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Comment Re:Liberal Arts Guys Think Engineers are All Killb (Score 1) 490

Spot on analysis I think.

It is also an explanation for the terrorist acts of Daesh. They are extremely annoyed that many displaced Muslims would rather relocate to Europe rather than their appalling regime.

They think that by commiting terrorist acts in Europe they can make people believe that all Muslims have terrorist sympathies by leveraging our corrupt media who at the very least believe that selling more page views is their only job.

It is straightforward for Westerners to comprehend the behaviour of Daesh and to believe that defeating their military occupation of Iraq and Syria makes sense. Extending that believe to attacking our fellow Muslim citizens and refugees is unpatriotic because it is exactly what Daesh wants to reinforce the scenario you paint.

Engineers are perhaps more susceptible to the calls of propaganda for all the reasons that you cite. As a profession we should also recognise that our education might have been light on philosophy and psychology which would armour us against propaganda and manipulation.

As a society we recognise that there is an argument that some arguably disenfranchised groups should benefit from positive discrimination - Women, people of colour, disabled people. It is arguably an even stronger imperative to be inclusive towards people of a different culture who are being attacked by an extremist terroist movement who want us to turn against them so that they are easy recruitment fodder. I suggest that it would be good systems engineering to remember this when the usual supects press the emotion button and call for repression and exclusion.

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 2) 181

I would be surprised if even physicians were on top of the list of banned substances, it is quite a long one.
Not to mention the fact that not all medications list their full contents, the best advice these days says take nothing at all and just drink more water. http://www.sportsinjurybulleti...

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 2, Interesting) 181

It is certainly true that they are already leading lives different to the average Joe when they can get a life ban from sport for using an over the counter cold treatment that contains a banned substance. Maybe one day we will be raising children in special camps where modern medicine is banned just so they can compete in sports. We could call the camps "Human Zoos".

Comment Re:Looking forwards (Score 1) 181

At some point we may be seeing humans with genetically improved optical senses such as the ability to see in the infra red or ultra violet. Do we automatically ban them from sports because they might have an unfair advantage? I do not know the answer but it is only going to get messier from here on in.

Comment Looking forwards (Score 3, Insightful) 181

I find it hard to decide whether banning human assistive technology in sport is a good thing. One day the average teenager with a toy or the right diet will perform better than the best athlete if we prevent athletes from using assistive technologies. So what should we do? Expect sportspeople to live outside society and perform "human" sport for our entertainment?

Comment Re:Of Course (Score 1) 259

I agree that it would be naive to think that trained operational terror cells do not use a variety of techniques to hide from intelligence services. Technically it would be an unwinnable war to defeat encryption so the noise about it is largely ill informed political hubris.

Mass surveillance of un-encrypted communications and web browsing can detect people who have an interest in Daesh. It will certainly catch a lot of teenagers and put them on watch lists, which is probably the actual intention of mass surveillance.

Having made the commons of the internet unsafe for actual operational terror cells, governments will be free to concentrate on the uncommon internet, all VPN and Tor users will be on watch lists.

I wouldn't use Tor if I were you, it signals you as a potential criminal or terrorist. It will probably become illegal to use if it has not already been compromised by the intelligence services.

One act that would protect Westerners from Daesh would be to prevent Western teenagers from going there and being trained to use weapons. Removing the passport from anyone who reads a Wikipedia article on Daesh would achieve that objective more easily than patrolling the border. (Protecting Europe's external boarder will prove difficult, not least because it would be against the 1951 UN refugee convention to stop taking Syrian refugees - who we should remind ourselves are fleeing from years of Daesh violence far in excess of the Paris attack last week).

Unfortunately detecting terrorist sympathizers will be only a transient use of mass surveillance as once the resource is created it will eventually be abused - there are already morons who want to give random bureaucrats access to it, with no comprehension that this would rapidly get out of control and criminalize the entire population.

(It irritates me intensely that the BBC continues to call this Khawaarij cult the Islamic State - a cult which is described by most Muslims as "people who recite the Qur’an, but it will not go past their collarbones").

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 3, Insightful) 291

If the US had the same income distribution it had in 1979, each family in the bottom 80% of the income distribution would have $11,000 more per year in income on average, or $916 per month. Half of the U.S. population lives in poverty or is low-income, according to U.S. Census data.

Sadly the 0.1% have taken all the wealth generated by economic growth since 1970 and fooled the rest of the population into believing that this is what they deserve. Remember all that relentless Fox News propaganda is paid for by those who think that this is justified.

If 80 million US jobs are destroyed by automation then they will all starve according to the current socioeconomic model of the U.S. You may want to remember that the next time you engage in a political debate.

Comment Re:Fucking liars (Score 1) 56

It was recently revealed that all phone calls have been monitored in the UK for over a decade. It is equally probable that most internet traffic has been recorded by the security services. The joint task force described is obviously a liaison service allowing the police access to this data. This service will be expanded to give police direct access after the current internet security bill is passed.

The people do not care about this because the press has told them that the data will only be used to catch pedophiles. What they forget is that the police only exist to criminalize people and they will find it easy to criminalize most of the population given access to their internet records. The same will apply when all cars are connected to the internet, everybody will be fined for speeding as it is almost impossible to avoid doing so - check your GPS, it will often show that you missed a speed limit change by a few seconds.

Welcome to the panopticon.

Comment Re:Police State (Score 1) 187

Tragically I think that this analysis is fairly close to the mark. The moronic public have been sold the lie that opting out of human rights legislation is all about preventing the EU from forcing the UK to give prisoners the right to vote and preventing the deportation of assorted terror suspects. It is actually about giving the Tory parties sponsors the right to treat their employees as slaves but the media never discusses this.

Comment Re:Please name a single employer that acknowledges (Score 1) 93

There is far too much hype about the entitlements of the undeserving poor, there needs to be more discussion about the presumed entitlement of the undeserving 1%. There is no economic benefit from these scroungers (See Thomas Pikettys Capital) and society needs to pull the rug out from under them. The continuous propaganda selling the disgraceful behavior of these people needs to be questioned, they are not an essential part of capitalism.

Comment Re:Good. Better private than public. (Score 1) 262

Actually tax pays for things like the free healthcare in the UK, which whilst without the better outcomes in the US costs far less as a proportion of GDP. The rich are free to pay extra for better care in the UK so I do not understand why they want to take away the right of the poor to healthcare. Unless it is of course because they are evil.

Time is an illusion perpetrated by the manufacturers of space.