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Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 79

When has justice ever had anything to do with the law?

When did I say it did?

When you said "an unjust law is no law at all".

Which means - justice and the law are mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite of the meaning you take away.

Sure, I vote a nearly straight third party ticket, preferring those whose policies I actually agree with when available

Which, does nothing to change the influence of lobbyists or force parties to actually listen to voters when setting the agenda. If you keep picking from the offered cards hoping for a game that you control you're just hoping for the triumph of optimism over experience.

So then oh wise master, what exactly are you trying to suggest?

That in a two party system you can't win. No amount of legislation will stop corporate interests from profitably influencing candidates in a two party system. Donate to both and any time either party wants to do the corporate bidding they simply need enough support from the other party to push the legislation through - which is already bought and paid for. But if the balance of power is held by a large number of candidates/parties the only way to ensure all their support is to influence all of them - which is kind of hard to do without increasing the size of the total influence budget, and damn near impossible to do if the parties/candidates who win changes every election. If the majority of voters give their vote to candidates who "don't stand a chance" - those that get elected will serve a wide range of masters. For them to get any legislation through they'll need extensive negotiation with other politicians to get their support. It'll mean politicians will need to do more work, and spend more time with their electorate, and most of the time they'll have to do things they don't want to do (but no one said democracy was meant to be easy).

The only way a constantly changing mixture of candidates can be elected is if people don't vote for one of the major parties. If everyone votes for a candidate they believe won't get enough votes to be elected the major parties won't hold a balance of power between them and will have to reach a broad compromise with a wide range of interest - and keep searching for an agenda for the next election that might gain them enough extra votes to gain a better negotiating position. If people don't vote for someone who already holds office... the corporate interests have very little power to influence outcomes. i.e. If you own ChicknLickn and want to get a better deal for you company you only need to "support" maybe two candidates. Say half a million each to ensure "support" across every state - and maybe a ChicknLickn store on every Army base. But if almost any candidate on the ticket might get elected - across the nation, you'd need to give a lot smaller share of the "support" to cover all the possibilities. Now the size of your "contribution" to local candidates is no bigger than what the local taco stand is donating (and he only wants a larger car park permit - not nationwide franchising favours).

You cannot legislate against influence. Aside from being like trying to get foxes to create laws to protect chickens, it's virtually impossible to properly define - hence impossible to prohibit. "Fancy that bellhop with the tight pants at the Majestic?", "Want a winning tip at the dogs?", "Want your children to stop getting bullied at school?", "Want your brother to get a pay rise?", "Want your church to get funding for chapel repairs?". There's an almost infinite number of ways to influence candidates. Trying to pass laws to stop it happening at all is like pissing up a rope and hoping to stay dry - or passing laws against taking drugs. Business will seek to influence candidates, gravity will affect urine, people will take drugs.

The alternative is to keep hoping that a two party system will change it's nature. It won't. And the same broken excuses will be trotted out to defend it. "We need experienced politicians - and major parties, to govern our complex government" 'cause it's worked so well so far? "Your way would lead to anarchy - none of the politicians would agree on anything and nothing would get done - we need major parties so people can be told to vote on legislation down the party line" - which is why corporate influence works, whoever wins is always one of the front runners. Different dog every election - same leg action. If Business can't influence candidates because they narrow down the number of likely winners they'll have to try and influence voters.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 79

When has justice ever had anything to do with the law?

When did I say it did?

"Deal with it." has historically been the most common long-term option.

"Deal with it" is a Claytons option. If you take the time to actually read what you're responding to - you'd get that.

I disagree that capitalism and democracy are a contradiction in terms - one refers to the flow of wealth, the other to the flow of power.

Which would be "A phrase or expression in which the component words contradict one another".

Capitalism is voting with your wallet, Democracy is voting with your ballot. If Capitalism drives legislation (and I think it does) then laws are passed according to the influence of lobbyist groups - an effective mechanism as any politician wants to be re-elected and previous sources of funds are the key to funding a re-election. The "numbers" person for any party is only the person who can organise the "numbers" (votes) because they know all the "numbers" (telephone numbers for donors).

