Neil deGrasse Tyson moderating a debate on selling space

From March 2014. We live on the cusp of an amazing age. It will save us all.

Zero Marginal Cost – the end of capitalism or its rebirth

Forex Money for Exchange in Currency Bank 

Is The Zero Marginal Cost Society The End Of Capitalism… Or A Way To Fix Capitalism?
[Via Techdirt]

As regular readers here on Techdirt will know, I’ve been talking about the importance of understanding what happens to economic equations when the marginal cost of something is zero for over 15 years already. It’s a very common theme around here. One of my complaints has been that those who came out of an economic world viewpoint in which economics is entirely about dealing with the efficient allocation of scarce resources, tend to fall into a weird intellectual black hole when they try to put a zero in the equation. But I’ve long argued that this is the wrong way to look at things. The basic equations still work fine, it’s just that you have to recognize the flip side of zero is infinity. When you have a zero marginal cost item, you are creating an infinite good — a resource that can never run out. When you begin to realize that you have a new form of resources — inputs in economic terms — suddenly you realize that you’re massively expanding the pie, allowing incredible new things to be created from that limitless pool of resources. That’s powerful stuff.

So, as you can imagine, I was excited when the publisher of Jeremy Rifkin’s new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, reached out to send me a promo copy a few weeks ago. I am only halfway through it, so I’ll probably write more about it when it’s done, and there’s an awful lot of really interesting examples and profound thinking going on. So I’m really enjoying the basic part of it. However, there’s one aspect of the book that I have trouble with, and it’s exemplified in Rifkin’s op-ed in the NY Times a few weeks ago, called The Rise of Anti-Capitalism. You can probably already suspect the problem I’m seeing, based on the title. The explanation of zero marginal cost and how more and more of our economy is heading there is spot on. And, as we’ve been noting for over a decade as well, this goes way, way beyond just “content” like music and movies. It’s going to impact nearly every important industry in our lives:

[More]

Nice discussion. The endeavors that are most disruptive right now, as marginal cost begins to move to zero, are those that enhance social activities and collaborative needs.

And most are acting in very capitalistic ways. But in ways that mirror more closely just what Adam Smith hypothesized in Wealth of Nations than we have grown used to calling capitalism today.

Add in increased resources from space and things will change a lot.

The next El Nino may be on the way. And it looks like it will be huge

 Super Swells Again

Monster El Nino Emerging From the Depths: Nose of Massive Kelvin Wave Breaks Surface in Eastern Pacific
[Via robertscribbler]

Monster El Nino

(A monster Kelvin wave, possibly more powerful than the 1997-98 event, is now rushing toward the surface of the Eastern Pacific. Image source: NOAA/ESRL.)

We are observing an extraordinarily powerful Kelvin Wave, one that was likely intensified by factors related to human global warming, traveling across the Pacific. It appears to be an epic event in the making. One that may be hotter and stronger than even the record-shattering 1997-98 El Nino. What this means is that we may well be staring down the throat of a global warming riled monster.

[More]

Good times might be over. If this new El Nino is anything close to the one in the late 90s, temperatures could begin rising fast. That first animation is shocking.

There appears to be more heat in this water than was in the huge El Nino of 1997.It was the largest such event in the 20th century. The global temperatures due to that event increased to such hugh levels that it would be almost a decade before the world became that hot again.

anomoly

This is what happened along the Washington Coast during the 1997 event: huge rises in sea levels making storms much more destructive along the coast.

Sealevel

Sometimes the sea level was almost half a meter higher than normal, with wave heights a full meter higher than normal. It will not be a good year to be along the West Coast.

And while it may break the drought in Texas, it could well bring huge amounts of flooding due to extreme weather events. That it, lots of frog stranglers hitting dry ground and running off instead of penetrating.

The West Coast will get little rain and be much hotter, so the food producing areas of the state will be hard hit. 


The Costco Model in a Burger Chain

Retail Costco Wholesale 

The Burger Chain That Pays $10 An Hour With Benefits |
[Via  ThinkProgress]

Shake Shack, a burger chain with locations in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. as well as international locations in the Middle East, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, pays starting workers $9.50 an hour outside of New York City and $10 an hour for New Yorkers, CEO Randy Garutti told ThinkProgress. It also offers full-time employees health, dental, vision, retirement, and disability benefits plus paid time off.

[More]

{I’ve been a Costco member for over 20 years.)

The Costco model is to pay better than prevailing wages and good benefits but to make up for it in much lower training costs due to turnover. They hire from within (it does not hire MBAs to fill positions) and provide people a long term position treated with respect rather than a race to the bottom, like the WalMart model.

The result is sales per employee that are almost 3 times higher than WalMart’s.

The WalMart model may get to big profits faster but, as we are seeing, is not a sustainable model.

This is not the only fast food place using this model. In-N-Out burger does also. I

Perhaps we are beginning to move away from the sociopathic, authoritarian model of the last 30 years to a more community-based, supportive one. 

Because, as has been shown, it is possible to make money with each.

Seating upgrades using iBeacon

 P1000223

Apple’s iBeacon used to push seat upgrades in nosebleeds at sporting events
[Via AppleInsider]

Some U.S. sports arenas have begun pushing ticket upgrades to fans in the cheap seats through Apple’s iBeacon technology for iPhone, offering users the ability to upgrade their seats quickly and easily.

[More]

Nice win-win. The team gets some money for a seat that would already be empty and gets to make sure that the staium looks fuller.

The fans get to experience the game in a much better location. All because they had an iPhone.

Would we have developed electrical power lines if we could see in the UV like many animals?

power to the people!

Animals Avoid Power Lines Because of Frightening UV Sparks
[Via D-brief]

Researchers know that high-voltage power lines have some strange influence on animals. Creatures from reindeer to elephants to birds tend to avoid the areas around power lines. This was mysterious because the structures seem passive and simple to walk or fly past.

However, scientists now say this may be because power lines emit ultraviolet light, invisible to human eyes, that appears as frightening flashes to animals that can perceive ultraviolet light.

This paper is the first to offer a simple explanation for the power line-avoidance behavior. If true, the theory could explain fragmentation of wild habitats.

[More]

Nice explanation. And it helps support why these power lines are helping create fragmentation of local animal populations.

The herds avoid the lines, which now act as physical barriers like mountain ranges, to prevent groups from crossing over to other ones.

I wonder if we would have developed a different system if we could see in the UV also?

Change is Coming – listen to Peter, Paul and Mary

The times certainly are changing.

From 1965.

And from 1995

The lyrics have never been more appropriate,particularly the one about Senators and Congressmen.

 

Come gather ’round people 
Wherever you roam 
And admit that the waters 
Around you have grown 
And accept it that soon 
You’ll be drenched to the bone 

If your time to you 
Is worth savin’ 
Then you better start swimmin’ 
Or you’ll sink like a stone 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

Come writers and critics 
Who prophesize with your pen 
And keep your eyes wide 
The chance won’t come again 
And don’t speak too soon 
For the wheel’s still in spin 

And there’s no tellin’ who 
That it’s namin’ 
For the loser now 
Will be later to win 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

Come senators, congressmen 
Please heed the call 
Don’t stand in the doorway 
Don’t block up the hall 
For he that gets hurt 
Will be he who has stalled 

There’s a battle outside 
And it is ragin’ 
It’ll soon shake your windows 
And rattle your walls 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

Come mothers and fathers 
Throughout the land 
And don’t criticize 
What you can’t understand 
Your sons and your daughters 
Are beyond your command 

Your old road is 
Rapidly agin’ 
Please get out of the new one 
If you can’t lend your hand 
For the times they are a-changin’. 

 

Come gather ’round peopleWherever you roamAnd admit that the watersAround you have grownAnd accept it that soonYou’ll be drenched to the boneIf your time to youIs worth savin’Then you better start swimmin’Or you’ll sink like a stoneFor the times they are a-changin’.
Come writers and criticsWho prophesize with your penAnd keep your eyes wideThe chance won’t come againAnd don’t speak too soonFor the wheel’s still in spinAnd there’s no tellin’ whoThat it’s namin’For the loser nowWill be later to winFor the times they are a-changin’.
Come senators, congressmenPlease heed the callDon’t stand in the doorwayDon’t block up the hallFor he that gets hurtWill be he who has stalledThere’s a battle outsideAnd it is ragin’It’ll soon shake your windowsAnd rattle your wallsFor the times they are a-changin’.
Come mothers and fathersThroughout the landAnd don’t criticizeWhat you can’t understandYour sons and your daughtersAre beyond your commandYour old road isRapidly agin’Please get out of the new oneIf you can’t lend your handFor the times they are a-changin’.
The line it is drawnThe curse it is castThe slow one nowWill later be fastAs the present nowWill later be pastThe order isRapidly fadin’And the first one nowWill later be lastFor the times they are a-changin’.

 

Apple’s wearables will be part of our digital hub

Rings

→ Wearing Apple
[Via Marco.org]

Craig Hockenberry:

Given everything presented above, it’s pretty clear to me that a “smartwatch” isn’t in Apple’s immediate future. But they’re clearly interested in wearable technology. So what are the alternatives for a product that could be released this year?

His guess is as good as any others I’ve heard. I don’t know if he’s right, but I agree that watches are problematic.

Apple’s previous blockbusters — Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad — were all in categories that people really wanted, and there was hope of something good existing within what was technically possible. There were halfway decent portable music players before the iPod, and people really wanted portable music players. Same for smartphones and tablets.

I’m not sure those conditions hold, especially the demand side, for smartwatches: it’s a category that pundits and the tech media are telling us we want, but I’m not sure enough people really do.

[More]

Those who envision some sort of smart watch have it wrong. In many ways what I think will happen (and so does this article) is that Apple will make a lot of “kinda dumb”.

First, the computational power will be in our pocket – an iPhone. I have written about this several times. We do not want a large bulky watch.

What we wear will provide biometric input that, in combination with the security of an iPhone, will permit secure financial transactions to be done, safer than a credit card.

It will transmit health data to our iPhone and then out to the web. 

As this article states, we do not have to wear these devices on our wrist. Heck, I expect there to be ear plugs that wirelessly communicate, or rings, or headbands.

Wearable separates the computer from display or input. That is where Apple is going.

They hate Tim Cook because he cares about us

 empathy

Tim Cook to Apple Investors: Drop Dead
[Via NCPPR]

Tim Cook to Apple Investors: Drop Dead

Apple CEO Tim Cook tells Investors Who Care More About Return on Investment than Climate Change: Your Money is No Longer Welcome

As Board Member Al Gore Cheers the Tech Giant’s Dedication to Environmental Activism, Investors Left to Wonder Just How Much Shareholder Value is Being Destroyed in Efforts to Combat “Climate Change”

Free-Market Activist Presents Shareholder Resolution to Computer Giant Apple Calling for Consumer Transparency on Environmental Issues; Company Balks

[More]

Sociopaths. They hurt us all. This group fails to understand that part of Apple’s success is caring about the world its customers live it. It wants to sell them devices that make that world better.

So trying to make the world better by decreasing pollution— in ways that actually also make money for Apple—is a direct ROI. Or it should be to these guys. But they seem to be suffering from some psychiatric disorder.

An anti-social one.

Yes, they do not want Apple spending money on environmental stuff, such as reducing toxic emissions or polluting water supplies, when that money should go to shareholders. Some quotes:

“The company’s CEO fervently wants investors who care more about return on investments than reducing CO2 emissions to no longer invest in Apple. Maybe they should take him up on that advice.” …

…After today’s meeting, investors can be certain that Apple is wasting untold amounts of shareholder money to combat so-called climate change. The only remaining question is: how much?”…

…”Apple’s actions, from hiring of President Obama’s former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson, to its investments in supposedly 100 percent renewable data centers, to Cook’s antics at today’s meeting, appear to be geared more towards combating so-called climate change rather than developing new and innovative phones and computers.”

Sociopaths. They got GE to buckle here but not Apple. Here is how this was described by another attendee:

What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the NCPPR’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.

“When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,” he said, “I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.

As evidenced by the use of “bloody” in his response—the closest thing to public profanity I’ve ever seen from Mr. Cook–it was clear that he was quite angry. His body language changed, his face contracted, and he spoke in rapid fire sentences compared to the usual metered and controlled way he speaks.

He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.”

We would all be better off if they did sell their stock. They lack an understanding of why Apple is so successful.

