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* Posts by mike2R

216 posts • joined 26 Mar 2008

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'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts

mike2R

Re: Not necessary

This is very much the computer programmers objection. "We already have a function to do this, modify that one if needed to deal with the new case, but don't just reimplement the same solution elsewhere. You're creating a maintenance nightmare down the road due to your incompetence and laziness."

I'm not sure how good an objection this is to criminal legislation. I presume a large part of this announcement is the announcement itself - getting the idea into the public consciousness that there is punishment for threats of or incitement to violence, even if its done online. The idea is not only to have legislation to appropriately process crimes, but also to deter some of the crimes from being committed in the first place.

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Want to see the back of fossil fuels? Calm down, hippies. CAPITALISM has an answer

mike2R

Re: The problem with this article...

Do those sort of uses actually increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere? I'd have thought making some plastic product, and having your customers chuck it in a landfill, would count as carbon capture.

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Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM

mike2R

Re: What are your predictions?

Feeling optimistic, I'm going to say 60% No.

This based on my hopes that No voters have been less likely to declare themselves to pollsters, that some Yes supporters may have more wanted to send a message than actually become independent and will change their mind with the polls so close, and good old in-the-ballot-box cold feet.

But mainly that I don't want the vote to be any closer. A 20 point margin puts the question to bed.

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LOHAN acquires aircraft arboreal avoidance algorithm acronyms

mike2R

AREOLA

Airborne Realtime Emergency Orthogonal Log Avoidance

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Lawsuit claims SpaceX laid off hundreds without proper notice, pay

mike2R

Re: one trick my employer does.

Shades of Machiavelli in that:

"Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge."

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Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?

mike2R

Re: Little Englander syndrome

Why does it always have to be one extreme or the other in these debates? Those who seem to think leaving the EU will make Britain again a world power are certainly fools, but why do those who argue against them always end up as ridiculously exaggerated in the opposite direction?

Is France just the irrelevant bit on the west of the continent? Germany the middle area that no one cares about? Why then do those who most accuse others of clinging to an imperial heritage, themselves appear to dismiss modern Britain so completely. I think you're as much a prisoner of our past as the most stereotypical Little Englander. If we aren't an Empire, we are nothing?

Britain is a large European nation, and will continue to be so no matter what. We are a mid-sized country on a global scale, gradually declining in relative importance as the world develops, just like the rest of Europe both individually and collectively. And we will continue to be so no matter what.

All else is hyperbole.

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Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

mike2R

Re: Realism

I have to say, I don't think there is a huge amount of milage in the "EU membership problems" argument against Scottish independence. The whole situation would be disruptive and expensive enough for the UK, without having to deal with Scotland being a non-EU country on top of everything else. So the UK would actually be a supporter of Scottish membership in the event (Cameron has said as much). I find it hard to believe that Spain would insist on vetoing Scottish membership against the wishes of the UK.

The way I see it, there's a certain amount of justification in pointing out that Salmond has been less than honest over the issue, and has provided assurances which he has no power to make good on. But it is more that this is part of a pattern in the yes campaign, where all potential problems are ignored or misrepresented, rather than this actual issue being a major argument against independence. And pushing it as one distracts attention from those issues, like the currency, that the SNP really want to avoid talking about.

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mike2R

Re: Realism

"What's stopping an imdependent Scotland (or any other country) deciding to mirror the value of the UK pound? The only restriction I can see is potentially international copyright laws, but why then couldn't they keep parity but call it (say) the 'ellbie' or something."

There is nothing to stop an independent Scotland (or anywhere else) from simply using the pound without an agreement, though it is generally considered a poor choice, given that its a complete surrender of monetary control.

As far as having a separate currency with its value pegged to the pound, imagine the following scenario: many Scots with savings worry about the peg being maintained, and therefore decide they don't want their life savings in the new currency, and so change them for sterling, dollars, gold, etc. This floods the market with the new currency, and naturally that forces the price (ie the value) down. This forces the Scottish central bank to step in to support (ie buy) the new currency with its reserves to maintain the peg. But these reserves are limited, which everyone of course knows, causing more people and businesses to try to get their money out before its too late. At some point the Scottish central bank has to stop buying, or simply run out of reserves. The currency crashes and the peg is abandoned. And this doesn't even consider speculators who anticipate this exact possibility, place their bets on it, and then work to make it come about - as George Soros forced sterling itself out of a similar arrangement (the ERM) in the nineties, making himself billions.

Currency pegs used to be a lot more sustainable, since capital controls could physically prevent people from changing their money, but that isn't how the western world works these days. If Scotland were to launch its own currency it would pretty much have to be free floating - which seems like it would be the logical choice anyway, given how much of the SNP's rhetoric is about escaping the control of Westminster, which is surely only possible with monetary independence. I guess their analysis is that asking Scots to vote to have their savings redenominated is a non-starter, hence their absolute insistence that the UK secretly intends to offer a full currency union in the event of independence.

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'Green' Apple: We've smudged a bit off our carbon footprint

mike2R

"the point is that it takes enormous amounts of resources to produce spare parts for user serviceable stuff. Most of which won't sell"

This might be true for their consumer electronics. But soldering a part like RAM onto the motherboard of most of their laptops and latest iMac is just flat out wrong. Apple don't have to make the RAM for user upgrades any more than they make the RAM they sell with the machines. These parts are made by third parties and will exist whether Apple allows their machines to be upgraded or not. All soldering RAM does is reduce the lifespan of their computers.

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REVEALED: Reg trails claw along Apple's 'austerity' 21.5-inch iMac

mike2R

Re: @mike2R

A doubling every 2 years, no I agree not. But the next 5 seems reasonable enough. Personally I think that an iMac bought in 2014 should be as able to deal with 2019 as one that was bought in 2009 can deal with 2014 (any Early 2009 iMac can run 8GB, and any Late 2009 can manage 16GB). I can't think of any reason to permanently attach RAM to the motherboard than that Apple has a different point of view.

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mike2R

Re: All Macs have obsolescence built-in

All iMacs from the Mid 2007 revision onwards can run 10.9. And run 6GB of RAM (officially 4GB, but 6GB works fine in the Mid 2007).

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mike2R

Re: Everyday performance

8GB of RAM is fine now, but I'm yet to be convinced that we have hit some sort of peak where more RAM is going to be pointless down the line. In 5 years time (and many of the people who this is targeted at will want it to last AT LEAST that long) I suspect that this is going to struggle with the tasks the average consumer running the latest OSX will want to throw at it.

Not be impossible or anything, but degraded to the point where they would be more than happy to have the option for a cheap 16GB RAM upgrade. And unhappy that they don't. I hope so anyway, I loath these deliberately non-upgradeable computers.

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'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

mike2R

Re: Bell Labs

"Also of interest: the # symbol, above the "3" on my keyboard, is replaced by the "script-L pound" symbol on UK keyboards..."

UK Mac keyboard? Alt-3 will give you a hash.

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The Force of tax breaks brings Star Wars filming to Blighty

mike2R

Re: Crony Capitalism

Well it's certainly an argument for a competitive tax rate, and shall we call it flexibility when trying to attract the really valuable companies.

I'm not sure really where the film industry ranks on that - we do a fair bit business with them, but it isn't really our niche - we don't have the expertise needed to cater to them in the areas that are the real money spinners.

But the really valuable companies, say a big car manufacturing plant, that provide lots of high-quality jobs and can form the basis of an entire local economy? I'm sure it isn't as simple as just rating them at 0 for corporation tax, but they'll get a shed load of benefits and incentives and sweetheart deals that probably amount to the same. They're worth it and they know it.

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mike2R

Re: Crony Capitalism

Not really crony capitalism. It isn't politicians doing favours for their mates. Having this here will be a benefit, even with the tax breaks. British people will be employed, and British companies will supply them with products. Sure it would be nice to have the tax too, but so would a pony.

