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Comment: Re: (Score 1) 528

by Sabriel (#47881467) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

That's (state) socialism, not communism. I've pondered that communism ("characterized by the absence of social classes, money and the state") should be easier to achieve via capitalism than via (state) socialism, since the former more strongly encourages the technological innovations required to provide the means of eliminating scarcity that communism requires to be at all practical.

That, so far to me, was the deepest irony of the USSR: to eliminate the State, they created the State, and It was doomed from the beginning; whether or not communism may one day be feasible, our 20th Century selves lacked (and still lack) the technology to compensate for our psychology.

The USA and similar "capitalist" nations do have their own irony: one of their economic foundations is the very non-capitalist structure of copyright and patent law (think about it: fundamentally, the state dictates who may use any idea, enforcing artificial scarcities and artificially captive markets). It will be interesting to see if/how they overcome this flaw.

Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 1) 496

by Sabriel (#47879993) Attached to: Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

Hmm. Also from Wikipedia, later in that same article:

This issue did come before the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago, in which the Supreme Court, "reversed the Seventh Circuit, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense applicable to the states."

As for your assertion that there is no right to overthrow the government, that is not strictly true. Note that the Second specifies not just any "state", but a "free state". A lawful government should have nothing to fear from the Second. An unlawful government, on the other hand, one would hope not so much.

Comment: Re:in other words (Score 1) 194

by Sabriel (#47682607) Attached to: The Billion-Dollar Website

But if I am to support that system with my tax dollars, the people who use it have to do their part to try to live healthy lives. Drug addicts and alcoholics get treatment then go into rehab, overweight people are put on a healthy diet and exercise regimen, and so on. But since that would violate people's rights, and I can't force my beliefs onto others, even when they are using my tax dollars, I don't support a public health system.

I don't get it. How would that violate rights? When society assumes an obligation to offer help to its members, members who seek out that help to correct their personal failings assume the reciprocal obligation of not "crying wolf" (not quite the phrase I want to use, but I hope it's close enough that you get what I'm trying to convey). "Society, I'm addicted / obese, please treat me." "Our obligation is that we will treat you, but your obligation is that you'll accept our help in avoiding this situation in the future." "Okay." The whole basis of society is the social contract - we help you, you help us!

The technicalities of deciding when any given person is not meeting that reciprocal obligation should only impinge on the general availability of a public health system to the extent that the statistical occurrence of recalcitrant individuals would make the system a net burden or benefit to society. And even then, that is not necessarily an argument to completely reject a public health system instead of the less drastic response of narrowing its scope.

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 541

by Sabriel (#47652461) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

Geneticists admit that physical appearance varies thanks to mutations and variations in the expression of the genome, so why is intellectual variability so verboten? Because it's politically incorrect?

That and just as more people believe they are far better at driving a car than they actually are, more racists believe they are better than {insert other race} than they actually are.

Hypothetical: let's say geneticists somehow manage to quantify that race X averages 5% "smarter" in some way than race Y once you remove all the other factors. Despite the fact that this still means the vast majority of race X _aren't_ smarter than race Y? Despite the fact that the geneticists acknowledge race is only one of multiple factors involved in determining the intellectual capability of a random individual? A lot of X - led by the already racist contingent - are going to falsely believe that science has "proven" they are superior and a lot of Y - led by their own racist contingent - are suddenly going to feel the need to "prove" they aren't "inferior". That's not going to end well.

Basically, you don't give an arrogant idiot ammo for their gun when you're trapped in the room with them. Not even if you're the same race, because you're still trapped in the same room as an arrogant idiot with a loaded gun.

Comment: Re:Mostly harmless (Score 1) 182

by Sabriel (#47612123) Attached to: The FBI Is Infecting Tor Users With Malware With Drive-By Downloads

"What's the point?" Ironically, your question holds the answer - in pedophilia, the brain's sex drive is missing the point. An error in the genetic code, a bad evolutionary adaptation to population overpressure, excess or deficiency of required chemicals, damage due to stressful environment... whatever the actual cause, the end result is a human being placed in the nightmarish position of having a sex drive that finds children attractive.

The trouble with biology is that it doesn't care, not about us having self-awareness nor our desire for a just world. After all, ask yourself: why do we find that "normal legal smut" so appealing? What's the point? Our "normal" sex drive is no more capable of recognizing that a photo can't reproduce any more than a pedophile's sex drive can.

Comment: Re:Am I the only one around here ... (Score 5, Insightful) 204

by Sabriel (#47611735) Attached to: Edward Snowden Is Not Alone: US Gov't Seeks Another Leaker

The catch with your #2 is that the ultimate boss and owner of any data held by the US government is the US public. The constitutional foundation of their entire system of government is not "We the Government", but "We the People of the United States", no matter how much winking, nudging and outright fraud goes on in the corridors of power.

So if you found your company (government) was up to no good, and upon going up the chain got told to stick your head in the sand if you know what's good for you, I'd hope you'd strongly consider going to the police (public). And as a human being, I'd be less than impressed if someone chose their own very comfortable life over the endangered liberty of the people they'd sworn to protect.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...