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Comment: Re:Cry Me A River (Score 4, Insightful) 581

by causality (#47415533) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

But the real problem is this impression that you have to be born 80% as smart as Einstein to get into this field, and that the learning curve is impossible for regular people. That's totally wrong. Average intelligence plus persistence is all you need.

What you really need is to deal with this anti-intellectualism that's so popular in the culture today, and replace it with genuine curiosity, a joy of discovery, and a delight at learning new things.

Do that, and the rest will naturally follow, and not just in software development.

Comment: Re:It's Intended (Score 4, Interesting) 136

by causality (#47389651) Attached to: Amazon Fighting FTC Over In-App Purchases Fine

in some cases they're no better than gambling (ie: buy tokens to feed into this jackpot like system to win a random digital item!)

Not that I disagree with you, but what part of the gaming industry isn't preying off of exactly the same neurons as gambling? Nearly every game, be you buying the game itself, in-game purchases, or DLC, is getting its revenue almost entirely due to exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior.

Gaming typically relies on skill, not chance. If you play most games long enough, you'll be able to consistently beat certain levels. If you win at the roulette wheel, you're no more likely than before to win again. That's the difference. Otherwise, "exploiting pleasure-seeking behavior" could be stretched to describe every last industry in existence beyond the sales of food, water, shelter, and basic utilities.

With the model of directly purchasing the game itself (and no in-game purchases, like standard PC/console gaming) you can at least read about the game and have a reasonable expectation about what you are paying for. The real problem with in-game purchases is that the game is "free" or low-cost in the most technical sense, but after you invest many hours advancing the game you find that you can't really prosper without making additional purchases. It could be construed as a form of bait-and-switch.

The other problem would be that many of these games are aimed at children who make purchases the parents later get stuck with, but this problem begins in the home and should be solved within the home by actual parenting. That's not as convenient as using the tablet like a cheap babysitter but it would certainly be more worthwhile. If you wanted to solve this by government action, that's simple too: declare that these purchases are contractual in nature (the parent agreed to pay charges made to the phone bill or whatever) and that minors who make them cannot be held to a contract, therefore the companies cannot collect money when children make them. *Poof* - end of shitty business model.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47344847) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

Once every couple of years, I see a post that needs to be +6 or higher. This was one of them.

Your words are calm, clear, rational, logical, and point out the real issue.

Thank you for sharing.

Reading your kind words is humbling, sir. You honor yourself by being one of the minority who read something like that and try to understand where it is coming from and how it could work, rather than playing the hostile audience and trying your best to tear it down because it opposes a common notion.

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47344737) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

There's nothing more profoundly anti-social than trying to control other people and force them to live only the way that you want them to.

Perhaps you've just heard of this thing called society. It has been all about conforming to social norms with punishments for doing tabboo things for thousands of years now. The only real changes have been what is a norm and what is a tabboo.

Rather than patronizingly talking down to me like this, try to understand where I'm coming from. I'm not talking about crimes that have victims here, like robbery and murder. Preventing those is legitimately within the purpose of having a government and a society. I'm talking about the wrong of trying to dictate lifestyles, of trying to micromanage the way others live based not on crimes but on approval. It's not terribly different from dictating to people what they may read, listen to, watch, and discuss.

American tyranny is what they call a soft tyranny. It's not so much jack-booted thugs waving guns around, demanding compliance. That's hard tyranny. Soft tyranny is when you no longer treat adult people like responsible adults because "you know what's good for them". The only way to have a healthy, long-term viable society is to expect adults to be responsible, to make their own decisions in any instance that does not involve a crime with a victim, and then (importantly) to accept the consequences of those decisions. Any effort to circumvent this will eventually destroy the very society itself.

Comment: Re:Hey Larry ... (Score 3, Insightful) 186

How many fingers am I holding up?

Screw you Google. "Do no evil" my ass.

This is just another instance of him saying "trust us, we're google, give us all your private information, what could possibly go wrong".

Yes, at some point it's quite rational to decide "this one entity has enough power". He's really very smooth, though. I'll hand him that:

By "these things," he means privacy concerns and fear that the data might be misused. But he also pointed to Street View as a case where privacy concerns mostly melted away after people used it and found it helpful. "In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it's not really a huge issue now. People understand it now and it's very useful. And it doesn't really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that."

That's a very diplomatic way to go about it. People often mistake that for honesty and openness in fact. It's basically a highly polished way of saying, "if you were educated you would agree with me."

Comment: Re:So What (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47333693) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I don't care if you drink yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you smoke yourself to an early grave. I don't care if you eat yourself to an early grave.

"I don't care if you live or die..."

This is all about more gov control, taxes, regulation to protect us from ourselves.

"...but I do think you should listen to my opinion."

Well, at least you gave us fair warning! Antisocial people are, paradoxically, the first to give their opinion on how the world should be run.

There's nothing more profoundly anti-social than trying to control other people and force them to live only the way that you want them to.

GP has the right idea. "I don't care if you ... " means "I don't care to force my will on you". If you want advice from someone, you're free to ask.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 5, Insightful) 454

by causality (#47333649) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking

I am not making any statement on gun control (not derailing an article about drinking deaths) other than that there isn't a comparison that's both simple and reasonable between gun control and prohibition.

The one thing they both have absolutely in common: the implicit assumption that inanimate objects are the cause of social problems, and the belief that controlling those inanimate objects will magically make social problems go away. Perhaps you can see how childish this viewpoint is?

The way I see it, the underlying cause of the social problems is a form of energy. It doesn't ever really go away, it just changes form. Guns and booze happen to be powerful, readily available tools allowing this energy to express itself. It can't be done, but if you somehow could make absolutely 100% of all guns and booze disappear overnight, you would find that this energy will move on to the next most convenient methods of expressing itself. Perhaps stabbings and abuse of some other drug would rise. Perhaps some other, unforeseen methods would emerge.

What no one really seems interested in doing is really understanding the underlying causes for why people want to abuse alcohol instead of using it responsibly, why people want to shoot either themselves or others absent provocation, and what can be done to transform this energy into something better. Actually understanding and beginning to change this would start with a complete restructuring of governments, corporations, educational institutions, and other institutions to make them adhere to their true purposes and to treat people like human beings rather than automatons. Where it would end, I couldn't tell you.

The real obstacle is that no one with the power to move in that direction has any incentive to do it: the current model is too profitable for them. But blaming our problems on objects that have no volition and no desire of their own certainly makes for a great distraction! It lets us waste time debating frivolous non-solutions with no hope of convincing "the opposition" of anything, meanwhile we avoid all these uncomfortable questions about the way we live, whom that serves, and precisely how we were taught to live that way.

Comment: Re:So....far more than guns (Score 1) 454

by causality (#47333527) Attached to: CDC: 1 In 10 Adult Deaths In US Caused By Excessive Drinking
The amount of regulation and consideration is driven by who can write the best, most emotional propaganda and purchase the finest access to mass media while operating through various PR firms and front groups to make it less obvious that they are doing so.

Fixed that for you. It's been that way for a long time, ever since Sigmund Freud's nephew decided that calling propaganda "public relations" was much more euphemistic than Woodrow Wilson and Walter Lippmann's term for it which was "manufactured consent".

Comment: Re:The SWATification Of America (Score 2, Insightful) 534

Such a coincidence, just today I read this: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/... "10 Facts About The SWATification Of America That Everyone Should Know" "The number of SWAT team raids in the United States every year is now more than 25 times higher than it was back in 1980."

The best way to change that is to legalize all personal drug use. If the War on Drugs was successful at accomplishing any of its stated goals then we could have a debate about this, but it isn't, and no honest person who looks into the matter would conclude otherwise. Anyone who wants to do drugs can easily obtain them.

The only things we can control are whether criminal gangs or legitimate businesses will profit from this, and whether law enforcement gets to keep its single biggest excuse for militarizing itself. The idea that we can stop people who want drugs from using them is a dangerous fantasy with staggering social costs and always has been.

If you really want to minimize the impact of the portion of drug users who are irresponsible, a small fraction of what we spend now could be put towards treating it as a public medical/mental health issue, not a criminal/law-enforcement issue. Treatment can be offered to those who need it. Legal drugs would be cheap, plentiful and unadulterated, making their use safer and removing the incentive for the worst of addicts to rob and steal to obtain them. It would also go a long way towards creating the expectation that people should be responsible adults who do not need to be told how to live by a paternalistic government that parasitically profits from their problems.

Comment: Re:Illiberals and Tyranny (Score 2) 534

Is there some reason that you cannot spell liberal correctly?

I can't speak for that poster but I can guess why he spelled it that way. "Liberal" used to mean something more like "libertarian" before its meaning was perverted and distorted from "liberal exercise of civil rights" to mean "liberal imposition of government power". Sometimes the term "Classical Liberal" is used in an attempt to reverse this deliberate and underhanded confusion.

Even "libertarian" itself has been deliberately distorted from "advocates a small government limited to a) public works, b) national defense, and c) law enforcement and those things only, imposing only those restrictions which are truly necessary for a healthy society" to its new co-opted meaning of "anarcho-capitalist who wants even police to be private security that not all can afford". The intent there is obvious: change it from something hard to really argue against to something easily demonized that most people will learn to dismiss without thought or examination.

You'll find that the more an ideal threatens the use and expansion of power, the more propaganda is applied to change the meaning of words until they finally represent the very opposite of what they once stood for. It's the real-life equivalent of George Orwell's Newspeak. The "languages evolve so absolutely every change is totally legitimate and should never be resisted!" crowd are more or less Satan's little helpers here. Like most of Satan's little helpers, they think they're doing a good thing and would be horrified to see the money changing hands, the intentional authors of propaganda (called "PR"), and the concept of "manufactured consent" that established itself in this nation during the days of Woodrow Wilson.

So anyway, I read that to mean "ill-liberal" as in "not liberal" and certainly not "Classical Liberal" like what that word once meant.

Comment: Re:They shouldn't have immunity then (Score 1) 534

As libertarian when I hear public private partnership I know to be truly scared; to they point where a new public agency sounds like a better alternative.

This. It's an aristocracy of pull; if you have pull in federal/regional/municipal government, you get immunity from law. These "partnerships" are precisely the sorts of "corporations" whose bosses were the villains, not the heroes, of Atlas Shrugged.

But to comprehend that, people would have to actually read and understand something before deciding to be against it ...

Comment: Re:on behalf of america (Score 1) 625

by causality (#47302559) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

Yeah yeah, it's always America's fault. Never any need for being responsible for one's own actions. Sure.

With a few rare medical exceptions, people who can take responsibility for their own actions generally don't get fat in the first place. If they do at all, it's only a little, then they say "oh guess I need to correct this" and it never becomes a real problem.

Comment: Re:on behalf of america (Score 1) 625

by causality (#47302511) Attached to: EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

To me, the moral position here seems very simple. If someone is obese for a genuine medical reason they can't avoid then everyone should try to accommodate them in reasonable ways. If someone is obese for any other reason, perhaps they should try going to the park or the gym instead of going to court.

Carbohydrate-laden food is physically addictive, and depression is a common reason for chronic overeating which can lead to obesity. You're blaming victims. Congratulations! You have managed to pick on the only groups it's still permitted to pick on, the fat and the depressed! You win teh prize! Teh asshole prize.

It's a truly weak and spineless person who cannot take charge of their own life, including identifying and effectively working to change one's own weaknesses and shortcomings. Excuses and explanations for why something's not your fault (as though fault and blame had anything to do with what needs to be done) are so much less effort. This childish preoccupation with blame and how to escape it prevents people from realizing how much an individual can change.

This is one of those things the older generations generally understood that the younger ones generally do not. This represents a devolution of the society. And yes, I have personally made major changes in my life. I did this more than once precisely because I didn't give a shit about blame and fault. What I cared about is what actions I could take to manifest real change. I was proud to call something "my fault" because that meant I had the power to change it. What I can do, I can also learn not to do. I didn't have this infantile desire to escape blame and garner sympathy from others to make myself feel better. I felt better by fucking doing something about it.

It's called growing up and being a man or being a woman, taking responsibility like actual adult people do. Why, this might even include the foresight to take a hint and embrace a healthier lifestyle when you're only a little overweight, instead of waiting until you're morbidly obese to conclude that what you are doing isn't working. This kind of adulthood is an increasingly rare sight. This does not bode well. You now have an entire culture that rejects this idea rather than viewing it like a best friend and an ally. The culture can feel however they want; no one escapes the actual cause-and-effect. There is no way a morbidly obese person feels better day-to-day than a healthy person. All of the "fat acceptance" in the world won't change that reality. But you can work with reality instead of demanding that people make you feel good about denying it just for the sake of inoffensiveness and phony blamelessness.

Comment: Re:I can't buy one (Score 1) 377

by causality (#47258149) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?

The i.MIEV is not a hybrid. It's electric. Which has its own sales problems because the powertrain is so simple and robust that it requires very little maintenance, so dealers HATE selling them (they don't make as much profit on new car sales since their margins always get squeezed and someone has to pay the interest on those 0% financing and stuff). Dealers love it when customers come back for service, because service is a high-margin item. High enough they toss in stuff like free oil changes and other cheap things to encourage returning. And do it every 3-6 months, at that.

I wish I could be surprised and not merely disappointed that a conspiracy theory comment got +5 on Slashdot.

That businesses are capable of projecting the long-term impacts of various options and then, based on that data, make decisions that are intended to increase their own revenues is not a "conspiracy theory". Now maybe the GP poster is correct and maybe he is misinformed -- that is to be settled by actually looking into the subject, not by hand-waving and insisting that no speculation you dislike could possibly be true. There is nothing he has said that violates the laws of physics or is inconsistent with the observed behavior of other businesses.

This kind of planning is mysterious and ominous only to people who never engage in any medium-to-long-term planning in their own lives. Considering the long-term repercussions of a sale is simply being smart. Dealers like to make money just like other businesses. They'd rather you come to them frequently for profitable service than infrequently or not at all. There's nothing absurd about that.

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.

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