As do many sociopaths from Wall Street. As I wrote earlier— Apple is successful because it has created a family that includes its own customers.

So, Apple makes the world we live in better and we buy stuff from it because of that. By helping save the environment (even if that help does nothing) it shows that it wants to improve where we live. And sell us products that also make our life better.

They are both part of the same thing, as far as Apple is concerned.

Even if climate change was not happening, it would still be useful marketing, because it shows Apple cares about our world. Don’t those sociopaths get it? 

Nope because of the actual defects in sociopaths—they show a lack of remorse, a lack of shame, and, tellingly a lack of empathy.

Sociopaths, lacking the empathy and sympathy described by Adam Smith in his book on Moral Sentiments. These are not the moral men he expected to be running capital markets.

They are bandits, enriching themselves at the detriment of the rest of us. It is not normal for them to be the ones running our capital markets.

We need them all to sell all their stock.We need to move the sociopaths to other jobs.

Then perhaps we can begin the road back to normalcy.

Rent-seeking – Using the political system to prevent innovation

 Adam Smith

Auto dealers vs Tesla, taxi commissions vs Uber: Just the same damn rent seeking
[Via PandoDaily]

Sometimes this journalism stuff can be just too easy.

One reader has written in asking what’s happening in this fight between Tesla and the auto dealers in New York State. And then a PR agency sends me a blurb asking that I publicise their most recent campaign against Uber and Lyft.

As I say… too easy. They are both the same story: How incumbents, insiders in the political process, are willing to subvert that political process for their own economic gain. A gain, we should note, that comes at the expense of us consumers.

To the Tesla story, an outline of which is here:

ALBANY—Tesla would no longer be able to sell its luxury electric vehicles directly to consumers under a new bill in the New York State Legislature.

Groups representing the state’s automobile dealers met with Governor Andrew Cuomo in November to push a bill that would prevent automobile manufacturers from selling their vehicles directly to consumers, public schedules show. Deborah Dorman, president of the Eastern New York Coalition of Auto Dealers, was at that meeting and said Tuesday Cuomo aides told the group the governor would sign the bill if it passes.

That’s all pretty simple to understand. If car manufacturers have to sell through dealers then that means that dealers get a slice of the sale of every car. So dealers are of course going to campaign for manufacturers to have to sell through dealers, they’d be very odd indeed if they didn’t.

[More]

Of course these guys are going to use every possible trick to save their business and jobs, even as the economy changes. I bet the buggy whip makers would have done the same thing.

But government regulation should seldom be used to save a business model. It is almost never to the customer’s benefit.

Yet, because our system of government is tied to much to money, regulatory capture is a common thing throughout the system.

It is rent-seeking in its purest form – to increase one’s share of existing wealth without actually creating any wealth. It is making money simply by having money not by creating anything new. It is a parasitic outgrowth of capitalism.

It is a horribly pernicious policy arising from the collaboration of capitalists and politicians. The customer is never part of the equation so it is actually anti-capitalistic as described by Adam Smith.

We must work to stop this. Can we?

Will Samsung provide such details abouts its movile security?

Lock

Apple details Touch ID and Secure Enclave tech in new security white paper
[Via AppleInsider]

An iOS security white paper published by Apple on Wednesday offers a deeper understanding of the company’s Touch ID fingerprint sensing system and the so-called “Secure Enclave” found in the A7 SoC, both of which were introduced with the iPhone 5s.

[More]

This is nice to see. The key is building their own processor and devoting space to a Secure Enclave.

What will Samsung do? I wonder what patents Apple holds here?

Stupid authoritarian response to agile Twitter account

 Harkins Theatres - Camelview 5

Paramount Flips Out That People Might ‘Watch’ Twitter Account Posting Top Gun Frame By Frame
[Via Techdirt]

Over the last week or so, there have been a bunch of news stories about the (now gone, as we’ll explain in a moment) twitter account, 555uhz, which had been tweeting every half an hour what appeared to be a captioned frame-by-frame image from the classic 1980s movie, Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. It was slightly weird and quirky, like plenty of random Twitter accounts. This one had picked up a little over 6,000 followers, but late last week Paramount began sending DMCA notices to the account, leading to Twitter shutting down the account entirely, likely for getting so many infringement claims.

