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Comment Re:Na, it's marketing hype. (Score 2) 103 103

You're aware that's how it works, right?

When trains were a big deal, everything was "express." It's the whole reason we even use "express" to mean what it does today. When we first harnessed the atom, everything had to have something to do with radioactive junk, until such time as we figured out that was a bad idea. There's a reason the Fallout series is full of that stuff: the period it is supposed to be imitating did the same thing. In the jet age, we had the same deal as with trains, and that's also when various plastics got big. Plastic completely transformed our approach to industry. The weird, round, bubbly look things were given in the late 70s and early 80s was intentional, as it could only be economically done with plastic; we think of it as tacky today, but they actually wanted to show off that their stuff was made with plastic, or just invoke a "plastic" design aesthetic to give an impression of modernity.

Society in general spends lots of time only spending money on things that are safe. This itself makes innovation less safe than it already is It's why "venture capitalist" sounds boring at best, and it's why "ivory tower" is a pejorative. Of course they're not doing anything useful. Nobody's giving them any money, so all they can do is think about all the cool shit they'd do if they had any. When those two groups start having the same goal for a little while, that's usually the prelude to a great historical leap. Because we recognize this, it can be, and often is, exploited by hucksters, obviously. But there's a reason it works: when you look at the pace things are moving, it feels like we're due.

Comment While they're at it, let me boost the volume. (Score 1) 151 151

I am sick and tired of videos at "max volume" capping out at around 20% of my system volume. I can't hear shit. Why does this keep happening, and why am I unable to find a more powerful volume control than the standard system one?

Comment Re:This wouldn't be a scientology issue... (Score 3, Funny) 265 265

...No. It's because, being a person who built a religion from the ground up as a business, he correctly understood that, historically speaking, any religion's direct competition is the field of psychiatry. I mean, I'm not saying he wasn't bugfuck insane, but give credit where it's due.

Comment Yeah, sure, give them the credit. (Score 4, Insightful) 265 265

When the same sort of legislation was being pushed in Massachusetts, I personally delivered a speech against it before the Joint Committee on Mental Health. I was there with an army of other mentally ill people, their friends, their loved ones, and even some of their doctors, standing against this dangerous breach of our civil rights.

The speech is here, in the block-quoted portion, sandwiched in a more detailed discussion of the issue. Don't let anyone frame this as the agenda of some cult. I believe in psychiatry, I wouldn't be alive without it, but this legislation is abhorrent.

Comment Re: Holy shit, this is some wank. (Score 1) 165 165

Yes, it totally could be fixed if that happened.

Go ahead and try to draw a line from our reality to that ever actually happening. Try to imagine it NOT resulting in a war due to multinational corporate interests wanting to protect the status quo.

There's a reason I said war is necessary in this case.

Comment Re: Holy shit, this is some wank. (Score 3) 165 165

People don't pay attention because individuals in any sufficiently large, sufficiently centralized society quickly learn that their engagement is irrelevant.

Functional democracy is only possible when the amount of power any one entity can hold is limited to what a person is capable of meaningfully understanding within their lifetime. In other words, their immediate surroundings; a small city. If legislative power goes any higher than that, corruption becomes impossible to stop due to it happening faster than people are capable of recognizing what it is.

Comment Holy shit, this is some wank. (Score 4, Insightful) 165 165

Leaving aside the completely ridiculous assertion that a system composed of people can be debugged in the same manner as code simply because it happens to be called a "code" of law, the author seems to be unaware that just about every problem with the democratic process has a solution which some part of history has already provided. We simply aren't using them because one of the many safeguards of the system is making the important parts (which are unfortunately the ones troubling us) difficult to change. We are in a degenerate case of democracy; the players who historically won the game have absolutely no interest in changing the rules to make them more fair. It really cannot be fixed without war.

Comment Extreme Depression (Score 1) 144 144

As a civil libertarian, (not a member of the Libertarian Party, those guys are horrible) the fourth of July is a day of painful mourning for me. Whether it's mourning for democratic principles or the childish naivety I had back when I believed they were ever real is up for interpretation.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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