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Comment: Re:What is the problem here? (Score 3, Informative) 134

by Nutria (#48609993) Attached to: Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

The problem is that the US courts ruled that US law does apply in Ireland because Microsoft has a presence in both countries.

But there are decades of precedence for this: see the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 and the 1988 ruling applying to foreign firms.

Comment: Re:'it is out of stock now; try to ask next year.' (Score 0) 109

by Nutria (#48607267) Attached to: The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

It never ceases to amaze me how such a correction makes people instantly apply "You must be a marxist!" as a reactionary measure.

Because seemingly anyone who could finish dense writing like that (I tried reading both the Manifesto and Capital in college) must be a true devotee. (I didn't get much farther with Wealth Of Nations but attributed that to the archaic words and references rendering it meaningless to me.)

Comment: Re:'it is out of stock now; try to ask next year.' (Score 1) 109

by Nutria (#48607139) Attached to: The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

Xenophobia much?

7. ... the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands

Lack of agricultural knowledge. There's a reason it's a waste-land.

8. Equal liability of all to labour.

But... compassion!!!

Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

Inherent disincentive to efficiency, and why the Soviet Union -- with those huge Ukrainian wheat fields -- had to import *lots* of US wheat.

9. Combination of agriculture ... more equable distribution of the population over the country.

What utter stupidity. There are damned practical reasons that cities grow up where they do, and positing crap like "more equable distribution of the population" denies those realities.

Capitalism and the free market sure aren't perfect, but they are the reason that the First World is so prosperous and China and India dumped communism.

Comment: Re:'it is out of stock now; try to ask next year.' (Score 5, Insightful) 109

by Nutria (#48606045) Attached to: The Personal Computer Revolution Behind the Iron Curtain

Not so lazy people could leech off the system.

Thus the fundamental failure of Marx: ignoring the reality of human nature.

had the Soviet Union not been a paranoid authoritarian bureaucracy

That many people -- in the Russian Empire, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, China, Korea, etc, etc, -- can't just accidentally be paranoid and authoritarian.

Good socio-political theories must take people's baser instincts into account. That's the genius of Adam Smith's Invisible Hand: it presumes that people will be selfish and greedy.

Comment: Does your state have a Public Service Commission? (Score 1) 516

by Nutria (#48465579) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

Have you complained to them about the power reliability?

I live in a conservative suburb of a southern city. The state is "blue", hates taxes, and lets the power, telephone and cable companies run their lines on poles. (Part of the justification is that the water table is pretty high, and it rains a lot.) But... my house went more than a year without a clock-resetting power flicker, and that one lasted only a few seconds.
One thing that I do know that the power company does is make an annual drive through each neighborhood looking for tree branches that hang too close to the lines, and then cuts them off. Presumably, they perform other sorts of behind the scenes maintenance, in order to keep reliability so high.

An authority is a person who can tell you more about something than you really care to know.

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