Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2006:June:07 Wednesday <Tuesday, Thursday>
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2006/6/7-9 [Health/Men] UID:43294 Activity:nil
6/6     Douglas Adams would be proud:
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060607/ap_on_sc/britain_genghis_khan_s_kin
        \_ "How this chromosome came to be so prominent was that when he
            conquered new territory Genghis Khan would kill the men and
            routinely inseminate all the women."
           Whoa that's what I fantasize all the time. Is this something that
           normal men fantasize about as well?
           \_ It's perfectly normal. Us horny white male have been especially
              good at it. We're children of the Roman empire that fought wars,
              enslaved losers and inseminated exotic women. Look at the
              long history of rape and pillage from the Viking era,
              the black-Caucasian mix in the age of slavery, mixed
              Vietnam & Korean War babies in the 20th century, so on
              and so forth. We are all children of Rome and it is our
              God given right and duty to kill men and inseminate
              exotic women.
           \_ I think that's a pretty common (and evolutionarily justifiable)
              fantasy.
                \- evolution "explains", it doesnt "justify".
                     "Malt does more than Milton can
                      To justify God's ways to man"
                   \_ You are correct; I meant "explainable".  However, do you
                      think fantasies need "justification"?
              \_ Ok good. I was wondering whether I should tell this to
                 my psychiatrist or not, but I guess it's not a big deal.
        \_ "...a direct descendent of Genghis Khan."  How can you be an
           indirect descendent of someone (genetically)?
           \_ You have many of the same genes, because for instance you are a
              direct descendent of Genghis Khan's brother.
              \_ A descendent of someone's brother isn't that person's
                 descendent, directly or otherwise.
                 \_ Not literally, but the term is not used literally. The
                    point here is that they descend from a common ancestor. If
                    you were looking at Y chromosomes Genghis Khan would be
                    indistinguishable from his brother. Both would be
                    indistinguishable from their father.
           \_ The claim is actually "direct patrilineal descendants."
              Which means men only.
2006/6/7-9 [Computer/SW/Security] UID:43295 Activity:nil
6/6     Where can I find the RSA host key to put in a .ssh/known_hosts (or
        whatever exactly it's called) so I can ssh to csua?

here use mine
|1|42db5+KDy9Hano4lbj/SgFMPKDs=|taKwtpIOjvjZb9S9EIZ+pMbK7pQ= ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1\
yc2EAAAABIwAAAQEA4F3Vgzyef4WlQqLst2xqi+yiRTdg1f4enDPkeT1zSFqhOFNXGoFlKJOGHRmpfwm\
Fxpa0eS6PVtleoI4b5kTbx0C9mA1OFXFVbZNlwjH6Hmife/NZazI4Nhe6Gl7JTNHBliu6VD6KLct66iA\
tZVUhOmM3gmbMfhgIqfbTvtPTLcYGeGHMz+X7dzWPMxMOqoD4iCXIthuLImijbL1HPqX1G65R048MWL1\
eHctxOi+XeFKzvAJ37iez2+prakglPkyAU6jg9luRiPtVQmjD3Q9gp+kenZGKKIK0FiuCuX+avuid5+5\
2psfIl6UWGbXl4VciV5QWZ6AdUmiEsEovZ9DbBQ==
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:43296 Activity:nil
6/6     The EU Conspiracy
        http://csua.org/u/g3l
        \_ The whole thing about a move away from democracy towards
           centralization is correct, but "Eurabian"?  Deep End alert.  -John
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/California] UID:43297 Activity:nil
6/6     So in CA we vote for members of the "board of equalization".
        Apperently this board is associated with "administering" taxes.
        Why are these even elective positions? Isn't that too low-level?
        Why isn't it just a sub-agency that reports directly to some other
        elected official? What BS. No wonder CA is a mess. Everything is
        regulated at a low level instead of bestowing individuals with
        power to do what's best.
        Also, the BoE's blathering about the CA "Use Tax" is a total joke.
2006/6/7-9 [Transportation/Bicycle] UID:43298 Activity:nil
6/6     Dear road cyclists, what kind of bicycle&components&wheels do you
        guys have, and how heavy is it?
        \_ I have an old 80's all steel roadbike.  Probably weighs about
           30 lbs.  Cost me $25 at a garage sale.  Works great.
        \_ I'm a newbie biker and I have a heavy hybrid (35 pounds). When
           I get good enough to catch up to real roadies on my hybrid, I'll
           get something decent like the Specialized Roubaix all carbon with
           Ultegra and 105 components, at around 18-19 pounds.
        \_ I have a steel Marinoni with Ultegra components and 32/36 spoke
           wheels (I have two sets, one for weekends and one for touring).
