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Comment: Re:So corporatism merging with government. (Score 1) 54 54

I don't think the media has ever really used the socialist angle on Nazi Germany, at least not as an explanation for its evils. To do so would be to invite confusion into the media's narrative of Nazism as right wing authoritariansm and the political spectrum -- the NSDAP labeled itself as socialist and implemented policies that looked socialist, so how could they be socalist and right-wing at the same time?

Before you know it people would start calling it the common sense party -- get rid of the unproductive, national pride, a strong military, reign in the rich, support the family man who is the backbone of our country...

That's what's so interesting about fascism, as an ideology it doesn't follow the economically driven left-right political definitions clearly.

The wartime nature of Nazi Germany's economy I think confuses the seperation of business and state in fascism. I also think the power of German industrialists relative to the Nazis is understated. Krupp, Thyssen, etc were extremely rich and influential and the Nazis needed their money and backing and their industries working.

Comment: Re:GRR (Score 2) 111 111

Why was this marked troll? Anybody who has actually watched any of the "behind the scenes" stuff on Lucas knows 1-3 might as well have been parody as it was done by someone who no longer understood his own films and was as clueless as any ad exec!

I mean you thought the ALIENS in Crystal Skull was bad? Lucas wanted to make the movie in a Haunted House, like a 1940s slapstick! Picture Indy with a bumbling black sidekick doing the "lawdy I sees a spook!" bit and that is about the level we are talking here. I'm sure you can find Spielberg talking about it on YouTube, and just look at his face when he mentions it, its that "DaFuq was he thinking?" look times ten.

Look I really REALLY liked classic Lucas, hell I even enjoyed Howard The Duck for its 80s cheesy goodness but lets face facts folks....too many years with too much money just killed whatever creative spark the man had. Seriously watch the behind the scenes stuff on the prequels, the man just didn't have what it takes to cook up good sci-fi by that point and it showed. You don't have to watch Mr Plinkett to see that damned near every shot in that movie was just plain bad, bad dialog, bad blocking, too much filler in the background, bad script, I'm sorry but the talent that came up with 4-6? Just wasn't there anymore.

Comment: Re:I define terror ... (Score 1) 93 93

You and what army? Why, this army ... er, where do I get an army exactly? Maybe I just need to get a bunch of smaller government types to go along with me, maybe get a bunch of states together and make our own country? Has anybody tried that? Oh. How'd that work out? Oh.

So, yay America I guess?

So... hypothetical question, exactly what do you have to post in an internet forum to get put on watch lists and no-fly etc?

Comment: Re:The fickle finger of fate..... (Score 1) 86 86

I'd never read that story, and I consider myself an Asimov fan. Thank you!

I was thinking of this one

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?” “Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

Comment: Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 1) 76 76

I cannot deny that much of what you've said about the mob is true. I didn't mean to say that the mob never did anything well, never provided benefits to neighborhoods or people, etc.

Everyone understands that the mob can "Get things done". And, what's ironic is that, IIRC, you and I have very different ideas about government, but we apparently agree that in some situations, the mob is more effective and occasionally preferable to local government.

That said, I think you are papering over the intimidation, violence, and property destruction done by the mob.

(I'm not papering over the intimidation, violence, and property destruction done by governments, fwiw)

Comment: Re:The fickle finger of fate..... (Score 1) 86 86

Karma applies to your next life, not this one.

So do you remember or are you just guessing?

I read an interesting short story once where the protagonist died and before being reincarnated was surprised to learn that you could be born before you died. That in fact, you could be born at any point in time and might be interacting with yourself if you happened to be born twice in the same time period, and you wouldn't know because you forget everything when you're born. Then it was slowly revealed that not only could you be born multiple times in one time period, you absolutely were. Moreover, it was revealed that you were in fact the only soul, being born over and over throughout time, interacting with nobody but yourself and literally making your own karma by being the person you were kind to and also the person you were cruel to.

Wish I could remember the name of that story. Or a previous life so I'd know if karma applies to the next life or not. Maybe it's more immediate... sort of insta-karma, which would be a good name for a powdered coffee.

Comment: Re:So corporatism merging with government. (Score 1) 54 54

I think fascism as an ideology usually has a predominant nationalistic and ethnic component to it. I think business interests intermeshed with the government is largely a byproduct of a totalitarian political system.