Does a "political mandate" (platform elected on by voters) take precedent over lobbyists? No - get elected because you say you'll do something about better eating and bury that mandate because the Beef Farmers lobby steps up and threatens to remove funding next election. Does a political mandate to increase employment take precedence over some country suing because the minimum wage was raised? No - to that too (Trans Pacific Trade Agreement). If it was a "democracy" then voters would take precedence over industry. Remember corporations can't vote, that only "voters" vote is the core of Democracy. The fact that in effect corporations do vote, and their vote counts for more than a "voters" is what I'd call "a contradiction in terms".

As for your description of how the parties set their agenda - certainly they adjust their declared agenda based on "lost votes", but you're leaving out the biggest power brokers in the game - their sponsors.

Nope - not ignoring it. That's just "how it works", the following paragraph (which you had trouble comphrending also) explained how to leverage that.

But as individuals we can make the major backers investments much less profitable.

How, exactly?

[slowly] By making their investments much less profitable.

If Koch brothers have $25 million to invest in political lobbying they can "invest" $12.5 in each of the main parties. That means they get no return on that investment for every vote that doesn't go to the major parties. The more votes that goes to parties that aren't backed by Koch, the worse the return on their investment.

Now read my original post again - you seem to have trouble comprehending the obvious.

Sure, I vote a nearly straight third party ticket, preferring those whose policies I actually agree with when available

Which, does nothing to change the influence of lobbyists or force parties to actually listen to voters when setting the agenda. If you keep picking from the offered cards hoping for a game that you control you're just hoping for the triumph of optimism over experience.

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 79

by Demonoid-Penguin (#49280823) Attached to: Judicial Committee Approves FBI Plan To Expand Hacking Powers

Tell that to the guy who was just shot for violating it.

Tell what? An unjust law is no law at all?

Clearly you neither understood what I wrote (read it again). I've never said fixing the problem was easy or simple. Freedom doesn't come for free, it's gained at the cost of security. The security of being able to outsource responsibility and sit on the couch making a contribution no greater than whining. A pre-requisite for positive change is loss of social time, safety, and an investment in education (basically the result of trusting nothing and verifying everything - anytime someone says "but...." it's a cop out). If that's sounds like anarchy without the destruction it's because it is (libertarianism is bullshit).

Yours is a nice sentiment, but the reality has always been that the law is whatever the people with the power to enforce it say it is.

Only when you seek definition of rules from those that set the game. Try reading the context of Augustine's quote.

In a democracy that power is supposed to flow from the people

There's the problem (flawed logic) - you don't live in a democracy. Capitalism (which I support) and democracy are contradictions in terms.

, but if the people lose control of their government then that just becomes a feel-good talking point to distract them.

Kind of, maybe. More accurately "the people who can be bothered voting" - don't make an informed choice or understand the system. The system is simple - "the people" basically pick from two choices. Both choices are lies that don't get called. Neither do the choices get forced on the candidates. Education (not outsourced to institutions) is a pre-requisite to solve all those problems (voting, informed voting, setting the agenda, making candidate responsible for meeting the agenda).

Making an agenda requires understanding how the agenda is set. Each of the major parties want an increased majority. They seek that by looking at the results of the last election and playing lip service to issues that they percieve as votes they lost last time. So an agenda (platform) is influenced by a previous election. Knowing that, the solution is to not for any party that stands a chance of being elected - this forces the agenda. Pick an issue that you support as part of a platform by someone who will not win enough votes to gain power. It has the two-fold result of forcing an agenda for the last election and making the incumbent responsible for failing their mandated position (if they fail to hold or increase their power they are dumped by their financers).

Money wins elections (basically). You can't, as individuals, set an agenda by throwing money at candidates (individual candidates or parties) - only business/groups can do that as individuals do not all want the same thing. But as individuals we can make the major backers investments much less profitable.

Once that happens there are really only three basic options: - Take back control of the government (lots of strategies to be attempted...)

Only one - which I've briefly outlined above. All others lead to failure via either bloodshed or disapointment. History demonstates this more than adequately. Increase accountability by legislation and you only exacerbate the exisiting problem. Overthrown the oppressors and learn firsthand what they were trying to oppress (trust me - that ain't a pretty revelation (hint: evolution is far from horizontal, many people will only be happy if they get to burn the entire planet to save the tiny backyard that they'll tire of tomorrow)

- Take control of the enforcers (e.g. get the police to identify with their local communities rather than the government that's offering them lots of power and cool toys to play with)

Yes - it's part of "take an active and constant part of change (and requires that pesky self-education - a critical component of which is the ever elusive self-awareness, another is the willingness to sacrifice i.e. security).

- Deal with it.

Historically that's only every been a short-term option, eventually no one is too small to be insignificant - and the first people the oppressed turn on are their neighbours (notice how poor junkies don't rob the rich?). That short-term option is catered to by big pharma already - like Elderberry in the fable I referenced earlier, their demands (driven by their shareholders) are insatiable. It's one of many closed loops that require increased oppression (both locally and globally) that cannot be fed without increasing the original problem it pretends to solve.

"Dealing with it" (suck it up etc) is the ostrich solution to the threat of rape. Likewise buying a Prius or "making enough to buy self-sufficiency far from the rat-race"

Of course - that's just my opinion. "God" (fundamentalism and conservatism"), Entertainment (ooh shiny thing), and Fantasy (woo, woo), are the most popular ways of "dealing with it". Sadly "thinking" about it (as you are obviously doing) and not (and it is, IMO, the only "begining") - subscribing to a stock opinion is just another form of outsourcing responsibility, which is just as bad as ignoring the problem.

Pushed for time - no edits or proof-reading. Hope it's readable

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 79

The only "stupid" assumption at this point is that the law has any real power or meaning behind it.

Lex iniusta non est lex An unjust law is no law at all.

It seems the degree of instrusion and control is directly related to the ratio of forum flooding disguised as trolling. Cue the gun debate/Republican/Democrat/Oh Look Shiny thing flood (sigh)

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 79

A judge's jurisdiction is a judge's jurisdiction. Attempting to change that would change our entire legal system. Just no.

Agreed - time changes nothing. If it wasn't OK a hundred years ago for a judge to issue a similar warrant to raid the house of someone who visits or recieved mail from his jurisdiction - but didn't reside in it, why should it be OK now? And if the judge doesn't even know which jurisidiction the target lived in he couldn't approve a warrant for everywhere the target might go - on the offchance the target might be there one day.

This link that attracted all the slushpot comments earlier summarised the syndrome and problem well.

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

Yes - it happens all the time (changing projects, rejecting code and terminating employment). We don't need contracts that specify the quality of the code - but they do exist e.g. secure code standards.

OK. Now I'm confused:

It's both. Most commonly coders are either employees or contractors - they can be terminated for a number of reasons. Generally it's simplest to simply say "you are surplus to requirements". Less often coders (or companies) are contracted to produce code to a standard (i.e. named security standards) - if the code is not up to standard it's a simple breach of contract. The usual process (best practise) when dismissing an employee or contractor is to give them the required notice but escort them out the door, pay them to the end of the notice period, and remove their code and network access immediately. HTH

With Open Source we just block their write access and send their messages to nul. The OP is talking out his arse when he conflates any can submit to Open Source therefore all submissions are automagically added.

We don't need contracts that specify the quality of the code

If you're saying that at some point during the contract you realise it's not working out, pay for the time spent and terminate early then that's fine. If you're saying that you'll pay based on some evaluation of the end product then the criteria for success need to be very clearly defined at the outset so that the contractor can assess the risk of failure and decide whether to take the contract.

If a certain benchmark is required then yes - it's written into the contract. Otherwise it's no different to hiring a forklift driver - there's no benchmark but you fire the bastard if he does no work or fails to move product in a suitable manner.

I don't have any direct experience,

Neither have many of the other commenters - but they lack the honesty to admit it. My apologies for being harsh.

I've just chatted to people who are contractors on other projects in our office and the people who hired them. They have been hired because there's an immediate need and no one available with either the time or skills required. The specification is written as well as it can be under the circumstances but it's never perfect. There are some very good contractors who keep getting rehired because they're trusted to deliver without a lot of management and there are some who are over their heads who get let go early. In the middle are the people who delivered as well as could be expected under the circumstances but the results aren't perfect and that's where it gets messy. There's a hard deadline to be met and so something has to be shipped, if the project gets funded for the next stage then they'll try to fix the bugs later, otherwise they'll stay.

