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Comment: Re:suckers (Score 0) 118

by demonlapin (#49787959) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion
It's not the industry that provides the product. The entire global economy is dependent on energy inputs, which we have been able to exploit most efficiently since the Industrial Revolution, when we began to be able to use energy sources other than people and animals. CFC's were nasty chemicals, but they weren't generally crucial to modern life.

I'm not in love with the fossil fuel industry, but for all their problems it's also dangerous to assume that installing wind farms on every decent hillside won't have climatic effects. Go nuclear or give up.

Comment: Re:Time for a change? (Score 1) 232

by demonlapin (#49777621) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School
If you've never heard education talk during elections, I can only assume that you aren't listening much. No Child Left Behind? Common Core? These are big news items all the time.

Conspiracy aside, there is little reason to expect major educational improvements to be possible. You get huge benefits from teaching literacy and basic arithmetic, and almost everyone is intelligent enough to do them, at least at some level. By the time you hit the level of a rigorous high school, though, you have either abandoned standards or winnowed heavily. Most people can't do calculus. This doesn't make them worth less as human beings; it just means that trying to teach them calculus is a waste of your time and theirs. All you accomplish with more years of "schooling" is warehousing.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 620

by demonlapin (#49760011) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

In the broadest scope I've never understood why there has to be laws concerning marriage

Because it is one of the very few institutions found in all human cultures. Any legal system that doesn't deal with marriage in some fashion is profoundly deficient. I'd prefer that we separate the legal and spiritual aspects, but that's a separate argument.

The use of judicial fiat just creates anger and inhibits the building of consensus. It isn't something WE did, it's something THEY forced on us.

This, this, a thousand times this. Telling people "fuck you, that's the way it is, and no you have no choice" is why the US still has a huge anti-abortion lobby.

Comment: Re:Are you saying that criminals don't exist? (Score 1) 164

by demonlapin (#49759177) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely
Cops almost always know who the Bad Guys are. Being able to prove it in court is an entirely different matter. But possession with intent to distribute? Trivial to prove, just have a couple of cops testilie that the defendant was acting strangely in their presence, justifying a detention and search, which led to the discovery of a large quantity of illegal narcotics. No witnesses to be intimidated, no real chance of escaping conviction, he takes a plea deal and does some time. One Bad Guy off the streets.

violent crime keeps decreasing but our prison populations keep rising

Some would say that the latter is a direct cause of the former, in which case it needs no further explanation. You just put the Bad Guys in prison, on whatever charges you can make stick (even if non-violent), and violent crime goes down.

Comment: Do pigs make sties, or do sties make pigs? (Score 5, Interesting) 164

by demonlapin (#49754677) Attached to: 'Prisonized' Neighborhoods Make Recidivism More Likely
The experience of Memphis, Tennessee, as reported in The Atlantic, with breaking up high-crime neighborhoods and redistributing their inhabitants to other places: the bad guys quickly find their feet and begin preying on a broader class of victims, while the decent-but-poor find their social networks shattered.

Comment: Re:Razr v3 (Score 1) 313

by demonlapin (#49754271) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Dumb Phone?
The port's no longer standard, but still readily available, and it's not like regular USB (the other end of the cable) as a charging standard is going to disappear any time soon. I agree - the RAZR is an easy choice here: cheap, readily available, still an aesthetically attractive phone, good battery life. The only possible knock against it as a dumbphone is that it has a camera, which will keep you from taking it into a federal office building.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 1) 322

by demonlapin (#49730885) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
  1. 1. Uber gives clearly posted rates and I've never had a bill higher than the expected maximum for the ride. Get a taxi to quote you the same thing.
  2. 2. It's insanely trivial to identify who an Uber driver is - it's tied to their smartphone. Not so much with traditional taxis.
  3. 3. A valid concern, one that Uber claims to have dealt with by having insurance themselves. However, it's not like you ask your taxi driver to show you an up-to-date, online verification of his insurance before you hop in, right? I mean, liability insurance is mandatory in my state... but I still have uninsured motorist coverage. So this is a general problem.
  4. 4. Have you ever ridden in a cab? Jankiest things on the road.
  5. 5. Uh, no, that's not how it works. If a company starts to abuse their position as a market leader, maybe you do that. But there's absolutely nothing illegal about being so damned good that you compete everyone else into bankruptcy. A monopoly is not inherently illegal, or even wrong.

Comment: Re:Mixed reaction (Score 3, Informative) 322

by demonlapin (#49730377) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
As an aside, I have found that showing a taxi driver your destination on Google Maps on your phone is a very reliable way to insure that they take you via the quickest route. And Uber Black is well worth the small premium for the ride experience if you're not depending on it for day-to-day transportation.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.