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Comment: lets pump the brakes here and analyze. (Score 2) 40

the "islamic state" is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. ISIS removed "Iraq and the Levant" from its name and began to refer to itself as the Islamic State, so for anyone who doesnt dive headfirst into whatever "foreign conflict" the US is interested in this week, theres that.
ISIS seeks the establishment of a caliphate, a type of Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader (caliph) who is believed to be the successor to Mohammed. Thats fine. Many other countries in the middle east are governed in terms of the Qur'an. Heck, we divided up the middle east for the better half of 45 years into various citystates based on the misplaced concept of manifest destiny, which finds its origins in Christianity. Israel is governed as a Jewish state and believe me, if you arent a birthright Jew your options for public services and housing are severely limited. The problem with ISIS is that it rejects the political divisions established by Western powers at the end of World War I in the Sykes-Picot Agreement as it absorbs territory in Syria and Iraq. Then again the United States basically ignored Palestine when it pulled israel from its magical sky god book and transported displaced Jews into it after WWII. Historically our response is to bomb the everloving snot out of anyone who disagrees with American anything but it cant work against a sustained, strategic effort. in short, Arabs are Muslim, and extremism preys on those who have become determined with nothing to lose.

If Australia wants a peek into the exact reason this keeps happening, its because of our foreign policy. Iran and Iraq are only the most recent that come to mind but this extremism only flourishes because of more than 50 years of americans, under pretexts ranging from anti communism to the carter doctrine, fucking with middle eastern countries. We tried to overthrow the palestinian freely-elected government, hamas, and when it didnt work, israel entered a 2008 land war and simply murdered their elected political officials. we overthrow countless governments and prop up dictators in the region that serve out interests while casting average arabs and persians, mostly muslim, into torment and strife. We choose who governs in syria by funding rebel groups, we determine if and when an Egyptian president stays or goes by funding military leaders and ensuring coups proceed as planned. Our problem is that we are completely blind to the fact that while we control political leadership across the region, we have forever lost "the hearts and minds" as george bush so eloquently phrased it, of the very people we we claim to help by bringing our special brand of democracy.

This is very controversial but ill say it anyhow. Osama Bin Laden had some, not all but some, reasonable requests of the US government in response to the terrorist event on 9/11 that we could have implemented along with domestic security measures that would provide a reasonable, but not perfect assurance, of our security. Instead, we chose to dump 3 trillion dollars into a 15 year campaign of scorched earth across afghanistan, and in the process created more terrorists. we dumped a portion of that cash into Iraq, murdered their elected leader (whom we supported during George HW Bush and whom was willing to negotiate a surrender and truce) and watched as sectarian violence killed millions. That was the democracy we brought. and in the wake of Iraq, we have the exisence of a militant group that not only rejects western democracy, but has slammed hard right into religeous extremism because after failing all else, most members are content with trying a nuclear option having exhausted their resources. Maybe it is allah punishing them, maybe its not, maybe its all arbitrary but at least its something, and so far the americans hate it so it must be correct.

Comment: Re:Time for new terminology (Score 1) 599

by currently_awake (#47933603) Attached to: Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels
The sea level during the dino years was also rather higher. The great plains of north America formed UNDER a large inland sea. Nature will adapt to higher CO2 levels, as will we. The question is how expensive it will be. The assorted civilizations of central and south America mostly got wiped out by a warmer/dryer climate (the Spanish helped on occasion). If your retirement fund depends on dumping CO2 into the atmosphere then you will be motivated to argue climate change.

Comment: Culture (Score 1) 215

by EmperorOfCanada (#47932827) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?
100% of companies that I consulted with had their cultures defined by upper management regardless of what upper management intended. One company that I did work for was all about sports competition. The entire management turned everything into a sport with points, rules, and Winners and Losers. They played tennis, golf, swimming, running, biking, and a variety of high risk sports intended to get people to chicken out. This behavior then carried on with how they dealt with regulators, competitors, suppliers, etc. Needless to say then drove the company into the ground and a few ended up in jail.

Another company had a bit of an absent minded leader who was great at starting things but not really caring how they went. This created much confusion among the ranks who discovered that starting exciting projects was a great way to get praise. Oddly enough this company did fairly well.

But my favourite was a company run by a few stodgy types who had been there and done that. This company cooked along being boring and profitable. Then the main leader got sick and was replaced by a total douchebag who was all about the testicle joke. About a year later the company cratered, but they had a fratboy good time doing it.

The companies that drive me around the bend are technology companies run by boomers though. I have been to at least a dozen engineering companies where all the senior people are in the ballpark of 60 and man-o-man they have their heads solidly planted in 1950's style engineering. Computers at best can be viewed as drafting tables with electrons. I am not only talking about the 60 year olds but even the 25 year old new engineers. They want to do things that are innovative solutions and are shot down and have solutions that a WWII engineer would barely admire implemented. This results in 40 year old engineers who work at these firms not even using tools like autocad in any thing more than a pencils and rulers on a screen sort of way. Magical.

One last company is has a leader who is all about the next big deal. This company has a bunch of employees who take themselves way too seriously.

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 3, Informative) 148

by timeOday (#47932503) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing
Well, slaves actually did have substantial market value. Piketty has an interesting section on this in "Capital". Quoting from it :

What one finds is that the total market value of slaves represented nearly a year and a half of US national income in the late eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, which is roughly equal to the total value of farmland...

In practice, in the antebellum United States, the market price of a slave was typically on the order of ten to twelve years of an equivalent free worker's wages... In 1860, the average price of a male slave of prime working age was roughly $2,000, whereas the average wage of a free farm laborer was on the order of $200.

For reference, the US National Income in 2012 was $15.7 trillion, i.e. a few percent less than the GDP. 150% of that is about equal to the total value of all residential real estate in the US.

Comment: Re:Weasel worded. (Score 1) 94

by timeOday (#47932253) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers
Go ahead and try to argue why it's not true, I'll wait. In every area where achievement is objectively measurable, it is true. For example, The world record marathon time was 2:26 in 1950, but the top 50 finishers of the most recent Boston Marathon all beat that time. So, what you need to prove is that something about modern times has had such an opposite effect -- in subjective pursuits only -- as to outweigh the nearly insurmountable odds of a growing population with growing freedom times the impact of technology.

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue