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Comment: Re: Good for greece (Score 4, Insightful) 877 877

Let's continue whoever57's analogy.

Your family have lived in a house for generations. A few years ago the house needed a bunch of work adding rooms and generally upgrading it to fit your new status as members of the respectable middle class. You didn't have the cash but you had the status and rates were cheap, so you took out a bank loan to cover it. As that loan came due, your husband lost his high paying job and had to take a cut.

So you begged with the banks and eventually they agreed to lend you more money, but at a higher interest rate. Paying more interest on less money is tough, the house continues to need work to keep it in good repair and you continued to not quite make ends meet. You go to the banks and beg for more money so you can keep paying the interest and repairs but the banks say no, they say you need to live within your means.

You promise to do that, and you quickly 'adjust' your finances to show how it's all going to work out. The bank sees through the farce immediately but he's a greedy fellow and with you agreeing to add 200 more basis points onto the rate, it's gotta be good for him. If you default, your cousin will probably cover it anyway so it isn't much risk.

You keep struggling, and you have to beg the banks for money every month. This starts to annoy and worry the banker, so he starts taking an increasing interest in your life. Don't do a good repair here, just leave the window broken... Don't send your kids off to uni, educate them at the local community college. These things save a little cash, but they also lead to you having to spend a whole lot more time looking after the house instead of making money. Even worse, your kids having a lower level of education means they can't get such a high paying job to help out which is a real problem since your grandparents have now retired and are moving back in.

You get desperate and crawl to the bank begging for more and more. They look over the situation and say, well, maybe, but you have to cancel all expenditure. House repairs, who needs them? Further education, completely abolished!

You hold a family conference. What to do? Give in to what the bank wants and destroy your family's future? Or default and have the bank potentially take possession of your family home. Put like that, it isn't such a hard call, you tell the bank to f. off and wait too see what will happen.

Who's at fault? You for living beyond your means? Yep. You for lying to the bank? Yep. The bank for accepting such an obvious lie? Yep. The bank for loaning money to someone that couldn't possibly pay it back? Yep. The bank for insisting on austerity measures that will have a negative long term fiscal impact, yep.

Does that help?

Comment: Re:The responsibility is 50/50 (Score 1) 877 877

I would guess over half the debt has been repaid, depending on how you count. The austerity measures have been running for 7 _years_ now, and the interest rates Greece has been paying are pretty steep compared to what a government would normally pay. The whole situation reminds me of Africa, where the interest rates are set low enough that the country does not default but high enough that the loan is never repaid.

Let's retroactively reset the interest rate at something fair - say what Germany paid over the same period. Then recalculate how much Greece owes based on this more generous interest rate. That way not a cent of Greece's debt is waived and so there's little incentive for Greece to lie next time, but every banker who thought they'd get rich by charging huge interest rates in expectation of a bailout is left with a very modest profit.

Also I agree on prison terms. I think there's plenty of people on both sides that would have acted differently if they'd thought they'd end behind bars. Let's give the upcoming generation of fat cats something to think about

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 218 218

Evangelical originally referred to protestant churches in general, excepting those that were Catholic in all but name - that is, the ones without assigned "sales territories" were evangelical. This meant successful churches had to "evangelize" in order to grow the flock, and in a nation where almost everyone was already attending one church or another, this meant churches became successful by attracting people away from other churches, often of the same faith. Much marketing, entertainment, and socializing ensued. When "hellfire and brimstone" sermons were in fashion, evangelical churches might seem very conservative if you judged by their sermons, but that was just the fashion. The term has become non-technical over time, but still means "working to attract new membership" as it's core. That's the sense in which people speak of "an evangelical Pope" - no longer an oxymoron as it once would have been.

Here's a long-winded piece on the distinctions. I think the following captures the distinction well:

The distinctive hallmarks of post-1925 fundamentalism are 1) adding to those essentials of Christianity non-essentials such as premillennial eschatology, 2) âoebiblical separationâ as the duty of every Christian to refuse fellowship with people who call themselves Christians but are considered doctrinally or morally impure, 3) a chronically negative and critical attitude toward culture including non-fundamentalist higher education, 4) emphatic anti-evolution, anti-communist, anti-Catholic and anti-ecumenical attitudes and actions (including elevation of young earth creationism and American exceptionalism as markers of authentic Christianity), 5) emphasis on verbal inspiration and technical inerrancy of the Bible as necessary for real Christianity (including exclusion of all biblical criticism and, often, exclusive use the KJV), and 6) a general tendency to require adherence to traditional lifestyle norms (hair, clothes, entertainment, sex roles, etc.).

My grandparents were fundies in that sense. The perhaps surprising thing was, they weren't all that devout - they never really talked about church except on Sundays, and while their morals were certainly set by this, it wasn't their main hobby. Still, in any discussion of religion, they had great certainty, and they went to a church that emphasized literal interpretation, witnessing to spread the faith, and the like. Really creeped me out when I would go there as a kid when visiting them.

Fundamentalists point to Lakewood Church as the example of the distinction from their side. A church that most would consider evangelical, that "rarely mentions Jesus, and never mentions sin" (to quote from a fundie rant), that is incredibly successful by any objective measure, mostly by avoiding everything quoted above and focusing on an entertaining and uplifting social experience. It's a pattern followed by many evangelical churches, often described as "up with people! and, by the the way, Jesus". This is religion with solid mainstream appeal. Fundies are generally a subset of evangelicals, but they don't like to see it that way, as separation from churches like Lakewood is a big deal to them.

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 3, Insightful) 877 877

And what, make a whole heap of European bankers really rich?

