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Comment: Net Neutrality (Score 1) 157

by dcbrianw (#47759499) Attached to: A Horrifying Interactive Map of Global Internet Censorship
I can't help but point out two observations I've made reading today's Slashdot headlines: (1) There is a post accusing the Kochs of being astroturf for spending money to oppose Net Neutrality (2) This map shows the US as one of the few "free" uses of Internet around the world. Maybe giving due attention to those who express reservations about heavier regulation on the Net is better than slandering them. That's just a thought I'd like to post here on the free and open Internet.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1) 518

Nobody is going to challenge the premise that special interests influence how things work in Washington, and of course the rest of the nation down stream of that, typically with a yellow tint for the rest of us if you catch my drift. So called Net Neutrality will be up for grabs to the special interest because it is quite subjective what, "neutral," means when left to a lawyer or regulator, and they can bend that term to fit any agenda Our government has been caught in one of the worst lies to its citizens in history with, "If you like you health plan, you can keep you health plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," and, "The VA is an outstanding model for health insurance." There is no reason to have faith that if you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet with Net Neutrality. In the current state of affairs, most consumers have multiple options: cable companies, FIOS, DSL. And they all have to compete for business. However dissatisfied you are with your current options, you as a consumer will have less power of what Internet delivers to you when politicians begin appointing those who shall mandate what's best for the rest of us. Your pick for who should occupy the White House and make such appointments will not always be whom you want.

Slandering the Kochs as astroturf has no real merit. Grass roots of any form has money behind it, whether it is they, Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Hollywood, or Tom Steyer.

Reason calls for opposing Net Neutrality.

Comment: Thoughts on The Outcome (Score 1) 619

by dcbrianw (#47514811) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More
I'm going to qualify what I'm saying by stating that this is a guess. Without further interviewing or reviewing the profiles of the population of the study, I don't think anyone could seriously speak more strongly. Capitalism is founded on the rules applying equally to all. If Alice creates a widget that outperform's Bob's, she's going to earn more money. Both were free to produce whatever they wanted according to the same rule of law, but one performed better than the other. It's natural that willing participants in such a system observe that for the system to work, law must be followed to create the closest state reasonably possible to an operational environment equal to all who participate. The mentality of socialism places an emphasis in closing the gab between the inequalities of outcome. Here, Alice may produce a widget that outperforms Bob's, but others will frown upon a wide income gap between the two, regardless of how much better Alice's widget is. There are negative impacts perceived in such a wide income gap. In these circumstances, one who subscribes to the ideas that underpin socialism would tolerate working outside the protocol of the rules of producing widgets for the sake of preventing Alice from outperforming Bob to some extent. And if one happens to be Bob, breaking the rules of the game of economics is actually contributing to the greater rule of keeping the income gap from becoming what such a person considers too wide. It may strike Bob in his view of what's fair to break the rules. As for some final thoughts, I don't think anyone can reasonably conclude that people who advocate capitalism are people who respect rules and those who advocate socialist ideas are not. Rather I think that the operational environment entices people to behave in certain ways. Put a raving capitalist in a socialist system, and he may not behave according to the rules. Additionally, in a system, such as socialism where execution of the rules and control of resources resided more so in a centralized authority, the most pertinent rule is learning to gain favorability with that centralized authority. All other rules are subordinate to that. Just for the sake of full disclosure in case you've read this far and are still wondering, I mostly prefer a capitalist economic model over a socialist one. Cheers, and happy Slashdotting.

Comment: Re:well, duh (Score 1) 433

by dcbrianw (#40385771) Attached to: Bloomberg, WSJ: Student Aid Increases Tuition

To counter (2), we could consider price capping taxpayer funded scholarship aid per scholarship awarded. Plenty of high caliber institutions exist as alternatives to the exceedingly high priced schools. GWU, for example, actually prides themselves as the most expensive school in the nation. If such a cap exists, schools may refocussing their funds on affordable, quality education rather than giant rock-climbing walls. (I have nothing against rock-climbing walls. It's just an example of something that higher education doesn't need to fund.)

Comment: Re:We already have one (Score 0) 167

by dcbrianw (#40310739) Attached to: A Digital Citizen's Bill of Rights
I can see from where you are coming on this, but I have some thoughts to add. I have faith in the meaning of our Constitution and Bill of Rights, but I have zero faith in our elected leaders to abide by it. Much of the US code that exists now violates the principals of our founding documents, but that hasn't stopped them from coming into existence. I, like you, don't like labeling this as an Internet Bill of Rights, but I agree with the precedent Issa aims set in terms of making digital legislation individual-centric as opposed to collective-centric. I do fear a potential pitfall in the use of the word, "right," because so many in this day and age consider a right as something somebody else must provide for them as opposed to the simply freedom to pursue it for oneself. "I have a right to use the internet, so somebody should give me a computer and an internet connection for free. After all, it is my right; isn't it? Just tax the rich!" Believe me, that lies just around the corner, most sadly.

Comment: Re:Ex-Gaming (Score 1) 559

by dcbrianw (#40286625) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Ambitious Yet Ethical Software Jobs?
To the original poster...

I would never suggest or try to talk somebody into doing something that violates his or her ethics. If you aim to live as a 100% pacifist, that's your own choice and your own beliefs. If I may offer a point that I think is worth considering, I image that in your extended network of friends and family, you probably have some loved one serving in our armed forces. Having the best technology at their disposal only betters the chance that conflict ends expediently and our military personnel come come safe.

On the medical side, the only way you can truly avoid making any contribution to animal testing is not participate the health care industry at all (which the new health care law will not permit you to do unless SCOTUS strikes down the individual mandate) and consume no product that requires FDA approval. Unless you're minimally abstaining from those things, you're not contributing to animal testing any less by not writing source code for a biotech company.

Comment: Re:Why 2 sides (Score 1) 493

by dcbrianw (#40231789) Attached to: Classroom Clashes Over Science Education
My reply...

Many (myself included), do not see the theory of evolution and and the bible in conflict with one another. My education has lead me to subscribe to the theory of evolution, and my faith has lead me to accept that God exists. For example, I don't really believe God created the Earth in six days and "rested" on the seventh. I think, like many other parts of the Bible, it serves as an analogy to simplify what would be a complex idea for people of times when education and common knowledge of science did not exist. My faith is not science, so it would be out of place to make it part of a science class. But those are just my opinions, there are others, and I'm able to respect them. I think my high school science teachers took the best route of saying that in the classroom we're studying science, which is an investigative process, and if you're going to truly exercise the scientific method, you must be willing to challenge what you already believe.

On to climate change, the data, climate simulation models, and research methodologies have been largely kept behind closed doors. Only those who indicated they are part of the club that subscribes to the notion that humankind is causing climate chance get full access to such information. Whistleblowers have given us some insight into those methods, and that has revealed sloppy and conclusion driven efforts. None of the findings have undergone a truly open and Independent Verification and Validation process. This isn't science, and it's not consensus. Teaching students something that the scientific community has yet to truly validate is not responsible, and if we're going to allow it to be present in the classroom, then we should insist upon the presentation of the counter-arguments. True science embraces the contributions of dissenters, even from the other side because it often helps them refine what they believe. That is, after all, responsible and ethical science.

In specifications, Murphy's Law supersedes Ohm's.