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Comment Re:Your local recruiter thanks you! (Score 1) 36

It's not so insane when you consider that they have nuclear weapons and are right next to (and hostile towards) another country that has them too. The U.S. will do almost ANYTHING to keep the peace in that region.

I guess you mean that they will do anything to avoid war between India and Pakistan. Peace is not a term I would use for Pakistan.

And they know that it's better to have a corrupt-as-hell extortionist scumbag military in charge, and at least maintaining a status quo peace, than to take their chances with an Arab-Spring type popular radical government that might easily stumble into a regional nuclear war and possibly set off WWIII.

That's pretty much exactly what I said in my sentence that started with "This aid is moreover not entirely voluntarily any more today ...".

That doesn't make it any less insane or counter-productive though. It's insane to think that this status quo can be be maintained. It's insane to think that this prevents nuclear proliferation, because as the article mentions, this has already happened in the past from Pakistan and there are no indications that it won't happen again in the future. It's insane to think that by supporting a dictatorship, you will be able to somehow suddenly get lots of friendly people afterwards (as indeed the Arab Spring demonstrated -- note that the Arab Spring did not start with or include Western boycotts against the dictators -- except when some dictators' positions became untenable). It's insane to think that this will not result in more IS-like insanity in the future (or to think that IS-like madmen won't be able to get their hands on dirty bombs or nuke materials in other ways).

I fully agree that there is no easy and quick solution for the situation (which, as the article notes, was actually for a large part created by the US itself, just like in Afghanistan). Just pouring more money into a corrupt dictatorship will however later inevitably result in throwing the hands in the air and more short-sighted people yelling of "look at all those barbaric Muslims that hate our guts for no reason other than that they follow a retarded religion and are incapable of setting up properly functioning governments, and all of that in spite of the billions in aid that we gave them"... As I tried to express in my original message, my point was mainly related to that: these violent reactions to YouTube etc have probably little or nothing to do with fact that they are Muslim. It's just one of the very few ways they have to express their anger such that the military tolerates it (since it's directed against an external entity).

Comment Re:Your local recruiter thanks you! (Score 1) 36

The average Pakistani, and even the Pakistani government, has very little power to accept or reject anything. Virtually all power lies with the Pakistani army and its intelligence service, thanks to US "aid". This aid is moreover not entirely voluntarily any more today, as its main purpose now appears to be to keep a completely messed up corrupt bunch of people in power, in an attempt to reduce the risk of a completely messed up bunch of other people that may be allied with Al Qaeda or the Taliban from taking over that power (which includes the keys to nuclear weapons).

I bet the anti-Western/foreigner feelings, which often include vehemently defending what is considered to be one's own primary/distinguishing values/traditions, are to a large extent inspired by the fact that they feel it is this same West that keeps their country's leadership hijacked. I have a Pakistani colleague at the university, and he recently told me their civil government regularly has to ask the military for funding rather than the other way around, simply because almost all direct monetary US aid ends up with the military. It's insane.

Comment Re:Wishful thinking (Score 1) 474

No need to be anti-religion, just a realistic understanding of Islam. In general Christians, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, atheists, Wicans, etc all get on without wanting to exterminate and kill eachother

That's exactly the sort of reasoning that ISIS uses about 'the West'. In general, the world's countries do not regularly invade other countries, perform summary executions using drones that kill a lot of innocent people at the same time, interpret a "no fly zone" mandate by the UN Security Council as a license to bomb the hell out of everything below, have a pretty bad history in terms of the regime changes they supported or instigated, ... The West is however full of countries that either do this, or virtually unconditionally support those who do. Hence, the "realist view" of the West is supposedly that they are dangerous killers if you live elsewhere in the world, and that they should be fought/excluded by all means possible.

Realism is a very abused term, because reality at a societal level is so complex that it is seldom possible to make generalised statements about it that reflect reality as a whole, rather than just a part of it. E.g., regarding Boko Haram (the group that kidnaps school girls and destroys entire villages, using Islam/sharia as justification), have a look at an earlier post of mine and the linked articles. The violence and killing in that case may well have nothing to do with Islam at all in the end.

