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Comment: astroturf (Score 3, Insightful) 463

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48633483) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

As you can see, the moderation converged on a more proper +5 Insightful

  I've read the post carefully and it doesn't qualify as Flamebait IMHO. It states a controversial political opinion and thus invites a discussion, which may lead to flamage, but does not itself lead with a flame.

So this looks like someone who doesn't like the position trying to suppress it, by hitting it with the most plausible -1, in the hope that one more like-minded person will have mod points and get it suppressed before very many people see it. That works for "politically incorrect" subjects (such as criticisms of the "heat death of the Earth, everybody panic and suppress technology" interpretation of climate data), where a crowd of like-minded free speech haters are ready to suppress opposing opinions. But pro-pot doesn't appear to attract that much system-gaming opposition.

Right now it only takes two downmods to hide a non-anonymous itme. It seems to me that we have enough people willing to moderate that it's time to scale up the mod system, so a small astroturf operation can't shut down debate. Say: double it: Mods get 10 points, -2 hides, non-anynomous starts at +2, high-karma at +4, doulble everybody's current karma and readjust the cutpoints for bonuses, caps, and the like. That would mean it would take two moderators to suppress a anonymous post and four for authors willing to risk reputation. (It would also mean more work for those who are willing to moderate - but they might be more willing to spend a point if they had more to spend.)

Comment: Gun practice teaches calm - biofeedback style. (Score 2) 573

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48631389) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Have you seen people drive? Road rage? Now think many of these same people with guns.

Target range practice is a very powerful biofeedback mechanism for teaching the suppression of the production of adrenaline and of all symptoms of excitement. Aligning gun sights - a pair of visual targets separated by about the length of the gun barrel (inches, a foot, or several feet), aligning them with a target (at tens of feet), and holding the alignment, gives visibility to even microscopic tremors and movement. Getting the image right and stable means drastically suppressing this movement. Over a number of range sessions, this leads to learning how to be icy calm, as a reflex, in the midst of a very stressful environment (full of intermittent explosions, bright lights, acrid smells, and odd-temperature winds).

(The effect is extreme. It was discovered that good target shooters, thinking they were just controlling their breath, had actually learned to "stop their heartbeat" - compressing the time between the pairs of beats before and after firing a shot and doubling the time between beats during the trigger pull.)

The result is that, after just a few good sessions, this becomes imprinted. Even in a rage, putting your hand on a gun drops you into that icy calm state.

Comment: Re:Land of the fre (Score 1) 573

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48629431) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Indeed, though antagonizing your opponents like that probably isn't going to help the cause.

There is no long a point in trying not antagonizing them. Pretty much anyone who is still actively lobbying against private ownership of guns is either ignoring the evidence, incapable of uncerstandng it, or has a hidden agenda (such as creating victim-rich zones for govenment or criminal activity).

These people are not going to be converted. Things are far enough long that we no longer need them as straw men to raise the bogus argumets to be knocked down with logic. (Those who can be convinced with logic are now mostly either convinced or subject to information shortage). But they remain useful as targets of ridicule, so those who are more interested in being with the in crowd than making smart decisions can be converted.

For those still uncertain on the issue: Do you want to reduce murder, rape, assault, robery, criminal victimization, and institutional suppression of minority groups? Or do you want to want to reduce gun possession? There is no longer any question: More guns mean less of all those things.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 658

by swillden (#48624819) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

I used the phrase "thinkers", not "elites". Those groups I "give credit" to are huge. I don't hesitate for a moment that there are members of those groups who have the intelligence at hand and the foresight to see where things are going and to prepare for them. Lumping everyone in those groups as either/or doesn't make sense.

Regardless, you still give them way, way too much credit.

Comment: Re:Wildly premature question (Score 1) 81

by Bruce Perens (#48620117) Attached to: SpaceX To Attempt Falcon 9 Landing On Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship

If we look at jet aircraft, wear depends on the airframe and the engines, and the airframe seems to be the number of pressurize/depressurize cycles as well as the running hours. Engines get swapped out routinely but when the airframe has enough stress it's time to retire the aircraft lest it suffer catastrophic failure. Rockets are different in scale (much greater stresses) but we can expect the failure points due to age to be those two, with the addition of one main rocket-specific failure point: cryogenic tanks.

How long each will be reliable can be established using ground-based environmental testing. Nobody has the numbers for Falcon 9R yet.

Weight vs. reusable life will become a design decision in rocket design.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 3, Insightful) 658

by swillden (#48619251) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

he "thinkers" in govt, business and academia know this. The increasing militarization of the police, the complete disregard for the Constitution, the NSA monitoring everything, etc is getting ready for this.

You give the elites credit for way, way too much foresight, organization and discipline.

Comment: Re:this is something Google does a bit better (Score 1) 594

by swillden (#48606955) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

There is a place in the Dalles, Oregon where Google maps will try to make you take a left through a guard rail and off a 30ft tall retaining wall. To be fair the street does continue down there.

Have you submitted a correction?

If not, please post a link to the location, so I can.

Comment: Re:A step too far? (Score 1) 191

by swillden (#48604543) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

By what realistic measure did AEDE expect Google to pay, when it outright stated that it'd shut down in Germany before paying? Did they expect Spain to be different?

Basically, yes, they thought that Spain would be different.

I think their assumption was that the Germans were a bunch of savages squatting in the ruins of a civilization that could safely be ignored, but that SPAIN! was still the center of civilized culture in the world, and therefore the rules were different.

I think they thought that Spain would be different because surely Google couldn't refuse to show snippets for all Spanish publishers. They assumed the German ruling didn't have the same clout because obviously many publishers would opt out.

Alternatively, I've seen it suggested that the Spanish knew exactly what would happen, and it's what they wanted. Or, more precisely, it's what the big, influential publishers wanted, because their size allows them to attract more visitors directly to their home pages, at the expense of smaller publishers. Another Slashdot poster claimed that it was political horse trading between big news organizations who are pro-government and the government to shut out smaller (and anti-government) news organizations, with an understanding that if the change hurt the big orgs too badly, the government would funnel cash to them to prop them up.

I don't know anything about Spanish politics, but those possibilities seem believable, and perhaps more believable than that Spanish lawmakers didn't believe Google would just shut down Google News in Spain.

Comment: Re:A step too far? (Score 1) 191

by swillden (#48596857) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

Spanish legislation went further than the German ones - The German court decision merely gave the right to charge, but per the article the Spanish one mandated charging.

Keep in mind that wasn't an accidental difference. In Germany, the publishers that opted out of the scheme (and kept their presence in Google News) benefited from absence of those who didn't opt out, which created a motive for all publishers to opt out in a sort of tragedy of the commons situation. The Spanish lawmakers wanted to prevent that.

Comment: Re: In other words, ... (Score 1) 307

Perhaps there's something to the pervasive media narrative about Silicon Valley after all. Not only do they have no ability to relate to the non-asian and non-white crowd but they also have no ability to relate to whites that aren't rich enough for east coast boarding schools either.

Wait, boarding schools? I don't think that's Silicon Valley you're talking about, my friend. I could see Wall Street being accused of that, maybe...

This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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