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Member Since 27 Jan 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 07:55 PM

#4844807 Questions about the debt discussions

Posted by Khaiy on 04 August 2011 - 07:08 PM

The progressive movement has nothing to do with progress(whatever that means), just like five wars Obama has nothing to do with Hope and Change(whatever that means).

The only thing the progressive movement is about is more government control...So an elite few can become even richer and more powerful.

Create a crisis = Progressives helping the poor to progress through poverty by giving them loans they can't pay back.
Exploit = Things predictably go south and only politically connected people get the bailouts and make a profit from the mess. New regulations are passed to protect these people and end competition. More too big to fail companies. What caused the problem isn't fixed, rinse and repeat.

And this is just one example.

And it's a preposterous one. I'll be the first to agree that "progressive" is a term amorphous enough to be mostly useless, and that applying standards used when the term first became popular leaves a lot of politicians short of the mark. For the record, the term originally came from reformers in the Industrial Revolution seeking progress like child labor laws and safe working conditions. They favored government regulation to achieve this for a variety of reasons, including their adroit observation that private industry was perfectly happy to hire children to work 14 hour days around dangerous machinery with no safety measures. But anyways, the idea that anyone who claims (or has applied to them) the description "progressive" is some sort of monstrous, Orwellian autocrat by default is absurd. I'm all for cynicism, but the narrow-view paranoia tinge is too much.

Fannie and Freddie did free up a lot of capital for banks by buying (though not originating, it should be noted) mortgages. It's undeniable that this was a factor in the bubble and bust of residential real estate. But is it really your position that the express intent of such action was to inflate and burst a bubble? That they somehow forced (or perhaps colluded with) private lending and investment firms to issue subprime mortgages to borrowers that couldn't possibly pay them off? With the end goal of increased government control? That the hyperconsolidation of large firms who flouted regulations at every opportunity were following in line with a progressive agenda? And that it was progressives that were the masterminds, or at leas at the helm, meaning that the scheme was theirs through and through?

It's a bold claim, to say the least. There's plenty to dislike about the bailout. There's also plenty to dislike about the toothless regulations. There's plenty to dislike about the conditions that preceded the recession, whether they contributed directly or indirectly. But to go from that crappy-ness to a cabal of Big Brothers in the making is an extraordinary leap. There is without question a body of wealthy, powerful, and influential people who are working constantly to make themselves moreso in each regard, even at the expense of most others (by the way, that can be described as "rational self-interest" if you want a libertarian-esque line). But the idea that it's only people with the progressive mantle, or even that the progressives are the driving force of all of these efforts doesn't hold water.

Food prices are spiking, energy prices are spiking, etc. So far 16 states have considered having their own currency due to what this government is doing to our dollar.

Prices are increasing in many areas. Are you saying that this is because of inflation/devaluation of the dollar, at least moreso than other factors, such as speculation in commodities? Aside from a relatively modest bump in real prices (below what the Fed would might have resisted with a rate hike 20 years ago), I haven't seen a huge surge in inflation. Perhaps you're saying that the curve accelerates so sharply under current conditions that this relatively low increase is cause for concern?

And I'm not impressed that 16 states have "considered" minting their own currency. Some states also considered unilaterally nullifying the ACA and/or seceding, and various other stupid and broadly illegal things. It's not going to happen.

This government isn't going to cut it's spending, the Fed isn't going to stop printing money and jobs are going to continue to move overseas. The writing is on the wall. (Just sit back and enjoy the ride)

I guess I'm still not seeing the crux of your issue. I'm sorry, I'm sure that you're tired of typing out explanations of this, but could you lay out for me why the government running deficits right now is so horrible (under the presumption that they will be paid down, as in the 90's) compared with slashing public expenditure? Is it that you're certain the US isn't going to recover productivity, or that you think runaway inflation will occur first, or that the loss of jobs cannot be corrected?

#4844791 App developer gets screwed out of $55,000

Posted by Khaiy on 04 August 2011 - 06:15 PM

You're so setting yourself up for when your health insurance or car insurance won't pay out.


I assume that d000hg is suggesting that your health insurance will drop you or refuse a payout due to a hypertechnicality in some clause, as happens from time to time, the idea being that terms of a contract you signed lead to that contract not doing what you expected/hoped it would.

#4843878 Questions about the debt discussions

Posted by Khaiy on 02 August 2011 - 07:31 PM

An additional point, 2010 is not by any stretch of the imagination a standard year for national finances. The impact of the recession is lingering, which has devastated tax receipts. At the same time, the government is spending more than usual on things like unemployment insurance for the same reasons. These deficits are not especially usual, though we have been running uncommonly large deficits for the past decade or so (obviously, the frame of reference you use will determine what constitutes "normal").

Second, while national debt and annual deficits matter, they don't matter in the ways that people often think. The government does not operate as like a business, for example. They do not have "losses", like Prefect explained. The national debt is a part of America by design. The idea was to keep people invested in the success and stability of the US government.

Deficits are generally not ideal because they require future expenditure to pay off of the debt, and as they increase the debt the can affect the willingness of others to lend to the country to fuel those deficits. But that doesn't mean that deficits are inherently bad; rather, they are essentially an investment. The operative concern is the return you get. Right now, the US has no shortage of lenders willing to lend to us for 10 years at less than 3%. For two years, it's below 0.5%. It's not hard to get ahead at those rates, and since the US is dealing with liquidity issues, it would be easy to put that money to work in the hopes of spurring demand or accelerating individuals deleveraging. Compare that with the deficits that paid for (or properly, didn't really pay for) the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and now Libya), or the Bush tax cuts. Whether or not you agree with the policies, we aren't getting a good return on those deficits.

We are absolutely not in a debt crisis, because there is exactly zero chance of the debts coming due faster than we can get them covered, and as the economy recovers we will only be more able to reverse the trend of running deficits.

Finally, I would argue that looking at the deficit in terms of dollars is not the best way to think about it. First, the numbers are enough to dazzle just about everybody even if that dazzlement isn't totally justified. Yes, the numbers are big, but so is the US economy. Additionally, there's no particular reason that dollars-per-year is any more useful than, say, years' worth of GDP, even if evaluated at given percentages. The dollar figure itself is not incredibly meaningful, for the reasons that you described in the first post among others.

#4843868 App developer gets screwed out of $55,000

Posted by Khaiy on 02 August 2011 - 07:10 PM

There's no point to trying to make people aware of pitfalls when they don't read the contracts they sign. Yes they're confusing, so if you don't feel confident that you totally get what you're considering signing, then have a lawyer take a look at it for you. If you sign it and don't care about the terms, you'll have a hard time getting anyone to care about your complaints after the fact. It's not like this was the Apple iTunes update license either-- this was a business transaction.

Amazon did this with books too, and there was a flap between them and the authors who felt that the books were trying to sell their work too cheaply. The idea was that Amazon was trying to support themselves, rather than maximize profits for the authors. Well, duh. It may not be the coolest choice for Amazon to make if you want them to market and sell your work for you, but it is its own company and is interested in its own success. It's not an agency for authors or programmers.

Besides, now the developers can market themselves as "The makers of [whatever], 100,000 copies downloaded!". They wouldn't have been able to say that otherwise, because they would have kept selling a few copies a day. Additionally, the developers chose to sell on a "me too" platform. Amazon's going to have to do something to build popularity; they're going head to head with Apple and Google. That's a crappy place to be, and if ridiculous deals on apps is their strategy, it's better than trying to beat the AppStore and Android Marketplace on their own terms, since they've already saturated an awful lot of the market.

#4843861 Projects For Beginners To Do

Posted by Khaiy on 02 August 2011 - 06:55 PM

General programming:

-Basic calculator, for sure
-A program that calculates the odds of something

Game programming:

-Guess the number
-A simple, console-based combat simulator

#4831624 We could live to be a 1000. No really, a scientist said so.

Posted by Khaiy on 05 July 2011 - 09:42 PM

There's a big difference between someone living to 150 and that being a common thing.

