and that's a wholly distorted point of view, in my opinion.

That's the point of view of this paper. "Profit" isn't the problem, but allocating it is the problem. To whom does it really belong?

I also found it interesting that (according to the article), the drive to "obsession with shareholder value" started in the mid 70's. Which makes sense - 80's - Greed is good.When you look back at the good/happy times, you think of post WW2, late 40's, 50's and early 60's. Then you start having the Korean war/Vietnam era (also civil rights issues) and then no-holds barred capitalism.

There were many other factors driving it but yeah that did seem to fit the American idiom of that era.

If you have a large company (which this mostly applies too) shouldn't managers and shareholders be different people with different goals? Personally, i think shareholders should stay away from the companies more.. they hire CXO people to do the job, let them do it without pressure to perform to new higher numbers every quarter/week/etc.

That's a better defined point of view and I agree. I also believe that long-term value should drive decision making, not short-term share price. This gets into a discussion of what is the best way to incentivize management: on the one hand, you want them to have a vested interest in the company's performance but on the other hand you want it to be a balanced interest over a long-term time horizon. Stock options were an early attempt to codify this but they've been so grossly distorted that they really aren't cutting the mustard any more.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday May 6, 2010 @ 01:33pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

2. Big companies are obsolete; they need help from the government to stay afloat - gvt. feels obliged due to the huge number of employees.

I'm finding it hard to think of a company that doesn't expect/need a hand out/tax exception/benefit in order to stay where they are or lay people off.

There are something like 25 million corporations in the US. I'm sure one or two do OK without lobbying a senator for some of that cheese.

Sure.. I should have said 'I'm finding it hard to think of a large company'..

It was a good article.. and I liked it, but I wasn't understanding the last paragraph. Giving more power to shareholders seems to be counter intuitive to helping stakeholders/employees. Shareholders want more profit. Shouldn't the managers manage the company and still have a desire to provide a profit increase, not as big as the ones they have now, but also without hurting the stakeholders? What's the difference between 'shareholder value' and 'shareholder capitalism'?

Everybody wants more profit. If you're an employee in an employee-driven firm then bonuses come from what? Profit. If you're an investor in baseball cards you want the cards to appreciate so you can what? Profit. You're an unwashed hippie working at a local co-op so you want the farmers to what? Profit. Only the customers don't have a piece of the profit equation; their preference is for lower price. But everyone on the selling side: management, shareholders, employees, all want profit. You really treat that word like an evil unto itself and that's a wholly distorted point of view, in my opinion.

That's the point of view of this paper. "Profit" isn't the problem, but allocating it is the problem. To whom does it really belong?

Profit is fine, if it's not done at the expense of others/morals/standards/laws. Profit of %3 is ok.. it doesn't always have to be big numbers all the time or else we fire everyone. It doesn't have to be charging 5X the cost for everything because we can and people will pay. Profit has to not be the only thing that's looked at. The customer doesn't always look at lower price (or at least shouldn't , but then again, we have WalMart). They should also be looking at values, how the company does the work ( child labor? bad chemicals, etc), reliability.. lots of factors. Just like a company should say, if I don't charge and extra $15 for a carry on bag, then people might like my company more and be more apt to fly my planes. If I don't give myself a $10M bonus, and instead return that money to the employees, as a bonus or a raise, then maybe they might be happier and work harder.

I also found it interesting that (according to the article), the drive to "obsession with shareholder value" started in the mid 70's. Which makes sense - 80's - Greed is good.When you look back at the good/happy times, you think of post WW2, late 40's, 50's and early 60's. Then you start having the Korean war/Vietnam era (also civil rights issues) and then no-holds barred capitalism.

There were many other factors driving it but yeah that did seem to fit the American idiom of that era.

If you have a large company (which this mostly applies too) shouldn't managers and shareholders be different people with different goals? Personally, i think shareholders should stay away from the companies more.. they hire CXO people to do the job, let them do it without pressure to perform to new higher numbers every quarter/week/etc.

That's a better defined point of view and I agree. I also believe that long-term value should drive decision making, not short-term share price. This gets into a discussion of what is the best way to incentivize management: on the one hand, you want them to have a vested interest in the company's performance but on the other hand you want it to be a balanced interest over a long-term time horizon. Stock options were an early attempt to codify this but they've been so grossly distorted that they really aren't cutting the mustard any more.

But all people look at is short term. that's what everyone wants, now now now. stock markets, micro-transaction sales, 30 no financing. That's all from greed and more profit. You can't take a long view without looking at trying at the get rich quick and changing the values of a company.

"You know what it reminds me of, you know what it reminds me of? Oh yeah.. a complete waste of time" - Dave Letterman


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Thursday May 6, 2010 @ 02:03pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Sure.. I should have said 'I'm finding it hard to think of a large company'..

How many have you examined? The 500 firms that make up the S&P500 index represent about 80-85% of the market cap of the US stock market, so that should be a good representative sample. I can help you with their 10-K filings if you like.

Note: this is a mildly passive aggressive way of saying you don't really know, nor do I, nor do the fucking protesters at the G8 meetings. We should base our opinions on facts rather than sentiment. The firm I work for, for all of my griping, doesn't take any handouts or benefits aside from those allowed by US and international accounting rules (which are not from "governments" anyway). So there's one.

Profit is fine, if it's not done at the expense of others/morals/standards/laws. Profit of %3 is ok.. it doesn't always have to be big numbers all the time or else we fire everyone. It doesn't have to be charging 5X the cost for everything because we can and people will pay. Profit has to not be the only thing that's looked at. The customer doesn't always look at lower price (or at least shouldn't , but then again, we have WalMart). They should also be looking at values, how the company does the work ( child labor? bad chemicals, etc), reliability.. lots of factors. Just like a company should say, if I don't charge and extra $15 for a carry on bag, then people might like my company more and be more apt to fly my planes. If I don't give myself a $10M bonus, and instead return that money to the employees, as a bonus or a raise, then maybe they might be happier and work harder.

You're cherry picking problems and applying them way too generally, and your understanding of basic economics is way too low. Here's an anecdote for you that Tele can back me up on: independent game developers found that if they charged too little for their games, people wouldn't buy them. They were viewed as "cheap". So indies raised prices to where people viewed the price/value was good, which happens to hover around $20 per title. How does that fit into the mantra of what people should or shouldn't charge consumers?

I agree that consumers should examine companies they patronize. Absolutely. That's a true free market driver. But it doesn't have one smidgeon, one iota, one picobyte to do with "profits".

Your final point, again, I can also agree with which was the point of the article: not the evil of "profits" but to whom are they best allocated. The article itself talks about how distributing more to employees resulted in better workers which in turn resulted in... gasp... better profits! The humanity! How does this evil company sleep well at night! So yes, I agree that profits could be better allocated; I do not agree with your continual use of the word as some kind of negative unto itself.

But all people look at is short term. that's what everyone wants, now now now. stock markets, micro-transaction sales, 30 no financing. That's all from greed and more profit. You can't take a long view without looking at trying at the get rich quick and changing the values of a company.

You're over generalizing. At least now you're starting to acknowledge that the problem of greed rests with everyone though, presumably including consumer, workers, employees, managers, and evil profit making people. So let's start from another beginning point: if everyone focuses on greed and we can't wave a magic wand and force everyone to become moral and have a long-term view, then: what is the best way to operate?

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday May 6, 2010 @ 02:11pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Sure.. I should have said 'I'm finding it hard to think of a large company'..

How many have you examined? The 500 firms that make up the S&P500 index represent about 80-85% of the market cap of the US stock market, so that should be a good representative sample. I can help you with their 10-K filings if you like.

Note: this is a mildly passive aggressive way of saying you don't really know, nor do I, nor do the fucking protesters at the G8 meetings. We should base our opinions on facts rather than sentiment. The firm I work for, for all of my griping, doesn't take any handouts or benefits aside from those allowed by US and international accounting rules (which are not from "governments" anyway). So there's one.

I get your point, and i LOL'd, but do they (your firm, it's partners/managers/CXO's) contribute to lobbyists, political parties or campaigns with the vague hope that maybe some law will get changes, written or some little line item added that might help them out? I don't know either..

But lets just take a quick peek at airlines, car makers, banks, software companies, industrial firms.. how many have used tax breaks from states/fed in order to 'be able to stay open/not close jobs' or not move to a new location. How many have used government money in order to 'grow' or get back on black only to reduce customer service, make a crappier product and at the same time, lower wages and yet still pay huge money to bosses as they leave for failing to do a job. We don't have true capitalism. Let the companies sink or swim on their own merit, let them do it honestly. Then people might respect them and the profits they make.

Profit is fine, if it's not done at the expense of others/morals/standards/laws. Profit of %3 is ok.. it doesn't always have to be big numbers all the time or else we fire everyone. It doesn't have to be charging 5X the cost for everything because we can and people will pay. Profit has to not be the only thing that's looked at. The customer doesn't always look at lower price (or at least shouldn't , but then again, we have WalMart). They should also be looking at values, how the company does the work ( child labor? bad chemicals, etc), reliability.. lots of factors. Just like a company should say, if I don't charge and extra $15 for a carry on bag, then people might like my company more and be more apt to fly my planes. If I don't give myself a $10M bonus, and instead return that money to the employees, as a bonus or a raise, then maybe they might be happier and work harder.

You're cherry picking problems and applying them way too generally, and your understanding of basic economics is way too low. Here's an anecdote for you that Tele can back me up on: independent game developers found that if they charged too little for their games, people wouldn't buy them. They were viewed as "cheap". So indies raised prices to where people viewed the price/value was good, which happens to hover around $20 per title. How does that fit into the mantra of what people should or shouldn't charge consumers?

I'm not sure how I should chose examples to make my point.. And yes, I'll totally admin my economics skills are n00b level No questions there. But, I am a Joe Six-pack who buys things, shops around and wants to see his USD go as far as it can. Hell, look at CD's.. I still buy them and they are still $13 or $15 or something like that. I don't mind 1 or 2 dollars on things that are optional. I'm talking big money and pretty much required crap. And again.. it's just an example that fit You don't have to buy games, but since the USA is a might big place and the train system isn't all that, you pretty much have to fly. SO for an example about charging $25 per carry on bag per person for every flight, that makes a bit of a difference. that's just another example.

Foolish/silly/ideal situation example - Year after year gas companies make new high profits. Every year. And gas just keep going up higher and higher. I'm sure the economist agrees that's a good thing and the system is working. But, wouldn't it be nice to have the profits be not as high, have gas go down a little and have more money for other things? Doesn't that sound nice?


I agree that consumers should examine companies they patronize. Absolutely. That's a true free market driver. But it doesn't have one smidgeon, one iota, one picobyte to do with "profits".

But, consumers can help guide which companies DESERVE profits. Reward those that are good to society and give them the profit. But the fact is, the number of people that do that is probably pretty damn low. Most people will just go to the store with the cheapest price and be done with it, no matter how or why it's cheap.

Your final point, again, I can also agree with which was the point of the article: not the evil of "profits" but to whom are they best allocated. The article itself talks about how distributing more to employees resulted in better workers which in turn resulted in... gasp... better profits! The humanity! How does this evil company sleep well at night! So yes, I agree that profits could be better allocated; I do not agree with your continual use of the word as some kind of negative unto itself.

But all people look at is short term. that's what everyone wants, now now now. stock markets, micro-transaction sales, 30 no financing. That's all from greed and more profit. You can't take a long view without looking at trying at the get rich quick and changing the values of a company.

You're over generalizing. At least now you're starting to acknowledge that the problem of greed rests with everyone though, presumably including consumer, workers, employees, managers, and evil profit making people. So let's start from another beginning point: if everyone focuses on greed and we can't wave a magic wand and force everyone to become moral and have a long-term view, then: what is the best way to operate?

Start at the top by setting an example. The greed of you an me can't compare to the greed of a board who runs a business to the ground, lies, cooks books, and then gets away with it and doesn't do jail time or servers 6 months house arrest in his mansion. Start at the top and make it painful for those that can't do it right.


You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity - Bullet Tooth Tony


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Thursday May 6, 2010 @ 03:20pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

But lets just take a quick peek at airlines, car makers, banks, software companies, industrial firms.. how many have used tax breaks from states/fed in order to 'be able to stay open/not close jobs' or not move to a new location. How many have used government money in order to 'grow' or get back on black only to reduce customer service, make a crappier product and at the same time, lower wages and yet still pay huge money to bosses as they leave for failing to do a job. We don't have true capitalism. Let the companies sink or swim on their own merit, let them do it honestly. Then people might respect them and the profits they make.

I don't know: how many have done those things? You tell me. Let's not talk with our guts let's find facts.

I'm not sure how I should chose examples to make my point.. And yes, I'll totally admin my economics skills are n00b level No questions there. But, I am a Joe Six-pack who buys things, shops around and wants to see his USD go as far as it can. Hell, look at CD's.. I still buy them and they are still $13 or $15 or something like that. I don't mind 1 or 2 dollars on things that are optional. I'm talking big money and pretty much required crap. And again.. it's just an example that fit You don't have to buy games, but since the USA is a might big place and the train system isn't all that, you pretty much have to fly. SO for an example about charging $25 per carry on bag per person for every flight, that makes a bit of a difference. that's just another example.

But isn't a per-bag fee actually good? You charge more to the 9-member family with 29 fucking suitcases and less to the single guy traveling alone witn one bag. Would you rather they each paid the same amount per ticket?

Foolish/silly/ideal situation example - Year after year gas companies make new high profits. Every year. And gas just keep going up higher and higher. I'm sure the economist agrees that's a good thing and the system is working. But, wouldn't it be nice to have the profits be not as high, have gas go down a little and have more money for other things? Doesn't that sound nice?

(Note: gas companies don't make new high profits year after year, you have been lied to).

Depends. Are you a worker in another industry who has stock in gas companies as part of your retirement? Are you a solar-power start-up who benefits when gas prices go up as people look for other sources of power? Are you an oil rig worker who spends six months per year away from your wife and kids to make killer overtime on an offshore rig? Are you an environmentally minded person who cheers when gas prices go up driving people to buy more efficient cars? Are you a US citizen who wants oil prices to go up so that oil companies pay higher taxes on their earnings? Are you a good ol', down home midwestern American (with cowboy hat) who runs a paycheck-to-paycheck farm and then receives an extremely attractive offer on your grazing land from an exploration firm? Or are you a soccer mom who drives your Hummer to the shoe store three days a week?

I wrote this offline and am going to cut and paste it here:

-----

OK, I think I might be coming off as an asshole and that's not my intent. So instead of going back and forth with talking points, let me present you with a real-life scenario of some peoples' favorite whipping boy and you can present your thoughts. Maybe we can stop talking past each other.

Wal-Mart. One of the largest companies in the US by market cap (stock price x shares on the market). A $200 billion company that many people love to hate.

So here's the deal. Wal-Mart is about "profit" because they are a publically traded company. They have managed to squeeze decent profit margins out of the retail sector, which normally has razor thin margins, by optimizing the supply chain; that is, they make a better percentage because they have created efficiency in getting the products from the producers to their stores. This allows them to do two things: cut prices AND AT THE SAME TIME increase profits. However, their profit margin (which let me remind you is better than most retail stores) is only about 3.5%.

WalMart is pretty much the largest retailer out there in terms of market power, which means that every decision they make has positive and negative consequences. So let's consider a brief and incomplete list of what this means.

Consumers get lower prices, which causes:
- Competition charges higher prices and many small stores shut down.
- Employees get paid less, fewer hours, or lower benefits; however, they do provide 1.5 million jobs.
- Investors get reliable margins from a retail firm and many people have this stock in their retirement portfolios.

Note that 67% of the float value of WalMart's stock is held by institutions and mutual funds, not insiders. In fact, the largest inside holder Jim Walton has ~10.5M shares of about 3.8B total outstanding, or less than one third of one percent.

So based on this and other information you have, what should Wal-Mart do to become your ethical company? They should raise wages and lower than whopping 3.5% margin and cut into millions of peoples' retirement investments? They should raise wages and prices at the same time so margins are the same but customers have to spend more at the register? Raise wages or hours and cut employees/jobs? Lower everything and stop lobbying local government for minor tax concessions?

Just curious for your thoughts. I want to show you how things aren't so simple as cutting evil profits. This doesn't even consider more complicated situations like oil companies (sure they could charge less; then investor share prices would decline and jobs would be cut, but hey gas would be cheaper at the pump for the consumer and we could all drive cheap 10mpg cars while belching smog into the air) or car companies (remember their "profits" are after paying rather large salaries and pensions to hundreds of thousands of people in the unionized labor workforce, so who's really the one making out here again?) and other scenarios. We have to consider reality, not pie in the sky idealism. This is what exists now, for real, not what should be.

-----

But, consumers can help guide which companies DESERVE profits. Reward those that are good to society and give them the profit. But the fact is, the number of people that do that is probably pretty damn low. Most people will just go to the store with the cheapest price and be done with it, no matter how or why it's cheap.

I agree totally. Which means that the profits aren't the problem. Right?

Start at the top by setting an example. The greed of you an me can't compare to the greed of a board who runs a business to the ground, lies, cooks books, and then gets away with it and doesn't do jail time or servers 6 months house arrest in his mansion. Start at the top and make it painful for those that can't do it right.

I agree. How many of those are there? Let's look at an example for some perspective: less than a half-dozen people were responsible for Enron's collapse and all of its rippling effects throughout the economy.

And why not let them make their criminal money before going to jail? That money doesn't sit idle in some evil, cackling piggy bank somewhere. It buys mansions, cars, hookers, and crank (not in that order) which means the money continues to circulate in the economy. It goes into bonds and equities of other companies, which gives them capital to do business. It goes into banks where it can be loaned to others. It buys retarded needless luxury shit (including sales tax!) that pays producers of niche products. It multiplies in the economy.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday May 13, 2010 @ 07:27am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

There is nothing I can say from my limited point of view that is going to be able to change your mind one bit. You pull stocks, facts and figures all day long and I can't compete with that. Interpretations will always be different and My POV seems to be for the normal joe vs the big business/shareholder. I don't care about them.

I guess I was wrong, Greed is Good.

"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary? That's what gets you." - J. Clarkson


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday May 14, 2010 @ 08:56am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

There is nothing I can say from my limited point of view that is going to be able to change your mind one bit. You pull stocks, facts and figures all day long and I can't compete with that. Interpretations will always be different and My POV seems to be for the normal joe vs the big business/shareholder. I don't care about them.

"In 2009, an estimated 87 million individual investors owned mutual funds and held 84 percent of total mutual fund assets at year-end. Altogether, 50.4 million households, or 43 percent of all U.S. households, owned funds."

That's from the ICI, a mutual fund industry group. Nearly half of all Americans own mutual funds (primarily for funding retirment or education), and mutual funds are made up largely of stock. So if you don't care about shareholders, you are leaving half of America on the table (this isn't counting people who invest only in stocks). Therefore, who are these Normal Joes? You have a demonstrably false perception that stock owners are either fat cats sitting in their corporate offices counting "profits" or Wall Street traders making a buck or something.

I guess I was wrong, Greed is Good.

That's a totally false equivalence with my position. My position is that economics is far more complicated than hating on big companies and defending Joe Sixpack. That's the kind of reductionism that politicians use to get votes. You're right that I use facts and figures to make up my mind on this stuff, because appeals to emotion, editorials, politics, and activism have all made people ignorant of the world around them and their part in it. That you would take all that I have said concerning hwo money filters around and what taxes really do and all this and changed it to "Greed is Good" rings of exactly that: institutionally sponsored ignorance.

I mean think of how you bemoan stupid ignorant computer users every day because they don't know basic things like how to secure their PC, and yet here it's OK to be as ignorant about basic economics because you only care about Normal Joe's good fight against evil profits?

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Friday May 14, 2010 @ 03:38pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

There is nothing I can say from my limited point of view that is going to be able to change your mind one bit. You pull stocks, facts and figures all day long and I can't compete with that. Interpretations will always be different and My POV seems to be for the normal joe vs the big business/shareholder. I don't care about them.

"In 2009, an estimated 87 million individual investors owned mutual funds and held 84 percent of total mutual fund assets at year-end. Altogether, 50.4 million households, or 43 percent of all U.S. households, owned funds."

That's from the ICI, a mutual fund industry group. Nearly half of all Americans own mutual funds (primarily for funding retirment or education), and mutual funds are made up largely of stock. So if you don't care about shareholders, you are leaving half of America on the table (this isn't counting people who invest only in stocks). Therefore, who are these Normal Joes? You have a demonstrably false perception that stock owners are either fat cats sitting in their corporate offices counting "profits" or Wall Street traders making a buck or something.

Numbers can be used in all sorts of ways, but while you say 40% percent own stock or funds, how many know how much they hold and in whom? How many just put money into some fund that doesn't say who they invest in, they just want a profit, so they could care less. How many have any amount of stock that makes the amount they hold able to have any say in a shareholders board. People, in general, aren't picking this company or that company.. they pick funds that generate income, so they don't know.. which means they probably could care less if the company lied, cheated or whatever, as long as stocks go up and they make a profit.

And lets be honest.. dropping 5K into some fund or directly to a company has no effect on you or the company.. it isn't going to chance anything.

that's the problem with just numbers.. they can be used in all sorts of ways and can still be taken out of context to make a point that might not apply.

I guess I was wrong, Greed is Good.

That's a totally false equivalence with my position. My position is that economics is far more complicated than hating on big companies and defending Joe Sixpack. That's the kind of reductionism that politicians use to get votes. You're right that I use facts and figures to make up my mind on this stuff, because appeals to emotion, editorials, politics, and activism have all made people ignorant of the world around them and their part in it. That you would take all that I have said concerning hwo money filters around and what taxes really do and all this and changed it to "Greed is Good" rings of exactly that: institutionally sponsored ignorance.

I could also find facts and figures to back up my points, but I would have to look three times as hard as you, since you, working with this information daily, know where to look. I would be reading various papers, search results and all that jazz, and I just don't have the time.

BTW - the line "institutionally sponsored ignorance"... that's funny stuff. hehehe Good thing I didn't go to any institutions.

I've honestly enjoyed reading what you've said.. it's interesting and I'm it's way more grounded in truth, but not everyone goes to collage, gets to learn these things and works with the information all day. Some people just have to read whats around, look at the news and try to work it out themselves. There are so many layers put into place to prevent people that are not in the field from understanding that it's only fare to say I'm confused. Hell, look at the tax law.. there is no reason it should be that confusing, except to find ways to hide money from taxation.

I mean think of how you bemoan stupid ignorant computer users every day because they don't know basic things like how to secure their PC, and yet here it's OK to be as ignorant about basic economics because you only care about Normal Joe's good fight against evil profits?

You do recall I've said it's not profits that are evil, but the extent at which companies will go to make them.

People bemoan stupidity in all sorts of places, but sadly, stupidity doesn't make the world go round.. money does.

