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Comment: Re:Billions? (Score 1) 402

by NeutronCowboy (#47593895) Attached to: The High-Tech Warfare Behind the Israel - Hamas Conflict

Before 2004 it wasn't political? Seriously, that only means that you started watching politics around that time and are a republican. Slashdot had ALWAYS been political. In 2001, it was full of rah rah go US, US sucks and Bush sucks sentiments. Before that, political flamefests were less regular, but that's because the political scene in the US was less political.

Comment: Re:Obama (Score 1) 582

by NeutronCowboy (#47546559) Attached to: Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

I find it hilarious how much of a hard-on conservatives have for Putin. They just wish they could have a leaders as fearless and macho as Putin at the head of their country. Fortunately, for now, we still live in somewhat of a democracy. My suggestion is: if you love what Putin does, move to Russia. I'm sure he'd welcome you.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 2) 398

Verizon is choosing not to upgrade it's peering points with Level-3 because they are no longer evenly sharing traffic up/down as all free peering arrangements have ALWAYS required, yet Level-3 doesn't want to pay for the imbalance, and Netflix doesn't want to shift some of their Verizon traffic to a different transit provider than Level-3.

Considering the huge imbalance in download and upload speeds, how exactly is anybody supposed to peer with Verizon? Verizon knowingly set up a situation in which it is impossible for any peer to be on traffic parity with Verizon. Furthermore, traffic parity is almost impossible from a business perspective. Verizon and the last-mile providers have consumers and creators at one end, everyone else has pretty much only creators. The only way for corps like Level 3 to achieve traffic parity is to offer last-mile services, which is impossible, because Verizon frequently has a local monopoly.

So - the technobabble refers to the fact that the technological discussion is largely irrelevant when it comes to Net Neutrality. Anyone trying to bring technological issues into the discussion is just trying to muddy the waters of what is a market power discussion.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 1) 398

You're right, Netflix will lose any lawsuit. That's exactly the problem, and why everyone is so up in arms about this. There is no legal recourse to force the last mile providers to actually provide what they're selling, there's no commercial recourse, and there's barely a technical workaround (VPN providers cannot sustain everyone using them for streaming Netflix).

You're completely missing the forest for the tree.

Comment: Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (Score 1) 398

If Comcast can't deliver on the service they promised, that's not my problem.I would just switch to someone else. Unfortunately, I have no way of actually switching to an ISP which might cost more, but can deliver the service they promise. Which means that Comcast has exactly zero incentive to come to a compromise with Netflix. They can just play hardball all the way.

The technical aspects of what Comcast is and exactly isn't doing is purely that - technical pissing around. Net neutrality is concerned about what kind of business decisions drive the technical implementations. And that's where Comcast, ATT, and all the other last-mile providers really hope that no one calls them on their bullshit and their misdirection into technical nonsense.

Comment: Re:That's great, but ... (Score 1) 120

You mean, like a Tesla? Range of about 250 miles, supercharger stations that will give you 80% of your range in 30 minutes.... If you're looking for a luxury sedan, the Tesla beats every other car out there, except if your make-or-break deal is that you be able to refill now every 2 miles or so.

As for reasonable price.... well, no one but you knows what that reasonable price is. So I guess you'll sleep forever.

Comment: Re:So much for the "Information Age" (Score 2) 454

by NeutronCowboy (#47509201) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

Yes, I'm sure you read every source that anyone ever throws at you, for anything. What happens in the real world is that we make assessments on the probability of a source providing actual insight. is a site that is identical in insight and accuracy as Stormfront is. I've read both sites a while back, and both are idiotic, wrong, and scary in very similar ways. As a result, I don't read them anymore, and I don't pay attention to people using them as sources.

If you want me to take you seriously, you'll provide references that won't waste my time.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 529

Hilarious. You know little about how bills get to the senate floor for a vote, do you? Here, let me help you: The Senate majority leader has almost nothing to do with what bills get voted on in the Senate. So your anger is quite misplaced, and probably should be directed at all the people who have elected a democratic majority to the Senate. But that would mean that you would acknowledge that you are a minority in some areas, and can't just ram your ideology down other people's throats.

I find it also exceptionally hilarious that this attack is coming from the Tea Party, considering that they are nominally libertarian. Buffet, Gates, and Adelson ARE their masters of the universe - at least, they would be, if the Tea Party or the libertarians had any sort of consistency in their beliefs. Instead, this diatribe exposes them for what they really are: run of the mill politicians who are just more xenophobic and nativist than the other politicians. Economically, they are just like the unions that they hate: upset when someone with more money than them uses that money in a way that they dislike.

Sessions can go fuck himself with a chainsaw.