Telomerase is cool, but whatever treatment they make from it is not going to be cheap for quite a while. Not to mention that we already aren't set up for people to live as long as they do, let alone twice as long.

#4822983 The professional vs The ambitious

Posted by Khaiy on 13 June 2011 - 06:43 PM

Maybe it's just me, but... are you Aersixb9?

#4818703 The United States Prison Industrial Complex.

Posted by Khaiy on 02 June 2011 - 09:59 AM

The law is there, it's an absolute, and it's designed to protect those values of freedom and liberty.

Criminal behaviour is not an absolute, not a constant. It is someone's choice to commit a crime, and they should be punished accordingly. Being sent to prison to 25 years for being stupid enough to be caught shoplifting etc, three times would be a fantastic deterrent.

Unless the crime in question is something like drug possession charges, which is a non-trivial portion of the prison population. Laws about that seem designed to inhibit liberty even if there's no harm to others (or, arguably, to the user).

The law isn't absolute at all. The legislature, and to an extent the justice system itself define laws. Morphine used to be legal to buy over the counter, now it isn't. It used to be legal to own a person and beat them to death if they made eye contact. Now it isn't. Societies decide what behaviors they want to allow and criminalize those that they want to prohibit.

They use a variety of criteria to determine what falls into which category, but legality is always a matter of decision, not of inherence. For example, 60 years ago interracial marriages were illegal in much of the US. How did that protect freedom? What possible rationale could justify that?

Things that sound like good deterrents aren't necessarily so. The death penalty sounds like a great deterrent, but statistically it has been shown not to be much of one. I couldn't find the full treatment online (I know that there's one in Freakonomics), but this might be enough to show that I'm not just shooting my mouth off for now. There's been quite a bit of debate about whether or not simply making penalties harsher has much deterrent effect. I won't wade into it now, but there's enough contention that I think it logically hazardous to claim that stricter penalties will necessarily net a worthwhile reduction in crime.

Without sounding like a complete and utter idealist - that's what a welfare system is for.

Spoken by someone whom I can only assume hasn't had much interaction with the welfare system. There has been a steady trend criminalizing poverty itself for some time. And the welfare system is complicated, inefficient, highly variable by state, and often not able to alleviate circumstances of poverty on its own anyhow.

The justice system itself though is not as harsh as it is painted by the numbers. It is kind of put in a situation where it has no choice but to look harsh because there are just more criminals.

As I mentioned above, the justice system has a huge impact on what people are criminals (even though laws are made by the legislature, they are administered with quite a bit of discretion by courts, and can ultimately be reviewed by the Supreme Court). See above, where I touch on how arbitrarily people can be defined in and out of the "criminal" category. And that doesn't just apply to the raw number of crimes comitted. Sentencing is a huge part of things as well.

Remember just over a year ago, when someone selling crack cocaine would get the same sentence as someone selling 100 times as much poweder cocaine? That's an extremely harsh disparity, and one that is difficult to justify. The new standard is something like an 18:1 ratio for crack to powder. Whether or not that ratio is appropriate can be debated, but it's definitely going to be more definsible than 100:1.

There are a lot of competing factors in how a society will separate criminal from non-criminal acts. The better way is to look at practical matters-- what costs does a crime impart to society, what kinds of measures would be effective in reducing occurrence of those crimes, how much do they cost, etc. It's also easier (or at least possible) to review these to assess the efficacy of the law.

A worse way is to try and use moral standards. They can be difficult to agree on broadly, make assumptions about the benefits to society that are difficult to quantify, and tend to view cost as a secondary concern. Look at prohibition (1920's style). It was expensive, didn't really deliver any benefits to society, couldn't be effectively enforced, and spawned a series of highly undesirable consequences.

Assumptions about criminality or any kind of absolute faith in the justice system are extremely undesirable given these concerns. They make it incredibly difficult to assess the costs and benefits of criminalizing certain behaviors, make it very easy to enforceme moral concepts without being much bothered by data, invite rampant propoganda (whether to compensate for a lack of data or refute it), and make it hard to re-allocate resources when existing practices end up not being very effective. A dollar spent on enforcement or punishment which is not effective is a dollar which can't be spent on something that might be.

