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Everything posted by Saryctos

  1. I'm surprised by this assertion, as in my own experience I have heard this causal relationship spoken of in the reverse. The link below is a good watch, that while not really digging into the details of why, visually shows how expected economic growth might impact the slowing of population growth. Again I am a little weary of this, as I have seen trends pointing towards a movement in the population towards ever higher concentrations. The human population as a whole is concentrating into cities faster than it is populating the rural areas. Again, an interesting watch on the topic from TED:
  2. I'd like to leave an interesting TED talk video here for your enjoyment on what might be a leading contributor to this polarization. Online "filter bubbles", just as your first quote touches on, really are separating the masses into camps autonomously. http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1091 I think things are a bit worse than they were before. Going back to when people read newspapers regularly, they would read the articles that resonated with them and skip those that didn't. The difference I think, is that they would at least see the opinions of others that disagreed with them on those same pages. Even if you didn't fully comprehend or even respect the opinions of those with whom you didn't agree, you at least had a higher level of exposure to them. It's much harder to feel absolute in your opinion when you see a plethora of dissenting opinions to the contrary. When the internet browsing public hunkers down in their RSS feed holes, they only get what they signed up for. Granted, some people go out of their way to seek moderate, or even opposite opinions, but this seems far and away to be the minority. I'm not sure how easy it could be to "fix" this sort of problem. Perhaps some form of voluntary ratings system that catalogs what articles/videos you've read and calculates your "information bias" rating. You could have a community rating system that categorizes content based on political leaning, as well as the extreme nature of the source. As a hypothetical example: If you find a user that has a moderate conservative rating and his sources are generally mixed on the conservative scale, but only extreme on the liberal side, you might be able to better understand that this user probably isn't getting a balanced understanding of the liberal opinions out there. The users themselves can also look at this rating and realize that maybe they should change their reading habits as a way of bolstering their credibility. As shallow as that sounds, this is precisely the behavior that one would hope to achieve from such a system. What do you think? Been a while, so go a little easy on me
  3. From the Paper, "It almost goes without saying, of course, that the transportation network created by the railroads would never have been possible without the same kind of federal land grants that so benefitted the timber industry. Any proper accounting of early government support for the coal industry must factor in these grants, which served to promote an exponential increase in coal consumption nationwide." What is solar's rail system? Where is the driving force behind the need for a solar production market? The paper looks to paint these industry's life cycles as similar so as to draw a contrast to their unequal subsidies. The numbers presented certainly show just such a disparity (although I always take numbers presented in an opinion piece with a grain of salt). However, the problem with solar isn't one of production capacity. Coal was the answer to the problem of the increasing cost and diminishing supply in timber, as was petroleum the answer to the combustion engine. Solar in it's current incarnation needs more research funding to bring down cost/Watt than it does an increase in supply capacity from production subsidies. I disagree with the assessment of the circumstances surrounding these energy sources. The graph on page 10 shows the timely rises in consumption that coincide with technological advances that created large demands for such energy sources. Coal to railway expansion, petroleum to automobiles. These subsidies provided primarily for the production of coal and oil with the aims of supplying these markets with abundant fuel, thus helping the industries which made use of them as an energy source. The pressure on coal and oil were created by the need for supply, which was subsidized in order to fill such demands and aid the industries which fed off that supply. What industry is creating a demand for solar generated power that can be paralleled to the rail system expansion of the 1800s or the introduction and mass production of the automobile?
  4. These companies also have to put up with regulations which limit their ability to operate efficiently. Opening a new solar panel factory? Sure why not. Open a new refinery? Hold the phone champ, isn't your county already at the maximum allowable*(not sure if this exact limitation exists)? From what I understand, many companies would be willing to update their defunct factory equipment that has been grandfathered in (ex: wooden pipes) in exchange for letting go of some of those subsidies.
  5. A good number of politics posters have faded off the radar in recent years. Some come back in cycles, but it's hard to tell really.
  6. In South-East Michigan there are many jobs available to an educated population, so many that there is an influx of foreign skilled workers to fill the gap in US educated employees. The unemployment problems are mostly an education problem. You have thousands of line workers looking for employment with no educational background that are driving up the unemployment numbers, and then you have companies still unable to fill their openings in engineering and computer skills related jobs.
