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Instagram is better. Big win for them today. The numbers TBD.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Narcissism in motion: Instagram’s new video features are a vanity mirror, not a communications tool
@AdamGering @joewardpr I get the 502 "Bad Gateway" error now, but it previously loaded. Homepage + the signup page, although very slow to come up. I didn't login. Unless it was my browser displaying the cache, I was able to see the site at least momentarily. ;)
6 months, 3 weeks ago on US authorities launch their first attack on bitcoin
The site loaded for me, although running slow as is usual under ddos.
My expectation is that it's always a dual goal. At least, I certainly hope so. I don't fault you for leveraging your platforms! =)
So, I would suggest that nothing is done for free, when you realize there are many different types of currency being exchanged. ;)
I appreciate that you've added some information for perspective, especially regarding the alleged handling of the driver iPhone "retrieval" method, and the Randian influences.
My biggest criticism would be that you seemed to extrapolate too far. As an excellent writer you're able to do so very effectively, although I'm not convinced that the case you've presented so compellingly with the language is actually all that valid.
1 year, 1 month ago on Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s Cult of Disruption
@paulcarr @quinthar Surely you would acknowledge that your participation at Pando is a marketing platform for NSFW Corp, Paul. You provide Pando with some controversial topics (stylistically), i.e. good content, and you get to plug NSFW Corp. Just thought that worthy of mention.
Paul, I think this should be re-titled: "Dreams from Kalanick's Real Father".
Amazon VOD is a superior experience. You have lots of free content with Prime; however, you have all kinds of VOD rental choices at the ready. I cancelled Netflix. It had weak content and a user interface that presumed to be smarter than me in my choices. I love the Amazon VOD drill down. I can filter by star, decade, and genre easily in our familiar left column navbar.
What drove me away from Netflix was partially the immense amount of time I'd waste trying to find something that seemed like a good watch, or searching for my favorite actors and finding a dismal selection of choices. Want to watch an old favorite? Probably not available. Amazon VOD doesn't have this problem.
They don't need to buy Netflix. They just need to keep pulling in better content and building through their Prime and Kindle Fire ecosystem. The rental model is far from dead. I'd rather pay more for good choices that I can readily find.
Netflix's entire UI seems to be designed to make all selection choices directed by them, rather than giving us the power of choice. They mask the absences in their catalog by making filtering and search options limited.
I place Vegas odds that Netflix users spend vastly greater amounts of time trying to find something to watch than Amazon VOD users.
1 year, 1 month ago on Netflix must ponder its endgame strategy
If we consider regulatory entities like the TLC to be bureaucratic, "bullies" stifling to innovation, why would we consider Uber a "lousy" house guest? So far their model of challenging these regulatory bodies seems to be working.
These cities want to build up a reputation of being "innovative", and when a company like Uber becomes a symbol of that openness and embrace of innovation, the pressure that Uber supporters can bring to bear is a powerful motivating force.
If I understand the demographic of your readership correctly, then I suspect we collectively are overwhelmingly frustrated by any entity that stands in the way of innovation, for the purpose of defending against competition rather than adapting to changing market conditions and consumer expectations.
Tech media like PandoDaily and TechCrunch have made an art of slapping people, startups, or investors via the blog. It shouldn't be surprising when entrepreneurs start employing the same techniques.
1 year, 1 month ago on Who’s the real bully, Uber or New York?
Who needs to prove it, and to whom?
You think comparisons of rent/mortgage payments are too divergent, but you've brought Islamic women's rights into the discussion? =)
However, let me be clear about what I am discussing. I suggest:
You can be compelled by law to complete an undesirable action A, and still feel good about some aspects of A, even if A was not done with pure, unbiased or coerced choice. I.e. There were serious penalties for not completing A.
I am required by law to pay taxes. If I do not, I am subject to serious penalties which may include jail time.
I am reluctant to pay any more taxes than required because I have limited disposable income and I want to retain as much as possible for my own needs and desires.
However, after making my tax payment, I can still feel positive that (if I do have to pay taxes at all) at least I understand why it is required, and know that I have made a contribution.
I can feel patriotic about paying my taxes, even as I work with an accountant to minimize the amount payable and feel the hesitation of reducing my own disposable income.
All or nothing logic does not reflect reality.
1 year, 2 months ago on Samuel L Jackson’s Patronizing, Hypocritical Viral Message To Obama Voters
@PatrickR I didn't suggest that it "makes you" a caring person. I suggested that not wanting to be there didn't preclude you from feeling a sense of care for the people you serve. I suggested it's not all or nothing logic. Not sure how Nazi got stuck in there. Assuming you just love Seinfeld. ;)
@PatrickR @s5 @JustinPollard @JudyWang I wrote a more elaborate reply and it was apparently lost.
To quickly re-state, it's not discrete, all or nothing logic.
You can be reluctant about an act, and still feel good about it's completion.
I can resent working at a soup kitchen, but feel genuine care and positivity when providing a bowl of soup to someone who is hungry.
I can work with an accountant to minimize my taxes payable, grunt and groan when I realize how much I have to pay, and still feel good that my tax dollars are going to support the country.
