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Comment: github for laws (Score 1) 183

by hirundo (#49101695) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Can Technology Improve the Judicial System?

The technology of distributed version control should be applied to legal text much like it is to code. A proposed law is pull request. An enacted law is an accepted pull request. Various jurisdictions can fork and merge laws.

And while we're at it, let's build domain specific languages for laws with with well defined syntax, in order to disambiguate law at least as much as politics will allow.

Comment: Re:Update to Godwin's law? (Score 1) 575

by hirundo (#48040731) Attached to: Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

> How is the government not concerned about corporate espionage, terrorism, and other criminal activity, you'd think from a security standpoint, they would want encryption to be legit.

Because such measures limits the capacity of the government to conduct corporate espionage, terrorism, and other criminal activity?

Comment: designed by violence (Score 2, Interesting) 190

by hirundo (#47196015) Attached to: Study: Male Facial Development Evolved To Take Punches

I heard another theory on the way that violence has influenced our evolution. It was suggested that opposable thumbs were favored because they make some apes like ourselves capable of forcible rape, unlike most animals. The success of forcible rape as a breeding strategy led to the differential survival of more violent, impulsive men and more submissive (more likely to survive rape) women who ovulate monthly. And this male aggression has led to homo sapiens becoming earth's dominant megafauna. So if true, on evolutionary time scales the optimal amount of violence to promote species survival is greater than zero.

This is depressing in proportion to its plausibility.

Comment: Re:What does Obama know that we don't? (Score 1) 284

by hirundo (#47059141) Attached to: White House Pressures Legislators Into Gutting USA FREEDOM Act

It could be as easy as a credible threat that he must play ball or they'll have one of his daughters (add nasty bits here). Does anyone think that's beyond the moral capability of an intelligence community willing to indiscriminately kill anyone near a drone target? Based on such recent actions I think that there are plenty of such people in the permanent bureaucracy who would consider that to be an act of courage and patriotism.

Comment: Re:We are a colony organism (Score 1) 162

by hirundo (#46307499) Attached to: Gut Bacteria Affect the Brain

> That means that we're 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human.

That's very eukaryotecentric of you. Given the proportions, why assume that only the cells with nuclei are human rather than the other way around. Maybe we're 90 percent human and 10 percent new weird stuff. Dude, let the prejudice go and embrace your inner prokaryote.

The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky

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