Ok I'm biased, I just checked the order system, and can see a hefty chunk of kit going to Pinewood Studios over the years. But it's in everyone's interest that UK companies get the business, rather than some random Californians who are much less likely to use the money earned to buy anything off you.

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Stephen Fry MADNESS: 'New domain names GENERATE NEW IP NUMBERS'

mike2R

Re: Man makes mistake

If he wasn't cheerleading the latest bit of Nominet extortion, I wouldn't care. But he is.

Pointing out that he is, pretty much in the same breath, demonstrating he doesn't have a sodding idea what he is talking about and therefore shouldn't be listened to on this subject, is perfectly valid.

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Heartbleed vuln under ACTIVE ATTACK as hackers map soft spots

mike2R

Re: foss

"The discussion is about the claim that in "Open Source all bugs are shallow". Is this claim valid, or not?

"This case has shown that that claim is not valid. Nobody has found this defect, even though this particular library is widely used."

I think that misses the point. This is an incredibly shallow bug. How long would it take someone familiar with the code to find the issue, once it had been pointed out? Two minutes? Open source or close source, that isn't really an issue.

If people are equating shallow with unlikely to happen in the first place and consequently more secure then that is the fallacy, rather than the idea that wide access to the source code can help with locating the problem in difficult to pin down bugs, which is basic common sense.

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US feds want cars conversing by 2017

mike2R

Re: Privacy? Easy.

"There are indicators on all non Audi cars that are legally mandated to indicate intended direction changes."

On Audis these have been repurposed to all flash together. They allow the Audi owner to legally park on double yellow lines and in disabled spaces, as long as they are just popping in for a minute.

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Drug dealer demands jail to escape 'unbearable' missus after NYE row

mike2R

Re: Blame?

Looks like some people here might be interested in this:

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/features/reader-offer/reader-offer-fishing-obsessed-wife-avoider-2012112850855

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Oi, bank manager. Only you've got my email address - where're these TROJANS coming from?

mike2R

Re: Oh really?

Happened to our main domain at work once years ago, vast amounts of email came in to different variants of firstname.lastname@ourdomain.co.uk

But I think the article is right that this isn't a cost effective method of spamming individuals. I assume that whoever it was had (wrongly) identified us as a large company where they could hope to get hundreds or thousands of hits with that sort of sending. Even if you're using a botnet, sending that amount of email is at very least an oppertunity cost, and in reality they are probably being rented for actual money.

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Bitcoin cred boosted by $25m cash infusion into Coinbase

mike2R

Re: Wait until China outlaws the stuff

"Bitcoin is fine, but the choke points are where you convert it into cash. Block those, and you get rid of the ecosystem."

I'm not sure it would be that easy. How do you stop a UK citizen making an online purchase/sale in another country where it is perfectly legal transaction? And Bitcoin is readily changeable to and from other virtual currencies (eg the ones used in MMO computer games). It would be a very tall order.

Going after large transactions with anti money laundering/proceeds of crime legislation perhaps. But criminals with large amounts of money can be a resourceful lot.

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MINING in SPAAAACE! Asteroid-scoopers? Nah - consumers will be the real winners

mike2R

Re: No property rights

There will need to be an incentive to be the first mover. If its cheaper to wait for someone else to make the initial move and then do what they have proved to work, then thats what everyone will do.

Some sort of property-type rights are the obvious solution, same as it is with intellectual property. Random example pulled from my arse: say you want to encourage people to prospect asteroids. You grant a 30 year period of exclusivity for mining prooved and published mineral deposits on asteroids, which can then be sold to mining companies or used by the organisation itself. Perhaps with the stipulation that non-exploited deposits can be licenced by anyone on some kind of RAND terms.

The details will obviously be different, but something that looks a lot like property rights is the obvious solution. Though maybe it is a good thing that no rights exist at present, since that means a new system can be drafted from scratch and tailored to this new situation.

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mike2R

Re: No property rights

"So can anyone explain why this would be a bad thing?"

No one would invest in working it out in the first place.