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 1) 533

by NeutronCowboy (#47479529) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

The threat of democracy doesn't lie in the distinction between direct voting and representative voting, but in the idea that whatever is popular should be the law.

Then explain how the Constitution came to be. And explain very carefully how it neither was put into place because the majority of the people in power at the time thought it was a good idea, and how it also wasn't the result of an autocratic group of people forcing their will onto others. Just a little tip: you should read the entire Constitution, how it used to look like, what it looks like now, and why it has been changed. It's kinda fascinating all the stuff that got put into there for no other reason than that it was popular and helped people get elected. Too bad the Constitution for you is some magic pixie dust.

Comment: Re:More Like Subsidized (Score 2) 533

by NeutronCowboy (#47475597) Attached to: Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

Well. One reasonable reply. I guess I should be reasonable as well then.

No that's wrong, libertarians are "like" the current government, just smaller.

But that's the crux of the problem: I haven't seen a workable definition of government that isn't like the current one, just smaller. It either devolves into anarchy, or creates a system that is indistinguishable from the current one, except with fewer laws. And that government has no system to prevent the creation of laws that would be identical to the current one.

Yes, that's the libertarian platform. The difference is in how large the government is and what its responsibilities are, not fundamental changes like eliminating lawmakers... honestly that's a ridiculous notion.

Then do explain: how does a libertarian government not become the current one? I mean, outside of being fully staffed by libertarians, who all adhere to the same notions of government, property, and morality? Which, by the way, is the definition of sectarianism, which is hugely destabilizing to a society. Unless, of course, you further assume that everyone is a libertarian, but then we're right back to my main beef with libertarians: completely unrealistic expectations of how people work.

Somalia and Sudan both have central governments with overreaching power in the areas they control based on Islamic law that any libertarian would find abhorrent. Furthermore, there are a number of competing governments disputing territory within each country, also seeking to impose Islamic law (but, you know, the "true" Islamic law).

I can create a central government in my house that has overreaching power in areas that... well, pick whatever you want. My government doesn't matter though, because the US government has far more power to impose its notions on mine, if it ever finds out that they clash and decides to do something about it. My powers are completely at the mercy of the US government's powers. In other words, it's no power at all. Now, what if I could repel the US government's force? Well, that's completely implausible, but it would mean I could create my own government. And I'd have to, because well, that's what a collection of rules and people enforcing those rules are.

The reason that Somalia and Sudan are important is because they show what happens when a central government is unable to enforce its laws. As you pointed out, another type of government replaces it - automatically. Maybe not in the same territory, but as you said, it always starts somewhere in the territory of the old government, because the old government doesn't care, doesn't have the resources to care, or can't enforce the fact that it cares. In the case of Somalia and Sudan, it's a combination of all three.

There are two reasons that this process matters. One, it shows how a new type of government can come about very quickly. Two, it shows empirically that the new governments always take a very different approach to ruling. More islamist, less authoritarian - whatever you want, but it's going to generally be the antithesis. And that's to be expected, since being prepared to die for the new style of government requires very strong opinions about how much different things should be. There's also the possibility that someone just decided that they'd rather be the ruler, but I'm assuming that's not what libertarians are all about.

This means that there are two reasons why failed states like Sudan and Somalia - or heck, Mexico is skirting really fucking close to that - put the lie to libertarian claims of perfect government. If libertarians would be really so keen to cast off the shackles of the old government, those places are great to start from scratch. I mean, resource wise it stinks, but at least there's so much chaos that you can quickly create your own state according to your own rules, and you'll be much more likely to be able to enforce your own ideals than anywhere else. Yet no libertarian wants to go to those places to start their Galt's Gulch. Furthermore, if libertarian ideals are so obvious, so beneficial to society, there'd be a place where it would have been tried already, and would have succeeded. The fact that all of the revolutions throughout history have never, ever, led to something close to resembling a stable libertarian society tells me that it cannot work long term or on a large scale. You can argue if you want that the pioneers in the American West were the closest thing to a libertarian society, but look what they decided to do: ditch the libertarian ideals and come together in a democracy. There are lots of reasons why that ideal died out, but at the core, it just wasn't as successful at producing the ability to defend the pioneers territory from encroachment as the alternatives.

Now, there is one more argument that I often hear when I get to this stage: yes, but the pioneers only failed because they didn't understand libertarianism, and were misled by others, lied to, and overpowered by evil, power-hungry people. I can only roll my eyes at that, because that is word for word the plaintive cry of every disappointed communist out there, ever. It's why every commune fails at some point. If your best explanation for why I should try your approach is that no one has ever done it right, and you're asking me to ignore thousands of years of history and decades of psychological research that show that it won't work... yeah, good luck with that. I hear there are some sand dunes that haven't been claimed yet. Go try your luck there. Just do it without me.


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