1499: "Arbitrage"

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1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby chalkie » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:54 am UTC

Image

Title: “The invisible hand of the market never texts me back.”

This is something which troubles me too. I generally avoid free buffets, because I don't know what's socially acceptable.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby popman » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:58 am UTC

chalkie wrote:-snip-
This is something which troubles me too. I generally avoid free buffets, because I don't know what's socially acceptable.


Eat what you can, you can't take anything you don't eat home with you, finish everything you put on your plate.
Also, if the place doesn't have a time limit don't stay there longer than two regular bathroom breaks. (You probably know what I'm getting at, but I'm not going to spell it out)
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:42 pm UTC

popman wrote:Also, if the place doesn't have a time limit don't stay there longer than two regular bathroom breaks. (You probably know what I'm getting at, but I'm not going to spell it out)
Although, most places have a 'lunch buffet' and then a 'dinner buffet'. If you want to sit and chill through both, you'll have to pay for both.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:49 pm UTC

All you can eat.jpg

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

Depends on the occasion. My rules for a social buffet:

1) be sparing on the first pass - either there will be plenty left for follow-ups or your share isn't as much as you hoped
2) wait for the queues/crowds to die down before going back for a second pass - if everyone around the buffet is facing away from it with a plate in hand, you're probably good to go.
3) spread your attentions among a wide range of dishes - if there's only one vol au vent each, then only take one
4) once the buffet period starts drawing to a close - people start abandoning their used plates, or the current course starts being cleared - relax and just grab what you want.

My rules for an "all you can eat":

1) Keep eating. If you stop for more than a couple of minutes, you're done.
2) Don't overcommit - the fresh dish they're about to bring out is going to appear more appetising than what you've just filled up on.

General rule:

1) Eat whatever you take

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby SpitValve » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

The one place I've seen people actually take advantage of this sort of system was in Costco in Korea. People would try to make an entire meal out of the free relish, ketchup, and mustard, combining it together into a weird stew. I saw a lady just bring a plastic bag up to the relish dispenser and just fill it up and go home.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby FrobozzWizard » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:16 pm UTC

Abbie Hoffman suggested doing something like this in Steal This Book: Walk into a restaurant, eat a bunch of the free bread they provide as your starter, and then leave without placing an order.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby TrueNarnian » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:28 pm UTC

Ayn Rand was probably one of "these people"

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:32 pm UTC


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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby HOLOGRAPHICpizza » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:35 pm UTC

My sister does this constantly. -_-

I can't go anywhere to eat with her, because she immediately stars blatantly and obviously stuffing her purse with napkins, straws, ketchup packets, mints- absolutely ANYTHING she can get her hands on. Once time we visited a relative in the hospital, and she raided the drawers and cabinets in the room to take all the gauze, gloves, tongue depressors, alcohol wipes and whatnot.

She has a good paying job and has no reason to act like this, but she says she's trying to prove some sort of point to society about how this stuff is just set out for free. I tried to explain the tragedy of the commons to her, but it went way over her head and she went back to stuffing her purse with "free" stuff. She even throws most of this stuff away. It pisses me off so bad!!!

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby mathmannix » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:01 pm UTC

I hate clips like that; they shouldn't be on YouTube as long as someone out there is willing and able to make a better copy. Or is there a perception that taking a low-quality video of the TV screen evades copyrights in a way that directly recording TV shows, movies, or video games off your TV doesn't? /rant.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:07 pm UTC

Yeah, sorry. I looked for a better version, but my search-foo failed me.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby beojan » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
All you can eat.jpg

I can't tell whether this is supposed to mean you can't stay for four hours, or you can't stay for one hour.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:51 pm UTC

FrobozzWizard wrote:Abbie Hoffman suggested doing something like this in Steal This Book: Walk into a restaurant, eat a bunch of the free bread they provide as your starter, and then leave without placing an order.


When I was 17 or 18, this Mexican restaurant opened up in my hometown. This was 97-98, so the family running the joint was a fairly new immigrant family. Great restaurant, usually try to eat there whenever I'm in town.

Anyway, point being, a lot of shitheads in my high school (given that it was a small town, probably 20, but you get the idea) used it as an after-school daycare. As in they'd roll in, hang out for an hour eating salsa and drinking water, then leave. Month or two after they opened the joint, they started charging for chips and salsa if you didn't order a meal. Because shitheads.

Shitheads ruin everything.

I can't tell whether this is supposed to mean you can't stay for four hours, or you can't stay for one hour.
It means you come in, you eat a plate or three, you get the fuck out - elapsed time, 45-60 minutes.

But I'm pretty sure that sign's been photoshopped by someone to be more broken English complaining about people than what was actually on the sign, which was probably the lunch special.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Whizbang » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:58 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:But I'm pretty sure that sign's been photoshopped by someone to be more broken English complaining about people than what was actually on the sign, which was probably the lunch special.


Whaaaa?!

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Quercus » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:59 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:I hate clips like that; they shouldn't be on YouTube as long as someone out there is willing and able to make a better copy. Or is there a perception that taking a low-quality video of the TV screen evades copyrights in a way that directly recording TV shows, movies, or video games off your TV doesn't? /rant.


It doesn't evade copyright. It might evade youtube's detection algorithms for copyrighted material though...

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Coyoty » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

Buffets should say, "All You Should Eat". I *can* eat more than I should, and I used to, until my health did a Wilford Brimley impression. "Diabeetus." You should stop eating when you physically feel you've had enough, no matter how much you've paid for it, or you'll pay for it. If you're not at a buffet, eat half and take the rest home so you can enjoy it the next day, because restaurants serve twice as much as you should eat.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Quercus » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:35 pm UTC

Coyoty wrote:because restaurants in the US serve twice as much as you should eat.

Fixed.

I've never been to the US, but several of my friends who have been have commented on this (normally to the effect that they didn't manage to finish any restaurant meal during their stay) - in the UK restaurant portions are usually pretty sensibly sized.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Vanzetti » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:19 pm UTC

On one hand, I understand Randall's point.

On the other, I don't like unwritten rules. Unwritten rules mean that someone should not know them. Unwritten rules lead to information asymmetry. Unwritten rules cause corruption.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Barstro » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:26 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:But I'm pretty sure that sign's been photoshopped by someone to be more broken English complaining about people than what was actually on the sign, which was probably the lunch special.


Maybe, but it seems like an homage to John Pinette.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby rhomboidal » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

FrobozzWizard wrote:Abbie Hoffman suggested doing something like this in Steal This Book: Walk into a restaurant, eat a bunch of the free bread they provide as your starter, and then leave without placing an order.

The next global financial crash will be caused by complimentary breadsticks.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby sotanaht » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:15 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
Coyoty wrote:because restaurants in the US serve twice as much as you should eat.

Fixed.

I've never been to the US, but several of my friends who have been have commented on this (normally to the effect that they didn't manage to finish any restaurant meal during their stay) - in the UK restaurant portions are usually pretty sensibly sized.


Yet another reason not to travel I guess. From my point of view (in the US), there are so few restaurants where I can actually get my money's worth. A chicken breast or an 8-10oz steak, to use some fairly universal food sizes, and a portion of potatoes does not constitute a fill up meal. If that's too much food for you I would hate to see what UK restaurants serve you for your $10-20 equivalent.

rhomboidal wrote:
FrobozzWizard wrote:Abbie Hoffman suggested doing something like this in Steal This Book: Walk into a restaurant, eat a bunch of the free bread they provide as your starter, and then leave without placing an order.

The next global financial crash will be caused by complimentary breadsticks.


Most places will charge for it. It's still an economical food option though. I've done similar at Mexican restaurants that serve unlimited chips and salsa, the one I go to is about $4, but sometimes they will give it to you for just the drink which is even less.

Vanzetti wrote:On one hand, I understand Randall's point.

On the other, I don't like unwritten rules. Unwritten rules mean that someone should not know them. Unwritten rules lead to information asymmetry. Unwritten rules cause corruption.


Unwritten rules exist because writing them is too much effort. It takes books of lawyerspeak to formalize what "common" sense or "common" decency have well in hand, and then nobody is able or willing to read it anyway.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Quercus » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:39 pm UTC

sotanaht wrote:
Quercus wrote:
Coyoty wrote:because restaurants in the US serve twice as much as you should eat.

Fixed.

I've never been to the US, but several of my friends who have been have commented on this (normally to the effect that they didn't manage to finish any restaurant meal during their stay) - in the UK restaurant portions are usually pretty sensibly sized.


Yet another reason not to travel I guess. From my point of view (in the US), there are so few restaurants where I can actually get my money's worth. A chicken breast or an 8-10oz steak, to use some fairly universal food sizes, and a portion of potatoes does not constitute a fill up meal. If that's too much food for you I would hate to see what UK restaurants serve you for your $10-20 equivalent.


For me that would be a fill up meal (perhaps even too much if I wasn't that hungry), but then I have a ridiculously small appetite for my size. Maybe my friends had atypical experiences in the US (mostly it was the ones who recently went to Chicago for a conference that told me this). At the budget end of UK restaurants you can get pretty large portions, but there's quite a strong sense among higher-end restaurants that you're there for the flavours, not for the calories, so the portions can be very small. I think the fashion on that is changing a little bit though.

I don't actually like being totally full up after a meal - I feel much better if I'm still just ever so slightly hungry, like I could manage another couple of sides before being full. Being completely full just makes me sluggish and sleepy.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Flumble » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:15 am UTC

sotanaht wrote:A chicken breast or an 8-10oz steak, to use some fairly universal food sizes, and a portion of potatoes does not constitute a fill up meal. If that's too much food for you I would hate to see what UK restaurants serve you for your $10-20 equivalent.

Are we talking about different ounces? Because I'm used to 0.1kg (3.5oz) servings of meat. Add another 0.2kg of potatoes and 0.2kg of vegetables and it's a good adolescent's meal.
Servings at restaurants may vary a bit, but I think they're mostly using a 1:1:2 to 1:2:2 ratio and a grand total of 0.5kg (14oz). Of course some (fastfood) restaurants deviate from this, like the kebab vendor who probably serves meat in portions of 7 to 10oz.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Eshru » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:43 am UTC

Chicago can be somewha of an extreme in portion sizing within the US, likely only rivaled by Texas. I know I bought a deep dish pizza for a bit over $20 that filled me (very full) four times over.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby aljohnso » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:56 am UTC

It is possible that Randal was alluding to the fact that a critter with too many parasites dies.

A society with too many elements striving for advantage, without putting something into the system, also dies.

Kinda makes you look at some of the extreme politics out there... I'm look at you, Rs.

There was an amusing interview in the media, just before the economy collapsed, about CEO salaries... the young "I'm going to be one of the ruling class" interviewee said that any renumeration that a CEO could get was fair play.

(shrugs) - if your life strategy only works if a only few of you follow it, then you should eat your young...

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:22 am UTC

Flumble wrote:
sotanaht wrote:A chicken breast or an 8-10oz steak, to use some fairly universal food sizes, and a portion of potatoes does not constitute a fill up meal. If that's too much food for you I would hate to see what UK restaurants serve you for your $10-20 equivalent.

Are we talking about different ounces? Because I'm used to 0.1kg (3.5oz) servings of meat. Add another 0.2kg of potatoes and 0.2kg of vegetables and it's a good adolescent's meal.
Servings at restaurants may vary a bit, but I think they're mostly using a 1:1:2 to 1:2:2 ratio and a grand total of 0.5kg (14oz). Of course some (fastfood) restaurants deviate from this, like the kebab vendor who probably serves meat in portions of 7 to 10oz.

It's a better explanation of why the average American is fat. Pan 8 oz steak and a potato should be a fill up meal.

To lots of Americans, myself included, It's not.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby LockeZ » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:59 am UTC

sotanaht wrote:Unwritten rules exist because writing them is too much effort. It takes books of lawyerspeak to formalize what "common" sense or "common" decency have well in hand, and then nobody is able or willing to read it anyway.

As someone who runs an online game that used to have twenty pages of rules, and now has five rules, unwritten rules ALSO exist because lots of people will avoid anything that has a long list of rules. It's not worth reading a treatise to get into a buffet. It also gives the impression that the person making the rules is extremely strict. And that they like to punish people over breaking trivial aspects of the fine print, knowing that almost no one will have read it all - effectively, they can be used unfairly because they're NOT unwritten.