Comment Re:Great game, confusing web hosting (Score 1) 116

Firstly, why can't the development team put together a single website with up to date info about this game?

Google turns up as the first hit. It's strange the summary doesn't link it, although I guess it might have risked diverting some clicks to the phoronix page.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 2) 161

Nevertheless, the West did come out on top, and therefore made the greatest contributions to human progress by far.

And at the same time, we have also greatly damaged human progress in various ways (I won't speak in absolutes, because I'll frankly admit I have no idea who would "win" that particular contest for any given time period). E.g.

  • by making pretty much everything subservient to trade/GDP, we're wasting large amounts of human happiness (and thereby, ironically, also of GDP — burnouts, suicides, mental breakdowns, ...)
  • by primarily valuing hard science education and regurgitating large volumes of knowledge, we're not exploiting vast amounts of human creativity
  • by imposing our societal model on the rest of the world, we have thrown away centuries of social evolution and often replaced it with things that don't necessary work well in the same context. I don't have a link in English handy, but I recently read an interesting interview in Dutch with a simple yet telling example. Paraphrased: "In many of those countries, there were traditional systems that just worked. If person A stole a cow from person B, they went to talk under a tree and worked it out. We replaced that with a system of courts, lawyers and police officers. Now, the person with the biggest bribes wins and the other loses. We made those changes with arguments about democratisation, human rights and international justice, but in practice those people mainly see misery." (it's in the context of explanations for why there is a significant amount of unhappiness with the West in large parts of the world, and why the simplistic messages of the likes of Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and Daesh at the very least get some grudging understanding there even when people find their methods abhorrent)

I'm quite happy with my computer and the internet, but at the same time I think it's good to realise that there's more to human progress than just raw technology and power.

I always found it ironic how islamic extremists demonize the West as the great satan, while driving cars, communicating with technologies and killing with weapons and explosives that are all products of western civilization.

Beating the enemy with his own weapons, hanging the capitalists with the rope they sold, ... Nothing new under the Sun there.

Comment Re:Good! (Score 5, Informative) 161

Yes, because gay kids seeking support online is valueless, right?

They still can seek support online, also without parental supervision. This ruling only states that Facebook, or any other company or organisation, cannot require them to divulge their personal details (at least not without parental consent). And yes, that does sound like a good thing to me, especially for kids that may be insecure about their sexuality.

Comment Re:Free Pascal is awesome. (Score 4, Informative) 134

FPC comes with a (mostly) TP-compatible graph unit for Windows (32 and 64 bit). It doesn't use BGI drivers, because it doesn't need to. Your mouse code won't work though, since you can't access the mouse driver under Windows using DOS interrupts. We do have our own cross-platform mouse unit you may want to use instead.

Comment Re:WHY? (Score 5, Insightful) 134

Why the fuck would anyone bother supporting 16-bit MSDOS? Really?

Simply because someone cares. Someone else is also reviving Amiga 68k support, because he cares. Our compiler is generally modular and generic enough so that such support does not result in too much interference with other functionality, or luggage that makes things unmaintainable over time.

Where's the CP/M support for Z80 then?

It'll get added as soon as you provide good quality patches for it :)

Comment Short FPC history and goals overview (Score 5, Informative) 134

I thought I added the link to my original summary, but it seems to have gotten lost when I submitted it. In any case, Sourceforge's Project of the Month April 2014 interview with the founder of the Free Pascal Compiler, Florian Klaempfl, contains a good overview of the project's history, goals and development methodology.

Submission + - Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 is out, adds support for 16 bit MS-DOS and 64 bit iOS ( 1

Halo1 writes: Twenty-three years ago, development started on the first version of the Turbo Pascal and later also Delphi-compatible Free Pascal Compiler, for OS/2 no less. Two decades and change later, the new Free Pascal Compiler 3.0.0 release still supports OS/2, along with a host of older and newer platforms ranging from MS-DOS on an 8086 to the latest Linux and iOS running on AArch64. On the language front, the new features include support for type helpers, codepage-aware strings and a utility to automatically generate JNI bridges for Pascal code. In the mean time, development on the next versions continues, with support for generic functions, an optional LLVM code generator backend and full support for ISO and Extended Pascal progressing well.

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