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Comment: Gee and American ask why French do not like them (Score 1) 339

by aepervius (#48447799) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"
"as conclusive proof that the French are irredeemable snobs"

Or that French people understood a long time ago that if you do not take politic seriously, you end up with two right wing party in a two party oligarchy.

But hey don't let that disturb you. Why don't you add a "rifle not used , dropped once" joke as you are at it.

Comment: Agency isn't constrained to the physical (Score 1) 370

Hawking can't lift a finger without external, artificial assistance. Does that make him an idiot?

If I were able to cut your head from your body, but keep it running, so to speak, now that you can't speak to us (no lungs) and we see no interesting activity on your part, would that make you an idiot?

If I drug you so you are fully conscious, but cannot move, are you then an idiot?

Intelligence is not bound to the ability to do anything material. Intelligence is about manipulating information. Induction, association, that sort of thing. Agency with regard to conceptual matters. Consciousness... well, I have ideas about that, but they're just ideas at the moment.

Comment: Philosophy -- graveyard of fact (Score 1) 370

We evolved from single celled organisms, but we are not those now.

Science evolved from ignorance by determining the uselessness of, and then discarding, philosophical nonsense and replacing it with a very specific, non-soft, objective, rule-based behavior called "the scientific method." Which -- unlike the vast majority of philosophy -- produces useful results.

The claims philosophy have to science can be best likened to a leaky condom. We managed to get the scientific method in spite of it. Not because of it.

Comment: Proposal: (Score 1) 184

by fyngyrz (#48438217) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

For these groups: middle management, "UX" design, human resources, and everyone at or above executive level...

They get their own building, with its own network. We''ll call it location "E." The network is in no way connected to the outside world. There is no mailroom, and no delivery access to the building. All vehicles in the parking lot are to be classic Pintos. The parking lot shall be liberally equipped with speed bumps.

Developers, Manufacturing and Shipping work in another building or complex. We'll call it location "D."

Location D requires its own badges. You can't get past the lobby security installations if you don't have one. If you try, you get dumped in an unmaintained pond over-populated with carnivorous ducks carefully selected for unusually unsanitary and highly aggressive natures. To protect these wonders of evolution, the pond shall be patrolled by duck enthusiasts with fully automatic weapons.

Location D has its own network, which is firewalled at every possible level against anything, in or out, from location E, as a prophylactic measure, should location E somehow arrange for a WAN connection.

At location D, the janitorial staff shall work hand-in-hand with the mailroom to heat the building by incinerating any mail or package that isn't (a) a paycheck, or (b) items that are on a list of things previously ordered by the occupants of location D.

Location D shall have its own high quality NY pizza shop, a Dunkin Donuts, and an Orange Julius. The mailroom shall be responsible for delivery of products from these to the developer's desks, and for running out to fetch non-local take out orders. Mailroom salaries to be commensurate with consistency of their on-time, still-fresh delivery records, which shall be kept in consummate detail.

At location D, female developers shall have hot male sexataries with pole- and stripping-experience. Male developers shall have hot female sexataries with pole- and stripping-experience. Poles shall be conveniently located in and/or near all developer offices. The sexatarial pool shall have both a shallow and a deep end, a selection of diving boards at varying heights, and a suitably awesome sound system and snack bar, and it shall be located adjacent to a well-equipped workout center. Fridays shall be devoted to data collection by careful developer examination of active poles.

Location D shall have a rooftop laser tag facility with long-range light-arms. Location E shall situate all offices such that they have windows facing location D, and all location E personnel shall be required to wear lasertag suits that (with one exception) simultaneously initiate a period of physical incapacitation (locked limbs) and a significant shock. The single exception to this rule is that at location E, the vests worn by UX designers shall be equipped to deliver fatal shocks, whereas the incapacitation feature is to remain uninstalled in order to save the company money.

At location D, any occupant of an office that wishes the title "rock star" to be affixed to, or adjacent to, his or her door must demonstrate the ability to actually perform rock and roll using an actual musical instrument to a panel of rock and roll enthusiasts suitably selected from the ranks of the developers. Air guitar does not qualify. Singing ability may qualify, at the discretion of the panel. Developers so qualified shall be additionally eligible for multiple sexatarial personnel/services, a small but well-equipped stage, and their own snack counter.

All developers shall receive 1 (one) exotic car of their choice leased for them for the duration of their employment, funding for which shall be achieved by garnishing executive salaries as needed. The location D parking lot shall provide direct access to both high speed oval and full scale Nürburgring-configuration tracks. There shall be no speed bumps in the location D parking lot, however, the west extent of the lot shall be configured as a 1/4 mile track with a 1/2 mile rollout at the end.

At location D, there shall be a Lego parts acquisition department, which shall be expanded as developer needs require. All offices shall have a lego assembly and display area.

Comment: Re:False axioms (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48420417) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

...but you all still vote Republican.

No. We don't. I have not voted republican since well into the last century. Basically since I developed the perception that republicans don't give the south end of a northbound rat for the health of the nation as a whole - economically, biologically, ecologically. I find their "me first and the rest of you can DIAF" attitude to be as utterly reprehensible as it is dependable.

I vote Democrat and will continue to vote Democrat as long as the hint of humanity they exhibit exceeds that demonstrated by the republicans. Right now, the republicans are at an epic low in this regard, consequently them getting my vote is basically an outright impossibility.