           I don't know how heavy it is; fairly light for what it is.  -tom
        \_ Surley Crosscheck frame with Shimano Dura-ace components.  It's not
           that light because the frame is steel.  Not quite as heavy as my
           1967 Raleigh Superbe though (~40lbs). -scottyg
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/Immigration] UID:43299 Activity:nil
6/7     http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13165121
        This is a sad precursor to November. Despite all the complaints
        and problems within the GOP, the number of Republican voters is
        still much greater than the number of Democrat voters.
        \_ yes ... much greater ... in a Republican district ...
           Busby is a weak candidate.  I'm surprised she did as well as
           she did against a telegenic GOP person pushing an anti-immigration
           plank.
        \_ She was also taped encouraging illegal aliens to vote for her.
           "You don't need papers to vote.. we'll show you how.."
           http://csua.org/u/g2g  (Not all in the link, i'll try to find
           the audio file)
2006/6/7 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:43300 Activity:nil
6/7     The Real Iraq
        http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Production/files/Taheri_0606.htm
2006/6/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:43301 Activity:nil
6/7     Conn. City Leaders OK Riverfront Evictions
        http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=2043764
2006/6/7-9 [Computer/SW/Security] UID:43302 Activity:nil
6/7     Rails question:  I've got data in a number of tables, all of it owned by
        one site "user" or another.  Is there a nice clean standard way
        (probably at the model level) to validate whether the current user has
        access to the requested bit(s) of data?  (Hopefully that's not too
        inefficient)  I tried some obvious things, but Model classes don't have
        access to your session data, so they can't trivially see what user id
        is making the request.  Or does this sort of thing not belong in the
        models.  Thoughts?
        \_ Try handlers.  Install a handler that will do the ID check, then
           throw an exception if it's fails.  The model has access to the
           session data, otherwise you can't do anything custom wrt to
           the session, so I don't know what you're talking about.  -marked
2006/6/7-9 [Transportation/Bicycle] UID:43303 Activity:nil
6/7     http://buschmantechnologies.com
        Something that cut wind noise on the bicycle. Has anyone tried it
        and what do you think?
2006/6/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:43304 Activity:nil
6/7     http://revver.com/video/16647/8097/?__session_just_started__=1
        This guy has that sysadm look.
        \_ totally boring.
           \_ yeah.. what the hell was the point of that?
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/Immigration] UID:43305 Activity:nil
6/7     http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060607/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush
        Bush says you must "learn values and history and language of
        America". I say to Bush, maybe you should learn something about
        world history, public speech, diplomacy, and anger management
        before telling other people what to do.
        \_ Does anyone else find it disturbing that the Office of Citizenship
           is being established under the Department of Homeland Security?
           \_ Nein, it makes perfekt sense to me.
        \_ Bush should, yes, maybe.  What's wrong about forcing immigrants
           and candidates for citizenship to adopt the basic values of their
           host countries?  Most European states have long adopted a really
           fuzzy and tolerant attitude towards immigrants' cultures, and it's
           a fucking catastrophe, particularly with Eastern European, African
           and many muslim arrivals--the attitude towards "oh we must
           understand and acknowledge them" is changing, fast, in a lot of
           places.  You're talking about two different things.  -John
           \_ Why must this be a case of "understand and acknowledge" vs.
              "expect them to conform to the laws and civics of our country"?
              When did the two become incompatible?
              \_ OK, maybe my post was poorly worded--most European countries
                 (except maybe for the UK and France) have less of a melting
                 pot tradition than the US, even if the extent of immigrants'
                 readiness to mix in the US is often exagerrated.  There's
                 always been a lot of insecurity of how to deal with new
                 immigrants, with the result that many governments have bent
                 over backwards to try and accommodate and tolerate the quirks
                 of immigrants from countries with social traditions
                 diametrically opposed to what many consider the enlightened
                 Western ideal.  This has resulted in a marked unwillingness on
                 the part of many immigrants to "conform to the laws and
                 civics", as you astutely put it--forced marriages, ethnic
                 clashes and honor killings are some of the examples of results
                 of this kid-glove approach.  -John
                 \_ Right on. Where my hackles get raised is when "conform to
                    the laws and civics" is interpreted to mean "learn English
                    and become Christian or get out."
                    \_ Maybe not become Christian, but they should learn
                       English. It is the official language. It's not too
                       much to ask. In reality, I suspect that the vast
                       majority of immigrants *do* learn at least some
                       English. What pisses me off is when I go somewhere
                       and the signs are not in English. If you want
                       Chinese/Korean/Armenian/Spanish signs then fine,
                       but make sure to have English ones, too.
                       \_ Are you stupid or just stupid?
                       \_ Actually, it's not the official language -- that's
                          kind of the center of the debate.
                          \_ Oh come on. English is the official language.
                             It's what our effing Constitution was written
                             in. We don't need some proclamation for it
                             to be clear what the official language is.
                             \_ Words mean something, young padawan.
