Search found 478 matches

by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 6:20 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.
Replies: 92
Views: 13408

Re: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.

Besides which, a couple of low-level NPR beat reporters bought a bunch of toxic derivatives last year for a piece on toxic derivatives. It was like a four-part story on Morning Edition, I clearly remember listening to it. No, these firms the question was 'if', and "to what extent", not &qu...
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.
Replies: 92
Views: 13408

Re: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.

And you have the added complication that people who were sophisticated investors (i.e. they knew exactly what they were doing) only bought these investments for the express purpose of insuring against them when (not if) they collapsed. These firms were role models, they bought these investments and ...
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 4:28 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.
Replies: 92
Views: 13408

Re: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.

Are you suggesting the banks didn't know the credit ratings agencies were giving toxic assets AAA ratings so they could buy and insure against them cheaply and easily, and that AIG didn't know they were insuring falsely-labelled toxic assets in order to make a quick buck and swap them cheaply and ea...
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 3:57 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.
Replies: 92
Views: 13408

Re: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.

Except, again, they were involved in that massive Ponzi scheme. And Ponzi schemes collapse. It's what they do. It's their destiny. The the leaders of the financial institutions were either too stupid to realize that or too crass to care doesn't absolve them of responsibility. And the reason they did...
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 3:46 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.
Replies: 92
Views: 13408

Re: Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street.

It's fraud if the financial institutions knew their products and services were bad, but told customers, "no, no, it's great!" But let's put this argument into more tangible situation. If you sell me a car knowing the engine is going to explode, but tell me the engine will never explode, an...
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 1:25 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Well that's me out. I make the case citing a study in Science that proves my point - and this is the sort of response I get. I'm done with explaining it to you. Yeah, you quote an article in a pop-science magazine describing how day-dreaming might be a bad thing and think this somehow demonstrates ...
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 12:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1053: “Ten Thousand”
Replies: 127
Views: 40995

Re: 1053: “Ten Thousand”

Sasquach wrote:Not everyone wants to know....and it's find if they don't...


It's really not, though. Collective willful ignorance is a constant drag on society. It prevents us from moving forward, and, in some cases, prevents us from teaching our children in such a manner that we can do anything but regress.
by iamspen
Wed May 09, 2012 1:12 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations
Replies: 67
Views: 9904

Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

I'm trying to understand the expectations of people. I felt sorry for the guy who got forgot. It's bizarre but not really that surprising. That's a training problem, and correctable. Getting popped for possession and sale is the cost of doing business, as is any money it costs. I've smoked and sold...
by iamspen
Tue May 08, 2012 1:20 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: TSA Somehow Getting Worse
Replies: 31
Views: 6388

Re: TSA Somehow Getting Worse

Also consider the economic and political ramifications of attacking an airplane. If a plane is hijacked or blown up or whatever the case may be, you're looking at all or some flights grounded indefinitely within a region or country. Flights that aren't grounded are inevitibly delayed and security mu...
by iamspen
Mon May 07, 2012 4:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

could you expand on this a little more? Sure. Dissolution of the corporate entity that is BP, or otherwise a vast restructuring of its organization, is really the only suitable punishment for the crime. Since shareholders aren't directly responsible for the negative actions of the corporation, and ...
by iamspen
Mon May 07, 2012 4:00 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

Destroying BP over this sounds like genuine over-punishment, where the punishment does so much social damage in itself that its beneficial effects come nowhere close. For example, BP isn't owned by grinning billionaires, it's a typical object for institutional investors. Pension funds, insurance co...
by iamspen
Mon May 07, 2012 2:38 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

If such amounts are just "a few assets", is there any amount that would have convinced you? Yep. Complete destruction of the corporation. But that's not what I want. What I want is for large megacorporations to use ethics. I want them to stop running the government, to stop paying huge wa...
by iamspen
Mon May 07, 2012 1:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

Since the discussion has expanded to include BP I'll link this here: Not that Coll specifically stated at the beginning of the interview that his work was originally supposed to be about the oil industry and/or the megacorporate world as a whole (one or the other, my memory has faded a bit), but he...
by iamspen
Mon May 07, 2012 12:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