"Governments and corporations need people like you and me. We are samurai. The keyboard cowboys. And all those other people out there who have no idea what's going on are the cattle. Mooo!" --Mr. The Plague,


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Sunday May 16, 2010 @ 11:39am
>>reply ][ rating +2  ]

Numbers can be used in all sorts of ways, but while you say 40% percent own stock or funds, how many know how much they hold and in whom? How many just put money into some fund that doesn't say who they invest in, they just want a profit, so they could care less. How many have any amount of stock that makes the amount they hold able to have any say in a shareholders board. People, in general, aren't picking this company or that company.. they pick funds that generate income, so they don't know.. which means they probably could care less if the company lied, cheated or whatever, as long as stocks go up and they make a profit.

I'm just trying to figure out who "normal Joe" is, this guy you are so valiantly defending. This excludes the millions of people who have stock in their own company's retirements plans, buy stocks instead of funds, etc. So I'm just trying to figure out who this person is. If you mean to talk about the working poor or some other class of people who almost certainly don't own stock, fine. Use the honest term "working poor". Sarah Palin uses "Joe Sixpack" when she's trying to identify her retardiocy* with the average, hard working, red blooded American.

* I just made this up.

And lets be honest.. dropping 5K into some fund or directly to a company has no effect on you or the company.. it isn't going to chance anything.

Who cares about changing a company? That has nothing to do with what we were talking about.

that's the problem with just numbers.. they can be used in all sorts of ways and can still be taken out of context to make a point that might not apply.

Tell me about it. I'm trying to tell you that at least 43% of the public is a shareholder and not only some elite group of upper-crust blue bloods (the people you don't care about) and you go off about totally unrelated stuff.

I've honestly enjoyed reading what you've said.. it's interesting and I'm it's way more grounded in truth, but not everyone goes to collage, gets to learn these things and works with the information all day. Some people just have to read whats around, look at the news and try to work it out themselves. There are so many layers put into place to prevent people that are not in the field from understanding that it's only fare to say I'm confused. Hell, look at the tax law.. there is no reason it should be that confusing, except to find ways to hide money from taxation.

I'm only trying to disabuse you of false notions. I actually agree with many of your value statements, but for reasons based on economic realities rather than talking points ("Greed is good" yawn).

You do recall I've said it's not profits that are evil, but the extent at which companies will go to make them.

I don't agree that you've made that clear at all. Many times in these posts across multiple threads you've talked about profits that are too large (whatever that means) and wouldn't it just be nice if XYZ and other things. You have also talked about companies doing ugly things to make money and I've agreed with you on those points, but that has not been the key point that I've inferred from your posts.

People bemoan stupidity in all sorts of places, but sadly, stupidity doesn't make the world go round.. money does.

Right but isn't it ironic* how we always bemoan people who are ignorant in our own areas of expertise, and then try to excuse our own ignorance in other areas?

* not really

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by MadArab on Monday May 17, 2010 @ 06:55am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Right but isn't it ironic* how we always bemoan people who are ignorant in our own areas of expertise, and then try to excuse our own ignorance in other areas?

* not really

+1 for funniness. I remember when you went on a tirade about that song once... heheh

You haven't been tight since your brother fucked you in third grade.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @ 07:17am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Right but isn't it ironic* how we always bemoan people who are ignorant in our own areas of expertise, and then try to excuse our own ignorance in other areas?

* not really

+1 for funniness. I remember when you went on a tirade about that song once... heheh

Hate that song so much. And not just because of its cultural effect, that is to say making people stupid about yet another English word, but the song itself is idiotic.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @ 03:01pm
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Right but isn't it ironic* how we always bemoan people who are ignorant in our own areas of expertise, and then try to excuse our own ignorance in other areas?

* not really

+1 for funniness. I remember when you went on a tirade about that song once... heheh

Hate that song so much. And not just because of its cultural effect, that is to say making people stupid about yet another English word, but the song itself is idiotic.

Agreed. None of her examples are "ironic", they're just shitty circumstances. Once, when called on this, she replied "that's what makes the whole song ironic!".

-unicron

Haha, thats funny. Who here hasn't gotten a blowjob from a midget? Although, due to midget hookers being easier to choke for obvious reasons, I tend to run through them pretty fast.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @ 07:12am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Hate that song so much. And not just because of its cultural effect, that is to say making people stupid about yet another English word, but the song itself is idiotic.

Agreed. None of her examples are "ironic", they're just shitty circumstances. Once, when called on this, she replied "that's what makes the whole song ironic!".

Oh man. Worst Canadian evar.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Monday May 17, 2010 @ 04:33am
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Numbers can be used in all sorts of ways, but while you say 40% percent own stock or funds, how many know how much they hold and in whom? How many just put money into some fund that doesn't say who they invest in, they just want a profit, so they could care less. How many have any amount of stock that makes the amount they hold able to have any say in a shareholders board. People, in general, aren't picking this company or that company.. they pick funds that generate income, so they don't know.. which means they probably could care less if the company lied, cheated or whatever, as long as stocks go up and they make a profit.

I'm just trying to figure out who "normal Joe" is, this guy you are so valiantly defending. This excludes the millions of people who have stock in their own company's retirements plans, buy stocks instead of funds, etc. So I'm just trying to figure out who this person is. If you mean to talk about the working poor or some other class of people who almost certainly don't own stock, fine. Use the honest term "working poor". Sarah Palin uses "Joe Sixpack" when she's trying to identify her retardiocy* with the average, hard working, red blooded American.

Me.. I'm a normal-joe-six-pack-sarah-palin-hating person I'm referring too. You, Krux, Everyone here who doesn't take home half a million a year.

* I just made this up.

Nice..

And lets be honest.. dropping 5K into some fund or directly to a company has no effect on you or the company.. it isn't going to chance anything.

Who cares about changing a company? That has nothing to do with what we were talking about.

It has to do with keeping the company honest, not letting them do dumb things, being able to change anything about the company to try and get more profit, etc. All you are is along for the ride.

that's the problem with just numbers.. they can be used in all sorts of ways and can still be taken out of context to make a point that might not apply.

Tell me about it. I'm trying to tell you that at least 43% of the public is a shareholder and not only some elite group of upper-crust blue bloods (the people you don't care about) and you go off about totally unrelated stuff.

Because I don't agree with saying someone who has fund that invest in X,Y and Z makes that person a shareholder in the company. I would say the Fund is the shareholder. And they are in it ONLY for the money, not for the company, not for the values, just for the profit. they aren't going to guide the company, protect the company or anything else.. they will be in for a while and out as soon as it starts to drop.

I've honestly enjoyed reading what you've said.. it's interesting and I'm it's way more grounded in truth, but not everyone goes to collage, gets to learn these things and works with the information all day. Some people just have to read whats around, look at the news and try to work it out themselves. There are so many layers put into place to prevent people that are not in the field from understanding that it's only fare to say I'm confused. Hell, look at the tax law.. there is no reason it should be that confusing, except to find ways to hide money from taxation.

I'm only trying to disabuse you of false notions. I actually agree with many of your value statements, but for reasons based on economic realities rather than talking points ("Greed is good" yawn).

You do recall I've said it's not profits that are evil, but the extent at which companies will go to make them.

I don't agree that you've made that clear at all. Many times in these posts across multiple threads you've talked about profits that are too large (whatever that means) and wouldn't it just be nice if XYZ and other things. You have also talked about companies doing ugly things to make money and I've agreed with you on those points, but that has not been the key point that I've inferred from your posts.

And this is why my argument skills obviously suck. I can't seem to get my points across clearly in a sentence that makes sense to someone other then myself (If it even makes sense to me).

To be fair, the third post in this part of the thread (which has moved around wildy) was:
Profit is fine, if it's not done at the expense of others/morals/standards/laws. Profit of %3 is ok.. it doesn't always have to be big numbers all the time or else we fire everyone. It doesn't have to be charging 5X the cost for everything because we can and people will pay. Profit has to not be the only thing that's looked at. The customer doesn't always look at lower price (or at least shouldn't , but then again, we have WalMart). They should also be looking at values, how the company does the work ( child labor? bad chemicals, etc), reliability.. lots of factors. Just like a company should say, if I don't charge and extra $15 for a carry on bag, then people might like my company more and be more apt to fly my planes. If I don't give myself a $10M bonus, and instead return that money to the employees, as a bonus or a raise, then maybe they might be happier and work harder.

That seems to be my starting thesis..

People bemoan stupidity in all sorts of places, but sadly, stupidity doesn't make the world go round.. money does.

Right but isn't it ironic* how we always bemoan people who are ignorant in our own areas of expertise, and then try to excuse our own ignorance in other areas?

* not really

hehhe

"> In practice this is an engineering problem
You misspelled "fundamental limit of thermodynamics" -- Slashdot post


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Tuesday May 18, 2010 @ 07:35am
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Me.. I'm a normal-joe-six-pack-sarah-palin-hating person I'm referring too. You, Krux, Everyone here who doesn't take home half a million a year.

But most of us own stocks. That makes us shareholders, along with at least 43% of America. That's why you shouldn't paint with such a broad brush when you're going off on how shareholders are evil people only looking to maximize profit by any means necessary. It's simply false.

You need to get your terms for class warfare correct. ;)

It has to do with keeping the company honest, not letting them do dumb things, being able to change anything about the company to try and get more profit, etc. All you are is along for the ride.

That's all that most shareholders are. See above.

Because I don't agree with saying someone who has fund that invest in X,Y and Z makes that person a shareholder in the company. I would say the Fund is the shareholder. And they are in it ONLY for the money, not for the company, not for the values, just for the profit. they aren't going to guide the company, protect the company or anything else.. they will be in for a while and out as soon as it starts to drop.

Well your definition is wrong and since you've based your opinion on that, I don't know what to tell you. This excludes the many examples of funds that are active in pressing company values and even socially conscious or have various other value-based objectives.

And this is why my argument skills obviously suck. I can't seem to get my points across clearly in a sentence that makes sense to someone other then myself (If it even makes sense to me).
...
That seems to be my starting thesis..

I didn't view that as your starting thesis since it was in the middle of the discussion plus the fact that we've had this topic before. ;) My mistake.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Sunday May 16, 2010 @ 03:17pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Sarah Palin uses "Joe Sixpack" when she's trying to identify her retardiocy* with the average, hard working, red blooded American.

* I just made this up.

+1 for greatness.

"I will fucking destroy you." -v


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by rub on Thursday May 13, 2010 @ 04:28pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

There is nothing I can say from my limited point of view that is going to be able to change your mind one bit. You pull stocks, facts and figures all day long and I can't compete with that. Interpretations will always be different and My POV seems to be for the normal joe vs the big business/shareholder. I don't care about them.

I guess I was wrong, Greed is Good.

Your POV is perfectly valid. The problem is that you are arguing personal value, personal value, whereas volt is arguing the perception of values given to us by institutions. Apples and oranges. It's like when you are fucking an 18 year old with a ziploc bag full of ricewine and razorblades - nothing good will come from it.

Different things hold different value to different people. Unfortunately, third parties come in and say "I don't care what you think, here is how much something is worth".It is not a good thing and that is why, for example, price fixing is illegal. However, then the same government fixes prices on a foundation level with shit like minimum wage. Then unions come in and throw their weight around driving up base costs even more. Imagine if there were no unions and no minimum wage. People who are doing unskilled jobs would probably be making a fraction of what they make. Guess what, prices would go down, Why? Supply/demand. If people couldn't afford the shit, the prices will have to come down (plus it would cost less to make the shit).

IMO, like I said you guys are arguing something you think is the same thing but is not.

<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday May 14, 2010 @ 09:08am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Your POV is perfectly valid. The problem is that you are arguing personal value, personal value, whereas volt is arguing the perception of values given to us by institutions. Apples and oranges. It's like when you are fucking an 18 year old with a ziploc bag full of ricewine and razorblades - nothing good will come from it.

