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Comment Re:Exactly what part do you register? (Score 1) 192

Okay, so let's just register people, and insist they inscribe their social security number onto everything they own - cars, guns, drones, clothes, computers, cell phones, baseballs, cakes, or anything else you could possibly misuse or cause damage with...this couldn't possibly get creepy, and then we'll have one universal identifier for each individual.

Maybe, just maybe, those people without those identifiers can be deported immediately, because obviously nobody would be able to actually *forge* any sort of universal identifier, right?


This is like anti-abortion folk being pro death penalty, and pro-choice folk being anti-death penalty. Your liberals would jump at the chance to register every person and take away every gun, and your conservatives would jump at the chance to register every person and deport every illegal immigrant - and both would see the other as some horrific injustice.

Comment Let's register baseballs too. (Score 2, Insightful) 192

I'll bet you get more damage to property from poorly regulated baseballs thrown by children than drones.

Obviously, baseballs can hurt, and even kill people, and people play with them in public spaces all the time - we really need to get everyone registered properly so we can educate them and hold them responsible for the errant throw.

Comment Exactly what part do you register? (Score 2) 192

So, we generally work by the fiction that a "gun" is the lower receiver, and that is the part that is what we register.

Exactly what part of the drone are you going to serialize and register? The wings? The engine? The fuselage? Will you need to de-register when it breaks? Re-register it after it's repaired?

At what point will the government decide to have us "register" all of the home made cakes we bake in our ovens? The parts and technology for a cake are just as common and available as the parts and technology for a drone...

Comment Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 2) 458

There you go again, pointing out truths that environmentalists don't want to hear :)

Don't worry, after they finally admit that CO2 doesn't drive global average temperatures or climactic swings, they'll find some *other* component of energy generation (say, magnetic fields, or plain old waste heat), and they'll demonize the hell out of that because it's causing a spotted tit-fox, or marsh trout to die off.

Warming, cooling, staying the same - none of it matters when it comes to "the consensus" :)

Comment Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (Score 1) 894

Wasn't trying to push a button at all - I've got no problem with your cowardice, and obviously neither do you.

The only problem I have is your seeming insistence that others should share your cowardice. I get your point - I understand your argument about being cautious when dealing with over-sensitive and violent and/or powerful people.

Do you understand that others might value their principles over the caution you recommend? Or is that simply incomprehensible to you?

Comment Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (Score 1) 894

So, you're a coward who frankly doesn't care about what other people think about their cowardice - a perfectly rational point of view, and I congratulate you for it :)

That being said...

1) it's not just about depicting mohammad, it's about mocking him, and other core beliefs of islam;

2) german anti-free speech laws are part of their culture;

3) fair enough - there are arguments for liberalization, as well as criminalization.

Can you understand why other people might not share your cowardice? It seems that your underlying assertion is "I'm a coward, and anyone else who isn't is completely irrational and stupid"...which, of course, is your free speech right to say, in my book :)

Comment Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (Score 1) 894

Because expressing free speech is the moral equivalent of buying crack, right? :)

Your point of view is clear - you don't believe that either islamic culture, german culture, or drug laws should be changed.

Sounds like you're ready to say, "sure, go ahead, sit in the front of the segregated bus, while you're at it".

But hey, that's okay - if you want to be a coward, and just let the threats of the status quo determine the ability for people to exercise their freedoms, that's a perfectly reasonable position to take to minimize risk. Just don't expect people to be all that impressed with your point of view :)

Comment Re:And now that hard drives have gotten cheaper... (Score 1) 441

Ah, the "externalities" trope.

Your imagined, unrealized externalities of the future may indeed be dire, but that has nothing to do with whether cheap energy is a good thing.

Let's, for a moment, imagine a dire, future externality of solar power - say the ivanpah generator, reflecting into space, attracts a violent alien civilization that comes and eats 90% of our population. Are you happy to pad the pockets of solar executives at the expense of the future?

Now, maybe if you had concrete, actual, real "externalities" that were paid by "all of us", like say, solar subsidies for bird zapping solar plants in nevada, or regulations that raised the cost of energy paid by "all of us", you'd have a case to make...but imaginary harms in some hypothetical future with tenuous attribution hardly make for good economics.

Comment Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (Score 1) 894

Got it, the "don't do risky stuff because people are crazy" line of thinking...

like don't wear a short skirt in a bad neighborhood if you don't want to be raped...

or don't be a black person whistling at a white woman if you don't want to be lynched...

or don't let people know you're gay if you don't want to be subject to chemical castration even if you happened to have saved millions of people during WWII with your code breaking work.

If I'm being to subtle, let me state it plainly - the problem isn't people who make fun of the holocaust or muhammad, it's the people who react against such speech in violent or oppressive ways. While we can raise our hands and just say, "well, that's just the way it is", if one truly believes in free speech, one must take up the fight against such backwards cultures, and not be intimidated by their threats that it will "not turn out well and stuff".

Comment Re:Therefore justifying the killing of others (Score 1) 894

Well, what you said was:

"Do you think drawing cartoons of Muhammad and making fun of him is "something that almost certainly needs to be said?"

"Shouldn't you go, right now, and draw funny cartoons that deny the Holocaust?"

My answer to both, is yes.

Whether or not you actually were trying to make a point with your questions, I suppose is an open question :)

Did you have a point?

"Survey says..." -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"