Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:December:18 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>
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2007/12/18 [Reference/Religion] UID:48819 Activity:high 66%like:48825
12/17   Excellent article on religion in politics, tolerance, and multiculturalism.
        http://urltea.com/2dwu [provenance not provided because not indicative.]
        \_ instead of stuff like http://urltea.com, can't we use some sort of standard
           command-line compressor/decompressor? Some reversible hashfunction.
           Anyone know of a tool like that?
2007/12/18-20 [Uncategorized] UID:48820 Activity:nil
12/17   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22300698
        All heil Swami the Magnificent! We're getting there the end
        of 2007 as he predicted a few years ago!
        \_ The Great Swami underestimated the literalness of the motd
           geeks. He thought that it was obvious that he was being tongue-
           in-cheek by predicting the exact moment of the end of the
           housing downturn. Even the Swami is not that all knowing. -GS
2007/12/18-20 [Industry/Startup] UID:48821 Activity:nil
12/17   Seeking advice for joining a startup. How to find a good startup
        company outside of the Bay Area, what to look for in a company
        (e.g. who are the VCs, management, etc), how to negociate for
        stocks/options, etc etc. Thanks.
        \_ Reconsider looking outside of the Bay Area/Silicon Valley.  Read
           this essay for by Paul Graham for some of the arguments why:
           http://www.paulgraham.com/startuphubs.html
           What to look for and how to negotiate is really strongly tied to
           what phase the company is in which means knowing the answers to a
           few key questions, including, Is the company funded?  How much
           funding/how many rounds of funding has the company taken and at
           what valuation?  How many employees does the company have?  What
           will your role be, i.e. rank and file, VP, or executive level?
           Probably the most important question to ask if someone hands you an
           options agreement is "How many shares outstanding?"  If someone
           offers you 10 shares out of 100 outstanding, that's 10% of the
           company.  This is absurdly better than someone offering you
           1 billion shares when there are 1 gogol shares outstanding.
           The best advice I can offer on finding a good startup is to ask if
           you give a damn about what the company is doing.  Are you willing
           to sacrifice your nights and weekends for the next three, four,
           maybe five years chasing a dream with your co-workers?  If you can
           answer yes, it's probably a good startup. -dans
           \_ Luckily Paul Graham knows _everything_.  I enjoyed his talks at
              UCB but he does seem quite full of himself.
              \_ You're obviously trolling, but I'll respond since you raise
                 a legitimate, albeit easily shot down, point.  Well, that, or
                 you have the critical reading skills of a second grader.
                 Clearly Paul Graham doesn't know everything.  Furthermore, he
                 has an agenda, the nature of which is pretty obvious, but he
                 does not come out and state it.  I'm a little unusual in that
                 I would rather that a person have a clear (if unstated) agenda
                 than to pretend to be agenda-free.  Basically, I don't trust
                 people who don't believe in something.  I'm not a Paul Graham
                 or Phil Greenspun or Joel Spolsky sycophant, but I do read
                 what they have to say because they often make insightful
                 points.  If you're going to discount them purely on the basis
                 of 'I think they're arrogant' or 'I don't like them', it's
                 your loss.  Also, I don't think I need to go out on a limb
                 here to suggest that Paul Graham probably has more experience
                 founding, building, and selling a successful company than you
                 do, that counts for a lot, and gives him some right to be
                 'full of himself'. -dans
                 P.S. What part of 'some of the arguments why' do you not
                 understand?  English motherfucker.  Do you speak it?
2007/12/18-20 [Reference/History/WW2] UID:48822 Activity:nil
12/17   How to cross the border 101. Be as creative as you can. Vote
        on your favorite answers:
        \_ Operation Human Wave: Amass 1 million Mexicans on the borders.
           On your mark, get set, CROSS! They can stop a few, but they
           can't stop a million! Worked great in WW2, Vietnam and Korean War.
           \_ Worked great at the end of the movie "Born in the West LA" too.
           \_ Worked great at the end of the movie "Born in East L.A." too.
        \_ Wear anti-infrared clothings. US Agents are known to use
           infrared cameras at night time.
