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Comment: Re:But fundamentally, isn't it about a tradeoff? (Score 1) 1013

by ChristopherBurg (#42349531) Attached to: Using Technology To Make Guns Safer

The question is, I think, whether that decrease in reliability is an acceptable tradeoff for the increase in safety gained due to only the owner being able to fire it.

Determining whether a tradeoff in reliability is worth a potential increase in safety can only be done by the person needing the firearm. It's easy for a third party to look at a general situation, calculate some numbers, and decide wether or not a tradeoff is worth it. What a third party misses is the lifetime of knowledge and experiences held by the firearm owner. Consider the manner you calculated reliability. You calculation was determined by considering the number of failed firings in relation to the number of successful firings. A blanket calculation like that doesn't take into consideration the condition that can induce failure.

Electronics are more susceptible environmentally induced failures. Consider an individual living in a jungle environment. They are dealing with higher humidity and periodical encounters with water (either through rain or crossing bodies of water). Water does not interact well with electronics. While the average number of failures across the board after adding electronics to a gun may only be 3 in 10,000 the number of failures experienced in a jungle environment are likely to be much higher. Extremely cold weather can also wreck havoc with electronics. A person living in an arctic region is likely to have more failures after electronics are added to a firearm.

Firearms are, to a point, inherently dangerous. It is a device designed to cause physical harm. When the purpose of a device is to cause physical harm the amount of safety that can be added is limited. Consider the chainsaw, another device designed to cause harm (although primarily to trees). It consistes of an engine that spins a chain that is covered in sharp blades. Being designed to cut through trees a chainsaw can easily cut through a human as well. Safety devices have been added to chainsaws but the design only lends itself to a certain amount of safety before it becomes too unreliable for its intended purpose. The intended purpose of a firearm is often defensive. When it's needed it's usually needed immediately and any failure to properly operate can cost the user his or her life. Due to this most people are likely unwilling to reduce reliability in the name of safety. Firearms are already to the point where they are extremely safe for the user so long as some basic safety rules are followed.

Comment: Re:Least stable (Score 3, Informative) 333

by ChristopherBurg (#40604067) Attached to: Trying to Untangle Anarchist Attacks On Scientists

I don't know where people come up with these kinds of claims. Anarchy isn't an opposition to organization (in fact anarcho-communists are all about organization). Depending on the form of anarchism it's about the opposition of violence and coercion or hierarchy all together.

Those in the former group oppose the state (what is commonly referred to as the government) because it is necessarily violent. Everything it does is backed by the threat or actuality of violence. For example, failing to pay your taxes will result in your kidnapping and being tossed into a cage or your property stolen. If you resist any of these actions by the state they will use physical force against you and, if you resist sufficiently, even go so far as to kill you.

Anarchists in the latter category oppose any single individuals having power over another. In the case of the state they oppose the fact that state agents have power over non-state agents. Members of this group also oppose capitalism and the idea of landlords because they believe the capitalist has power over the workers because without the wages paid by the capitalist the employees would be unable to acquire the basic needs of survival (food, water, clothing, shelter). They also oppose landlords for the same reason, the landlord can toss out renters leaving said renters without shelter.

The former group generally has no issue with hierarchy so long as it's voluntary. They have no problem with somebody working for an employer, renting living space, or being a member of any organization that has created a set of rules for members of follow (Slashdot, for example, has rules that must be agreed to and those who disobey said rules can be kicked out).

While the latter group opposes hierarchy they don't oppose organization. In general they believe decisions should be made by the applicable communities. Workers at a factory would vote on policies regarding the factory, members of a community would vote on the rules of that community, and so on. Because each person is viewed as having an equal voice no single person has power over another.

It would do you well to research the philosophies of anarchism before making erroneous claims regarding them.

Comment: Re:strategy of tension (Score 1) 426

by ChristopherBurg (#40142743) Attached to: 'Eco-Anarchists' Targeting Nuclear and Nanotech Workers

Real anarchism at its core is about the recognition of the basic rights, ie the right to self ownership of one's own body, and the descendent right to property.

Social anarchists, in general, don't merely wish to do away with government but all forms of hierarchy. As they view property as a form of hierarchy they advocate for the abolition of the entire idea. Therefore most social anarchists would vehemently disagree with your statement. They also argue against the concept of self-owner because they believe that you, being yourself, cannot own yourself. They usually phrase it something like, "You are you so you can't own you." I don't entirely understand it myself but that's why I'm not a social anarchist (among other reasons).

