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Comment: This Republican is smiling (Score 1) 581

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#49138439) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules
I was putting pressure on my Representative (R) though I had no influence with my two Senators since they are both from the (D) party. I pushed for the "the Internet is a utility" based on first principles in the Republican party, which does not always lead to wanting private ownership of public goods.

Comment: Re:Anecdotes from Germany ... (Score 1) 288

A friend told me that in China the elevator door etiquette was for in-bounds to stand in the door and, similar to the German train behavior, block the door. He is big, and would stand in the elevator with his nose almost touching the door waiting for it to open. Startled a few people, for cure. Social interaction rules are learned behavior, and we are all both teacher and student, if it is done right. Unfortunately, as a child of the 60's, I know that many of my peers refused to be bound by cultural customs, leading to a ruder world, IMNSHO.

Comment: Rule of the sea (Score 1) 288

A vessel at anchor always has right of way (though I would not try this with a small boat and a big tanker). So I sometimes stop, take out cell phone and pretend to be answering a call. Since I am stopped, I have the right of way under most social rules of traffic in common spaces.

Comment: What is the purpose of the test? (Score 1) 129

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#49021241) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test
Turing's test was about the ability to imitate human behavior/knowledge. The real question we need to answer I will call the Mycroft test. The purpose of the test is to determine if the program has earned the right to not be turned off, that is, does it have a right to a trial before it is "terminated"? A program that has earned that right has crossed the blurry line between inanimate and "human" in a way that should be important to us. Defining a test that can measure this is at the heart of deciding what makes us us, vs what makes us tick.

Comment: Re:That's like ... (Score 1) 779

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#48970569) Attached to: WA Bill Takes Aim at Boys' Dominance In Computer Classes
They keep pushing these programs because they never heard of black markets, did not get the lesson in "life finding a way" in Jurassic Park, and for some reason while they believe in evolution vs creationism, they do not think the basic law of the genetic algorithm applies to behaviors (memes). The Soviets had almost 70 years to stamp out superstition and religion, but failed, in spite of some pretty horrific "scientifically justified" methods (not counting their flawed biological science models, thinking mostly of their flawed economic models).

Comment: But policy is NOT science (Score 1) 497

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#48887185) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work
While no one has ever suggested that science is subject to voting, it is naive to claim that opinion does not guide publication. If I wanted to argue data that showed the speed of light in vacuum was much different from the current estimate, my evidence has to be much better than if I were simply confirming a widely held number. AND, it is perfectly reasonable for a political body to declare that pi is 3.1416 for all calculations used in contracts and surveying. Not so reasonable is to hold that planning commissions cannot use the best science when planning for long terms (which they do, by their nature). See North Carolina's actions, which blocked use of the science.

But, in my opinion the best hedge we have is banks and insurance companies. As long as they are permitted to do the math, we will be safe (unless they are prevented from using their best estimates by social engineering in the "democratic" body politic). For example, in New Orleans I bet rational assessment of long term risk would hurt the poor the most, making for irrational attempts to legislate away risk by blocking its use in assessing mortgages, etc. Think of the whole real estate bubble and the good intentions but bad ideas that made home ownership a right, not to be denied just because the owner could not afford it.

Comment: Re:So they are doing what? (Score 1) 509

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#48792829) Attached to: Anonymous Declares War Over Charlie Hebdo Attack
The ability to think meta is important. Some once pointed out that the US Constitution is not a suicide pact, even though without meta-thinking it appears to be so. This is a variation on the idea that the only thing we must not tolerate is intolerance. Do not be afraid to embrace this conflict.

Comment: I call BS (Score 1) 303

The ACLU says

Stingrays, also known as "cell site simulators" or "IMSI catchers," are invasive cell phone surveillance devices that mimic cell phone towers and send out signals to trick cell phones in the area into transmitting their locations and identifying information. When used to track a suspect's cell phone, they also gather information about the phones of countless bystanders who happen to be nearby.

So, I think the Stingray is used to track who and where, very similar to having a beat cop standing on the corner who recognizes you and notes that you just walked by. All the discussion here about wiretapping is just FUD.

Comment: Re:Starivore? (Score 1) 300

Amazingly, this is the premise for my next SciFi novella - "StarEaters of Erdition", about a species of non-sentient astrophages. I think I'll use a plucky 70yo trans-species cyborg who's sentient self (hence, "who's") detects their existence and maps their trajectory from peta-peta-bytes of old Hubble data. Throw in a bit of a Cassandra complex (no one believes its (gender neutral pronoun) pronouncements). I think I'll cast Brent Spiner ("Data") as the carbon-based-component of the cyborg and George Takai ("Mr. Sulu") for the voice of the (nominally) silicone-based-component of the cyborg).

Comment: Not capitalism (Score 1) 463

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#48745355) Attached to: Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked
The article notes that Wisniewski says this is part of

"a very mature, well-oiled capitalist machine"

which is inaccurate and only feeds the populist anti-capitalist sentiment that is too often conflated with anti free-market rhetoric. It would be far more accurate to call this a "protection racket" akin to the crime bosses in New York who send thugs into shops, said thugs' opening line then being something like "this is a nice little shop you got here, it would be a real shame if something were to happen to it, like maybe a fire".

Comment: NSA is the new NASA (Score 1) 234

by FreedomFirstThenPeac (#48717603) Attached to: NSA Says They Have VPNs In a 'Vulcan Death Grip'
A poster wondered if anyone else has the Intelligence gathering budget that the US does. I wonder if NSA is the new NASA, in that it provides jobs for geeks the way the space program did. And by geeks I mean those gifted individuals who would be bored trying to help K-Tar-Mart better ship and sell diapers and bottled water. Give them a mission (save the world from terror, get to the moon) and make them feel special. Keep them busy so they don't just hack apart your world.

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries