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Comment: Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (Score 1) 425

by TranquilVoid (#48081001) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

However, I really think if we were going to invade, then yes we should have taken the country and made is US territory.

I disagree. When it works democracy does so because it gives people with different voices a say in the system, alleviating the need to solve differences with violence. You may contend that the Iraqi people are not currently suited to democracy, but for the US to autocratically rule Iraq it would be forced to do so with an even more brutal hand than Saddam Hussein, since you've not only ruled out democracy but must rule as complete outsiders devoid of ethnic glue. Doing so would be for the US to lose a piece of its soul.

Comment: Re:DAESH, not ISIL (Score 1) 478

by TranquilVoid (#47990629) Attached to: US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

Exactly. Applying the "No True Scotsman" fallacy is fallacious itself, as being Scottish has a strict definition of being a registered citizen in the internationally-recognised country of Scotland. Most people applying this to ISIL want self-identification as the test of Islamicism, but that makes any discussion on the role of Islam in their behaviour meaningless.

Comment: Re:They need to get their shit together (Score 1) 169

by TranquilVoid (#47990391) Attached to: South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

Well wind farms are an eyesore, and tend to be more distributed than coal mines. Same with solar, I recall a posting of a group of German houses all with panels. From the comment I gathered it was meant to show how pretty it was, but to me it looked horrible. Sure, panels are shiny when new, but after ten years, when the novelty of the technology has worn off, they will be seen as industrial looking - they won't age rustically like shingles or tiles.

Of course in Australia it would be much better to do mass solar rather than vote-buying subsidies for rooftop systems. There's certainly a lack of political will (otherwise called democracy) and we're not going to see any environmental leadership from the current government.

I wouldn't single out SA, since WA, QLD and Tasmania are all the butt of jokes about being backward (NT and Canberra are ignored). So interestingly, the more populous NSW and Victoria are making the jokes, much like city dwellers always mock townfolk.

Comment: Re:International Copyright (Score 1) 172

by TranquilVoid (#47933641) Attached to: Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

Licensing is the direct cause, but greed is the reason there were exclusivity agreements to begin with.

I disagree. Networks seek exclusivity agreements to reduce risk, it's standard business practice for large companies. Without there's a chance their investment will be suddenly worthless as another network shows the same content, so they pay a premium for certainty.

Of course everything in capitalism is greed in some sense, even the salary you as a worker can ask for from your employee. There's a fine line between standard market practices and profiteering.

Comment: Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (Score 1) 324

by TranquilVoid (#47924851) Attached to: New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

It's the government that grants itself permission to take away my property.

The counter-argument would be that property is defined by the government, i.e. society as a whole, not the individual. You may consider the piece of land you sleep on to be yours in some intrinsic way, but there is plenty of debate on whether property is an inalienable right, if such rights exist.

Comment: Re: illogical captain (Score 1) 937

by TranquilVoid (#47906071) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

Actually it is quite natural because, for religious people, moral meaning relies on the eternity of their metaphysical beings. Philosophically meaning is about affect. If object A has precisely no affect on object B, then for object B, A is meaningless. If all we are is a chance, temporal assembly of atoms and, no matter what our actions, the end result of the universe is extinction, then morals are indeed meaningless.

Certainly ethical behaviour has non-religious sources, mostly from a (short term) species survival point of view, but this is different from the absolute sense with which most people consider morality.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 848

by TranquilVoid (#47782411) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

The proper response to this is to strengthen military forces in new NATO member states surrounding Russia, including US boots on the ground. This will make a clear line that Russia knows it cannot cross without provoking all-out war. Unfortunately Ukraine is not part of NATO.

I don't think this is unfortunate as the expansion of NATO is partially responsible for Russian aggression - they have a motivation to maintain a strong buffer. What you otherwise suggest has merit but is still risky. The U.S. is unlikely to engage Russia in war over an invasion of Latvia, for example, regardless of what the NATO agreement says. Placing U.S. troops there might change that, but the risk is that Russia considers it a bluff.

Comment: Flamebait (Score 1) 221

by TranquilVoid (#47780389) Attached to: Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

I also wonder if the vaunted Canadian healthcare system plays a role. When advances in medical science are something you automatically expect to benefit from personally if you need them, they look a lot better than when you have to scramble just to cover your bills for what we have now."

Or conversely, maybe when the government looks after your health you don't need to worry about researching it yourself, and you take it for granted and don't value it as much. But let's stir up a big argument about capitalism versus socialism.

Comment: Re:Amazing (Score 1) 276

by TranquilVoid (#47745315) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Possible, like the saying that musicians have the worst sound systems. Still I'd say this is backwards. The more you value any activity, the more likely you are to seek out the community and other indirect aspects of what you enjoy.

For example, technology. Surely discussing IT on Slashdot indicates you are more an enthusiast than someone who clocks more 'technology' hours than you simply web browsing on their consumer device.

Comment: Not Unexpected (Score 4, Interesting) 132

It's hardly surprising for a company to hold its financial results close to its chest, but this is made more delicious given how much time they spend pointing out the downsizing of rival Fairfax Media.

Fairfax papers, especially, have suffered from the internet while News Corp has soldiered on, but it was only a matter of time. Being more left-wing, Fairfax's demographic is younger and more inclined to embrace new technology. As they age, and likely become more conservative, they will still consume news online rather than return to dead tree papers.

Comment: Re:Dissappointed (Score 1) 291

by TranquilVoid (#47488507) Attached to: Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

I think you misunderstand the concept of a mandate. It is used when a party wins an overwhelming majority in the lower house to suggest that the upper house, where the party has a minority, should capitulate on a particular issue. I.e. suggesting the checks and balances should step aside. It has nothing to do with complaining about losing in a democracy.

Personally I think a mandate almost never exists. In a representative system you might say that all elected members have a mandate to vote as they campaigned.

Comment: Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (Score 1) 461

by TranquilVoid (#47322311) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

Very informative. The density of the German population makes sense, but can you explain why Germany, a nation with a lot of manufacturing, would have less troubles than the US with balancing?

P.S. I'm hoping the answer is their lack of strong sunlight, for delicious irony.

Comment: Re:Everybody is wrong... (Score 1) 270

All caches have a non-zero miss change, it doesn't mean the concept is useless. In this case it could still work. If it predicts your Sunday night show 80% of the time, then for the 20% miss you'll have to stream from the original server. However if the 80% applies to all customers then network congestion has been significantly reduced and your streaming can work at HD.

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.