Fascism can be tricky to extrapolate to a specific economic policy because we don't have many functioning examples of governments run by ideological fascists and the ones we do have were short lived and marked by extremes of policy and historical notoriety that make coherent analysis tricky.

The Nazi party (National Socialist German Worker's Party) parlayed its romanticism of the German Volk into some socialist policies while at the same time it coaxed and coerced skeptical German capitalists with big wartime spending.

Somebody once tried to explain fascism as the weird marriage of progressivism and racism into one ideology. I think it's a strangely apt definition that encompasses some of the strange outcomes.

Comment: Re:Experts? (Score 3, Interesting) 88 88

I can't believe I'm going to contribute to this side of the discussion. "Loathe" is the mildest word I can think of for how I feel about a government accessible decryption system, but I'm going to explain why it's not infeasible to maintain security and have government access, unlike so many posters seem to assume.

Lets take cell phones as a starting example. The encryption of my phone isn't done with the password I put into the phone when I reboot it, the encryption is done with a randomly generated key which my password decrypts. There is no reason the same key that is actually decrypting the phone couldn't be encrypted with a phone manufacturer password. That government mandated password would encrypt the real decryption key just like my password does, but the government password wouldn't change when I change the password I'm using.

Note the government password isn't the same for multiple phones, it's unique to each phone. The government password is a randomly generated complex string of numbers, letters and symbols and it's not stored on the phone.

The government password for my phone is created at OS installation time and then the phone manufacturer encrypts it with the public key provided by the government. Those encrypted password media are sent to the companies selling the phones and those companies keep that media physically secured.

The government must subpoena the key for a specific phone in order to decrypt its contents.

The government password is now protected by:
A) A PKI private key stored by a government agency
B) Physical security at a non-governmental agency
C) The somewhat abused but best available legal processes of our government

Encrypted computer drives work the same. The assumption in both scenarios is that people fall into one of these groups:
A) don't know it is there
B) use the system their device came with
C) don't understand how to change the system

That covers 99.999% of people, probably even 99.99% of criminals. I may repartition my drive and install varying operating systems, and I may install a different OS on my phone, but normal people don't. Even drug dealers and terrorists are unlikely to do that when there are far easier ways to avoid incrimination. The fact is we could have such a "backdoor" already in play and we wouldn't necessarily know about it. I'm geekier than most by far, and I don't recompile the kernel on my boot partition to make sure it matches the one that is actually there. Granted, I do tend to wipe drives and start fresh, but if Redhat and Canonical are compromised, the NSA is good enough at their jobs, that I'll probably never notice. Do you know for sure the signature of your running kernel matches the one that you could compile for yourself?

Comment: Re:more important question... (Score 4, Interesting) 76 76

I've worked as an SMB consultant and almost every SMB owner I've run into is some kind creepy, shifty guy who is coming as close as he can to "the line" and often crossing it. At a minimum it's every conceivable tax dodge imaginable -- luxury company car as a daily commuter, no-show family members on the payroll, tons of business-paid home technology for personal use, and so on. Who knows what it is at maximum. Probably outright tax fraud, siphoning cash, cheating employees, whatever.

You could make a believable narrative that has two small-time entrepreneurs looking for investors and/or work are just *used* to the kind of slimeballs that are out there and don't really ask too many questions. Call it conditioned ignorance.

I don't know how cost of living translates, but I do think their incomes, especially the guy with a regular job (IIRC) would make them be a little more selective. That part I find kind of fishy.

But it's also not hard to see once they saw they were dealing with guys with guns that going along with it but with willful incompetence wouldn't have seemed like a totally unreasonable strategy. What are your choices? Run away and look over your shoulder for years?

Comment: Re:They are trying to get off... (Score 4, Insightful) 76 76

Have you ever lived anywhere where there was a significant mob presence?

I haven't, and for good reason.

Your plan is a really great plan if you assume that the mob has absolutely no penetration whatsoever into the local police department.

I don't know why you'd assume such a stupid thing, though.

So here is how your suggestion really goes.

