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Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1) 487

Your government (I assume you are American) does provide foreign aid to Israel. It also supplies money and/or arms to a lot more unsavory countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Sure, feel free to criticize Israel, but don't be hypocritical about it.

Can you quote me the part where I was being hypocritical? Can you show me where I said that I supported our funding of Egypt or Saudi Arabia? Or are you just trying to falsely discredit me because you don't like my opinion?

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1) 487

Israel's not very efficient at committing genocide. Boko Haram in Nigeria has killed far more people. ISIS in Syria too. Etc.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a minor regional territorial conflict. But because of huge anti-Israel sentiment among UN members, combined with a healthy does of Islamic racism, this minor conflict that could have been settled years ago is kept festering because the Islamic bloc at the UN sees it as a useful tool to weaken Israel. It's pure cynical geopolitics fueled by Islamic fascism.

Not for me. For me, the problem is that my government arms Israel. I accept that many nations handle their regional bood-debt feuds with more bloodshed. It's stupid and self-propagating, but fine, go ahead, if that's your thing. But if you blow my paycheck on your cock-waving bullets, you become subject to my judgment of your actions.

Comment: Vote Snowden / Binney 2016! (Score 1) 129

by Bob9113 (#47500575) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

Here's my latest Snowden / Binney 2016 bumper sticker art, suitable for printing at 2.75" x 5" cropped size plus a .125" bleed, 300 DPI, on vinyl:
Vector (LibreOffice Draw)

This is my original artwork, CC BY-NC-SA, so print a pile and spread them around if you like. I use, and I recommend searching "vinyl bumper stickers" on DuckDuckGo, where psprint is usually running a coupon in the search results. I haven't received the color proofs for this version yet, but these are corrected from a previous batch and should be pretty good.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with DuckDuckGo or PSPrint, and Snowden/Binney is (perhaps unfortunately) neither a real nor a realistic campaign. This is just for giggles.

Comment: Re:TYFSOK (Score 1) 102

by Bob9113 (#47499613) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

When travelling from the UK to Chile... Flying is pretty much the only sensible option for me right now.
I pretty much hate the entire experience but there are not better alternatives for when you NEED to travel to some places.

When travelling in and around the UK I would never fly if I can avoid it as the entire experience has become pretty inconvenient.

Excellent -- it sounds like you are making all reasonable efforts to cut their cashflow.

Comment: Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (Score 1) 667

by Bob9113 (#47497927) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

>> There's also question of motivation. Why would soldiers waste expensive missiles for some irrelevant passenger plane?

> To shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. They had already shot down a Ukrainian transport plane and a Ukrainian fighter within the previous week. They were on a roll.

That's the same point looneycyborg was attempting to make; that it was not terrorism because it was not an attempt to target civilians.

Though I agree with your accurate and informative correction regarding the civilian flight route issue.

Comment: TYFSOK (Score 2) 102

by Bob9113 (#47495311) Attached to: "Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

"Travelling can be stressful and our aim is to make the interaction between human (passenger) and computer (check-in) as natural and helpful as possible."

Remember those stickers on the registers at K-Mart, facing the cashier, with the letters, "TYFSOK"? It stands for, "Thank You For Shopping Our K-Mart." The sticker was to remind the beleagured minimum wage employee to recite the words. Did anyone, ever, feel that the person mechanically parroting that catch phrase actually cared? How about the greeters at Wal Mart? (I think they've pretty much gone away, like the TYFSOK stickers)

You can teach an automaton to mimick human emotion, but even when it is an actual human such mimickry is patronizing and irritating. If you want human warmth, hire warm humans (downside; warm humans who can keep their positive mental attitude while working at an airport are expensive and they need time to recover from their shifts).

If you are going to use computers, embrace their natural advantages. Computers are fast, predictable, and emotionless. Those can be good characteristics in a user interface -- particularly when the customer just wants to get the process finished and move on. Work with the entire industry to develop a standard interface and sequence so the user and bang through it without even engaging their brain -- everyone is better off with travellers on autopilot. Painting a computer in whore's makeup won't make it a lover for any but the most desperate.

And, for you air travellers, a quick question: Why are you still endorsing them? Why are you still agreeing to be subjected to the TSA and the awful customer service of the airlines? Have you really made all reasonable efforts to switch to alternatives? If you aren't making significant personal sacrifices to cut their cashflow, you are lending aid and comfort to the enemy. I've driven 6,000 miles in the past year avoiding air travel. What are you doing?

Comment: Re:Fossil fuel plants get to radiate us all they w (Score 1) 230

by Bob9113 (#47492247) Attached to: EPA Mulling Relaxed Radiation Protections For Nuclear Power

While the EPA is thinking about raising limits on how much radioactive material nuclear power plants can release into the environment there are no limits on what coal plants can release.

"But Teacher! Billy is punching people, so why can't I punch people?!?"

If you have empirical data to present on the risk of the current levels of radiation exposure measured in QALYs, and an argument for adjusting the current regulated level, present it. But saying that we should ease our regulation on this form of harm, merely because you assert that another form of harm is insufficiently regulated, is manipulative and irrational.

Comment: Re:What Kim Stanley Robinson said of libertarianis (Score 1) 533

by Bob9113 (#47467013) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

But the philosophical core of the region and the tech industry remains fundamentally progressive.

Never underestimate the power of a god. And make no mistake about it; to many in The Valley, Zuck is a god. Even among those for whom he is not, most worship at the temple of Facebook with more dedication, trust, and fervor than the average Christian. If that temple begins to emit a message, it will have a significant distorting effect on perception, just like the church -- and traditional religion doesn't have the power of computer aided psychological operations.

Comment: Rand + Psychological Experiments = Adventure! (Score 1) 533

by Bob9113 (#47466299) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Paul had one-on-one meetings with ... Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Well now there is a truy hideous beast to consider: What do you get when you cross Rand Paul's megalomaniacal motives with a sociopath who has the means, opportunity, and willingness to perform mass psychological experiments? Let's find out!

Comment: Re:This is the problem with having a two party sys (Score 1) 533

by Bob9113 (#47465943) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

In most of Europe, the "economically conservative but socially liberal" parties have economic policies to he left of the Democrats,

Not in terms of tax progressivity. American has managed to export Reaganomics to the world. "Socialist" France, to take but one example, has a much lower top marginal tax and higher income concentration than America had in our golden era -- 1950s and 1960s. Details here.

Comment: Big Picture (Score 1) 509

by Bob9113 (#47459883) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof?

Think of the big picture. If the future you are describing really happens, with the vast majority of society scraping for an ever smaller piece of the pie, what would be the natural outcome? What skills would be in demand?

There would be a lot of big crime targetted at the very few, very rich and the corporations (giant concentrations of assets imply large scale criminal operations). There would be a lot of petty crime between the proletariate (mostly crimes of opportunity with a low profit margin, probably not much of a career there except maybe in racketeering). Maybe some shakedown operations not too far removed from mass copyright enforcement. There would be religious and ideological pontification, offering hope to hopeless people, whether substantive or illusory. There would be a lot of civil unrest, and a lot of mechanisms for suppressing that unrest (tough to say which side will have the upper hand at any moment, but both sides will have openings).

So: Information security, physical security, ideology / idolism / propaganda and counter-propaganda, sockpuppet armies and microtargetted mass messaging, law enforcement and thuggery, lickspittle to the wealthy, and influence management and peddling, off the top of my head.

Consider what postmodern feudalism might look like. That should be a reasonable picture, if what you suggest should come to pass.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk