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You can look at the mechanics of the thing you're studying and make predictions based on what's possible.

Like if you were watching the development of the space program you could make a prediction about when we'd get to the moon, without just looking at the historical top speed of airplanes we'd built before.

Yes but that's still using the past. All we have to work with, in order to formulate scientific theories, are correlations and patterns detected at some point in the past.

Of course, some correlations and patterns are much stronger than others, and we can be more confident in the predictions they yield.

So really the fallacy is about using too weak a model to predict the future.

It's a not consensual extraordinarily high interest loan. Robbery is a fine label to use for that.

It's absolutely consensual; it only happens if you overdraw your account.

They're not asking for a loan, they're asking to withdraw their own money that they put in the bank. The bank deliberately chooses to turn this into a loan if they accidentally ask for more than is currently there.

Let's talk about the word "accidentally".

Suppose I drive to a bar, have three beers, and drive home. I don't bother to check my BAC; I just assume I'm below the legal limit and can drive safely. On the way, I accidentally run over a budding young Progressivist on the street, who then dies. When the sheriff shows up, he finds that my BAC is 0.09 -- just over the limit!

Surely, you will agree that any penalty I am assessed for this should be minimal. After all, I did not intend to kill anyone. I did not think I was drunk. Sure, I didn't bother to check, or to assume the worst and take a couple hours' break before driving. But it was an accident. I didn't know that I was over the limit. Maybe I hadn't even read the law, and didn't know what the limit was, or what the penalties would be for exceeding it. Obviously, any big, mean, nasty "justice" system that would impose a heavy penalty on me for this act is evil and unethical.


Except, in your analogy, you are being force-fed alcohol by your landlord, car insurance laws, gas stations, any children you have, public dress laws, ISP, electric company, phone company, and the biological need for food.

This puts your default BAC at somewhere between .06 and 0.085 at any given moment. Now if you go over 0.09, do you think maybe that might happen on accident?

Nonsense. Nothing obligates you to use your checking account for the vast majority of ordinary purchases. And for those that you generally cannot avoid (usually only the rent), nothing requires that you fail to record the amount you spent and track the amount remaining. If you aren't sure of your records or don't care to keep them, use cash for everything else.

People with far less education than today's Americans have been successfully balancing checkbooks for over a century. My great-grandfather was a dirt-poor coal miner with a fourth-grade education and he never had any trouble avoiding overdrafts. And yes, he had -- and used -- a checking account for most of his life. Ignorance and carelessness are just excuses; they do not absolve you of your responsibilities.

My money is in my checking account. That's where it is. I can't use money from somewhere else. I could put it on a card, but then I still have to pay the card at the end of the month, don't I?

In fact, I just recently over-drafted my rent. Do you know why? Because my phone company auto-charges to my account. All I had to do was forget what day this happened, and not coordinate the exact day that my landlord cashed the check. (PS: it was my landlord who charged the overdraft fee. I have a decent bank.)

You're taking too narrow of a view here -- this isn't about responsibilities. Of course I'm responsible for my over-drafts. But I should not be at risk for them in the first place. And that's what this is about: RISK. The severity of a problem multiplied by the probability it will occur. Overdraft fees do not minimize risk, and thus they are not rationally justifiable. They disproportionately transfer risk from the bank to the customers. (That is, for every unit of risk the bank saves for themselves using over-draft fees, they deliver more than one unit of risk to their customers.)

If your landlord's bounced check fee is larger than $35, you'd have been better off with overdraft protection.

Incidentally, there is a great way to reduce this risk; manually pay your bills. I don't have any automatic charges larger than $10. You chose higher risk for higher convenience. It's a little silly to claim that the choice you made is not rationally justifiable - how do we know you were irrational then rather than now?

I pay rent on a storage garage and the owners have a policy: either use automatic payments or pay $15 extra per month.

That kind of thing is not my choice. It's lose-lose. And if I could afford a bigger place, or had the money to move that stuff, I wouldn't be renting storage.

Anyway, it would be far more risky to try to move out. And then, if I end up with a shitty roommate who steals from me, you'd probably tell me that this is my fault too. That I should have used my infinite time to make perfect decisions at every step.

You pay extra to be poor. Whether you choose it or not. It is not worthwhile for you to believe otherwise just because you have some ideological preference.

Did this hypothetical event take place in New York City? If so, the NYPD would probably throw a parade in your honor.

Even if you were a driving a commercial truck and ran over a kid walking to school while driving without a license, they still wouldn't press charges.

Since this thread isn't about police misconduct, let's assume not. If you insist, feel free to assume it was an older straight white male rumored to vote Republican bouncing around under my wheels.

I like the uArm, an Arduino powered arm for $340. http://evol.net/


There are no robots here.


Here is a robot:


And another one:



Can anyone compare Pixate to PencilCase.io?

When I tried pencilcase I found it fairly easy to use, and liked that apps can theoretically be exported and submitted to the app store.

What are the strengths of Pixate?


How about "birthright"?


Totally agree. My guess about the curve was wrong the same way as yours and the authors.

If that data's real then I want to know why it's tied to income and not something like wealth.

One wild theory.. quotas are based to income somehow, and that impressively straight line is because admissions officers are really good at their jobs.


Well, for one (and I'm not saying this is the explanation, just an answer to your question), FAFSA student aid eligibility is based on income, not wealth.


Actually wealth is another factor for FAFSA, it's just so seldom that a family has wealth but not income. Things like college savings accounts are actually factored against FAFSA applicants.


PC gaming may be bigger than you realize - it's twice the size of the console gaming market and growing. PC might not reach everyone, but it's where the money is.



I know. But rightly or wrongly I personally believe the reach of VR long term extends a lot further than just gaming.


But how many of those PC gamers have large powerful computers adequate for use with VR?


Not many considering you really want a GTX 970 minimum to keep framerate high enough - crucial to reduce motion sickness. Those new MSI GTX 970 4Gb nvidia cards look nice. I'd put the $400 down for one if I didn't just buy a coffee machine.

BTW, these graphics cards are the first I've seen which spin down to a stop for normal computing, the fans only kick in for 3d applications, great stuff. PC gaming and graphics is more amazing than ever.


Wouldn't that attack be possible even without this problem?


This is the cause of only 12% of accidents according to the article. "Other passengers" cause 15% and every other cause is a smaller amount. That's a ton of variety in what they consider the causes - would love to see the full list.



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