It just doesn't have to be all or nothing.
It's silly. Being in support of food stamp programs and a social safety net does not mean someone wants to "increase welfare".
I often hear the claims that Obama wants to increase welfare. Why on earth would he "want" to do that? You can argue his policies will unknowingly lead to growth in welfare utilization, but that he actually wants growth in welfare utilization? That is the result of all or nothing logic in combination with political propaganda.
However, I do understand that it's hard to measure virtues that are compelled, just as it is hard to determine if virtue is genuine when it comes at little or no "relative" personal cost. I don't think the majority of us possess much pure virtue. It's always fuzzy logic. There will always be a situation that tests each component of who we are (or think we are). ;)
@PatrickR @s5 @JustinPollard @JudyWang I think you're using discrete, all or nothing logic.
I can never feel any sense of independent care or concern for another person, because I'm forced to work at (let's say for example) a soup kitchen?Not true. I can NOT want to go to the soup kitchen, resent the fact I am compelled to do so, dislike my experience there, and still feel good dishing up a bowl of soup to someone that looks hungry.
These are not all or nothing propositions.
In fact, it also assumes that YOU are making the independent judgement of whether or not your act is virtuous. You may resent paying taxes and disbelieve that it is a patriotic act, and I may still consider your act of paying taxes as a patriotic act "by you" - even when you disagree. So you have to consider the observer as well.
In my own life, I would definitely take all legal measures to reduce my taxes owing, but would still feel good that my required taxes payable are used to support the country.
I don't think most people enjoy having rent or the mortgage payment due. However, I know that many feel very happy after paying it, as they feel the pride of establishing a safe, secure, comfortable place to live.
@PatrickR @s5 @JustinPollard @JudyWang I think it's deeper than that. Lots of virtues are difficult to maintain. Making choices that sacrifice something you value are harder choices.
I suggest it's possible to both:
(a) be reluctant to pay taxes, and simultaneously
(b) feel patriotic about their necessity after they are paid.
I don't like paying for my iPhone, but I feel good about paying my bills. =)
@Todd Dunning @alldayhustle You took that quote and then interpreted it as "demonizing" and that it was applicable to all successful people.
Read it again. They were talking about Romney specifically. It's also far from demonizing. In fact, his preceding paragraphs also clarify the position.
You should debate against what was actually said. You can't create extrapolations and then argue against stuff you made up, but attributed to someone else. Well... you can... but you shouldn't. ;)
@JustinPollard @PatrickR @droskill @JudyWang PS - I follow Robert Reich. http://robertreich.org/
@JustinPollard @PatrickR @droskill @JudyWangInvesting money or buying stock doesn't remove it from your assets, it just re-classifies it.
BTW - I'd love to see an infographic of how the net capital assets of the 1% or 10% are actually deployed (or not, and where). =)
Some of these investments do make it to new or expanding businesses. However, most businesses fail and the shifting of wealth to the top indicates that any such investment is not (at present time) resulting in growth of the middle class. In other words, any such investment activity is just resulting in more cash at the top, not growth of the middle.
There is also passing around investments at the top tier, which doesn't make its way down to the middle.
They can also acquire stock positions, but long term the middle class pension funds or 401k investments will drive those prices up, creating further margins for the more sophisticated top tier investors. Will the real Gordon Gekkos please stand up. :P
Also, some actually have cash on hand I believe. Apple being an easy example. However, 66% of their $100 Billion in cash reserves is locked in foreign subsidiaries and they don't want to repatriate it to the US because of (you guessed it) avoiding taxation. ;)
These top tier businesses are so efficient, taxation really doesn't matter in the long term. You could tax them and write the lower middle class huge checks, and it would almost entirely gush (not trickle) back *up*. Lower class and middle class consumers... consume. They have no choice. Essentials and perceived essentials (i.e. LCD TVs, smartphones, and designer clothes) take up the majority of their income. In fact, for many it's 100% since they're over-extended in high interest credit card debt! =)
@PatrickR @JustinPollard @droskill @JudyWangTax policy is related (i.e. revenue), but also distinct from budget considerations for "individual" programs. I talked a lot in my previous posts about the rich poor gap and wealth concentration. I did suggest taxation as a way to adjusting this imbalance. However, the sustainability of existing programs is another matter. Even increasing taxation is not, alone, going to ensure the sustainability of programs like Medicare over the long term. Agree.
I'm really hoping technology begins to drive the costs down for medical care. I love experiments like Bloomberg is trying in New York with the soft drink size limitations, etc.
This is no easy problem for either party. I just think the Democrats have the better approach right now.
I think government "leadership" has a compassionate interest, and that interest should be reflected in everything they do. Hopefully that compassion "trickles down". ;)
However, I don't expect employees to share in that compassion, just to follow the laws and regulations created by that compassionate leader.
