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I usually don't respond to the threads on
1. It's easy. I turn on the computer, surf over to The Pirate Bay, search for what I want, click on the magnet link and a few minutes later I have it.
2. Freedom. I can then do whatever I want with the file. Put it on my laptop and take it with me, watch it on my 27" monitor, stream it to a TV or run it from a computer connected to TV via HDMI. I can give it to a friend on a USB stick. Save it on my hard drive for later. Pause it in the middle to do something else and resume later.
3. Cost. Buying a new television every few years is expensive. I don't know about you, but I want to retire early. I move around a lot because of work and having a television with me is not an option. Also, in my country of Norway, we have to pay a TV licence fee of around 500 dollars a year if we have one. I hate Norwegian television, it's boring and ethnocentric. The rest of the world seems to be in a television series renaissance, but here it's the same boring shit that no one outside of this small and insignificant country cares about. Mostly about "Big Brother" type of programming and gatherings of celebrities.
4. Advertising and commercials. I don't have to fucking watch them when I download something. Period.
5. The Man. I'm just trying to make my way in this world and I'm sick of people better off than me trying to get their hands in my pockets. I don't want theirs, I just want mine. And to keep it. Knowing that they didn't get it this time gives me pleasure and satisfaction. I will ultimately buy the stuff I really like because I support the artists/authors. I have over 1000 music CDs in storage I've bought since my first CD player in 1993. Now, I try to buy FLAC or 320 kbps MP3s directly from the bands. I have over 400 games on Steam, many from Indy publishers, most I haven't even played. Especially since I gave up computer games as my new year's resolution 2013. But I still buy them because I support what they do, and I like that I will always have them on Steam. Movies? They release them on DVD, then Blue Ray, then a special edition, then an uncut with added scenes, then 20 years later with lost fucking footage. This doesn't make me feel like they give a shit about me getting what I am paying for. Sure, I could forgo films and television series completely, but there's that social aspect of being a part of conversations at work and at gatherings that I would miss out on. I already don't give a damn for sports, might as well drop out of society completely.
If they were to figure out a delivery system like Steam for music, films and books, where I would actually own what I've paid for, I would give up downloading. Imagine buying a film in 1080p and when they decide to upscale it to 4K with new footage and features, it would automatically get updated without you having to dish out more cash. I think that's something we all want. I also want an itunes alternative, a real one, I don't support companies who bully and sue everyone.
I'm an American living in Norway and I was shocked to find that my local library has a large collection of Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games that can be checked out. They also have a sound-proof room where you can play Guitar Hero and Rock Band, as well as a large collection of contemporary music CDs with everything from Metallica to obscure Norwegian music. You can listen to them there or check them out. My wife checked one out and lost it, only finding it several months later and they didn't even make her pay a fee or a late charge. I've been here a while now but back when I had just moved here and was learning Norwegian, I used to go in and use the computers. They had children's games with everything from Oregon Trail-type clones to Harry Potter. It helped me learn vocabulary that wasn't in my books and get a working knowledge of the language, not just the grammatically-correct style that almost no one speaks. One day, a new bitchy librarian decided that I wasn't allowed to use the ones with the games on them because they're "for children", even though there are ten of those PCs and hardly any children in there. Norwegians can be like that, but I digress. I never counted how many PCs they actually have in there, but there are at least 30 for surfing the web, research, or looking through the library's online catalogues. Interestingly, the ones for games run Windows and all the others run Linux.
We do have quite powerful computers right now, just looked at some benchmarks for two of the Intel 980X's in an EVGA Classified SR-2, and that's an "enthusiast" setup! Do you have an idea of how much more powerful computers would have to become?
The Blue Brain Project is really neuroscience, not psychology per se, but there are biological psychologists who are involved. However, I think I see where you're going with your comment. You're saying that once we have learned all we can about the macroscopic structure of the brain and how that relates to workings of the brain on the microscopic level, then we can begin to better understand a person's mental functions and behaviours, with the hope to begin to catch a glimpse of our souls?
We've come quite far developmentally, and one has to wonder how far we would have come if it weren't for that long period of history called the Dark Ages. With the exception of a few recorded observations of organic brain injury and mental illness since the ancient Egyptians (trauma, rabies, etc), our understanding of the brain was severely limited until the 20th century when it really started being studied en masse.
What makes you say that psychology isn't well-respected or useful as a subject? My experience is that it's quite useful and quite respected already. Maybe not by Tom Cruise, Scientology, or religious fundamentalists, but they're in the minority.
The reason why they keep losing in court is because of strong privacy laws in Norway. In order to sue anyone for downloading copyrighted material, it would require the ISPs to identify users by IP addresses, something which is a very big no-no here.
We also have an automatic toll system set up in a few places (on highways entering cities, for example) to automatically scan cars' number (license) plates and send bills to the car owners. This information is deleted as soon as the bills are paid and cannot be used by law enforcement. There are also speed cameras all over that take photos of the driver and automatically blur out the passengers. If you get a ticket as the car owner and you were not driving the car, then you don't have to pay it. My wife drives my car and I driver hers, which completely eliminates these sort of fines. Some people drive with burkas and sunglasses! Motorcyclists cannot get fines as they wear helmets. It's quite an interesting system.
Anyway, this topic has been slashdotted several times already, most recently here.
I second what someone said earlier. If you can get 80 WPM without looking at the keyboard and without making mistakes, then that's spectacular. I took two years of "Word Processing" in high school back in the WordPerfect 5.1 days and 80 WPM is what the teacher could do. I reached that magic point and couldn't really go beyond it. If you're worried about developed carpal tunnel, there isn't much you can do with respect to technique. My advice would be to check out speech recognition. If you're worried about style, hitting the "Y" key with your right hand instead of your left, just do what's most comfortable for you. I've seen some of these stenographers (the court room typists) and they can pull 120 WPM using shorthand. When I moved to a non-English-speaking country, learned the language and had to start typing in it, that was a serious challenge. Keyboards here are QWERTY, but the special vowels are found where the ; ' [ keys are and punctuation is all over the place. It did come after a while, though, and now I'm about as fast in it as I am in English. Nothing like learning a new language and having to type in it to keep your typing skills sharp! Someone else mentioned going to Dworvak and to AZERTY. That's just a bad idea. I spent some time in Belgium and the AZERTY keyboard drove me nuts. It got so annoying, I ended up starting all my emails with: "Hello, just so you know, I'm in Belgium and they use some whacked keyboards here..." and I proceeded to type as I would on a QWERTY keyboard.
Yes, we take swabs of the nasopharynx of everyone with suspected influenza infection and we send them to our lab to be cultured. It's a regional laboratory with a lot of people working there, they do bloods and cultures and whatnot for the practices in the area as well as a major hospital. The next day I have around 10 positives sitting in my mailbox, the results also come electronically into our computer system as soon as they're complete and I check them at the end of my day of seeing patients. I have also set up our computer system to automatically send a pre-written sms text message to each patient with their lab results.
It's interesting to me that every single person I've ever met in Norway who lives in Oslo regards the rest of Norway as "the sticks". I have lived in three different parts of Norway, Oslo being one of them. I'm from a large city and Oslo was more like a village than city. I didn't even know how to describe it before a Norwegian called it that. Oslo is okay, there are things happening there and interesting people, there are good restaurants, shops, bars, clubs, cinemas. People outside of Oslo tell me "Oslo is not Norway" whilst people from Oslo tell me "Norway is Oslo". It's all your point of view. I'm reporting on my experiences alone. I have quite a few friends here, but they're all foreigners. I am not intellectually stimulated by Norwegians at the least. The conversations doctors have at lunch revolve around one or two topics. At this time of year, it's cross country skiing. I work with four other doctors in a practice and all we can talk about at lunch is that or swineflu. It was the same when I was working at a major hospital.
The women, in perfect honesty, beat out most American women almost every single time. But I've travelled extensively and I have lived in many places, not just here and in Eastern Europe. The women here pale in comparison to most other European women. Take another country I've lived in, a small one called Iceland. The people there are spectacular. I love them to death. The women? Absolutely fabulous. They refer to Norwegian women as "burger butts". They are a very open and warm people who speak English very well. I felt very accepted there. The bad? Well, they're broke for one. Also, it's impossible to get a job there.
One pet peeve of mine here in Norway is that about 90% of Norwegians don't even try to pronounce my typical English name correctly. When I introduce myself, many of them look down and say "ja vel" (translation: um, okay). It often seems like a put down a lot of the time because many people I have daily dealings with repeatedly mispronounce it. Please. It's a very easy name to pronounce. I've been told that the reason for this is that Norwegians don't like to make mistakes, so they won't try to pronounce my name right for fear of that. When I take a patient into my office for a consultation, about 50% react in the stereotypical xenophobic way when I shake their hands and introduce myself as their doctor and tell them my name. About 30% are embarrassed and try to say it. 10% are just happy I'm there and enthusiastic about getting seen. 10% get it right and become interested in me as a person and ask me where I'm from. I'm of course not here to be asked where I'm from, but it's nice once in a while when someone takes an interest in you. That's a major issue in this culture. I haven't figured out if it's egotism or what, but no one seems interested in each other. I feel like I have good contact with and form a bond with a very small percentage of my patients. There's a good book that describes the people here exactly. I read it in German, the title was Pferden stehlen (Stealing Horses). It might be that in English. Anyway, at one point in the story it's summer and a guy moves into a house out in the country. He looks out his window and sees his neighbour's house and says to himself "hmmm, I think I'll drop by and say hello after Christmas." Haha. To me, that's unbelievable. It takes people here a very long time to warm up to you and people are very happy to stay in the same job in the same place for 30 years. It's almost admired. Someone like me who likes to see the world, experience different cultures, and meet different people are seen with suspicion. I think that having an understand or at least experience with many different cultures is an asset. People here don't see it like that. Since people here travel very little aside from countries like Turkey, Greece, and Spain, they really have nothing to talk about with me.
The other thing that gets me about this first 50% of people who see me with suspicion or look down on me is that no matter what I do, they will always think that they're better than me and I will never be accepted. It was my mission when I first landed here to learn to write and speak perfect Norwegian. Everyone tells me that I write absolutely perfectly without any signs of mistakes. Spoken Norwegian is very tonal and accent oriented. Several words can be confused if you put the accent on the wrong part of the word. Many words are almost sung. So I will always have an accent, though it is not the typical American accent, and for that this first 50% will never accept me. Otherwise, no matter who you are or what colour you are, as long as you speak without an accent, you will be regarded as equal. I have a problem with that. Sure, I don't like sitting and listen to a Russian speak broken English trying to get a point across more than anyone else. It's annoying. But my Norwegian is not like that so I don't understand. I've given up caring about those people think, but it was bewildering when I first came here. I figured the society would be very open to foreign workers because they seriously need them. I also thought because they don't get much exposure to the outside world, that they would be interesting in us foreigners. I was quite wrong.
Mod me down all you want. I'm not at all bitter, I'm just reporting my own experiences as a traveller who has been to many different places. Like any country, there are good things and bad things here and you have to weigh those before making a decision to immigrate. I just wish someone had told me how it really was because everything you read about this country in the news is sweet chocolate-covered goodness. I also know that it is not only me who feels this way. All of the foreigners I've met here have the same things to say about it, especially my American countrymen. My experiences are actually much better than quite a few people I know. I have a few friends from Croatia and they get shit on. Constantly. One is a doctor and the other is a dentist. What they have gone through here is horrifying. I won't go into it because it makes me depressed and upset.
Hi, I just wanted to clarify a couple of things about Norway here. I've done this before, you can see a rather lengthy post about Norway here. I hope you find it useful in your immigration plans or at least interesting. I wrote uncommon sense when I posted the article because Norway has the habit of banning everything and making life really boring. Some things do make sense, and I really think my home country, the good old USA, could learn a lot from them. If you've been following the Norwegian news at all, you'll find that Norwegian judges and politicians try to do what they think is best for the people. They're not by any means pro-pirate, but they refuse to give into pressure from big business to make decisions that will compromise the freedom of the people. This is one thing I like about my new home.
I moved to Norway a little more than two years ago. I'm a doctor here, working as a GP/family doctor, I'm originally from the United States. I meet hundreds of Norwegians every week, a new one about every 20 minutes for 9-10 hours a day, so I feel if there's one thing I can comment on, it's the people. In submitting the article, I called it uncommon sense. This is because Norway generally bans everything and brainwashes its people to become suspicious little watch dogs. The fines are so stiff that it scares people into even trying something new or foreign. Take driving, for instance, they are so afraid of going over the speed limit that they drive under it. Norwegian speed limits are notoriously low for the conditions. A straight divided highway in the middle of nowhere will have a speed limit of 80 kph (about 49 mph) and people will drive 70. It drives me insane, especially because I've just switched jobs and have to commute 130 km a day. Turns a 30 min drive into almost an hour. In areas where it's safe and legal to pass, people freak out and call the police because it's something people don't really have the balls to do. I've gotten pulled over a few times for "impolite driving". I know, it sounds ridiculous.
Norway is quite isolated both geographically and socially. This has created a national suspicious and xenophobic attitude towards foreigners and new things. They were also in "unions" with Denmark and Sweden for hundreds of years, which is why they are very nationalistic and haven't joined the European Union. Up until around the 1970s, which is when they found oil, they were little more than farmers without any higher education or purpose. There weren't even roads connecting all the different parts of Norway until the mid 20th century, which is why more than 100 dialects of the Norwegian language survive until today and make learning the Norwegian language difficult. They didn't know a thing about oil so they enlisted an American company to help them find the reserves under the sea and develop the industry. Now they're the richest country in the world. They've avoided the mistakes of other countries and invested the money. Now they're the richest country in the world in terms of money in the bank. They invested a lot of money in socialism, which is why Norwegians don't really worry about anything and have a pretty relaxed attitude towards everything because they're always taken care of.
Health care is also something I can comment on due to my profession, and I believe I've done so here.
Norwegian women are typically not hot. They also suffer from what I call Norway's form of "Westernism". Many of them don't really watch their weight or what they eat. The hot ones know they're hot. Contemporary Norwegian women have also a peculiar trait I'd never seen before moving here, they are much stronger than the Norwegian men and have most of the power in a relationship. This isn't true of the older generation. I lived in Eastern Europe for several years between the US and Norway and those women are the hottest in the world, bar none. Do not come to Norway for the women!
The food? Typical Norwegian food is poisonous, but if you can cook or have an Eastern European partner who knows what she's doing, the food you buy in the supermarkets is great. Especially the fish. But it's damn expensive. A kilo of good beef or chicken is up in the $50 range.
I think that's about all I can think of to comment on right now. If I think of something else, I'll write more later.
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What I'd like to know is, why haven't we PC gamers received the Grand Theft Auto 4 DLC - The Lost and the Damned? We're still waiting.
If you actually understood the opposition, then you would be neither a Slashdotter nor a sensible person.
Just to correct a little of what you said. Norway values privacy, but yet publishes everyone's name, age, income, tax paid, and wealth information on the internet that is accessible to everyone. No, I'm not giving out the URL, I'm on there, too. Norway, in theory, values freedom of speech, but enforces divergent opinions and speech socially. If you say something that Norwegians don't like, they'll let you know it through passive aggression.
It is legal to monitor internet use, but they've just stopped renewing the licences given to law firms to do this. Effectively, you could already share files and download as much as you want without fear of prosecution, but now the "large filesharers" don't have to worry, either.
Norway does have a high tax rate. We all pay a minimum of 36% tax, but most people pay 50%. Foreigners are able to take 10% off this up to a certain sum for their first two years here. As of 2003, you are no longer able to import your own car tax and duty free. You can drive a foreign-registered car for up to a year, apply for a one-year extension, but then you're out of luck. The average car here is 3-4x more expensive than in the United States, but it depends on weight, engine size, and CO2 discharge of the car. A new Range Rover that costs 70 000$US will cost almost 500 000$US here.
Health care is not free. Every time you see your GP or go to the "triage" centre for emergencies (legevakt) you have to pay a co-pay (egenandel) that isn't a trivial amount and varies according to the time of day and other things http://www.nav.no/page?id=354
Sick pay and short- and long-term disability is what really sets Norway apart from the rest of the world, but this is seriously abused. You can get a couple of weeks paid time-off for "problems with your neighbours" and very mild miscellaneous psychiatric diagnoses.
The 5-weeks holiday is not exactly mandatory, you do not have to take it, but you will be taxed at 50% for any work you do whilst you should be away, so almost everyone goes away. Depending on where you live, you get, for example, 12% of your salary so that you can go away on holiday. I will not attempt to explain how this works because it's very complicated, look up "ferieloven" if you want to know more.
Maternity leave is 12 months, minimum of 4 weeks for dad. The part about alcohol, which fits in nicely with a discussion about maternity leave, was accurately reported already. A bottle of 20$US spirits (liquor) will cost 100$US here at the State-owned and run off-licence (or liquor store). Interestingly, Sweden has to do away with these now as they are against the European Union's ideas of free trade.
The Winter here is quite depressing ALL THE TIME. If you don't like winter, then seriously do not come to Norway. This last one was hell, even in the southern part of Norway. Snow and cold every day for nearly six months! Dark, overcast days...you're asking for psychological problems if you are in any way affected by the cold and lack of light.
The poster I'm replying to mentioned "hoockers" (sic). You don't need hookers in Norway. It's number one in terms of one night stands. You literally just go out, buy some girls some drinks, and if they're in the mood, they'll ask you to go home with them. If they aren't and you are, then it's slightly more complicated. It involves getting drunk together at least twice.
The problems with Norway that can make living here unbearable are as follows. The Norwegian people up until 30 years ago were just farmers. They had no money, no culture, a poorly expressive language... Now, suddenly, there's a lot of money. The problem is, the farmer mentality prevails. There are, of course, exceptions, but the majority of the country is xenophobic, naïve, and follows the rules blindly. The people are very closed to outsiders, you as a foreigner will never be treated as an equal no matter how long you live here. In order to make Norwegian friends, you will have to be invited into the circle by a Norwegian, which almost never happens. Fortunately, there are enough spurned foreigners dying to make friends that you'll have plenty of friends in no time, but this will not help you to learn Norwegian. Norwegian is a difficult language only in that the definite article (the, in English) goes on the end of the word (a train = et tog, the train = toget, trains = tog, the trains = togene, that train = det toget, those trains = de togene). Well, not only that. The other thing that makes Norwegian hard to learn is that Norwegians do not correct you when you speak. It's a social taboo to be confrontational, to point out one's mistakes, to publicly show feelings or opinions, or to take sides. So you will go for a long time not knowing if you're saying things quite right. The language also lacks an expressive element to it because the people are not expressive. Going from English to Norwegian is seriously hell. You have to dumb down what you want to say A LOT and get used to not saying things the way you want or are used to. Norwegians do speak English, but most don't speak it well the way English should be spoken. They speak English the way they speak Norwegian, which is understandable, but sounds really funny.
Hope this helps.