                                \_ Right, which is why all the words on
                                   highway signs are in English, for
                                   instance. Because there's no official
                                   language.
                                   \_ I think you're confused about what
                                      'official' means in this context.  Yes,
                                      signs are in english -- but that's not
                                      the same as mandating english from
                                      a legal standpoint (official government
                                      documents, etc).  Perhaps The One True
                                      PSB can elucidate if he's interested --
                                      but IIRC, India has actually mandated
                                      english as its official language.
                                      \_ What would be the difference if
                                         it was mandated? Everything is in
                                         English already. It would just be
                                         a rubber stamp.
                                         \_ Not strictly true - I *believe*
                                            most official government
                                            documents can be obtained in
                                            other languages in this
                                            country.  It would be a pretty
                                            big difference if someone that
                                            couldn't speak english and was
                                            unable to read them had no
                                            participatory recourse.  (grain
                                            of salt here -- I'm dredging
                                            this up from my first or second
                                            year studies at Ma Berkeley, so
                                            I could be making this all up).
                                            \_ Not all documents are and
                                               most (all?) government
                                               proceedings are conducted
                                               in English. If English was
                                               not "official" then you might
                                               see official documents printed
                                               in other languages, but not in
                                               English. That will never happen,
                                               because English is unofficially
                                               official already.
                                               \_ Um.  You really are just
                                                  stupid, aren't you.  Do you
                                                  know how many translators
                                                  are employed by the
                                                  government?  Do you know
                                                  how many state and local
                                                  government offices, hospitals,
                                                  etc have staffing requirements
                                                  to make sure local populations
                                                  can be served sufficiently
                                                  in their own language.  You
                                                  don't know what you're
                                                  rambling about.  Shut the fuck
                                                  up.
                                                  \_ Will we see a day
                                                     when there are *ENGLISH*
                                                     translators? No, we
                                                     won't. So you STFU.
           You need to take a fucking civics class.  You and your axe _/
           to grind belong somewhere in 19th century New York.  To declare
           English "official" would mean exactly what you're suggesting below,
           which has no bearing on reality.  Making English official would
           mean there would be no burden on the government to make
           accommodations for those who live here, even if born here (read
           citizens), who don't speak English.  An obstacle like this against
           civic participation is anti-democratic.  As I say, it is a burden
           on government, and as such is heavier where there are a larger
           spectrum of languages spoken and/or larger populations of other-
           language speakers (read large cities).  But it is a burden they
           are required to bear.  Just because english is most common does
           not in any way make it "official".  And your complaint about
           "Chinese/Korean/Armenian/Spanish signs" is so insanely laughable,
           you don't deserve any of my time after this.  Fuck you.
           \_ There should be no burden on government to make accomodations.
              It should be entirely an option. You think it's okay if
              a largely Hispanic (for example) school district decides to
              teach Spanish as the only language?! I don't think that's
              okay at all! What if they are a small community of Maoris?
              Can they teach their native language exclusively with
              government money? I don't see where that does anyone a
              service. Schools should teach English, signs should be in
              English, government forms should be in English, and so on.
              We are not like Canada where everything is in French and
              English both. English is the de facto language *ALREADY*.
              What is 'making it official' going to change? Do you really
              want your kids learning Te Reo Maori in school instead of
              English? If you have lots of Spanish (or Chinese or whatever)
              speakers then make that language official *TOO*  and teach
              them all by mandate in school, but English *must be* an official
              language in this country. Period.
           \_ My response got deleted, so I will summarize. You think it's
              okay for a town of largely Maori immigrants to teach Te Reo Maori
              (only) in their school district?! I don't and if I moved
              into that town I would sue. English needs to be an official
              language. You can argue that their should to be several official
              languages (Spanish?) but then *everything* must be mandated to
              be in Spanish also, including education, street signs, and
              all. You can't pick and choose which languages to translate while
              also denying English as the unofficial official language.
              English is basically the official language and anything else
              is done as a courtesy.
                                               \_ Hmm, I'm not sure I see what
                                                  you're getting at, exactly.
                                                  My point is if you're an
                                                  immigrant with no english
                                                  skills, being unable to get
                                                  government documents in
                                                  english is exclusionary,
                                                  and *arguably* counter to
                                                  some of the principles of
                                                  our country.  I'd be glad
                                                  chat about this more offline
                                                  if you're interested -- motd
                                                  is already too bandwidthy,
                                                  and I'm basically an
                                                  ignorant idiot and would
                                                  prefer not to add to the
                                                  noise....    -mice
                                                  \_ We aren't going to
                                                     produce translations for
                                                     every language in the
                                                     world. However, we
                                                     always make sure to
                                                     produce an English
                                                     version, which is often
                                                     the sole version. If
                                                     you live here you
                                                     pretty much *have* to
                                                     learn English as it is.
                                                     It's what you/your kids
                                                     will be taught in school,
                                                     what the signs will be
                                                     written in, and so on.
                                                     English can be the
                                                     official language w/o
                                                     isolating immigrants.
                                                     We can still produce
                                                     translations based on
                                                     demand. However, if,
                                                     say, Spanish was official
                                                     then we would *HAVE* to.
                                                     As it is, I claim that
                                                     English is already official
                                                     because such things are
                                                     *already* in English.
                                                     \_ *shrug*  Like I said -
                                                        email me if you want
                                                        talk about this more.
                                                                  -mice
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/California/Prop, Politics/Domestic/California/Arnold] UID:43306 Activity:low
6/7     LA Times: http://tinyurl.com/hozap
        Angelides the Nerd to face the Terminator Governator. From LA weekly:
        Angelides will be playing for Best Supporting from the start, because
        Arnold will always be bigger, tanner and shinier than his opponent.
        So a guy like Angelides, whose limbs flail out at irregular angles
        but whose ears look like satellite dishes receiving and transmitting
        all forms of knowledge and expertise, is the best bet. Californians,
        after all, just dated a jock, and you know how that turned out.
        This time around, they.ll want to settle down with the valedictorian.
        \_ Were there really as many anti-Angelides adverts as anti-Westly?
           I don't watch TV but I do listen to Air America, and only
           remember lots of anti-Angelides spots (I assume because Westly
           was coming from behind).
           \_ Fact: Westly started aggressive negative ads 3 whole
              days before Angelides started fighting back, after they
              promised each other to not do negative campaigns! Westly
              threw the punch first when Angelides didn't expect it,
              and still loss. What a loser.
        \_ Yes Angelides #1. I want new creative taxes on everything! I want
           to drive businesses out of California, too!
           remember lots of anti-Angelides spots.
           \_ You can't have service without paying tax, unless you
              actually believe in Reaganomics.
           \_ I want small, efficient government with a safety net without
              paying welfare to people who can work, skyrocketing tuition,
              rolling blackouts, and huge deficits.  Davis and Ah-nold
              didn't seem to help.  Who can I vote for to get all that?
              \_ Nobody.  California is ungovernable.  If you really want to
                 change things, get rid of the initiative system and all the
                 stupid set asides and budget constraints.  Of couse, this
                 will never happen.
                 \_ I'm all for breaking CA into 3 states,
                    \_ I'm the opposite. I'd like to see it unite with
                       Baja California and form its own nation.
                  \_ I'm interested in this subject. But where do you draw the
                     lines? I guess the middle should be the bay area counties
                     incl. Santa Cruz, with Yolo, Sacramento, El Dorado
                     incl. Santa Cruz, with Yolo, Sacramento, Placer
                     bordering the north, and Merced, Madera, and Mono along
                     the south. This captures the direct relationships pretty
                     well, with the Sacramento corridor out to the Sierra tied
                     to the bay area and including Hetch Hetchy (and Yosemite).
                     What do you call the middle state? I can't see any
                     downside to this and we'd pick up 4 more senators.
                     http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/8188/ca3state0kk.jpg
                     Actually Placer probably belongs to the middle too. A
                     couple of these are debatable.
                     Actually this is better:
                     Or actually this is better:
                     http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/8968/ca3state20dx.jpg
                     \_ I think that cutting the state apart like this
                        would really hurt the far northern part. There's
                        no tax base there, except Sacramento.
                        \_ Well right now, the state pretty much ignores
                           the north. They have their own industries and don't
                           need a lot of social services because they don't
                           have big messed up cities. They'd be fine. Maybe
                           A bit of southern Oregon also belongs with them
                           but that would be even harder to do.
                           Sure you could keep them together, but I thought
                           they'd want to be separate. They have different
                           concerns than the bay area or LA. Maybe with
                           their own state they could develop better. It's
                           really beautiful country.
                           \_ Gross Regional Product:
                              SoCal:    $710 billion
                              Bay Area: $410 billion (includes Napa/Stockton)
                              Rest:     $180 billion (1/3 from Sacramento)
                              If you siphon off the Central Valley into
                              Central California then "Bay Area" increases
                              and "Rest" decreases.
                              \_ Sounds fine to me. That Northern CA would
                                 still have a bigger economy than some other
                                 states like Wyoming or the Dakotas. It will
                                 be growing in the coming decades too.
                                 \_ Wow, bigger than North Dakota. Sign me up!
                                    I think it is in the interests of NoCal
                                    to remain attached to the rest of CA.
                                    For example, you can have UC Davis or
                                    University of North Dakota as your state
                                    university. Which would you choose?
                                    \_ They could develop Chico and a couple
                                       others. There's nothing stopping
                                       you from going to another state uni.