I think the Deep Water Horizon fiasco, in which BP basically said, "fuck it, 'cause bottom line," and failed to provide the necessary failsafes, polluting the Gulf willy-nilly, supports my position much, much more than yours. The risk of a blowout was infinitesimally small, and so BP and i...
by iamspen
Sat May 05, 2012 12:49 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

But your extreme example is a counterexample to your main point! Of course, we could always look at it as if it's an intentionally ridiculous hypothetical meant to be accessible to common people and not representative of actual financials, and that the numbers I made up were actually pulled from th...
by iamspen
Sat May 05, 2012 1:49 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

And if, let's say, they are able to get the same increase in productivity by hiring an extra 200 employees at a cost of $150k each, making nobody skip lunch, then they're making a net profit of $20 million rather than $10 million, coming out even further ahead, even under the dubious assumption tha...
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 6:09 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Gay teen faces expulsion for defense via stungun
Replies: 400
Views: 49014

Re: Gay teen faces expulsion for defense via stungun

If a person is mature enough to be trusted with a deadly weapon in public, they are certainly mature enough to be trusted with a deadly weapon in public. Guns kill fewer people a year than cars do. Both are deadly weapons. Stun guns kill fewer people a year than lightning strikes do. Schools are pu...
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 3:58 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1051: "Visited"
Replies: 66
Views: 21899

Re: 1051: "Visited"

MathUhhhSaurus wrote:Randall logic: Embarrassed by _____. Makes a comic about it for the entire world to see.

Makes sense.


Because making a comic along the lines of, "I looked up geology on Wikipedia and learned questionably accuracte information about geology," is comedic gold, I tell ya!
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 3:26 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1050: "Forgot Algebra"
Replies: 360
Views: 86694

Re: 1050: "Forgot Algebra"

Oddly, I remember 7*8 quite well, because, when I was a kid, I could never remember whether 7*8 = 54 or 56, but I knew 6*9 = 54. Eventually, I started remembering 7*8 =/= 6*9, and therefore 7*8 = 56. In short, my brain is a convoluted mess.
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 3:17 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: It's official, Hollywood is fucking with us
Replies: 120
Views: 19432

Re: It's official, Hollywood is fucking with us

I just want to know why two enormous goddamn fleets firing twelve-inch guns at each other for two hours is apparently not enough awesomeness to make into a movie. Because a country to develop a navy rivalling US/Britain in this day and age is actually more far-fetched than aliens. :lol: Really just...
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 2:42 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1051: "Visited"
Replies: 66
Views: 21899

Re: 1051: "Visited"

He probably meant Bicycle Built for Two.
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 1:15 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

Except even if you fine ExxonMobile forty million if they ask an employee to skip lunch, they'll still laugh at that shit No one thinks "oh, we made 40 billion in profits last year, who cares about 40 million". It might be hard to believe, but oil companies are not particularly profitable...
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 1:03 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

That's an idea I could wholly stand behind. But again, when the people writing the laws are little more than arteries of the corporations affected, be they actual Congressmen or lobbyists, something like that is impossible. And even still, if ExxonMobile is committing a million infractions, and gets...
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 12:28 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1051: "Visited"
Replies: 66
Views: 21899

Re: 1051: "Visited"

This reminded me of an old girlfriend who posited the theory that following Wikipedia links (or just links in general) for long enough will eventually reveal your true obsessions. For her, this meant that if she browsed and clicked long enough, she would invariably end up reading another article ab...
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 12:10 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: It's official, Hollywood is fucking with us
Replies: 120
Views: 19432

Re: It's official, Hollywood is fucking with us

I just want to know why two enormous goddamn fleets firing twelve-inch guns at each other for two hours is apparently not enough awesomeness to make into a movie.
by iamspen
Fri May 04, 2012 11:52 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

The big problems with fines in relation to companies like ExxonMobil is that the fines that will be collected are just too low to discourage the associated behavior, and that there's no political willpower to raise those values. Except even if you fine ExxonMobile forty million if they ask an emplo...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 11:55 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: CISPA: Worse Than SOPA.
Replies: 93
Views: 97450

Re: CISPA: Worse Than SOPA.

