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Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 1) 1812

I'd prefer to see a more generic "agree"/"disagree" system that stood alongside the existing moderation system. It would allow people to show what the "groupthink" is, while preserving the ability to moderate a post on its merits (or lack thereof). A simple agree/disagree, where that value is shown on the post but is far less prominent. Unlike moderation, the "agreement" system would have no limits of any kind except it would be logged in users only (to make it a bit harder to game), and one--and only one, so no taksies-backsies--vote per comment. It would be shown as a % and not a whole number, and would not affect karma at all.

With such a system, it would be entirely possible to have a "+5 Insightful" rank with "98% Disagree". I know a lot of people will say that it reeks heavily of Facebook/reddit/disqus, but they didn't create simple approval systems, and as long as our new overlords don't make it prominent (it is a more minor data point, and must not overshadow regular moderation) it could be a nice addition.

Speaking of moderation, it would be nice if "stories" like this could have a "free mod" setup, where any logged-in users could give moderation to as many posts as they want, and users who currently have mod points don't spend them when moderating. This will give a much better idea of what the majority of the community wants, because right now all of these +5s are set only be people who have moderation. I'm not suggesting they don't deserve to spend their mod points here, but there are many other users who just don't have them right now who should be heard as well. (A reply doesn't cut it, and such a "free mod" system might alleviate "me too" or "someone mod parent up" posts.) Of course, if the "agreement" system were in place then "free mod" would be moot.

Comment Re:How is this newsworthy? (Score 1) 278

In a modern society arms are useless.

Really? Then why does every single political leader - across the spectrum, including flaming lefty tyrants, eastern European strongmen, laid-back Scandinavian royalty and elected officials, mayors of cities, etc. - have armed protection at their disposal?

Why do police departments train in the use of arms? Why do militaries, even strictly defensive ones, understand the need to be able to use arms?

It's nice for you that you live in a fantasy world where there is no need for a 90-pound woman to ever defend herself against a man three times her size. Where is it, exactly, that you live that there are absolutely no violent people, no robberies, no rapes, no crimes that endanger lives? Please be specific, and if you would, please link to some reports that show your zero crime rate. Not that you will, of course, because you're full of it, and you know it.

Comment Re:How is this newsworthy? (Score 1) 278

What a load of shit. Without a government, you have no rights. Go live in a jungle sometime...

Wow, you really haven't thought this through, have you? You should.

So, you and another 100 people are in the jungle. 10 of you decide to get together in a group (you know, assembling) and chant something they think is important (you know ... speaking). Who is giving them the perfectly natural behavioral elbow room to assemble and express themselves? The other 90 people who aren't even paying attention to them? The trees? No. These are perfect examples of "natural rights." If some of the other 90 people decide to get together and force those 10 people to no longer gather, or no longer speak their minds, they are infringing on their freedom to assemble and speak.

The US constitution recognizes this, and its first amendment explicitly says that the government can't infringe on that right. There's no place in the constitution that defines the right to assemble or speak ... those are a given. They are self-evident, natural freedoms that can only be limited by other people or groups. Those 10 people don't need the other 90 to do anything in order for their group of 10 to be able to gather and speak. They can do that without any action or permission from anybody. If someone decides to take action shut them up, that's infringement of that right.

Without a government, a society, a rule of law, etc there is no such thing as 'rights'.

Nonsense. Without rule of law, there is no protection of rights. You really think that your right to speak comes from the government? You truly don't understand that it's the government's job to prevent other people (and those same government institutions) from forcibly shutting you up?

Comment Re:A Tad Expensive. (Score 1) 392

The trouble with cheap land is that it's a long way from where you want to be.

Exactly. In the upper 80%+ of the state of New Hampshire, things are a LOT cheaper (with a few notable exceptions of touristy towns in the middle of the state). If you're living in someplace like Nashua, you're essentially paying to live in a Boston suburb.

Comment Re:Exactly what happened to me (Score 1) 149

I was billed by Comcast for a year for a cable modem rental even though I bought my own.


Once upon a time (over a decade ago), I moved between states. Before leaving State 1, I called Comcast and said, "I'm moving. Cancel my service. I'm going to get Comcast in State 2. Should I return my cable modem?"

"No," said the helpful Comcast rep, "Take your modem with you."

I arrived in State 2. The tech who came to set up my "installation" (which was supposed to be free, and said so on the work order) said he'd give me a new modem that was standard in State 2. He collected my old modem, and (thankfully) gave me a receipt.

A month passes. In State 1, I am charged a $200 fee for the modem that was never returned, plus a $50 "lost equipment" fee. In State 2, I am charged a $50 installation fee, even though I was told by multiple people it was free.

I tried calling Comcast. They told me I needed to go to the local center in person and talk to someone there, since they collected my modem and set the local pricing (free install deal, etc.). I went to the local center in person, and they told me they had no power to resolve any of this -- I needed to call.

So, I called Comcast again. Again, I was told they couldn't do anything. I said I needed to speak to a supervisor. They told me that they couldn't transfer me, but they could have one call me back. I objected, but I was told, "That's the way the system works."