You walk into the local PD. On your way there, some kid recognized your face. He has instructions that say that if he sees a guy who looks like you walking into the police station, he calls a number and gets a bonus.

When you come home, something is different. Either your family is already dead, or, there's a note that makes it clear that your family is vulnerable and that you've fucked up - but there is still a chance to not get your family killed. Who knows what the knob is set at for the "first contact" - but there's a clear indication that you don't want to continue talking to the police.

Now, if someone inside that building is actually connected - and usually, somebody is - maybe they're the person who interviewed you. Maybe they're the person who looks at the signin/signout sheet at the station. Maybe they are somebody who files paperwork or types things up for other people.

Zillions of little people are needed to make the machine of government operate, and the mob targets precisely those people to be their eyes and ears. It uses combinations of carrots and sticks to keep them cooperating with mob goals, without letting them get too familiar with what those goals are or who is executing them.

Point is, if the mob has any power in your city, that includes eyes and ears within, or effectively within, the police department.

Part of the mob's effectiveness is that it destroys trust in the normal functioning institutinos of society. You never know for sure who is and isn't. It effectively isolate frightened individuals from the facets of society that might help or protect them. It always makes it seem like it's 1 person against the entire mob - it paints that same picture to lots of separate people.

Comment: Re:Usually has to be earned (Score 1) 284 284

I doubt there's a company in the land that would recruit an unknown, straight off the street, give them a salaried post and let them work 100% from home.

This is false. A very good friend of mine works exclusively out of his house as a developer. Many of the developers at his company are work-from home types and have always been work-from home employees.

Additionally, there are software jobs that are true work from home positions and are advertised as such. I've had recruiters start to approach me about such jobs.

Finally, I've had a 15 year career at Microsoft. In the last 6 months, I've been given the flexibility to WFH as much as I like to. I'm currently at home for the summer.

When I asked earlier in my career, the answer was no. I'm slightly more valuable than I was then, but, the nature of my team and my work has changed such that a WFH role is more plausible than it once was.

I know a handful of other Microsoft employees who are full time WFH and who have no Microsoft office anywhere. I still have an office and I use it about 50% during the school year.

As far as how you get this arrangement

1) if you're a high value contributor with the right kind of manager on the right kind of team, even in an organization that doesn't really do remote work, you can basically play the card that says, "I am moving. I would like to keep working here, for you, and I understand what that will do to my long term career velocity here, but, whether you keep me or not, I am moving"

Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. If you get a new team or a new manager, you can be let go. "The deal can be altered", so to speak. Of course, the deal can (and is) altered anyway, even for office people. So, it's a matter of priorities and risk tolerance.

2) There are a few organizations that are explicitly pro WFH. If you're prioritizing WFH ahead of other things, look at doing something that isn't your ideal role and not at your ideal salary, but gives you the WFH goodness that you desire. Ideally, you pick an organization that has the sorts of roles (and money) that you'd ideally want, and you grow into that role within that organization.

3) When LinkedIn emails you and says "Bob from Google wants to talk to you", email Bob back and say, "Bob, I would love to chat with you, but I am only considering WFH arrangements. Please let your hiring managers know that there is good, affordable talent available to them, but who are unwilling to relocate."

I do this with every big name brand that contacts me via Linked In. I usually tend to tailor the message to something about how the business in question heavily relies on open source (and I name the pertinent technologies) and how those were developed via distributed engineering mechanisms, proving that such approaches can build world class software.

I hope people like me can create enough data points that eventually more traditional shops hear the "I won't relocate for you" argument often enough that they start entertaining people who demand remote work.

Anyway, my employer gets way more output out of me when I am at home than when I am in the office. I have a nice laptop, and everything is in source control or cloud fileshares, so I can move back and forth between office and home office easily.

My kids understand that when I am working, they don't come into the basement. I go upstairs and take breaks and hangout with my family, or take advantage of the nice weather. If I don't have scheduled meetings, I can shift weekend/evening tasks (like yardwork) to mid afternoon, when the bugs aren't as bad and the sun is shining. Email and code will be there during peak mosquito hours or when the weather is bad.

I live on an isolated 14 acre farm that is about 25 minutes from my employer's office building. Commuting isn't bad at all, but if I don't have to, why bother?

Beware the new TTY code!