"Valid" is a junk word. Everything is valid. Ethnic hatred is, technically speaking, a "valid" point of view despite the fact that it is immoral. The conspiracy theory that we never really went to the moon or that the earth is flat are "valid" points of view even though both are factually incorrect.

Values really are the driving force behind any discussion, but it is inarguably valuable to have more than feelings and hopes behind an actionable point of view. If someone thinks that we should implement policy X for the nation, I want more than highly vetted speeches given before cheering audiences made up of those who will benefit; I want facts and figures and understanding.

Different things hold different value to different people. Unfortunately, third parties come in and say "I don't care what you think, here is how much something is worth".It is not a good thing and that is why, for example, price fixing is illegal. However, then the same government fixes prices on a foundation level with shit like minimum wage. Then unions come in and throw their weight around driving up base costs even more. Imagine if there were no unions and no minimum wage. People who are doing unskilled jobs would probably be making a fraction of what they make. Guess what, prices would go down, Why? Supply/demand. If people couldn't afford the shit, the prices will have to come down (plus it would cost less to make the shit).

Anyway, I agree with this; interference from actors (governments, unions, etc) who are all acting in the so-called best interests of their constituencies are 90% of the problem in economics. It's across the board, really, everything from the price of labor to farming subsidies to taxation to tariffs to pricing. Really most of this stuff is basic economics too, like a 101 level class, not some master's program shit. I'm pretty sure there's a reason politicians don't promote a required course in basic economics in high school the way they do most other topics.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by rub on Friday May 14, 2010 @ 08:17pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

"Valid" is a junk word..

your mother has a junk snatch

<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday February 17, 2012 @ 09:47am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

I welcome your and Laura's child into the world.



"it's good that they shop and spend and camp out waiting for the great deal to save $5 on a toaster." - Stealth


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Thursday November 19, 2009 @ 07:21am
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Imagine what we could do if we didn't let economics stymie progress. Of course without economics there would be no progress, but still...

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

Stop. Please.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Thursday November 19, 2009 @ 08:09pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Imagine what we could do if we didn't let economics stymie progress. Of course without economics there would be no progress, but still...

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

Stop. Please.

I can't stop, the whorish corporate media driven solely by profit at the expense of family, hope, and a lil' buddha enforces upon me the need to rail against the establishment (right before I go online and buy a bunch of stuff with my credit card)

When I was your age, Pluto was a planet


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Thursday November 19, 2009 @ 07:56am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Stop. Please.

You're going to get stabby, aren't you?

-unicron

I love the way your innocence tastes


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 07:17am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Sunday November 22, 2009 @ 11:45am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

To be fair.. I don't believe in any of that shit. Nothing. She was MILF/librarian hot, but otherwise, worthless. Vaccines are good, to many doctor proscribed drugs and over use of hand cleaners/disinfectants/etc are bad. Scientology is a funny comic and 9/11, well.. whatever.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

No Noah didn't have dinosaurs... I don't think they where around then.

I guess I don't understand 'sucked into ignorance'... It's not like I'm coping some post or something (if I am, let me know - might be fun to read. ;-) ). These are observations.. watching things over a number of years. that's all.

How much money do businesses put into R&D, or fund science, or anything like that? How about schools and science? Teaching skills (shop/music/electives)? How much of the medical R&D is done by universities who them claim patents on it. Yes.. some of those universities exist are there with paid students, some are public.

As for government spending.. cuts in damn near but military spending.. need I say more?

Is it wrong to say that most big businesses have moved from a moral/society/faith standing to straight up "for the profit only" capitalism? You can make money and still do good things. You can have a bad quarter, not fudge numbers, say things aren't good without having everyone breathing down your neck.

Your point of view, from where you work,. the classes you've taken and the things you've seen is obviously different from mine.. but are we that different?



"It's 'Eh', you tard." - Ghostalker


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday November 23, 2009 @ 08:30am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

I guess I don't understand 'sucked into ignorance'... It's not like I'm coping some post or something (if I am, let me know - might be fun to read. ;-) ). These are observations.. watching things over a number of years. that's all.

I don't think you're just copying and pasting what someone else wrote, no. But I do suspect that because of your career path and living situation, you are probably surrounded by people who believe these things and you gradually come to agree with them. Hey that's how all thought works, we tend to consider views that surround us more often so I'm not bagging on you for it. But I feel you are being sucked into it and just a modicum of research would show where their thoughts are wrong (and where they are right).

How much money do businesses put into R&D, or fund science, or anything like that? How about schools and science? Teaching skills (shop/music/electives)? How much of the medical R&D is done by universities who them claim patents on it. Yes.. some of those universities exist are there with paid students, some are public.

I don't understand the question. I mean I understand the question linguistically, but I don't see what you're getting at. I don't want to respond incorrectly and be a dick, so here are some links that might help answer your question to begin with:
- Large companies' R&D spending during the current downturn
- More specifics on a similar study in 2008
- Non-private companies, aka those with NO profit motive, don't spend shit on R&D (a blog, but with many good external links)
- Some good general figures on R&D spending
- Quality R&D matters more than quantity spent

As for government spending.. cuts in damn near but military spending.. need I say more?

Yes you do. Please insert the missing words in that sentence, dude, so I don't misunderstand you further.

And if you think there are cuts in everything but military spending (I'm inserting my own words here, so I apologize if I'm wrong), then I invite you to look at the current debate about universal health care. There's also federal funding of green energy research through subsidies and tax credits and programs like Cash-for-Clunkers. Plus stimulus packages, not only the recent ones but the $600ish check we all got a couple years ago under Bush. Covering and expanding unemployment programs in the current economy.

Some links:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_United_States_federal_budget#Total_spending (note the numbers in parentheses to show vs 2007)
- http://www.federalbudget.com/ a more visual source
- http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/ click on the "Federal" tab after the page comes up and scroll down to a table giving spending by segment

Is it wrong to say that most big businesses have moved from a moral/society/faith standing to straight up "for the profit only" capitalism? You can make money and still do good things. You can have a bad quarter, not fudge numbers, say things aren't good without having everyone breathing down your neck.

Yes it is wrong. Private businesses have never been about moral/society/faith positions. Private businesses have always been about profit. There was never any time where any private business was operated for the good of the people or what have you. You are yearning for "the way it used to be" about a way that never was.

Now if you want to talk about management styles, perhaps being more personable as opposed to a hyper-analytical data tyrant, sure. But that has to do with the personality driving a company, not the profit motive itself. And historically I think you will find that "nice guys" have always been the exception. That's why we love to hear about them, because they are a point of light in a shitty world. Not because they were everywhere until one day they were extinct.

Or maybe you want to talk about small business vs. faceless corporations. I could understand that, but there are times when larger businesses are better for the consumer, the economy, and society as a whole. Not everything operates best as a mom and pop shop. Are mom and pop shops going to treat their employees better on a social basis than some giant megacorp? That's almost guaranteed. But it has nothing to do with capitalism or profit motives or anything else. That's just how people are.

Your point of view, from where you work,. the classes you've taken and the things you've seen is obviously different from mine.. but are we that different?
Are we that different; no. But I think our approaches and opinions are quite different on a few topics.


"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Sunday November 29, 2009 @ 09:45am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Thanks for the links.. I should probably have mentioned that I'm more talking about companies in the 40-70's then 5 or 10 years ago.

I'm sure your probably right, you study this stuff and use it for a living. And we're starting to get into lots of big words.. so I'll just keep my opinions to myself until i can back them with some articles or proof, or at least be in the same room for the discussion.

"You know what it reminds me of, you know what it reminds me of? Oh yeah.. a complete waste of time" - Dave Letterman


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Wednesday December 2, 2009 @ 09:45am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Thanks for the links.. I should probably have mentioned that I'm more talking about companies in the 40-70's then 5 or 10 years ago.

I get what you meant, dude. No one talks about "the good old days" unless they're looking back to the so-called Golden Age of the post-war 1940s and 1950s. My point was simply to say that such a time never existed; not 5 years ago and not 50 years ago.

I'm sure your probably right, you study this stuff and use it for a living. And we're starting to get into lots of big words.. so I'll just keep my opinions to myself until i can back them with some articles or proof, or at least be in the same room for the discussion.

That's fine. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm trying to "shout you down" or something, either. But I would definitely recommend some reading with actual data (not just blogs, &c.) to see what you find. It's funny, just yesterday a guy from Netherlands on another forum started talking about exactly the same things you did: companies not putting money "into research" (whatever that means) and all this stuff. Was there a recent news article over there or something getting all the Dutch riled up?

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday December 3, 2009 @ 06:32am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Thanks for the links.. I should probably have mentioned that I'm more talking about companies in the 40-70's then 5 or 10 years ago.

I get what you meant, dude. No one talks about "the good old days" unless they're looking back to the so-called Golden Age of the post-war 1940s and 1950s. My point was simply to say that such a time never existed; not 5 years ago and not 50 years ago.

Let me ask you about this: http://microsofttaxdodge.com/2009/11/about-microsofts-nevada-tax-dodge.html

This is an example of a company doing something at all costs to try and make a buck. And it's not just a few dollars here and there. That's big money. And they aren't the only company doing that Dongle Doug's relatives have an office out in Carson City designed just for this thing. It's crap. Shouldn't companies and shareholders realize that at some point, legal or not, it might make sense to not try and get every single dollar they can? Is pure capitalism the right answer? Shouldn't morals or society play a part in it?

Different example, I was talking to someone about the recent shooting of the 4 cops up in Seattle (http://www.komonews.com/news/local/78088192.html).. I had mentioned that over here, in Europe as a whole, you don't hear about that kind of stuff very often. Yes, lower population, cities, gun control, all that plays into effect, I don't deny that. But beyond that, at the base of the argument, violent crimes as a whole are much more rare over here. And why might that be? Speculation - less lower class, less crime? Less effect of going to prison => easier to get and keep job once jailed? Less punishment for nonsense/non serious crimes? Social responsibility and standings? None of this relates to business directly, more society and behavior. But those two things play back into business and what they allow/will do. Does that make sense?



I'm sure your probably right, you study this stuff and use it for a living. And we're starting to get into lots of big words.. so I'll just keep my opinions to myself until i can back them with some articles or proof, or at least be in the same room for the discussion.

That's fine. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm trying to "shout you down" or something, either. But I would definitely recommend some reading with actual data (not just blogs, &c.) to see what you find. It's funny, just yesterday a guy from Netherlands on another forum started talking about exactly the same things you did: companies not putting money "into research" (whatever that means) and all this stuff. Was there a recent news article over there or something getting all the Dutch riled up?

No, not that I know of. And if there was.. i don't even watch the news.. just read the web-o-sphere.. And talking about research.. is it research for the fun of it, just to see where things go, or is it more like R&D looking for a profit. And you can say that in the end they all want a profit and that's true, but where's the latest XEROX PARC (as an example).

Look at Ford - one of the biggest spenders of R&D period. And what shows up for it? < silence > Nada. Sarcasm.. I know.. but they have shown very little with 7 billion in R&D.

Data can be looked at in lots of ways. you can count $$ for this or that and change the categories for other things.. numbers, while fact, can easily be twisted.

To me research seemed to be so you can prove it could be done, or see whats now. Now it seems the motives behind it are more based in $$ and ROI then anything else. If it doesn't look like it might make money, even if the idea is sound and could be useful, then they drop it. And no, I don't have any articles or stories to back this up, just a lack of articles and stories. You would think that we with more tech might find newer things.

Examples - NASA's budget - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget#Annual_budget.2C_1958-2009 - form a high of 5.5% in the 60's to the 0.55% now. And it's not like we don't need the money. They talk about trying to get to the Moon/Mars, send things into space, build new telescopes and keep the old stuff up, yet they keep lowering the budget.

