Dear Mr Pot,
Dear Mr Pot,
The Lib Dems are strongly pro EU...
Wow, props for the well addressed, calm response. It deserves a reply.
There were a number of areas I didn't make reference to purely for the sake of being brief, but I'll raise them now.
I did consider the issue of sports, however that can easily be tidied up with tighter restrictions on equipment. As is the case in many (most?) other countries, the equipment isn't owned by individuals, but "leased" from the ranges. Ammo is counted in & out, so it can't go "missing".
As for your burglary comment, I again point out that in an unarmed state it's highly unlikely that the intruder would have a gun themselves. This would be due to a) lack of availability & b) being caught in possession of a firearm can turn a 6 month sentence into a 40 year sentence.
I can possibly empathise with people not wanting to give up their arms once they've already got them. a) for sentimentality, b) because the non law abiding citizens who have now got hold of guns, won't mind breaking the law to keep them. This leaves the law abiding citizens at a distinct disadvantage.
This isn't an argument *not* to disarm the populace, just that it would need to be done carefully.
You can probably draw a very similar analogy with nuclear proliferation & MAD - no one wants to make themselves vulnerable by backing down first, but everyone agrees it's a counter-productive situation that needs to be resolved. In fact it's almost exactly like MAD, except with nations instead of individuals.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fully fledged, card holding civil libertarian & I'm not averse to arguing controversially strong views in support of our civil rights. However, I don't think every man, woman & child should have the natural right to possess equipment whose sole design & purpose is to kill other people.
I the same light, I also don't have problems with the government restricting the public's access to lethal chemicals & radioactive compounds (which have legitimate scientific use).
Proceeding onto the research & article...
Bad data. They are only accounting for people *IN* Philadelphia, PA. They aren't comparing gender, age, upbringing, income, ethnicity, or other factors *from other areas of the country/state/world*.
Unless the PA is a total anomaly which bears no similarities to other states, I think it's fair to draw inferences - and 667 cases isn't a bad sample size. At no point did the study overstate the certainty of its conclusions.
As for the other factors you mention, are they relevant? The aim of the study was simple: Will being armed make you safer?
Yes, there are still gun related crimes in the UK, that's unavoidable. However, incidents tend to be limited to the rare gang shootings on a couple of infamous council estates. Armed crimes (lethal or not) outside of this tiny subset are infrequent enough that it'll be covered in the national news for days.
The Duggan case you refer to was a good example of this. The alleged gang member was in mere possession of a gun, having only just received it & the police were all over him.
Our homicide by firearm rate is 0.1/100,000 (40/yr). Taking into account that most incidents are within the small communities mentioned above, I think that shines quite well on us as a whole.
As to your last point - the fact people have died in gun fights isn't an argument for more guns.
That doesn't address my comment on the nature of the "demand".
There's a demand for substances, because people like to get "high";
There's a demand for guns, because people are afraid of other people with guns.
Disarm everyone, and you stem the demand. The problem is when each side tries to out-arm the other, and you just end up with a big lethal mess with everyone's finger on the trigger (literally).
The belief that possessing a firearm makes you safer is a fallacy.
For comparison, the homicide rate per capita is 5x higher in the US than in the UK. (source, UN)
If I were to have a confrontation with somebody, my chances would be far better than if we were faced with an "I'll shoot you before you shoot me" situation.
American Journal of Public Health:
people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens. When the team looked at shootings in which victims had a chance to defend themselves, their odds of getting shot were even higher.
And it's not even a case of law abiding UK citizens being defenceless. Because of the tight restrictions, there are less guns in circulation, and because less people are armed, crimes are far less lethal.
If a shop keeper were to be targeted here, no one would get shot, the perp'd just get hit upside the head with a chair & chased down the street.
That's a false analogy. People only want guns because other people have guns. It's a self-perpetuating arms race - there's a demand because there's a supply.
Also, the "War against Drugs" didn't create drugs. The majority of illicit substances were created in a lab, and usually for a completely different purpose to how they ended up being used recreationally.
"How often do you really use the command line anyway?"
You gotta' be kidding me? Forget work, even in my daily personal use I open a terminal at least once or twice a day. Once you understand how things work & learn the tools you have at your disposal, the command line is faster & more efficient by far.
Starting & stopping services;
If it hadn't cut my teeth on Slackware, I'd have no clue how to compile a program from source, have no idea about how to work around dependencies & would have only the vaguest idea of what a kernel is. If my experiences were limited to the likes of Debian & Red Hat (heck, even OpenBSD) then I'd be heavily reliant on general use binaries & package managers, & be completely stuck when it came to dealing with conflicting dependencies or rebuilding programs with obscure flags. I might as well use Windows.
If you have to ask that question, Slackware isn't for you.
You jest, but what's the old adage? "If you want to learn Debain, use Debian. If you want to learn Linux, us Slackware."
(replace "Debian" with your packaged distro of choice)
It really depends on what your aim is. Is this for personal use, or career/study? If the former, then go the Ubuntu/Mint route as most people are is suggesting, but if the latter, then throw yourself in the deep end & learn to swim.
The major desktop distros are so stable now that you will rarely, if ever, need to delve under the hood. This won't teach you "Linux". If someone sat you down at a terminal, or with a distribution you had never used before, you'd be completely lost. But if you go for a system that requires you to get your hands dirty, then you will learn very quickly.
The lessons you learn with Slackware will be transferable to every Linux/POSIX environment you find yourself in.
The lessons you learn with Ubuntu/CentOS/$distro will only teach you how to use that particular distro.
Check out sixxs.net for a decent tunnel broker. They're also a good starting point to find ISPs who can provide native IPv6 routing (those same ISPs would also be likely to be have the infrastructure in place to provide the standard services you require).
If you're UK based, Goscomb are v6 native, provide static addressing (free & by default) & FTTC, don't perform any traffic shaping & offer 30-day rolling contracts.
Their caps are a little low for me, but it's a good service & I get what I pay for.
I'm another +1 to this.
I don't have an issue working from home occasionally, but there's no way I'd want to do it full time (again).
When I focus on something, I don't want to stop until its done. I deal with this in the office by giving myself a cut-off time, and once I've left the building, that's it.
At home I don't have that "boundary" to go from work-mode to leisure-mode, so even if I try to remove myself from the computer, my mind is still set on work.
I get "cabin fever" if I work from home for several days on end - occasionally, I used to go a week without leaving the house. I'd have to purposefully take myself out on walks to get a change of scenery & clear my mind.
I'm not a morning person, so having to get up & out for my commute helps get my brain into gear, ready for the day's work.
I'm also a social person, and having experienced both having my own office & working in an open office, I actually preferred the open office. Communication was just that bit slicker, and we all respected each other's space & need for concentration.
I think it really just depends on the size of the office & the kind of people you're working with. I don't think "cube farms" are all that popular in the UK, & I don't think I'd like to experience one. I've always preferred working with smaller companies & have never had to work in an office (or company for that matter) with more than 8 people.
I use my 7" tablet almost exclusively for reading the news & as a remote for my media centre.
Video & CPU intensive stuff slows it to a halt & kills the battery, however it's superb for the less demanding work.
If you enable DLNA on whatever device you store your media on, it will be automatically discoverable on the network & controllable via the tablet.
You can stream music to/from the tablet, or any other DLNA enabled device. It's very straightforward to setup on Windows, Linux & (I would assume) OSX.
For my personal setup, I have an XBMC box connected to my TV & Hi-Fi which I control via Yatse (way better than the official XBMC remote) & 2player.
As well as acting as an XBMC remote, Yatse allows me to organise playlists, browse & preview (album/movie art, reviews, trailers, lyrics, etc.) my entire library & then command my media centre to play it.
2player is just a straightforward DLNA controller, allowing you to play music from the selected source, to the selected destination.
None of this needed any geeky fiddling around or delving into config files. I simply enabled the appropriate network sharing options on my devices & it *just worked*.
Why do you believe in your Abrahamic god and not, say, Odin, Zeus or Osiris? What makes your myth more believable than theirs? (I'm not trying to mock you here, it's a serious question)
I think you're misrepresenting atheism. I'm yet to hear someone say "I believe there is no God" in a serious context, what is usually said is "I don't believe in God", or "I'm not religious". Very different statements & like with the unicorn analogy, I'm not going to position myself on the fence & bother postulating that perhaps there *are* invisible pink unicorns at the bottom of my garden, I'll just assume there aren't until proven otherwise - ergo, I define myself as an atheist.
I also feel it worth pointing out that the god(s) most people believe in *can* be (dis)proven. The only infallible god, is one that has never interfered with the universe - that includes creating worlds, burning bushes, producing offspring with supernatural abilities, the lot.
What's the quote, "When you understand why you discount the many other gods people ascribe to, you will understand why I discount yours." ?
Technically I'm an Agnostic, but I hate that term - it makes me sound like I'm still sitting on the fence, so I prefer to identify myself as an Atheist. I have no interest in holding convictions for something for which there is no tangible evidence.
There was, for example, a well known case here in the UK where the British Chiropractic Association tried to sue Simon Singh after he wrote an article pointing out how many of the claims made by the practitioners are a crock of shit.
He won the case, but he had to sell his house to back the costs.
You might think that modern chiropractors restrict themselves to treating back problems, but in fact they still possess some quite wacky ideas. The fundamentalists argue that they can cure anything. And even the more moderate chiropractors have ideas above their station. The British Chiropractic Association claims that their members can help treat children with colic, sleeping and feeding problems, frequent ear infections, asthma and prolonged crying, even though there is not a jot of evidence. This organisation is the respectable face of the chiropractic profession and yet it happily promotes bogus treatments.
The BBC article he's referring to is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19659801
...and more specifically on the topic, here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12597245