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Comment: Amnesty International has dealings with terrorists (Score 1) 87 87

Which isn't to say that they shouldn't necessarily have dealings with terrorists, but they don't always do a great job at keeping them at arm's length (like the ACLU generally manages to do when they defend people like the Ku Klux Klan), particularly in their dealings with Moazzam Begg.

But even if they were doing a better job of maintaining their moral clarity (a moral clarity built on fighting against arbitrary indefinite detention and torture, which is of course extremely important) in their dealings with extremists, they still might be legitimate surveillance targets simply because they are dealing with a significant number of people who, by any sane definition, we can reasonably suspect to be engaged in terrorism.

I'm one of the strongest opponents out there of mass surveillance, but it seems reasonably likely that this is targeted, and correctly targeted at that. This isn't a defense of unlawful imprisonment or torture. Amnesty should be able to meet with suspected extremists as frequently as they want, and intelligence services should (provided they are obeying the letter and spirit of their charter) be able to keep an eye on anyone who voluntarily goes to meet with (reasonably) suspected extremists... and particularly after Amnesty goes on to forge some ties with a rather nasty jihadi group. If we give them too hard of a time with targeted surveillance... well, we already know what the alternative is.

Comment: Re:Not a surprise (Score 2) 87 87

It's precisely that kind of distorted talk that makes it clear that you and groups like Amnesty aren't really interested in anything but tearing down the West.And THAT sort of tactic IS exactly like that which was promoted by the Soviet Union (i.e. those evil communists).

And it happened there precisely because nobody spoke up against it when they still could have.

Comment: Re:Depression subtypes (Score 1) 167 167

Also, let me just highlight a few things here:

Rich people have have problems too, just like the rest of us: family feuds

If I was rich I could move the hell away from the family drama. Both my wife and I would love to do this. Problem (mostly) solved. I don't deny there could be some lingering stress, but when you're a few hundred miles away it would not be debilitating.

marriage problems

The number one issue of contention in most marriages is money. The number two issue is infidelity, which is entirely up to the personality and attitudes of the people involved--we're in an (nominally, at least) open marriage so that won't be an issue.


If you're rich and worried about bills then you either suck at managing your money, you like living extravagantly/dangerously (not us. We were all set to buy a lovely little $50,000 fixer upper house on half an acre before I lost my last job), or you aren't really rich at all.

poor health

Granted, not everything is curable even with a ton of money. But a ton of money cures (or at least treats) a hell of a lot more than no money.

but depression could just as likely make it hard to find or maintain a job.

If you are rich you do not need a job, and/or you can afford to take your time finding the right job, and/or you can afford to take some time off from work for a while without the dread of the future pressing down on you and crushing every little moment of happiness you have during your break from the grind.

Comment: Re:Depression subtypes (Score 1) 167 167

Sorry, but this is nonsense. Again, I don't deny that some depression subtypes are not affected by money but it's pretty damn insulting to insist that a poor depressed person will simply find something else to be depressed about if they do get money. I don't want to get into too many specifics, but in no particular order these are a few of the things that most depress me at the moment:

-Inability to afford medical treatment for several physical medical conditions that myself, my wife and my son suffer (most of them not very serious, all of them annoying, all of them ultimately treatable)
-driving around in an extremely, extremely shitty car for hours on end without air conditioning in Florida during the summer. Anxiety over what will happen when said car eventually breaks down for good.
- living with my parents. Again. Not having enough space to store my stuff, not being able to find anything at all in chaotically packed boxes after several necessary spur of the moment moves. Not having a yard to enjoy or work in. Not having any privacy whatsoever. Having to listen to and deal with my parents' issues. etc.
-7+ years after I went back to school, realizing my net worth has dropped hugely with nothing to show for it and pretty much no long term career prospects
-realizing that my son is going to end up in some very shitty public schools in a couple years unless things magically get better
-trying to deal with friends and family in a society that demands significant expenditures of money (most notably eating out all the goddamn time) to be considered properly socializing
-inability to enjoy virtually any leisure activity because of the knowledge that I am in horribly dire straights financially and have no path out. This is worth highlighting--I could rattle off a list of a thousand things I could be doing right now that would have me interested and engaged and happy, except it would require tremendous effort (and possibly no small amount of booze) to be able to forget my current situation long enough to enjoy doing them for even an hour, and then I look up and remember where I am again and it all comes crashing down.

Comment: This is why (Score 0) 178 178

the death penalty is still needed. These acts aren't being done by some random, clueless junkie trying to sell copper to get their fix. The number and location shows someone, or someones, are deliberately cutting the fiber whether because they're t'rrists (unlikely), general vandals (possible) or some neo-luddite who thinks it's fun to screw around (possible).

As the article relates, the penalties aren't severe enough. Well guess what is. . .

Comment: Re:Modularity (Score 1) 76 76

38MB sounds only a bit larger than just ICU (31MB on my machine), so Qt isn't adding much there. ICU is used by most GUI frameworks (Microsoft has their own version, but OS X ships it as part of the standard install) and includes things like fast unicode collation (locale-aware sorting is hard!) and fast unicode regular expressions. Most apps that need to work in places that aren't just the English(ish)-speaking parts of North America need most of that functionality.

Comment: Re: i switched back from chrome to safari (Score 1) 304 304

WebKit != Safari

This is true, but it's also completely irrelevant. Safari uses WebKit, including WebCore and JavaScriptCore. All of the Safari features that are not part of WebCore and JavaScriptCore are entirely user-facing and irrelevant to web developers. If you look at what's actually included in the WebKit nightly builds, you'll see that it's a build of Safari.

Comment: Depression subtypes (Score 1) 167 167

I disagree. Depression is not a monolithic thing, and while there can sometimes be clear-cut medical causes, other times there are rather clear-cut external causes. Perceptions of the outside world, in other words, affect brain chemistry. Money won't always give you the perceptions you need to be happy, but it's foolish and (I must say) slightly insulting to imply that it can't be a major factor, or even a primary factor.

I'm dealing with fairly severe dysphoric atypical depression at the moment (which is more common than typical depression. Which is typical of the hackneyed insanity that is modern psychiatry, but I digress) and while I'm sure there are a number of factors in my personality and my brain chemistry, I fucking promise you that it is nothing a large infusion of cash could not solve. My depression stems largely from my persistent inability to solve the problems around me (which of course becomes self-reenforcing as the bullshit piles up and the depression saps my energy), but 95% of those problems would be trivially solved if I could throw buckets of money at them. It would still take time and effort, but believe me I would be tremendously happy while heaving those buckets of money around and waiting. Indeed, during those periods in my life where it looked like my career was going places and I mistakenly believed I would soon have, if not bucketloads, then at least a reasonable amount of money, my depression was at an all time low.

Depression isn't monolithic in its causes or its effects. The DSM V doesn't even begin to scratch the surface, and it should be noted that psychiatry in general is tailored towards people who visit psychiatrists, i.e. people who at least have enough money to afford transportation and health insurance. That excludes me, and it excludes the majority of humanity who are living in the third world right now. So, instead of relying on the DSM or whatever pop psychology definition is trendy these days, let's consider how they define depression in animal models: giving up, not seeking out food, not trying to avoid an unpleasant stimulus... apparently because they have lost the will or belief that they can improve their situation. Translated to human terms in modern society, this positively screams "money." And anyone who disagrees has almost certainly never been poor.

Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself.