Joss Delage

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Everything posted by Joss Delage

  1. Teaching my son

    Yes, that's what that guy (in the podcast) did - 5% a month I think as long as the allowances were small enough, then he dialed it down when the kids got older and more expensive.
  2. March 4, 1789 - November 6, 2012

    Hopefully voters and Tea Party congresspeople will keep Boehner in line.
  3. Teaching my son

    I would get him to read Heinlein's "youth" books. Also, I would incorporate compounding interest in his cash allotment. See this for more detail (Econtalk is generally a good podcast IMHO): Maybe there's a way to incorporate taxation too.
  4. Do you consume media with a bad editorial stance?

    I agree. I don't watch TV (so no Fox News) and I don't listen to right wing talk radio, but I have heard and read that the GOP "analytical" bench consisted mostly of old pros (Rove, etc) relying on their experience, and very few quants. If it's true, it's an obvious weakness.
  5. I have found that most of my news comes from media whose editorial stance I disagree with, often strongly so. Some are horribly biased (NPR's The Diane Rehm Show), others less so (NPR's To The Point). I've found over time that I am able to separate the bias from the quality of the analysis. Once I'm aware of the bias, I can adopt "corrective lenses", and get great value from quality media, whether biased or not.
  6. Do you consume media with a bad editorial stance?

    Seeing the results of the election, I feel well served by The Economist, NPR, the WSJ, Megan McArdle's, Felix Salmon's & other blogs, etc. It sounds like the right wing media either was getting high on its own supply or made the choice to lie to its audience. This is just based on what I tried to sample - not a critic of what people here might use, since I don't know them.
  7. The bad guy won. The fight continues.

    The important thing in my opinion is to help move the GOP away from abortion, gay marriage, immigration, etc. There needs to be a strong change in the philosophical stance of the GOP. I don't know if the best way to do that is by writing letters, voting for libertarian candidates, or become an actual member of the GOP to influence nomination contests.
  8. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

  9. My Hobby: Long Range Fishing

    Brazil nuts are legit. I don't know how they compare with fish in terms of density.
  10. Happy Birthday to B. Royce

    Happy birthday Brian.
  11. CGI full feature movies

    Yesterday, I downloaded and watched "Starship Troopers - Invasion", a CGI movie based loosely on the Heinlein book, and more closely to the movie from a few years ago (but it's much better). It's a fun action SciFi movie, and I recommend it to afficionados of the genre. What's amazing is the quality of the CGI. Human faces are still not quite there, but everything else is nearly on par with live action movies (for a small screen at least). This can only get better and cheaper with more powerful computers.
  12. Advice requested: melatonin

    I did a lot of research on the subject because I had the same problem. Other things that can cause this waking up in the middle of the night include: - too much alcohol too late in the evening, - too much carbs in the evening, - too few calories in the evening (eat a piece of cheese before going to bed), - mineral defficiencies in particular in zinc and magnesium (there's a combined supplement called ZMA which is considered very effective). As a side note, one of the most endorsed remedy to go back to sleep if you were to wake up in the middle of the night is ... any form of sexual release.
  13. My Hobby: Long Range Fishing

    Well, fish does contain mercury - that's not false - but it's more than balanced in selenium as far as sea fish are concerned. Fresh water fish doesn't have the same level of selenium, so if they come from a contaminated lake they should be avoided.
  14. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    There are 49M of Medicare recipients in the US, out of a population of 311M. This doesn't include Medicaid (which is small), SS, unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc, etc, etc. The US is a welfare state, different from Europe's in degree only. The US spends more than 19% of its GDP on welfare (incl. education). Spains spends 25%, the UK 26%, Germany 35% and France 38%. Europe spends quite a bit more but we're not talking about an order of magnitude difference (source: Taxes here are comparatively less than in Europe not only because of lower welfare expenditures but also because it puts more on its credit card. The US debt will eventually come back as taxes or inflation. As a side note, I'm French, born in '71, moved to the US in '96 where I stayed until '08. We then spent 3 years in France and came back to our home in Seattle in May '11. Unemployment in France is much worse than in the US and taxes are apalling. The country is more advanced down its road to socialism, and altruism is deeply enshrined. From my perspective I see the US not that far behind.
  15. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    Thanks for the podcast plug ewv. I'm downloading it now and will make sure to listen to it.
  16. My Hobby: Long Range Fishing

    Fish is so rich in selenium that you're generally safe. The selenium more than offset the mercury. The only stuff you shouldn't eat is whale meat, shark, and maybe king mackerel & swordfish. Sounds like a fun hobby. I already have too many hobbies I can't afford (in time and money...) I really like raw fish. I like sashimi & sushi, but I also love the various forms of ceviche: raw fish, coriander seeds, jalapeno, sweet onion, and lime juice - awesomeness.
  17. Advice requested: melatonin