If it's an unwritten rule to not take home too many straws, then the waiter will scold you and tell you to put some back, and you can say "Oh, I didn't realize." But if Amendment 17 to Article LXXVII Section 16 Part 8.06B on page 117 of the rules says you may take home a maximum of 1 still-wrapped and 1 unwrapped straw per adult or child customer and a maximum of 1 straw total per toddler customer, then the restaraunt can sue you. Even though the chance that you knew the rule is not any higher.

My game also had a sign written in bold, red, underlined, engraved, all caps, perpetually flaming letters in the newbie area telling you that you were responsible for knowing the rules and may be nuked or banned for breaking them. That was probably not helping to create a great first impression.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:32 am UTC

sotanaht wrote:A chicken breast or an 8-10oz steak, to use some fairly universal food sizes, and a portion of potatoes does not constitute a fill up meal.

Clearly not. It needs at least 200-300 gr (7-10 oz) of vegetables.

Spoilered for offtopicness, a normal meal for me, for comparison purposes
Spoiler:
To be honest, my meals usually don't include that much protein. 100 gr (3.5 oz) every other day is quite sufficient to keep a godlike body s like mine in shape. I replace the weight with more vegetables and a lot more carbohydrates. Tonight I'll probably eat 400 gr of fried brussels sprouts and 200-300 gr of fat free fried fries or potatoes. Only protein will be the old goat cheese on the sprouts.
This is the decreased food portion I now have. Two or three years ago I ate 1,5 times that. It gained me about a kg (2 pounds) per year but back then I biked a lot. 200-300 km (125-186 miles) per week.

I am considered a large eater by those around me. My current avatar is a picture of me and it is recent.

ssarcasm
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby LockeZ » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:20 am UTC

I don't know how you guys can eat so much. I would never have room for that much food after the eight cans of pepsi I drink per day.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby orthogon » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:40 pm UTC

I think he's overestimating the arbitrage potential. Chips that have been taken out of the packet, left on a table, and potentially coughed and sneezed on probably lack both fungibility and liquidity. It's not clear that he will be able to sell them, and whilst I'm not an expert on finance, I don't believe that consuming the underlying is strictly arbitrage.

The correct word for taking more than one strictly needs of a complimentary foodstuff is to fremantle.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Zinho » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:32 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:100 gr (3.5 oz) every other day is quite sufficient to keep a godlike body s like mine in shape. . .
I am considered a large eater by those around me. My current avatar is a picture of me and it is recent.

ssarcasm

No need for sarcasm there; remember that Bacchus/Dionysus was also a god...

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Quercus » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:28 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Chips that have been taken out of the packet, left on a table, and potentially coughed and sneezed on probably lack both fungibility and liquidity.


I don't know - I'm pretty sure that chips treated in said manner will contain both fungi and various liquids.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:29 am UTC

Flumble wrote: I'm used to 0.1kg (3.5oz) servings of meat.


Where I come from that wouldn't even qualify as a picture of a serving.

I've lived, since 1971, in steak country, and out here even we get wide-eyed when we see what constitutes a sandwich at a place like the Carnegie Deli in NYC. (Go ahead, GIS those two words. I'll wait for your heart to start beating again.)

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby wolfticket » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:28 am UTC

Some thing along the lines of:
In any system there will be potential to play the system for personal gain without breaking any rules. However, if too many people do this the whole system breaks down without anyone having technically done anything wrong. The only way to preserve the system is actually a mixture of good will and vetting, rather than rules.

Regarding "the invisible hand of the market", Andy Zaltzman has something to say on the subject: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/lr6rqw/jo ... sible-hand (US only I think). Basically, if one actually had a real invisible hand, what would most people do with it? :)

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Klear » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:34 am UTC

wolfticket wrote:Some thing along the lines of:
In any system there will be potential to play the system for personal gain without breaking any rules. However, if too many people do this the whole system breaks down without anyone having technically done anything wrong.


Without breaking any rules. Being a dick is still wrong.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby CigarDoug » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:49 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I think he's overestimating the arbitrage potential. Chips that have been taken out of the packet, left on a table, and potentially coughed and sneezed on probably lack both fungibility and liquidity.