        \_ Walk across like everyone else does.  Bring a lot of water.
        \_ Walk through customs along with all of the other tourists. Dress
           nicely.
2007/12/18-20 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:48823 Activity:nil
12/18   Why is Bush pardoning all these people all of a sudden?
        http://www.csua.org/u/ka2
        \_ Why do dogs lick their balls?
2007/12/18-20 [Politics/Domestic/California] UID:48824 Activity:nil
12/17   When the state comes to you for more taxes, remember how they're
        spending your money right now.
        http://www.knbc.com/news/14866201/detail.html
        http://www.dailynews.com/opinions/ci_7745781
        http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_7733735
        \_ And software never goes over budget or over schedule in the
           private sector, right?
2007/12/18-20 [Reference/Religion] UID:48825 Activity:high 66%like:48819
12/17   Excellent article on religion in politics, tolerance, and multi-
        culturalism.
        http://urltea.com/2dju?weeklystandard.com
        http://csua.org/u/kac  [urltea has been flaky. -op]
        \_ instead of stuff like http://urltea.com, can't we use some sort of standard
           command-line compressor/decompressor? Some reversible hashfunction.
           Anyone know of a tool like that?
           \_ Would that significantly compress the URL given that we'd have
              to stick to ASCII chars?
             \_ I think in general you don't need huge compression, just
                "enough". Just a thought anyway, I hate url shortening sites.
                \_ Learn some information theory and come back later.
                  \_ I bet using UTF-8 would allow enough compression for
                     normal links. Even ASCII has lots of extra crap.
                     I'd rather not shorten them at all than use temporary
                     shortened links that won't remain valid.
                     \_ Pat Pat
           \_ Um, are hash functions usually reversable?
              \_ Not in the most typical use, but there are very many that are.
                 One hashing algorithm which is which you might not have
                 realised is encryption.
             \_ No. But I was asking...
        \_ Ah, a former- and now anti-Mormon writes about religion, slamming
           Mormons in the process.  By the Weekly Standard no less.
           \_ I'm ignorant here.  Is the Weekly Standard a leftie rag or a
              righty rag?
              \_ Righty.
           \_ This does such injustice to the article. You're all troll hags. -op
        \_ What is wrong with the usual url shorteners?  How would a home
           grown motd version be any different?
        \_ Did anyone actually read the entire article? The analysis is quite
        \_ Did anyone actually read entire the article? The analysis is quite
           good, if you look past the lame jokes, and conservative POV. -op
        \_ I actually read this very long and dense article that took me
           over an hour to read and digest. He make some very good points,
           over an hour to read and digest. He makes some very good points,
           but I think he is wrong to claim that the GOP's inner debate
           on religious tolerance somehow tars all of America with the
           brush of intolerance. There will be a Jewish President, a Muslim
           President and probably even a Mormon President someday. But they
           will all be Democrats. The GOP has made itself into the Grand
           Ole' Fundamentalist Party and its inability to nominate anyone
           who is not a mainline Protestant is the inevitable result of that
           choice. Perhaps it can unmake itself, but only after a long time
           in the political wilderness of being out of power.
           \_ I don't think he said the GOP's debate tars all. He said both the
              (current) religious right and (current) multiculturalist left both have
              (current) right and (current) multiculturalist, relativist left both have
              it wrong. (and that Romney is a twink.) Then he laid out an excellent way
              to objectively draw the line about what should be in bounds and what
              should not. And I almost said which "religious subjects", but it's more
              subtle than that, for good reasons. Thanks for commenting. -op
              (current) religious right and (current) multiculturalist left
              both have it wrong. (and that Romney is a twink.) Then he laid out
              an excellent way to objectively draw the line about what should be
              in bounds and what should not. And I almost said which "religious
              subjects", but it's more subtle than that, for good reasons.