Another recent topic I was talking to someone about - Collage books - I didn't go, so this didn't effect me, but why is it that you are all required to by new books every year? And why are the books so damn expensive? Why are the used ones almost the same price? Why are they trying to cut back on resellers and all that? Why can't you use electronic ones? There's no logical reason for any of that expect to turn profits. But the cost is, kids going to school without the damn books.. or building up large chunks of credit.

Those are just a few recent conversations I've had with some people here.. back and forth.


"You know what it reminds me of, you know what it reminds me of? Oh yeah.. a complete waste of time" - Dave Letterman


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Thursday December 3, 2009 @ 08:24am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Let me ask you about this: http://microsofttaxdodge.com/2009/11/about-microsofts-nevada-tax-dodge.html

This is an example of a company doing something at all costs to try and make a buck. And it's not just a few dollars here and there. That's big money. And they aren't the only company doing that Dongle Doug's relatives have an office out in Carson City designed just for this thing. It's crap. Shouldn't companies and shareholders realize that at some point, legal or not, it might make sense to not try and get every single dollar they can? Is pure capitalism the right answer? Shouldn't morals or society play a part in it?

These are different questions, so let me break them out and address them. Yes, if a company is using shady accounting of any kind it should be held liable under the law. This actually happens all the time, but we only hear about big, interesting meltdowns like Enron, Tyco and Worldcom. So it sounds to me like Washington State ought to pursue Microsoft's tax evasion for both disgorgement and penalties.

However, I don't think Microsoft should pay taxes because bridges are about to collapse in Washington. That's a false connection. Microsoft should pay taxes because it's the law. Bridges should be fixed because that's government's responsibility. The obligations themselves are not connected. Microsoft should pay taxes even if there's no need for money and the government is saving it (haw haw). Government should fix bridges even when everything has gone to shit because that's what they are there for.

Furthermore, the argument that Washington is thinking of making "D" a passing grade illustrates that money isn't the primary problem; it seems clear that post-modern, liberal views about education are problematic and our desire for every child to have self-esteem is overriding our desire to educate. Society and morals play the primary role in that decision as well, so if money were not emotionally brought up as an issue would you agree with it? I doubt it because you, personally, have higher morals than most of the idiots in this fading republic. So don't let your thinking be corrupted by emotional appeals that connect the dots out of order.

The second part asks if shareholders ought to recognize that it's not all about every single dollar. This I don't agree with. They are about every single dollar, that's what a business is built for. I don't think this gives them free reign to take illegal or questionable actions, but otherwise why not? Pure capitalism under a governing framework of law is probably the best system out there overall besides pie-in-the-sky altruistic transhumanism (heh) but that doesn't mean it's 100% perfect.

Different example, I was talking to someone about the recent shooting of the 4 cops up in Seattle (http://www.komonews.com/news/local/78088192.html).. I had mentioned that over here, in Europe as a whole, you don't hear about that kind of stuff very often. Yes, lower population, cities, gun control, all that plays into effect, I don't deny that. But beyond that, at the base of the argument, violent crimes as a whole are much more rare over here. And why might that be? Speculation - less lower class, less crime? Less effect of going to prison => easier to get and keep job once jailed? Less punishment for nonsense/non serious crimes? Social responsibility and standings? None of this relates to business directly, more society and behavior. But those two things play back into business and what they allow/will do. Does that make sense?

Yes it does, and I think they are related at the society level. People are people, whether the business is making widgets or jacking foos for dey grip.

No, not that I know of. And if there was.. i don't even watch the news.. just read the web-o-sphere.. And talking about research.. is it research for the fun of it, just to see where things go, or is it more like R&D looking for a profit. And you can say that in the end they all want a profit and that's true, but where's the latest XEROX PARC (as an example).

I don't really know what you mean, I guess I'm not familiar with what you're talking about for XEROX PARC. Can I say "Google" and answer your question?

Look at Ford - one of the biggest spenders of R&D period. And what shows up for it? < silence > Nada. Sarcasm.. I know.. but they have shown very little with 7 billion in R&D.

Depends on what you're looking for. Do you mean we don't have flying cars yet? Yes, and I'm still miffed about that. But what metric do you use to judge the success of R&D?Did someone come up with a better way to crumple a car on impact to reduce injuries by 2% in front-end collisions? Maybe a way to produce cloth and plastic door moldings using half the energy? I don't know, but I doubt such a development would make the headlines of most blogs, either. I bet a few minutes reading journals or websites talking about new developments in cars would at least tell us about the new things, though they may not indicate who thought of them first.

And where did that $7 billion go anyway? That's right, into the hands of Ford's employees and suppliers (who themselves have employees and suppliers, &c. all the way down the line), who by the way then paid their own income taxes and so on. R&D money isn't a check written to management or Wall Street or whatever other bugaboo. Money dumped into research doesn't need to produce something to have economic value for the very people you are advocating in favor of.

Data can be looked at in lots of ways. you can count $$ for this or that and change the categories for other things.. numbers, while fact, can easily be twisted.

That's why accountants are so well paid. Some to hide, some to find, and some to build a better framework. But even among people like you and me, we can look at the numbers reports and understand whether they are really causing some big chunk of social economic harm (dead weight loss) by being a bit more analytical and less emotionally charged.

To me research seemed to be so you can prove it could be done, or see whats now. Now it seems the motives behind it are more based in $$ and ROI then anything else. If it doesn't look like it might make money, even if the idea is sound and could be useful, then they drop it. And no, I don't have any articles or stories to back this up, just a lack of articles and stories. You would think that we with more tech might find newer things.

You are talking about pure research, like dudes sitting in their basement inventing things. Tesla and shit. Yeah, dude is one of my top ten heroes. But most inventors are about applied science like Edison. There is very little research "to see what can be done" without some kind of a motive to pay back. Otherwise how do you fund the research in the first place?

Or consider everyone's favorite whipping boy: pharmaceutical companies. If only 1 in 10 drugs passes FDA approval, then what does that mean? It means that the horrible, evil profits of the one successful drug have to pay for itself plus nine flops. Otherwise there would be no drug companies doing research. Of course, Europeans love to talk about these because American companies do most of the research worldwide and they get the tech-tree benefits after the fact. They don't pay to play, so to speak.

Examples - NASA's budget - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget#Annual_budget.2C_1958-2009 - form a high of 5.5% in the 60's to the 0.55% now. And it's not like we don't need the money. They talk about trying to get to the Moon/Mars, send things into space, build new telescopes and keep the old stuff up, yet they keep lowering the budget.

NASA is an exception to what we're talking about. They are a government sponsored entity (we call them GSEs), similar to Fannie Mae, the post office, etc. You will get no argument from me that we ought to spend money more with them (although I don't care for certain initiatives they are pushing). But once again, I ask: isn't society the one who has decided not to fund them as much anymore? Therefore does society always make the best decisions? Note as a side remark how much less money private companies are spending to get into space; it's almost like horrible, evil profit motives allocate dollars more efficiently! ;)

Another recent topic I was talking to someone about - Collage books - I didn't go, so this didn't effect me, but why is it that you are all required to by new books every year? And why are the books so damn expensive? Why are the used ones almost the same price? Why are they trying to cut back on resellers and all that? Why can't you use electronic ones? There's no logical reason for any of that expect to turn profits. But the cost is, kids going to school without the damn books.. or building up large chunks of credit.

College books are a complete scam, yes. There are some detailed explanations as to why this is the case but I don't think any of them are better than the simple one: because they can. Technology is slowly leveling the playing field though.

I'm not going to argue that everything is efficient and perfect and all that. In fact, only in the last two years (with all the economic stuff that started in summer 2007) have economists gotten their stupid heads out of their stupid bungholes concerning efficiency. The private sector is more efficient than government at allocating scarce resources, yes, but it is not perfectly efficient by far. And even then, there are times when a government needs to be involved (by "governing") in certain types of situations, such as certain types of monopolies, infrastructures, national scale things like the military, &c. Try not to think of everything as either 100% wild west Ayn Rand capitalism or 100% godless commie socialism. I'd put myself at 90% capitalism 10% socialism, FWIW.


"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Sunday December 6, 2009 @ 12:04pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Let me ask you about this: http://microsofttaxdodge.com/2009/11/about-microsofts-nevada-tax-dodge.html

This is an example of a company doing something at all costs to try and make a buck. And it's not just a few dollars here and there. That's big money. And they aren't the only company doing that Dongle Doug's relatives have an office out in Carson City designed just for this thing. It's crap. Shouldn't companies and shareholders realize that at some point, legal or not, it might make sense to not try and get every single dollar they can? Is pure capitalism the right answer? Shouldn't morals or society play a part in it?

These are different questions, so let me break them out and address them. Yes, if a company is using shady accounting of any kind it should be held liable under the law. This actually happens all the time, but we only hear about big, interesting meltdowns like Enron, Tyco and Worldcom. So it sounds to me like Washington State ought to pursue Microsoft's tax evasion for both disgorgement and penalties.

However, I don't think Microsoft should pay taxes because bridges are about to collapse in Washington. That's a false connection. Microsoft should pay taxes because it's the law. Bridges should be fixed because that's government's responsibility. The obligations themselves are not connected. Microsoft should pay taxes even if there's no need for money and the government is saving it (haw haw). Government should fix bridges even when everything has gone to shit because that's what they are there for.

Furthermore, the argument that Washington is thinking of making "D" a passing grade illustrates that money isn't the primary problem; it seems clear that post-modern, liberal views about education are problematic and our desire for every child to have self-esteem is overriding our desire to educate. Society and morals play the primary role in that decision as well, so if money were not emotionally brought up as an issue would you agree with it? I doubt it because you, personally, have higher morals than most of the idiots in this fading republic. So don't let your thinking be corrupted by emotional appeals that connect the dots out of order.

I agree WaState should not have used it as an excuse, except for the parts they didn't mention about how MS also does a lot of law suites and court work in WaState, without paying the taxes that support that. Blaming the infustructor and state problems on MS is a load of crap. I agree. But if it's legal but not wrong, as in, normal people don't think it should be done, but it's not illegal, so why not. That's crap.

The second part asks if shareholders ought to recognize that it's not all about every single dollar. This I don't agree with. They are about every single dollar, that's what a business is built for. I don't think this gives them free reign to take illegal or questionable actions, but otherwise why not? Pure capitalism under a governing framework of law is probably the best system out there overall besides pie-in-the-sky altruistic transhumanism (heh) but that doesn't mean it's 100% perfect.

/note to self - figure out what Joe was talking about with transhumanism :-)


No, not that I know of. And if there was.. i don't even watch the news.. just read the web-o-sphere.. And talking about research.. is it research for the fun of it, just to see where things go, or is it more like R&D looking for a profit. And you can say that in the end they all want a profit and that's true, but where's the latest XEROX PARC (as an example).

I don't really know what you mean, I guess I'm not familiar with what you're talking about for XEROX PARC. Can I say "Google" and answer your question?

Xeroc PARC was the R&D office Xerox... they are the original people that came up with the mouse, the GUI, laser printers, networked (Ethernet) machines, etc. It's where Steve Jobs came over and got the ideas for his GUI. They never carried on with the tech and made any working commercial projects out of it and instead it took other companies basically coping their ideas to get them known.

Look at Ford - one of the biggest spenders of R&D period. And what shows up for it? < silence > Nada. Sarcasm.. I know.. but they have shown very little with 7 billion in R&D.

Depends on what you're looking for. Do you mean we don't have flying cars yet? Yes, and I'm still miffed about that. But what metric do you use to judge the success of R&D?Did someone come up with a better way to crumple a car on impact to reduce injuries by 2% in front-end collisions? Maybe a way to produce cloth and plastic door moldings using half the energy? I don't know, but I doubt such a development would make the headlines of most blogs, either. I bet a few minutes reading journals or websites talking about new developments in cars would at least tell us about the new things, though they may not indicate who thought of them first.

But even those inventions (crash worthiness, lower energy) would spark articles and invoke commentary. A company would want to prove and justify it's R&D spending. And yes, I do follow some of the auto tech journals.. bad habit at looking at new toys.


To me research seemed to be so you can prove it could be done, or see whats now. Now it seems the motives behind it are more based in $$ and ROI then anything else. If it doesn't look like it might make money, even if the idea is sound and could be useful, then they drop it. And no, I don't have any articles or stories to back this up, just a lack of articles and stories. You would think that we with more tech might find newer things.

You are talking about pure research, like dudes sitting in their basement inventing things. Tesla and shit. Yeah, dude is one of my top ten heroes. But most inventors are about applied science like Edison. There is very little research "to see what can be done" without some kind of a motive to pay back. Otherwise how do you fund the research in the first place?

You write it off and hope that those inventors might also come up with good ideas that can be used, in addition to just trying things out to see what happens. LHC for example. This is a good thing. research for research sake. However, the Supercolider in TX is the complete opposite.

Or consider everyone's favorite whipping boy: pharmaceutical companies. If only 1 in 10 drugs passes FDA approval, then what does that mean? It means that the horrible, evil profits of the one successful drug have to pay for itself plus nine flops. Otherwise there would be no drug companies doing research. Of course, Europeans love to talk about these because American companies do most of the research worldwide and they get the tech-tree benefits after the fact. They don't pay to play, so to speak.

Ok, I get that, but then why would the Canadians and the EU get lower prices for those drugs then those in the states?

Examples - NASA's budget - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget#Annual_budget.2C_1958-2009 - form a high of 5.5% in the 60's to the 0.55% now. And it's not like we don't need the money. They talk about trying to get to the Moon/Mars, send things into space, build new telescopes and keep the old stuff up, yet they keep lowering the budget.

NASA is an exception to what we're talking about. They are a government sponsored entity (we call them GSEs), similar to Fannie Mae, the post office, etc. You will get no argument from me that we ought to spend money more with them (although I don't care for certain initiatives they are pushing). But once again, I ask: isn't society the one who has decided not to fund them as much anymore? Therefore does society always make the best decisions? Note as a side remark how much less money private companies are spending to get into space; it's almost like horrible, evil profit motives allocate dollars more efficiently! ;)

Why would it be Society that gets the blame?? Society doesn't make the budget or decide who gets what money, they don't pick increasing military spending at the cost of social programs and they don't approve or disapprove of war and conflicts. Society doesn't cut funding to schools to they close artistic programs, they don't cut social services or limit transportation. Society is the ones who don't vote for tax increases and bonds (and in this, it does cause problems - but when the money they do put in seems to get wasted, then people don't want to spend more ) and they pick people to hopefully make good decisions, but alas those decisions are made by people that don't always have 'societies' interests at heart. They are worrying about their bottom line, which isn't their job, but that's what they do.

I know it's an endless loop. But where do you start? Lawmakers and budget makers or business?

I'm not going to argue that everything is efficient and perfect and all that. In fact, only in the last two years (with all the economic stuff that started in summer 2007) have economists gotten their stupid heads out of their stupid bungholes concerning efficiency. The private sector is more efficient than government at allocating scarce resources, yes, but it is not perfectly efficient by far. And even then, there are times when a government needs to be involved (by "governing") in certain types of situations, such as certain types of monopolies, infrastructures, national scale things like the military, &c. Try not to think of everything as either 100% wild west Ayn Rand capitalism or 100% godless commie socialism. I'd put myself at 90% capitalism 10% socialism, FWIW.

Thanks.. it's good to read some of the stuff you've written.

"Steve Jobs can't even fucking give away money without making money" -- Slashdot post


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday December 7, 2009 @ 08:37am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

I agree WaState should not have used it as an excuse, except for the parts they didn't mention about how MS also does a lot of law suites and court work in WaState, without paying the taxes that support that. Blaming the infustructor and state problems on MS is a load of crap. I agree. But if it's legal but not wrong, as in, normal people don't think it should be done, but it's not illegal, so why not. That's crap.

I don't think it's so clear that whatever the people think right now should be law. We have levels of law because the people are fickle; for instance, the Constitution requires much more to change our fundamental protections than Federal law does, and then sometimes state law even overrides that. I'm not saying what they are doing is right, by the way.

/note to self - figure out what Joe was talking about with transhumanism :-)

Human self-improvement through technology. It will solve our fundamental problems so that we can evolve to be better people. Think Star Trek (honestly).

Xeroc PARC was the R&D office Xerox... they are the original people that came up with the mouse, the GUI, laser printers, networked (Ethernet) machines, etc. It's where Steve Jobs came over and got the ideas for his GUI. They never carried on with the tech and made any working commercial projects out of it and instead it took other companies basically coping their ideas to get them known.

Got it. Well there are plenty of companies that engage in tons of research, and I'd argue that general research is more democratized now with open source projects and open standards as well.

But even those inventions (crash worthiness, lower energy) would spark articles and invoke commentary. A company would want to prove and justify it's R&D spending. And yes, I do follow some of the auto tech journals.. bad habit at looking at new toys.

I don't think incremental R&D would result in the big articles or commentaries you think. I suspect something would have to be more awe-inspiring for that. A company doesn't have to justify its R&D except to shareholders, so who cares.

You write it off and hope that those inventors might also come up with good ideas that can be used, in addition to just trying things out to see what happens. LHC for example. This is a good thing. research for research sake. However, the Supercolider in TX is the complete opposite.

There is far more to research than big awe-inspiring physics projects. In any case, I suspect companies to far more "see what happens" R&D than you are giving credit for. All of them? No. I don't think Barnes and Noble has a huge R&D section for instance. But then on the other hand you have companies like Google that are almost totally R&D. Of course, software isn't as sexy as it used to be, but hey.

Ok, I get that, but then why would the Canadians and the EU get lower prices for those drugs then those in the states?

I didn't know the answer so I found this page which gives some decent answers: http://drugs.about.com/od/faqsaboutyourdrugs/f/Canada_cheap.htm

Basically it comes down to: government price caps, lower liability costs, and a lower standard of living. That last one we see here even in the US: food in Beverly Hills is more expensive than the same food in Compton. A company that wants to sell can only charge what consumers are willing to pay.

NASA is an exception to what we're talking about. They are a government sponsored entity (we call them GSEs), similar to Fannie Mae, the post office, etc. You will get no argument from me that we ought to spend money more with them (although I don't care for certain initiatives they are pushing). But once again, I ask: isn't society the one who has decided not to fund them as much anymore? Therefore does society always make the best decisions? Note as a side remark how much less money private companies are spending to get into space; it's almost like horrible, evil profit motives allocate dollars more efficiently! ;)

Why would it be Society that gets the blame?? Society doesn't make the budget or decide who gets what money, they don't pick increasing military spending at the cost of social programs and they don't approve or disapprove of war and conflicts. Society doesn't cut funding to schools to they close artistic programs, they don't cut social services or limit transportation. Society is the ones who don't vote for tax increases and bonds (and in this, it does cause problems - but when the money they do put in seems to get wasted, then people don't want to spend more ) and they pick people to hopefully make good decisions, but alas those decisions are made by people that don't always have 'societies' interests at heart. They are worrying about their bottom line, which isn't their job, but that's what they do.

I know it's an endless loop. But where do you start? Lawmakers and budget makers or business?

I start with society. Society does make those decisions that you mention above in most cases. Legislators do what will keep them in office. When NASA becomes really popular, they vote in big budgets. When no one cares, they chop it. That's politics. And no, I don't like it. It's as I said earlier: the public is fickle. California is exhibit A in the disaster of direct rule (or as close as possible). Government is not supposed to care about the bottom line or profit, so they are supposed to put the public interest first. Of course, what we have now is a farce of what governance should be, but that's the theory anyway.

Thanks.. it's good to read some of the stuff you've written.

It's good to be asked about it, so I have to think about it and describe what I'm thinking. My ability to put things into words is deteriorating rapidly.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Tuesday December 8, 2009 @ 04:08am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

I agree WaState should not have used it as an excuse, except for the parts they didn't mention about how MS also does a lot of law suites and court work in WaState, without paying the taxes that support that. Blaming the infustructor and state problems on MS is a load of crap. I agree. But if it's legal but not wrong, as in, normal people don't think it should be done, but it's not illegal, so why not. That's crap.

I don't think it's so clear that whatever the people think right now should be law. We have levels of law because the people are fickle; for instance, the Constitution requires much more to change our fundamental protections than Federal law does, and then sometimes state law even overrides that. I'm not saying what they are doing is right, by the way.

If the people that make the laws benefit from a law, then why would it change? IE: Nevada benefits from having companies make that their home state, why would they change it? I suppose other states could try and come up with some way to counter that, but that's just legislation to solve a stupid problem (like congressional hearings on baseball). And i think this goes back to the point that people (lawyers/lobbyists/politicians are still looking for ways to make money in everything they do. I mean, you're not going to pass a law that is going to bankrupt a state, but they also won't pass laws that might make sense unless there is 'something in it for them'. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but sometimes you have to compromise without getting anything. Examples would be all the riders that get added to a simple, good bill, in order to get votes. That's crap. One Bill, One function/provision/etc. Stop all the damn riders and add-ons just to get a watered down bill to pass. ( i no this moved from states to federal in my post, but it's a rant.. so there. :-) )

/note to self - figure out what Joe was talking about with transhumanism :-)

Human self-improvement through technology. It will solve our fundamental problems so that we can evolve to be better people. Think Star Trek (honestly).

And how does capitalism fit with that? Are they going to sell the tech or make it free for the betterment of all mankind? hehe

But even those inventions (crash worthiness, lower energy) would spark articles and invoke commentary. A company would want to prove and justify it's R&D spending. And yes, I do follow some of the auto tech journals.. bad habit at looking at new toys.

I don't think incremental R&D would result in the big articles or commentaries you think. I suspect something would have to be more awe-inspiring for that. A company doesn't have to justify its R&D except to shareholders, so who cares.

The last part is true.. I'll agree with that. But with stock prices tied to every new news post, blog entry or rumor.. you might want to be a bit forthcoming.

You write it off and hope that those inventors might also come up with good ideas that can be used, in addition to just trying things out to see what happens. LHC for example. This is a good thing. research for research sake. However, the Supercolider in TX is the complete opposite.

There is far more to research than big awe-inspiring physics projects. In any case, I suspect companies to far more "see what happens" R&D than you are giving credit for. All of them? No. I don't think Barnes and Noble has a huge R&D section for instance. But then on the other hand you have companies like Google that are almost totally R&D. Of course, software isn't as sexy as it used to be, but hey.

Google gives their employees time to work on their own projects during the day. That's just cool.

Ok, I get that, but then why would the Canadians and the EU get lower prices for those drugs then those in the states?

I didn't know the answer so I found this page which gives some decent answers: http://drugs.about.com/od/faqsaboutyourdrugs/f/Canada_cheap.htm

Basically it comes down to: government price caps, lower liability costs, and a lower standard of living. That last one we see here even in the US: food in Beverly Hills is more expensive than the same food in Compton. A company that wants to sell can only charge what consumers are willing to pay.

So I get the last one, that of course makes sense, but the first two are things that our government could change to make it easier for everyone to get meds, without hurting the industry. The industry doesn't do as much work as they used too.

http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3113:drug-company-profits-soar-under-medicare-drug-plan&catid=43:investigations
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-the-hidden-truth-behind-drug-company-profits-1767257.html
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17244

But I guess passing laws to help companies make a profit is a good thing, instead of maybe helping the citizens be able to afford the drugs they need without worrying about the money?