#4818483 The United States Prison Industrial Complex.

Posted by Khaiy on 01 June 2011 - 07:02 PM

Are America's prisons filled with shoplifters? I don't know the real number, but I would imagine the number of nonviolent offenders that are locked up would be a really small majority(and most of them probably have a history of past violence).


Extremely biased and doesn't really give us the whole story. (Just because somebody is locked up for a nonviolent crime doesn't mean they're not a violent person. After all, AL Capone went to jail for tax evasion)

Isn't it something like 96% of criminals plea bargain their cases to lesser offenses?

Do these numbers from this wiki article factor this in? Does it factor in things like eyewitnesses refusing to press charges(common poor neighborhoods) and the courts being forced to go with lesser convictions? Do these numbers factor in a past history of violence? What does it classify as a nonviolent crime? (The author of that wiki article was clearly trying to spoon feed selective data to readers so that they would convert to his way of thinking)

Jacob Jingle

I think that you are forgetting to take into account how the justice system is supposed to work.

First, a comment that suggests that people in prison are probably violent offenders because they're in prison is circular and biased. It's unreasonable to assume that a given person is violent based on the fact that they are in prison even though it wasn't a violent crime that put them there. There are plenty of con artists in jail who aren't also armed robbers. Besides, being a violent person isn't the same as being a criminal. Jails are for criminals, not just whoever happens to have X trait.

The justice system sends people to jail if they are guilty, or if a jury of their peers thinks that they are guilty based on a presentation of the evidence. The fact that a person perhaps can't (or simply isn't) convicted of one crime doesn't mean that they should be sent to jail for a proxy crime, and then punished as though they were in fact convicted of the first (unproven) crime. The standard is supposed to be high to prevent innocent people from being imprisoned.

Your guess of how many cases result in the defendant pleading to a lesser charge is irrelevant, both to prison population composition and in general. Pleas don't so much change the nature of the charges as they change the degree. You might go from first degree murder to third, perhaps. You're still classified as a violent offender. A DA might drop a violent charge altogether, but not for no reason; it's either because the case is relatively weak or the defendant has something to trade which will result in reducing crime further. A 35% sentence reduction isn't the same as a murderer suddenly being classified as a non-violent offender.

As for your questioning of the numbers, I have to point out that incarceration rates have increased the most (as per Hodgman's excellent graph) while the violent crime rate has decreased. Make of that correlation what you will, but the proportion of violent offenders in jail is definitely going to decrease if more people than ever before are jailed while violent crime rates fall. Any hard-line fantasies of a justice system hiding violence through re-definition doesn't hold up-- there just isn't any other way for those numbers to go together. Please note that the crime rate is independent of the conviction rate for those crimes.

Also, wikipedia makes it incredibly easy to figure out what its information does and does not take into account. The citations are right there, awaiting your review. Don't impugn the article because you assume that the data is misused while you don't bother to look at it. Especially when you're accusing the author(s) of being deceitful in presenting selected evidence when you yourself provide no evidence at all, but rather prejudice and conjecture to accomplish the same end as you attribute to the accused.

#4817970 The United States Prison Industrial Complex.

Posted by Khaiy on 31 May 2011 - 12:29 PM

Hey... another problem in the US that could be easily solved by a better education system...

Someday a politician will think of this.

But what happens when the people themselves are unwilling to learn?

...then we'd have the same issues that we have today, minus forcibly marginalizing people by restricting their ability to learn via a crappy system. It's a non-unique harm, and a pretty sweeping thing to posit anyhow.

There's a difference between people making the (terrible) decision not to learn and maintaining a system that removes that decision from the learners.

#4817910 The United States Prison Industrial Complex.

Posted by Khaiy on 31 May 2011 - 09:55 AM

I'm certainly concerned about the number of people in prison in the US. But that's not a precise enough question to be meaningful. It's totally possible for there to be a large proportion of people who commit not-so-severe crimes and deserve a short jaunt in prison. Whether or not prison is the ideal solution in many situations is debatable.

But there are serious issues with the US prison system. The fact that there are so many privately owned for-profit prisons is deeply disturbing, considering that they have an active lobby, because they have no interest in reducing crime rates or making America safer or rehabilitating criminals or any of the things that prisons are supposed to do. They have an interest in rising crime rates and more and worse sentences for criminals.

The other issue is that the current system is badly in need of reform. It is not effective at its stated goals, and privatizing the system has not made them moreso. Imprisonment doesn't appear to have a huge deterrent effect, especially as contractors keep building new jails and they keep getting filled up. And the recidivism rate is pretty high (though there's a lot of variation in that by crime and facility), so the whole rehab angle isn't doing so well. It's very expensive for taxpayers regardless of whether the facility is state owned or private, and we're really not getting our money's worth.

It's all well and good to be tough on crime. But it isn't working. In my opinion, too many people who aren't directly involved with the system let a kind of detached moral reasoning govern their attitude, ignoring important things like efficacy and the root causes of crime. The people who are directly involved are lining their pockets or filling the cells, and neither group has both the power and the incentive to affect any change.

#4817736 Typing skills practice

Posted by Khaiy on 30 May 2011 - 08:55 PM

What really made me a good typist is instant messaging programs. I was the nerd who always typed whole words and used correct punctuation, and often complete sentences too. There's always the time pressure to get your comment written in time, before the thread of the conversation moves on. But I agree with Luckless. Typing isn't about transcription, it's about getting the right key-presses to feel natural. You can do that with copying typing exercises, but it's easier if you let your thoughts flow into the keys.

#4817612 What category of history does ancient egypt fall under...

Posted by Khaiy on 30 May 2011 - 12:47 PM

LOL I don't dispute that. "American history is American history" just as "Egyptian history is Egyptian history". Using American history as an example, there are certain parts of the history that exclude certain groups. You wouldn't say that Christopher Columbus sailing to America and murdering the Indians is black or African history. But it could be called European or white history. Black history in America comes later. :o

I asked a simple question about Ancient Egypt analogous to the Christopher Columbus example above.

Christopher Columbus can absolutely be considered a part of black or African history. He had a lot to do with slaving and the slave trade in the New World, if not on the main continent. You could even stretch it further, as the initial forays into the Americas (specifically, the way in which they were made) set the stage for slavery as the economic engine for the United States.

Maybe you should reread what I asked. :o

Sure thing:

[What category of history does ancient Egypt fall under]
...before arabs/European invasions.

Incase anyone didn't know, I'm a huge history buff but this has been bugging me. :D

The thing is, I read the threads that you post pretty carefully and post reasonably thoughtful answers. Your initial question is incredibly vague, and depends on a frame of reference that is not absolute. As my reply clearly stated, I think that Egyptian history can be meaningfully considered through any of those lenses. It does not fall under any one moreso than the others.

Egypt had a huge impact on all of the categories you provided, and was also impacted by them. Sure, Egypt is mostly in Africa, so that could be a contender-- any history in that part of Egypt would be geographically African. But part of it is also in Asia, which you didn't even present as an option. Europe was heavily integrated with Egypt via trade and geopolitical/military tension, to the extent that you can't discuss some major portions of European history without Egypt being involved. So it certainly falls under the European tent as well.

Why do people have to choose between them and only them? What is the value of declaring it definitively to be part of any of three broad groups that eventually did invade and occupy it before any of the invasions took place? The idea that those three categories of history are the only choices is absurd, and to say that ancient Egypt is wholly owned by European history or African history or Arab history absurd as well. Since we can define categories in nearly any way we would like I presented the Egyptian one to you as the most appropriate, vastly moreso than the three you presented. It is definitely the category I would favor over a contrived set of categories presented absolutely with no reason as to why my options are so limited, and the question itself so arbitrary and vague.

