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Comment: Re:Campaign Confusion (Score 1) 245

by azgard (#40176637) Attached to: Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

Re Jews - Germany wasn't democratic either. It was a coup by one of the elected parties. The Nazi party only won the election, but didn't have majority support.

Sure oppression of groups does exist. But the point is, we are talking about representative vs. direct democracy (why would this come up otherwise?). And in that sense, there is _no_ evidence that people are worse than their leaders or some minority elite. In fact, the evidence is more like the opposite. I would say, the history shows repeatedly, the more inclusive the government is (i.e. more democratic), the less people try to opress someone, because that's usually tool of rulers to misdirect people from other problems (like the ruler himself).

Comment: Re:Campaign Confusion (Score 1) 245

by azgard (#40169291) Attached to: Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

I am sorry, but how are these democratic societies? And if they are not, how do you know (if they can't freely voice their opinion) that the majority agrees with the oppression, and it's not just fear of authorities and some oppressive minority? From that list, only U.S. is democratic, and atheists in U.S. are hardly "oppressed".

Comment: Re:Do you think direct democracy is the answer? (Score 1) 245

by azgard (#40165701) Attached to: Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

California has been running an ongoing experiment with direct democracy for many years, and here IMHO it's mostly been an abysmal failure.

I think they are running the experiment close to 100 years now. I wouldn't call one of the most developed states in the US a failure.

I am not sure what the details of California system and problems are (it's very hard to find facts, as opposed to various opinions), but to me it seems that the problem stems from bad interaction of direct and representative democracy, that is politicians want to spend but people limited that in referendum.

Comment: Re:Campaign Confusion (Score 1) 245

by azgard (#40165565) Attached to: Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

You can start with educating me. Who is the majority? Can you name the people who make it?

That's the problem. The majority in "tyranny of majority" doesn't in fact exist. People differ in their opinions, but in majority of cases, on average, they agree with each other. And that's why the whole concept of "tyranny of majority" is silly.

Comment: Re:What Is Right but Unpopular (Score 1) 245

by azgard (#40165513) Attached to: Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

think such an interpretation of democracy will ultimately work against the very notion of "society". It will tend to eliminate all types of social welfare

And yet, in Switzerland nothing of the sort is happening. Maybe you should look at the real world before making any predictions?

I would love if all the people who scream "tyranny of the majority" would define the majority. Who is it? The reality is in direct democracy, the majority is very fluid. You lose some, and you win the most, on average. And this in fact improves social contract better than having a 2-party system, which emphasizes differences rather than common interests. Direct democracy can be actually improve social contract, and this was confirmed empirically.

Comment: Re:And also (Score 1) 245

by azgard (#40165423) Attached to: Ask Candidate Jeremy Hansen About Direct Democracy in Vermont

Those people, who you are afraid, are also less likely to vote and even if they do, their "confused" vote won't cause the problem, because if you don't know, you're as likely to vote yes or no for any given proposal (there is even a theorem on that - contrary to popular belief, voting result is higher than average decision-making ability, and may be even higher than of any individual, due to central limit theorem). That is, unless there is someone manipulating them.. but then I would argue what you fear is not that some people are stupid, but that there are manipulators. In that case, I don't see how restricting those who are not manipulators from power is going to be of any help.

Comment: AJAX magic vs. archiving the discussion (Score 1) 410

by azgard (#39597407) Attached to: Slashdot Coming Attractions

What I personally like is to save interesting pages to disk. You may dismiss it as a strange obsession, but archiving information I have read or seen is important to me.

Therefore, I hate any AJAX magic that prevents browser from saving the actual content of the page! I have to say though, now it works quite well. So please, if you implement AJAX magic in the future, keep in mind that some people might still want to save the discussion as a _document_.

Comment: Re:We didn't really know how things worked before (Score 1) 375

by azgard (#38960653) Attached to: Little Ice Age: It Was Not the Sun

I actually had no idea people denied there was an ice age to begin with.

They are! We know that ice ages existed, because we can estimate climate sensitivity from a giant experiment with adding CO2 to our planet's atmosphere that we undertake now! However, some people deny that this experiment is being done, or its result, therefore, logically, they have to deny the ice ages too.

Comment: Re:I think quantum computers do not scale (Score 1) 324

by azgard (#38930793) Attached to: $100,000 Prize: Prove Quantum Computers Impossible

You're right, thanks, that's a good point; it makes the QC a bit more promising than I thought. However, I thought about engineering challenges in general. Even having each qubit interconnected with each other brings engineering problem for each new qubit. While in normal computers, to create a computer with 2*X bits when you can create computer with X bits is already solved problem for all X.

Comment: Re:Curious (Score 1) 445

by azgard (#38930107) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Daily Stand-Up Meetings More Productive?

I agree with others who disagree with the meetings. We are _not_ children. When we see a roadblock, we act. If there is a risk that people are going to step over each other, setup a dashboard with who works on what.

In my view, the SCRUM meetings are stupid (but then - I haven't done whole lot of them). In general, I prefer a bigger meeting after longer period of time, or meeting/talking to others as required. Shorter meetings more frequently are an oxymoron. By definition, they will have to deal with things on more detailed level, because they are more frequent, yet there is less time for details.

I think they are useful for managers, though. They can have a better feeling that they know what everyone is doing, and they can see how complicated things really are. But more productivity? I am skeptical.

Comment: I think quantum computers do not scale (Score 2) 324

by azgard (#38929315) Attached to: $100,000 Prize: Prove Quantum Computers Impossible

I am a layperson, though I studied quantum computers a bit at the university, and (years ago) I came to conclusion that quantum computers do not scale as well as normal computers. That's what will make them impractical.

In QC, unlike in normal computers, every qubit needs to be interlinked with all other qubits, otherwise the superposition won't work. In normal computers, once you can create a computer with X bits, creating a computer with X*2 bits is pretty easy, just build X twice (and add an address line). With quantum computers, creating a computer with even X+1 qubits from computer of X qubits can be hard, because you need to entangle the extra bit with all others. So the QC will scale only logarithmically to normal computer, and that will make it impractical (respectively, any advantage will be nullified by this problem).

At least that's what I think; I would like to hear a debunking argument.

UNIX is hot. It's more than hot. It's steaming. It's quicksilver lightning with a laserbeam kicker. -- Michael Jay Tucker

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