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Comment: Re:Automated sorting of mail and metadata? (Score 1) 66

by causality (#49580127) Attached to: New Privacy Concerns About US Program That Can Track Snail Mail

Get rid of government and see how long your liberty lasts.

Do you deny that liberty tends to erode over time? Or did a hallucination cause you to falsely believe I wanted to get rid of all government?

br
If neither of those is true, then I cannot understand what motivated you to write that post. It looks like a knee-jerk response to someone else's conversation.

Comment: Re:Automated sorting of mail and metadata? (Score 1) 66

by causality (#49537733) Attached to: New Privacy Concerns About US Program That Can Track Snail Mail

The USPS has been using automated systems of sorting mail for decades. It's why mail across town goes to a consolidated center (perhaps halfway across the state) first for sorting into carrier routes and has been for decades.

That Homeland Security want to capture this information - which has long been determined to accessible (the original pen-trace) isn't surprising at all.

And they only have to photograph/image the ones that the machines can't read. It's only surprising to people who drink the conservative kool-aide that government can't do anything right.

There are four things government is in a position to do better than anyone else: military defense, law enforcement, public works, and the erosion of liberty.

Comment: Re:Is banishment legal? (Score 1) 271

by causality (#49498253) Attached to: Gyrocopter Pilot Appears In Court; Judge Bans Him From D.C.

Well, the constitution does say any American citizen has free travel between areas within the US. So if I was this guy, I'd sue the federal court. Fun fact, because it's a federal issue, he's constitutionally promised a jury of at least 6 people if the suit is for more than $20. At that point, it really doesn't matter what the federal judge says, it's the jury. And since the US is a country of "letter of the law", the federal government is going to have a hell of a time defending this action when the constitution explicitly prohibits it.

Sure thing. All it will cost him is his life savings plus whatever debt he incurs.

Comment: Re:Do the math: that is stupid! (Score 2) 421

by causality (#49412325) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Banned In Six States

"It one of the least efficient form for transporting ethanol. "

But still more efficient that carrying the potable form which multiplies the mass by another 2.5x.

I don't think you understood what was meant by "efficient". Greater mass (the ethanol plus the absorbent material) makes it a less efficient method of transporting ethanol. This product does not produce a drink nearly as strong as regular 80-proof, 40% liquor. It's not even close. I'd carry some 151 (75.5% alcohol) and be much better off. There are lightweight non-glass containers that would be more than suitable.

Comment: Re:Astronaut-booze (Score 1) 421

by causality (#49412297) Attached to: Powdered Alcohol Banned In Six States

Yes, you point out the facts of this; namely that typical strong alcohol at 70 proof is 35% ethanol. The balance is mostly water. This product is about that ratio of ethanol to some sorbent material that appears to go into solution if you add water.

  If the legislature of those states who are alarmed just did a little homework, they would realize that this is much ado about nothing.

Did you ever consider that they already know that? These are people who jumped through so many hoops to get where they are that they just enjoy being in control, flexing their muscles, and feeling secure in their positions by using them to real effect. Frivolous shit like this is the low-hanging fruit for control freaks. The very fact that it doesn't involve anything important means that the degree of serious, committed opposition will be minimal.

The important part for this mentality: if it doesn't work, nothing is really lost and you can wait a bit then keep trying until it sticks; if or when it does work, it establishes a "useful" precedent, giving an appearance of legitimacy to the idea that yes, the state can regulate this thing, too.

This is how sociopaths think. It's about winning and winning is about strategy. Most of that comes from a good knowledge of history, what others have tried beore, which things worked and which backfired, and what one is willing to risk. The campaign promises and speeches are just part of playing the game. The problem, the disconnect, is that average people don't think this way. They keep misinterpreting the actions they're observing.

As long as that keeps happening, things are unlikely to change. It's really difficult to solve a problem you haven't even defined.

Comment: Re:Parent Post Semantic Content: Null (Score 2) 269

by causality (#49354569) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Actually when I read that comment, I thought: "it IS good to consider that this is not solely a Russian problem". I didn't necessarily see an appeal to the bandwagon approach to "morality". The person could have meant that, too, but since it was not specified, we don't actually know that.

But this is Slashdot, where assuming you know the poster's intent (through some sort of psychic powers, I guess) is somehow not considered arrogant.

Comment: Re:Cue the Whiners (Score 2) 349

I can hardly wait for the inevitable posts from while males complaining that if there's discrimination going on, they're not seeing it except against themselves. Their whining is so...

White males are the one group that it's tacitly deemed "okay" to discriminate against. Especially if they happen to be Christian, and even more so if they're Protestant ("WASP").

You just can't have a civil, enlightened society if there's ANY grounp it's okay to fuck with. Even if you think they deserve it. Even if retaliation, based on group identity, against those who didn't personally decide historical events (with their enduring consequences) is somehow your idea of "justice", and simultaneously not your idea of "vengeance". Reversing the tide doesn't cause the state of "tide-free". And it isn't going to.

Otherwise, like if a single individual -- or single institution -- or small group of institutions -- made all these bad decisions, I would be perfectly fine with shunning and refusing to trust that person based on an observed track record. But what you have with the group-guilt scenario is this implicit idea that a large group of people, including those who had no input into the process, should bear some guilt for it. That's a total flat-out rejection of any sort of accountability or individuality.

If you want some kind of one-ness or collective, you don't get it this way. Dystopias are created by trying to find more efficient ways of doing it like that. No, you start by honoring the individual and letting those flourish, interact, and coalesce as they will.

Comment: Re:The new "Moral Majority" (Score 1) 349

I believe it was a series of counter suits combined with public boycotting that finally ended these people in most areas. You know, the ones that would send a few million snail mails to the FCC when someone said something they didn't like, and had numerous people fired from jobs because their viewpoint was not the same. Similar actions are needed against the extremists.

I've yet to witness a Majority which was truly Moral in both word and deed.

Comment: Re:So in other words (Score 3, Interesting) 349

This reminds me of my dad's 5 rules for life (slightly asciified, and probably from someone before him):
^ That way is up
v That was is down
All men are assholes
All women are crazy
Beer is good.

I prefer red wine, myself. Like maybe a good, dry cabernet sauvignon. But to each their own! Enjoy that beer, my friend. Salud!

Comment: Re:Why so many social justice articles here at /.? (Score 1) 349

Yes, I submitted an article about how Wikipedia canned a gaggle of feminist editors from Wikipedia for spewing crap on gender related entries and it never saw the light of day, yet this agitprop makes the grade? Okay, the day will come and indeed is coming when this clear bigotry will reflect very badly indeed on slashdot editors. I know I'd certainly never hire one of them based on their past performance.

I wouldn't hire them anyway, based in sheer incompetence. The most readily observed incompetence: calling oneself an "editor" while remaining unable to spell-check or understand and apply the 5th-grade English grammar in which most news stories are deliberately written.

Comment: Re:Just in tech? (Score 5, Informative) 349

IMHO everyone should have that amount of time off.

Why? You may value time off. That doesn't mean everyone does. When I was younger, I routinely worked 60-80 hour weeks, and loved it. My work was much more interesting than anything I could sit at home and watch on TV. I got a lot of bonuses for getting stuff done, and at that age the extra money was far more important than time off. Now that I am older, with a family, and stable finances, I prefer the opposite tradeoff. But I am not going to force my choices onto anyone else.

The problem is, the workaholics and institution types effectively have forced their ways on everyone else. Worker productivity has steadily risen since at least the 1950s, meanwhile wages (indexed against inflation) have remained relatively stagnant. That would be equitable if the number of hours worked per week had been reduced, but it hasn't (that, by the way, is what steadily improving technology could have brought us, but it's never enough, the owners want more, more more).

That means someone's getting screwed, and unless most of your revenue comes from investments or other unearned income, that includes you. If you don't work the overtime and place your corporation above your family, you're "not a team player". Because these are conflicting goals, they cannot all be simultaneously satisifed. One must be chosen at the expense of all others, meaning some group who want it one way are going to force this upon everyone else. Currently, in so many work environments, this favors those who want more work and less free time.

Comment: Re:I know I'll get flamed... (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49351323) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

Rather than call it pure coincidence, which I deliberately and knowingly stopped short of saying, I was implying that it is not. I simply didn't care to get into the minutia of precisely how that happened and what the exact sequence of events were, since my point did not depend on the details, only on the truth that things happened in this manner.

Comment: Re:I know I'll get flamed... (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49329269) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

I urge you to consider that Occam's Razor does not apply in the social realm, where motives are often hidden. This makes "paranoia" difficult to distinguish from "foresight".

In my personal unqualified opinion, it's like using alcohol. If there is no sign that it harms your well-being or reduces the quality of your life, then you do not have a problem. If there are such signs, then you do. In the absence of such signs, I would call it "caution".

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

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