Thursday, February 18, 2010
When altruism and collectivism go unchallenged, ...
... "budget hawks" look like this:
For those 55 or older today, [Social Security] would remain unchanged. For those younger, benefits would be reduced -- with no cuts for the poorest workers. Workers 55 or younger in 2011 could establish individual investment accounts that would be funded with part of their payroll taxes. Government would guarantee a return equal to inflation.Note that there is no talk of phasing out and eventual repeal. Oh, and treating inflation like a metaphysical fact rather than the man-made disaster of government planning that it is won't help, either.
And yet, as Robert Samuelson indicates, Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), "stands virtually alone" in proposing that we do something about our ballooning federal deficit before it's too late.
136 at 3
This week's Objectivist Roundup is posted over at 3 Ring Binder.
A Fine Line
On the one hand, computer vendors help large numbers of people realize the potential of their various computing devices without having to wallow in technical details for inordinate amounts of time.
On the other hand, many computer vendors seem intent on going beyond simple division of labor to actively fostering dependence, as this excerpt from an article at Cracked indicates.
[T]here's an unfortunate catch with Apple products. Even after you spend your hard earned money on fancy Jobsian wonder-toys, you still don't really own them. ...I can see not wanting to provide support for technologies their designers might not have had in mind when designing the iPhone, but why not just make it clear that any problems associated with such modifications are unsupported? Or, if Apple's contracts with AT&T and Verizon demand such updates, why not make it clear that they will break your phone if you stray? (Maybe Apple does both. I don't know.)
... [M]anufacturers of other cell phones and gadgets generally don't care what customers do once they've paid for their products ... But Apple goes beyond complaining. They will actively break your shit for disobeying their arbitrary rules.
Yes, Apple has sent out updates specifically designed to disable phones that have been modified to work with carriers other than AT&T, or to run Microsoft Office. [links dropped]
I wonder whether Apple would fare so well in a more rational culture. On top of the fact that it would probably face better competition, would as many people accept such deals so willingly? Would more people want to go the extra mile to modify their iPhones? Would this cause Apple to have to be more accommodating?
Nature's wonders are fine, but her bloopers are underappreciated.