Governing Employment

•November 24, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’ve heard a lot of chatter with the recent political campaigning about US jobs.  “What do you plan to do about the current unemployment rate in our country?”  “What do you plan to do to bring back US manufacturing?”  The simple answer to these questions should be to support and encourage citizens to take personal responsibility for these issues.  It’s not the responsibility of government to create jobs.  It’s the responsibility of American citizens.  

The scenario goes a little like this.  People want the absolute best price on everything.  In order to give it to them, companies must offer their products at a cheaper price which means less profits.  To boost their margins, companies resort to using a combination of overseas manufacturing and political coercion to legislate profits.  The result is people get cheaply made products that they end up being unhappy with.  Overseas manufacturing puts American workers out of jobs.  Then they have no choice but to buy cheaper products and the problem propagates into a vicious cycle. 

The solution to the problem is three fold.  First, companies need to use restraint in always focusing on the bottom line.  They need to quench the greed and simply accept that a little lower profit margin is better for the general state of affairs in our country.  Keep manufacturing within our borders, employ American workers, and offer the highest quality products.  Second, citizens need to use restraint when seeking to purchase the cheapest product available.  Pay a little more for quality American made products that will not give you buyers remorse after the purchase.  Know that you are helping to employ your fellow Americans in the process and are contributing to our national prosperity.  Third, eliminate the possibility of profiteering from lawmaking.  Cooperate coercion of profit from legislation is not capitalism.  It does not produce quality goods and services that we Americans can value.

It seems like whenever the unemployment rate is high, people seek to blame the government.  The government reacts by trying to create jobs.  Sometimes they do this through subsidization.  Subsidization cost money, which they get through taxation.  Once again we enter into another vicious cycle.  Tax a nation of people with a high rate of unemployment, to fund subsidization of industry to attempt to create a job market for the unemployed.  Ladies and gentleman, logic has left the building.  There is no need for subsidization, only to clear the path for legitimate, honest, free enterprise sans coercion. 

An interesting parallel to this topic is that of education.  I heard a discussion recently about the merits of online education and a rebuttal that it would put teachers out of work.  Taking this stance has a lot of parallels to arguing that the internet and digital media will put record distribution moguls out of business.  Quite frankly, we no longer need them in their former capacity.  Now, since these people are generally one trick ponies, their approach to try to ensure future prosperity is to legislate their utility to the world. (and we all see how well SOPA and PIPA went over)  Generally teachers over the past decade or so have spent spend less time teaching relevant subject matter and more time teaching what they are mandated by politicians, and acting like parents, policemen and moral dictators.  I say, that like media moguls, its high time they either adapt to the modern world and overcome their upcoming challenges or find a new line of work. 

Most of the brightest minds in our world take their education into their own hands.  They don’t play the victim and blame their lack of success on poor schools and teachers.  They are responsible for learning new things on their own.  Technological advancement depends on this.  What if electrical engineers were still trying to push CRT televisions because that’s the only thing they knew how to design?  Adapt to the changes and figure out what you can offer to society.  Quit waiting for a politician to ensure your future employment.  You cannot fix the national debt and government spending problems by taxing more.  You have to eliminate all the bloated and redundant government departments and agencies that have crept up over the years.  One of the caveats to this is, you have to actually unemploy some people in their current capacities and repurpose them in a way that will work towards the big picture.

What is the point?  In order to truly fix the problem with a sustainable solution, the government has to trim the fat which means INCREASING the unemployment rate.  We Americans need to accept responsibility for our own destiny’s.  Work hard producing quality goods and services and pay a little more for them.  Send a message that we don’t want the cheapest products and will no longer purchase them.  Stop blaming the government for your lack of a job and stop looking for a handout.  Thank yourself for your success when you achieve it.

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SOPA / PIPA

•January 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are both, like the Patriot Act, red herrings.  They were created by politicians who are funded by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as yet another bailout, of sorts, to protect these corporation’s flawed business plans.  For decades people have been sold audio/video data on purposefully degrading media.  Records get scratched, magnetic tapes get eaten by their players, and optical disks delaminate.  People have been forced to purchase the same data over and over again throughout your lives every time a new distribution medium gets invented.  Now that we have pure digital data that never degrades and gets distributed via copper wires and radio waves propagating through the air, people only need to purchase the data one time.  That is a major problem for the media moguls.  Their first solution to the problem was to attempt to use Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes to the limit the use of digital content.  People who actually buy media from online media stores find that they are limited as to which devices they can use to enjoy their media.  Ironically, the same media that is downloaded for free is striped of the DRM and can be played on any devices.  Since most sane people see the ludicracy in paying for limitations, this approach has failed the corporation’s hopeful expectations to prolong their cash flow.  This brings us to their next approach, which is to legislate a bailout for the modern day inadequacies of their antiquated content distribution models.  Tell your local politician that you see through the misleading titles of these bills and understand what their real purpose is.  Tell them that you are unwilling to sacrifice your online freedoms so that the rich can get richer through bribery.  Demand that they oppose these bills if they expect your support in future elections.  Tell them to support net neutrality.  Go see live music and support the artists, not the recording companies who take their money.  Go see films in the theater and support the actors and directors that put the work into what you see on the silver screen rather than supporting companies that sell little plastic things that cost far more than they are worth.