    Melatonin is OK for short term use but can lead to a disruption of your own melatonin production if used for long. It can be effective, however, melatonin is important to fall asleep - not to stay asleep. For your problem, you can try to to manipulate other variables; I would start with food and stress reduction. Make sure your room is completely blacked out (no LEDs), quiet (no pets), and on the cool side. A less disruptive solution (than melatonin) is a bright lamp which you use for 15-30mn every morning to reset your cycle (it's also important to stay away from screens at night - no TV, no computers). I use the one below - I love it, it's very effective:
  18. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    I'm not talking about Obama's wet dreams. I'm talking about what Obama would *do* versus what Romney would, over the next 4 years. Again, I see not much difference. I'm not saying there's none at all. I'm saying there isn't much. Both would bail out Wall Street or Government Motors if needed, neither would repeal Obamacare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, or Medicare, neither would gut the US military, neither would do much more or much less against the Talibans, neither would help Israel carry an attack of Iran, neither would stand by if Israel itself was attacked militarily, etc. Taxes, education, regulations, etc, are not really something they have a power to influence massively, and I don't trust Romney to stand his ground if he were presented by a "balanced tax deal" by the Congress. I want the GOP to change and become a pro-freedom, pro-reason platform, not 100 year from now, but in the near future. I don't see how a vote for Romney will help. As a side note, the reason why the GOP's stance on immigration, abortion, gay rights, etc, is important is not that those issues are more important than economic freedoms or defense. It's because those stances (1) make the GOP sound unprincipled and inconsistent and (2) turn away a lot of moderate voters who would otherwise be confortable voting for the GOP.
  19. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    The US *is* a welfare state. The average retired couple contributed $149,000 to Medicare and is pulling $350,000 out of it - and what does the GOP says? That it wants to save Medicare.
  20. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    You're comparing what will happen under Obama with the world as it should be if rational capitalism was the prevailing paradigm. I'm comparing what will happen under Obama with what will happen under Romney. What I'm seeing is, not much difference. We have been living in a big-gish government country for a while now. We're not that far apart from some of those European countries. In fact, we're closer to France than to some of the Baltic or Eastern Europe countries, not to mention Singapore, etc. I don't trust Romney to repeal Obamacare (he's already said he wants to keep the most altruist parts, e.g., the pre-existing condition thing, which basically enshrines the mandate). Even if he wanted to, he's probably not going to have the political power to do anything about it. Right now in America we live in under a democratic (albeit indirect) system. Even the SCOTUS is politically pragmatic, as was demonstrated. If a majority of US people want Obamacare, they're going to get it. The only way to change that is to work over the long term to change the philosophical outlook. Sending a strong message to the GOP would contribute to that. Sending Romney to the White House will do very little - unless he suddenly becomes a principled capitalist once elected, which I have no reason to believe he will. For the record, if I were to vote (I'm not a US citizen), I would vote Romney. I would have voted Johnson but his campaign disgusted me.
  21. Even Sandy concedes to union power

    Yes, canceling the marathon was Bloomberg's best idea of the week.
  22. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    Why do you say that? Everything that is done by a given government can be undone by another. Germany came back from Nazism, and the Baltic countries came back with a bang from a generation of Stalinism. Surely the American people can roll back 8 years of Obama. We will not die in the next 4 years if Obama is elected. This is ludicrous.
  23. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    I agree that voting for GJ as a means to sending a message is effective. It's actually much more effective than to send a letter or an email. The GOP is going to need to change in the future with regard to immigration, abortion rights, etc. Voting for the LP sends a message that things need to change. Polsters and political analyst are sophisticated enough to then investigate as to why some votes (which should have gone to the GOP) went to the LP. Personally, I have moved away from my initial enthusiasm for GJ due to his ludicrous campaign. However, I still think it would be a very legit (rationnal) decision for an Objectivist. We had the same discussion four years ago, and the same arguments were made: now is not the time to waste your vote. In the mean time the GOP has not evolved. There was a glimmer of hope with the tea party, but it wasn't a structured pro-freedom, pro-reason movement, and now it has been diluted and has lost meaning. The GOP has stuck to its mysticism and has ratcheted up its anti-immigration. Romney has conducted a completely pragmatic campaign, to the point that I'm not even sure what he will try to do if elected - I'm not even clear he'll take down Obamacare anymore. All I can say is that he's not has bad as Obama.
  24. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    In that case, it's the same question at the first one, isn't it? By definition if you plan to vote for A you will never vote for B or C in the context of this election. Are you saying that this is a question just for undecided?
  25. FINAL Presidential Poll for 2012

    I asked the same question in the past. Personally I like him quite a bit, though I liked him better as a contender for the GOP. As a LP candidate, he has mostly been talking about ending the wars & has adopted the LP's isolationist stance. He also has sued the debate commission to be included...