[More]

So, this site was transmitting 1 frame every half hour. No way would anyone actually collect all the frames to recreate he movie. And it would still have no sound.

But it was such a threat to Paramount that it had to be shut down.

The name of the account gives that away – 555uhz:

But, the real framerate of @555uhz isn’t 24 frames per second, nor is the Twitter account sampling 24 frames per second. The real framerate is the rate at which the account posts frames to Twitter, just like the real framerate in a movie is the rate at which a spool of film projects images onto a screen. We can figure the Top Gun tweet-rate out easily enough: 48 tweets a day, two tweets an hour. That winds up being 2/60 or .034 frames per minute. Now, convert that to frames per second: .000555. Look familiar?

Frames per second is a more specific version of the unit Hertz (Hz), and 1 Hz is just one full cycle of some periodic thing (like sound waves, for example) happening in one second. So we actually have .000555 Hz, which converts nicely to 555 microHertz (uHz).

0.000555 frames per second! It would take over 9 years to collect the whole thing – they were actually simplifying things so it would only have taken a few months.

Yet this is such a threat to Paramount that they have to shut it down

If someone wanted to download the movie illegally there are much easier ways to download it. And much faster.

But the site was drawing interest because it was so unusual and reminded people of the movie. It was aggregating a community of people with an interest in Top Gun. For fno cost to Paramount.

Fans spend an inordinate amount of money and time on the things they are fanatic about. It can cost a lot to find them.

But Paramount was getting them for free. And it simply acted like the authoritarian organization it is. It crapped on its own fans, fans that it most likely spends a lot of money to engage –Paramount spends over $80 million in advertising each year.

A resilient and agile company would have recognized this and leveraged it. I mean, several people said they went and rewatched the movie simply because of this site. Paramount should be happy.

Paramount could have transmitted one of the frames out of sequence and then had a contest for the person who discovered where it was. They could have leveraged the community for all sorts of things instead of destroying it.

All without spending much money at all!

But, they showed themselves an authoritarian dinosaur, calling their own fans criminals and destroying the community.

Now they have a lot of ticked off people instead of fans.

Authoritarians simply act stupid because they know nothing else.



Lack of competition produces higher insurance costs

Main building, Hermann Hospital -- Houston, Texas 

The 10 Least Expensive Health Insurance Markets
[Via MedPageToday]

People in much of Minnesota, northwestern Pennsylvania, and Tucson, Ariz., are getting the best bargains from the healthcare law’s new insurance marketplaces: premiums half the price or less than what insurers in the country’s most expensive places are charging.

The 10 regions with the lowest premiums in the nation also include Salt Lake City, all of Hawaii, and eastern Tennessee. This ranking is based on the lowest cost of a “silver” plan, the mid-range plan most consumers are choosing.

The cheapest cost regions tend to have robust competition between hospitals and doctors, allowing insurers to wangle lower rates. Many doctors work on salary in these regions rather than being paid by procedure, weakening the financial incentive to perform more procedures.

[More]

This is the sort of data we will begin seeing more and more of. There are reasons why insuracne costs are so different and it appears that a major one is how competitive the healthcare market is in n area, not how good the healthcare actually is.

We see the same trend in the most expensive areas of the country – lack of competition in the number of hospital systems.

It is fascinating that, even though Tennessee some of the lowest premiums in the country, even though it has a lot of people with severe health problems

Consolidation of hospital systems does not save us money.It increases insurance costs tremendously.

We hear about narrow networks costing people their doctors. But this is the flip side of the insurers having negotiating strength by being able to pick and choose networks.

Here we have examples of how having multiple hospital systems drops insurance costs substantially.

These competitive markets are quite different than in southwest Georgia, the second most expensive region in the country. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia had no choice but to include in its network the Phoebe Putney Health System, which controls 86% of the market. The lowest premium in southwest Georgia is $461, two and a half times the rate in Chattanooga.

So, when there is a single system in the area, they can command very high prices raising the insurance rates. But when there are multiple systems, the insurance companies can negotiate much better rates, lowering insurance costs.

Yes, they then have a ‘narrow’ network but the expensive guys now have to make a choice - negotiate better rates or be left out.

