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Comment: Re:Culmination of a dream (Score 1) 372

by avajcovec (#39591151) Attached to: The Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto Seed Patents
How about this? In a system where a leader cult can't develop around an individual because of term limits, the parties become the focus of the kind of fanatical devotion that used to be focused on a single person. So the leader cult can be denied to exist when it really is just split across a few political parties in which people invest the same cult-like devotion, while believing they are being presented with a meaningful choice.

Comment: Re:Culmination of a dream (Score 2) 372

by avajcovec (#39582069) Attached to: The Supreme Court To Rule On Monsanto Seed Patents

No no, see, that is the leader cult. Through propaganda promoting democracy as a political ideal, the people are convinced that they are the ones with power in the system. They have been taught that their choice between two corporate-vetted figureheads is meaningful. Every time they become fed up with the current leadership they think, well, next time we'll get it right. The leader cult is going strong, it's just that the "leader" is the belief in the power of the people to change things within the system as it stands.

Democracy may be great at certain smaller scales, but when it gets too large it's just mob rule, and mobs are easily manipulated.

Comment: Chris Perkins, DM (Score 1) 516

by avajcovec (#39527811) Attached to: Why Are Fantasy World Accents British?

I find it interesting to watch Chris Perkins DM for the Penny Arcade guys in the Dungeons & Dragons games they've played. He seems to make an effort to use a variety of accents (and voices) to keep his characters interesting. He even went with Southern-California-Surfer for one character in the 2010 live game at PAX.

PAX 2010 Live D&D Game, Part 1

PAX 2011 Live D&D Game, Part 1

PA / PVP D&D Podcasts

Comment: Re:There's this little problem with Ender's Game (Score 1) 1054

by avajcovec (#39417353) Attached to: Teacher Suspended For Reading <em>Ender's Game</em> To Students

The bully was already dead when kicked. He hit his head accidentally on a knob.

Time to read the book again :)

Well, you're right about needing to read the book again. The bully in the bathroom (Bonzo) died because Ender head-butted him in the nose and sent splinters into his brain (presumably). The bully at the beginning of the book (Stilson) died because Ender kicked him to death, including a blow to the face. I think maybe you're remembering the scene in Battlestar Galactica where the nasty officer from the other battlestar dies in a scuffle when his head hits a bolt on the wall.

Comment: Re:Will officers face sanctions? (Score 1) 498

Since I hadn't heard of that charge, I decided to look it up. Apparently that's an English, Canadian and Irish law, so it wouldn't apply in the US. It's also apparently common law and US courts operate under statutory jurisdiction, as I understand it (which is not well).

Comment: Re:Dumb (Score 1) 777

Is there a legal relationship between vulnerability and innocence? According to the article the man was never arrested or charged, and he states that he was "totally innocent". Isn't innocence an absolute state mutually exclusive with the absolute state of guilt? If the police have a duty to protect the innocent, aren't the adult and child equally deserving of that protection? I'm honestly asking here.

Comment: Re:Dumb (Score 1) 777

It's common sense for the police to treat the man as if he's lying. If the police assume he's telling the truth they risk putting a child in danger (and failing in their duty to protect the innocent) but if they assume he's lying then they can take measures.

A child is not "more innocent" than the man in question. They are no less obligated to protect him (following your reasoning).

Comment: Re:OMFG, mistakes will be made! (Score 1) 472

by avajcovec (#37464884) Attached to: US Military Moving Closer To Automated Killing

So... program the machines to "feel remorse". That one should be easy...

Yikes. Seriously?

In that case I eagerly look forward to the machines telling us "The only winning move is not to play."

Sorry, I'm not really being fair here. Your original point was about machines vs. humans making mistakes and killing the wrong people, whereas I'm arguing against killing any people.

Comment: Re:War is power. (Score 1) 472

by avajcovec (#37464692) Attached to: US Military Moving Closer To Automated Killing

All power comes from the barrel of a gun.

Really? All power? If that were true there could be no martyrs. History has shown time and time again that it only takes one person looking beyond their own fear of death, holding some higher ideal, to set an example for countless others. Just one to stand and say that there is something more important, more powerful than the individual life of this body, something your guns can never threaten.

The overwhelming majority on this planet live in peace with their neighbors, trusting them inherently. It is only the result of a constant barrage of divisiveness that they are taught to fear their fellow man and allow these atrocities to be committed.

You have so thoroughly misunderstood both liberty and power. I recommend meditation.

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben

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