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Comment: Re:But why? (Score 0) 370

by RabidReindeer (#49568281) Attached to: How To Increase the Number of Female Engineers

Because the US has some insane fascination with everyone being equal, no matter their own personal interests.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

The US Declaration of Independence.

While it's patently only true subject to certain qualifications, it is still the guiding principle of the United States of America.

Nothing can be done about innate inequalities like musical talent or mathematical genius. Nor are one's acquired or inherited resources addressed. But it does assert that inherently, no person should be favored over another in how they are treated by the government or, indeed by society in general.

It was never 100% true. Equal treatment has been an ongoing progression since the nation's founding. And there are times when people can't really establish what qualifies for equal treatment, even allowing for the base political aspects where conservatives are inclined to shrug and say "that's just how it is" and liberals to apply a series of successively larger hammers to force equality where there simply might not be any.

Thus, debate takes place in many times and many places. But the reason for the debate dates back to the very founding of the nation.

Comment: Re:Managability (Score 1) 470

by RabidReindeer (#49550025) Attached to: Ubuntu 15.04 Released, First Version To Feature systemd

I don't blame it on Ubuntu. It's a Fedora 21 box.

I have problems with certain network filesystems coming online at boot time and have had occasional issues with the kernel module for VirtualBox. On my machines running CentOS 6 these issues can cause the system to boot with warnings and reduced functionality. CentOS 6 doesn't use systemd.

On the Fedora machine, I get dumped into the recovery mode, where I have minimal ability to actually repair anything much beyond running fsck, which won't help these sort of problems.

Some may say that it's better not to boot than to boot a defective machine, but they're operating in a theoretical world. I cannot afford to have production servers down while I play the reboot game. I have monitors that will tell me when I have services in need of attention - I don't need a complete halt for that.

Comment: Re:Upstart or Systemd? (Score 1) 470

by RabidReindeer (#49548085) Attached to: Ubuntu 15.04 Released, First Version To Feature systemd

Systemd config files ARE simple.

The problem is, some of that simplicity comes from discarding certain commonly-used features of SysV systems.

I really could learn to appreciate systemd. If they'd stop trying to make it the emacs of the OS nucleus and let it JUST manage system initialization instead of bring in its own non-replaceable logging system and other unrelated adjuncts.

And, of course, if they'd address returning the functionality that they took away.

Comment: Re:Unity next (Score 1) 470

by RabidReindeer (#49548049) Attached to: Ubuntu 15.04 Released, First Version To Feature systemd

Hopefully they'll dump unity and go back to gnome shell as the default. Unity is completely unnecessary bit of technological desktop hubris.

Considering what Gnome 3 did to the desktop experience, that's the equivalent of trading having Bob hit you over the head repeatedly to having Fred hit you over the head repeatedly.

WTF is it with software developers these days that they can only replace existing systems with new systems that omit important and commonly-used features from the systems they replaced?

Comment: Re:Managability (Score 3, Informative) 470

by RabidReindeer (#49548031) Attached to: Ubuntu 15.04 Released, First Version To Feature systemd

Thanks to systemd, every time I get a kernel update, I can look forwards to spending 4 hours trying to get the box to boot again. EVERY freaking time!

In Fedora 21, "single" boot mode doesn't even present a the filesystem you need to repair. I finally had to resort to a rescue CD. Not all my machines have CD drives attached anymore.

Comment: Re:republicrats (Score 1) 203

by RabidReindeer (#49532459) Attached to: McConnell Introduces Bill To Extend NSA Surveillance

For those who haven't yet learned, you "toe the line" because it comes from the idea that some arbitrary line drawn on the floor is the limit that your toes must not cross. Failure to observe that limit has severe consequences.

You can see this concept in operation when Alex is inducted into prison in "A Clockwork Orange" and he was quite literally forced to toe the line.

To "tow a line" sounds like for some absurd reason you're dragging a rope behind you. It doesn't have nearly the same chilling effect.

Now children, do I have to explain why "free rein" and "free reign" are different, too? Or did you loose my meaning?

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 590

You base your final judgement on what the person is now and what they were.

Execution leaves no room for what they might become. Diamonds, after all started out as coal.

To paraphrase a well-known Catholic writer, "If you can't bring them back to life, don't be so hasty to put them to death". Even Gollum served a higher purpose in the end.

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 590

Another word for prison is Penitentary. As in penitence.

The idea - and this long predates the Political Correctness of the 20th/21st Centuries is that it's a place for people to reflect upon their crimes. And ideally, repent. Something that doesn't happen often, granted, but it does happen.

A religious person (Judaeo/Christian/Muslim) who promotes executions is doing exactly what religious people condemn in suicides - usurping God's right to determine how long a person has to repent or otherwise be useful before they're called to account. And the Bible indicates in no uncertain terms that a person doesn't have to be a model citizen to be useful for God.

A non-religious person is on firmer ground, but in practical terms, a lot of people would have been glad to see Hirohito executed for the atrocities committed in his name during WWII. As an emperor, he may not have provided the best moral compass, but he did provide noted contributions to the field of Marine Biology after the war. Nelson Mandela was up for the death penalty, but having been spared, he and Botha later did what was almost inconceivable - converting South Africa to black majority rule without major bloodshed or revenge-seeking.

It's all well to summarily declare that convicted felons are a "waste of oxygen". In many cases they are, but that's hardly justification to dispose of the manure before picking out the diamonds.

Plus, even if we don't want to harvest such slim pickings, there's the final practical bean-counter consideration. In the USA, the appeals process is extensive and expensive. More so than merely warehousing "oxygen-wasters" for a few decades. We could, of course, reduce or eliminate appeals. Hell, we could simply tear them apart in the streets Pakistani-style. But once upon a time, we had concepts like "assumed innocent until proven guilty" and "better 1000 guilty go free than 1 innocent be punished" and despite vigorous efforts over the last 20 years or so, there are still shreds of this attitude in the US justice system. And it costts money and we still end up executing a few innocent people every year.

There are countries that the USA likes to consider itself morally superior to that do not support a death penalty. Conversely, most of the countries that still do are not on the whole a crowd to brag about hanging around with.

Comment: Re:America (Score 1) 120

by RabidReindeer (#49509103) Attached to: Pull-Top Can Tabs, At 50, Reach Historic Archaeological Status

In Florida, it's 350 miles from Jacksonville to Miami. Follow the road down to Key West, and that's another 150. And you've never even left the state, much less the country. Key West, incidentally, is closer to Havanna than to Miami, speaking of inter-country distances.

A friend once told me of a college reunion where they gave a prize for whoever traveled the farthest to get there. The guy from Philadelphia lost to a Floridian who not only did the full North-South route, but the East-West route. Over 1000 miles totally within Florida.

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 590

A trial is not a punishment. A trial is a determination of guilt and hence, the need for punishment.

The nature of punishment is another matter.

For the case in point, you can execute the offender, thereby instantly making him a 72-virgin martyr.

Or you can put him in stir for the rest of his natural life. He becomes, at best, a poster boy, at worst, yet another forgotten prisoner. But in the mean time, he might also recant, thereby negating the alleged justification of the crime. And if his crime wasn't justified, it makes it that much harder for the next would-be terrorist to justify himself. But dead people can't recant.

The moving cursor writes, and having written, blinks on.