This is how a free market approach is supposed to work. The balance of a narrow network versus substantially lower costs. How many people would stay with a doctor if they were paying $450 a month for that service versus $150?

These data demonstrate that the healthcare is not actually three times better. It is the lack of competition that permits hospital systems to charge so much.

Competition provides cost savings. A monopoly on healthcare produces huge costs. 

I would expect that the next step would be to offer insurance plans with different networks to people. So one could choose the $150 a month plan with a narrower network or pay $450 a month for a wider network.

We will not get there in one year, but as the market adjusts to the new paradigms, as people see that they are not getting 3 times the benefits and as hospital systems begin to have market pressure brought to bear, things will change.

Thanks, Citizens United. Judge says citizens cannot reduce tax breaks for compnaies because the companies are citizens themselves.

 :)

St. Louis Judge Cites Citizens United to Protect Tax Breaks for Peabody Energy
[Via DeSmogBlog - Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science]

With the quick stroke of a pen, a circuit court judge in St. Louis has singlehandedly silenced more than 22,000 city residents, who had sought to bring a ballot initiative to end tax breaks to fossil fuel companies to a citywide vote in April.

Last summer, volunteers with the Take Back St. Louis coalition gathered over 22,000 signatures to put onto the ballot a measure that would amend the city’s charter to include a “Sustainable Energy Policy” and end taxpayer-funded support of fossil fuel companies.

According to Take Back St. Louis, the “proposed charter amendment would end public financial incentives, such as tax abatements, to fossil fuel mining companies and those doing $1 million of business with them per year, and requires the city to create a sustainable energy plan for renewable energy and sustainability initiatives on city-owned vacant land.”

On Tuesday, Judge Robert Dierker sided with Peabody Energy (in a decision you can read here) to grant a temporary restraining order that would, in essence, keep the initiative off the April 8th ballot.

First declaring the initiative “facially unconstitutional,” Judge Dierker proceeded to cite the Citizens United decision in explaining why the policy would represent a “patent denial of equal protection” to fossil fuel energy companies.  Specifically, Judge Dierker wrote:

business entities (which, after all, are a species of associations of citizens coming together in the exercise of economic freedom) are entitled to constitutional protection as citizens and may not arbitrarily be denied basic legal rights. See Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm., 558 U.S. 310 (2010).

 

[More]

It does not matter what the company is. Giving any of them the same rights as citizens results in twisted decisions like this. By this logic, no city can regulate any business because to do so would deny basic legal rights to the companies.

I guess since the companies cannot vote, it violates their rights to regulate them. So I guess the next step is to extend voting rights to companies.

Tim Armstrong blames “distressed babies” for AOL benefit cuts. He’s talking about my daughter.

 TechCrunch Disrupt Europe: Berlin 2013 (Day 1)

Tim Armstrong blames “distressed babies” for AOL benefit cuts. He’s talking about my daughter.
[Via Slate]

Late last week, Tim Armstrong, the chief executive officer of AOL, landed himself in a media firestorm when he held a town hall with employees to explain why he was paring their retirement benefits. After initially blaming Obamacare for driving up the company’s health care costs, he pointed the finger at an unlikely target: babies.

Specifically, my baby.

[More]

Tim Armstrong made over $12 million last year. If he had his way, this family would have had to make the choice of trying to save their infant daughter’s life or letting her die so they would be able to support their other child and not go into bankruptcy, losing everything.

Good for this mother to come forward with a real story. The doctors and parents fought a tremendous battle no matter the cost. A cost that the AOL CEO counted every penny of. In order to hurt everyone at the company.

Sociopathic CEOs – Destroying their brand one community member at a time. Actually blaming people using the benefits provided. Amazing that the very words of Ebenezer Scrooge from 170 years ago still fit.

“Are there no prisons?”
“Plenty of prisons…”
“And the Union workhouses.” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
“Both very busy, sir…”
“Those who are badly off must go there.”
“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

He does not want human employees who simply cost the company profits for salary and benefit. He wants unpaid robots so he can keep everything. Sociopathic, especially at a company whose whole reason for existing it to connect social communities.

I’d really be shorting AOL now as they are run by people who simply do not understand the reason for the company to exist.

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