Actually, a sufficient amount of coughing and sneezing will ensure the chips will acquire some liquid, and given enough time, some fungi.

Also, ew.

Image

Quercus wrote:
orthogon wrote:Chips that have been taken out of the packet, left on a table, and potentially coughed and sneezed on probably lack both fungibility and liquidity.


I don't know - I'm pretty sure that chips treated in said manner will contain both fungi and various liquids.

Ninja'd. Also, still ew.

Image

FrobozzWizard wrote:Abbie Hoffman suggested doing something like this in Steal This Book: Walk into a restaurant, eat a bunch of the free bread they provide as your starter, and then leave without placing an order.

What a wonderful mindset. It shows a total lack of respect for honest, hardworking people who operate a business. It then drives up the cost of the food, or forces the restaurant to charge for formerly free items, thus hurting all the customers, too. Why are parasites so revered in our country?

On a positive note:

Guy walks into a bar. He hears "Hey, that's a really nice tie you're wearing!".

A few minutes later, "And have you lost weight? You look terrific!". He realizes the bowl of nuts on the bar are talking to him.

The man calls the bartender over and asks what the heck is going on. The bartender says, "Well, those nuts are complimentary."
TrueNarnian wrote:Ayn Rand was probably one of "these people"

*heavy sigh*

Actually, the exact opposite: Ayn Rand hated parasites, and advocated against feeding them. She expected people to work hard for what they earned, and not be forced to give their profit away to those who had no claim to it.

Orren Boyle would be an example of a parasite in her book: He was a failure at his business (a steel mill), so he worked the government system to force other companies to order steel from him (which was either substandard or was never delivered at all, but paid for in advance). Still a failure, the arm-twisting grew into forcing the reputable companies to just GIVE him good steel he could sell. Today, Orren Boyle would be the President of Solyndra, and given a half a billion dollars of taxpayer money to not produce a single solar panel.
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:11 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
Flumble wrote: I'm used to 0.1kg (3.5oz) servings of meat.


Where I come from that wouldn't even qualify as a picture of a serving.

Yes. Steakhouses are typically the only places where I know (or remember) the specific amount of food I know, in a measurable way. So, a few days ago, I went to a steakhouse and, after splitting two of the small loaves of free bread, enjoyed the 18-ounce ribeye, with a large, loaded baked potato and a healthy side of broccoli drenched in cheddar. (Blue Moon to drink.) I barely had room for the dessert, a slice of chocolate cake with a large scoop of ice cream and plenty of chocolate sauce atop.

(Ooh, without looking, guess what country I live in?)
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby ps.02 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:03 pm UTC

CigarDoug wrote:
FrobozzWizard wrote:Abbie Hoffman suggested doing something like this in Steal This Book: Walk into a restaurant, eat a bunch of the free bread they provide as your starter, and then leave without placing an order.

What a wonderful mindset. It shows a total lack of respect for honest, hardworking people who operate a business. It then drives up the cost of the food, or forces the restaurant to charge for formerly free items, thus hurting all the customers, too. Why are parasites so revered in our country?

You know that and I know that and probably even Abbie Hoffman knew that, but still, this was the core of his Yippie movement, best I can make out. How to live easy on the largesse of society at large. I think his point was that The Man was out to exploit you anyway, so you may as well exploit Him back.

I can't believe he really believed his notions would work if everyone were doing them. So I think his movement had a necessary foundation of class warfare, where the lower class would freeload and the upper class wouldn't. Maybe he believed this would tilt the classes toward equality, or something. Or maybe he didn't think that far ahead.

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Pfhorrest
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Re: 1499: "Arbitrage"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:46 pm UTC

ps.02 wrote:I can't believe he really believed his notions would work if everyone were doing them. So I think his movement had a necessary foundation of class warfare, where the lower class would freeload and the upper class wouldn't. Maybe he believed this would tilt the classes toward equality, or something. Or maybe he didn't think that far ahead.

Upperclassness is defined by its freeloading, so it sounds more like a "ok, have it your way" or "turnabout is fair play" to me. It's still obviously not a recipe for a stable functional society, but just subtracting the lower-class counter-freeloading from the equation still doesn't leave you a stable functional society when you've still got an upper class systemically freeloading on a scale the lower classes can barely even conceive.
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