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Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 279

by Cytotoxic (#49541185) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

The text is directly from the European Court of Human Rights...not mine, not some summary article, it is directly their very first example of what is not protected speech - because he was advocating that jews are the root of evil in Russia. The thing that makes it hate speech in their eyes is that he was saying it about jews. The fact that he does so in long form is not the salient point.

There is nothing cherry picked about it. It is specifically what they are targeting. They don't mince any words, they are extremely explicit about their intentions.

On their own website they say that even the most heinous speech must be protected..... unless it incites hatred against certain groups in certain regions, or it causes some people to feel threatened, or it offends certain people,

That is the entire point of the objection. They protect offensive and heinous speech.... except if they don't want to. So you can't possibly know what speech is protected until after you are prosecuted and acquitted. Saying something perfectly true about muslims might not be protected. Saying a slanderous lie about atheists might be protected. But you don't know, because there is no standard to let you know in advance.

In other words, the protections on free speech are not really protections at all. This whole thing about hate speech is just a circular argument. All speech is protected except hate speech. Hate speech is the speech that isn't protected.

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 279

by Cytotoxic (#49533949) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

In anticipation of the "nuh-uh, no they don't" counter-argument, here is a direct parallel, taken directly from the European Court of Human Rights

Pavel Ivanov v. Russia
20 February 2007 (decision on the admissibility)
The applicant, owner and editor of a newspaper, was convicted of public incitement to
ethnic, racial and religious hatred through the use of mass-media. He authored and
published a series of articles portraying the Jews as the source of evil in Russia

So publishing articles that say "jews are the source of evil" rather than christians, this guy got convicted of hate speech violations and this was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights as not being protected speech. Pretty much word for word the example I gave - not protected speech.

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 279

by Cytotoxic (#49533911) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

Replace the word 'Christian' with some other group. Try jews, homosexuals, Palestinians, women, transgendered..... you get the point. Substitute an insulting synonym and you get the point even more directly.

This is exactly the kind of language targeted by hate speech laws. Your knowledge of what "hate speech" laws consist of must be severely limited. The demarcation of hate speech vs protected speech is mostly subjective, and as such is subject to the whims of those doing the prosecuting.

People have been convicted of hate speech violations in France for calling islam "stupid" and "dangerous", or for criticizing ritual slaughter of animals, The runner up for the presidency was fined for this statement:

The day that we have in France not just 5 million but 25 million Muslims, it will be them in charge. The French will hug their walls [in fear], step down from the sidewalks [to the street], and lower their eyes. If they don't, they'll be told, "Why are you looking at me like that, buddy, you searching for a fight?"

In England it is a hate crime to use "abusive or insulting words" in the presence of someone who might be caused "alarm or distress". Really. British hate speech laws have been used to prosecute atheists for displaying drawings that satirize christianity.

The european court of human rights explicitly says:

...as a matter of principle it may be considered necessary in certain democratic societies to sanction or even prevent all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance

i.e. statements like "Christianity is the root of evil".

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 279

by Cytotoxic (#49533813) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

Now you are just being intentionally obtuse. My explanation might be brief, and it might not be the most stellar writing in history, but it clearly is not a limit on speech to outlaw fraud or theft or any other aggression against another person that happens to involve conveyance of information. Just because I use the written word to commit identity theft doesn't mean that I'm protected by "absolutely no limits on free speech". The same could be said about the right to keep and bear arms - just because you have a right to a weapon doesn't mean you get to shoot anyone you like. Possessing a weapon and using it to harm someone else are different things.

These are obvious distinctions between words expressing ideas and actions. Pretending that you can't comprehend such distinctions is not a cogent argument.

Comment: Re: question (Score 1) 279

by Cytotoxic (#49528693) Attached to: German Court Rules Adblock Plus Is Legal

So it's cool if I go around telling people you are a pedophile?

Unless you are correct, that would be fraud in the form of slander. Although speech is used to commit slander, it is not the speech that is illegal, it is the fraudulent nature of the information conveyed and the harm caused that are illegal.

Similarly, free speech doesn't allow you to threaten someone in order to coerce them into giving you all the money in the cash register. It is the theft and threats that are illegal, not the speech.

"Christianity is the root of much evil in the world" might be specious (or not), and it might be delivered in a hateful manner, but it isn't in the same category. It is a statement of purely subjective opinion and as such should be protected. Substitute any group you like for 'Christianity' and the answer is the same.

Comment: Re:Like on airplanes! (Score 1) 590

Is nitrogen used because it is cheaper than oxygen?

This is not exactly a joke, at least not directly. It is a reference to a blogger called The Food Babe who has offered up some laughable ideas - in this case opining on the health effects of airline travel. She famously complains that : "The air you are breathing on an airplane is recycled from directly outside of your window. That means you are breathing everything that the airplanes gives off and is flying through it’s mixed with nitrogen, sometimes almost at 50%"

For those who don't get the laugh-out-loud moment, it isn't the bit about how the cabin pressurization works, or even the bit about mixing the air with nitrogen.... yes, those are crazy goofy, but if you still are in the dark, give a quick google for the percentage of nitrogen in the atmosphere around you.

Comment: Re:Execute the fastest way possible (Score 1) 590

The egg industry uses little chipper/shredder machines to grind up the unwanted male chicks in less than a second. Although grotesque, it is so quick that they probably experience no pain from the killing itself.