Those loans were made irresponsibly, to a country that the bankers knew could not afford to repay them. The people who made them didn't expect to get paid back by Greece, they expected to get paid back by another EMF bailout of Greece.

Yeah, some responsibility lies on Greece for taking money they couldn't repay, but I think more lies on European bankers for giving Greece money they knew couldn't be repaid. It's time for Greece to default, have its debt wiped and be left to recover. That will mean some European banks lose a lot of money. If that's your money, then perhaps you should have thought about that before you lent it to someone clearly unable to avoid bankruptcy.

Comment: Re:obligatory Good Luck With That (Score 2) 136 136

they spend all this time on writing DRM code... which will be blown out within a week anyway why not better spend that money and time working on actually making the browser better????

No one's going to bother breaking the DRM on a video stream. Why bother? If you want the content without paying, torrent it, rather than messing with streams with quality/bitrate that can change for reasons outside your control.

Plus, since normal people don't care at all about DRM nerdwhining, they just want it to play when they click, arguably MS is improving the user experience here. Ideally, they'd include a native module letting you right-click on any DRMd stream and automatically torrent it while you watch, but I somehow doubt they're that forward thinking.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 218 218

Have you ever heard a evangelical Christian Bible study or lesson? They will focus to an incredible degree on each word of the verse they are studying. They will talk about the word in the original Greek (or Aramaic, etc.) and its connotations, how it compares to other Biblical accounts, etc. We're talking nitty gritty minutia and some interesting historical analysis. BUT, they also start with the inviolable precondition that the Bible is the literal word of God and divinely inspired.

You might try learning the difference between evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity. Nothing of what you said is a good generalization of evangelicals, which is why the fundamentalists don't like them much. Evangelicals are about the church (and especially the financial success of it), while fundies are often as you describe. It's fun to remind fundies that they are also, technically, evangelicals (an evangelical church is simply one that does not have an exclusive territory assigned, but must compete with other churches of the same faith for followers and tithes).

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 2) 218 218

I think the fundamental difference here (so to speak) is that ISIS is not a fundamentalist uprising. Oh, sure, they claim to be a religious movement, but everyone in the region does. Fundamentalism, in any religion, is not typically accompanied by using sexual slavery as an incentive to get young men to fight for you (ISIS has quite the flexible and convenient moral code).

My understanding of ISIS (mostly from a Muslim Arab coworker, so of course my "expert" could be wrong) is that they're "religious" in the same way Scientology is: they have all the trappings of religion, but it's all quite contrived. They emphasize whatever parts of scripture helps their goals and ignore the rest in a very obvious and transparent way that fools almost no one. It's not that they're murdering "moderate Muslims" per se, they're simply murdering anyone who speaks up about how evil they are, or simply speaks against them, whether on religious grounds or any other grounds.

There are many other places in the world where IMO the problem really is religious fundamentalism, but those guys aren't raising armies and conquering vast territory. Even in Afghanistan it's just one tribe after another, not a united fundamentalist army.

I think it's a mistake to confuse the problem with fundamentalist Islam in other parts of the world and other cultures with ISIS and the Arabian Peninsula.

Comment: Turns out (Score 1) 594 594

No, t turns out most people don't want an EV to be FUNCTIONALLY DIFFERENT than the cars they know. Plugging it in every night is fine- until the night you forget, or the kids knock the plug out. Then you have no car the next day.

A car, for most people, is not something that you can realistically be only one day away from not having the use of, which there is some risk of with an EV, much greater at any rate than a normal car. That's why hybrids sell OK while real EV cars generally have not.

I'll put a side chiding in for super funky dash boards of some EV cars I've been in that are vastly too large for the space the car has.

Comment: Re:Fee Fees Hurt? (Score 2) 263 263

There have been 3 Slashdot stories about specific cases that I remember. (This isn't about "anti-child porn laws", but about very specific "block this list of sites at all ISPs" laws). I remember the UK for sure, the other 2 my memory fades on the details: it had become "oh, this shit again" by then. Give a crooked politician a tool like a blocklist and it will be abused.

Anarchy scares people

WTF is wrong with people these days? Any comments about "maybe a tiny bit less overwhelming government power" are always met with this "but anarchy is bad!" BS. Neither extreme is good, OK? "Regulate nothing" and "regulate everything" are both dystopian ideas.

Comment: Re:Fee Fees Hurt? (Score 2) 263 263

Oh? Familiar with safe spaces? "Triggering"? Colleges in the US are fraught with students claiming emotional distress over a speaker whose politics don't match the groupthink exactly. (This really happens). I can only hope this problem is contained to the US, but we've raised a large group of people so fragile that ideas contrary to their beliefs are considered emotional distress.

But what does it matter if the government is dishonest? Give a government any tool which allows them to jail someone for speech, and it can be twisted far enough to fit the government's needs.

Comment: Re:Fee Fees Hurt? (Score 1) 263 263

The claim is that it won't create "a right to be offended", because the term "Serious emotional distress" is supposed to exclude mere outrage. Nor embarrassment, anxiety or worry.

It always starts that way, and usually ends at "say anything that offends the ruling party and they throw your ass in jail". On the internet this seems to happen at internet speed, to. Most countries that forced ISPs to block a list of "child abuse/exploitation" IP addresses or site, which of course were not made public, only took 3 years or so before opposition party's material mysteriously was being blocked. Funny how that works.

The only real way to protect speech critical of the ruling party is to protect all speech (we're talking at the criminal level here, not torts for libel etc). Anything else is the camel's nose under the tent.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.