The analogy you presented doesn't suit the question you asked, because what you would be asking by analogy is "Which category does black history in America fall under before America was colonized: Christopher Columbus, Italian, or French". Or for a totally new analogy, "What category does fast food fall into before the invention of fast food restaurants: McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy's". Your qualification forces revisionism onto the question, and it doesn't even fit.

If your question is where did Egypt have the most influence of the three, or which had the most influence on Egypt in the pre-invasion eras, or something like that, that's a discussion that can take place. But to ask which of the three you presented is the proper category for the history of Egypt itself is imprecise and revisionist.

#4817580 What category of history does ancient egypt fall under...

Posted by Khaiy on 30 May 2011 - 11:26 AM

Why would it have to fit neatly into one of two continental categories or a single cultural/religious one?

Egyptian history is Egyptian history. For a long time Egypt was the most powerful nation around, and accordingly it defined its own era. Egypt's power waned eventually, and it was both a factor in and a result of the affairs of other powers.

You can definitely look at sections of history that might focus on a given region or culture or whatever, but these are broad sweeps rather than hard and fast categories with well defined, bright-line borders between them.

So I suppose my answer to your question is any of the above and others, if the section of history I'm looking at happens to be one of them and also involves Egypt. But if I were to examine Egypt specifically, I wouldn't use any other category as my defining paradigm.

#4816261 Header Files

Posted by Khaiy on 26 May 2011 - 07:07 PM

Please look in the standard!
If you have a question after that then please post it.

Not particularly rude in itself, although it does not answer the question and does not save much effort compared with the answers you actually provided later.

Incorrect replies like yours have no place at all. The short story is that it is implementation defined where each of these look for files and even that they may look in the same place.

Emphasis added by me. Somewhat rude, particularly as rip-off provided a link to MSDN that very strongly supports the answer that he gave as one that is correct, as far as practicality is concerned. The link also provides more nuance, should the OP desire it.

OK this thread confuses me somewhat. Factually incorrect information gets voted up and factually correct information which asks the lazy OP to do some leg work themselves gets voted down? With a post about headlights also getting voted up. Erm let me check again is this the Lounge!

Emphasis again added by me. Calling the OP lazy is certainly not polite (although perhaps not completely unfounded, I don't know)-- especially when you could easily have given your eventual answer upfront for a similar amount of effort. And not to nit-pick, but telling someone to look in the standard isn't factually correct information.

Why don't we just close every pure C++ thread - since the correct answers are all in the standard.

That sounds like an excellent idea but what in the OP's post says it is C++?

Combative and petulant. As I mentioned above, the particular language chosen is irrelevant to rip-off's comment. An unnecessary comment to anything that came before which can only be response to rip-off's comment if you totally miss the content of what he said.

I see. What gamedev wants is damn right lazy people posting lazy questions that do not show they have tried to find the answer for themselves. I think you will find my answer to look in the standard is net etiquette for lazy bastards wanting information ie RTFM. To imply that I was rude or anything even close I find an insult, look again at my post it twice uses the word please and even requests that if the standard is not understood then ask another question.

Expecting someone to at least try looking something up first is indeed reasonable etiquette. Asking a basic question without such an attempt is not. But someone else displaying less than perfect etiquette is no reason to conduct yourself even more objectionably, which you quickly descended to.

Your initial reply was not really rude, as discussed above, but also directed the OP to a document which he may or may not have had available to him, and is quite long and dense besides. It's unfortunate that you feel insulted by my impression of your tone in this thread. But if you re-read it, do you really feel as though you were nothing but polite and reasonable throughout?

I would like you to clarify where I was "Aggressive, combative, [or] rude " but never mind all is well, I do not need gamedev just as much as it seems the gamedev community does not want correct answers.

See above for the requested clarifications. I did not say that you yourself were all of those all the time, or that you are an example of the worst of them or even a particularly bad example. Just that such behavior invites downvotes, because it is discouraged by the community. You have several downvotes in this thread, and as you said your information is not incorrect, so they can't be from that. That leaves your comportment.

As for leaving gamedev, we'll be sorry to see you and your expertise go. But you are as free to stop coming at any time as you are to simply not respond to threads and questions that annoy you.