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October 02, 2014, 03:25:28 am
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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101  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Perhaps the most out-of-touch video ever on: September 13, 2014, 12:28:45 pm
We're looking at a statement of cash flows, not a balance sheet. We don't know how many cars this family has, only that they consume 1/4 of a $60k car per year.
102  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Perhaps the most out-of-touch video ever on: September 13, 2014, 10:43:46 am
I lost it at the video's conclusion. "Wondering if your lifestyle is sustainable?"

The obvious problem is that this hypothetical family at the 97th percentile is trying to live as if they were at the 98th, and the narrator says as much. "Cut your spending while you're still earning!" She doesn't elaborate on this point, so presumably the absurdity of the outlined budget is taken as requiring no further explanation.

While most of us react with anger or laughter, this video and Jaichind's commentary are a powerful lesson on the diminishing marginal utility of income, a principle that recommends some very un-WSJ-like choices about both policy and life.
103  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: A fun fact about billionaires. on: September 13, 2014, 09:47:20 am
Is there any reason to think that Atlasian policies would actually result in more taxable income by billionaires than IRL?

Yes:


104  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: A fun fact about billionaires. on: September 13, 2014, 09:43:33 am
These "making numbers up without GM approval" accusations are bullsh!t.

We use RL numbers for the sake of convenience constantly, and it'd be almost impossible to hold an informed discussion if we did not. If there's a reason why a particular figure is likely to be extremely different in Atlasia, anyone can point to that difference and argue why it would have that effect.

As I've pointed out elsewhere, it cuts off discussion and makes the game less interesting when the GM just tells everyone how it is. We rarely have that level of certainty IRL, where people disagree on how to measure things or even what things we should be measuring.

Besides, we don't have a GM. It's ridiculous to insist that all fact-based debate cease until we do. Even if the office were occupied, he wouldn't have time to approve every fact as accurate.
105  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: АverroŽs vs. PPT TNF on: September 12, 2014, 08:59:55 pm
I thank the Court for its time and consideration.
106  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Who will win in NY-11? on: September 12, 2014, 06:02:59 pm
Toss-up. Cinyc is correct.
107  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Yet another school shooting... on: September 12, 2014, 05:56:31 pm
Everyone knows I'm not a gun nut, but this is like making snarky comments about knives if someone accidentally cut themselves carrying them to some cooking class.

It's more like making snarky comments about someone injuring themselves because they were carrying a butcher's knife to around a golf course (or some other situation in which a knife is totally unnecessary). The crux of the argument against random people carrying weapons with them everywhere is that they are more like to injure themselves or someone else in an accident than they are to provide protection.


"Totally unnecessary" seems a bit far.  What are situations, outside of shootouts or war where you would find a gun not totally unnecessary?

Relieving oneself in a elementary school restroom before a day of teaching is not among them.
108  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: PM Series: Question 19 on: September 12, 2014, 05:42:58 pm
Actually, the Internet was invented by the United States government, but please, don't let the facts get in the way of your diatribe.

The internet was built by capitalist swines with a profit motive. You can rationalize your usage however you like. Same goes for all of the other post-industrial capitalist indulgences you like.

The correct plural form is 'swine.'
109  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Post Dissolution Elections: October 2012 on: September 12, 2014, 05:39:24 pm
1. Last-minute write-in campaign.
2. Snowstalker
3. Xahar
4. Jbrase
110  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Robin Williams Memorial Suicide Copy-cat Prevention Act (Debating) on: September 12, 2014, 03:29:29 pm
I agree with that, but a celebrity like Robin Williams naturally attracts interest, and might help to raise a awareness of the problems he suffered, if we are able to conduct it in the right way, which we do with this bill, I'd think so at least.

Every source on the subject would tell you that it's a bad idea, especially when talking about a celebrity.
111  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Yet another school shooting... on: September 12, 2014, 11:09:56 am
Everyone knows I'm not a gun nut, but this is like making snarky comments about knives if someone accidentally cut themselves carrying them to some cooking class.

It's more like making snarky comments about someone injuring themselves because they were carrying a butcher's knife to around a golf course (or some other situation in which a knife is totally unnecessary). The crux of the argument against random people carrying weapons with them everywhere is that they are more like to injure themselves or someone else in an accident than they are to provide protection.
112  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: The Robin Williams Memorial Suicide Copy-cat Prevention Act (Debating) on: September 12, 2014, 11:04:05 am
Because when someone commits suicide, you should not memorialize that person in a way that focuses attention on the cause of death. Look at the CDC guidelines or any other instructions on how to cover suicide without encouraging imitators. It'd be awful to pass a bill focused on getting the media to cover this issue correctly while ignoring the basic tenets that we hope they will follow.
113  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of 9/11 Jokes on: September 12, 2014, 07:30:20 am
Voted neutral because form and context are important - for instance, someone had a gif of the towers falling like Jenga blocks in their sig not long ago, and that upset me - but generally there's no better way to fight fear and pain than with humor and ridicule.
114  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: are you a clock watcher? on: September 12, 2014, 07:21:56 am
Only when I'm not busy.
115  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Palin family (including Sarah) involved in drunken brawl. on: September 11, 2014, 11:44:31 pm
Sounds like a typical weekend at a snowmobiling club.
116  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Energy for the Future Bill 2014 (Debating) on: September 11, 2014, 11:40:08 pm
What are these companies going to be researching? New drilling techniques? Energy production and supply has little to do with household energy efficiency, which is related to the amount of electricity consumed by households and not to how that electricity is produced or supplied.

