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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  General Politics / Economics / Re: Greece to Leave the Euro Zone on: Today at 05:22:10 pm
the idea for the ECB is to have Greece as an eternally depressed, slave state, and a vehicle for transferring wealth to foreign creditors.  I believe the number is 8 of 9 Euros worth of loan/"aid" to Greece go to foreign creditors.  the idea is to keep this going for eternity.

in this sense Greece's situation is akin to an American's with $200k in 8-11% interest student loans.  they're designed to not be paid back, but to take a cut of your paycheck (including your Social Security check in 40 years -- or even if you get disability payments).

Then why did you get those loans? Your friendly local community college, most certainly, did not charge 50 grand a year.

I wasn't speaking in the first person -- but it is telling that you seek to blame the market-sense and rationality of a 17 or 18 year old before you think of the social structures and situation than makes $50k/year loans to 18 year olds widespread.

17 year olds sign up for loans without talking with their parents?

no, they generally need a "co-signer".  the loan is also immune to bankruptcy protection and collection rates on defaulted loans is close to 90% (compared to a fraction w/credit card debt).

the alternative path for people in the situation is to work a low wage job for eternity.

1) So, you have an adult to take the decision - no issue of a 17-year-old's financial wisdom.

2) Are you saying that the debt is worth it, because without it you are financially worse off? Because it sure seems like that.

3) Are there no schools that charge less than $50 grand a year for tuition during the 4 years? In-state tuition and fees in Rutgers is about $14 grand, and Rutgers, surely, is a decent school. And Stony Brook is $4.5 grand in-state ($12 grand out of state). Don't like any of that? Berkeley is $14 thousand dollars. Live in the South? UNC is $8.5 thousand dollars a year in tuition. UT Austin is about $ 5 thousand a year in-state (or $17 thousand out of state).  Midwest? Wisconsin Madison is $4.5 thousand in state ($12 grand out of state). I was just randomly looking up state schools - no real selection here. And, note, all these are very good universities - I am not talking community colleges (though, why not save on the first two years by going to a cheaper place?). And all that is without scholarships, etc.

Ah, Harvard degree is better value (see point 2)? Ok, fine. But then... what exactly, you say is the problem?

Well, population has been growing faster than those state flagships.  If you go there and pay in-state tuition, fine, but there are zillions of people for whom that just isn't an option.

Taking out large student loans is a risk– a risk that, to be clear, usually pays off, but one which carries with it some serious structural problems.  To wit:
a) the high cost and high debt load associated with college forces people in that situation to put a much heavier weight on money when it comes to choosing careers, and devalue considerations such as work/life balance, what one is actually interested in, what has the best return for society as a whole, etc.  Sure, they may make bank working eighty hours a week on Wall Street, but is that really a "win" if they'd rather teach history or something?
b) through little-to-no-fault of their own, hundreds of thousands of graduates get screwed when they enter the workforce during or shortly before a downturn.  After a long enough stretch of un- or under-employment, these folks end up sh*t creek with little way to get back on track, due to what are frankly mostly random factors.  But they've still got the debt load more appropriate for the lucky ones!
c) even if it taking out those loans don't in fact make sense for some particular situation, 17-year-olds are young and it's pretty damn gross to stick a millstone on the necks of thousands for what has been judged to be the unforgivable crime of youthful over-optimism.

So, yeah, it "makes sense" to take out those loans and it also f***s people hard in ways that deserve policy approaches which aren't just victim-blaming.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: June 29, 2015, 08:56:56 pm
Indy Texas will be re-branding as Indy Wisconsin later this summer.

Huzzah!
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Should Indy Texas become Indy Wisconsin? on: June 25, 2015, 08:38:39 pm
Does it pay better than your old job if so you should move

From what I've heard from you, you should take this even if it pays worse.  Don't pass Go, no $200, don't even pay attention to the fact that Scott Walker is probably thinking up ways to nuke the city from orbit as we speak, just do it.
4  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: SCOTUS opinion watch on: June 25, 2015, 09:50:18 am
Texas Housing case, written by Kennedy as expected. Kennedy in 5-4 decision joins the liberals. This is unexpected. The lower court is affirmed, and housing discrimination is an objective test. One looks to impact, not intent. So the next 2 or 3 opinions come from either Kennedy, Scalia or Roberts.

I know that this case isn't getting much attention, what with Obamacare hogging the limelight and all, but I for one am surprised and very pleased to see SCOTUS defend the principle of fair housing.
5  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Gov. Haley: "It's time to move the [CSA] flag from the Capitol grounds" on: June 23, 2015, 03:51:05 pm
Taking the banner of treason and slavery down is, quite literally, the least Haley & co. can do. 

