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DutchUncle Free

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  1. 2 days ago on Non Sequitur

    There is little reason for banks to be where the money is. Nobody actually needs buildings with vaults holding Scrooge McDuck’s piles of coins. One could even argue that the same government that issued the fiat money should be managing the invisible computer records that are the only place where most of that money exists, and do it for a lot less overhead than charging 3% per transaction.

  2. 4 days ago on Non Sequitur

    “everyone has a physical copy – that’s not true with bitcoin” : the copy of the file on your computer’s hard drive is as “physical” as it gets. It’s not about special paper with special printing any more, it’s about the encryption built into the data, like payroll checks being replaced with electronic transfers. As long as your bank and the other bank agree that someone sent you money and now you have more money, everyone is happy.

  3. 4 days ago on Non Sequitur

    Yes, stocks are shares of the company – at “Initial Public Offering.” After time, though, they become their own entity like baseball cards, traded because people want or believe in them, with their direct connection to the company/player being much less direct (despite the potential for dividend). A company can be losing money in truckloads yet the stock climbs because people believe in future prospects; it can be paying dividends solidly yet fall if people don’t believe; and it can do crazy things if people collude to trade it in ways that mislead the market measurement system (GameStop, anyone?).

  4. 4 days ago on Non Sequitur

    My comprehension problem is the idea that “mining” cryptocurrency somehow creates more value. A computer runs, solving more of those problems for the collective users of the blockchain; how does that add value to it, any more than solving a crossword puzzle adds value to anything? One could reasonably debate the value of finding yet another digit-of-precision of “pi” because we probably have enough precision to work with already; but I do not understand the value added by solving yet another level-of-precision of a blockchain. More security, maybe, but not more value.

  5. 5 days ago on Non Sequitur

    The blockchain concept for recording and transferring information is one part of it, and is useful. The idea that running a computer for hours somehow generates value, as if the universe is “paying” for having that computing done, is another part, and is . . . . different.

  6. 6 days ago on Non Sequitur

    I’ve seen exactly the reverse during my working years, at multiple companies – the lily-white older generation managers ignored or dismissed all the smart young people who looked different from them. (Even complained about the selection graduating to hire.) At one place it led to a serious loss for the company, because the “complaining” “troublemaker” had been pointing out a very real and very serious problem.

  7. 13 days ago on Frazz

    Certainly one would hope that “same rules” are good rules. But your counterexamples are interesting: “Guilt not proven gets away with it” PRECISELY because in the interest of fairness – attempting to prevent prosecution having too much power – we have a “level” of proof, and a “burden” of proof on the prosecution, following in spirit what Blackstone wrote in the 1760s “… the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” The innocent who can’t prove his alibi at least had (supposedly) the same level of proof as any other case. POLITICAL problem (and the basis for renewed current turmoil): Much enforcement of law happens with few witnesses, or with untrustworthy witnesses, so “benefit of the doubt” has been given to law enforcement in word-against-word situations; but over time that becomes an excessive degree of trust giving law enforcement an unhealthy amount of power, and with the benefit of modern technology we are finally seeing proof of cases in which law enforcement written report is CLEARLY not true. (Of course this happened before, but with no witnesses or “biased” witnesses there was never proof.) So the pursuit of “fairness” must be ongoing. That pursuit of “fairness” is what kept pushing for the body cameras that brought the proof to light. Humans can never be perfect, but we can keep trying to be better.

  8. 15 days ago on Non Sequitur

    Sorry, I think you’re looking at it backwards – at the bottom it is REAL, because you count real things with real numbers (which is why the unit numbers starting at “one” really are called the “real” numbers). It was all invented for warehousing and bookkeeping, and was obviously already old when Pharaoh’s staff was counting food in the warehouses. The idea of zero is also real – it shows up at the same time as the idea of counting: “How many things do we have to eat?” “None.” Surely the ancients had a notation for when the cupboard was bare. The “invention” part is the notation system of positional columns in order-of-magnitude (ones, tens, hundreds, thousands) rather than spelling out quantities in words, and that is where a zero symbol to fill a column position becomes important. The idea of counting up to “two thousand and twenty one” is real; the notation 2021 (where we understand that the two instances of the same digit “2” mean two very different multiples of 10 because they are in two different positions) is invented.

  9. 16 days ago on Non Sequitur

    1+1=2 because you can line up one thing and one more thing and count them. (Unless you’re being specious about assigning the random squiggles 1 and 2 to to the meanings of one thing and two things.) Math is an abstraction of real things, until you get to the extreme point where it’s a logic game allowing us to think about things that aren’t real (yet) – and it continues working at that point precisely because the logic is consistent from the real things that are demonstrable.

  10. 16 days ago on Over the Hedge

    Just imagine if we spent as much on our nation’s children’s nutrition and education as we spend on stockpiling killing devices. How many more IQ points would the nation have?