29 Jan 2005 gnutizen   » (Journeyer)

Bolsh: I do not even agree that the assumptions behind the "law of supply and demand" is accurate in your reference to Robert. Price is not a "mechanism of information transmission" by any means except in a negative sense - if some corporation produces some commodity that people do not want to buy (e.g. exchange for something of equal value), then it may realize it has wasted its time producing something no one wants - something that happens all of the time in economies such as the US's. But in that case, information is only transmitted in cases where you're losing money making and selling something. Thinking that numbers such as prices, or even the objects themselves have any inherent information or value in and of themselves is fetishization. All value is simply congealed in a commodity by a homogenous measure of labor time. Of course, in many ways, rent does not even fall as easily into our modern economy's rules since it is a holdover from the days of feudalism - we even call the people we pay rent to "land lords" as they did 1000 years ago. I live in New York City and rent control has worked fine here and I have benefited from it. There is no sense of a lack of supply at all unless you absolutely must be one of the million and a half people packed into the 30 square mile island of Manhattan. And people I know in San Francisco had no trouble finding apartments which were decently priced in the Mission or Oakland even at the height of the boom. I think the real question is which is crazier - rent control, or an economic system with the kind of insane boom and bust that sends people into San Francisco like madmen before sending them fleeing? Rent control is a minor blip on an insane economic system which veers between massive overproduction and recession, to mention just one of its negative qualities. One would think what is wanted is that someone working 40 hours a week at a useful job can afford to keep a roof over his head, and the economy should be geared to that, instead what is being suggested is that we have an economy that is not there to serve us, but that we exist to serve the economy and it's crazy quirks as it veers about. Of course different people look at this differently - I rent, but I'm sure a landlord would be of an opposite bent, there is not one correct view of how this works, but two conflicting ones. If there wasn't, the renters would have probably have "seen the light" of the landlord's soi disant wisdom decades (centuries) ago.

I just skimmed through Code Complete, 2nd edition and liked it. I just found the big bug I have been hunting down recently - the format of what was coming through over my socket changed. The "program defensively" section is obviously most needed when one is listening to sockets over which almost anything can come. The section on functions was what I needed to read the most. I also browsed through the K&R book again reading about functions. I've also been playing with valgrind, ddd, gprof, splint and other tools more. My code is getting better and less buggy, hopefully it will become more so as time goes on.

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