There's a host of difficulties - some times we have to deliver the impossible, most of the time we don't get to do the hiring (ever seen ads for impossible skill sets and experience? Those ads are written by the wittling fools in HR - or worse - wish lists by employment agencies). Regardless of those difficulties as a general rule - crap code gets rejected regardless of the licence model because it defeats the purpose of the project and costs time (in Closed Source time is money - and review and wages costs money). The politics of "next project" is even messier - too many managers leave before the end of doomed projects, still get paid, and move on to other projects they'll doom, others stay and manage badly while putting the blame on the coders. In the long term good management means good coders - and good code means the company/project succeeds for a long time. Government projects are a land of lollipops devoid of market forces (except maybe brown paper bags) but I'm biased by cynicism that is the product of experience. All of which doesn't have much to do with "Open Source has to accept crap code" or "Closed Source has to accept crap code" - both of which are bullshit.

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

If they are paied employees, then having them write code that is barely ever accepted, is a waste of money. Open source projects you have unpaied sources, so rejecting code isn't any cost. Trying something like paying only for accepted code may work... However you will need to pay them more to account for the higher risk working for you.

Rubbish. I don't know everything about software development - but I have spent thirty odd years doing it, both FLOSS and closed source, and your opinion as contrary to most of my experience. Sure there are corner cases where you're told to keep Dumbo on because the major shareholder is their parent - they're the companies you don't want to work for and are no more useful as a guide than your opinions about bubonic plague and automobiles or "other countries" where people smoke one or two cigarettes a day (novel, but rubbish).

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

The problem is that in FLOSS, rejecting code may bruise somebody's ego, but that is it. In commercial development a whole slew of contractual issues come in.

So write the contract accordingly, then. Such as "Code will be rejected or accepted based on merit. When the product ships, payment only for code that got in."

You'll have a hard time putting something that subjective into a contract, you could change your mind about the project half way through and just reject all their code.

Yes - it happens all the time (changing projects, rejecting code and terminating employment). We don't need contracts that specify the quality of the code - but they do exist e.g. secure code standards. Don't know what planet you live on where that doesn't happen (Planet Couch?).

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

The problem is that in FLOSS, rejecting code may bruise somebody's ego, but that is it.

Wrong. It's wastes valuable time. And the only difference between commercial and FLOSS software development is that FLOSS doesn't always pay coders - both styles (closed and open) cost time (time == money), both can produce crap code and miss deadlines, and both can have butt-hurt contributors whose code was rejected. That's why we pay them to piss off and suspend their access rights when we've had enough of their crap code - at least in sane, consistently profitable companies doing closed source software development. (note: I've never worked in a Communist country - YMMV)


Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 1) 133

Dude, I know we work with binary quite a bit, but equating a lack of 100% veto power to complete indifference toward quality of code is taking "all or nothing" a bit too far! (Sorry; I couldn't resist the pun)

Dud - why reply to my post? Don't you understand sarcasm/satire/irony - or do you just not understand how to reply to posts? FLOSS and closed source can, and should reject crap code. Just because I pay someone doesn't mean I can't reject their code - at least where I live (consistent crap code == termination, either for crap coders or projects that deploy crap code/miss deadlines).

Comment: Re:You Can't Fix It (Score 2) 133

FLOSS can simply reject code that's not up to standard. If someone on your team turns in shitty code you can't always just not use it.

Why not? If they're not worried about quality of code why not just outsource the entire project to some random company whose "proposals" fill their email spam filters?

Comment: Re:Maybe for the English, but what about the world (Score 1) 107

by Demonoid-Penguin (#49258787) Attached to: Pi Day Extraordinaire

We Americans write it that way because that's the way we say it. Compare: "Today is March fourteenth." "Today is the fourteenth of March." Four words are more efficient that six words, and it just sounds more natural in speech.

Real life example:

  • Q. What's the date?
  • A. The 14th.

P.S. The USA is not the world, and time might be a concept but...

Comment: I have a friend with a similar problem (Score 1) 100

In her case I introduced her to Lynx (tab key navigation) and elinks for browsing, hotkeys (Home, Ctrl+Home, End, Ctrl+End) for editing and reading, and a large "scrollball" for mouse control. As her condition deteriorated her son built her a custom keyboard - a modified keyboard for the vision impaired (large buttons) with the number pad removed and a large, custom, hotkey pad in it's place.

At some point we plan to change to screen reading and speech recognition as she has issues seeing when she can't control her head movements - based on Klaus Knopper's Ariadne (Knoppix is already based on Debian).

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"