                                       All I know is, as long as those
                                       northern counties are attached to
                                       the rest, they are drowned out.
                                       I think NoCal would be bigger than
                                       a number of states. I guess at least
                                       #35-40 in size maybe. Again, the
                                       population isn't large so the needs
                                       are less. Whether or not the north
                                       benefits from leeching off the south
                                       like that is true, that is not a
                                       good reason to keep it that way.
                                       Do you really think in those terms?
                                       I think it would do better by looking
                                       out for itself instead of being
                                       drowned out. Anyway, at least SoCal
                                       should be split off.
                                       Ok then, maybe this should be done
                                       since it already exists:
                                      http://www.jeffersonstate.com
                                       Then Northern Cal, and Southern Cal.
                                       All I really want is SoCal separate.
                                       \_ We don't really like you hippy
                                          freaks either, but I don't see
                                          any advantages gained by breaking
                                          apart the State. There's a lot
                                          of synergy between NoCal and SoCal.
                                          \_ There's a lot of synergy between
                                             lots of states. So what? Should
                                             Wash and OR be combined?
                                             Washington: 5.9M pop, $262B
                                             Oregon: 3.4M, $145.35B
                                             Washegon: 9.3M, $407B
                                             Calif: 33.8M, $1.55 trillion
                                             Why or why not?
                                             Obvious advantages are better
                                             Senate representation, and more
                                             responsive state government.
                                             No and So already have their own
                                             utility companies.
                                             \_ What do utilities have to
                                                do with anything? San
                                                Diego's is different from
                                                LA's. OC's is different
                                                from Pasadena's. As for
                                                representation, why not
                                                split CA into 50 states?
                                                Imagine how many senators
                                                we'd get then! There are
                                                a lot of restrictions and
                                                regulations on interstate
                                                commerce. Things would
                                                work okay as long as NoCal
                                                and SoCal stayed in synch,
                                                but what happens when they
                                                start to heavily diverge?
                                                For example, the NoCal
                                                people repeal Prop 13 and
                                                the SoCal people don't.
                                                Does the population shift?
                                                Such unforeseen changes can
                                                have unintended consequences.
                                                Why mess with a good thing?
                                                \_ because it's not a good
                                                   thing?
                                                   \_ Sure it is! CA is the
                                                      best State in the USA!
                                                \_ Local self-determination
                                                   is better for its own sake.
                                                   Plus the above post. If
                                                   they heavily diverge, then
                                                   it's good because they WANT
                                                   to diverge. It's called
                                                   democracy. And there are NOT
                                                   a lot of restrictions on
                                                   interstate commerce. Read
                                                   the Constitution.
                                                   \_ Why not have city-states
                                                      if you're into local
                                                      self-determination?
                                                      We can divide the nation
                                                      into 100 square mile
                                                      grids of self-determining
                                                      fiefdoms. As for
                                                      commerce, a big thing
                                                      I was thinking of is
                                                      farming. There are
                                                      restrictions because of
                                                      threat of transmission of
                                                      pests/disease. Also,
                                                      liquor is often
                                                      restricted. There are
                                                      other examples.
2006/6/7-9 [Reference/BayArea, Recreation/Dating] UID:43307 Activity:nil
6/7     I'm a noob to theater, but I have a GF that likes it, and will
        be coming to the bat area to spend some time with me next month.
        Any recommendations of something that will be good, but could
        be appreciated by someone without much exposure to this sort
        of thing.
        \- I think theater means different things to different people ...
           althought some have broad interests. First there is "literary"
           theater vs popular theater [Hamlet vs. Pajama Game]. Next, are
           you looking for high quality, evening on the town, expensive
           productions [ACT, +$30tix] or cheep stuff in small theaters
           [cost of the movie, sometimes version of well known plays, other
           times you're picking based on plot/reviews]. You could try one of
           the (free) shakespeare in the parks or shakespeare at stinson
           [although hamlet may not be the best choice ... taming of the
           shrew is pretty user friendly]. I'm exlcuding Opera, symphony but
           including musicals. Given your parameters, do not under any
           circumstances see the Oresteia.
            \_ Taming of the Shrew, with a GF, is a bad choice. A lot of
               'modern' women don't like it because the whole point of the
                        \- oh jesus. and part of the idea is making a
                           day out of it going out to stinson etc. is anybody
                           around here putting on 'Ado or 12N?
               play is how Petruchio de-shrewifies Katarina... which women
               will claim is misognyist. Though it's arguable, just beware.
               Instead, go for Much Ado About Nothing or Twelfth Night;
               both are some of the better comedies, and will please
               everyone --michener
        \_ The Exit theatre (http://www.sffringe.org tends to have
           interesting productions for a small theatre.  I tend not to like
           ACT because the productions aren't worth the price of admission.
           The SF Opera is actually pretty good, and you can get either
           student or standing room tickets for really cheap if you're
           willing to stand in line at 10 in the morning the day of.
