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Comment: Re:The real crime here (Score 1) 403

by JesseMcDonald (#47732907) Attached to: 33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

I don't think anyone here disagrees that what he did was wrong and he should be punished...

For what this person is accused of (distributing information contrary to censorship laws), even fines and community service would be disproportionately severe. Social responses are fine, up to and including complete ostracism—people have the right to do that anyway without any special justification. He can be barred from the theater, or even all theaters, if they so choose; if he agreed to a deposit or performance bond in exchange for his ticket then that would obviously be forfeit. However, as he has infringed on no one else's legitimate property rights, his own remain inviolate.

The proportional response for a deliberate violation of anothers' rights is that you lose any claim to those specific rights. The murderer forfeits his own right to life; the thief cannot complain when others take "his" property. The proportionate response to copyright infringement is merely that the offender can no longer claim copyright. But unlike self-ownership, and to a lesser extent property rights, copyright is asymmetric, favoring some and harming others. For most, giving up any claim to it is a reasonable price for not being subject to others' claims.

Comment: Re:Too much good content is deleted at Wikipedia. (Score 1) 235

by JesseMcDonald (#47730931) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

I happen to think a notability test is a good idea, but not after one or more contributors have put significant effort into the page. The test should come when the page is first created; whoever thinks the page is notable should justify it (with references) subject to a general review. Once a topic has been accepted as notable, the contents and history of the page should remain online and open to the public indefinitely.

Comment: Re:Feh (Score 1) 6

by mcgrew (#47729669) Attached to: Funny? Racist, dishonest hypocrisy.

It IS about race, you stupid fucking racist. Brown wasn't a thug, he had never been in trouble with the law and was enrolled in college to learn engineering.

The protests started peaceful, and only turned into rioting when the idiotic, racist Ferguson police acted like the racist morons they are.

People (and I use that word grudgingly) like you are the problem. I'm a white man who grew up in the St Louis area, and can tell you from experience that Missouri is indeed the most racist state in the union.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Three

Journal by mcgrew

Monsters
"Hold on, Destiny," Tammy said, "we're still in trouble."
I got it. Finally, even being so tired that my brain wasn't working right. God, what a dumbass I was! I really needed some sleep, but I wasn't going to get any for a while. "Computer, lock all doors," I said. "She's right, Destiny, We're in trouble. I finally get it. She left them short of drops and told them the pirates stole them. They're not even human a

Comment: Re:That's it? (Score 1) 537

by JesseMcDonald (#47721707) Attached to: Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

While I agree that it's technically possible to prevent ad-blocking, it's not at all practical. With a few very rare exceptions, all the site stands to save by going to such lengths is the trivial cost of the network traffic. DRM isn't going to convert a significant number of ad-blocking casual visitors to paying customers, and the cost of implementing the system, not to mention loss of otherwise paying customers inconvenienced by the DRM, and even free word-of-mouth advertising from non-paying visitors, would be well in excess of any potential benefit.

Moreover, the users who block ads aren't really the ones you want to advertise to anyway. They're certainly not going to click on the ads and are less likely to be favorably influenced. I, for one, tend to keep track of the more obnoxious advertisers just so that I can be sure to avoid their products, so getting through the blocks will tend to hurt a brand more than it helps. Even if there was a foolproof way of ensuring that visitors see your ads, I suspect that over the long term it would only dilute the value of each ad rather than bringing in extra net income.

Going back to the article, they measured the cost of advertising by businesses in the U.K., but did they happen to check how much of that advertising was actually directed at U.K. residents?

Comment: Re:That is the law... (Score 1) 473

by JesseMcDonald (#47707479) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

The point of that section is that you sometimes need to drive slower than the posted speed limit. There is no exception in the law for going faster to keep up with traffic. In any case, the Driver's Handbook is not authoritative; it's merely a guide, not the law itself. The law says that drivers shall not exceed the speed limits:

22348. (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 22351, a person shall not drive a vehicle upon a highway with a speed limit established pursuant to Section 22349 or 22356 at a speed greater than that speed limit.

Comment: Re:Who pays the ticket? (Score 2) 473

by JesseMcDonald (#47707429) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

The driver's handbook in California explicitly states that you should at all times keep up with traffic, even if it means exceeding the speed limit a little bit, so that all cars are driving at roughly the same speed.

Got a citation for that? I just checked the California driver's handbook, and it said no such thing. (The relevant sections are Speed Limits and Traffic Speeds.) The handbook did warn against driving slower than other traffic, but that doesn't imply that there is an exception. The handbook only recommends keeping to the right-hand lane to allow faster traffic to pass, not exceeding the posted speed limit.

Note that the Driver's Handbook is not authoritative. The actual laws relating to speed limits can be found here. Again, no exceptions for keeping up with traffic:

22348. (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 22351, a person shall not drive a vehicle upon a highway with a speed limit established pursuant to Section 22349 or 22356 at a speed greater than that speed limit.

Comment: Re:As long as... (Score 1) 376

by JesseMcDonald (#47704703) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

Whether one believes that anyone should or should not have such exclusivity is entirely moot...

On the contrary, that is the entire point. If they don't have a natural right to exclusivity then their rights have not been infringed and no crime has occurred. Punishing someone for an action which did not violate anyone's natural rights, on the other hand, would be a crime.

Exclusivity isn't a natural right; it's a side-effect of scarcity. Demanding exclusivity where there is no natural scarcity makes a mockery of property rights.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Two

Journal by mcgrew

Boarded!
Me and Bill hauled ass out of there towards Mars as fast as his crippled boat would take him. I did another inspection because first, I hadn't done a full inspection yet that day, second because I'd pushed her pretty hard, and third because I sure didn’t need any new surprises. We were at a third gravity because of Bill, and he was having a hard time keeping up. A third gravity? On batteries? I need to have him teach me some of that nerd

Comment: Sad. (Score 1) 14

by mcgrew (#47684267) Attached to: ONION: Tips For Being An Unarmed Black Teen

Three anonymous racists trolls in one JE. Brown probably had a slashdot account, the kid was a nerd. He'd just graduated high school and was enrolled in college to study engineering. He'd never been in any trouble with the police, and those who knew him said he was a peaceful young man with a good sense of humor.

Now heartless racists, like the Ferguson police chief, are trying to demonize him.

This hits close to home for me, I have family and friends in the St Louis area and grew up in Cahokia. And yes, there are a lot of racists there. Idiots, if you ask me. The Ferguson government was the stupidest of all, they were begging for riots and still are.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty One

Journal by mcgrew

Interception
I had the computer wake me up at six so I'd be ready for the pirates. Of course, when the alarm went off I thought "damned whores" until I looked and was reminded that I'd set the alarm myself. I started coffee, took my shower, and ate a quick breakfast. Huh? Steak, egg, and cheese wrap. A small one.
Then I went downstairs to do a quick inspection of the engines and generators. Thankfully, nothing was broken o

Comment: Re: The problem with the all robotic workforce ide (Score 1) 304

Hoover hired Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, who believed in the "leave it alone" approach. Hoover may have had the sense not to follow that advice, but hiring Mellon indicates Hoover's underlying philosophy.

Nonsense. What Hoover actually did while on office indicates his "underlying philosophy", which was far from "leave it alone". In any case, regardless of any philosophy, the fact is that he intervened to an unprecedented extent, with predictable results.

You said that Hoover "let the free market work on its own". Hiring someone who believed in that approach and then proceeding to ignore their advice does not constitute letting the market work on its own.

There are varying accounts regarding the Panic of 1837. Quoting Wikipedia:

Most economists also agree that there was a brief recovery from 1838 to 1839, which then ended as the Bank of England and Dutch creditors raised interest rates. However, economic historian Peter Temin has argued that, when corrected for deflation, the economy actually grew after 1838. According to economist and historian Murray Rothbard, between 1839 and 1843, real consumption increased by 21 percent and real gross national product increased by 16 percent, despite the fact that real investment fell by 23 percent and the money supply shrank by 34 percent.

So van Buren wasn't re-elected, but that may simply be due to unfair perceptions and public sentiment in spite of the recovering economy, rather than any real problem with his policies. In any case it didn't turn out like the Great Depression, where the economic downturn dragged on for over a decade.

The free market improves the welfare of a few.

History says otherwise. The free market improves the welfare of the vast majority. A few benefit more than average, and a few benefit less, but the effect on the median is positive.

Without the market most of the people alive today would be dead of starvation, with the remaining few engaged in subsistence farming. The only people who aren't better off are those very few incapable of participating, in general due to a severe physical or mental handicap. Even those considered very poor are better off with the market than they would be without it.

Government ... can use fiscal policy to bypass central planners

Fiscal policy is central planning. It amounts to price controls on money, which have far-reaching effects throughout the economy.

Comment: Re:Because "How dare he" (Score 1) 417

by JesseMcDonald (#47681309) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

That is what "Violence in the name of self-defense" is. "My violence is necessary because there is violence (elsewhere)!"

It sounds like you're arguing for the pacifist position. While I would agree that there is never any good reason to start a war, nor to escalate one, I have to say that simply laying down and dying on cue when an enemy attacks is not a particularly attractive option, nor one I feel anyone is obligated to accept. As a universal principle it would inevitably be self-defeating, as the more ethical side would always be wiped out, leaving those inclined toward war to dominate by default.

It may take two sides to fight a war, but it only takes one side to start it. The victim of an attack has a right to proportional self-defense. I moreover have no objection to others voluntarily choosing to aid in that defense. The key point is to consciously limit yourself to just stopping the attack, as decisively as possible but with a minimum of collateral damage, without becoming the very thing you're fighting against.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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