andrewhilmer.com

andrewhilmer.com

  • Commented on World Cup: engage Grinch mode now!
    The most satisfying way to refer to all sports involving balls is "sportball". No soccer/football distinction, no preference given, no disguise is offered for one's opinion of the sportball match in question, blaring from the pub sportscreen. Sportball is best...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    You write: "This interests me because it looks like a really fascinating opportunity for an experiment in libertarian paternalism." The problem is that these paters do not have the creativity or good-faith understanding of technological development (or respect for human...
  • Commented on April Fools Day is Cancelled this Year.
    While I'm waiting for the next Merchant Princes book, I'm just looking forward to seeing what you have to say about Errol Morris' documentary about Rumsfeld....
  • Commented on Sitrep
    "I smell you, I hear your breath, I feel your air." Hairless cats seem very reptilian to me, at least until they walk across me, then they seem like reptiles full of slowly combusting, bubbling napalm....
  • Commented on Over-Extended Metaphor for the day
    @92 "a bag over the head of an ugly sexual partner in order to hide the underlying mess" isn't much of an metaphorical extension of orthodox religions in describing their various schisms based on personal revelation and other kind of...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    @485 If you wish to make every thread on the internet into a long screed of floppo that deflects to Tea Party talking points, then by all means, deflect away, just don't expect everyone to take either the floppo or...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    @414 Why do you feel the need to deflect to "Obama is just as bad" and make false claims about Bitcoin's tendency to deflation? Then why in the next breath do you claim that Bitcoin's deflation is no problem? Why...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    What it comes down to is that if the average person ignores Bitcoin, it will never hurt them (apart from being a way for shitstains to launder money in ever-more-limited ways) because it doesn't really make sense to borrow any...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    @charlie I had the same usability studies drummed into me in my techwriter days but they are all 90s-era discussions dealing with the problems of bad and low-resolution rendering. Maybe the problem was that in the 90s the corporate types...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    @rowan collins I know the origins of RTF and I know it isn't a robust solution. It's just simple enough that the cruft and terrible choices of programmers ruin RTF editors a bit less than they ruin .doc/.docx/.odt editors....
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    My own hatred of MSWord comes from the way it was hacked together by programmers who do not write very much. Word is a terrible tool for writing. The market dominance is bad, yes, and it has led to the...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    @202 (CS) What I get from an occasional whiff of cigarette smoke is the kind of reaction you get when you stub your toe or clonk your face into something: instinctual rage to smash the offender. I'm not made physically...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    @78 (hugo.fisher) I get your point. There's the problem, however, where no one can risk being martyred because in the old days it meant death. Now it means the end of life, to some extent, but it inaugurates a new...
  • Commented on Snowden leaks: the real take-home
    The problem is that walking out the door with skills and knowledge is largely illegal. Whether it's information about product, policies, or first-hand accounts of misconduct, we can't live off our skills or knowledge or even write about it as...
  • Commented on Marking time, more thoughts
    Imagine yourself surrounded by Texas in August and you'll understand....
  • Commented on Marking time, more thoughts
    @155 "Sorry thats rubbish, there has been a big increase in demand from developing countries. They are not all exporting to the West." I was very clearly talking about per/unit of productivity and the share of income as it's distributed,...
  • Commented on Marking time, more thoughts
    The uncredentialed must compete worldwide, which leads to a leveling of wages worldwide with upward pressure on a poor country's wages and down ward pressure on a wealthy country's wages. This is the current conventional wisdom, but the problem can...
  • Commented on Marking time, more thoughts
    Until we figure out a way to tax economic activity for redistribution that isn't prone to too much manipulation, we will continue to fight the same old (new) class war. The new class war has worked like this: employ a...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    @211 Intelligent and knowing snark being revised by humorless opponents into a slur isn't just you. E.g. "Paul Krugman created the housing bubble." It seems to be a common failure mode....
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    @188 Nice link. Another way of looking at it is that robots are not customers, so the revenue of commerce, regardless of the increase in productivity, needs to find its way back to the customers. This has to happen one...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    @185 Factories don't run on robots alone. There is increasing productivity per worker unit, but because that productivity is limited to the global corporate strategies of increasingly uncreative rent-seeking, unproductive capital, the reduction in high-paying jobs only appears to be...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    @169 charlie Alternative option: if the patent-owning organization isn't actually selling a product that embodies the patent, they should have no standing to sue others for doing so. The problem with the patent system is that yes, there are trolls...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    @ 153 *How would that work, then? Surely the power to exclude is the foundation of any IP right?* There's the concept of compulsory licensing which is used in some areas of copyright and pharmaceuticals. Royalties are a right too,...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    "I understand that the number of jobs in an economy can rise. I want you to understand that, for the last few decades, it hasn't, at least for non-menial jobs in the US and probably much of the West....
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    This the zero-sum fallacy of international trade. There is _not_ a ceiling on the amount of global economic activity (or a floor on normalized wages) that countries "compete" for. The fallacy is old—it goes back a hundred and more years...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    I think you confuse the development of pre-industrial countries with the declining fortunes of regular people in developed countries. Taking the average can be a useful statistical technique but it can also be used to hide a problem from view....
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    I didn't mean to make a distinction between physical and intellectual labor. It's true that intellectual labor has become subject to the same class depredations now as physical labor was 100 years ago. And that points the way toward the...
  • Commented on Who ordered *that*?
    There's been a passive-aggressive shift in class power in the last 50 years. The wealthy have been able to buy society-wide security separation from the little people and the often sketchy populist movements that spring up among them. Where unions...
  • Commented on Lies, damned lies, and popular beliefs
    I'm not sure there was ever a time when democracy "worked" in the way that people seem to expect it to, where an informed citizenry form a consensus based on the facts and then act on that consensus to make...
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