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Comment: affirmative action anyone? (Score 1) 902

by arclyte (#31612698) Attached to: Will Your Answers To the Census Stay Private?
Has no one ever heard of affirmative action? I've heard many of the arguments I'm reading here come from the lips of freshman college students, but really, I'd expect more informed views from /. readers. I know, stupid of me to do that... Among many other uses, the government needs to know racial demographics so that they can try to make sure the government isn't discriminating. If we don't know how many blacks, whites, asians, native americans, etc. there are or where they're located (generally, not necessarily down to the address level) it makes it difficult to appropriate resources and make sure that things are distributed fairly. The sad part is that the paranoia surrounding the census generally tends to make those who need the services most less likely to fill out the census, thus skewing the picture even further. Do you not understand the trickle down effect of this data? It's used to move funds around and to make decisions about who gets what out of the gov't coffers, or what's left over after all of the corporate payouts and military contracts anyway. Is there potential for abuse? Hells yes! Has it been abused? Of course! Is the census the answer to life, the universe and everything? No. But how can we have any hope of the government operating by and for the people if it has no clue who these people are? Saying "just fill out the number of people, nothing else" is just bullshit and ignorance and it saddens me to see that posted on here as if it's something that should be taken as a serious and informed opinion. There are real problems to be discussed regarding the census and there are vast improvements to be made to it, but spreading FUD about what it is and what it's used for just takes as further away from discussing the real issues and does more harm than good.

Comment: Re:And this is how we die (Score 1) 1343

by arclyte (#30981556) Attached to: Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar
I see where you're coming from here, trust me. Language is alive. It's a process more than a thing. When we criticize those for not using words correctly or for not using proper grammar we fail to see the dynamism inherent in language. In the end it's all about communicating a message, grammar and form be damned. But your argument is also self-defeating when it comes to any "serious" or academic quality work. While grammar and word meaning may change, the reason we have some kind of system is to control the chaos. If language moves _too_ quickly, no one can agree on what we mean by any statement. Read through a very technical scientific experiment in any discipline and you'll see that it doesn't use anywhere near conversational English. Words and terms are very carefully chosen and grammar is very tightly controlled in order to prevent confusion about the message one is trying to convey. In a peer-reviewed scientific journal there's no room to say "well, you just didn't understand me" or "i was just being sarcastic, didn't you see the smiley?". Also look to the speeches of politicians... If we can't understand how words are used to convey messages we may miss what they are saying below the surface. And that is probably the biggest point that this is missing. If these kids can't understand how to structure language on the surface, are they also missing a lot of the subtext? To me, that part is probably more important than proper grammar because you're at a huge loss if you can't process that. But most of these types of studies look simply at the surface. We be, like, in some serious trouble, if this be the case for da future, dig? :)

Comment: Re:41? (Score 1) 569

by arclyte (#29719911) Attached to: BSA Says 41% of Software On Personal Computers Is Pirated
Of course, you could just as well claim the right to private property as inane and say that you have no innate right of ownership of the software in the first case. Isn't this why we're having so much trouble with the "reds" pirating goods? Most westerners assume that private property is an inalienable right similar to that of free speech, but that's just the status quo.

I have no problem facing things honestly. I steal because I cannot afford things. As one of the previous repliers posted, it would be very difficult for most of us to accrue skills in much needed software if we were to have to purchase it on our own. I wouldn't be in the position I am today if it weren't for pirated software. But let's make a real division between software stolen for personal use and that stolen for commercial use. For personal use, I may steal Photoshop to frack around or edit my personal pictures, but I make no profit off of it. The bigger worry for Adobe should be businesses making profit off of stolen software.

The problem I see with your argument is twofold. First, you assume that the current legal landscape is correct, or even if you do not you think that we should follow those laws regardless. Most pirates would argue that the laws are wrong and that they pirate as something of an act of civil disobedience. If Obama came on TV and said he passed a law that said "Thou shalt kill their neighbor" (while we're making inane arguments...) how many people do you think would kill their neighbors just because there was a law saying so? Well, copyright laws are similarly inane and even easier to break because they can be broken without your neighbor knowing about it. With personal, private property intact and no reasonable cause for search and seizure, most cases of copyright infringement almost come down to a matter of intellectual infringement. It's the data, not the medium, that they want to control.

Second, your analogy with squatting misses the mark. Squatters squat in abandoned places that no one else is using, not the private homes of individuals. A squatter in the piratic sense (I just made that word up) would be someone who picked up CDs or albums off the side of the road or maybe bought them used (another topic altogether). Pirates do not break into peoples houses to steal their CDs or burn copies of them, those are burglars. Piracy is about spreading data around... giving what you have in exchange for what others have (unless you're just leeching, which is generally frowned upon... who says there's no honour among thieves?).

And while we're on the topic... It seems to me that media is itself to blame to some extent. According to the theories put forth by memeticists (made that one up too), ideas can have a life of their own and want to be passed on. Add to that the wonderful work done by psychologists in ad companies to induce us to buy all their goods and it would seem to me that this current trend in pirating is a matter of them doing their jobs too well. As a consumerist society we're induced to always buy more more more. Have "The White Album" on LP and Cassette? Why not spring another $19.95 for it on CD? You say you have 1000 Dalmations on VHS? But I bet you've never seen it with the digital clarity that Blu-Ray can give you... People are induced to get more than they can ever actually obtain, so when the golden carrot of piracy is dangled in front of them, what do you expect?

The fact is that most people don't feel guilt for downloading MP3s from TPB. The powers that be have tried to induce such guilt with exorbitant lawsuits (Jammie anyone?) but the fact is that it's not going to work. Has the death penalty stopped murderers? Child rapists? Pot smokers? No. Punishment does not deter crime, even in the punished. The only thing that will change the current situation is a paradigm shift, a fundamental shift in the way we a) think about the consummation of goods, and/or b) the way these companies run their businesses and treat their clients. And I think that's kind of what the pirates are all hoping for... cultural change. Hmm, civil disobedience doesn't sound so absurd in that light as when I first mentioned it. I think I'll go steal something now!

Comment: Re:FPS from 1980 (Score 1) 320

by arclyte (#28852347) Attached to: Tron Legacy Exposed
Got this when it first came out and it blew my mind. Battlezone was cool and all, but this was the first 3D game with texture... well, ok, with color fill. It's not a lot to look at these days, but it soaked up many hours of my childhood running as fast as I could without getting eaten. I can still hear the music and sound effects without even watching the movie clip. 3D certainly wasn't common early on, but Wolfenstein certainly wasn't the first. They just did it better than most. Although Wolf made gave me motion sickness... I'd take Dungeon Master over Wolf any day.

Comment: Re:Oh Noes! (Score 3, Funny) 921

by arclyte (#28830607) Attached to: 26 Years Old and Can't Write In Cursive
I'm a lefty you insensitive clod! This is just another of piece of the oppressive propaganda spread by the righty elite. Lefties have rights too, you bastards! Not only am I quicker at printing than cursive, but it is also much more readable... Part of this has to do with righty teachers not knowing how to teach a lefty (although, unlike when my dad was a kid, they actually let me write with my left hand...) but also because the cursive writing system has biases against lefties. Lefties unite! Death to cursive writing!

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

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