And now that you've programmed your computers to track users, it isn't that much harder to track all sorts of things that they might care about. But programmers gotta work, and they'll just make decisions without consulting anyone. Thats where all of these privacy problems come in. Programmers who ...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 9:46 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Not that I wish to correlate a philosophical debate with scientific experiment, but physicists have competing theories on certain subjects, sometimes for decades or centuries at a time, before they reach consensus about what is right. I'm not going to deate that there are certain issues that aren't ...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 8:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

My conclusion is that human rights is a concept we are still creating. You have some rights -- meaning that when those rights are violated, sometimes you can get some sort of punishment for the violator. Meanwhile, individual people disagree about what rights you deserve to have. I would counter th...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: CISPA: Worse Than SOPA.
Replies: 93
Views: 97450

Re: CISPA: Worse Than SOPA.

I personally don't care, either, with the caveat being I don't want the government snooping on me. But, just like I don't want just anyone to be able to track my every movement in the real world, it'd like data collection to at least have an opt-out feature, because, like I said, releasing my person...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 8:01 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: CISPA: Worse Than SOPA.
Replies: 93
Views: 97450

Re: CISPA: Worse Than SOPA.

Because it's entirely within the realm of possibility that two guys wearing suits and Google badges are snickering over the seriously freaky porn you watch online. Unless they created that product you're consuming, what business of theirs is it that you choose to watch girl-on-velociraptor-on-Albert...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

They're not. Even if they were, big companies routinely appeal the fines, and get them reduced down to a fraction of the original fine. And it's not like we're talking about a single violation here. Even if we assume every violation ExxonMobile commits is unintentional (which would be a foolish ass...
by iamspen
Thu May 03, 2012 6:18 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: ExxonMobil:Private Empire
Replies: 53
Views: 6328

Re: ExxonMobil:Private Empire

It is nit-picking, but wealth doesn't protect you. Bribes and corruption protect you. Yes, it does. ExxonMobile can break whatever laws it wants, because the reality of the situation is, they have the capital to pay any fines that could ever be levied against them while still maintaining a healthy ...
by iamspen
Tue May 01, 2012 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

That is not to say that some Indian tribes were not wrongly dispossessed of the land, but we also need to look at it from the perspective that Native Americans' conceptualization of property rights was essentially non-existent. This obviously made it very difficult for cultures to coexist under suc...
by iamspen
Tue May 01, 2012 5:38 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1048: "Emotion"
Replies: 252
Views: 57568

Re: 1048: "Emotion"

Are you suggesting artists shouldn't create art the reflects their personal emotions while also still making a living off said art? If so, hey, let's start a list of other amoral assholes we should boycott! We'll start with total douchebags like Michaelangelo, William Shakespeare, Pablo Picasso, Cha...
by iamspen
Tue May 01, 2012 4:47 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

Quoting this because I think clarity is more relevant here than anything else. Am I right, then, in skipping all the posts here, not bothering to try to find a simple explanation of Rand? I've always felt that if you can't explain it simply, you're doing it wrong, and I highly suspect from the quot...
by iamspen
Tue May 01, 2012 4:30 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

I am not, in any way, legally responsible for young peoples' inability or unwillingness to save. To create a system in which I somehow am, against my will, is an immoral act, and I reject it outright. Perhaps you're not legally responsible, but if you're an employer, and pay your young employees, t...
by iamspen
Tue May 01, 2012 2:40 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1049: "Bookshelf"
Replies: 867
Views: 132284

Re: 1049: "Bookshelf"

This entire debate is flawed. I've sloughed through nine pages of bickering and nitpicking and, though I find the debate quite fascinating in itself, I'm no more or less educated about the philosophy of objectivism as I was when I started, which is to say I'm still completely stupid in regards to wh...

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