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Comment Re:Under what authority? (Score 1) 298 298

the law seems to be "whatever the fuck the police say it is until a court tells them otherwise".

Yes, it has always worked that way, an arrest is not a conviction, it's an unproven claim. Body/car cams on cops may weed out some of the bad apples but here in Oz the cops are on the whole are decent people doing a dirty job and it should be noted that the vast majority of the body cam videos show citizens behaving badly and cops behaving with self-restraint and caution.

Having said that, when the cop's political masters start outfitting police stations like they do a military base and promote the regular use of guerilla tactics such as "no knocks" and swat teams in a residential setting, you are a fair way down the road to a police state, which is an entirely different thing to a police force. As the Stanford prison experiments so vividly demonstrated humans very rapidly descend into a violent master/slave relationship if the environment they find themselves in meets certain criteria (eg: Abu Ghraib, Nazi Germany).

It's a very deep seated behaviour in humans, we all have a ruthless dictator and a cowering slave with us just waiting for the right environmental triggers to emerge. Religious people have called it "good" and "evil" for millennia but incorrectly blamed it on angels and demons (as opposed to the naturally evolved behaviour of our species). Other than being aware we are all susceptible we can't do much to avoid such behaviour in ourselves, but we can set up political and social systems that discourage such environments from forming in the first place. The fact the US still embraces the death penalty and has such a high number of prisoners compared to the rest of the planet, is IMO a 'canary in the coal mine' for the emergence of a police state, statistically speaking the canary is dangling from its perch by one leg.

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 368 368

I don't know about this particular fire but the growth is plausible in the right conditions, the big fires here in Oz that are driven by strong desert winds are capable of igniting spot fires up to 20 km downwind from the main front. Not much you can do to tame a fire that spreads that quickly and ignores firebreaks, except get out of it's way. 20 minutes in the early stages of such a fire is a very long time and can make a huge difference to the outcome.

Not sure that shooting drones is the most practical solution, I think pointing a firehose at the thoughtless pricks using them would be much more effective.

Comment Re:nothing new under the sun (Score 1) 446 446

The business model appears to be, entice people to behave badly for free then blackmail them for $20 each when they change their mind, I assume they picked $20 because it would come under the minimum threshold for most 'small claims' courts. It beggars belief that commercialised blackmail is not a criminal offense. Sure most of the victims are amoral cockroaches scurrying for cover, still doesn't make it right.

Comment Re:There's that confusion again: (Score 1) 46 46

Watch the clip I posted below. I believe the GP's point is there appears to be; no flock, one flock, multiple flocks, and the flock can appear to 'instantaneously jump' from place to place. IANAQP but I think it's a very neat way to visualise a quantum jump. If you understand the math of QM that's great, math is the language used for the best description we have of nature. The rest of us who barely remember what an eigenvalue is from the math degree we did decades ago have to rely on tenuous analogies and imperfect metaphors when describing it with a 'natural' language, such as english.

Comment Re:There's that confusion again: (Score 1) 46 46

Disclaimer: I don't think an electron is composed of a flock of smaller particles, I visualise it as a kind of "knot" in a force field, sometimes the field lines are "pulled" tight enough to observe the knot. Other times it's like a loose extension cord, you not sure if there's a knot until you start to untangle it.

Comment Re:Should have left the crypt unopened (Score 2) 109 109

The far side was hilarious and works wherever the English language is spoken, Bloom county has never made me chuckle, I find the points it makes obvious rather than clever. Perhaps it is cultural, after all Bloom County is squarely aimed at an American audience.

The moon is made of green cheese. -- John Heywood