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Comment: Re:We're already in one (Score 1) 473 473

by Paua Fritter (#36489918) Attached to: No, We're Not Headed For a New Ice Age

Oh yeah, that 3000 foot ice cliff is a worry alright - in those alternative universes in which the world isn't warming. I wish those alternative Earth-dwellers the best of luck in digging up all the fossil fuel they can find, and burning it in enormous bonfires. Meanwhile in our own universe ... not so much. Perhaps we should consider saving some of that fossil carbon for when we really do need it.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 1) 343 343

by Paua Fritter (#36411142) Attached to: Mexican Cartels Build <em>Mad Max</em> Narco Tanks

Why, we could solve crime across the world today if only we lifted the prohibition on theft, rape and murder.

That argument is ludicrously fallacious.
I don't know about the United States, but in New Zealand, where I come from, almost half the population are drug criminals. That is a pretty obvious indication of how seriously these crimes are actually regarded by most people in NZ, as opposed to the official legal position enforced by the state apparatus. Even among the slim majority of people who've never used illegal drugs, there are plenty who disapprove of drug use but don't regard it as a big thing, or just aren't into drugs themselves but are tolerant of drug use. As I say, I don't know about the US, but I imagine the situation is similar. You have to wonder about how truly democratic the political systems of these countries are if the state is so out of touch with the people it supposedly represents.
Now, ask yourself, what percentage of the population are rapists and murderers? How do people in general regard rape and murder?
Isn't it true, actually, that your facetious equation of drug crime and serious crime is entirely spurious, without any logical basis to it at all?

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 5, Informative) 343 343

by Paua Fritter (#36410830) Attached to: Mexican Cartels Build <em>Mad Max</em> Narco Tanks

Ending prohibition set a really bad precedent in that it gave people the idea that if they refuse to obey the law that they can get it over turned.

When a socially repressive law which is opposed by the mass of the population is overturned because of that popular opposition, that is a good thing.

But I take your point that once the state starts to bow to the will of the people, they are setting a very dangerous precedent. People might start to take the word "democracy" seriously.

Comment: Re:If that's not playing God, (Score 2, Funny) 206 206

by Paua Fritter (#36346122) Attached to: CERN Ups Antimatter Confinement Record to 15+ Minutes

On the other hand, in a few short years we've gone from picoseconds to 16 seconds.

Ha! You Americans with your old-fashioned units of "years" and "hours" and so on ... get with the programme people!
If you had 28 grammes of sense you would just take 6 dekaseconds to learn the Systeme Internationale - it's not that hard.

Comment: Re:XML? that's so 1990 (Score 1) 51 51

by Paua Fritter (#34584538) Attached to: Australian Stats Agency Goes Open Source

I'm perplexed why people continue to use XML when there is YAML. What is it that makes XML so attractive as a durable format? it's not human readable in a practicale sense, and YAML very much is. Since it's delimeters are comlicated and variable, It's harder to parse in ad hoc ways than yaml (line and white space) which means that for rapidly extracting things there are no shorcuts to instantiating a whole document. It's hard to grep. And both formats can fully do the other ones job so they are interchangeable.

I would actually dispute all of your comments, but picking up on the last point in bold, one of XML's key features is "mixed content", which is apparently (according to not possible in YAML.

Comment: Re:Posting for Team Stupid (Score 1) 241 241

by Paua Fritter (#33496542) Attached to: Fidel Castro, Internet News Junkie

There are actually many times more capitalist property owners in Cuba now than there were before the revolution.

Almost all of these private businesses are agricultural; in urban areas the state-owned sector is far more dominant. This is the result of the Agrarian Reform that was instigated at the very start of the revolution. Before the revolution, agricultural ownership was concentrated in very few hands. The Reform expropriated those holdings and transferred them to the farm workers themselves. It's true that they are rather constrained in how they can run their businesses, but they nevertheless do have the right to grow crops on their own land for sale direct to their Cuban consumers, so they are at least small capitalist enterprises.

Comment: Re:Photos from the same spot but not the same seas (Score 1, Informative) 895 895

by Paua Fritter (#32947872) Attached to: New Photos Show 'Devastating' Ice Loss On Everest

Dude, get off your high horse for a moment and check out the photographic exhibition website where they say that we are talking about 100m (actually they say "320 vertical feet") of ice that's been lost in Rongbuk glacier. That's a lot of ice, and is far more than anything attributable to seasonality.

Comment: Re:Silly Brits (Score 2, Informative) 568 568

by Paua Fritter (#32151102) Attached to: UK Election Arcana, Explained By Software

New Zealand used to have the silly British system but ditched it in favour of the Mixed Member Proportional, which, despite being proportional, still provides for local representation. There have been 3 or 4 elections under MMP in NZ and the system remains fairly popular.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries