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Comment Re:No Organizations (Score 1) 268 268

Don't donate to any organized cause. Even the best run, most efficient ones still have part of your dollar go to administrative or marketing costs.

So the fuck what? Do you know what happens when you insist that every single dollar goes to to projects? You can't keep staff.

When there's no core funding for NGOs, they can only hire on a contract basis, which means that most of the people you want won't—can't—work for you, because they have families and stuff. And that means you get no decent skills on the ground. And that means you're flying in a bunch of outsiders who make a career out of this kind of thing, but who, no matter how well-intentioned, cannot know what things are like on the ground. And that means you waste time and money making mistakes that no local would ever make. And that means delays. And cost overruns....

... And before you know it, you're down $500 million and you've only built six houses.

Comment Re:Krauss won't like the obvious answer (Score 1) 305 305

Science can tell us what the planet is and where it's going, but it can't tell us if that's a good thing or not.

This is a very insightful comment....

No, it's an absurd comment. I don't think it needs down-modding, but only because it needs to stand as an exemplar of just how intellectually lazy religiousity can make you.

The entire structure on which science is built on philosophy, which is grounded in trying to answer exactly the kind of questions that lead us ultimately to issues like whether global trends are good or bad for us. And in the process of doing that, it also helps define exactly what the trends are, exactly who 'us' is, and for good measure, it also gives us more useful terms than 'good' and 'bad'.

Now, you may want to live in a world without nuance, but some of us are content with the ambiguity and uncertainty that this brings, because to live otherwise would be fundamentally dishonest.

So you can say, if you like, that science doesn't moralise, but that cuts the branch from the trunk. Science is 'Natural Philosophy', which is intended to investigate the world in which we live, and ultimately, to serve as a specific application of philosophy (literally, the love of knowledge), whose purpose, explicitly, is to explain what we're doing here and why.

Comment Re:One more in a crowded field (Score 0) 337 337

Oops, I forgot something important.

There is a simple web based IDE that you can use....

'A simple web-based IIiiheheheheh—Sorry. Aherm. A simple web-baHAHAHAHAHahaha!!! Phew! Sorry! Don't know what got into me. Let me try that again: A IDE, you say? And its... shchrmf web-ba...heheheh, I mean, uh web-bAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

*wipes tears away*

Sorry. I honestly don't know what got into me... WHEW!! All righty then. Sorry, just let me catch my breath and...

Now: A Simple. Web-based—mrfmmmmrfmmmffff—Web. Based....


I'm sorry. A web-based IDE! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Hey Chuck, get in here. This guy has a simple web-basedAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Sorry, just read that, yeah, there. HAHAHAHAHA!

[Falls down. Dies laughing.]

Comment Re:the world was supposed to end years ago (Score 1) 637 637

according to Al Bore, Greenpeace and dozens of climate models i've read about over the decades. our cities were supposed to have been devastated by super-hurricanes, F5 tornadoes and the rising ocean and these things keep getting pushed back and back

Living as I do in a city that was recently devastated by a super-hurricane (under 900 hPa in the eye), I'd like to second the other commenters in suggesting that you, sir, are indeed Exhibit A in this case. And may I suggest, sir, that you exhibit an airborne amorous manoeuvre on yon rolling doughnut.

Comment Re:Local charity (Score 5, Informative) 235 235

- UNICEF expenses of 52 million dollars (pdf) [] in expenses related to management and fundraising (out of a 600 million dollars budget, and that's one of the best managed ones out there)

(I'm not even going to comment on PETA because they have jack shit to do with the current conversation.)

You are actually complaining about an administrative overhead of 9%? Seriously?

For comparison, Apple's OPEX was a little over 25% of revenues as of March 2015. Google's was a little less than 25%. Microsoft's was 22%

These are all operations that have significant global logistical operations, and involve a combination of scale and skill in their day-to-day operations.

I assisted UNICEF (as a local 'fixer') with their operations when cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu. (See here for a blow-by-blow account.) It is emphatically true that costs are very high in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Spending time nickle-and-diming over expenses can cost lives. We needed phones, cars, room to work (their local HQ was damaged), food and water, and sufficient staff and infrastructure to move hundreds of tonnes of food and supplies at a time.

For the record: The Red Cross and UNICEF were the first organisations to deliver emergency supplies, because they had the foresight to pre-position materials and equipment in-country prior to the disaster. That was money well-spent.

And yet... and yet the biggest problem we faced was middle management second-guessing the people at the operational level, failing to support them because of the expenses they were incurring. And this fear continues to permeate precisely because of stories like this.

Let's be perfectly clear: It was the AMERICAN Red Cross that screwed up so royally here. Not the International Red Cross, which provides unique and necessary services throughout the world.

You wouldn't tar every single technology company with the same brush as games maker Electronic Arts (who really do deserve their own special circle in Hell). So why, when one NGO manages their way to disaster, does giving to charities suddenly become unwise?

I have witnessed—up close and in more detail than anyone could ever want—the effects of disaster. I'm still working to document the many successes and failures of cyclone Pam. And I will say without hesitation that the mantra here in Vanuatu was 'we will not be another Haiti'. Haiti really was a clusterfuck from start to finish, mostly because of the local government's inability to control and coordinate the response. In Vanuatu, government officials stayed on the front foot, and were unafraid to take NGOs to task when they first refused to cooperate.

People need to be reminded: Disaster zones are shitty places to work. They are in fact some of the worst places in the world. And on top of this there are indeed thousand-dollar-a-day careerists who descend on them as a matter of course. But for every one person like that, there are hundreds of dedicated professionals who have devoted themselves simply to helping out. Many of them work on a purely voluntary basis. Mistakes get made every day, for countless reasons, but not least because in a post-disaster situation, you're working with whatever information you've been able to gather by word of mouth; you've got virtually no means to coordinate your efforts, and you cannot know what the worst-affected areas look like until you go there yourself. On top of all that, you're working as much as 20 hours a day, resting for maybe 10-15 minutes at most, and eating whenever someone stuffs an emergency ration into your hand.

Not to put too fine a point on it, It's really fucking hard.

So yes, rag all you like on the American Red Cross. They have clearly raped the puppy. But do not ever attempt to state that there's no place for disaster relief organisations in this world. A lot of my compatriots are alive today because of them. Until you can say the same about your work, I recommend you stop pretending you know what you're talking about.

Comment Re:Missing option (Score 2) 225 225

"you sir are guilty of jaywalking, but because the arresting office has alluded to the fact that you might be a pedophile, I'm going to give you 15 years".. right.

Well, 15 years isn't within the allowable punishments for jaywalking so that's a specious argument. However if you think Capone got all that time in jail for simple tax evasion you're nuts.

Al Capone's sentence was less than half what Ulbricht got.

Comment Re: We the taxayer get screwed. (Score 4, Insightful) 356 356

Having rich and poor is an inevitable feature of any civilization that has ever existed or ever will exist. The societies that try to eliminate it (namely, communists) end up destabilizing quickly.

You mean, like Canada, that slum-ridden cesspit to the North?

Try dialing down the dogma a fraction, and accept that there are reasonable compromises that provide reasonable mitigation to the worst aspects of any economic system. You might find that it is indeed possible for sober public investment in private enterprise not only to work, but to work well. There's a whole sub-discipline in economics devoted to the study of it. Yes, there are downsides to Public/Private Partnerships (it even has a name!!), but with the proper checks, they can sometimes work better than either a purely public or a purely private undertaking.

Comment 'Doze mode...? (Score 1) 83 83

I've clearly been on Slashdot for far too long. I read 'Doze Mode in the title and thought, 'Goddammit, if you're going to talk about Windows Mode, just fucking call it "Windows"!'

And then I realised that it actually is 'Doze Mode'. Because 'Naptime' was taken, I guess.

Comment Re:nonsense (Score 2) 141 141

but we did inflate duPort's bank account as their patents on Freon had run out and Congress made the old Freon illegal just in time for the new and improved patented Freon to enter the marketplace.

Yes, Dupont sat on the patent for a chemical compound they knew was safer until it became clear that the courts and governments were going to act, and then and only then did they finally file the patent on an HCFC compound to replace Freon. It was an act of stunning cynicism, but you're aiming your contempt in precisely the wrong direction.

stupid rubes

Physician, heal thyself.

A slow pup is a lazy dog. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"