Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Paved with good intentions... (Score 3, Insightful) 243

Odds the 13-year-old has been told where the bomb has been planted: low.
Odds the 13-year-old will make up something even remotely believable just to make the torturing stop: not low.
Odds the 13-year-old has been told, if at all, where the enemy wants you to believe the bomb has been planted: not low.
Odds the parents and neighbours of the 13-year-old didn't notice "large quantities" of bomb-making material being delivered: not insignificant.

Odds you will fuck up by torturing a 13-year-old to no avail and create a perception that the US government finds torturing children acceptable in the eyes of its citizens, its allies and its enemies: high.

Odds that even if the torture "works", you have created a perception that the US government finds torturing children acceptable in the eyes of its citizens, its allies and its enemies: high.

If I was your CO and you did this, even if you succeeded: arrest you and throw the entire damn book at you, because you just made that kid a martyr. AQ is not an existential threat to the nation, but agents of the state endorsing or carrying out the torture of minors? Are.

Comment Re:Gun-free zone? (Score 1) 1143

I was going to say "nice use of satire" but then I noticed a fundamental flaw in your argument. Speed limit signs aren't (or shouldn't) be posted arbitrarily. They are supposed to be posted to alert and remind the public to the limitations of the road and of human ability, as decided by professional road safety engineers.

"Speed limit 30": engineers consider speeds beyond this limit to be dangerous. It's not just human 'laws', it's the consequences of physics. Even if you fully intend to be a law-abiding citizen, it is still useful for you to be alerted to or reminded of the local speed limit, and you have more (even if not necessarily much) chance of avoiding or at least surviving a collision with a criminal driver if you are not speeding yourself.

"Gun free zone": seems to be a case of someone thinking that a mere sign, in a country where guns are cheaply and easily obtained, will magically protect those behind the sign, despite a complete lack of professional (or even amateur) 'border' controls. If you fully intend to be a law-abiding citizen, you may be placing yourself at greater risk of being targeted by an armed criminal seeking a victim-rich environment.

Now if the "gun free zone" sign is backed up by real security to protect those behind the sign? Fine. But if it's just yet another case of "security theater"? That's not fine. My question would be: how many of those "gun free" signs/zones have been professionally rated by qualified actuaries?

Comment Re: Don't we (the US) already have that... (Score 1) 1291

It's interesting that all your fighting and hard work has left you with less empathy for your fellows rather than an appreciation for your collective plight. It makes me suspect you are being burnt out.

And no, I did not say that _I_ find such paperwork burdensome. Because I am in tolerable health. But the government does not demand that (additional) paperwork from the healthy and the working. They demand it from the sick and the frail. "Prove you are valuable to us. Prove that you are worthy of our generosity. Despite your years of paying taxes on time, we demand you expend more time and more effort on sating our need for control."

It may - and does - claim to the contrary all it likes, but by the results the US does not truly "care" for the poor, not even its own veterans.

Should one day you call out for aid in lifting your hand to the bowl, I hope whoever listens reaches out to aid you without first demanding you prove you cannot.

Comment Re:I don't want to live on this planet anymore (Score 2) 1291

Where did you get the idea that a UBI is communist?

Are you using some strange definition of communism that would not only allow but provide individuals to have money to spend as they choose, on products from whomever they choose, without the state dictating who they can buy from and at what prices?

Even a poorly-regulated UBI would be a vast improvement over the hodge-podge of shoddy cronyistic "welfare" programs (e.g. food stamps) implemented by committees of (maybe) well-intentioned do-gooders that we have now.

Comment Re:Job guarantee is much more sound approach (Score 1) 1291

How do you prevent such a program from resulting in a bloated public service and/or a population falling into what is basically indentured servitude as corporations take advantage (much like they are doing now with the prison-industrial complex) of subcontracting minimum-wage government "employees"?

There is one very good reason to choose a basic income policy: it altruistically empowers individuals rather than place control in the hands of a privileged few.

Comment Re:The US can't even do healthcare like a g8 natio (Score 1) 1291

Rather than trying to give people more money, I would rather see an approach that starts incentivizing production and reducing barriers to entry to all markets.

Lack of money is one of those barriers to entry to all markets. Think of UBI as venture capital financing on a ubiquitous scale; the return sought is a more advanced civilization with a higher quality of life for all concerned.

Comment Re:Simple math (Score 1) 1291

How much of the money in the current system is eaten by overhead/management? How much is eaten by knock-on effects of failing to prevent the consequences of poverty? What's the cost of the mal-nourished and the homeless in additional welfare, police and emergency services? What's the cost of poverty-derived crime?

Comment Re:uh no (Score 1) 1291

Congratulations, you just posted a classic strawman attack.

UBI is about giving _everyone_ a basic income sufficient to live on in times of individual adversity. It takes advantage of macroeconomic forces so that even if a small fraction of the populace abuse the privilege - and it is a small _fraction_ that you are talking about - the overall benefit to society will be a greater net positive than the crap shoot we have now.

Yes, it's very nice how hard you worked. Very inspirational. Pity if all that goes to shit through one bad day, like you get hit by a car or struck by a falling branch or slip on a piece of litter. Suddenly you're not working any more, you'll be bedridden for weeks, and the landlord is evicting you because you haven't paid the rent with the income you no longer have. What a shame. Time for you to begin that long slow crawl back out of the mud so you can strive for the glittering paradise you dream exists at the top of the wheel.

But the wheel always keep turning. Every spoke will be inexorably forced back into the mud. Screw that, you selfish moron, I want a future that doesn't involve these endless games of thrones. I want a future with flying cars that don't need roads.

Comment Re:Ben Franklin (Score 1) 1291

Considering "survival of the fittest" can basically be summed up as "throwing genes at the wall of entropy in the blind hope something sticks", I'd rather invent new and better ways of living - like computers and nanotechnology and philanthropic economic engineering - than scrounge in the jungle while nature continues rolling craps.

Comment Re:Free money isn't free (Score 1) 1291

Because they're not going to steal all your stuff.

GP may have presented an idealistic scenario, but why is your only alternative the other extreme? If you think his scenario is unlikely, why are you presenting an equally unlikely one as any more probable, let alone certain?

Comment Re:Don't we (the US) already have that... (Score 1) 1291

Your idea also has the great "advantage" of preventing the faceless masses from being empowered with individual financial liquidity rather than be stifled and gate-keepered by a bureaucratic one-size-fits-all institution (you're an outlier? sucks to be you)... well, it's a great advantage to politicians and industry lobbyists, at least.

But if you want to run a socialist experiment, this is how I'd start it, not by handing out a check.

Of course not, providing individuals with money (actual fungibility / buying power) would be a capitalist endeavour. UBI could be described as angel investing on a ubiquitous scale, in exchange for a more prosperous, peaceful and technologically advanced civilization in which to live in.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?