              Thanks for commenting. -op
              \_ Yes, he briefly and without too much evidence claimed that
                 multi-culturalism was just as bad as the Right's overt
                 pro-Christian bias. I know he was speaking to an audience
                 that probably already agrees with him, so he didn't feel
                 the need to make much of a case, but I think that:
                 1) multiculturalism is hardly monolithic on the left
                 2) multiculturalism as practiced in the United States
                    is not really significantly different than the more
                    traditional liberal virtues of tolerance that he espouses
                 I have heard that  Europe is different, in that they are
                 making special exceptions for mostly Muslim immigrants
                 (except in France, which has a strong secular tradition)
                 and having a tough time integrating them (especially in
                 and are having a tough time integrating them (especially in
                 France, probably because they are trying harder there),
                 but I honestly don't have way to "reality check" these
                 but I honestly don't have a way to "reality check" these
                 claims. Here in the US, new immigrants are assimilating
                 all the time. Some groups better than others, no doubt, but
                 what is the out-marraige rate for Buddhists in this country?
                 For Jews? For Muslims? I am sure it is higher here than
                 anywhere else.
                 \_ I agree, but it seems clear he's talking about multiculturalism
                    in the US as preached and prosecuted (persecuted? :D), not as
                    practiced. Always a wide gap between the two in US, versus Europe,
                    because the left is large and in charge over there.
2007/12/18-20 [Uncategorized] UID:48826 Activity:nil
12/18   Ron Paul's earmarks
        http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/side2/4934728.html
        \_ Why are you posting that?
           \_ Because I heard about it.
2007/12/18-20 [Transportation/Car] UID:48827 Activity:nil
12/18   I just learned that there is such a thing as a car "roof scoop."
        Basically, an air intake you put on the roof.  They all appear
        to be fake.  Is there any car that actually uses a roof scoop to do
        something useful?
        \_ Yes.  One of the race cars I drive has one.  When I drove it at
           Altamont this summer, we were grateful for every last bit of
           ventilation we could get.  I understand it's quite common on rally
           cars.
2007/12/18-20 [Health, Health/Disease/General] UID:48828 Activity:moderate
12/17   $45 trillion gap seen in US benefits
        http://www.newsweek.com/id/78426
        \_ And their quotes come from... administration officials, R congs,
           and a blue dog dem from TN... This is the "drown it in a bathtub"
           crowd.  How 'bout some mention of how we got here...
        \_ 75% of this is Medicare. Socializing medicine would fix this
           problem.
           \_ How do you figure?
              \_ Spending growth is out of control in the health care
                 sector primarily because the users of the system don't
                 see the true costs of their actions, and there are a bunch
                 of entrenched interests (primarily insurance companies and
                 drug companies, but also physicians) who are vested in
                 keeping it that way. The rising cost of delivery kills
                 everyone, including medicare. Those places that have a
                 single government payer have been able to ration health
                 care more effectively and keep a lid on cost growth. You
                 might be able to do it with a straight free market system
                 but I don't see that working here. One way or another, we
                 are going to have to reduce health care delivery costs in
                 order to handle the wave of boomers reaching retirement age.
                 \_ You think that having the taxpayers foot the entire
                    bill is going to help the users realize their true
                    healthcare costs? I argue the opposite. Socializing
                    medicine will make costs higher. Look at your own
                    example: Medicare. Eliminate Medicare and I guarantee
                    healthcare costs will go down.
                    \_ Except there is the counterexample of every other
                       country in the world that has nationalized healthcare.
                       They all pay less in overall costs, both in dollars
                       and as a percentage of their GDP.
                       People will gripe about the long wait times but I
                       trust the government to do a better job of rationing
                       than the "free" market, which would just let millions
                       die due to lack of basic care. Eliminating medicare
                       might make costs come down, but how many would die
                       do to lack of treatment? Is that really how you want
                       to ration healthcare: if you can't afford it, die on
                       street?
                       \_ For people who need expensive treatment to
                          stay alive, maybe they should just die if they
                          can't afford it. Everyone dies. Especially for
                          people who are older than say, 60: why should
                          we pay more than X to artificially keep them alive?
                          A lot of problems are caused by lifestyle choices.
                          \_ We are probably not as far apart as you think.
                             I think the cheap and easy preventative medicine
                             should be free and widely available and I think
                             the government should generally only pay for
                             well understood and relatively inexpensive care
                             outside of that. If you are 97 and you get
                             liver cancer, oh well you are going to die,
                             unless you can afford to pay for your own
                             treatment. But a total "free market" system
                             where poor people would have no access to
                             health care at all would be a disaster. Want to
                             to see whooping cough come back? Stop providing
                             free immunizations to poor children and it will.
                             That and a host of other formerly endemic diseases
                             and they will not conveniently only infect the
                             "unworthy of health care" poor.
                             \_ Not all charity should come from government
                                either.
                 \_ Current HSA plans allow patients to choose their healthcare
                    more carefully, keeping the money in a retirement plan if
                    it's not spent, thus injecting some direct competition.
                    Those seem to be working.  I'd definitely prefer that type
                    of plan over socializing it.  Romney's comment about Mass.
                    is that they had 7% uninsured. Out here in CA I suspect
                    it's higher than that.
                    \_ Yes there is a chance that something like an HSA could
                       inject enough consumer desire to reign in healthcare
                       spending. Is there evidence that is seems to be working,
                       as you say? The only way it could make a big enough
                       difference to significantly change things is if it was
                       extremeley widespread though. Would you support making
                       them mandatory?
                   \- you get to keep what you dont use from your HSA?
                      i thought they were all use or lose.
                      \_ http://www.hsainsider.com/Individual/Benefits.aspx
                         The HSA is a relatively new concept, you are thinking
                         of a different plan, called an FSA.
2007/12/18-20 [Uncategorized] UID:48829 Activity:nil
12/17   dans where / when is your justin.tv talk?  I'm a big fan
        of the dansification of the motd.  Can I come to it?
        \_ February 28th at the justin.tv offices.  Schedule/details will
           likely be posted here: http://www.justin.tv/hackertv/schedule
           I'm pretty sure it's open to the public. -dans
2007/12/18-20 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:48830 Activity:nil
12/17   Toshiba builds a compact nuclear reactor:
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/2mg9n5 (nextenergynews.com)
        \_ No control rod?  Is there a way to stop the reaction and turn off
           the generate when not in use?
           \_ there's other ways to regulate reactions besides control rods.
              some reactor designs use dampeners or reaction catalysts
              dissolved into the cooling media.
2007/12/18-29 [Finance, Finance/Investment] UID:48831 Activity:low
12/18   Awesome juxtaposition of headlines:
        Scientists fear Arctic thaw has reached 'tipping point'
        and
        Arctic Sea Ice Re-Freezing at Record Pace
        http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2007/12/congrats-to-the.html
        \_ Thank God.  Once it tips can we stop hearing about this fraud
           on working people everywhere?  TIP!  TIP!  I want to hear about
           global cooling for a few years (again).
        \_ Tipping point meaning that after thawing a while now it will freeze
        \_ Hey, global climate change skeptic:  how about buying some
           oceanfront property, maybe 2-3 feet above sea level,
           oceanfront property, and maybe 2-3 feet above sea level,
           somewhere?
           \_ Why?  Even the worst predictions of the IPCC say I'll be fine for
              at least 100 years.
              \_ so sea level's  supposed to stay the same for 100 years and
                 suddenly jump? I don't think so...
                 \_ No, the worst predictions are 20cm rise in the next
                    century.  So all I have to do is be at 2-3 feet and I'll be
                    fine for at least 100 years by the most alarming estimate.
                    But I expect the global warming hoax to be completely gone
                    in the next 5-10 years anyway.
                    \_ Then we'll be talking about global cooling and how
                       that is a man-made problem caused by C02.
                    \_ Are you going to aplogize to us all when you are
                       proven wrong?
                    \_ Are you going to apologize to us all when (okay, if)
                       you are proven wrong?
2007/12/18-20 [Politics/Domestic/California, Reference/Tax] UID:48832 Activity:moderate
12/18   Can anyone explain why so many Republicans keep claiming that tax
        cuts raise government revenue, even when they know it is not true?
        http://www.csua.org/u/ka9 (WashPo)
        \_ Because in a high-tax environment, it's true?  Tax RATES aren't the
           same as tax REVENUE.