While I believe in the concept of self-ownership to say "real" anarchists all believe in it would be entirely in error. Most social anarchists consider themselves the only "true" anarchists while most individualist anarchists believe they're the only "true" anarchists. Truthfully there are as many "true" anarchists as there are "true" scotsmen.

Comment: Re:Do they realise... (Score 1) 426

by ChristopherBurg (#40142367) Attached to: 'Eco-Anarchists' Targeting Nuclear and Nanotech Workers

You appears to have a fairly shortsighted view of anarchism. By saying the anarchist movement has a long history of terrorism you're lumping all anarchist philosophies together.

Anarchism is a term that covers many different philosophies. There are the revolutionary anarchists (the ones you were likely thinking of when you made your comment) who utilize acts of violence and property destruction. On the other end you have agorists who do not believe in such violence means, instead they believe in using counter-economics to eventually cause the of the state. Many christian anarchist philosophies are entirely pacifist. There are social anarchists and individualist anarchist, anarchist who believe in the abolition of all property and anarchists who believe in absolute private property rights, market anarchists and communist anarchist, and the list goes on.

Lumping all anarchists together is no different than lumping all christian together. Yes, some christians believe in using violence to enforce their decrees but many more christians oppose such actions. The same applies to anarchists, some advocate and use violence in the hopes of furthering their cause while others oppose violent actions.

Comment: Re:Might add a warning... (Score 1) 404

by ChristopherBurg (#37319728) Attached to: Wicked Lasers Introduces Handheld One-Watt Green Laser

Personally I believe there are far more common dangers to concern one's self with than lasers. For instance anybody with a credit card in hand can go fill a can with gasoline and honestly gasoline has for more destructive potential than any laser current on the market.

But the ultimate truth is stupid people will do stupid things and bad people with do bad things regardless of rules and regulations put into place.

Comment: Re:Only as "free" as your ability to defend it (Score 1) 692

by ChristopherBurg (#37136504) Attached to: Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

I think you're the one who's not understanding this. Under libertarian philosophy you have a right to self-defense which includes situations where you are reasonably sure your life is in immediate danger. For example if somebody with a bomb strapped to themselves came to your location you would be able to argue that you had a reasonable expectation that the man with the bomb strapped to himself was an immediate threat to either yourself or your property. Thus if you took actions to defend yourself it's likely any court would agree with your action and also unlikely a court would agree with the potential bomber's heirs if they tried to bring a case against you.

In addition to that property rights would further make this issue no more worrisome then it is today. Yes you have a right to strap a bomb to yourself, walk around, and even detonate it so long as that detonation won't harm another or the property of another. Your right stops at your property line, once you enter another person's property you must either play by their rules or leave. Most people are not going to be OK with some random guy coming on to their property with a bomb strapped to themselves and thus a person doing so it's a "law-abiding citizen." As the property owner would have a reasonable expectation that they or their property was in immediate danger they could take actions necessary to defend either.

Again I'll urge you to read the material I linked to (it's freely available at the link I provided) as it will likely clear up many of the misconceptions about libertarianism you seem to have.

Comment: Re:Only as "free" as your ability to defend it (Score 1) 692

by ChristopherBurg (#37133730) Attached to: Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

First of all a suicide bomber would constitute an immediate threat to life granting anybody in the vicinity legitimate reason for self-defense. I'll recommend reading The Ethics of Liberty by Murray Rothbard as it answers most of the common questions and counters most of the common criticisms people have about libertarianism.

As for collecting compensation from a penniless dead man, you can't do that now, so it's not really a criticism of libertarianism but of modern technological limitations. There isn't a modern society on the planet that can bring a dead man back to life in order to enact justice against him. In such a case you would rely on insurance just as you do now.

Comment: Re:Only as "free" as your ability to defend it (Score 2) 692

by ChristopherBurg (#37113328) Attached to: Paypal Founder Helping Build Artificial Island Nations

You seem to be mistaking a libertarian society with one that lacks law. Libertarian philosophy does include provisions for law but the laws are solely against harming another or their property. It's called the non-aggression principle and if violated libertarian philosophy recognizes the violation as a crime and allows for the collection of compensation.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.

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