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Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 1) 163

The point that I was trying to make is that comparing smallpox to a gun, or even a nuclear weapon, isn't accurate. Using smallpox as a weapon is MAD even if you're the only one using it.

I understood your point. I was making a different one.

Repeat: you don't want to be the only sane person in a room full of nutjobs with insane weapons. That would also be insane.

Having live samples available is also not needed or useful for producing the vaccine.

I disagree completely. You can't test immunity if you don't have something to be immune against. Generally speaking, dead-virus vaccines tend to be less effective than live-virus vaccines, and you can't create more dead virus unless you have live virus to make it from.

Research doesn't take place in a vacuum. But before you jump on me, understand that I am fully aware that the "safe and secure" facilities used for this kind of research have had containment breaches in recent years.

If you want a real example of insanity, read up on the containment breach a couple of years ago involving H5N1 flu virus that they were trying to make MORE virulent and contagious.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 516

How can you know that it is "unworkable"? Unworkable by what kind of force?

I meant "unworkable" in the sense that, at least via Marx's ideal of Socialism --> Communism, it won't work because the power-mongers, once in power, never want to give up Socialism. It's too much of a sweet deal for THEM.

Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 5, Insightful) 163

No one who wasn't literally insane would try to use smallpox as a weapon, the infection would inevitably spread back to the country which initiated it, and the idea that we would need samples of our own to retaliate is preposterous.

Yes, the point is that it's like MAD and other weapons policies: you don't want to put down your gun (or shield, for that matter) while the other guy is still holding on to his. Despite what many people say, that is completely sane and rational behavior.

The thing OP kind of sidesteps is that while Western countries countries resisted complete eradication, they did so openly. Only later it was discovered that other countries (most of which were supposedly in favor of the eradication program) kept their own samples and research anyway. Which is a perfect illustration of why the West wanted to hang on to theirs, too.

It's easy enough to call such policies insane, but nobody wants to be the only "sane" person in the room while all the nutjobs still have their weapons. That kind of disproves it would a sane approach, yes?

Comment: Re:i'm glad to work for free (Score 1) 383

by Jane Q. Public (#47509581) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'
I almost forgot:

A company does not HAVE TO advertise over the internet, and even if they do, that doesn't "drive" the internet. In fact, a lot of large companies do not advertise on the internet at all. They use their regular media outlet advertising, and maintain a website. It works for them.

Ubiquitous web advertising is simply NOT a necessary thing for the existence of the internet, and never has been. In fact the internet saw MOST of its growth when advertising wasn't nearly the bandwidth leech it is now.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 516

It does not follow that "Marx was a loon". Given a society or species that is much more altruistic, willing to contribute to the entire society rather than focusing on personal benefit, the result would be elevation of everybody.

In theory. In practice it has never worked and is never likely to work, because there will always be those people who aren't altruistic, and are instead power-hungry leeches.

You are correct, however, that it doesn't follow that Marx was a loon. I didn't mean that literally. I wouldn't say he was actually a loon. Rather, he was a paid tool of Statists who needed a justification for their Statist power-grabbing. And what is better justification than "the evolutionary road to Utopia"?

It was the people who followed his ideas, in hopes of gaining that theoretical but in practice unworkable Utopia, who were the actual loons.

Comment: Re:Warrants are supposed to be narrow (Score 1) 150

by Jane Q. Public (#47509447) Attached to: New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

How is searching an entire hard-drive for a particular thing (a file containing X) any different than searching an entire house for a .40 S&W handgun. Knowing the basics of file structures, would you have them specify which sectors on which tracks of which platters to search? Please, lets be a little bit realistic about things.

It isn't, necessarily. It depends on what they're searching for, which we don't know from the story. Don't assume I'm being "unrealistic" just because you didn't read my comment carefully. I said the question is whether it was justified. TFA itself says some courts say no.

Comment: Re:i'm glad to work for free (Score 1) 383

by Jane Q. Public (#47509321) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Realistically, the internet is not free. It costs money to maintain all that.

People PAY money to build their websites for their customers.

Customers PAY their ISPs for internet access.

Nobody -- not me, anyway -- said it was "free". I just said that Open Source was a workable model.

But pay-for-service (other than ISPs) is NOT a "necessary" thing. At all. It could go away tomorrow and the internet would continue to thrive.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 4, Informative) 516

Communism is State Socialism. It should be wrong to say that it is the only socialism out there, but it is definitely socialism.

Nonsense. Read your Marx. Communism and Socialism don't even remotely resemble one another. The only reason people get them confused is that Communism, as defined by Marx, was the ideal human goal and has never actually existed.

What you describe as "State Socialism" is what most people just call Socialism... because socialism requires a strong State.

While some countries liked to CALL THEMSELVES communist, they were not. They were anything but. The best any of them ever managed to achieve were bad forms of socialism and fascism.

The reason for that is simple: socialism (the real economic theory of socialism) requires a strong central authority. Whereas communism (genuine communism, according to social and economic theory) has no "authority" at all.

The problem has been that once a relatively few people got all that authority, under a socialist or fascist regime, they then never wanted to give it up. So societies never "evolved" beyond that to true communism. Nor is it likely to ever happen. Marx was a loon.

Comment: Re:Warrants are supposed to be narrow (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by Jane Q. Public (#47500545) Attached to: New York Judge OKs Warrant To Search Entire Gmail Account

Could be. If several witnesses see an assailant bludgeon someone on the sidewalk with an obscured object, then run into a house, the police may not be able to ascertain exactly what the weapon is, but they'd certainly have enough evidence for a search, and they could keep a record of any potential weapons seen in the house in case forensics can later get them a better description of the weapon used.

I don't think the question is really whether the judge can order such a thing. I think it's more of a question of whether it is justified in this case.

GP made a very good point. Search warrants are required to be particular, and to specify the particular thing(s) being searched for. If they don't know what they're looking for, broadening the search to turn it into a "fishing expedition" is not allowable.

The general principle is that the search should be as narrowly focused on particular evidence as can practically be managed. Is that the case here? It doesn't seem to be, but I'm not the judge, I don't know the details.

Comment: Re:i'm glad to work for free (Score 1) 383

by Jane Q. Public (#47498445) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

I have no objection to paying for ad-free stuff.

Free and Open Source (for just one example) shows that advertisement-free is a workable model and the people can not only profit from it, but others can benefit from it. Without advertising.

That is why I stopped when I read:

Everyone gets that advertising is what powers the internet, and that our favorite sites wouldn't exist without it

NO. Not everyone "gets" that, because it isn't true. And if your "favorite" site is using that revenue model, then maybe you're visiting the wrong sites.

I have been around long enough to have been on the internet when the most active places were "Bulletin Boards", and the BEST of the net was indeed free. And it continued to be so for a long time.

If it weren't for THAT (and not ad-driven sites) the internet would not have survived. But take away the ads, it would still not only exist, it might be a hell of a lot better.

Comment: Re:Need Or Can (Score 1) 52

by Jane Q. Public (#47498423) Attached to: Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem
Recent (within several years) accidental releases from "secure" biological containment facilities, specifically involving [what many scientists say was extremely dangerous and unethical] experimentation on increasing the virulence of H5N1 flu virus, illustrates the inadequacy of genetic containment. They can't even keep the most "secure" labs secure, and we have learned that they do shit there they should never be allowed to attempt.

We already have not just proof but ubiquitous reports of GMO crops escaping their intended places. And somebody wants to make it EASIER for chosen genes to propagate?

I repeat what someone else said above, facetiously: "What could possibly go wrong?"

Until our state-of-the-art is a hell of a lot better than today, I don't say "regulate", I say ban outright.

Make headway at work. Continue to let things deteriorate at home.