I know it's an endless loop. But where do you start? Lawmakers and budget makers or business?

I start with society. Society does make those decisions that you mention above in most cases. Legislators do what will keep them in office. When NASA becomes really popular, they vote in big budgets. When no one cares, they chop it. That's politics. And no, I don't like it. It's as I said earlier: the public is fickle. California is exhibit A in the disaster of direct rule (or as close as possible). Government is not supposed to care about the bottom line or profit, so they are supposed to put the public interest first. Of course, what we have now is a farce of what governance should be, but that's the theory anyway.

Again, how does Society control budgets, spending bills or the like? Did the California people tell Da Governator how to make his budget, what things to cut and where to spend? No. All they can do is vote in or out of office if they don't like how it's going. Once the people are in place, society just gets to watch the show. I don't see how this is the public doing these things.

Government has to care about not spending more then it gets. So Wouldn't that be the bottom-line? Yes, it should not make a profit (See the GPA as a bad example - http://theconservativebeacon.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/government-printing-office-profits-at-the-expense-of-american-taxpayers-and-security/) but it does need to watch what it's spending and still provide the services the states residents require. I don't even know how you all got as bad as you did. Is there a simple powerpoint that explains how California ended up on it's back getting screwed regularly?


"It's 'Eh', you tard." - Ghostalker


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Thursday December 10, 2009 @ 07:35am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

If the people that make the laws benefit from a law, then why would it change? IE: Nevada benefits from having companies make that their home state, why would they change it? I suppose other states could try and come up with some way to counter that, but that's just legislation to solve a stupid problem (like congressional hearings on baseball). And i think this goes back to the point that people (lawyers/lobbyists/politicians are still looking for ways to make money in everything they do. I mean, you're not going to pass a law that is going to bankrupt a state, but they also won't pass laws that might make sense unless there is 'something in it for them'.

You should look at California. We do make laws that bankrupt the state, because various interest groups are self-interested in "what's in it for them". There is no long term view and no critical examination of unintended consequences. Inf act, CA is a shining example of the failure of direct democracy.

And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but sometimes you have to compromise without getting anything. Examples would be all the riders that get added to a simple, good bill, in order to get votes. That's crap. One Bill, One function/provision/etc. Stop all the damn riders and add-ons just to get a watered down bill to pass. ( i no this moved from states to federal in my post, but it's a rant.. so there. :-) )

There are many better ways to do things, I agree. If there was a way to efficiently remove lobbying from politics, for instance. The whole point of having a Senator is that you can have someone with the time and resources to make conscientious decisions on law, by hearing all points of view, having a staff of advisors to help him consider his thoughts, and then vote for what's best for his constituency. That's the idea. We don't do that anymore, so yeah there is alot that could change.

And how does capitalism fit with that? Are they going to sell the tech or make it free for the betterment of all mankind? hehe

Your premise is that only free things are better for mankind. There is something in economics called "the tragedy of the commons" and basically it means when people get something for free or very little cost, they don't value it. If it didn't cost you anything, what incentive do you have to use it correctly? There are some good examples of this you can read about, including community bike sharing plans and the worldwide problem of overfishing, as FuckWikipedia talks about at these links:
Tragedy_of_the_commons
Bicycle_sharing_system
Overfishing

Because "free" works for software development does not mean it translates to other areas. For one thing, software is an intangible so there is no finite resource over which people must compete. You and I can both write or use software without interfering with each other. On the other hand, if there are always free bikes what do I care if I wreck this one or toss it into the river; someone else can take care of it and I didn't lose any money or anything.

The last part is true.. I'll agree with that. But with stock prices tied to every new news post, blog entry or rumor.. you might want to be a bit forthcoming.

You seem to be asking almost for a bullet-pointed list of every project a company takes on. Can you imagine the overhead for such an endeavor? This is why shareholders appoint boards to oversee management: so that these responsibilities to review projects are delegated. And there are laws in place to make sure that statements about the company conform to best practices (especially accounting). What more do you want? Add more to the company's costs of compliance and they're going to pass that cost on to customers.

Google gives their employees time to work on their own projects during the day. That's just cool.

Agreed. But "cool" is not an economic driver for a company although it certainly drives talent acquisition and public relations. Remember how "cool" all those dot.com companies were? Yeah.

Basically it comes down to: government price caps, lower liability costs, and a lower standard of living. That last one we see here even in the US: food in Beverly Hills is more expensive than the same food in Compton. A company that wants to sell can only charge what consumers are willing to pay.

So I get the last one, that of course makes sense, but the first two are things that our government could change to make it easier for everyone to get meds, without hurting the industry. The industry doesn't do as much work as they used too.

Yes, price caps would hurt the industry. But what do you mean by that last sentence?

But I guess passing laws to help companies make a profit is a good thing, instead of maybe helping the citizens be able to afford the drugs they need without worrying about the money?

Those links strongly point to the real problem: government intervention. The Welfare Bill, passed by government. Pressure concerning patents, made by governments.

Again, how does Society control budgets, spending bills or the like? Did the California people tell Da Governator how to make his budget, what things to cut and where to spend? No. All they can do is vote in or out of office if they don't like how it's going. Once the people are in place, society just gets to watch the show. I don't see how this is the public doing these things.

Actually, yes we did. California is largely governed by initiatives and referenda which do largely determine the state budget. That's why the governor and legislature have so little ability to get anything done. But even in the cases where this idiocy isn't used, society is still responsible. If we put people into office who are beholden to special interests and so forth, we get what we pay for. Furthermore, society tolerates lobbies and special interests, largely because everyone has one of their own. Sure a person don't like PAC#1, but then he is a dues-paying-member of PAC#2. So he'd rather leave the system in place and let his voice be heard (guffaw) then get rid of all PACs.

These things do not happen in a vacuum. Society is to blame.

Government has to care about not spending more then it gets. So Wouldn't that be the bottom-line? Yes, it should not make a profit (See the GPA as a bad example - http://theconservativebeacon.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/government-printing-office-profits-at-the-expense-of-american-taxpayers-and-security/) but it does need to watch what it's spending and still provide the services the states residents require. I don't even know how you all got as bad as you did. Is there a simple powerpoint that explains how California ended up on it's back getting screwed regularly?

Direct democracy. The failure of the people to do anything intelligent. It took me awhile living here to understand it all, but you can start here.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Tuesday December 8, 2009 @ 03:31am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It's good to be asked about it, so I have to think about it and describe what I'm thinking. My ability to put things into words is deteriorating rapidly.

Welcome to my life.

"Stuff sold by the gram is always going to be more exciting than stuff sold by the pound" - J. Clarkson


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Sunday December 13, 2009 @ 03:39pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It's good to be asked about it, so I have to think about it and describe what I'm thinking. My ability to put things into words is deteriorating rapidly.

Welcome to my life.

deterioration assumes some former state of elevated ability. You, my friend, have had none in memory.

BTW, TL;DR to the rest of your guys' posts since I left. I sort of wanted to read it, but then I was like "what's that" and went and found something else to do...

Save your breath, you'll need it to inflate your date


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday December 14, 2009 @ 08:17am
>>reply ][ rating +2  ]

BTW, TL;DR to the rest of your guys' posts since I left. I sort of wanted to read it, but then I was like "what's that" and went and found something else to do...

Mostly I was talking about how the free world will conquer communism, with the aid of God and a few Marines.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Monday December 14, 2009 @ 11:16am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

BTW, TL;DR to the rest of your guys' posts since I left. I sort of wanted to read it, but then I was like "what's that" and went and found something else to do...

Mostly I was talking about how the free world will conquer communism, with the aid of God and a few Marines.

but what about the duality of man?

Soon, it will be a sin for parents to have a child which carries the heavy burden of genetic disease.

--Bob Edwards


previous post ]

<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @ 10:14am
>>reply ][ rating +2  ]

Mostly I was talking about how the free world will conquer communism, with the aid of God and a few Marines.

but what about the duality of man?

How about jumping in with the team and c'mon for the big win.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by MadArab on Tuesday December 15, 2009 @ 11:05am
>>reply ][ rating +2  ]

Mostly I was talking about how the free world will conquer communism, with the aid of God and a few Marines.

but what about the duality of man?

How about jumping in with the team and c'mon for the big win.

Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.

Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible cunt... me.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Friday December 25, 2009 @ 01:58am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Mostly I was talking about how the free world will conquer communism, with the aid of God and a few Marines.

but what about the duality of man?

How about jumping in with the team and c'mon for the big win.

Son, all I've ever asked of my marines is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.

Oh man.. non stop laughing.

You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity - Bullet Tooth Tony


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Monday December 14, 2009 @ 01:46pm
>>reply ][ rating -1  ]

BTW, TL;DR to the rest of your guys' posts since I left. I sort of wanted to read it, but then I was like "what's that" and went and found something else to do...

Mostly I was talking about how the free world will conquer communism, with the aid of God and a few Marines.

but what about the duality of man?

Bisexuals? A couple girls like that does a good redtube video make.

-unicron

His future is darker than Sylvia Plath listening to Morrissey while watching a puppy freeze to death during a lunar eclipse at her parents' Potter's Field funeral.


previous post ]

<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by formatc on Wednesday December 2, 2009 @ 11:19am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Thanks for the links.. I should probably have mentioned that I'm more talking about companies in the 40-70's then 5 or 10 years ago.

I get what you meant, dude. No one talks about "the good old days" unless they're looking back to the so-called Golden Age of the post-war 1940s and 1950s. My point was simply to say that such a time never existed; not 5 years ago and not 50 years ago.

I'm sure your probably right, you study this stuff and use it for a living. And we're starting to get into lots of big words.. so I'll just keep my opinions to myself until i can back them with some articles or proof, or at least be in the same room for the discussion.

That's fine. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm trying to "shout you down" or something, either. But I would definitely recommend some reading with actual data (not just blogs, &c.) to see what you find. It's funny, just yesterday a guy from Netherlands on another forum started talking about exactly the same things you did: companies not putting money "into research" (whatever that means) and all this stuff. Was there a recent news article over there or something getting all the Dutch riled up?

Probably the European version of Fox News or something.

I know, I should stay the hell out. Hey, what's this? BOOM!


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Thursday December 3, 2009 @ 08:14am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Probably the European version of Fox News or something.

What? No! Europeans only receive objective assessments of truth! There is little bias in the enlightenment that they receive!

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday December 3, 2009 @ 07:02am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Thanks for the links.. I should probably have mentioned that I'm more talking about companies in the 40-70's then 5 or 10 years ago.

I get what you meant, dude. No one talks about "the good old days" unless they're looking back to the so-called Golden Age of the post-war 1940s and 1950s. My point was simply to say that such a time never existed; not 5 years ago and not 50 years ago.

I'm sure your probably right, you study this stuff and use it for a living. And we're starting to get into lots of big words.. so I'll just keep my opinions to myself until i can back them with some articles or proof, or at least be in the same room for the discussion.

That's fine. I don't want you to get the impression that I'm trying to "shout you down" or something, either. But I would definitely recommend some reading with actual data (not just blogs, &c.) to see what you find. It's funny, just yesterday a guy from Netherlands on another forum started talking about exactly the same things you did: companies not putting money "into research" (whatever that means) and all this stuff. Was there a recent news article over there or something getting all the Dutch riled up?

Probably the European version of Fox News or something.

Al Jazeera? True story - "Early in the movie, press officer Lt. Rushing remarks that Al Jazeera's bias leads it to focus exclusively on American tanks and Iraqi casualties, yet he later confides that agencies such as Fox News also appear to hand-pick their material, and he sees what both sides leave out" - From Control Room - Good flick.