        \_ The Berkeley Rep has reliably good productions.  See what its
           current crop of plays is at the moment. -dans
           \- i am actually interested in seeing moliere: miser. anybody seen
              in and have a review? i dont think berkeley rep is that great.
              the best thing i've seen on this side of the bay was probably
              the shotgun player's version of Shaw's Man and Superman which
              was quite good.
              \_ The Shotgun Players aren't in the same league as the Berkeley
                 Rep. -dans
2006/6/7 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA] UID:43308 Activity:nil
6/7     Hi guys, someone sent me a 1.5 MB Word doc to my @csua.berkeley.edu
        address.  The mail was sent last night at 8:50pm, but from the e-mail
        header, didn't arrived in my soda spool until 7:11am this morning.
        Further in the header I can see that scotch received the e-mail ~
        8:50pm, but for some reason the handover to soda didn't occur until
        this morning.  Is this normal?
2006/6/7-9 [Transportation/Airplane, Transportation/PublicTransit] UID:43309 Activity:nil
6/7     Private companies are more efficient at generating revenues, period.
        If BART is willing to cut 1/2 of its unprofitable stops/destinations,
        it would get a lot more profit as well. Ditto with toll roads and
        bridges and the production of milk, wheat, and other things. All of
        these services would get much more revenue if they're allowed to be
        privatized and cut its abundance of supply to maximize return.
        Wait, why don't we privatize FBI, CIA, and outsource our Marines to
        the Indians and the Chinese as well? It'll be a lot cheaper and
        efficient to run, and we'll all profit at the same time! Yeah!
        \_ FBI, CIA, the military and such, provide public goods, which
           means they're non-rival and non-excludable. The market can't provide
           such services efficiently. What about public tranportation?  It
           doesn't necessarily have to be public. I heard the private urban
           rail systems in Japan are generating healthy profits.
                \- hello, a public good isnt necessarily non-excludable.
                   so a lighthouse isnt like medical knowledge
                   ["excluding" by IP law]. also the govt could contract
                   a private agency to provide a public good ... of course
                   you can get into a debate about who is doing the "providing"
                   in that case [vaccine stockpiling], but this does take you
                   into the area of efficient regulation, which is an issue
                   when the govt desires to regulate a (natural) monopoly. i
                   think it is better to say the govt has a role not in the
                   when the govt desires to regulate a (natural) monopoly.
                   [see e.g. (UCB Dept of Econ) Ken Train: Optimal Regulation]
                   i think it is better to say the govt has a role not in the
                   case of public good but in the broader case of 1. market
                   failures 2. when "public policy" considerations trump
                   "efficiency considerations" [like the post office
                   delivering to each and every address for the same
                   price]. [n.b. i am admittedly somewhat broadening this to
                   "when should the govt intervene or regulate, rather than
                   "provide". it's a somewhat slippery distinction when you
                   consder something like say the SEC]. and now we return you
                   to tom's ramblings ...
                   failures (mkt fail not just public goods, but also address
                   hold out problem, externalized costs, IO structural factors
                   like natural monopoly perhaps in cases of high barriers to
                   entry depending on your view of "contestability theory,
                   and asymmetric information) 2. when "public policy"
                   considerations trump "efficiency considerations" [like
                   the post office delivering to each and every address for
                   the same price or profitable bus routes to subsidize
                   unprofitable ones or not letting rich people easily
                   buy their way out of traffic congestion by making HoV lanes
                   "for pay" lanes]. [n.b. i am admittedly somewhat broadening
                   this to "when should the govt intervene or regulate, rather
                   than "provide". it's a somewhat slippery distinction when
                   you consder something like say the SEC].
        \_ "Maximizing profit" is not equivalent to "efficient," or even
           particularly close.  -tom
        \_ BART is not efficient. Why have a proprietary train system
           instead of something more common? Why have such an expensive
           system for such limited usefulness due to sprawl? Companies
           make more money by being more useful to their customers. Governments
           get their taxes either way. Military and police have different
           considerations so there's no point lumping that together.
        \_ I'm not exactly aware of BART's charter, and though I agree with the
           above poster about stupidity of their lack of standardization, a
           lot of private suppliers of exclusive goods (i.e. only 1 radio
           station can occupy a certain frequency in a given area, only one
           highway can be in a certain space) have a mandate/charter/whatnot
           to provide certain services (such as a train system stopping in a
           given locality, even if only 1 person gets on.)  So they won't
           necessarily be able to either operate at top efficiency or maximize
           their profit by their very nature.  -John
        \_ Amtrak. Nuff said.
