a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
dshmract's profile
dshmract

x 0

stats
following: 0
followed tags: 0
followed domains: 0
badges given: 0 of 1
hubskier for: 376 days

recent comments, posts, and shares:
dshmract  ·  373 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: No one should be a billionaire

Except a good CEO can absolutely drive a company to more revenue and better services, while a bad CEO can bankrupt a company. The CEO guides a company, otherwise Apple would never have built the iPhone or iPad. If Stephen wasn't an important cog in blackstone than what made his firm worth billions and what made the others fail? If I remember correctly blackstone was build up completely by Stephen, down to the first hires and customers. After a lifetime of him building the company you want to just toss him out because you don't think he's contributing enough?

But imagine if what the author says is true, and someone had a new economic system that was even more effective at allocating wealth than a free market/capitalist society. Why would we try it in the richest nation on earth first? To be in the global 1% you need to make 34k a year, something that's easy to do here. Things we regard almost as human rights are luxuries most of the world will never experience. If this person has an answer they shouldn't' start in the US they should be going to some poorer country and trying to implement it there, if it works then we can bring it over here. The idea that we should throw out such a successful economy because someone wants to try what they perceive as a better system (with no data to show for it) seems borderline dangerous

dshmract  ·  373 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America's Cities

If you want a good response you should say something other than nonsense. How am I supposed to talk about something with someone who doesn't think housing is tied to economics? If you deny zoning laws have had a significant effect on san francisco housing how are we supposed to talk about it?

All of your arguments rely on ad hominem arguments and it's admittedly kind of frustrating to have someone acting so disingenuously over and over again

dshmract  ·  373 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America's Cities

Which part is false? Are you trying to claim city housing prices aren't driven by supply and demand? Are you trying to tell me that san francisco actually has very lax zoning laws, or that people don't live in cities only "public works" do? You seem to have a very poor understanding of city zoning or economics. If a building requires a large amount of a utility, for example, you're not going to build that building where there is no infrastructure for it. That's why if you look at a city like Houston, which has no zoning laws, it's still a pretty normal city (with the exception of rent, which is much much cheaper, and a quality of life which is better). People don't build oil refineries near expensive housing or parks because it doesn't make economic sense. People don't build skyscrapers of two-lane roads, they build them near large streets and highways. Pretending zoning exists because of public works is incorrect and stands in the face of cities in the US which have no zoning but have no issues with any of this.

I suspect you didn't actually watch the video, so I'll explain it briefly. The premise of it is that there have been bad things in the past with our cities. Large public programs have cost a lot and failed to be good places to live. Strict zoning has limited the supply of housing. While people stopped building these major projects as frequently around the time/after jacobs wrote her book the strict zoning laws remain. The hypothesis of the video is that if you got rid of these restrictions you would get more housing, and while it might not always be great housing some of it might be more affordable, which is good for residents. I also see no reason why this isn't a valid hypothesis considering this is how all of economics everywhere else works via supply and demand.

Also I'm wondering if you've read her book, she generally would have agreed with the video (although the terms yimby and nimby didn't exist when she wrote it, the major issue at the time was large public projects dictated by the city that didn't work). Her contention was that top-down planning often failed because it didn't properly take into accounts the neighborhood. She didn't like the idea of creating separate zones for each activity, pushing cars on people to travel to each zone, or tearing down entire neighborhoods because they weren't planned properly. She liked the idea of the people in the city building what they wanted and neighborhoods changing organically over time. That's why she wrote extensively against large city projects and favored private people having freedoms and doing things that made sense locally. I mean a whole section of the book (sect. 2) was dedicated to diversity, and she had a chapter on the importance of mixed use zoning to allow people options to build what they want. I don't think there's a single page in the book where she's advocating for large, top-down government projects.

Also the reason Koch isn't relevant is because the video is well-cited and backs it's claims well. If the organization has a valid point why would it matter who backed it? I know I already made this point but if someone read a Howard Zinn book the correct response isn't to harass them for the rest of their life until they renounce everything he said. They guy may have been a moron but you should still keep an open mind in case they have something worthwhile to say, which they very well might. Using this fact to claim they're an evil socialist is stupid and really is just name calling/an ad hominem which doesn't help either argument

dshmract  ·  374 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America's Cities

I really don't care to discuss the political views of someone who donated to the institution, if we did that with everything we'd never be able to have a discussion about anything again. Attacking someone who had almost nothing to do with the video's production is a ad hominem argument, and a bad one at that.

