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Comment: Putinbots (Score 1) 142

by benjfowler (#49367311) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

This thread was all right until it got invaded by Putinbots.

I imagine their bizarro reality to be a bit like the raving Republican Right right before the Iraq War. A crazy, demented, sad place, full of crazy demented, sad people.

Sputnik News/RT is Russia's answer to Fox News.

And Putin and his entourage are basically the Slavic equivalents of US Republicunts, but with a bit more intelligence and rat-cunning.

Comment: Re:Why do thei retire the ISS? (Score 1) 142

by benjfowler (#49367267) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

The space environment puts incredible wear on hardware. Remember that in LEO, it gets extremely hot, then extremely cold every 90 minutes (orbital period), and this puts a lot of fatigue on the hardware. It's unlikely that they'll keep the hardware around after the ISS hits end-of-life.

OTOH, it'll be exciting to see what the US can do, with the availability of a 100 ton-class super heavy lift rocket. Maybe something with huge, pre-fitted Skylab-like modules? I'm sure they'll be looking for something with 1) may more capability, 2) way cheaper to build and launch and 3) way cheaper to maintain, as the current station requires huge amounts of work to keep running.

Comment: Re:Ancient Chinese wisdom (Score 2) 113

I think we all have a lot to learn from each other. Elements of Confucianism have a lot going for them, e.g. filial piety and respect for elders.

But like all cultures, there will be assclowns who will selectively appropriate ideas for their own ends, e.g. the CCP notion of 'state as family', which inevitably leads to 'father knows best, you'll do what you're told' -- and naturally, conveniently ignore the fact filial piety also involves a duty to tell it like it is when your "betters" are screwing up.

One element of Western culture I do think the world can learn from, is the deep understanding that power can be, and usually gets abused -- learnt from centuries of war, conflict and change in the West. Democracy doesn't so much come from the notion that "letting the people decide" (which, if you understand just how fucking stupid and easily influenced the average person actually is, is a REALLY bad idea), but rather, "if there are going to be revolutions, make them smooth and orderly". Thus, we have the Western model of representative democracy, which at its essence, is about smoothly getting rid of bad leaders. This is a piece of "ancient Western wisdom" that the Chinese will eventually learn the hard way.

Comment: Ancient Chinese wisdom (Score 5, Insightful) 113

For the purported great and ancient wisdom of 5000-year-old Chinese civilization, they have pretty lousy leaders.

The West has leaders with minds like children too, but at least we can laugh at them, and eventually get rid of them. Must suck to be Chinese with these idiots in charge...

Comment: Re:See it on CNN (Score 1, Troll) 255

by benjfowler (#49354619) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Easy to spot too. You can see the talking points showing up in each post.

Like Victoria Nuland. Most westerners are like "who the fuck is Victoria Nuland?" She gets mentioned CONSTANTLY in Putinbot forum spam. As it turns out, the Putinistas are really gunning for Nuland and various other State Department employees... I think they hate Victoria Nuland as much as they hate Bill Browder.

Comment: Re:here its just media. (Score 2) 255

by benjfowler (#49354549) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

These days, I'm not so sure that CNN's agenda is driven by anything other than pure self-interest. They are a low-budget operation who do no serious investigative reporting, and take their "news" (if you could call it that), from warmed-over press releases and govenrment/corporate PR departments. CNN's agenda is not sinister -- it's driven by pure greed and laziness.

The "content" is just one long, slow, dumbed-down blowjob to the preening, international-English speaking jet set.

People paying the most for CNN are the advertisers -- mostly, middle eastern despots and luxury good makers. Like Facebook, the viewers are the _product_, not the customers.

Comment: Re:What about websites and paper magazines (Score 1) 216

by benjfowler (#49287267) Attached to: France Will Block Web Sites That Promote Terrorism

We'll keep saying that... until we import several million more useless idiots from crap countries to "replace" all the Westerners who are dying off.

Who in due course, like the mill towns of Northern England, will get automated out of existence five years after arriving, and will still end up unemployed and in the ghetto. All we're doing is storing up trouble for ourselves in the future.

I favour the Japanese solution myself. We are massively overcrowded, have plenty of technology, capital begging to be put to use... and far too many idlers as it is.

Comment: Re:Limits to the freedom of speech (Score 2) 216

by benjfowler (#49287163) Attached to: France Will Block Web Sites That Promote Terrorism

Damned straight. There are limits to free speech everywhere. Try publically denying the Holocaust in many countries in Europe, and see what happens to you.

It turns out that Muslims don't have the same boundaries as we do. Fair enough.

The problem here, is that we are being sanctimonous about freedom of speech, when absolute freedom of speech doesn't exist.

What we SHOULD be doing is saying, "hey Muslims, unlike in Dubai, within the limits of free speech, offence is not given, it's taken. Learn to love it -- or fuck off to a country with more agreeable laws."

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil