Stupid people voting beats stupid people in tyrannical control any day!
That's a pragmatical and defeatist argument, you are saying that although morons indeed "ruin it for us" in an ideal sense, there's no practical way to reach that ideal. Any practical method to restrict the vote of the morons would come back against "us", so this is the best of all possible realities.
Even accepting that argument as is, I still believe there's some leeway here for smart people: educate the morons by force, ridicule their belifes on every occasion, don't just sit back and take their crap in the name of religious tolerance.
Life being older than 10.000 years is not a religious issue. If I'd take offense with the people who believe in "guided evolution", then yes, that would be a religious issue.
On the other hand, if you can't grasp the basics fact that underpin biology, geography and human history (to name but a few...), then you are a blithering idiot no mater if you claim to be christian, muslim or atheist.
The new design, being really similar to the old one, also means that Nokia holds the patents for it already.
Here's a radical idea: keep the same electrical interface with the old SIM, arrange the contact pads in a way that makes sense, and simply shrink it in size [patent pending].
Why we are unable to make the most trivial technical advances without the whole thing degenerating in a intellectual property shit throwing contest ? Does anybody still believe this state of affairs promotes the Progress of Science and useful Arts ?
Religions have doctrines that you follow or you only 'religious' in name only.
Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn if these people firmly believe life on earth is less than 10.000 years old, or they are just saying that because they heard it in bible class. The fact is these morons vote, and they are ruining things for the rest of us.
40-50% of voters regularly show up at elections in my country - sad to say the majority of them do not match the "articulate technical professional" archetypal Slashdot poster. Actually there seems to be quite the opposite: the most inept people show up to vote in the vastest numbers.
Your hypothesis that votes of clueless people are normally distributed and cancel themselves out is pure speculation. The voters are emotionally and financially exposed, wisdom of the crowds does not apply. Should the country run a fiscal a deficit or an excedent ? There may be a systematic bias of the voter base against increasing debt precisely when that is required for pulling the country out of depression. Conversely, cutting the deficit by laying off government employees might be soundly rejected based on self-conservation short term thinking. Lastly, as you say, it's easy for a powerful public voice to sway clueless voters one way or the other. In all these cases, the votes of the tiny minority that understands macroeconomics is simply statistical noise: the public policy will be largely decided by things unrelated to it's long term economic effects.
you would have to show that there was a group of people who were going to be severely harmed by the continued operation of the schools in such a manner who did not agree with the decision, and that those people had no other options (private schools, homeschooling, etc.).
I think such an interpretation of democracy will ultimately work against the very notion of "society". It will tend to eliminate all types of social welfare: sure, any lower class parent could theoretically homeschool his child. In practice most of them will not, and the children will reach adulthood with no education and no other prospects except harsh manual labor or criminality. This reinforcing cycle will eventually lead to a highly polarized society, similar to capitalism during the industrial revolution.
Conversely a 90% tax on revenues in excess of 100.000$ a year will pass, leading to severe economic contraction and explosion of tax evasion. Can you argue that the minority of high earners who don't agree with the decision have no other options ? Of course not, they are free to earn less or donate their excess revenue to the poor. Their high revenue minority status is a choice therefore by your reasoning they can't claim protection against the abuses of the majority.
Besides protecting actual minorities, an important issue of public policy is creating an inclusive social contract in which the individual choice is maximized. A country where poor people get school subsidies and rich people pay acceptable taxes is a better one for both the rich and the poor. If each policy is decided on the spot by the largest minority the social contract breaks down. Spending more on roads is not a thing that should be decided by counting how many drivers there are among the populace, rather it's a complex political compromise that cannot be decided at the individual level. It's a collective game therefore the best solutions are negotiated collectively, and representative democracy is the bargaining tool.
Well, I'd love to be in a direct democracy with Slashdot posters. Just looking at the quality of moderation: most of the time they bring up things I either agree with, insightful things that change my view, or things I don't agree with but are nonetheless thoughtful commentaries made by intelligent people who understand the issues.
What I fear is that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of people don't follow current political events; from those who do, even fewer have the analytically tools and critical thinking required to go beyond pop-politics, to understand the implications of budget deficits and bailouts, of foreign policy, of healthcare models. Hell, most of the senators don't understand those. So when you are moving from a self selected community like Slashdot, which includes many articulate technical professionals that gather simply for the pleasure of discussing issues, to the whole voting populace of a country, then yes, I think it's fair to talk about an abstract "people" that may be unfit to govern itself. I'm not saying that's necessarily true, I'm saying the Slashdot sample is not representative for the voting base.
It's a classic case of artificial intelligence vs. human stupidity. The artificial intelligence algorithm employed by Avira for keeping computers secure has determined that the only way to achieve real security for most users it's to turn the PC into a brick. Some people are simply too stupid to wander online unsupervised, so it's for their own protection. If you can restore your computer to normal operation, you have just passed the test and you are worthy of computer access.
Or you innovate really well and run headlong into a ridiculous patent infringement lawsuit
Amen to that. The patent minefield makes it impossible for a small company to compete. The ability to innovate has nothing to do with it, bringing an innovative product to market involves also using allot of other simple and obvious ideas that some other large company had the opportunity to patent since they've done it first. At that point your options are to either:
- patent your ideas, hide them really well, and expect some other large company inadvertently use it, then become a patent troll
- spend billions of dollars on patents licenses or a patent war chest like Google/Motorola
Big companies love the patent game, it's the best system to maintain an oligopoly. They can milk their patents even from beyond the grave, like I'm sure RIM will too.
They are working for Foxconn because they, not you, have decided it is their best opportunity.
For the right sum, I can find takers for just about any sick and perverted use of human beings. Do I need a kidney ? Someone will supply that. Need to buy a baby ? Will find that too. Suicide bombers ? Plenty of those, for the right ideological incentives and financial support for the surviving family.
The fact that poor, desperate, and manipulated people are "willing" to enter abusive contracts which may very well be "their best opportunity" should in no way make those deeds morally justifiable. "Projecting values" is what people with a moral compass do.
That being said, giving someone a tech job at market rates is not slavery, in as much as the options are for him to plow the field with his bare hands for much lower productivity, while a fat westerner can sit on his ass for a 35 hour work week and earn a western salary.
You should take into consideration that most depressive individuals will not jump of the factory roof; they rather kill themselves at home, and since suicide is a social stigma, some die in an "accident" or "intoxication", with only the authorities and immediate family knowing the real cause. Because of the high publicity of the suicides, you can also expect Foxconn to preemptively fire any employee showing signs of depression - no potential for another "Foxconn suicide". We are likely seeing only the top of the iceberg.
The median age of Foxconn factory workers is very young, while most of the clinical depression cases hit the elderly. Social isolation and joblessness (or retirement) are important triggers for depression. So you are not comparing Apple to apples when comparing the young active Foxconn employees to the average person in the US. How high is the suicide rate among young Apple or Ford employees in the US ?
The concern is that Gen III reactors don't have the actinide burning capacity the GP alludes to. They run on LEU or MOX and will generate much of the same long lived waste we currently don't know - in a political sense - how to get rid of. In time they will raise similar decommissioning problems.
Bottom line, reactors that can burn spent fuel on a large scale are still decades away, thus they are inconsequential to the decommissioning going on today. You can of course reprocess spent fuel and form new fuel pellets - with the proliferation and ecological risks that process involves. Actinide accumulation prevents you to do that too many times.
The idea here is that assuming molten lead or tin starts spewing out of the reactor, it will just sit there, solidify, and remain insoluble in both air and water. An area of a few tens of meters around the reactor will be contaminated. It will not burn with a radioactive graphite fire contaminating a whole continent (Chenobyl), it will unload the contaminated primary cooling water in the ocean (Fukushima), and it will not spontaneously burst into flames when encountering atmospheric oxigen and water, releasing poisonous smoke (Monju). It will not create air-born radioactive dust, and radioactive isotopes will not accumulate in living organisms, such as the case for tritiated water, carbon, potassium, iodine.
While lead is a neurotoxin, we know how to work with it, and there are already hundreds of thousands tons of lead in circulation due to it's use in lead-acid batteries around the world.