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Old 02-10-2010, 02:55 AM   #41
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:25 AM   #42
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And I'm sure when Palin is elected President in 2012
: begins shopping for luggage in earnest :

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Old 02-10-2010, 10:27 AM   #43
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- calls for 'spending cuts' without specifics and without targeting programs that take up 75% of the budget are meaningless placebos.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:13 PM   #44
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: begins shopping for luggage in earnest :

/Books tickets to France for herself, Jen and company
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:49 PM   #45
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I'm very, very tired of repeating myself. I'm very, very tired of being misconstrued here by you.
I could have written that myself. (And have.)

It's clear that you and I will never communicate well.

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I'm convinced more than ever we get the government (or lack thereof) that we deserve, and you are doing your best to convince me of the notion. And I'm sure when Palin is elected President in 2012 and the country promptly falls apart in wars, disorder and economic collapse due to collossal mismanagement and incompetence, you'll blame all those people who didn't listen to you in 2008, when you just started paying attention.

And there's MY 'dire economic prediction'.
Palin isn't going to be elected president.

And it's time you (and Vivianne) stopped preening over being a political junkie for longer than I have. Unless of course you think only political junkies of a certain duration get to have a say.

While we're at it, doctors can't become doctors unless they've already been doctors for the number of years you determine they should have been.

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:23 PM   #46
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Long, but very interesting. They covered a lot of points I've been pondering for awhile.

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come.
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Old 02-10-2010, 10:57 PM   #47
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Long, but very interesting. They covered a lot of points I've been pondering for awhile.

How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

The Great Recession may be over, but this era of high joblessness is probably just beginning. Before it ends, it will likely change the life course and character of a generation of young adults. It will leave an indelible imprint on many blue-collar men. It could cripple marriage as an institution in many communities. It may already be plunging many inner cities into a despair not seen for decades. Ultimately, it is likely to warp our politics, our culture, and the character of our society for years to come.
Great article Surreal, thanks.

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A recent paper by the economists Paola Giuliano and Antonio Spilimbergo shows that generations that endured a recession in early adulthood became more concerned about inequality and more cognizant of the role luck plays in life.
Not really the thrust of the article at all, but in my more reflective wankier moments I sometimes think that how one views the "luck" question is the litmus test that divides society, as much as race, religion, or politics, etc.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:10 PM   #48
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I sometimes think that how one views the "luck" question is the litmus test that divides society, as much as race, religion, or politics, etc.
I'm just sitting down to read the article myself, but I may ask for expansion on the above statement. I have built my 'career' in an area of endeavor where, for the people who ascend to the top of the profession, in addition to having all the skills necessary, the final push of the trajectory can only be labeled as something like "luck".
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:18 PM   #49
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Great article Surreal, thanks.



Not really the thrust of the article at all, but in my more reflective wankier moments I sometimes think that how one views the "luck" question is the litmus test that divides society, as much as race, religion, or politics, etc.
For me, looking at the world, there came a moment when "luck" would no longer do.

One makes one's own luck- even gamblers will tell you that- and in that vein, one has to more closely examine the social systems that are so inefficient, inhuman, and antiquated that "luck" is considered a factor for their operation.

Social systems are systems just like manufacturing or computer systems are.

The fact that we have gross inequities in systems that supposedly were constructed for the betterment of human lifestyles is a clear indication that we are relying on a mystified belief in "the way things have always been done" [only, if you read, you know that they weren't] as a factor in their function.

"Mystified" [aka hypnotized] being the antithetical cousin of "mystical"- a natural human function. One is illusion, one is transcendance.

At the point of that realization, it becomes a basic, easily understood idea to either renovate or tear out the structure of the system that is failing in order to build a better system.

Those who currently benefit from the antiquated, mystified approach to society tend to oppose such renovations, but the rest of the household demands them, and frankly the whole building is going to fall in on the idiots unless they're trucked off to a motel while we get things done.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:29 PM   #50
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Social systems are systems just like manufacturing or computer systems are.
On this note, just a quick aside - a phrase I learned long ago has served me well over the years in analyzing "systems":

"The purpose of a system is what it does."

Not what it was designed to do. Not what we want it to do. What it DOES.

So, if a social system results in increasingly wide divides between haves and have-nots, if it protects powerful interests while holding the common man accountable for outcomes over which he has no control, it it makes it nearly impossible for one to maintain a decent living on meager means, then that is the purpose of the system.

We can blather all day long about the "American Dream" and it's purportedly intended outcome. But if it doesn't deliver, then the system is intended to result in that outcome.