"[Sigh] - I hate you Kenny" -- Cartman


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 12:28pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

Welcome to the Internet, everything is ridiculous here.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by formatc on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 12:31pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

The ark had spinners.

Funny tag line; now read, laugh, and reflect.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 12:58pm
>>reply ][ rating +1  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

The ark had spinners.

Oh don't be stupid, the ark didn't have wheels... It was a boat... a motherfucking boat

Caliber and I would shoot the shit about our kids, patriotism, military stuff, and the merits of plentiful parking in "rogue states."

--formatc


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by formatc on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 06:13pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

The ark had spinners.

Oh don't be stupid, the ark didn't have wheels... It was a boat... a motherfucking boat

a boat with spinners.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 01:39pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

The ark had spinners.

Oh don't be stupid, the ark didn't have wheels... It was a boat... a motherfucking boat

Don't you ever forget.

-unicron

I love the way your innocence tastes


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Sunday November 22, 2009 @ 11:54am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

The ark had spinners.

Oh don't be stupid, the ark didn't have wheels... It was a boat... a motherfucking boat

Don't you ever forget.

However I don't think it was going fast man. He was the King of the world though.. at least for a few weeks.

"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary? That's what gets you." - J. Clarkson


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by formatc on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 06:14pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Fuck you, the dinosaurs were over by the unicorns, man. Why you gotta judge Noah and shit.

The ark had spinners.

Oh don't be stupid, the ark didn't have wheels... It was a boat... a motherfucking boat

Don't you ever forget.

Chuck you, Farlie. You and your whole fam damnley.

Well with [formatc], it's kind of like cheering for the retarded kid who comes in last in the Special Olympics.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Friday November 20, 2009 @ 07:56am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

It wouldn't bother me so ferociously if it were just his opinion about a subjective issue. But it's not. It's historically, factually incorrect at almost every turn. It's Sarah Palin false. It's vaccine-causes-autism false. It's Scientology false. It's 9/11-truthers false. Seriously.

If SPS was just some anonymous internet dipshit I wouldn't care so much, but as a long time friend of mine, it actually causes me brain pain to see him willingly sucked into such ignorance. Like Christian family members of mine who think Noah had dinosaurs with him on the ark or something. It hurts.

Or how he could animals from locations he was thousands of miles from? You know that mofo didn't have kangaroos and shit.

-unicron

How much motivation a homie need? I raised a fuckin' office plant from tha dead by hollerin' at it an' feedin' it root beer an' Skittles, y'all.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by voltaic on Monday November 23, 2009 @ 08:59am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Or how he could animals from locations he was thousands of miles from? You know that mofo didn't have kangaroos and shit.

Don't. You aren't prepared.

"Wow... that's... ZZZzzzzz" - madarab


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Monday November 23, 2009 @ 11:08pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Or how he could animals from locations he was thousands of miles from? You know that mofo didn't have kangaroos and shit.

Don't. You aren't prepared.

Sic im Ojoe, let's see if Wolfman has Nards...

As one acts and conducts himself, so does he become. The doer of good becomes good. The doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action, bad by bad action.

--Veda Upanishads


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @ 08:10am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Sic im Ojoe, let's see if Wolfman has Nards...

Wolfman has NARDS!


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by MadArab on Monday November 23, 2009 @ 10:10am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Or how he could animals from locations he was thousands of miles from? You know that mofo didn't have kangaroos and shit.

Don't. You aren't prepared.

I'm getting a strange feeling of deja vu...

Armed robbery. With a replica. I mean, how the fuck can it be armed robbery with a fucking replica?


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @ 08:42pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

that's pretty interesting... love shit like this

It really screws with my mind thinking about how much the damn think has gone from nothing to what it is now. Tech is the b0mb.

Imagine what we could do if we didn't let economics stymie progress. Of course without economics there would be no progress, but still...

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

careful man, we might be in the danger zone. I recommend we move this to a non-volt forum soon or suffer the wrath :)

Save your breath, you'll need it to inflate your date


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Thursday November 19, 2009 @ 04:58am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

40 years - a timeline of major events. Pretty cool to look back and see how long (or even how recently) things have been around..

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/

that's pretty interesting... love shit like this

It really screws with my mind thinking about how much the damn think has gone from nothing to what it is now. Tech is the b0mb.

Imagine what we could do if we didn't let economics stymie progress. Of course without economics there would be no progress, but still...

replace economics with 'massive profit hording'. think about how much money people spent in the 60's to test stuff, do R&D and all that. if that money still flowed.. it would be wild. But it's not cost effective for businesses to do that anymore.. that's the sad part.

careful man, we might be in the danger zone. I recommend we move this to a non-volt forum soon or suffer the wrath :)

hahaha.. there is no place here that is like cryptonite to volt.. that's the problem, he's invincible.

"You know what it reminds me of, you know what it reminds me of? Oh yeah.. a complete waste of time" - Dave Letterman


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Thursday November 19, 2009 @ 06:46am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

hahaha.. there is no place here that is like cryptonite to volt.. that's the problem, he's invincible.

its a lie, I saw him scrape his knee once

Caliber and I would shoot the shit about our kids, patriotism, military stuff, and the merits of plentiful parking in "rogue states."

--formatc


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Sunday November 22, 2009 @ 11:55am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

hahaha.. there is no place here that is like cryptonite to volt.. that's the problem, he's invincible.

its a lie, I saw him scrape his knee once

Had he reach puberty yet? It might not have counted.

"Access Terminated.
End of line" - Master Control Program


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Monday November 23, 2009 @ 11:09pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

hahaha.. there is no place here that is like cryptonite to volt.. that's the problem, he's invincible.

its a lie, I saw him scrape his knee once

Had he reach puberty yet? It might not have counted.

You assume he's made as to date

Welcome to the Internet, everything is ridiculous here.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Krux on Sunday November 1, 2009 @ 02:08pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

"At 2100, on 29 October 1969, engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) prepared to send data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8331253.stm

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

http://hackaday.com/2009/11/01/happy-birthday-internet-heres-40000/

DARPA announces the DARPA Network Challenge on the birthday of the Internet.

http://www.darpa.mil/news/2009/NetworkChallenge.pdf

Simple, find the exact location of ten red weather balloons which will be placed across the continental United States and only be displayed during the daylight hours of December 5th. Be the first to do that and $40,000 is yours.

perl -e 's++=END;++y(;-P)}n?k++=;<+xru}?print:??;'


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Monday November 2, 2009 @ 08:07am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Simple, find the exact location of ten red weather balloons which will be placed across the continental United States and only be displayed during the daylight hours of December 5th. Be the first to do that and $40,000 is yours.

Yeah, that's going to end up being split like 10 or 20 ways. Still cool, but impossible to do on your own. But, free money is free money. Time to find a few pilot friends I guess.

"[Sigh] - I hate you Kenny" -- Cartman


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by formatc on Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 08:35am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

"At 2100, on 29 October 1969, engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) prepared to send data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8331253.stm

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

Yeah. And the downside is?

Sun Tzu, von Clausewitz, Machiavelli, Mao Tse-tung, Jomini, & Boyd: How fast is your OODA loop?


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Stealth on Sunday November 1, 2009 @ 12:19pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

"At 2100, on 29 October 1969, engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) prepared to send data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8331253.stm

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

Yeah. And the downside is?

No downside.. just saying.

"Governments and corporations need people like you and me. We are samurai. The keyboard cowboys. And all those other people out there who have no idea what's going on are the cattle. Mooo!" --Mr. The Plague,


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by formatc on Friday November 6, 2009 @ 09:24am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

"At 2100, on 29 October 1969, engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) prepared to send data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8331253.stm

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

Yeah. And the downside is?

No downside.. just saying.

Fair enough.

Well with [formatc], it's kind of like cheering for the retarded kid who comes in last in the Special Olympics.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 09:19am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Yeah. And the downside is?

They need to have more pr0n games. So I can leach them. Also, the internet sometimes gives us gems like this, a post from Fark I just read regarding Miley Cyrus:

I used to work in an inner-city high school, full of economixcally deprived kids, gang members, and roughnecks, and I was the only security guard in the entire school. One day, we get this letter from the Disney corporation, stating that Miley Cyrus wanted to play a concert at our school to "give back" to the community. Posters went up all over, kids started chipping in to clean up the halls and the grounds, and within 2 weeks, this run down hellhole of a school looked absolutely beautiful. The grounds were well-kept and manicured, there was fresh paint everywhere, and the kids looked happier than they had ever been.

The big day came, and the entire student body filled the assembly hall in eager anticipation, waiting for the big moment. At precisely 2:00pm, the lights dimmed, music began to crescendo, and Miley came out on stage. She started singing one of her most famous songs, "Party in the U.S.A.", but stopped suddenly in the middle of the song. She just stood there, motionless, for several minutes.

The crowd was silent, astonished. Nobody knew what to do as Ms. Cyrus stood there, motionless.

Finally a stagehand walked out and stunned the crowd by lifting up her skirt, thrusting his hand up the back of it, and removing a large, rectangular object. This object, it turns out, was her battery pack. Within moments, the stagehand had a fresh battery pack installed, and the concert resumed, with Ms. Cyrus turning in one of the most lively and energetic performances I have ever seen in my life... that is, until her chest exploded, releasing thousands of cybernetic locusts out into the crowd, which managed to kill, or at least severely wound, about 80% of the student body, before they escaped out into the streets and took control of the town.

See, this is why I hate pop music.

-unicron

How much motivation a homie need? I raised a fuckin' office plant from tha dead by hollerin' at it an' feedin' it root beer an' Skittles, y'all.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 08:27am
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

These are still better things that myspace and facebook. Plus, I would like to think their is still a wealth of accurate and amazing information on the intertron, it's just that most people care more about the above things. It's like of like in Brave New World. Great literature was available, and people could read it if they wanted to, but no one cared. They'd rather update their blogs or hit up redtube.

-unicron

His future is darker than Sylvia Plath listening to Morrissey while watching a puppy freeze to death during a lunar eclipse at her parents' Potter's Field funeral.


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by Caliber on Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 04:28pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

These are still better things that myspace and facebook. Plus, I would like to think their is still a wealth of accurate and amazing information on the intertron, it's just that most people care more about the above things. It's like of like in Brave New World. Great literature was available, and people could read it if they wanted to, but no one cared. They'd rather update their blogs or hit up redtube.

so how is WoW treating you these days?

All the known world, excepting only savage nations, is governed by books.

--Voltaire


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Friday October 30, 2009 @ 01:02pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

Damn.. 40 years. And now all we get is leaching, pr0n and games.

These are still better things that myspace and facebook. Plus, I would like to think their is still a wealth of accurate and amazing information on the intertron, it's just that most people care more about the above things. It's like of like in Brave New World. Great literature was available, and people could read it if they wanted to, but no one cared. They'd rather update their blogs or hit up redtube.

so how is WoW treating you these days?

I logged in last night, I can't do it. I'm done, can't sit there anymore playing such a slow paced game for hours on end. I'd rather shoot a few guys and call it.

-unicron

I love the way your innocence tastes


<< Re: The interwebs hits mid-life
Science! ]
Posted by unicron on Thursday October 29, 2009 @ 04:49pm
>>reply ][ rating +0  ]

so how is WoW treating you these days?

Don't know, I think my account expired. Haven't logged in in weeks, I'll have to check. At the end of the day, and a 45 minute commute, I really don't want to play video games. Most nights I don't even turn my PC on and if I do, I check a few forums. I haven't checked personal email in a month, easy. Anyone I want to talk to I just call.

Borderlands for the 360 is pretty fun, though, I might buy it.

-unicron

Haha, thats funny. Who here hasn't gotten a blowjob from a midget? Although, due to midget hookers being easier to choke for obvious reasons, I tend to run through them pretty fast.


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