           \_ what about it?  They have the government undermining their
              business by building roads at taxpayer expense, and powerful
              airline lobbies keeping them from providing better service
              (bullet trains) which would make them more attractive.  -tom
           \_ Amtrak should be allowed to go out of business instead of
              keeping it alive. Businesses can't manufacture demand for
              their products, but the government can continue to produce
              products no one wants.
              \_ Hello, is it not possible to also have products that people
                 want and need which are simply not profitable to provide but
                 which are convenient and contribute to better standard-of-
                 living?
                 \_ No. If they want them then they will pay for them. We
                    aren't talking about a bridge which needs government
                    subsidies. We're talking about a mode of transport
                    that very few people use and which has been obsoleted.
                    \_ you mean, auto traffic?  Because there's nothing
                       more obsolete and subsidized than auto traffic.  -tom
                    \_ Excellent. We should allow all airlines to go out of
                       business as well, then.
                       \_ Sure, if they cannot fund themselves. However,
                          you would not see that happen if all subsidies
                          were eliminated. You'd just see higher airfares
                          and fewer carriers.
                          \_ This is where the public good becomes impacted.
                             It's in the interest of a vibrant economy to
                             provide a means by which more people can travel
                             to other parts of the country to spend their
                             money, just as it's in the interest of the
                             economy to keep the transportation costs of
                             goods low. When these costs go up, the overall
                             harm is greater than then amount saved by not
                             subsidizing. But I have no figures to back this
                             up, so I will admit to such now.
                             \_ If it makes sense economically then it
                                will happen on its own. You don't make,
                                for example, transportation costs go away
                                by subsidizing them. You just shift the
                                cost onto the taxpayers.
                    \_ I would agree but trains are not obsolete. They
                       can be pretty efficient, especially long haul
                       freight. We don't invest in them though. Investing
                       in a good rail system is in the government's
                       interest. The gov't basically subsidizes trucks
                       versus trains which is kind of silly. Trucks take
                       more drivers, more energy and pollution, impact
                       traffic, and damage roads which are expensive.
                       Perhaps passenger trains should go dodo though,
                       except in denser areas.
                       \_ Trains are obsolete as mechanisms for transporting
                          people across moderate-to-long distances. The
                          freight companies are doing just fine.
                          \_ Passenger trains do just fine in every
                             industrialized country which doesn't put
                             impossible barriers in the way.  Specifically,
                             in Europe, high-speed rail's market share is
                             at least 75% of traffic for trips 3 hours
                             or shorter by train, and is still 25% for trips
                             of 5 hours by train.  Not many would take the
                             train to NYC from SF, but a high-speed line
                             between SF and LA would be enormously
                             successful (again, if the state and the country
                             don't let politics and corporatism get in the
                             way of providing useful services to citizens).
                              -tom
                             \_ Passenger trains are heavily subsidized in
                                Europe, population density is much
                                higher, and distances are much shorter. What
                                is a train going to get me that a $150 plane
                                ticket (LA<->SF) won't except for a longer
                                commute time? I used to dream about a
                                bullet train between LA<-> Las Vegas, but
                                after taking the plane I don't see the
                                point to such a train, which is probably
                                why the plans never get off the ground.
                                \_ Airlines and roads are heavily
                                   subsidized, too.  Trains are much less
                                   stressful, more flexible about luggage,
                                   and more enjoyable than planes.  They
                                   also stop downtown instead of, you know,
                                   way the heck out at the airport.  If
                                   there were a three-hour train ride between
                                   SF and LA, at least half of the people who
                                   currently fly would take the train.  -tom
                                   \_ Not if it costs the same as flying. Last
                                      time I checked, it actually cost more.
                                      \_ EuroStar carries 71% of the
                                         London-Paris traffic and 64% of
                                         London-Brussels.  How is that
                                         different than SF-LA?  Do you have
                                         any facts at all?  -tom
2006/6/7-9 [Computer/HW/CPU] UID:43310 Activity:nil
6/7     INTC drops to three-year low.  Time to buy?
        \_ depends whether you think they'll gain the momentum back from
           AMD.  Sometimes there's a reason a company is at a three-year
           low.  -tom
           \_ I want to kill all white male and inseminate as many hot blonde
              women as possible as a revenge on the fall of
              our glorious Eastern Empire.
              \_ Kewl:  http://tinyurl.com/o2jop (see below.)  -John
           \_ Yes, I suppose the current price reflects market uncertainty
              about whether Conroe is the real shiznit.  The latest test dated
              yesterday is a bit more independent, with machines assembled and
              software installed "without the help of Intel":
              http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2771
              Then read the http://tomshardware.com and http://firingsquad.com previews
              released on Monday:
              http://csua.org/u/g3y (anandtech.com)
              Hey, prime time to buy, right?  Think critically about what
              you've read so far, then see:
              http://sharikou.blogspot.com/2006/06/our-coverage-of-anand.html
              My conclusion from all the hard work some individuals have done
              is that Conroe will perform at or below comparable AMD offerings,
              will probably be less available, but will probably be cheaper -
              but take that advice as from someone unwilling to sign.
              but that's advice from someone who's unwilling to sign.