You might be familiar with NYSERDA? Senator Polnut's proposal seems very similar, except that it funds the proposed NEF through our carbon tax instead of levying a surcharge on electricity bills, as NYSERDA does in New York.
117  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of removing your avatar on 9/11 on: September 11, 2014, 09:46:28 pm
I said bothered rather than offended deliberately - please don't think that you've done anything to seriously upset me. I understand the intention, but I find its form oblivious and a bit ridiculous. None of or party affiliations has anything to do with remembering the dead, and rhetoric to that effect has been abused to horrific ends over the past decade and a half.
118  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of removing your avatar on 9/11 on: September 11, 2014, 09:13:12 pm
Sorry, but as someone who knew people who died in the attack (albeit as a kid in elementary school), I'm a lot more bothered by shallow "commemorations" that take the form of self-absorbed online slacktivism. We're marking the thirteenth successive year of obligatory flag pins, for Christ's sake, and I'm fed up with reflection that refuses to look outward rather than inward for answers.
119  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Air Force to atheist Sgt.: "Recite 'So help me god' or get out" on: September 11, 2014, 09:05:00 pm
The institutional culture of the Air Force is awful - and the worst of any branch of the US armed services by far.
No it's not.

As somebody that's been working in or for the USAF since 1994 I've NEVER seen anybody take sh**t for holding non-Christian views (and I've seen a lot of people, myself included, holding those views).  I guess 20 years of living something is nothing compared to reading/skimming 3 articles on the topic in the last 4 years.

As for the OP, of course this is wrong and hopefully this situation will fix it.

Admittedly I've read more about officers (especially at the AFA) then I have about enlisted personnel, and the servicemen whom I've talked to are either in other branches or have been out of the Air Force since the '90s, but why should I take the word of some guy with a bad attitude and baseless assumptions about my reading habits over all of that?
You can take the word of whomever the funk you want to just as I can counter your anecdotes with my own anecdotes.  You can think (incorrectly) that the USAF is full of churchy folk preaching God and holding back anybody that thinks otherwise if you want.  There certainly are problems with the "institutional culture" of the USAF (we can do a thread on it if you want...the disregard of the nuclear force, too much in bed with certain contractors, typical govt overspending, an aging fleet of birds...more), but Christians running amok is pretty far down the list and it's certainly not "the worst of any branch of the US armed services by far".

Bad management is the target of my criticism, not bad religion. (And a healthy chunk of that has more to do with Congressional parochialism that takes a heavy toll on operational capability.) But maybe you can explain why the joint strike fighter program isn't a disaster?
120  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Cuomo v. Teachout on: September 11, 2014, 08:51:23 pm
The geographical relationship between the Cuomo/Teachout map and the fracking issue is complex. Below are two maps, one of municipal fracking bans (note that yellow just indicates a "movement" which may not have much support), and the other of municipal resolutions of support for fracking. The Utica Shale extends farther north and east than the Marcellus Shale but is also deeper and harder to access.

We can roughly distinguish three rural regions. First, in the southern tier, which has close ties to Pennsylvania, fracking appears to have local support. This region was fairly pro-Cuomo, though less strongly than the Buffalo area. Second, there is a region extending from the Finger Lakes along the Erie Canal and down into the Catskills that also has natural gas supplies but where anti-fracking sentiment is strong. This region was somewhat mixed but has some of Teachout's strongest counties. Third, the North Country and the eastern side of the Hudson Valley actually does not have natural gas reserves and would not be a fracking area. These were generally strong Teachout areas. How much fracking issues are locally relevant here, I'm not sure.





Generally, areas east of Broome oppose fracking more heavily, while those to the west are more supportive. I don't know whether there's a similar geography of support in Pennsylvania.

I want to say that the Southern Tier is more isolated and has suffered more heavily from deindustrialization, but I don't know that that is uniformly true.
121  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Democrats for Susan Collins on: September 11, 2014, 05:47:14 pm
My reaction consists more of confusion than anything else. Are Maine politics really that parochial?
122  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: How is the state of the United States Economy? on: September 11, 2014, 05:42:55 pm
As judged by the metrics that I care about, poorly. Workforce participation among working aged adults has not recovered, and median household income remains stagnant. Worker productivity doesn't look much better, and we've made little progress toward improving energy productivity.
123  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a young rich white liberal? on: September 11, 2014, 03:49:47 pm
Yes to all. If I were working full time all year, I'd earn more than the median household income for my census tract even without help from my parents. (Not that it would be much.)

All four. I'm still shocked by the fact that my parents make >$100,000 a year combined.

That still might be below the median for Brighton...
124  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: opinion of removing your avatar on 9/11 on: September 11, 2014, 03:46:40 pm
FF. I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be ever be forgot. Remember the lessons of Munich, simpletons.
125  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1992 Presidential Election on: September 11, 2014, 03:36:13 pm
Frightening number of Perot votes here.
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