A giant chipper/shredder for humans would do the job humanely, if horrifically. Perhaps this is the best solution - push for a truly humane death penalty that is spectacularly unpalatable. Putting someone under with valium and dropping them into a giant machine that reduces their body to hamburger in less than a second would certainly be "humane".

Comment: Re:An alternative to the death penalty (Score 5, Insightful) 590

Atheism and absence of morality are not synonymous. One need not invoke a deity to have a moral compass. Most publicly vocal atheists in the west are also opposed to the death penalty. At the same time, at least a couple of history's greatest mass murderers were also avowed atheists. It doesn't seem that atheism and opposition to killing are at all correlated, just as belief in any of the major religions is not a good predictor of one's stance on the death penalty.

Troll rejected: erroneous premise.

Comment: Re:An alternative to the death penalty (Score 5, Insightful) 590

Yeah, this is pretty macabre. How about we just avoid killing people?

And no, it isn't because they don't deserve it (although we inevitably execute and imprison innocent people). Most deserve worse than they get. How about let's just go with the simple idea that killing is wrong and strive to avoid it whenever possible? Killing people diminishes us - even if they were evil scumbags who deserved worse. I don't need to look to other cultures for examples and counter-examples of executing people. I don't need a popularity contest about how many other people don't like the death penalty (or the converse). Let's just go with "no killing" because it is right and be done with it.

Comment: Re:Why is it even a discussion? (Score 1) 441

by Cytotoxic (#49467241) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

What Bing said.

The issue is not open and unfettered internet vs. evil corporate control. It is one set of bureaucrats and corporations against another set of bureaucrats and corporations. Just because they use the words "net neutrality" doesn't mean there is anything neutrality related involved. Remember, the same national politicians got together to give us the Republic-led bipartisan "USA PATRIOT Act", which had absolutely nothing to do with patriotism.

"free and open internet" as we knew it is not an option on the table. The discussion at hand is about how much power Washington will have to pick winners and losers in corporate fights. And who in Washington will wield that power. Oh, and a few new fees and tacked-on unrelated regulations "just because".

Comment: Re:But we know the Standard Model is incomplete (Score 1) 73

by Cytotoxic (#49430419) Attached to: Years After Shutting Down, Tevatron Reveals Properties of Higgs Boson

> pretty sure being right allows us to advance more quickly

Definitely not. The exact opposite is much closer to the truth.

The reason why something like this might be true is related to the Confirmation Bias logical fallacy. Quick classic example:

Take the series of numbers: 2,4,6,8

Figure out what the rules for the series are. If you give me a guess, I'll tell you if it is in the series or not.

So you guess 10.
I say yes.
Then you guess 12.
I say yes.
Yippie, you think. I've figured it out. I'll make one more guess to be sure: How about 14?
Yes.

Ok, you say, the rule is all the numbers are even.

Nope. The rule is the numbers are positive integers. Because you never tested a number that didn't fit your rule, you never found out where your rule was wrong. Therefore you never made any progress in updating your rules.

So, in the case of the Higgs we found out that our rule is right about the information we've learned about the Higgs so far. In which case we can't make our rule any better. If we had instead found out that some of our predictions were wrong, they'd be hard at work updating their model and coming up with ways to test that new model. That's why progress is faster if you find out that you are wrong. The important bit was finding out how you were wrong, and that you were asking the right questions so that the results point you in the right direction.

Comment: Re:Space X vs ULA (Score 1) 132

by Cytotoxic (#49369881) Attached to: SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies

What did the taxpayers get for the $1 billion per year above and beyond paying for actual launches?

Hmmm.... US military subsidizing nasa contractors that are also military suppliers to the tune of a billion bucks a year. Hmmm.... is that going to pay for rocket stuff.... or perhaps is there some "off the books" work going on?

Comment: Re:Death traps. (Score 1) 451

by Cytotoxic (#49306697) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Thanks for sharing.... your ride sounds amazing. Back when I was in high school around 1980 a buddy and I rebuilt and customized a VW Super Beetle. Nothing as far-out as your LPG setup, but still a lot of fun. We had the cylinders bored out for new pistons, put in high-ration rockers and a new crankshaft - we even put dual Webbers on the thing. 8 barrels of carb for a four cylinder, pretty funny.

What a great project. We ended up getting it to dyno out at 135hp, which ain't too shabby for a car designed for more like 45 hp.

I bet your project has given you no end of topics for conversation.

Comment: Re:Death traps. (Score 1) 451

by Cytotoxic (#49300699) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Wait, you run propane through a standard carburetor? How does that work? It isn't like LPG can settle in the float bowl. I thought you had to replace the carburetor with a regulator and mixer assembly.

I'd like to see how your setup works.

Oh, and to the point.... you don't really work on modern cars. They rarely need anything beyond fluids and wear items like tires and brakes, but when they do, you end up letting the professionals handle it. I used to do all the work on my cars back in the carburetor and timing light days. Not any more. They have everything packed in there so tight it takes hours just to change the spark plugs on some cars (BMW 328i, I'm looking at you). The computers and sensors are so good that you never really adjust anything anymore. While you give up some of the fun of detuning your Chevelle SS to get that 100rpm idle lub-dub-lub-dub sound, what you get in return is 100k miles with nothing more serious than an oil change out of a little turbo charged 4 cylinder that puts out more horsepower than the biggest muscle cars of the 70's. Not a bad exchange.

You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford

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