              \- FYI, there is an interesting paper worth glacing at
                 by YELICK and some other berkeley/lbl people about the
                 IBM CELL PROCESSOR ... a little bit on the interesting
                 design [espe of the memory bus] and some bmarks on various
                 standarized scientific computations. obgoogle if interested.
2006/6/7-9 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:43311 Activity:nil
6/7     http://money.cnn.com/2006/06/07/news/economy/greenspan_oil/index.htm
        Greenspan on speculators driving up oil prices and cashing out
        "Speculators...[T]end to advance the adjustment process so when
        corrections occur they are far less abrupt ... We are literally seeing
        significant acceleration of energy production in the corporate sector
        and a decline in demand. That would not have happened without the
        financial sector."
        Greenspan is a genius, so let's apply it to real estate:
        "Real estate speculators advance the adjustment process so when the
        bubble pops its far less abrupt (makes sense ... deflating bubble
        versus pop).  We are seeing significant acceleration of housing
        construction (true, when the slope was positive) and a decline in
        demand (true, now the slope is level or dipping).  That would not
        have happened without the real estate speculators."  Genius!!1!
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:43312 Activity:nil
6/7     Today I heard the Impeach Bush radio commercial for the very first
        time. I was elated. Impeach Bush!
        \_ If you impeach Bush, don't you get Cheney as president then?
           That doesn't seem like a good trade off.
           \_ Yes, I don't get it either.  If there's an impeachment effort,
              it should be for both the POTUS and VP, just like Lay and
              Skilling of Enron.  Condi isn't the best option, but hey, I'll
              settle.
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/California, ERROR, uid:43313, category id '18005#35.455' has no name! , ] UID:43313 Activity:nil
6/7     http://csua.org/u/g43
        It should not be a surprise that the Republicans
        are willing to do things that are unethical to
        manipulate elections.
        \_ Oh and the Daleys of Chicago have been completely, honestly
           elected through the years without the use of a politcal machine.
           \_ and of course the mayor of Chicago is a position with
              prominence and importance similar to the President of the U.S.
                -tom
              \_ Funny you should point that out, esp. after it is confirmed
                 that many dead people voted for JFK from Chicago area
                 through the same political machine that helps the Daleys.
                 \_ Oh!  Right!  As long as both sides are doing it, then
                    it's totally okay!  YESSIREEBOB!  Thank you for your clear
                    and objective insight!
                    \_ Sad troll. The OP tried to make a connection about
                       one party. I pointed out the hypocrisy of it.
                       I bet you think politics started with Clinton?
                       \_ You'd be wrong -- but that's okay, I expect that
                          from partisan wingnuts.
                          \_ He points out that both parties are dirty,
                             and that makes him partisan?  I think you
                             need a dictionary.
                             \_ I think you need better reading skills.
                 \_ If you're looking for a JFK lover, you're barking up
                    the wrong tree.  -tom
                 \_ You do know that JFK would have won the election without
                    Illinois, right? -ausman
           \_ Shh.. it's ok if you're doing to for the greater good.
              \_ Said it before, I'll say it again, it's not okay for anyone.
2006/6/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:43314 Activity:nil
6/7     Going to a 90's party. What's typical/classic 90's wear?
        \_ Grunge. Wear flannel.
2006/6/7-9 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:43315 Activity:nil
6/7     http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,198566,00.html
        Unpatriotic Jap army Lieutenant refuses to deploy because of
        war objects. Maybe we should deport him or put him in the
        internment camp again. What a disgrace to America -conservative
        \_ Good one troll. Let's not forget it was Democrat's administration
           that did the internment but a Republican administration that
           apologized for it.
        \_ internment was a completely justified action, though their
           property should have been returned.  Why no apologies or
           recognition for the Germans and Italians interns held until 1948?
           \_ and a conservative movement that thinks it wasn't a mistake
              to intern all U.S. citizens of Japanese heritage
           \_ and a conservative movement that thinks it was right to intern
              all U.S. citizens of Japanese heritage
2006/6/7-9 [Computer/SW/OS/OsX] UID:43316 Activity:nil
6/7     What, if any, is the best way to "convert" a PDF document to either
        a text file or a Word document? I tried copying/pasting the text
        (after highlighting it), but the document formatting is lost. I can
        manually enter carriage returns, but it's a long document (~50 pages)
        The entire document is just paragraphs of text. This is on a OS X
        machine. Thanks.
        \_ Open it in Adobe Acrobat (not Reader).  -tom
           \_ Or Distiller or use pdftotext on soda.
        \_ there is used to be an unix command line called "ps2txt" or
           something like that.
2017/09/26 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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