  7. The long and the short of it is that these loopholes are seen as benefits of the system to a great many people. You would be seen as attacking the "everyday" citizen if you imposed such an "invasive" fraud protection system (although to be honest, the idea of having all of your applications traceable in a gov't d-base isn't exactly appealing). With much of the unemployment system you'll find a great deal of equivocating and downright lying going on by seemingly upright people. The fraudulent atmosphere is pervasive throughout, and is the standard rather than the exception. This is the way it's worked for some time, and even though it is broken, the notion of fixing it would most certainly be met with hostility. Beyond the political ramifications, you'll also be looking at creating a new, digital system. This means rules, regulations, new forms, privacy protection, etc.. In addition to the system to handle the incoming information you'll also need to create a standard method of acquiring this information. This means a new set of rules and ensuring the means for all the businesses out there to be able to collect it. If the government isn't supplying these means, then it's just another burden on the business world. Sure the big players can handle it, but this would need to be implemented by every mom&pop operation as well.
  8. Unfortunately, you can't legislate against ignorance.
  9. There is one thing I really do not like about the handling of the Libyan excursion, and that is the passive aggressive stance that the coalition forces appear to be taking. The US plans to hand off the operations "in a few days". As if it to say, they're done, they won't be involved anymore. If someone walked up and punched me in the face, there's no way I would just let them walk away with no ill will. The attacking forces say they want to prevent Gaddafi from attacking civilians, so they established a no fly zone. Yet at the same time they are attacking command and control centers and even military targets not actively engaged in attacking civilians. If they're going to throw this much weight in the ring against gaddafi and still say that they're only doing it preventing civilian deaths instead of outright backing the rebels, then these leaders are kidding themselves. The boldness of their two-faced political agenda is so blatant that it's insulting.
  10. This is quite unethical on the part of these Doctors. IIRC there is supposed to be a very high mark for ethical practices in maintaining one's license to practice medicine. The reason a Doctor's note is accepted is because of this expected responsibility on part of the issuing party. Abusing the system afforded to workers to avoid the misfortunes of working while sick is an attack on the very acceptance of such allowances.
  11. I dare say that through the freedom of association that being allowed to voluntarily enter into a labor agreement should be considered a right. I want people to have less restrictions on the ability to make their own choices. You basically just want to restrict the labor force to keep wages inflated by choking out potential competition.(Sure is easy to state someone's opinion for them isn't it?) I'm afraid we'll just have to disagree on the second part there. A proper reward for labor isn't set in stone, 'nor is there reason to suggest that wages for a position should be arbitrarily sticky to previous amounts. This is something I hear a lot of from the local unions (SE Michigan), and it never seems to be justified by anything other than personal conviction. Is your position on this particular issue the same when it comes to reduced wages due to increased automation instead of children laborers? Not all unemployed folks have diplomas either. The age of an employee does not grant them an age adjusted wage(age discrimination laws aside), these kids would be just like any other employee. They may think they're entitled to a "living wage" because they have a family, and might be more willing to negotiate a higher pay, but there is no universal pay increase just because you've been around the sun a few more times. Explain this one for me, as I would strongly disagree the assertion that 50-year-olds are more likely to be hired than 16-year-olds for the same wages.
  12. Debt is good. If you are profitable, you want as much debt as you can get. Buy widgets on credit, sell widgets for a profit, pay interest with a portion of widget sales, net profit. In a way, debt is like inflation. You want some, but not too much as to screw you. Problems crop up the moment you start thinking that operations will always be profitable and you stop being concerned about the interest payments if you don't make your projected sales. Credit expands spending power. The "loss" to the economy of payments towards debt are offset by the purchases allowed by the credit extended to those businesses, much like the widget example above. The best way to slow the economy is to allocate more funds to paying down your debts, as you won't be spending it on revenue generating operations.
  13. Would you be willing to connect how regaining the right to work relates to losing one's rights?
  14. It's important to understand that GDP is only one method of measuring "the economy". As a general measure of production it serves a purpose for quick comparisons, but fails to delivery any meaningful insight on the specifics. If anything, this is a primary example of the failings inherent in using GDP as a measurement of economic prosperity.
  15. Well, things like this happen in the states. Certain laws just aren't enforced, sometimes on a nearly universal level. However, laws rarely get repealed or dropped here. Even when a law is largely unenforced, it is still wielded as a method of tacking on extra penalties to those who violate more regularly enforced laws.
  16. I must say, we've come a long way from the 25% homicide rate in the days of Cain and Abel
  17. IIRC there are flexible solar films out there. One might be able to rig up some form of flexible shoulder cover (like a patch for the tops of the shoulders on a sweater) solar charger with phone connections coming from the pocket or down the sides to connect to a hip holster. If you did manage to mount solar panels on the backside of the phone, a front pocket or chest (upper pectorals) mounted holster would probably enable a decent charge without getting too much in the way. This would be in a similar position to a shoulder strap mounted 2-way radio.
  18. Osama is highly critical of Saudi Arabia, his former homeland. There is no illusion as to their friendly attitude towards the U.S., 'nor to Osama's anger towards this relationship. Properly planned terrorism (coordinated) is all about PR and getting what you want. Osama wants the Saudi government to be held accountable for their buddying up to the west. The "faithful" come from all over the globe, so you can pick and choose the best candidates for accomplishing the most damage, both physically and politically. You also seem to imply that physical distance is somehow relevant towards being able to understand other people. This just isn't true in the modern era. Telephones, the Internet, global news, etc. makes someone thousands of miles away seem just as close as your neighbors (in some cases more so). Now, I do understand the point you're getting at. It is accurate to say that on a general level there is a problem of assumption when discussing foreign cultures and peoples. However, for a high profile character such as Osama, it doesn't hold true that the only information we have available comes from news organization and 2nd hand conversations.
  19. One thing to consider is how a change in the presidential term would affect the election timing of congressmen and senators.
  20. Some people, like Osama bin Laden, most certainly considered it important.
  21. I would think a large amount of this economic fear comes from how dependent people are on someone else having a job for them. I would attribute this mostly to the education system. The plan is to get an education, get a job, start a family, and eventually retire. I think people primarily seek college degrees as a method of employment, not an educational opportunity. The structure of the education system is one of learning how to work, not how to make a living. IIRC immigrants have a tendency to be more entrepreneurial than the native population. Relying more on their own devices and less on the established employment channels. While being self employed can be more stressful and complicated, the know-how required to do so will make it much easier to find new income channels if/when the current one dries up. Americans have relied on the principles of working for one's self for quite a long time. It is the land of opportunity which drew immigrants to come here and work, for themselves or for others. For this, I would recommend a thorough review of the education system and its intended mission. The people lack the knowledge to work for themselves, beyond this, most don't even know of their deficiency. By educating people on how to work for themselves at least in some capacity, this can relieve at least a small amount of stress caused by not knowing what to do if they find themselves without steady work.
  22. One major distinction is in the participation. When you are taxed, you are giving money to the government. The government then pays that out as decided on by the elected officials. There is a distinct disconnect between your willingness to pay for the services, and the services being provided by tax money. When you are forced to purchase something, you yourself must acquire these things. Some people may be morally, or just plain against the acquisition of the forced purchase. If the government taxed citizens to provide everyone with a firearm, those people can refuse to accept the item. If the government forces you to purchase a gun, you are obligated to purchase one, or face the consequences of noncompliance. The difference being that in the former you save the government money by opting out, in the latter, you benefit only yourself by opting out. Although in an economic sense, taxing and paying is similar to forced payment, it is the subtle difference in the positioning of who benefits/loses from performance that makes one less desirable to the people.
  23. So the attacks across Europe post 2003 wouldn't constitute a "step up" in terrorist activity in your mind?
  24. Not everyone wants change or "progress". In terms of accomplishments, what doesn't pass during a republican legislation can be considered a victory for some. I consider the delay of such an overreaching health bill a victory, and it's passage a defeat. I'm not in a good place to go into a lengthy analysis of the two congresses atm, however I would like to at least note that not all victories/accomplishments involve the passage of legislation, especially for conservatives.
  25. The concept that incidental enrichment requires compensation is always a tough sell for me. Just because someone benefits from a service should not entitled the provider to compensation. If I drink great tasting(personal benefit) coffee in the morning to reduce my drowsiness(personal benefit) and increase my productivity(benefit to employer), does my employer implicitly owe me a portion of the cost of that coffee? When someone else benefits from a service I purchased for my own benefit, that's just collateral enjoyment. I paid a cost knowing that I would benefit from it. If however, a service is provided at no benefit to those paying the cost, then I'll take issue with those benefiting not paying for it.
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