I don't like the idea in theory, but in practice I have to agree with you - if people disagree, they should post. Yes, that might mean they can't moderate in that thread, but so what - if they want to say something, they should say something. Participating in the discussion in much more important than moderating it.
But people don't do that - they moderate something as flamebait simply because they disagree with it.
Perhaps a better answer is for people to be able to moderate moderations - click on the score, see how it was moderated to the value it has, and be able to check negative moderations as "unfair."
In any event, "disagree" mods should not be allowed to drop a post below 1 for a user, 0 for an AC.
I actually like that idea; I know there are roads I've driven on with artificial curves added (and this is in the U.S.) to keep people from going too fast; I've also seen more residential areas getting traffic circles instead of regular intersections, which can have a similar effect (depending on how the stop signs were before). I have no problem with this. In my area it's very common to have speed bumps or speed humps to slow down traffic, and it always pissed me off how my car's suspension had to suffer because some idiots couldn't restrain themselves.
... but it's not unknown for some shack-dwellers here in South Africa to get electric lighting by building the shack beneath a high voltage line and powering it with a simple induction generator.
The downside being that they live under a high voltage line.
Passive water cooling is simply a whole lot easier, and with these units you can just "drop" them in and pick them up later on... If you're not near water, these units are pointless, but if you are, it's still a lot easier. If you're talking about a remote location, I'm think along the lines of research where your data center is local instead of only accessible over a slow internet connection. You drop a unit somewhere, collect data for a few years, then pull it all back to analyze.
Even just in general, any remote location that does not have reliable high speed connectivity could benefit from local storage and data processing.... but even if you did have high speed access, it might be because your data needs to be secure.
To be honest, I shrug my shoulders at the idea, but at least I can see something to it.
I don't understand the complaint about internet connectivity; aside from connecting to the people on land using such a data center, their internet connectivity would be the same as it's always been. I don't think these are necessary for remote areas, but in that instance, it would be a localized data center, perhaps because there's slow, or no, internet connectivity. And the benefit would be a modular system that is passively water cooled (dramatically lowering power requirements), which seems to ideally fit your example of a remote location.
A prefab unit would also be easier to deploy and re-deploy, whereas constructing (even a prefab) unit on land usually requires some foundation and would require a lot more power to operate, as well as take a lot longer to install.
I get it - it's Microsoft, and nobody likes Microsoft, but they have move from the realm of just stealing everyone else's ideas and doing their own implementations to actually doing some research, too, which puts them on par with most decent companies in IT.
I disagree... knowing a little bit of the basics of how to use a computer is great, but "understanding how computers work" is not that great. Most people drive just fine without knowing how their cars work as long as they know to take it in for routine maintenance. Could they get along better if they were more knowledgeable? Sure, but you can say that about everything.
Something that should be obvious is that slashdot is going to be slanted towards the notion that people should be more knowledgeable about computers. Accountants think people should spend more time on their budgeting and investing and financial planning. Mechanics think people ought to know more about how to fix their cars. Fitness gurus think people should spend several hours a day working out. There's simply not enough time for everybody to be proficient at everything, at some point we need to leave it up to other people to do those things so that we can do what we do.
It's often cheaper to by pre-processed crap; not only that, but it's faster and more convenient.
Even things that aren't necessarily all that bad (but still healthier if you made them yourself)... Consumer Reports noted that supermarket rotisserie chickens are often loss-leaders to get people into the store. A whole, prepared chicken with spices and already cooked can cost the same, or even less, than a frozen chicken.
But by using low quality cuts of meats and chickens, and amortizing the costs of other ingredients (spices and so forth), it's cheaper to buy a frozen microwave burrito than it is to make your own - especially if you already don't often cook and have the basics in your kitchen.
Note that I'm not arguing that it makes a good reason to buy the pre-processed crap. Note that I did include the word "crap." But for a lot of people, especially lower income people, it's far too enticing.
% "Every morning, I get up and look through the 'Forbes' list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work" -- Robert Orben