I do not consider optimum agency (personal liberty) and comprehensive safety nets to be at worthy odds in a wealthy society. Which we are. That's me. The broad outcry against the ACA has taught me a great deal about how others think. I used to think I was too pessimistic, that everyone had a core of generally extendable compassion within them, no matter what it looked like.

Nope. Then there are the "little" lessons...

Some unmentionable person(s) ran over a kitten in the middle of the wide-open parking lot at the grocery store here six weeks ago. When Deb and I rolled up, all we could see was a little head sticking up from the crushed body, frantically swiveling around like it would do it some good to see the next filthy scumbag coming. The little wretch was in plain view of at least a hundred people, and somehow, not a one of them could seem to see it. Whereas it was the only thing we could see. Crushed pelvis, completely broken front leg, broken tail, abrasions... broke my heart -- and at the same time, it's really fortunate for me that I didn't see it happen, or I'd probably be in jail right now.

Instead, we saved the kitten... cast comes off this Friday, and although the pelvis will never be right, she can walk again. But I will never, ever, forget the lesson.

Comment: Re:Facile nonsense (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48419359) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

I think you need to take a breath and realize that there are people trying to enable corporate power, and there are people trying to enable responsible agency for intelligent beings, and that they are not the same people, but they both find themselves under the libertarian banner. Small l. Because that's the closest fit. Just like gun nuzzlers go republican because of the gun plank in the party (some of them would be very happy to have race-based governments.)

Sigh. Maybe we -- or I, at least -- just need a new 'ism.

Comment: Something else you should know (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48419229) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

The funny thing is that congress has set a huge precedent of roundly ignoring the constitution. Ex post facto laws, innumerable tramplings of the bill of rights, effective inversion of the commerce clause, boatloads of laws that are in no way specified or even implied in their enumerated powers... so if the President wants to say "Hey, you, know, you guys simply aren't doing your job, and so [insert action here]" there really isn't much of a reasonable leg to stand on to pose an objection.

And if the country likes what he does, it'll stick, too.

Comment: Expires? LIke a zombie, keeps coming back (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48419143) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

Well, let's just see if they actually let it expire. So far, their record of keeping intrusive, unconstitutional surveillance in place is pretty consistent. For the children, you know. And terrorists! And OMG immigrants!

But yeah, it'd be awesome if some of this utter crap just went away into the (a) sunset (clause.)

Comment: It's the congress. Congress. CONGRESS! (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48419099) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

one of only four Republicans in favor of taking away Obama's surveillance state.

If you want to characterize the surveillance state as "Obama's", just remember, it was Bush's first -- it took a huge leap with the PATRIOT act which was instantiated (inflicted, more like) on his watch, and if the Republicans manage to put an electable candidate up next time around, it'll be theirs. None of which actually solves the problem, because it isn't a presidential issue.

The honest way to characterize it is as Congress's surveillance state since they're the ones who defined it, passed it into law, have not ameliorated it, and will continue it as long as the American Couch Potato Collective keeps leaving them in office.

Comment: False axioms (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48418981) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

Corporations are private individuals.

No. They aren't. Neither individual, or private. Other than as completely batshit legal fictions which no one with an honest interest in individual agency would support for a moment. Corporations, frankly, are imaginary constructs and as such deserve very little legal status, if any (I can't think of any they deserve, actually.)

People are inherently private individuals. Corporations are artificial constructs than have no fundamental initial merit of their own, and at most, they are/become what we make them. If we make more of them than they should be, then we've screwed up. Which is an excellent description of the present situation.

In fact, libertarians, much like conservatives, praise powerful corporations

Wrong. I'm a libertarian, and I don't praise corporations at all. Powerful or otherwise. I praise right action and properly allocated responsibility, things that have been excised from almost all corporate behavior by the error path created by the constant need to grow to satisfy shareholder interest, and in no way constrained by the libertarian idea that the corporation's ability to act, along with any person's ability to act in the corporation's stead, should be absolutely firewalled where it causes non-consenting individuals any direct harm, be it physical or in the pocketbook. Or severely punished if it breaches that firewall.

You want to be very careful when you start thinking you know what others consider fundamental based on just a label or two.

Comment: Facile nonsense (Score 1) 430

by fyngyrz (#48418701) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

The nicest thing you can say about libertarian philosophies is that they aren't as ignorant and poorly thought out as modern conservative ones.

That is just hand-wavy nonsense.

Take libertarian issues honestly one by one, and some are demonstrably quite reasonable, while others are about as screwed up as anything in the Democratic or Republican plank collection. And vice-versa.

For instance, on the Libertarian side, take agency. Let's see you reasonably defend policy that takes agency away from a person when the act at hand is personal (or consensual) and properly informed. Libertarians don't think you can do it (and so far, they've been right... there isn't a reasonable defense for this that's ever been penned to date.)

And in case that's too wordy, here: "You, competent-and-suppposedly-free-adult-person, you want a pizza? No, sorry, we've decided (though in many instances it's perfectly clear we're just lying) it's bad for you. Absolutely no pizza. Furthermore, if you do have one, or make one, or sell one, you're going to jail. For years." Defend that position.

On the Democratic side, the argument is that a healthy nation is a better nation, and it is worth a very significant cost to achieve that. Argue that it isn't.

On the Republican side, one plank states "We oppose the creation of any new race-based governments within the United States." Make an argument for a race-based government. Go ahead, try.

Moneyliness is next to Godliness. -- Andries van Dam