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Messages - godzilliac

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Red Dead Redemption 2 / Re: Wishlist for Red Dead Redemption 2
« on: December 07, 2016, 06:13:44 AM »
1. Possibility to form a gang and personally hire gang members.
2. Possibility to upgrade skills & gear for gang members
3. Presence of a gang hideout which can also be upgraded by either $$$ or through missions
4. Alligators

The Saloon (Off Topic) / Re: Terrarium/Aquarium General thread
« on: May 20, 2016, 01:51:15 AM »
I've been keeping a Jones armadillo lizard for over 3 years now. I have a 20 gallon tank with a 60W heat lamp and a UV B lamp (stimulates appetite and provides vitamin D). I usually feed him (her?) crickets, occasionally meal worms, and provide purified water.

This type of lizard is very easy to keep and recommendable for beginners. The tank needs to be cleaned every 2 or 3 months so that's definitely doable. If you leave up to 30-40 crickets in the tank you don't have to worry feeding him for about a week.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Minimum wage: racist or not?
« on: March 11, 2013, 12:47:20 PM »
People who are discontent with their job look for a new job.  That's the beauty of capitalism.  Unless both parties benefit a transaction will not occur.  Let's take one of the discontented people you're talking about.  If they had a better opportunity to make more money, or do work they enjoyed more, or get some other benefit important to them (shorter commute, better work-life balance, better benefits, whatever it may be), then they would change jobs and take it.  If they feel they're already working in the best possible arrangement they can get for their current skill level then they will stay.  They may bitch about it, everyone bitches about their job.  But that doesn't mean they're being exploited.  Quite the opposite, they've found the best possible job they're able to achieve. 

In other words, it's shit but it's the best shit I could get.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Minimum wage: racist or not?
« on: March 11, 2013, 05:19:43 AM »

I don't believe that's the case anymore. There are plenty of jobs that require only very little skills that even a trained monkey can do them.

You're wrong, and i suspect coming to that conclusion from a very flawed assumption.  You're assuming it is possible in a free market for a worker to be exploited.  That's just absolutely not the case.  In capitalism no transaction... Like employment... Takes place unless both parties benefit.  People are very good at sensing out their own best interest, trust me on that one.  As a recruiter i talk to people every day about what would motivate them to change jobs and what wouldn't be compelling enough to get then to change.

What you're actually suggesting isn't that you think wages wouldn't normalize on their own, you're actually taking issue with a belief in whether upward mobility is possible in a free market.   Of course we all know that capitalism has generated more upward mobility, and in shorter periods of tine, than any other system.  There are countless examples of people doing just that every day.  There are also countless examples of people starting  with nothing and innovating and become millionaires... Facebook, the two high school kids who founded MyYearbook would be another example.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. All I can say is that you're a true American from the script book and very much an exponent from the American Dream. You say you meet skilled negotiators through your job every day. I say I constantly meet people who are discontent with their jobs and feel like they're being screwed over time after time. And then I see examples of those who aren't particularly skilled or even hard workers but with a cushy job that pays well and doesn't require hard work.

Then I start to think that there's something rotten in the state of Denmark. But I guess we can both agree that there needs to be a dynamic change. For you it will be less government. For me it will be more of a change in the current status quo and that at times establishments can't always be in a position to have their finger in everything. Vertical mobility is like an elevator. It can go up but it can also go down.

News, Politics & Religion / The unbridled faith in free market
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:40:55 PM »
Throughout history of mankind there has always been some kind of government, be it a democracy, dictatorship or oligarchy. Naturally this offers a plethora of examples where government intervention has proven to be detrimental, overbearing or simply incompetent. Government bashers will gladly point out these shortcoming and further make the case for either a total abolition of government or at least a very minimal skeleton government.

Their ideal is that of free entrepreneurship under the firm belief that the free market will always be able to regulate itself and harbors no excesses or perversions. As skeptical and even suspicious the attitude towards government, the more willing and forgiving such believers are towards free markets and corporations. Aside from musings from certain philosophers, such an ideal, unrestrained market never really occurred in it's pure form so we really have no reference if this concept would actually work. As a matter of fact, the closest example I can think of is that of the medieval feudal society in which central authority was at it's weakest and local lords and aristocracy were almost completely unchecked. Landownership came with a great deal of privileges and almost absolute power.

An unrestrained free market will inevitably create it's winners and losers. This will always be the case and we carry a responsibility towards our own well being. But the question is how sharp this contrast will be and what chances you'll have to climb out of your misfortune. It is a given that we are not born with equal opportunities, despite the mantra of the American Dream. Which will leave us with the ultimate question as to which system will offer you the best conditions to improve yourself.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Hugo Chavez is Dead at 58
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:22:51 PM »
This made me laugh:

Associated Press business reporter Pamela Simpson wrote a terrible obit for Huge Chavez, writing

Chavez invested Venezuela’s oil wealth into social programs including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programs. But those gains were meager compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world’s tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi.

Only a simpleton sees sky scrapers as a standard for well being. Oh well, Simpson ... Simpleton.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Minimum wage: racist or not?
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:18:16 PM »
All jobs elevate out of poverty.  In fact there is no more proven method for improving the lot of the average working person than to avoid teenage pregnancy, then find a job (any job) and stay in it.  Any job, regardless of starting pay, provides the worker with skills that make them productive enough to justify higher and higher wages.  Thats how this whole nation of uneducated, penniless immigrants became one of the richest in the world.  Those people working for a low wage in a factory didn't stay there for long as soon as they were skilled enough to justify a higher wage they moved.  Hence the expression: for every master craftsman there once was an apprentice (and that expression originated at a time when apprenticeship did not pay).

I don't believe that's the case anymore. There are plenty of jobs that require only very little skills that even a trained monkey can do them. Unless that markets get a drastic new growth with a multitude of new jobs with different skills, I don't think a lot of these uneducated workers will easily find employment somewhere else where they can actually improve their livelihood. Sure, you can always switch from McDonalds's to Wal-Mart but that's like going from the frying pan into the fire.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Minimum wage: racist or not?
« on: March 10, 2013, 02:07:54 PM »
To be honest, I don't care for jobs that don't pay enough to elevate you out of the poverty line. Job creation is a good thing but not the be all and end all.

After all, we work to live and not live to work.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Minimum wage: racist or not?
« on: March 10, 2013, 01:53:44 PM »
On the other hand, what would have been the alternative? That everybody would work at $3/hour instead of five? Wouldn't that have forced black workers to work for even less?

No, we can't get trapped into that negative bidding of wages and make the fat pigs even fatter than they are already. Going back to the roots of the minimum wage is enabling such nefarious mechanisms.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Minimum wage: racist or not?
« on: March 10, 2013, 01:41:10 PM »
What I've learned is that every once in a while something good might actually come from racism ;)

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Hugo Chavez is Dead at 58
« on: March 06, 2013, 11:07:07 AM »
Politics has never been a game about facts really but more about perception. Chavez was indeed controversial, even in his own Venezuela, but what matters is how the overall Venezuelan voters will remember him. A hero for the poor and working class or a tyrant who wouldn't tolerate any opposition. Will the "new Bolivarian revolution" be continued or will it die along with it's spiritual leader? And will this affect the relations between North and South America?

News, Politics & Religion / Re: The most important problem here
« on: February 16, 2013, 11:33:57 AM »
Union membership actually went down from 11.8 % to 11.3 % under Obama's presidency. Likewise we should have seen an unemployment drop of 0.5 %. Unemployment levels are now back to where they stood at the beginning of Obama's first term but are rising again.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: The most important problem here
« on: February 16, 2013, 09:18:36 AM »
Our current economic system requires growth. A decrease or even stagnation in demand means negative stock values. Negative stock values means less investments. Thus the economy as a whole will shrink. The fact that resources by definition are limited means that sustained growth cannot be guaranteed.