@PatrickR @s5 @JustinPollard @JudyWang I agree that voluntarily giving up some of your wealth for the good of humanity is a greater good than non-voluntary. That includes charitable donations in excess of what results in tax reduction. However, requirement or not, I think paying taxes is still a patriotic act. If you believe it helps your country and its citizens, why not consider it a good thing? The fact that it is required or that there is a penalty for non-compliance is secondary. How you feel about it is up to you.
@JustinPollard @droskill @JudyWang
Hi Justin, I always enjoy a good discussion. It's more important that we simply participate than have the right answers. The process of debate opens up new ideas for us all. I'm not an economist (other than an arm-chair version), so my ideas are largely based on bits and pieces offered by those who I consider authorities and the various media sources I've consumed. I suspect most people here will be similar, with a few MBAs and Economics majors dropping in as well! ;)
We definitely need the "Maker" class. My theory is that taxation must be cyclical. Trickle down economics works best (IMO) in situations where a corporation had a defined need for growth in production (goods or services), but lacks the resources (and cannot finance them privately). It doesn't work in scenarios where the corp already has sufficient resources to do what they want regardless of taxation level (think Apple and Google cash reserves - they can already invest in whatever they want).
When the rich poor gap widens and wealth concentrates at the top, the economy slows. The consumer class can only acquire a limited amount of credit to continue consumption. Unless exports bring so much revenue into the United States that employers keep creating new jobs to pursue new opportunities, the consumer class loses its spending power as that wealth gets locked up in the Maker class' net worth accumulation.To balance out that disparity, taxation levels need to be adjusted/increased. That unfreezes the economy. It is redistribution, but it should be thought of as redistribution "to the economy", not to the poor. FYI - Right now, it's redistribution as well, to the top. Any time the rich poor gap is moving in either direction, redistribution is happening through economic policy.
I don't want to see them bumping up welfare benefits or providing subsidized healthcare to those who can afford to pay for it either. I know that creates dependency. People are not going to go to work if it's too easy to live without doing so, courtesy of the tax payers.
The key is to invest in R&D (small biz), improve infrastructure (which helps biz and creates jobs), invest in education and re-training programs that produce a higher skilled and more adaptable workforce, etc. When these types of tax dollar investments create jobs, it drives consumption. That's what is needed to keep domestic small business thriving.
Even welfare benefits end up helping businesses grow. Poor people don't have savings accounts with anything significant in them. Instead they have high interest credit cards. Their income is so low, they need to spend it to live. So ultimately monies injected there also end up positively impacting businesses.
Keeping people in poverty is a failure scenario because that state of living leads to social problems. If Romney was born in a trailer park to a Meth-using single mother, I doubt very much he'd currently be running for President. Imagine how discouraging and challenging it must be to break out of that class structure. Imagine the psychological state of being. Yet we villainize them as though we are all born with equal opportunity AND resources. All else being equal, an average person can achieve great success when born into wealth. However, it takes an incredible person to do the same thing when born into poverty.
We need classes in order for the economy to function. We just can't allow for times when the wealth gets too heavily concentrated and locked at the top. The economy begins to collapse that way. We adjust and one of the fundamental tools of doing so is taxation.
If we could ever make all of our revenue from exports, perhaps we could get to an era where taxes were drastically reduced for all classes. =)You talk about choice in selection of services that your tax dollars pay for. I understand the sentiment. However, I also realize that there are certain essential national programs that rely on full participation. That's a citizen's contribution to maintaining a great moral and compassionate country. Ayn Rand had some cool ideas. I don't like the idea of people dying without adequate medical care. These are not socialist ideals. It's just basic morality.
Stuff like vouchers for medical insurance that are being suggested are very risky. There is absolutely no indication that private enterprise would provide full quality services for the value of the vouchers. In fact, it's just a game of supply and demand/pricing elasticity. They'd calculate exactly how much they could extract. That calculation would include stuff like the average amount of equity seniors have in their homes and their access to credit in the form of home equity lines of credit, etc. They are not going to be concerned with seniors who thought their 401k would allow for 1 vacation every two years in their retirement. That just becomes a target for them. It's a revenue source they'll tap into. Any MBA that read Atlas Shrugged would agree with that suggestion. ;)
We hear horror stories all the time about the internal workings of medical insurance claim denials, and deadly/depressing calculations by actuaries. :(
Since the government has a compassionate interest in these services and not a financial one, except in the sense of ensuring these programs can be funded for the foreseeable future, they are better equipped to ensure provision of these programs. I definitely think there is need for regulation in these contexts. In fact, as a side note, I think the Libertarians provide a frightening thought experiment of deregulation and private enterprise control.
Since I've rambled on for quite awhile now, I might as well add that I prefer targeting income from capital gains more so than ordinary income. To me, ordinary income represents non-passive production. You had to deliver a product or service to generate it, not manipulate stock. Capital gains is passive income. IMO, it's only logical that passive income be taxed more readily than income from actual production. I don't buy into the whole "but we take the risks" philosophy.
@jordanambra @Jacurtis @s5 I've heard a lot about food stamps in particular referenced in the media recently. Makes sense. If unemployment rates are so high, we'd eventually have to see growth in the utilization of these programs. It's not good, but I'm glad people are not starving to death prior to economic recovery.