This is a well researched video that goes through major trends in urban planning and what they think would work best to reduce the cost of housing and build better neighborhoods. I mean the basis of the video is talking about the genesis of Jane Jacobs and what she believes in, who is a major figure in urban planning and not some fringe player. If you have real criticisms of the video I'd have been interested in hearing them but if all you want to do is talk about Koch it seems like you might be more interested in a different thread

dshmract  ·  374 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Zoning Laws Are Holding Back America's Cities

I think the point the video tries to make is that if you regulate what kinds of housing is allowed to be made you create an artificial scarcity. So even if you say "you can only build affordable single-family homes" you inadvertently create a scarcity of housing by preventing some types of housing from being made. Now when rich people want to move in they have to buy a single family home, driving up the price. I mean aren't rich people living in concrete boxes stacked on top of one another in a skyscraper better then them living in a single family home? You might never get to live in that skyscraper but at least they take up less land and pay more in taxes, both of which seem like good things to me.

I didn't know the Koch brothers partially funded the organization but it seems short-sighted to dismiss anything with funding from the Koch brothers, especially things that don't have anything to do with oil. I mean the brothers support open borders, think people should be able to freely enter the US and oppose Trump's immigration plan. Does this mean you now support Trump's immigration plan, since opposing it would put you in line with what Koch industries want? I think strong scepticism in things related to their industry is fine but zoning laws don't seem like something you spend money on unless you're just interested in what the best option for zoning is.

dshmract  ·  374 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 336th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately" Thread

I found this song a couple months ago but ttktv by injury reserve is one of my favorite songs (though nobody agrees with me).

Also go fuck yourself by two feet is really good despite its off putting name (this one lots of other people agree with me).

dshmract  ·  375 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Any company big enough to start its own currency is just too big."

But wouldn't it be better to have the option? If there are no upsides then people can just not use it and it'll go out of business. If there are upsides then those who benefit can use it and everyone else can choose to use normal currency. I don't understand how having less options would be better for anyone

dshmract  ·  375 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Any company big enough to start its own currency is just too big."

What? Is this a joke? Bitcoin was created by a nobody with no money. Same with litecoin, same with ether, etc etc. In the 1890's and before most currency was created by banks, not governments, and this only changed with the introduction of the modern federal reserve.

I'm honestly sort of surprised the NYT would write such a bad piece; their opinion section has really gone downhill in the last few years.

dshmract  ·  375 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Our Orlando Sentinel endorsement for president in 2020: Not Donald Trump | Editorial

But like during the 2016 campaign he was:

- the most lgbt friendly major republican candidate

- most trans friendly major candidate (only one to my knowledge to oppose the NC bathroom ban)

- most abortion friendly (he does oppose abortions but he's sort of wishy-washy on it and there's good reason to believe he only changed his opinion to run for president)

- generally leans against war (as we've seen recently in syria and Iran)

- he cut corporate taxes to 21% (obama wanted to cut them to 25%)

- he pushed for the first step act to be passed (lowers term limits)

- has put considerable effort into raising poc/black wages (that was like all he tweeted about for a year)

- Even on immigration, the RISE act was just an attempt to copy canada/UK/australia/EU/HK on their immigration policies, and a decade ago Hillary, Schumer and Obama were all voting yes on hundreds of miles of border wall

I suppose if the orlando sentinel is a left-wing publication it makes sense they wouldn't endorse trump, but he's not really that far right.

dshmract  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The magical thinking of guys who love logic

I don't doubt there are people that think they're right but aren't, but this article is just strawman after strawman coated in hate. They start out talking about figure in the intelectual dark web and then quickly fall back into weird internet circles like redpill which aren't particularly based around objective logic and don't really pretend to be. The whole point of the IDW is that it's made up of democrats and republicans, gender scientists and religious conservatives, and the goal is to find a range of ideas that are likely to work and call out holes in ideas that don't work or spread hate. The lady who wrote this just talks about how much she hates men, accuses them of not understanding what logic is, and then links to a terrible Ben Shapiro rebuttal which accuses him of name-calling at an event where antifa protesters were hospitalizing his fans and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in security and damage.

Ironically the only other article she wrote for this site is titled "Resolved: Debate is stupid", which kind of explains her opposition to a movement based around trying to analyze things logically. It makes sense that she's so opposed to logic though when you consider the cognitive dissonance that must be required for her to exist on a daily basis.

dshmract  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Our Orlando Sentinel endorsement for president in 2020: Not Donald Trump | Editorial

Honestly I don't get this. With the possible exception of immigration he's pretty moderate on most issues; he actually left syria when we defeated ISIS and he's avoid a war with Iran even though they're trying to start one. Although you can complain about his rhetoric at times he's generally pretty stable and has a good record for getting things done. I don't understand why everyone is so opposed to him, he's done a good job so far

dshmract  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump Approves [Missile] Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back

I don't think a missle attack would mean war though, we've launched missiles into many countries and didn't send troops in, heck Obama did it. More reports have come out though and it seems as though they were considering it but decided against since it would costs almost 200 lives where the drone that was shot was unmanned. That said I'm very happy that we didn't attack them, I don't want any more involvement than necessary

dshmract  ·  376 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Let's have a book thread! What have you been reading?

Anything by jon ronson is good; I particularly liked the psychopath test.

The life and death of great american cities is also a classic if you have any interest in city zoning