                \- yes, "everybody" acknowledges this may have been true
                   in say the eisenhower era, but it's disingenuous to imply
                   this holds true today.
                  \_ Well the relationship between tax rates and GDP growth
                     isn't an exact science either.
                     \- "we dont know what 'causes cancer' ... how can you
                        say smoking is bad for you?" "evolutionary theory
                        cant explain fainting goats ... so it's 'merely'
                        a theory just like ID is a theory."
                        \_ You are a tool for two exciting reasons!  Firstly,
                           science is powered by scepticism, so it is never a
                           vice.  Secondly, you seem to think economic
                           causal theories are as well understood as an
                           extremely well-studied medical special case.
                             -- ilyas
                             \_ when was the last time you took a shower?
                                anyone ever asked you that?
                             \- no, it is more like second guessing a
                                jury verdict .. it could be wrong, but
                                substituting your opinion when you dont
                                know any of the details of the case and
                                havent heard the arguments is crazy.
                                so maybe decrasing tax rates increases
                                revenue down to 10% MRT, but if 95% of
                                the econ profession believes revenues go
                                negative somewhere between 80 and 40%, it's
                                seems some linear combinaion of arrogant and
                                dumb to decide those arent the numbers you
                                \_ 'linear combination of arrogant and dumb',
                                   that's a good one.  I think I'll borrow it.
                                   -dans
                                will operate with. even if there are a couple
                                of smart guys here and there who (sincerely)
                                disagree. i am not saying it is TRUE, i am
                                saying it is what you must operate on unless
                                you have some extremely heavyweight reason
                                why you dont. peter duesberg might have some
                                "heavyweight" reason to disbelieve the
                                HIV->AIDS theory but for Thabo Mbeki to
                                disbelieve it require some explanation
                                other than "well as a world famous biologist,
                                in my opinion, here are the flaws in the
                                science ...". There are some questions where
                                there are truely split opinions among
                                experts ... like say on the mechanism of
                                planet formation [http://tinyurl.com/37oy55]
                                [rumor is you are an expert on "the stars"?]
                                but supply side econ not such an example as
                                applied to the US today. you also seem to be
                                unaware of the different quality of certain
                                econ predictions. there are econ predictions
                                about certain equillibium conditions that
                                are not speculative because there are clear
                                forcing functions [arbitrage] ... so while
                                there might be lots of competing theories
                                about the level of exchange rates [CIP, UIP,
                                PPP etc] the cross exchange rate parity
                                prediction is a strong one.
                                (one more thing: yes science is powered by
                                scempticism, e.g. the H PILORI example, but
                                these pols and motd posters arent DOING
                                SCIENCE, they are running for office or
                                trying to justify a policy. they arent being
                                sceptical. they are usually lying and some
                                some small number there may be some other
                                expedient explanation.). -danh (the planet)
                                \_ That last bit is 'high priest thinking.'
                                   You don't need to be Doing Science to be
                                   a sceptic.  Criticism isn't a privilege of
                                   the knowledge producing class.  Now it is
                                   true most criticism/scepticism of any given
                                   theory that DOESN'T come from scientists
                                   themselves will generally be silly or
                                   misguided.  However, this isn't always so,
                                   and it is very important that there remain
                                   outside channels for challenging the current
                                   status quo in science.  This is because
                                   science, for a number of reasons, is
                                   particularly susceptible to 'mafia effects.'
                                     -- ilyas
                                   \_ This is all well and good, but it's
                                      orthogonal to the point that supply-side
                                      economics is believed to be bunk by the
                                      economic establishment, and while it may
                                      not have the imprimatur of of the COBE
                                      experiment, it's pretty damned good
                                      science. -dans
                                      \_ That's pretty funny considering what
                                         "imprimatur" means. -lewis, nihil obstat
                                         "imprimatur" means. -psb
                                         \_ imprimatur: Official
                                            approval; sanction.
                                            I guess I just can't do funny.
                                            -dans
                                            \_ Historically from the Pope
                                               giving out an official decree.
        \_ See also http://csua.org/u/kaa (New Yorker)
        \_ It's called faith based government -- tax cuts raise government
           revenues because we believe they do.  Tax cuts also cure cancer
           and bring endangered species back to life.
           \- IMHO: "they" do it because "they" can get away with it.
                 \_ Post a link to your blog, windbag.
              so the question degenerates to "why can they get away with it?"
              well aside from "there is a sucker born every minute" [e.g.
              people who believe stupid rhetoric about "death taxes" or
              "double taxation" etc] type explanations [and remember, in
              america in 2007 we have three people running for president
              who can say "i dont believe in evoluation" and not be sent
              who can say "i dont believe in evolution" and not be sent
              packing on the hayseedmobile], i believe there are two
              pathologies in american journalism that leads to the pols
              not being called on this: 1. fear of having "access" cut off
              if you say "candidate X is either a moron or a liar". 2. many
              journalists are experts at "journalism", not a subject area.
              so they are trained in things like "objective/neutral view
              points", "presenting both sides" rather than having subject
              matter expertise and being able to render judgements. now they
              kind of research they may be good at is "digging up connections,
              influence, following the money" ... or maybe digging up gossipy
              thigns like who'se campaign is in trouble when they present the
              things like whose campaign is in trouble when they present the
              election as a horserace ... but they are not good at evaluating
              substance in areas like climate science, economic science etc.
              those are trickier areas than say evolution where the two
              postions are morons and scientists ... so they probably do
              positions are morons and scientists ... so they probably do
              ok there. now the nice part of "america 2007" is the blogosphere
              contains many people who are not journalists but ARE subject
              matter experts. these people are much better at holding the
              journalists and pols feet to the fire. but of course they dont
              generally have the giant podium the MSM journalists have.
              of course some exceptions: paul kurgman has a big podium
              of course some exceptions: paul krugman has a big podium
              [but he isnt a journalist. i know many journos kvetch about
              the blogosphere, but to the complain about giving a plum
              column to a non-journo? i am glad the NYT gave it to PK and not
              some random liberal journalist.]. james suroweiki also an
              exception. i think his finance coverage is really good. one
              reason the e'ists science coverage is decent is they look
              for "science people" who have some writing talent, rather than
              a journalist to has some interest in science. i guess the one
              thing that might be worse than the "silly objectivism" of
              some journalists might the the ones that forget they are
              journalists, like gary taubes' pronouncements about "fat
              research".
              \_ Why don't you ever post your name, unreadable screed guy?
                 -jrleek
                 \_ If you don't know that's partha, you have better things to
                    do than motd.   How exactly is it unreadable?
              \_ Massive wall of text, lost interest and skiped  the rest
                            \- supply side economics -> wall of voodoo
                 about 10 lines in.  This is the motd, not a novel.
                 \_ You are too short for this motd thread....
        \_ I don't care if higher taxes raise or lower government revenue
           over time.  My goal is not to maximize government income.  My
           tax goal is to pay as few taxes as possible while getting the
           minimum government services required to run the country smoothly
           and safely.  (And I didn't need an unreadable 2 page rant to
           explain).
           \- "what do people owe each other" merits a longer answer than
              say "what is your favorite color". a personal statement of
              perference is a different beast than the search for the
              explanation to a normative or empirical question. you have
              have offered a 6line reply, but "your tax goal" provides
              neither insight into accuracy of supply side economics nor
              its "cost free" adoption by all the R candidates.
           \_ I think this is a good and admirable goal (and one that I
              share) but I think we should have that discussion honestly,
              not lie to the voters and claim that tax cuts are "free"
              which is where the Republican Party is now.
             \_ Ron Paul doesn't say this. It's not "the Republican Party"
                it is those particular men who say this.
                \_ Okay fair enough. But it is stated as true by all the
                   other candidates. There is some economic sanity left
                   in the Party, but you have to admit it is in the
                   minority these days.
        \- Brad de Long [ucb dept econ] heavily covers the gap between
           economists and pols on supply side econ. of recent postings,
           see this "straight from the laffer's mouth" article:
           http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/12/justin-fox-on-a.html
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Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2007:December:18 Tuesday <Monday, Wednesday>