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Server, server in the rack, when's my disk drive going to crack?

mike2R

Re: … disk-makers' claims for longevity

One year on a Seagate Barracuda? That sounds like an OEM drive - one intended to be sold to system builders, who intend to handle their customer's warranty themselves. The consumer warranty on a Seagate Barracuda is 3 years I think, I'm positive it is 2 years minimum.

If you put the serial number into Seagate's warranty website it should tell you what sort of warranty it has.

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I am a recovering Superwoman wannabee

mike2R

Re: ROFL

Would this article really have been better if she'd tried to generalise to the point where it applied to everyone.

"For a man/woman/indeterminate who is working/serving in the military/dealing with being severely handicapped while balancing working long hours/being shot at/not being able to move his/her/its legs along with raising children/breeding prizewinng goldfish/feeding their heroine addiction, you can get over stressed (unless of course you thrive on stress, then maybe you don't have enough stress).. where was I?"

Seems more reasonable to me that she wrote about what she knew.

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MacBook Air fanbois! Your flash drive may be a data-nuking TIME BOMB

mike2R

Re: Interesting

You can get the OWC drives from a UK supplier. Not exactly cheap, but not as pricey as buying a new machine either:

http://www.macupgrades.co.uk/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=480gb+macbook+air

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US parents proclaim 811 'Messiahs'

mike2R
Happy

"Why are you called One-man-bucket?"

"...In my tribe we're traditionally named after the first thing my mother sees when she looks out of the tepee after the birth. It's short for one-man-pouring-a-bucket-of-water-over-two-dogs."

"That's pretty unfortunate."

"It's not too bad. It was my twin brother you had to feel sorry for. She looked out ten seconds before me to give him his name."

"don't tell me, let me guess. Two-dogs-fighting?"

"Two-dogs-fighting? Two-dogs-fighting? Wow, he would have given his right arm to be called Two-dogs-fighting."

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UK gov dials 999 over Serco prison escort fraud claims

mike2R

Re: Unintended Consequences

relevant Dilbert

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Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

mike2R

Re: The one way this could work properly

"The reason that there have not been charges is because of the way Swedish law works."

As the people going on about the lack of charges know very well, given how throughly the UK courts went into the issue.

You really don't help your own case by making misrepresentations of this sort people. You've got a good case, given recent events, that there is a lot of stuff going on that shouldn't. Stick to the truth, it is considerably more convincing.

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Silent Circle shutters email service

mike2R

Re: It's on the bbc.

Front page of the Telegraph to - near the bottom, but it appears to be the top Technology story. Google News finds several other mainstream UK sites carrying it, along with tech sites. While that doesn't say how prominent it is, I really don't see any reason to think its being deliberately buried in the UK press.

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

mike2R
Thumb Down

Re: RTFM

Which tells you that not only is the copier capable of making an unforgivable mistake, the company selling them fucking knows about it and sells them anyway.

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

mike2R

Re: I don't get this

I can understand using hacked websites to store/share/sell the material. What I don't get is: "Typically, someone visiting a normal adult porn website is redirected to, say, a file directory listing in a furniture shop's online home, which has been compromised and filled with images of terrible abuse."

Why do that? It would seem logical they would want to keep knowledge of the compromised server to themselves, not broadcast it to people who will report it.

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Chubby-chasing SEX TROLLS ran me offline, says fashion blogger

mike2R

Re: Welcome to the real world, kid.

@codejunky

I guess people understood that I wasn't swearing at you. I did describe your opinion as bollocks, I'll admit, but that was more being succinct than anything else. Any other description would have been considerably more wordy, and probably no less insulting for omitting the obscenity. Say "utterly wrong, and indicative of an either an inability to understand the issue, a deep lack of knowledge of it, or latent sexism on your part".

You are arguing that men and women get the same amount of crap online. This is just plain wrong. There is a whole level of unpleasantness which purely flows from some men to women. If you don't understand this then i can tell you, as I said, from experience of being mistaken for a women on XBox Live, you have no fucking idea (swearing in this case is for emphasis). Try it sometime. Considering how sensitive you seem to be, I do not think you would like it at all.

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mike2R

Re: Lower your expectations

You're missing the point. It's very easy to be oblivious to it, if you are a man who does not personally harass women. Apart from a few oddities we have equality now right? Anyone who says differently is just a symptom of political correctness gone mad. Thing is that's crap - any woman who is even slightly promenant is going to attract a whole range of shit online which simply doesn't happen to men

This is what will improve over time - the misogyny - as the process of leaving it behind gradually continues. All the truisms about anonymity causing people to act like arseholes will remain, so there will still be arseholes on the internet. But there will be fewer who specifically attack women in the way that happens now.

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mike2R

Re: Lower your expectations

It will never be pleasant, but things can and will be improved. The issue regarding the abuse women get online is not just because its online and everyone gets abuse, its so bad because there is still a deep well of misogyny in most if not all cultures.

This has improved, and will improve further. Women publicly standing up to this shit when it happens to them, and other people weighing in and making it clear that it is not acceptable, is one of the ways that this will be improved.

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mike2R

Re: Welcome to the real world, kid.

@codejunky

We do we just handle it differently.

Bollocks. I remember playing Halo 2 on XBox Live years ago with no mic, using my housmates account which had a female-sounding name.

If you've never done that you have no fucking idea, trust me. You get all the normal shit that everyone gets, plus a constat stream of "I'm going to fuck you", "I want to stick my tounge in your pussy, "I'm going to hunt you down and rape you."

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mike2R
Stop

I used to agree with that. Still do to the extent that you're right that you'll never eliminate this sort of behaviour. However I do not believe the current state of affairs, particularly the huge amount of shit even slightly promenant women have to put up with online, is the best the human race can do.

I never really realised how bad it is until rockpapershotgun, a gaming blog I read, took it up as an issue (a female writer for them got a load of abuse I think). The sheer number of very very angry men this created was a real eye opener. I'm now fully in favour of creating a stink over this sort of behaviour. I'm not a fan of legal sactions (outside threats of or incitement to violence) but I think there is a lot of room for behavioural change, which can come about by people making a fuss about the issue and highlighting it as unacceptable, rather than just treating it as normal.

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Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but WHO will rid us of terrible trolls?

mike2R

Re: Not you as well.

True, but its a losing battle. When a word gets taken over by the mainstream there isn't much you can do about it. You can try an tell them it should be 'griefer' or whatever and they'll happily ignore you in total obliviousness. Like in hacker/cracker.

Probably better to save your breath and accept that words' meanings change over time.

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You MERCILESS FIEND... you put that audio file on AUTOPLAY

mike2R
Thumb Up

Damn right. I don't block ads as such, but I use a flash blocker, and have animated gifs turned off. Anything that still manages to move gets adblocked. Usually at the domain level.

Whenever I have to use a browser that I haven't set up, and see all these animating looping things all over the place, I wonder how people can tolerate it without going nuts.

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Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

mike2R

Re: Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up.

If we can't make money doing what we do we shift what we do (as we've done several times over the years) or go out of business.

You're missing the point about pricing. We are not altruistically keeping our prices down when our costs go up, we are deliberately trying to get as much money for our products as humanly possible already. The only reason we are not charging more than we currently do is that people have an annoying habit of buying stuff elsewhere if we do that. There probably are products we could make more money on by charging more, but that is an oversight on my part, and if I can figure out which ones they are I'll put them up first thing on Monday morning, even if our costs were halved.

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mike2R

Re: these are generally eaten by the merchant.

I am an ecommerce merchant. We eat the fees on credit card processing.

Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up. Trust me on this, we set them at the level where we think we will make the most money. Cost are obviously vitally important, but this "they'll just put their prices up" is a fallacy.

If we could put our prices up without losing more money in lost sales than we were making from the higher price, don't you think we'd have done it already?

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mike2R

Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

Tom 13 - there is a higher cost in using credit cards, but the way things are at the moment for consumer purchases, these are generally eaten by the merchant. Very few places will make you pay the additional transaction fees for using a credit card rather than a debit card, so any rewards are basically free money to you as long as you don't do something silly like not pay off the balance in full.

B2B transactions, understandably enough, will typically pass the cost on to their customers.

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mike2R

Re: @Zmodem

garden-snail I think that is actually out of date. You are not protected by the same statutory rights as with a credit card, but as a practical matter debit card providers these days have equivalent schemes. This didn't use to be the case, and since it doesn't have legal force it is a weaker protection I suppose, but in practice these days the protection is equivalent.

Still makes sense to use a credit card IMO though.

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mike2R

Re: @Zmodem

I'd find it pretty damn inconvenient to have my current account out of action - I imagine it would cause all sorts of issues with direct debits and standing orders, and make paying utility bills harder etc.

Nothing impossible, but why not use a credit card and minimise the issue? As long as you pay it off every month there is no downside - I find it helps me control my spending since I get a letter each month telling me how much I've spent in the last month.

Probably should look into the reward thing though. I'm still using the card I got when I was a student and they don't give me anything like that.

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mike2R

Re: @Zmodem

The reason to use a credit card rather than a debit card is not so much the level of protection offered - Visa Debit is pretty much as good as a credit card from that point of view. Its just that its a hell of a lot less disruptive to have your available credit nicked than your bank account cleared out, even if you do get the money back down the line.

That said, if you want to be nice to the seller on a large purchase, use a debit card. They pay a percentage on credit card transaction, and a flat fee on debit cards.

4
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Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

mike2R

Re: I love the idea and desperately want one but what about professional drivers

My argument against that is simply the progress of humanity up until this point. Absent a compelling reason to believe that anything has fundamentally changed, I don't.

"If he buys a new machine, that machines was built by OTHER machines, with few if any people needed to oversee them."

That people are now so efficient is a good thing, not a bad one. I cannot see any reason to think that this becomes a bad thing past a certain point. Why should it? People are still needed, just ever less of them to perform the same tasks, and consequently the same number of people perform ever more tasks.

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mike2R

Re: I love the idea and desperately want one but what about professional drivers

Or if I may be allowed to post a lengthy quote, which makes the point far more eloquently (from That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen - Frederic Bastiat, 1850)

James B. had two francs which he had gained by two workmen; but it occurs to him, that an arrangement of ropes and weights might be made which would diminish the labour by half. Thus he obtains the same advantage, saves a franc, and discharges a workman.

He discharges a workman: this is that which is seen.

And seeing this only, it is said, "See how misery attends civilization; this is the way that liberty is fatal to equality. The human mind has made a conquest, and immediately a workman is cast into the gulf of pauperism. James B. may possibly employ the two workmen, but then he will give them only half their wages for they will compete with each other, and offer themselves at the lowest price. Thus the rich are always growing richer, and the poor, poorer. Society wants remodelling." A very fine conclusion, and worthy of the preamble.

Happily, preamble and conclusion are both false, because, behind the half of the phenomenon which is seen, lies the other half which is not seen.

The franc saved by James B. is not seen, no more are the necessary effects of this saving.

Since, in consequence of his invention, James B. spends only one franc on hand labour in the pursuit of a determined advantage, another franc remains to him.

If, then, there is in the world a workman with unemployed arms, there is also in the world a capitalist with an unemployed franc. These two elements meet and combine, and it is as clear as daylight, that between the supply and demand of labour, and between the supply and demand of wages, the relation is in no way changed.

The invention and the workman paid with the first franc, now perform the work which was formerly accomplished by two workmen. The second workman, paid with the second franc, realizes a new kind of work.

What is the change, then, which has taken place? An additional national advantage has been gained; in other words, the invention is a gratuitous triumph - a gratuitous profit for mankind.

From the form which I have given to my demonstration, the following inference might be drawn: - "It is the capitalist who reaps all the advantage from machinery. The working class, if it suffers only temporarily, never profits by it, since, by your own showing, they displace a portion of the national labour, without diminishing it, it is true, but also without increasing it."

I do not pretend, in this slight treatise, to answer every objection; the only end I have in view, is to combat a vulgar, widely spread, and dangerous prejudice. I want to prove, that a new machine only causes the discharge of a certain number of hands, when the remuneration which pays them as abstracted by force. These hands, and this remuneration, would combine to produce what it was impossible to produce before the invention; whence it follows that the final result is an increase of advantages for equal labour.

Who is the gainer by these additional advantages?

First, it is true, the capitalist, the inventor; the first who succeeds in using the machine; and this is the reward of his genius and his courage. In this case, as we have just seen, he effects a saving upon the expense of production, which, in whatever way it may be spent (and it always is spent), employs exactly as many hands as the machine caused to be dismissed.

But soon competition obliges him to lower his prices in proportion to the saving itself; and then it is no longer the inventor who reaps the benefit of the invention - it is the purchaser of what is produced, the consumer, the public, including the workmen; in a word, mankind.

And that which is not seen is, that the saving thus procured for all consumers creates a fund whence wages may be supplied, and which replaces that which the machine has exhausted.

Thus, to recur to the forementioned example, James B. obtains a profit by spending two francs in wages. Thanks to his invention, the hand labour costs him only one franc. So long as he sells the thing produced at the same price, he employs one workman less in producing this particular thing, and that is what is seen; but there is an additional workman employed by the franc which James B. has saved. This is that which is not seen.

When, by the natural progress of things, James B. is obliged to lower the price of the thing produced by one franc, then he no longer realizes a saving; then he has no longer a franc to dispose of, to procure for the national labour a new production; but then another gainer takes his place, and this gainer is mankind. Whoever buys the thing he has produced, pays a franc less, and necessarily adds this saving to the fund of wages; and this, again, is what is not seen.

Another solution, founded upon facts, has been given of this problem of machinery.

It was said, machinery reduces the expense of production, and lowers the price of the thing produced. The reduction of the profit causes an increase of consumption, which necessitates an increase of production, and, finally, the introduction of as many workmen, or more, after the invention as were necessary before it. As a proof of this, printing, weaving, &c., are instanced.

This demonstration is not a scientific one. It would lead us to conclude, that if the consumption of the particular production of which we are speaking remains stationary, or nearly so, machinery must injure labour. This is not the case.

Suppose that in a certain country all the people wore hats; if, by machinery, the price could be reduced half, it would not necessarily follow that the consumption would be doubled.

Would you say, that in this case a portion of the national labour had been paralyzed? Yes, according to the vulgar demonstration; but, according to mine, No; for even if not a single hat more should be bought in the country, the entire fund of wages would not be the less secure. That which failed to go to the hat-making trade would be found to have gone to the economy realized by all the consumers, and would thence serve to pay for all the labour which the machine had rendered useless, and to excite a new development of all the trades. And thus it is that things go on. I have known newspapers to cost eighty francs, now we pay forty-eight: here is a saving of thirty-two francs to the subscribers. It is not certain, or, at least, necessary, that the thirty-two francs should take the direction of the journalist trade; but it is certain, and necessary too, that if they do not take this direction they will take another. One makes use of them for taking in more newspapers; another, to get better living; another, better clothes; another, better furniture. It is thus that the trades are bound together. They form a vast whole, whose different parts communicate by secret canals; what is saved by one, profits all. It is very important for us to understand, that savings never take place at the expense of labour and wares.

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mike2R

Re: I love the idea and desperately want one but what about professional drivers

This argument would have kept the majority of the population working the land.

Any sort of automation is disruptive, and there are always losers. But in the long view being able to do the same work with less people makes us all richer - the people who are no longer employed find other work to do. The end result is that the same number of people accomplish more. This has transformed the world from one where people work all day simply to feed, cloth and shelter their families, into one where we all own vast quantities of goods which would have been unimaginable to our ancestors.

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Germans brew up a right Sh*tstorm

mike2R

It isn't all one off traffic with Americanisms in English, quite a few Britishisms go the other way - there's an American linguist to tracks them and has an interesting blog:

http://britishisms.wordpress.com/

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