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Comment: Re:I don't see the problem. (Score 1) 667

by SwedishPenguin (#47499363) Attached to: Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

And who decides the kind of legitimacy they deserve or don't deserve? You? Western media? Western governments? The same people, I suppose, who decide that "we" are saints and "they" are demons. The sort of black-and-white worldview many here seem to be advocating is exactly what leads to war. Try putting yourself in the shoes of "the other side", try to find reason for their actions, because I promise you that everyone has a reason, very few people would put their lives on the limb on a whim.

Comment: Re:Short black with one (Score 1) 192

by SwedishPenguin (#47251087) Attached to: How To Make Espresso In Space

It seems American milk is quite often Ultra-High-temperature processed, the only place I've seen that here is tiny milk cartons intended for use in coffee where there is no refrigeration. Interesting, I knew American (and some other countries) milk lasted longer and I never quite liked the taste of it, now I know why. It's not restricted to the US though, it's quite common in many countries.

Comment: Re:In civilized countries... (Score 1) 169

by SwedishPenguin (#47250653) Attached to: Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

Because everyone should be granted the oppurtunity of higher studies, regardless of background and parents ability to pay. I don't come from a wealthy family by any means, if it wasn't for higher education being free, I would most likely have ended my education after high school, now I'm working on my PhD. A well educated populace is not only beneficial to the individuals who get the degrees, but to society as a whole.

Comment: Re:In civilized countries... (Score 1) 169

by SwedishPenguin (#47250589) Attached to: Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

I pay about 22% income tax on my PhD student salary of about $48000, my studies were paid by taxpayers from 1st grade all the way up to my masters degree and we get student grants which cover part of the living costs, student loans (from the state at low interest rate, not a bank) for the rest.. Tax is not high enough in my opinion, recent cuts by the current (but not for long now) right wing government have been catastrophic for our general welfare system.

Comment: Re:I'm liking how Russia is standing up these days (Score 1) 234

by SwedishPenguin (#46802609) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

I agree that Russia is an oligarchy (and so is the US, and Europe, btw, we simply don't call our plutocrats "oligarchs"), but you have to get some things straight. Like the IMF, the Ukraine had the alternative of *either* cooperating with Russia, and continuing to get money from Moscow, or cooperate with the EU and get money from the IMF (with the usual strings of privatization, deregulation, and generally screwing the people over attached, see Greece, et al). Yanukovich in the end decided that it would be in the interests of the Ukraine to continue trade with Russia rather than go along with EU demands of "us or them" (and the opinion polls I have seen seem to indicate that the Ukranian people were not too keen on the EU agreement either in the end, I guess the example of Greece must have scared them). This is when the "Euromaidan" protests started, supported by both US and EU politicians who enthusiastically came in person and egged the protests on, the fact that they were sharing stage and shaking hands with Svoboda and the Right Sector did not seem to bother them. Once the coup was fully realized, the new government (surprise surprise) signed the deal with the EU as well as the IMF, despite not being an elected government. It bans political parties which are seen as being too "pro-russia" (such as the communist party), includes representatives of both Svoboda and Right Sector, but none from the eastern part of the country where the majority of the population lives. Western media calls it "democracy"...

Comment: Re:North Korea is not a communist state (Score 1) 234

by SwedishPenguin (#46802533) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

I kept getting "lameness filter" so I had to split my post into multiple posts. Slashdot: FIX BUG!

Continued from below:

If and when workers gain control of the state, then and only then may it be called a socialist state in any way shape or form. Note however that neither socialism nor a "communist" society requires that the means of production be in the ownership of the state. A society where the means of production is controlled by cooperatives for instance is as much socialism as is ownership by a worker-controlled state, as is the syndicalist ideal of local union organizations taking control of the means of production, or the collectivist ideal of abandoning both state and private ownership of the means of production. There are as many variations of socialism as there are forms where the working class can take control of the means of production, as well as combinations thereof.

Despite what Americans (and all of us who consume US media) have been told all their lives, capitalism and democracy are in no way compatible, and you see it every day in your own country, I see it every day in my country, we see it all over the world, yet this myth seems to persist. Capital is power, when a few control that capital, they have disproportionate economic power, and thus political power, no matter how many campaign financing laws or similar you adopt. The simple act of owning the means of production means that capitalists can, if they wish, force society to adopt certain policies under threat of loosing the essential goods which their factories produce. This is why economic democracy is required for political democracy to ever be realized.

Comment: Re:North Korea is not a communist state (Score 1) 234

by SwedishPenguin (#46802529) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

The whole point of socialism, and certainly of a communist society (which is a bit of a utopian goal) is that the means of production should be controlled by the working class. If a state owns the means of production, but the working class is not in control of that state, it is simply another form of capitalism called "state capitalism", there is as much of a disconnect between workers and traditional capitalists as there is between workers and a large state capitalist. Instead of traditional capitalists exploiting the labour of the working class, the people at the top of the state bueracracy is. There is a common misconception, especially among those who have been exposed to too much of American mass media, that "capitalism" simply means free markets. Rather, it is a description of a society where a minority owns the majority of the means of production, if this is achieved through free markets, state controlled markets, privately (monopoly) controlled markets, or what have you does not really matter, it's still capitalism because of the ownership and thereby power-structure.

Comment: Re:Next, be a woman (Score 1) 386

by SwedishPenguin (#46723745) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

I largely agree with your post, but really what you're saying about Sweden is woefully incorrect. There have been many highly publicized cases of obvious rape where the perpetrators have been acquitted with the motivation that it wasn't "obvious" enough that the victim was not in on it. Enough so that there is debate about enacting new laws to deal with the problem. I admire what Assange has done for the world, but don't take his characterization of Sweden to be the truth without doing some research of your own.

Comment: Re:Too narrow a definition (Score 1) 148

by SwedishPenguin (#45746501) Attached to: IDC: 40 Percent of Developers Are 'Hobbyists'

While I agree that it's nice to distribute the code that generated your results, this is hardly the only way for other researchers to know how to go from data to results.. This is the entire purpose of the published paper, to describe what you did, in words and math, sometimes in psuedo-code.

Comment: Re:No Need (Score 1) 327

by SwedishPenguin (#45468171) Attached to: Monthly net electricity use in my household:

I have many choices, but I don't really see why anyone would have this need of having a choice between 300 different providers which are all trying to screw you over in order to maximize profits for their owners, rather than one provider which has a democractic mandate to benefit citizens rather than owners. The electric market is a natural monopoly, whoever owns the grid calls the shots. In my city, the local grid was sold off by "free market"-worshipping liberals like yourself years ago, the result is not pretty.

Comment: Re:173 kWh (Score 1) 327

by SwedishPenguin (#45468033) Attached to: Monthly net electricity use in my household:

That's actually about what I use, I used about 160 kWh in October. Live alone in a 43 m2 one bedroom apartment, 42" flat screen TV, desktop computer with dual screens, tablet, phone, refrigerator and freezer, combination of LED and CFL lights, occasionally used stove and oven (mostly microwave, unfortunately). District heating, so that doesn't factor in to the equation. I don't see how people can use so much electricity use unless they heat they're running electric heating or AC.

I go on working for the same reason a hen goes on laying eggs. -- H.L. Mencken