Don't get me wrong, it's better than keeping it up, but I'm not about to hand them any gold stars for doing one tiny symbolic thing 150 years too late.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Deus Naturae on: June 23, 2015, 03:33:32 pm
Sick.  In every way.
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How much do you share about your previous relationships with significant others? on: June 21, 2015, 04:32:04 pm
Plenty (normal).

Though my SO knew literally all of my exes before she knew me (and vice versa!), so it's not like we'd be able to answer otherwise even if we wanted to.  I assume that's quite a bit less normal. Tongue
8  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Science Megathread on: June 20, 2015, 10:00:46 pm
We're all gonna die, basically:

Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study

Quote
The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties.

The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal.

The findings echo those in a report published by Duke University last year.

One of the new study's authors said: "We are now entering the sixth great mass extinction event."

The last such event was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs were wiped out, in all likelihood by a large meteor hitting Earth.

"If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on," said the lead author, Gerardo Ceballos.

The scientists looked at historic rates of extinction for vertebrates - animals with backbones - by assessing fossil records.

They found that the current extinction rate was more than 100 times higher than in periods when Earth was not going through a mass extinction event.

Since 1900, the report says, more than 400 more vertebrates had disappeared.

Such a loss would normally be seen over a period of up to 10,000 years, the scientists say.

The study - published in the Science Advances journal - cites causes such as climate change, pollution and deforestation.

We're not entering the sixth mass extinction event.

We are the sixth mass extinction event.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Your five favorite metal bands on: June 19, 2015, 09:35:10 pm
Eh, I like Led Zeppelin.  Does that count?
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What would you do if your boyfriend/girlfriend came out as transgendered? on: June 19, 2015, 12:02:08 pm
My impression that "transgendered" as opposed to "transgender" is considered to be archaic and kind of a slur.  I think because it implies that it's something done to that person rather than an intrinsic part of their identity?  

In any case, I'd be on the same page as ChairmanSanchez and darthbearnc.  I'd of course support them 100%, but let's be honest here, my orientation is sufficiently inflexible that I don't think I'd be able to remain sexual partners with them.  I have nothing but respect for people who are able to do so, of course, and I'd certainly feel guilty at not being strong/flexible enough to make it work.
11  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Narendra Modi on: June 19, 2015, 11:49:07 am
I actually kinda liked the comparison (made by Sbane I think?) of Congress/BJP to Democrats and Republicans: one side is (mostly) a coalition of secular urbane progressives and oppressed minorities, the other side speaks for the more middle income/caste, rural, and dominant-religion (and ofc willing to oppress) side of things.

I know that he was making it to humanize the BJP but it works equally well to demonize the Republicans. Tongue
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of adults who watch Pixar movies on: June 19, 2015, 11:18:13 am
oh the f***ing irony.

Even BRTD is capable of employing sarcasm from time to time.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do you ever have weird personal feelings of irrendentism? on: June 19, 2015, 10:42:12 am
All irredentism is by definition Horrible Irredentism.

But German and Russian claims are particularly The Worst (normal Pole).
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which of the following statements is more accurate in your opinion? on: June 18, 2015, 11:16:50 am
Lean towards Option 1.  Sure, you have socially awkward folks who feel more comfortable speaking up in text rather than in person, that's a thing that happens (and I'd assume applies to 90% of us here). 

But if you're going to the internet for the purpose of being an "utter Nixon", then chances are that's who you really are deep down and it's your real life persona that's fake. 
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Atlas banned posters poll #5: NY Jew on: June 18, 2015, 11:09:44 am
Hilarious Person obviously. 

I probably live pretty close to him BTW.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Atlas banned posters poll #4: Libertas on: June 17, 2015, 02:27:19 pm
Plumping for the "grittiness" and deprivation of urban decay is a surefire HP vote from me.  Mind you, this doesn't mean he should have been rebanned.

Oh yeah, this too. There's few things more gross to me than middle class twerps jerking off about high crime and urban misery because they can treat those neighbourhoods as safari parks.
i know i'm biased since we've always been on friendly terms but lets be fair here, he's not *brtd* level bad in terms of that. its more he misses a lot of the adult stuff that went away after 94 and has the perception that you could get away with more. its understandable that a gay male would fantasize about some time when the cops focused on snorting evidence in the locker room more than busting some party or bath house. its a little juvenile but its not like he takes it autistic levels

I think he's significantly worse than BRTD on that count, actually.  BRTD has some aesthetic attachment to marginal urban areas but doesn't actually say that we'd be better off if the Bronx Was Burning.

And, also, a lot of that adult stuff went away not merly because of broken windows and rising rents, but also because increased acceptance of gay people in the culture at large (as well as the connective power of the Internet) meant that there was less demand/need for that sort of underground.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Atlas banned posters poll #4: Libertas on: June 17, 2015, 01:50:13 pm
Plumping for the "grittiness" and deprivation of urban decay is a surefire HP vote from me.  Mind you, this doesn't mean he should have been rebanned.

Oh yeah, this too. There's few things more gross to me than middle class twerps jerking off about high crime and urban misery because they can treat those neighbourhoods as safari parks.

FWIW I consider this exact tendency to have been the worst thing about opebo.  (At least, the worst thing about him in his capacity as a poster rather than as a person- though it obviously also speaks quite ill of him as a person.)
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oregon moves to implement per-mile fees for road usage instead of gas taxes on: June 17, 2015, 10:19:01 am
isn't the main stress placed upon roads by heavy duty vehicles like lorries rather than family automobiles?

That and, in snowy areas, salting roads in the winter.
19  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Atlas banned posters poll #4: Libertas on: June 17, 2015, 10:09:33 am
Plumping for the "grittiness" and deprivation of urban decay is a surefire HP vote from me.  Mind you, this doesn't mean he should have been rebanned.

The other funny thing to note is that his political opinions, as far as I can tell, have remained as utterly shallow and reactionary as they were back in 2011, just with a nominally "left" spin.

Precisely.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Racism! It's not just something which happens in America... on: June 17, 2015, 12:46:43 am
This ain't just racism, it's ethnic cleansing.  Good God.
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Battle of the Prequel Trilogies: The Hobbit or Star Wars on: June 16, 2015, 02:44:53 pm
I'll be honest and put this out: Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars movie. Let the hate begin...

what the christ
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Your favorite presidents by party on: June 16, 2015, 11:13:03 am
Democrats:
1. Martin Van Buren
2. Jimmy Carter
3. Grover Cleveland

Republicans
1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Ulysses S. Grant
3. Warren G. Harding

Whig
1. Taylor

DR
1. John Quincy Adams
2. Thomas Jefferson

Socialists for Grover Cleveland.  Now I've seen everything.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you become more liberal or conservative over time? on: June 16, 2015, 08:59:45 am
I've largely had a similar ideology throughout my life. Only areas where I've really changed are the death penalty (used to support it) and probably some "minority" issues (for lack of a better term - I find myself more culturally leftist, agreeing more with SJW's - back when I was younger I wasn't very politically correct).

This is basically where I am too, though sub in "death penalty" for "abortion" as the big-ticket leftward move.
24  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Oregon moves to implement per-mile fees for road usage instead of gas taxes on: June 15, 2015, 11:12:03 pm
What concrete difference will that make?

All I can think of is that it will put more proportional weight onto fuel-efficient cars, which doesn't seem right.

It seems wrong because it is wrong.  Taxing gasoline instead actually provides some measure of incentive to choose a vehicle that doesn't burn through quite as many fossil fuels.

If you want to honestly charge folks for their share of "wear-and-tear," maintenance, etc., well... you're basically going to have to bankrupt the long-distance trucking industry, since they contribute to so much more road degradation (and a lot of other nasty things) than smaller vehicles, but don't pay commensurately more.  And if you care about "congestion"*, the right answer is, counterintuitively but surely, to stop building new roads, and in fact take space away from cars and give it to more fundamentally efficient uses of the road space like buses and bikes.  People do have to get from point A to point B... but forcing them to do so in a car is the real problem here, and taking ever more space to build wider and more far-flung highways (making point A and B ludicrously far away from each other) just deepens that forcing effect and makes it worse.  Induced demand is hard for folks to wrap their heads around, but it has been proven time and time again.

*(In the cores of larger metros, some sort of cordon charge with the proceeds going to fund mass transit is indeed called for.  In smaller metros, oftentimes "congestion" just never gets bad enough. Congestion in the peripheries is... a horrifying spectacle that I'd be happy to rant about but right now will just say won't get solved by either a VMT or just building more roads that's for sure)
25  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is your least knowledgeable subject(s)? on: June 14, 2015, 04:08:52 pm
I know virtually nothing about any television from the past ten or so years at this point.  I realize this probably reads as "lol hipster thinks he's too good for the boob tube", but it's actually a source of embarrassment more than anything.  I know there's a lot of stuff I'm missing out on.
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