The purpose of a system is what it does.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:46 PM   #51
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I'm just sitting down to read the article myself, but I may ask for expansion on the above statement. I have built my 'career' in an area of endeavor where, for the people who ascend to the top of the profession, in addition to having all the skills necessary, the final push of the trajectory can only be labeled as something like "luck".
An argument often heard by someone who wants to be taxed less is "I earned my money, why should I have to give it away?". On the face of it, its a reasonable argument, but it raises the question of what is meant by "earned". The standard assumption is "its the entirity of what I get paid", which leaves no possibility that some component of what you get paid is down to luck.

In saying that, I'm not saying its *all* luck of course, I don't believe that for a second. I'm suggesting that if Bill Gates was born into a 100 different parallel universes, in probably only one would *he* be the guy who became the richest person in the world. In the others he might "merely" be rich, by dint of his own intelligence and hard work.

Some of my work colleagues are on contract, I am not. Its not because I'm smarter or more diligent than them, its simply because I was born a year earlier. Whether one seeks one's first job in a hiring-freeze/recession or at the top of a boom-cycle is luck. And so on.

If one accepts the role that luck plays in a society, there are then, broadly speaking two responses. The first is to say "well, shit happens", and "there's nothing much we can do about it anyway". And perhaps too, there's this human built-in tendency towards hope that tells us at the subconscious level "I'll be one of the lucky ones". The second is to acknowledge that, yes, shit will always happen, but that there's nothing wrong in attempting to distribute the effect of luck more evenly. So, for example, you may have been unlucky to have be born into a very poor family who simply can't afford to place a lot of emphasis on your education, but that can be partially mitigated by being able to study at a properly-resourced public school, funded through an appropriate level of taxation.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:47 PM   #52
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First off, a very sobering article. Thanks to Surreal for posting it, especially because I know this estimable woman has been laboring under the burden of unemployment for far too long. I still hold good thoughts for you in that regard, Sur.

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For me, looking at the world, there came a moment when "luck" would no longer do.

One makes one's own luck- even gamblers will tell you that- and in that vein, one has to more closely examine the social systems that are so inefficient, inhuman, and antiquated that "luck" is considered a factor for their operation.
I brought up the "luck" token with Cale. I think I can see it two ways:

1. As you have it above, Jen, it seems like luck is the prime spark for the occurrence of something happening, and then you grow into it after that.

2. The way I had invoked it, luck became essentially the last part of the equation, when all else had been put in place.

I think of a friend of mine, who has been the drummer for Burt Bacharach for nearly 30 years. It came about because someone was needed at a rehearsal and concert, and all the usual suspects had been called and were unavailable. D had spent a number of years toiling in the music industry, had the chops (as did numerous others), and just happened to be home to take the call. He showed up, did the gig, assumed it would be a one-time thing, and Burt called him and asked if he'd like to do some more dates. And it continued.

Many were qualified. One got the gig. Semaniticize all you need, I simply refer to it as luck.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:49 PM   #53
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The purpose of a system is what it does.
Spoken like a man who has never written a computer program in his entire life !!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:53 PM   #54
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Cale, the way you are using "luck" is just another way of stating the results of random nature. I think when most people use the word "luck" they either intentionally or unintentionally mean some force with intentions, either positive (good luck) or negative (bad luck).

I say flatly there is no "Luck" just as there is no "fair" in the world other than what man creates. There just "is".
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:01 AM   #55
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I don't think I'm following you here Forest ....

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Cale, the way you are using "luck" is just another way of stating the results of random nature.
Agreed.

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I think when most people use the word "luck" they either intentionally or unintentionally mean some force with intentions, either positive (good luck) or negative (bad luck).

I say flatly there is no "Luck" just as there is no "fair" in the world other than what man creates. There just "is".
Don't people describe someone who just won the lottery as "lucky"? Without invoking any force-with-intentions?

Suspects-she-is-missing-something-obvious Cale
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:05 AM   #56
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Don't people describe someone who just won the lottery as "lucky"? Without invoking any force-with-intentions?

Suspects-she-is-missing-something-obvious Cale
Ok, listen up Miss "missing-something-obvious-Cale"

I mean that when someone wins the lottery and someone says they are "lucky" they are thinking (consciously or unconsciously) that some kind of positive force reached down and bestowed good fortune upon them.

When in fact we both know they just stole my numbers
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:17 AM   #57
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From Surreal's link:

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“Graduates’ first jobs have an inordinate impact on their career path and [lifetime earnings],” wrote Austan Goolsbee, now a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, in The New York Times in 2006. “People essentially cannot close the wage gap by working their way up the company hierarchy. While they may work their way up, the people who started above them do, too. They don’t catch up.”
So, you'd better make sure that the timing of your birth means that you'll be looking for your first job at the top of the cycle.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:17 AM   #58
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Spoken like a man who has never written a computer program in his entire life !!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!
Wrong. Written many, analyzed and documented many, designed many.

But that principle has helped me at all stages to diagnose and pinpoint problems better than anything else. If you free yourself from the idea of "It CAN'T do that! It wasn't DESIGNED to do that!" and realize that it IS doing "that", you can chase down and identify the problem much more easily and quickly.

You short-change me Cale. I haz a sad.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:20 AM   #59
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So, you'd better make sure that the timing of your birth means that you'll be looking for your first job at the top of the cycle.
Worked for me. As a little pinch of fairy dust floating around in the aether, I said to my (future) parents "Hey, look, it's New Year's Eve, for crap's sake! Get in there and Do It, and don't wait until next year! I want to be ready in the 60's when the Beatles storm the U.S. and rock-and-roll REALLY takes off!!"
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:34 AM   #60
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But that principle has helped me at all stages to diagnose and pinpoint problems better than anything else. If you free yourself from the idea of "It CAN'T do that! It wasn't DESIGNED to do that!" and realize that it IS doing "that", you can chase down and identify the problem much more easily and quickly.
Agreed 100%.

I have done "lab" sessions for first-year Comp Sci students. The conversations go like this ...

"Looks like you might be dividing zero."
"But X can't be zero!"
"How do you know?"
"There's no way X could be zero at that point!"
"Put in a debug statement. ..... Next."

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You short-change me Cale. I haz a sad.
And now I haz a sympathy sad.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:37 AM   #61
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:09 AM   #62
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The L.A. City Council met a few days to determine how to address a $212 million shortfall.

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Eight hours into the meeting, Santana and his advisors told the council that they had cut $6 million in programs but added $10 million in costs. Santana laid out his score card after hearing Councilman Herb Wesson voice doubts about the day's accomplishments.

"I just have this weird feeling that we are going in the wrong direction," Wesson told his colleagues.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:02 AM   #63
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While we're at it, doctors can't become doctors unless they've already been doctors for the number of years you determine they should have been.
doctors dont become doctors by "waking up" one day last year and going to a tea party

they study for years before they practice, even then going through an internship before they start screaming "stop spending"
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:21 AM   #64
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:59 AM   #65
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I think of a friend of mine, who has been the drummer for Burt Bacharach for nearly 30 years. It came about because someone was needed at a rehearsal and concert, and all the usual suspects had been called and were unavailable. D had spent a number of years toiling in the music industry, had the chops (as did numerous others), and just happened to be home to take the call. He showed up, did the gig, assumed it would be a one-time thing, and Burt called him and asked if he'd like to do some more dates. And it continued.

Many were qualified. One got the gig. Semaniticize all you need, I simply refer to it as luck.
I remember the Woody Allen quote: "80% of success is showing up."

I "get" your point, Envoy, thanks for clarifying. Seems we're describing the elephant from opposite ends.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:12 AM   #66
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An argument often heard by someone who wants to be taxed less is "I earned my money, why should I have to give it away?". On the face of it, its a reasonable argument, but it raises the question of what is meant by "earned". The standard assumption is "its the entirity of what I get paid", which leaves no possibility that some component of what you get paid is down to luck.
Unless it's one big break, like winning the lottery, I think people overestimate how much their own efforts contributed to their success and underestimate how other factors helped them get there, be it luck, or socio-economic class at birth, or expanding economy, or being in good health, etc.

I see this as a major problem among a certain generation (can't call them Boomers because that's too wide) who feel they owe their lifestyle to their work ethic, while ignoring (and therefore failling to maintain) the post-war expanding economy, good public schools, employee protections, functioning safety net, etc.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:30 AM   #67
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Good stuff
Not enough agree buttons. We stand on the shoulders of past generations and make our fortune on what was built before. Our individual work plays a part, but only a part. The myth of the "self made man" is just that - a myth. The only true "self made man" is a hermit who started naked, made some stone tools, brought down a deer for food and a loincloth and made a fire in a cave from nothing but bracken, gathered sticks, and flint.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:47 PM   #68
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Sovereigns to default on debts

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Following banking crises, “we usually see a bunch of sovereign defaults, say in a few years,” Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said at a forum in Tokyo yesterday. “I predict we will again.”

The U.S. is likely to tighten monetary policy before cutting government spending, sending “shockwaves” through financial markets, Rogoff said in an interview after the speech. Fiscal policy won’t be curbed until soaring bond yields trigger “very painful” tax increases and spending cuts, he said.
Inflation rising despite "core cpi" drop

10% of banks at risk according to FDIC


I don't know how to describe this but it seems dire
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:42 PM   #69
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Tuition at public colleges and universities to jump 15-30%
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #70
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That is insane.

I already owe over 45k. I can't imagine adding another 15k on top of it.
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This user agrees. But then, who wouldn't, right?

Old 02-24-2010, 03:57 PM   #71
Merovigan
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http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/berna...xplode-4-36033
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:45 AM   #72
Govi
Ça va chier.

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