Quotes

•June 17, 2008 • Leave a Comment

All influential people in the world (with the exception of influential mutes) have been quoted at one point or another. I’m not sure how influential I am, but there are a couple of quotes that I can be remembered by. I figured I better get them down somewhere before someone else tries to take credit for them…

“The difference between learning and being taught, is that one makes up for in bias, what it lacks in discovery.”

“The worst thing about weather, accidents and vacation is that they always occur at the least convenient times.”

“They say you can’t always be right, but you can strive to always be meticulous and thorough.  Enrolling oneself in the life-long curriculum of a pedant is a good starting point.”

“Subtlety was never one of my finer attributes.”

– keystoneclimber

Forums

•February 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have to admit that web forums are a great place to learn. Given enough people looking at the same question, you will eventually get an answer, no matter how tough it is. Even if you get the wrong answer, it will eventually get corrected. Granted there is never any lack of flaming going on. For some reason people just can’t resist telling others how they shouldn’t be offensive, argumentative, yada yada yada. It just amazes me that someone feels the need to ague with someone over the net they will never meet, just to try to get their point across. Whatever, we’ve all seen it time and time again and personally I’ve just grown numb to it. (my mouse wheel speed scroll technique and browser back button also seem to help)

There is one forum phenomenon that really gets me jacked up though…

I search for a topic in a particular forum and get a nice long listing of related posts. Awesome, surely I’ll find my answer here! First listing, someone asking a question on exactly the same topic that I searched. The reply… “This has been discussed a number of times in these forums. Use the search facility.” Ok, clearly other people are wondering about the same thing I am. Next post, “the subject has been throughly discussed in these forums.” Ok, I’m starting to see a trend here. Next, “I have several posts pertaining to this in this forum and some of the others.” Next, “This question has already been answered many times.” ERRRR!!! Now I’m getting pissed. Next, “I posted a reply in this forum on xx/xx/xxxx about the topic.” Ok, sweet finally. So I search for the author and date posted and what do you think I get? “If you go back through the posts you will find a wealth of information on this topic.”

At this point I’m about ready to put my fist through the wall. Hey, news flash jerk off, if you keep posting irrelevant postings about how the question was already answered many times, you are making it harder to search for the solution! Hence, you are inherently going to get more questions about the topic because no one can find the answer. In this particular case I actually went through every single result in the search listing and never found a single answer to the question.

You know what, in the future either post the answer, a link to the answer, your “magical search string” that actually turns up the answers, or just keep your hands off the keyboard. This goes for all you uber-3lit3 wastes of space that like to continually post RTFM as an answer as well. Nobody cares that the question has been asked x number of times before. They care that the question has been answered x number of times before and here is exactly where you can find all those answers.

Checks and Balances

•February 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well, tis the season, so let’s start things off right by discussing voting machines. I’m not talking about the mechanical variety of the past such as the Votomatic. No, I’m talking about the digital variety. Go ahead and roll your eyes. Come on you say, how could this possibly be a bad idea. Think of the drastic increases in efficiency! (excuse me while I swallow a little puke in the back of my throat)

There exists no computer system in the word that is incapable of being subversively manipulated. Let me see a show of hands from all who would prefer to put the fate of our individual freedoms in the hands of a bunch of interconnected computers. I know, I know, I’m being overly dramatic. I mean its not like we scanned the bill of rights to some network attached storage using optical character recognition software and threw away the original! I’m probably just making a big deal out of nothing. That whole 2004 election controversy didn’t really sink in all that much anyway.

I have to admit, my first opinion on the subject was that any electronic voting in any capacity was ludicrous. After a little more research and contemplation, I’ve changed my opinion on the subject. Black box voting on Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) systems is the real problem here.

By black box voting, I am referring to systems with proprietary operations to which there is no disclosure of their inner workings. These closed source systems have no peer review process. Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) is that which has no paper trail whatsoever. This makes the potential for a recount kinda low. Together, this volatile combination effectively eliminates the US system of checks and balances.

Bev Harris, founder of Black Box Voting Inc., a national nonpartisan, nonprofit elections watchdog group, discusses many of these concepts in her book: Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century (which is freely downloadable online)

One of the more thorough reviews of modern day electronic voting systems was detailed in the EVEREST report (Evaluation and Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards and Testing)

The basic idea is this. Require that the schematics, firmware, application software and fully operational hardware samples of revisions consistent with those to be commissioned into service be put under professional peer review before every major engineering university and hacker conference in America. This would surely occur 1 year prior to election usage.

As always, the caliber of our reader dictates that I not preach into your eye for too long without giving you a little search adventure of your own. Here’s a little Google jump start…

Premier Election Solutions wiki
Princeton Diebold Virus Hack
Diebold security key picture

Hello World

•December 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

After much deliberation over a name, theme, look, etc. I’d like to welcome everyone to the much anticipated arrival of The Jaundiced Monocle. I’d also like to take a minute to thank the Fern dog for the name and much of the inspiration. The about page tells a little more about the content that you can expect. Additionally, I’ll most likely disclose some info on the things I’ve been working on from time to time. Feel free to leave a little commentary of your own. Things are about to get interesting…