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Comment Re:Jar Jar Binks (Score 5, Insightful) 424

Natalie Portman is an award winning actor and quite good in other movies. Hayden Christensen might be terrible, but you can't come to that conclusion solely on his performance in episodes 2 and 3 because clearly even a really good actor couldn't act well in that situation. The blame has to fall on Lucas. He thought he was inventing a new form of film-making where he could fix everything in post production so he didn't push for good performances. He was wrong.

Comment Re:Linus is right. (Score -1, Flamebait) 576

I don't see why being professional is so complicated: "This code is terrible, and here's proof - if you wrote it this way it would be much more understandable. It's not OK to submit code like this." That's acceptable, but "you're a fucking moron and my gramma is smarter than you" is not OK (for several reasons). Why is that so hard to understand?

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 2) 279

Not exactly true. If you have a lot of people in their 20's, even at one child each, they'll be able to give birth faster than people dying, especially if you improve the health care (increasing life span) at the same time.

Comment You're really the right one to do it (Score 4, Insightful) 193

Yes it can be annoying to have to deal with their constant tech troubles, but you probably owe them (I have 3 young kids, and they definitely owe me big time). Let's face it, while people are still very active in their late 60's, you should enjoy it while it lasts because most people will really start to slow down in their early to mid 70's. As people age they become much more susceptible to scams (as you've noticed), so the only person you can really trust is you (or your siblings). I think that in 5 or 10 years you might have wished you could have spent more time with them.

Comment Re:Yes - it worked in the Kibbutz! (Score 1) 563

My understanding is that communes like this work as long as it's small enough that everyone knows everybody else. It has to be less than approximately 150 people max. This means it works but it limits the size of the society you can have under this system. A system which can organize a larger number of people to work together will ultimately have an advantage of strength, and that's what you have a market economy for.

Comment That article sucked (Score 4, Interesting) 563

Wow, that article had almost zero content.

First of all, Star Trek did a horrible job of explaining how this society worked, other than Picard's brief explanation in First Contact that people now sought to improve themselves. Not only was it glossed over like this, but there are lots of references to Credits and other forms of money. So trying to figure out how the economy of Star Trek worked is just an exercise in imagination. Admittedly that can be fun, but there's no real canonical answer.

Secondly, the economic system rests upon a much more fundamental difference. Roddenberry believed that in the future, if humanity wanted to go to the stars, they would have to put aside their "petty differences" and work together. Roddenberry worked very hard through all the shows to depict a future in which humans didn't fight with each other, often having arguments with writers like Ronald D. Moore who complained about how hard it was to create drama if people didn't do petty, mean, evil things to each other. Roddenberry insisted. This, by the way, is the main difference between the "new" films and the old ones. In the new Star Trek reboot, young Kirk finds himself in a bar fight a few minutes into the movie. Roddenberry never would have allowed such a depiction of humans behaving like this to each other (Picard, after all, did get mortally injured in a bar fight while he was a cadet, but it was with a Nossican (sp?)).

Roddenberry said that the humans depicted in Star Trek were just fundamentally different than ourselves. They're better than us. Of course a cashless society doesn't make any sense for us as we are right now. However, if you're already willing to imagine a new kind of person that can set aside petty differences and work together, then you've already imagined a person or society that's motivated by self-actualization rather than simple material wants.

On top of that, there are clearly still some limits on resources, energy, raw materials, etc. Nobody's running around in their own Galaxy Class starship. People "steal" shuttlecraft and runabouts... which doesn't make sense if you can have anything you want. It's a lot more likely that everyone has some kind of fixed ration of replicator time/energy, which is way more than enough to support their basic necessities and typical interests, and it's likely that people get together to do grander things, like pooling their resources together to tackle bigger projects, both for interest's sake and because they believe it's the right thing to do. That's probably the best that a post-scarcity society could really achieve, realistically.

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles