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Comment: Re:Spies are sneaky (Score 1) 202

by ArcherB (#49323727) Attached to: Leaked Snowden Docs Show Canada's "False Flag" Operations

That's a ridiculous argument, as surveillance has a chilling effect. It's not a hard restriction of freedom, but that doesn't really make a difference, and soft restrictions are easier to hide and deny.

First, don't think that I'm supporting spying on the general population. However, I don't feel it is the information that is bad, but what governments will do with it. For example, I don't see Google doing anything bad with the data they have on me. Yes, it's an invasion on my privacy, but frankly, I don't really care. What can they do? However, I can see governments abusing the data, especially given the recent IRS scandal where the government used information to punish groups opposing the president.

As for the "chilling" aspect of it, it's only a problem if 1) You know about it, and 2) You let it.

I can't say that a secret invasion of privacy limits my freedom in any way. How could it? I had no idea. That's not to say that it won't be used to limit my freedoms later. Everyone at one point or another is against the powers in Washington. Today, it's conservatives. In a few years, it will be liberals. Libertarians scare the bejeezus out of both parties.

Comment: Re:Spies are sneaky (Score 1, Interesting) 202

by ArcherB (#49322643) Attached to: Leaked Snowden Docs Show Canada's "False Flag" Operations

It's not a tradeoff at all. Our intelligence agencies are likely the biggest threat to our security today. We are giving up liberty to be in more danger.

You are confusing privacy with liberty. While I view I have a right to a certain level of privacy, it has no effect on my liberty.

For example, if I were to strap a camera to my head and stream my life 24/7 onto the web, am I any less free than I was before? No, even though I had given up 100% of my privacy. My liberty would only be limited if I limited it myself. For example, if i decided not to view porn because the camera on my head would broadcast it and the whole world would know that I'm into midget-barbarian porn.

Liberty is diminished, however, when that lack of privacy is used against you. For example, if the state puts a GPS on your car and sends you a fine every time you exceeded the speed limit, your liberty would obviously be diminished. Or if the state put a camera in your bedroom and arrested you for masturbating in an unapproved manner.

Privacy is nothing more than the securing of information. Information has nothing to do with liberty. However, it could be used to restrict freedom.

Comment: It's about results (Score 1) 320

I think it is laughable, when viewed against the net of human history, to say that there is a problem with science. The world is increasingly wealthy overall. However, there is a problem in complexity. There is a misunderstanding even among scientists about the fundamental mathematical underpinnings of information. The butterfly effect and the P=NP problem essentially say that, as far as math goes, we don't know what initial dependency might have some severe effect downstream, and that, if there are too many variables, we can't do much anyway.

Yet, politicians of certain political stripes and some scientists themselves are enamored of the idea that we should have "science based" policy making. Policy making is about masses of people, and too many variables. Thus, even though science can say, "these people are less meat based upon and were be better off", science cannot say "everyone will be better off if we eat less meat so let's make it a law". Indeed, there's a baked in butterfly effect that says any public policy has winners and losers. When we make laws that say, 90% of the people will be better off, well, those 10% are going to be irritated. At some point, as a civilization wanders through its history, it accumulates more and more of those people that were screwed by the law. People being what they are, they don't care about how they might have benefited through being in the 90% groups, but how they were in the 10%. If new science proves that the people in the 10% were actually -right-, then, it only makes matters worse.

From a government perspective, we've actually picked the worst things to apply science to. In most people's lives, it is their diet that matters most and the science underpinning FDA recommendations and recommendations from other food authorities has been fabulously and publicly wrong. Many Americans have grown up hearing that first, butter was bad, then, butter was good, then, corn syrup was better than sugar, then sugar is better. First, its clogging of the arteries caused by cholesterol caused by diet, then, just as every middle aged american devours statins, we find out it is a combination of stress and lifestyle. It doesn't help that the public lumps doctors in with scientists - to them, scientists just means "smart people", and they see doctors screw up enough that every family has the story of the loved one that doctors wronged.

The mistrust of the medical establishment when it comes to diet is epidemic and bipartisan. There's plenty of both tree hugging liberals and gun toting conservatives reading about various health food supplement and other weird nonsense about diet and health and even medicine on the internet. The FDA and the food industry alike are seen as corrupt in the minds of both conservatives and liberals is telling. Granted, they filter that corruption into their own political worldview, but that they don't trust these institutions at all suggests a real problem.

From there, it is easy to see, that if the public doesn't believe any of the science about the thing most common in its life, and the institutions designed to protect that science, then, it is going to be a hard sell for the public to genuinely trust science in anything beyond the latest breakthrough to make their consumer products better.

Comment: This is also not subject to oversight (Score 1) 265

by stonecypher (#48965651) Attached to: Don't Sass Your Uber Driver - He's Rating You Too

I lost my five star while Uber's rider ratings were still leaking, because a driver went to the wrong location, and felt that I should walk seven blocks to meet them, and when I said no, they felt that that was worth a one-star.

According to Uber's customer service staff, they even confirmed that as the reason, but Uber still feels that the rating should stand, because as a rider, I should not have the expectation of being picked up within a mile of my location.

My impression of Uber's customer service is rather poor, as a result.

Comment: Re:HPV (Score 2) 740

by ArcherB (#48964063) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

I'm going to bet he's referring to the HPV vaccine. Because obviously if you vaccinate your kids against an STD (even one that causes cancer!), you're just promoting sex. Never mind that the stats don't back that up at all.

This pause in Republican bashing brought to you by a mandatory vaccination proposed by Rick Perry, a Republican.

Comment: Re:Backpedalled? (Score 0, Troll) 740

by ArcherB (#48964039) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

If your child is going to be attending a public facility, then yes, the government has every right to set the perquisites for attending.

Attending that "public facility" is mandatory per truancy laws. So, it works like this:
1) Government mandates that children must attend school
2) Government mandates that all children who attend a school must meet certain health requirements.
3) If children do not meet those health requirements, See #1

Now, I could get on board if the money the state taxed me to pay for my child's education would follow him/her to the school of my choice.

As for your bashing of anti-vaxers, I agree, but don't tie to a mandatory activity.

Comment: Re:Backpedalled? (Score 4, Insightful) 740

by ArcherB (#48963911) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

Actually, I think it has more to do with the state telling parents what shots their kids must receive.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about vaccinations and feel that anti-vaxers are idiots, but I'm a little leery of government making health decisions for my kids. If the government can tell your kids what vaccinations they must receive, what's next? Can they tell parents what to feed them? Can the government mandate what TV shows kids are allowed to or must watch? Can government force kids to read certain books or attend certain functions? Where do you draw the line? Once you draw that line, why can't it be crossed or moved?

Comment: I'd take the Samsung check (Score 1) 192

by tjstork (#48854129) Attached to: Samsung's Advanced Chips Give Its Cameras a Big Boost

So a well funded player rolls out a new camera missing a feature its established and highly regarded competitors have, and a web site gives them a great review. Dang, why didn't I have that domain name! I should write bad reviews of the new Samsung and wait for the next model and ask for a reviewers copy. I ought to get some spending cash then!

Comment: So what (Score 1) 160

by tjstork (#48853339) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

I think that could, in the modern American political discourse, be the refrain. Have a look at a map. Generally speaking, urban areas vote blue and in favor of some sort of a national vision, whereas rural areas consistently lap up a steady diet of misinformation that says they are supporting the cities when every outlay from the state capitals to even the federal government suggests the opposite is true. The rural areas say they hate government and redistribution of wealth - fine - then let them do without the wealth redistributed to them and maybe cities, unshackled by them, can begin to turn their own finances around.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.