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Comment: Re:Savings == money put to work (Score 1) 637

by Capena (#32938924) Attached to: Which service is the last you would let lapse in a cash crunch?
With interest rates being as low as they are, it doesn't seem like there is currently any shortage of money to be loaned out (there may be a shortage of qualified borrowers though).

If there is increased consumption of food, that also creates investment opportunities in food. If the consumption remains flat or declines, even if there is money available it would be foolish to invest it.

Comment: Re:Why don't they review it with the case included (Score 1) 507

by Capena (#32881936) Attached to: Consumer Reports Can't Recommend iPhone 4
It is a flawed product. As far as flaws go, "decreased reception only when holding the phone in a certain way that causes issues only in low signal strength areas that can be corrected by any inexpensive 3rd party case" seems overblown.

How can they recommend the older phone that has permanent, unfixable weak reception but not this one?

It seems like they are withholding the recommendation to punish Apple for insufficient disclosure, or not giving away free cases or something. Which I'm not really against, but its not about what phone would be more practical for the consumer or gives them the most value for the money. For something that you will use every day for years, the extra hassle of buying a 3rd party case and putting it on does not seem more important than all the other factors.

Comment: Why don't they review it with the case included (Score 0, Redundant) 507

by Capena (#32880556) Attached to: Consumer Reports Can't Recommend iPhone 4
Just add $30 to the cost of the phone, and review it with a case on, if it is that big of a problem.

Sure Apple isn't doing the customer friendly thing by giving away free cases (go figure), but if a relatively cheap Apple or 3rd party case solves it and everything else is OK, I don't see why this is a big deal.

Comment: Re:Shill it is. (Score 1) 232

by Capena (#31604902) Attached to: Google vs. China — Who's Got the Most To Lose?
I've never said Hu Jintao was a great guy or that I supported the Chinese government. I am saying that democracy works here because we respect the system, and that it frequently hasn't worked in developing countries because of corruption, cheating, economic catastrophe, etc. The idea that we can solve China's problems for them by forcing them to imitate us is stupid.

Checking your comment history

The majority of my comment history is this discussion with you.

I hope you're cashing those checks.

If you can get paid for having futile debates on the internet, no one has told me.

Comment: Re:And it just gets worse... (Score 1) 232

by Capena (#31604226) Attached to: Google vs. China — Who's Got the Most To Lose?
He's not actually a dictator, the government is democratically elected, no one is accusing them of rigging votes. I should have been more clear in my response. The government has a transparent political and judicial process, and the measures of success are internationally accepted. He is the leader of the political party that has been re-elected to power for 30+ years, not unlike Japan and the LDP from 1955-1993.

And unlike our friend against the communists Taiwan, which was a real dictatorship that jailed or executed political opponents from 1948-1987.

Or South Korea, whose democratic government has been taken over by the military three times since the 1960s.

I fail to see how I am the troll here, when most of your argument consists of either personally insulting me or making outrageous comparisons to the likes slaveowners or Kim Jong Ill. Surely Godwin's law is not far off?

Comment: Re:That's hilarious (Score 1) 232

by Capena (#31593974) Attached to: Google vs. China — Who's Got the Most To Lose?
Yes, the dictator who rule(d) Singapore with an iron fist. Also the person who brought Singapore from an 3rd world country plagued by racial riots with little natural resources or land, to a prosperous, safe, clean country just below Germany on the HDI, in the space of 30 years.

He may not be a nice guy but Singapore's low crime, unemployment, lack of drug problems, etc is obviously no accident... Here is a tiny interview excerpt:

SPIEGEL: During your career, you have kept your distance from Western style democracy. Are you still convinced that an authoritarian system is the future for Asia?

Mr. Lee: Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people's position. In multiracial societies, you don't vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I'd run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that...

I'm also going to quote from another slashdot poster:

China has a long history of extremely violent and bloody revolutions. The relative political stability of the past 60 years is pretty much unprecedented. If the past is any indication, the transformation to complete freedom in China is not likely to go as peacefully as it did with the Soviet Union.

Sudden change in China usually results in the deaths of millions. They have little history of peaceful change. The government has an obligation to tread cautiously.

I guess the general idea is that the effectiveness of government matters in addition to the process by which it is arrived at, and the idea that a developed country and stable democracy like the US (civil war notwithstanding) will somehow establish itself if only more freedoms are granted is likely naive.

Comment: Re:Basic Civics on "legtimacy" (Score 1) 232

by Capena (#31592802) Attached to: Google vs. China — Who's Got the Most To Lose?

And how are we to know that?

Well, you could just ask them, if it was sufficiently anonymous. According to a poll by the University of Maryland, Hu Jintao recently had a 93% approval rating (http://www.newsweek.com/id/141764/). There's also the issue of if public support is a source of political legitimacy in the absence of free speech.

Of course, these ideas of political legitimacy were pioneered by western philosophers such as John Locke in the 17th century. There's that "cultural" thing.

An interesting read that touches on these issues is this interview of Lee Kuan Yew, the prime minister of Singapore for 30 years.

Comment: Re:Patrick Henry, William Wallace would like a wor (Score 1) 232

by Capena (#31580718) Attached to: Google vs. China — Who's Got the Most To Lose?

Freedom and liberty are not "cultural" issues.

Freedom is not absolute in any country. Copyrights and patents limit individual freedom. There's mandatory schooling. You can't do certain drugs, sell sex, or posses child porn. There are slander and libel laws. If you are engaged in some sort of business or trade you are absolutely not free to do as you please. You can argue that some rights are universal, but surely the extent of individual freedom is a cultural and political issue to some degree?

Also, consider for a moment that money also brings with it its own kind of freedom. The legal right to publish anti-government material on the internet is meaningless without access to both a computer and an internet connection.

Compared to the largest democracy, India, the Chinese government has been much much more effective at improving living conditions and is also less corrupt. They top officers have engineering degrees and do not have to spend their time conducting political campaigns or raising money from special interest groups. Major infrastructure projects are undertaken without endless debates. People do not have the same rights as western democracies, but there is also a benefit: China has been the fastest growing major economy for 30 years.

If the majority of the Chinese support this system of government, who are we to say that they need to sacrifice it in the name of "freedom."

Comment: Re:Freedom (Score 1) 232

by Capena (#31574640) Attached to: Google vs. China — Who's Got the Most To Lose?
I'm going to play the devil's advocate here.

What if average people, in a country that is relatively uneducated, do not know best how to govern the country?

Compare China's government to the large democracies of India and Indonesia. Is it less effective? Is it more corrupt? Look what happened to Russia after communism fell. Should the same thing happen to China?

China has, probably, the best government it has ever had. The approval rating is apparently around 90%. If it was a person, they would be re-elected.

Just because in the U.S. our democratic system produces leaders who we think are capable and who govern responsibly, does not automatically mean that in a 3rd world country the same result would occur. We don't have to worry about the stability of our government or (for the most part) people questioning its legitimacy, but are developing countries the same? Is having some web sites censored too large a price to pay for more peaceful economic development and less political fighting? Is porn included in free speech?

I don't have an answer to these questions myself, but it seems like it isn't completely a one-sided issue.

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