Three days later, on a Sunday afternoon, I was called by a Comcast "supervisor." I explained the situation. He proceeded to offer me a year-long "promotional offer" which would net me about $240 in savings. But I told him that I had been billed for $300 erroneously (including $250 for a device that I had documentation for its return), and I would not pay it.

He then told me that HE had "no power" to fix my problems, because only people in "my local market" could fix them. I asked where he was. Somewhere across the country. Okay, so could he transfer me to a supervisor in my "local market"? No -- obviously not! It was Sunday afternoon! Nobody was available in my "local market."

Okay - well, perhaps they could put another request into "the system" to have a supervisor call me back from my "local market" on a day they were available? Nope -- "I'm sorry, the system doesn't work like that."

At this point, it was beyond belief. "Wait," I said, "So, let me get this straight: You're calling me to tell me you can't fix my problem, and there's nothing you can do to put me in touch with a person at your company who could fix my problem?" Yes.

I was in the middle of a Kafka novel.

I gave up. I filed complaints with the FCC, state agencies in both states, and the BBB, sending all of them copies of my documentation. Six months later they finally had sorted it out and I didn't have to pay anything, and the BBB even got them to send me an apology letter.

Moral of the story: Don't talk to Comcast. Be sure you have written records of everything. File complaints with government agencies. Not only is it more efficient, but it also creates government records of how bad Comcast really is.


Comment Re:The moderationg system needs an overhaul. (Score 1) 1812

Actually, being able to easily see the best comments in a 1000-comment thread would be useful.

Sure. That'd be really useful. Except allowing higher scores doesn't do that on any internet forum I've seen. What higher scores do is show the most POPULAR comments, the ones that maximize groupthink. They do not necessarily enable the "best" comments in terms of quality, and certainly not the ones that will maximize discussion of a variety of views.

Other commenting platforms have this feature and it works really well.

It depends on what you want. If you want to see the consensus opinion of the mods, then yes, it works really well. If you want real discussion and lots of opinions, such systems tend to bury less popular ones.

One thing it does is make the time and subthread of posting completely irrelevant. Currently, +5 posts at the bottom of a story are read far less often than those at the top, I believe.

First, the vast majority of stories don't tend to have a lot of +5 posts... maybe a handful or a dozen. If you're browsing at +5, there's not a lot to see except for the one story each day that might get many hundreds of comments.

But regardless, your proposal not only doesn't solve the problem -- it makes the timing effect worse. Time of post is MORE relevant in forums that permit higher scores, since that one post with gets 175 likes in the first hour will always stay on top of those who browse sorting by highest rating, and people will continue to pile on the likes. There's almost no chance of a reversal when it turns out that person was actually full of crap and spouting inaccurate nonsense that just sounded good to the groupthink. But a +5 post can still be nodded down and its influence decreased -- more importantly, a late post in response can gain ground and get up to the same status at least, whereas in the system with an early post with 175 likes, any rational response often gets buried.

I'm not saying the current system is perfect by any means, but I don't think your proposal actually makes things better.

Comment Re:legalism is a crap philosophy. (Score 1) 554

It's only a slight overstatement. My ranking of scumbaggery goes roughly (1) Hitler, Stalin, et al., (2) other mass murderers and serial killers, (3) internet trolls who'd drive a person to suicide just for the lulz, (4) people who drive like jerks in ways that endanger others.

At least lawyers and politicians mostly have self-delusions that they are helping people or society, and even most pedophiles have some warped belief they are acting out of love. Idiots who screech through residential areas showing reckless disregard for the rest of humanity just so they can get to their destination 10 seconds earlier? They have no excuse.

Comment Re:How is this newsworthy? (Score 4, Insightful) 278

You're missing the point. Rights exist, naturally. They are not "given to you" by a government. A society may indeed gather together and write a constitution that decides that they will, as a group, choose to infringe on certain liberties (say, the liberty to ship goods without being taxed) ... but that's the government infringing on rights (though with the approval of the legislature/citizens, as ratified in a constitution or other charter).

Whether or not there are conflicting interests doesn't change the fact that the rights don't originate with the government.

Comment Re:How is this newsworthy? (Score 4, Informative) 278

we will be at the point every robber in Canada will be armed with these and the government will have little choice but to give us the right to bear any arms

Governments don't give rights, they either protect them, or they infringe upon them. What you're looking for is the Canadian government ceasing to infringe on that right.

Comment Re:The moderationg system needs an overhaul. (Score 5, Insightful) 1812

Agreed. PLEASE -- Keep the mod cap at +5. It's high enough to make excellent posts stand out, and it's also high enough that a single downmod by someone who just wants to disagree isn't going to make the comment invisible. There's absolutely no reason for higher mod scores except to have a "popularity contest," and that's not what good moderation is about... here it's just about making the decent posts stand out from the herd.

Comment Re:She will ether be president or prisoner. (Score 3, Informative) 633

So, you don't actually know what SAP material is. Why can't you just say that? Don't be embarrassed.

If it's SAP, it's born classified. It doesn't matter how it's marked, or if markings have been removed by her or anyone who sent it to her. If it's on her personal server, and she knows it's there, she's a felon. It's that simple.

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