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Comment: Re:Silly (Score 1) 118

by ultranova (#49546501) Attached to: Swallowing Your Password

But in that case, what's the advantage of implanting it?

It gives the powerful yet another way to assert their dominance over the less so. And because the powerful are only so because of a system that backs their baseless claims of superiority, and can only continue as long as the powerless keep buying the lie, new ways to propagandize are always needed. All the little ritualistic humiliations society is so fond of, from drug tests to getting groped by the TSA, ultimately come down to the same message: "you are nothing and must obey your masters."

It's a sick, if fascinating, game. It's also one that can't go on forever, since effecively crippling people cripples their society too, yet that society still contains a very strong cultral leftover from feudalism. So what we really have here is a narrative of equality fighting a narrative of hierarchy, leading to very confused people doing completely irrational things - like wiretapping everyone in the name of freedom - without really understanding why.

Comment: Re:Sell it to black hats then... (Score 1) 141

Obviously a good person is not going to sell it to black hats.

You mean a law-abiding person. A good person does not prey on innocents, but Corporate America provides plenty of food satisfying any reasonable standard of sufficient sinfulness you care to set to qualify as an acceptable target.

It's why movies that want robbers seem heroic often use casinos as targets: no one's going to shed a single tear when those who exploit people's dreams to fleece them get victimized in turn.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 1) 661

by ultranova (#49536069) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

That's because the elderly suffered much more stringent brainwashing as children that leads them to say that they "support those who fight for our freedom" while also promoting a police state worse than Orwells worst nightmare.

It's questionable if even North Korea is worse than Oceania. And the US, where government wiretapping is actually debated publicly, is neither a police state, dystopia nor an Orwellian nightmare. No state that let's you make such claims about them unpunished is, by definition.

Why can't we simply treat the US as an ordinary nation that's mostly benevolent but has its darker side, rather than trying to pretend it's either the Messiah or the Devil? Both titles are already taken.

Comment: Re:It's Just a Euphemism... (Score 1) 192

by ultranova (#49534051) Attached to: Yahoo Called Its Layoffs a "Remix." Don't Do That.

I get that it's a business decision and that sometimes you have to make the hard call, but that doesn't mean you have to be a douchebag about it.

Sure you do. Being a douchebag to your victims inhumanizes them and thus makes you feel less guilty about mistreating them. It's why it's such a common practice of various corrupt security forces the world over.

Comment: Re:Raise Them To Infinity! (Score 1) 297

What rational argument is there that makes it right to strip ownership from the copyright holder after a few decades? Does real estate become public domain after 100 years of ownership?

You have confused ideas with property. The only rational argument for using state force to punish people or make them pay for making a copy of a work is that doing so promotes the creation of more works. That excuse falls off rather rapidly once the author is dead.

A song is not real estate -- if I go into Bob Dylan's house it affects his life, if I sing one of his songs it doesn't -- and so your comparison makes no sense.

Comment: Re:Benjamin Franklin got it right (Score 2) 228

by Mr. Slippery (#49527637) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'

We trade "freedom" for "security" every day; it's called civilization

If you're trading freedom for security, you're doing it wrong. They are mutually dependent. You have both or neither, not one or the other.

What does it mean to not be free? It means you can't live your life as you want because someone -- the state, the group with a "monopoly on violence", where one exists -- will use violence to stop you. You don't have security when you are subject to state violence that restricts freedom.

And what is the reason we desire security? Because we can only live as we choose -- we can only live freely -- when others do not violently impose their will upon us. You don't have freedom when you are subject to violence that threatens your security.

The question then becomes, how do we organize to defend ourselves against violence, while at the same time not creating an organization that commits violence? The modern police state fails this challenge.

Comment: Re:A short, speculative cautionary tale... (Score 1) 390

by ultranova (#49527567) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

And if people are willing to risk their lives and freedom to get an illegal drug that just makes them high, what makes you think laws will prevent them from getting a drug that makes them more money?

People risk future revenue in order to get high. Getting high is an end in itself, money is just a means towards an end. So you have the relative priorities backwards there. Not that getting temporarily smarter couldn't be a very pleasant high...

Also, drugs that get you high are almost impossible to stop because they're either made by nature, like cannabis, easy to make, like meth, or ridiculously potent (so a single good chemist is capable of supplying the entire world), like LSD. Custom-designed nootropes would likely have very complex structure and thus require a pharmaceutical company, and a high-end one at that.

Comment: Re:Define 'Terrorists' (Score 5, Insightful) 228

by Mr. Slippery (#49527381) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'

Israel didn't start it, Hamas did.

No. The UK started it with the Balfour Declaration, then the Zionist Organization followed by with an invasion. Arabs started to resist the invasion, and the cycle began, with many sins since then by many players. But the origin was British colonialism and Jewish millenarianism. And the recent and ongoing brutality has been primarily of Israeli origin.

Who are the terrorists? The ones launching cowardly, hidden attacks, or the ones defending themselves?

There is nothing "cowardly" about hiding. That's how you win a battle. It's why we invented camouflage. That's the same charge the British leveled against American colonial fighters, that they wouldn't stand out in the open wearing bright colors and be shot like Real Men.

And the Palestinians have been on the defensive since 1917, that's the historical fact.

Comment: Re:A short, speculative cautionary tale... (Score 1) 390

by ultranova (#49525111) Attached to: Using Adderall In the Office To Get Ahead

Partners have always had the power in law firms -- but how long can they maintain power when their underlings are so much smarter and more ambitious?

They can't, which is why it won't happen. People at the top are there because they're very good at hamstringing competition. So the only legal performance enhancers will be those that are either inefficient, like coffee, or too expensive for you to afford.

Of course the situation will change once more efficient things like direct brain-computer hookups become available to top dogs; but until then, all the little muffs will be kept down.

Comment: Re:What a bizarre statement (Score 2) 252

by Mr. Slippery (#49524531) Attached to: Twitter Rolls Out New Anti-Abuse Tools

To give an example, there are a number of women working in the games space who are targeted every time they express any sort of view. Some of these threats are simply extraordinarily disgusting.

"Targeted"? What exactly do you mean by that?

If you mean that people disagree loudly and vigorously when they speak, well, welcome to being an adult.

If you mean that people threaten them, an actual, credible threat is a crime. And in such instance Twitter should be forwarding info to help the police to catch the criminal.

But hyperbolic speech -- even speech you or I may find "extraordinarily disgusting" -- is not a credible threat. If you don't want to read disgusting speech, Twitter lets you block people. We've had the solution for dealing with asshats on-line since the glory days of USENET. It sounds like this: plonk.

Comment: Re:Wonderful. (Score 1) 252

by Mr. Slippery (#49524169) Attached to: Twitter Rolls Out New Anti-Abuse Tools

Was Dr Martin Luther King Jr an SJW?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that while MLK was all about social justice, he wouldn't have been happy to be called a "warrior".

The term is well-known. Saith the wik,

In internet culture, the term has been used as a pejorative for someone campaigning against things they perceive to be instances of racism, sexism, homophobia or other social injustice. Frequently initialized as "SJW", it is used to accuse opponents of sanctimony, to insinuate pretense, as a pejorative, and as a general shorthand for a person believed to be overreacting to social issues. Although most commonly used to cast negative implications, some have attempted to reappropriate the term as a neutral or positive source of identity.

I'm all for social justice myself. But the fact that someone is arguing for social justice doesn't mean they have their facts or their reasoning straight. Heck, the fact that someone thinks they're arguing for social justice doesn't mean they are actually arguing for social justice, as opposed to riding a self-righteousness high.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin