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Comment: Re:Tell me... (Score 1) 172 172

I still don't want Amazon keeping track of which and how many pages I read. Maybe they're already doing that, and I haven't been paying attention.

Amazon "adds value" to ebooks purchased / downloaded from them by allowing you to highlight sentences, bookmark pages, add annotations, and continue reading from your last viewed page on another device. Evidently they can only do any of that if what you do with and within a book is tracked and uploaded to their servers.

Comment: Re: I'm going back to ASCII (Score 1) 164 164

That's called ideology, which is a useful distinction. You can have religion as ideology, and a-religion as ideology. Conversely, you can have non-ideological religions and a-religions.

About Japan, not really. The Japanese religion was forcefully changed by the state for the purposes of ideological indoctrination. Temples were closed, split, merged, priests reallocated and replaced, official doctrines for the specific purpose of mass submission developed, non-related philosophies (such as Bushido) reinterpreted and inserted into the mix etc. It was a religion constructed top-down for reasons of state. Ditto for Nazism. So, in both cases the use comes first, and the religious formulation later, as a byproduct.

Whether for this they use preexisting cultural elements is a matter of ease of manipulation. Reworking something is easier than developing something from scratch.

Comment: Re: I'm going back to ASCII (Score 1) 164 164

You've confusing causation with correlation. Religion is a good way to make people do thing for you, but your actual reasons are different. From the current conflicting parties, only ISIS is really driven by religion first and foremost, so I'll concede on that one. As for the others, nope, the driving impetus is non-religious even though religion is used for gluing purposes.

Comment: Re: I'm going back to ASCII (Score 1) 164 164

Which religions gave us WW1, WW2, Vietnam, the Cold War, the Korean war, and the Opium Wars again?

Monarchism (+Communism in Russia), Fascism+Capitalism+Communism, Communism+Capitalism, Communism+Capitalism, Communism+Capitalism, Merchantilism. You forgot: all the current Middle East wars (Fascism+Capitalism), all the current African wars (Tribalism+Communism+Capitalism), and all the many single-country revolutions of the 20th century (mostly Communism, with a few Fascism and Capitalism thrown into).

Comment: Re:Don't worry, they'll try again (Score 3, Insightful) 229 229

Intel did something as much evil and it went through undisturbed. Everyone there was invited to move to Portland if they wished to keep their jobs. Those who didn't accept moving were considered as having resigned, so without any right to severance packages. After all, Intel didn't fire anyone, right? It's the employee who "unreasonably" didn't "want" to move to the other side of the country. And the sociopaths who thought of this plan undoubtedly earned huge bonuses thanks to the "economy" they caused the company.

Americans, it seems, love their corporate overlords. That's the only explanation I can think of for something so absurd to be allowed to happen.

Comment: Re:The Dark Age returns (Score 4, Insightful) 479 479

The problem is that schools don't teach science. They "proclaim truths" (without actually going to the trouble of step-by-step proving every single one), then require students to repeat those memorized proclamations to "pass". Teaching science is teaching the scientific method, and teaching it in practice.

Want students to learn evolutions for real, to the point of never, even, being ABLE to believe religious bullshit? Here's how: help them discover evolution themselves. First make them know falseability better than their own names, by guiding them through discovering newtonian mechanics or something like that. Then, when they've mastered the scientific method, switch from classic physics to classic biology, presenting them the same raw data Darwin had collected, and require them to figure that one out by following the same standards. And presto: now you have a generation that both embraces the scientific method and cannot deny evolution.

Until educational standards are that high though, sorry, but for the vast majority of people science and religions will remain similar and roughly interchangeable: someone in the pulpit speaking about esoteric stuff, and listeners blindly accepting (or pretending to) it as such "because authority", and because that's what's socially expected from them.

Comment: Re:Social mobility was killed, but not this way (Score 1) 1032 1032

A university vouching for you is a hell of a bit different than you vouching for you; if they lie, they lose big financially; if you lie, only your employer loses big financially.

The solution to this is to have universities certifying your autodidactism. Allow autodidacts to come and take tests, charging reasonably for them. If they pass all the tests, they proved they know what's required from full time students to know, and get the equivalent degree.

Comment: Re: Real fight (Score 1) 179 179

at what point do look around and say I have earned enough profits so I need to slow down or even shutdown my operations or someone is going to call me "evil"?

At no point you should stop what you're doing just because you're earning enough. You should stop what you're doing when this that you're doing can only be properly described by the words "sociopathy" and/or "psychopathy". Given that, you can however certainly continue doing all the other non-sociopathic, non-psychopatic stuff you've doing that earns you huge and ever increasing profits. Those are fine.

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 1) 416 416

[quote]It is pretty unlikely that sexual harassment will ever be considered okay in the future.[/quote]

I've once read a piece of fiction in which a future society had "non-consensual sex" as a standard part of their culture. Hundreds-of-years-old still living (thanks to advances in medical research) 21st century-born citizens shook their head at this, but when they told the youngsters they thought it absurd, they all looked at the oldsters with uncomprehending expressions. That's because thanks to advances in technology it was a non-issue. No resulting psychological traumas, no physical injuries, no pain, no unwanted pregnancies, at most a small inconvenience, and even so only if one's in a hurry. Hence, not a crime, not even a misdemeanor, but mere bad manners.

Rule of thumb: don't try to predict the future. If a current author can already imagine such a scenario, the actual social reality a few centuries down the line might be radically weirder than even his most hallucinating dreams. As ours would be to any 17th century surviver were one still around.

Comment: Re:Google doesn't have a monopoly on ANYTHING. (Score 1) 334 334

You have to make up your mind. Either central banks are fundamentalist free market advocates, or they aren't. In this post you seem to be agreeing with my point that they aren't. So, which is it?

The problem with FREE free markets is, that they don't work.

True, which is why I'm actually a distributist, not a libertarian. That however has no bearing on the original argument about what central banks are or aren't.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.