Therefore the future lies with recycling. Recycling materials is already becoming increasingly important. But even recycling requires input of limited resources such as energy. Thus renewable energy would be one way of keeping production costs affordable and yet meet with the requirement of increasing demand. Recycling waste and renewable energy together also helps to decrease pollution which in turn also reduces the cost of waste management and environmental problems.

Looks too good to be true, no?

News, Politics & Religion / North Korea raises the stakes
« on: February 15, 2013, 07:16:30 AM »
Despite condemnation by the UN, the USA and even staunch ally China, the North Korean regime decided to ignore all international threats and went ahead to perform a nuclear test. One of it's two missile launch platforms also got upgraded so bigger rockets can be launched now. The North Korean leadership did not hide the fact that their aim is to be able to launch intercontinental missiles with a nuclear warhead that can reach the United States. North Korea also warns that if American hostility does not cease, their efforts to build a nuclear arsenal will only increase. China already summoned the North Korean ambassador but it remains to be seen whether this will have any impact at all.

This topic comes with a poll as to what course of action the US government and by expansion the international community should undertake in response to this increased threat.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Unemployment: a new take
« on: February 15, 2013, 05:33:55 AM »
On a side note, Bush wasn't that inactive during his 8-year reign as he raised the federal minimum wage by almost $2 per hour. The fact that this hardly had a negative effect on employment is remarkable as many skeptics hold a firm belief that government interference with minimum wages jeopardizes job opportunities.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: What American's Believe
« on: February 14, 2013, 08:35:24 AM »
16% stronger gun control.  21% nothing.  20% security at schools.
           12% better mental health services.  Ban assault weapons 9%.  Ban all guns 1%

           24% better mental health treatment.  19% stricter gun control. 18% better parenting.
           17% armed guards at school.  10% less violent video games.

Interesting to observe how government inertia comes out a winner when asked what the government should have done yet most responders believe that better mental health care could have prevented the drama in Connecticut.

He's still at large.

Interesting story. He beliefs he is right because he's fighting a corrupt system.

What is even more interesting is that this news isn't covered in Belgium or UK whatsoever.

There are lots of sensational murder cases here that don't even make the news out of the state. I'm not sure if the quadruple murder in a Tulsa apartment complex was covered everywhere in America. If it goes international I think a certain minimum amount of murders must have been committed. The fact that this is about an ex-cop who calls in racial motives might up the ante perhaps.

News, Politics & Religion / Re: Pope Benedict XVI is Resigning
« on: February 14, 2013, 08:10:17 AM »
It will be interesting to see who the next pope will be and what name he will choose. Particularly if he chooses to go by Petrus Romanus.

Godz, that is exactly what Hill's criteria are designed to guard against. But the statistics I will be using are not subjective. They are verifiable and objective. They don't come from answers to questionnaires, but from hard data.

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear enough. The statistics may come from hard data but that alone cannot eliminate the preference of the researchers as to which data or variables they choose as to prove their point. For instance, one could compare the number of people in the USA who got prosecuted for the use of marijuana with the number of prosecutions in The Netherlands and draw a valid conclusion based on hard facts that The Netherlands have much less of a drug problem. If you add the fact that use of marijuana is legal in The Netherlands it would drastically change the outcome of the study. If you choose to overlook this fact your data would still be correct but the conclusion might be astray from reality.

The trouble with statistics is that there will always be an element of subjectivity. You could draw perfect valid conclusions based on data that has been collected and analyzed but who's to say if the researchers did not overlook variables that could have been relevant for their survey. And is there a common standard as how to decide which variables are relevant? Think about the very controversial Bell Curve. The researcher(s) intention was to prove a relevant difference in intelligence between white and black people. Several tests were conducted to back up the validity of this statement, yet the general public refuses to acknowledge the outcome of this study.

It all begins with the bias of the researchers and his or her creativity as to what variables they want to include in their study. Statistics are in essence a prediction of chance and not exact science. A high occurrence of correlations might be mistaken for causality which makes matters only more diffuse. I'm not implying that statistics will never be useful but they could very well be manipulated in such a way as to serve a biased proposition in such as a sophisticated way that the conclusion seems valid.

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