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Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 1) 104

And if you think organization is necessary and only a big military machine can win, are you familiar with what's happening in the middle east? Have you ever heard of a place called Vietnam?

Where in my post did I write that organization is the same as a "big military machine"? Regarding your second point, I think that Islamic State and the Vietnamese Liberation Front qualifies as organizations.

The people don't need to be organized to hold their own, they simply need to all agree.

They need to agree on what to do and do it. In my view that is organization, even if the structures are informal.

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 1) 104

Our country is "uninvadeable" because of geography, not people with small arms. You can bet if a large standing army were to decide to enter the US, a handful of people with 9mm pistols aren't going to stop it. Thankfully, we have oceans to our east and west, Canada is too passive to do anything, and Mexico's largest standing army is in the hands of drug cartels who would much rather sell us drugs than try and take over.

The total war scenario was enacted in Europe in two acts, showing that even with millions of armed men defending a country it was possible to invade and conquer if the invading army also had millions of armed men. Armed populations did, however, make it a lot more difficult for the Nazis to hold (e.g. Russia and Greece). But if we are looking at present day, nuclear weapons on intercontinental ballistic missiles pretty much means an end to that kind of invasion. At least until one side manages to nullify the nuclear deterrent of the others. It is a MAD, MAD world :-(

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 3, Informative) 104

We're all the same, Milgram proved that. Given similar circumstances you or I would behave the same way, so let's stop perpetuating the stereotypes.

No, Milgram did not prove that we are all the same. Quoting wikipedia:

In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment; some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment. Throughout the experiment, subjects displayed varying degrees of tension and stress. Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures.

So, 100% of the participants knew that they were doing something wrong and spoke up. Some 35% of the participants did stand up to the authority figure and refused to follow their orders. As I remember it, the initial experiment was conducted on white middle class college students, so I would be very hesitant to use it to generalize anything about the rest of us.

Comment: Re:Are they LEOs (Score 3, Insightful) 104

Isn't this the thing the Second amendment was supposed to prevent?

As I understand it, the 2nd Amendment was supposed to ensure against invasion from the British Empire by keeping the population armed, so any attempt at invasion would allow the armed population to spark a popular insurrection.

But it is really beside the point. A population is only able to stand up to oppression if it is organized, and in most advanced countries, governments and corporations are going to back down if an organized population demands change, e.g. Eastern Europe in the late 80s and early 90s. In most cases governments and corporations will just be biding their time, waiting for people to go home and settle back down into their lives, so they can roll back the concessions. A recent example is Egypt. Sometimes they will fight, but it is extremely dangerous, as there is no telling where it will end, e.g. Syria and Libya, not to mention destructive.

Going back to the US, it should be clear for everyone that the US rulers have successfully managed to keep its population disorganized through a variety of techniques such as sowing distrust between its citizens, massive surveillance, union-busting, mass media and the stacked circus of democracy.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 241

by Zumbs (#49763177) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK
Not necessarily. As prices increase, number of sales decrease and profit per sale decreases. I'm sure Amazon has done a lot of studies into these relations in the ebook market, and found the sweet spot that maximizes their profit. Increasing prices to pay taxes may result in lower profit than paying the tax out of their own pocket ... or they may leverage their dominance in the (e)book market to force publishers to cover the tax. This notes that Amazon forced UK publishers to cover their 20% UK VAT in 2012, even though they actually only paid the Luxembourg 3% VAT, with Amazon pocketing the difference themselves.

Comment: Re:just what we all love (Score 1) 241

by Zumbs (#49762851) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

actually there ARE taxes on sales... it's called VAT and is charged at 20% of the price... Amazon can't avoid the VAT bill

They actually tried to avoid VAT on ebooks in most EU countries by setting up their servers in Luxemburg that had a 3% VAT on ebook sales, compared to e.g. 20% in UK. Other ebook sellers naturally followed Amazons lead, until it became public knowledge, e.g. as described in . The latest development is that VAT on ebooks and similar is paid depending on the location of the consumer, as described in

Comment: Re:Bottom Rising (Score 0) 228

by Zumbs (#49730021) Attached to: Marvel's Female Superheroes Are Gradually Becoming More Super
Most of those heroines were created and/or developed in the 70s and 80s by Chris Claremont, partially as a response to the extreme dominance of very powerful male heroes and villains. Hell, we still see that today at the movies, where the male superheroes dominate the silver screen. Just look at the first Avengers movie. The main cast are Iron man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and the Black Widow, four of which had their own movie prior to the Avengers movie. Even in the X-Men universe, the stories are concentrated around Wolverine, Professor X and Magneto.

Comment: Re:Do the math (Score 1) 338

by Zumbs (#47735935) Attached to: New EU Rules Will Limit Vacuum Cleaners To 1600W
In Denmark there are roughly 3 million people living in single family homes and 2 million living in various types of apartment buildings. I'm unsure if the same ratio applies to Finland, Norway and Sweden, or to the rest of EU for that matter. As can be seen, a lot of people are living in apartment buildings that should have access to very efficient laundry rooms. Most city dwellers have laundromats within comfortable walking distance if time was important.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (9) Dammit, little-endian systems *are* more consistent!