Long form here: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3763073&cid=43763153 but yeah, you're right. And GWB was right. "They hate us for our freedoms." So we got rid of our freedoms. America was great because it was good. The terrorists wanted to destroy American greatness, and they did it, because we stopped being good.
"America is great because America is good, and when it ceases to be good it will cease to be great."
Of course America has made mistakes. But I always believed they were honest mistakes, by people who wanted to do good, but were wrong, or misguided, and we would eventually feel shame about these mistakes and work to correct them. Think Japanese internment camps, segregation. Awful things that show the inherent goodness of America by their correction.
The day that idea died for me was the day in 2005 when Alberto Gonzalez's DOJ letters became public. That we're going to use mealy-mouth lawyer words to call obvious torture "not torture." That's pretty much it. Game over. We are not the good guys anymore, who can make any claim to a moral high ground.
The slippery slope is so far above us we can't even see it anymore. Of course all the PATRIOT Act powers that were "just supposed to be for terrorists" got used for regular criminal investigations of drug dealers. And then we've got Obama assassinating people with drones, and it takes a Rand Paul filibuster to get the White House to say "meh, maybe we won't launch missiles at Americans on American soil." Of course a few weeks later some bombs go off in Boston and even Paul changes his mind and says its just fine to shoot missiles from the sky at a robber fleeing a liquor store. The RoboCop dystopia isn't even tongue-in-cheek anymore. At least the ED-209 told you to drop your weapon before it shot you anyway.
Oh and when the criminal bomber was caught (allegedly, etc etc) we've got John McCain recommending "enemy combatant" status so we can indefinitely detain and torture him. When that happened I had just finished reading McCain's memoir, "Faith of my Fathers" a large part of which is about his own imprisonment and torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese and I had a really tough time reconciling the man in the book with the man on the TV screen.
Our "rights" don't really exist anymore, because the state can just lawyer language them away. Of course you have a right to a fair trial! Unless you're an "enemy combatant." Cruel and unusual punishment? Torture? Absolutely forbidden! Thankfully waterboarding and sleep deprivation aren't torture, they're "enhanced interrogate techniques." And of course you're secure from search and seizure of your papers where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, your email doesn't necessarily count as "papers," and they're stored on somebody else's server. And while you may assert a reasonable expectation of privacy over your email, the DOJ says you don't, so they can just read your email as they want, because they get to decide your level of expectation for you.
So today, that the FBI want a backdoor into our communications? Not surprising in the least. I'd be surprised if they didn't. Par for the course.
And now, thanks to this post, I'm probably on a watch list somewhere.
In America today, a foreigner with a radio device "accidentally" operating on military frequencies would win a lovely all-expense paid vacation to Cuba.
You're right, and stupidly we've been installing metal detectors instead of gun detectors in airports. The only way to be sure we're safe now is a full body cavity search before you can get on a plane.
Remember, you only don't want a federal employee probing your anus if you have something to hide. You don't have anything to hide, do you, citizen?
Yes, but most Americans are fine with being medieval peasants, so long as their feudal lord doesn't mistreat them too badly and they're well fed and entertained.
I don't blame China, I blame Canada. Ask yourself, who stands to gain most from a warming earth? That's right, those beaver loving moose riders living in America's hat.
I'm thinking of moving to Finland.
I love Rails, I tolerate Ruby, but man, "members of the Ruby community" are insufferable.
No, the labor will be done by robots, but robotics technology will still be covered by patents. The conflicts between patent holders on the robots' software, hardware, middleware, wetware, upware, downware and stemware will become so intense that eventually everyone in the country will be a patent attorney, waging eternal war for injunctions against rival patent Attorney-Lords.
The litigation will be glorious! The streets will run red with tape! Motions to dismiss will lie strewn about the courtroom, cleaved in twain, affidavits snatched from their authors' teets and put to the flame! May Prior Art be with us, brothers, for tonight we dine in District Court!
Basically, Thunderdome, but with more paperwork.
I think you forgot to put in that whole "industrial revolution middle class-y thing." I seem to be not wealthy, having my enemies driven before me while I hear the lamentations of their women, but I also don't seem to be toiling in the dirt under constant fear of the lash. Hmmm....
My thought was "they've patented RPC (remote response of an object to an input). Or possibly HTML (terminal system displays an object according to its own capabilities)."
Exactly. The question to ask is, "what's the endgame?" When Joe Hacker says, "huh, I've got this video file on my computer and I'd like to save it to disk, but the computer..my own computer...is saying 'no.' That ain't right," and so he puts together some code that gives you a "save" button on YouTube videos, his goal is exactly what it looks like. To skip ads and save videos and generally have your own computer do the things you want it to do, and not the things somebody else wants it to. And when he gets sued, the endgame for Joe and the users of his software is to retain the ability to keep skipping ads and saving videos and having control of their computers.
But Microsoft doesn't give a shit about their users' ability to skip ads or save videos. Their endgame is...unclear. It could be as simple as access to Google's API so that MS gets a 'polished' WP8 youtube app and their users once again sit through ads and can't save videos. Or this can just be a bargaining chip in a completely unrelated negotiation. But the instant MS gets whatever it is they want from Google they will drop the ad blocking and file saving features regardless of the "overwhelmingly positive feedback from users."
We've long established that the source of the human "soul" is in the brain. Those interconnections give rise to consciousness and self-awareness -- and sentience. If you build something that precisely models the brain, you will be creating sentience. I have to question how we can create a sentient creature simply to experiment upon it and still claim to have a shred of humanity to us.
I know that this is not as dazzling and interesting as building the device to geeks like us, but we cannot simply ignore the ethical consequences of our actions. All vocations, all manner of human endeavor, must move forward with an eye towards a respect for life. This may not be human life we're creating, or even organic life, but it is no less deserving.
Someday we're going to have cybernetic life walking about. And I have to wonder -- how well will they treat us, when they find out how ethical we were in creating it?
1) The brain being the soul is far from established... the problem of consciousness is still with us.
2) You probably had something that was sentient at one time for lunch.
3) Taking things apart in a biological situation is a one way process... typically it can't be repaired or "rebooted". That is a big difference in what is being described in the OP.
All vocations, all manner of human endeavor, must move forward with an eye towards a respect for life. This may not be human life we're creating, or even organic life, but it is no less deserving
To this I agree.
But, they're not calling your neighbors to shame you. Heavens to Betsy, no they'd never do that! But, if they don't find out it was you doin' all the doin' it downloads, well, they'll just HAVE to call you neighbor, see if maybe it was them who downloaded Backdoor Sluts 9 over your wifi. After all, the criminals who wronged their client need to be found...
That...is the smartest thing I have ever heard.