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Comment You know what else prefers safety over freedom? (Score 4, Insightful) 395


Yes, I agree the government - at least if it's not nefariously self-serving, which I doubt, but let's assume... - WOULD have an easier time finding bad guys by violating fundamental rights. But they should NEVER have the right to do so, because fundamental rights are the last line of defense against tyranny and dictatorship,

If the government has a hard time fighting crime and terrorism because they have to preserve individual rights, well, tough titties. That's their problem. People should never accept any debasing of their rights for the promise that their government will have an easier time keeping them safe. Those who think it's an acceptable tradeoff deserve to be carted off to the sheep pen.

Comment Re: Aww, poor babies (Score 2) 267

Born-again Christians believe that The End of The World is going to happen really soon and they get to go to Heaven with Jebus v.20. But the catch is that in order for that to happen, Jews have to be in charge of Jerusalem. That's why crazy religious people are adamant that we've got to be unwavering in our support of Israel.

You're not arguing against any kind of sane viewpoint w.r.t. politics, finances, etc. You're arguing against their religious beliefs.

Comment It's as old as search engines (Score 5, Insightful) 163

People rarely realize how much stuff they put on the internet about themselves, willingly or not. Since the internet never forgets, it's usually quite easy to dig up a lot of information about almost everybody. All it takes is a lot of time and knowing how to look.

Do the exercize: try to unearth bits of information about yourself: it's scary how much you can find out (or rediscover) about yourself in a mere couple hours...

What surprises me here is that government agencies who should know better dismiss plain old search engine stalking as a valid method for finding out what someone is up to, or has done.

Comment Re:Ads are not acceptable. (Score 5, Insightful) 523

Speak for yourself. Ads are the reason why a lot of good content can stay afloat on the web without asking for money directly, I get that.

I get it too, when I think about it rationally. The trouble is, I've been so bombarded with ads since I was born (and I'm not that young), be it on newspapers, roadside signs, television, the internet when it started to become commercially attractive... that I have a visceral hate of it, whatever product it plugs and whomever forces it onto me. I find any and all adverts vulgar, disgusting and a gross intrusion on my right to choose what I want to stuff my brain with.

As a result, I too block all ads on the internet. Yes, I know many sites couldn't live without it, but... well, if they can't, I'd rather they disappeared than have to look at ads.

Also, when I can't block, skip or hide ads, I *remember* what product was advertised, and by whom, and I make a mental note never to buy that product, and if possible, any other product from that company. That's what decades of wanton advertising has done to me. Talk about well poisoning...

Comment Re:John Oliver (Score 1) 954

Taking guns away from honest citizens helps them how? You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that somebody desiring to kill others would somehow obey gun laws.

The difference is in how it is to obtain them. For example, in Australia, you used to be able to buy the kind of gun used in their biggest massacre for about $1500. They're still available on the black market, but they run around 32 grand, so 20x the price. That's the difference.

Is it the guns? Maybe. Would banning guns in the US help? I don't know. I do know that your current system is fucked up, and it's up to you to decide whether it's worth it or not.

Comment What scares me here (Score 4, Insightful) 37

is that reading and exploiting data that's a mere 25 years old requires almost archeological-like recovery and reconstruction techniques. Compare that to a thousand year old book that's usually pretty much readily readable today.

I think modern society is on a scary path towards massive amnesia in the not-so-long term...

Comment Re:That's nothing (Score 2) 258

The issue is, human drivers have a strong instinct of self-preservation. Someone who has to decide between the parade and the tree in a split second will probably avoid the tree out of sheer instinct.

Now then, you might think the cool-headed computerized car will make the right decision and kill its occupant. But I can just imagine the following court case: "Your honor, my father's car killed him wilfully. I therefore sue Toyota/BMW/Honda/Google for murder, and for 100 kajillion dollars in damage".

One such court case - especially in the US - will do enormous damage to the entire industry, and might kill it off entirely. And no, the argument that autonomous car create fewer accidents overall won't fly, because somebody's property isn't supposed to kill its owner on purpose. You can bet emotions will run high, and emotions aren't good for rational debates.

Not to mention of course, people will have second thoughts about buying a vehicle that they know can decide to put them in danger for the greater good.

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