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Comment: Re:why the focus on gender balance? (Score 3, Insightful) 95

by hsthompson69 (#47781845) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

I like that - "actors instead of objects". That's a great turn of phrase.

And it emphasizes that any sort of gender/race/sexual orientation re-balancing is at its essence *objectifying* people. It's asserting that they must be defined by some label, and must obey some sort of normal distribution because of that label.

No doubt, history is filled with all kinds of evil misogyny, racism, and homophobia...and large swaths of the planet still have those problems, especially in the islamic world. But we lose sight of the truth, that people are individual *actors*, not *objects*, all too often. Fighting the scourges of discrimination of various sorts doesn't lead to some predetermined statistical balance, it gives individual actors the *freedom* to make the choices they'd like. Sometimes, those free choices are lopsided, and that's *okay*.

Comment: Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 650

by hsthompson69 (#47781019) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

it makes clear the overwhelming importance of the eastern front,

No doubt, the USSR threw lives like candy at the Nazis, and the failed 1940 negotiations effectively put the Germans on shaky ground. But I wouldn't go so far as to assert that the death toll between the western and eastern fronts are a good metric for deciding how important the US was to the war effort.

"[The USA] took over the bulk of the military responsibilities of European allies"

I meant *after* WW2 was won - our occupation forces in west germany, and other parts west of the iron curtain, effectively provided our European allies with militaries they didn't need to maintain against the Soviets.

One bloodthirsty dictator beating another (slightly more) bloodthirsty dictator isn't quite as good a story as "America, World Police", but it's closer to the mark.

Actually, given Stalin's purges, one could argue that it was a bloodthirsty dictator beating another slightly *less* bloodthirsty dictator :)

I was always confused playing WW2 miniatures games as a kid in the 80s because the russians in 1984 were the "evil empire", but they were allies in WW2...took a lot of reading to figure out how that all fit together. But I'll argue that WW2 was really police academy for "America, World Police", and that the cold war really cemented our role there for the greater part of the latter 20th century. As we look at America's decline, especially during the Obama years, the pussies of the world will be wondering why the dicks aren't around to fuck the assholes who are shitting all over them.

Comment: Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 650

by hsthompson69 (#47779349) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Regarding the Russo-Georgian war, and effective tools like economic sanctions:

"US sanctions against Russia imposed by the Bush administration were lifted by the Obama administration in May 2010."

At least Bush sent in aid with military craft:

"Although the Bush administration considered a military response to defend Georgia, it was ruled out because of the conflict it would provoke with Russia. Instead, Bush opted to send humanitarian supplies to Georgia on military (rather than civilian) aircraft."

Any word on what the US is doing to help Ukraine?

Comment: Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 650

by hsthompson69 (#47779273) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

The alternative is now unfolding before your eyes.

The alternative is ISIS beheading people in Syria and Iraq.

The alternative is Boko Haram stealing girls with impunity.

The alternative is China dogging our planes with impunity in international waters.

The alternative is a nuclear Iran.

The alternative is Egypt in the hand of islamists.

The alternative is ambassadors dead in Libya.

The alternative is Taliban resurgent in Afghanistan.

Without Team America, you've got a double helping of the usual world chaos, as everyone realizes "Oh shit, it's not the far away Americans we really hated, it's this fucker next door! And his wife! And his kids! Who I can now shoot and kill in the name of Allah!". Yes, it's shitty to be hated for helping (although granted, the US fucks up hard now and again - I'm looking at you South American dictators), but there is no doubt in my mind that Team America's benefits have outweighed (even if only by a little, likely a lot), their detriments.

Of course, today we live in a different world, and we get to see the alternative.

Comment: Re:Inevitable (Score 1) 650

by hsthompson69 (#47779243) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

The USSR doesn't even call it "World War 2" - it's "The Great Patriotic War". And yes, the USSR was tremendously important.

But who was arming (and feeding) them?

Yup, America, World Police -

And somehow, Obama thought he could bluff the people who were willing to spend *lives* to advance their national aims. Bottom line, Putin is playing chess, and Obama is playing connect 4.

Comment: Re:Inevitable (Score 3, Insightful) 650

by hsthompson69 (#47775989) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

When Great Britain stopped being a world power, and vied for "peace in our time" with Chamberlain, the average UK citizen's standard of living was dramatically affected by the aggression of Germany in WW2.

When the US finally became the world police, drawn into the conflict by the Japanese, and won the war for the allies, and took over the bulk of the military responsibilities of European allies, *that's* when UK citizens living standards went up.

Chew on that :)

Comment: Inevitable (Score 5, Insightful) 650

by hsthompson69 (#47775649) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Once you appear weak, and unwilling to stand for your "red lines", your competition simply won't take you seriously anymore.

Nothing Obama (or the international community for that matter) is willing to do will aver Russia from its course. At this point, the questions to be settled will be around just how much of Ukraine manages to stay independent at all.

While people may have been all pissy about Bush, unilateral wars, and Team America World Police, the fact of the matter is that it was better than the alternative. "America, Fuck Yeah" sure looks better than "America, Fuck No" at this point.

Comment: Aren't they effectively astroturfing themselves? (Score 1) 123

by hsthompson69 (#47774025) Attached to: Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

Spend a million dollars, and astroturf the meme "evil republican congress people are trying to influence you with memes".

Back in reality-world:‘one-nation’-just-liberal-astroturfing

Comment: Average lifespan is misleading (Score 3, Interesting) 279

by hsthompson69 (#47754379) Attached to: The Evolution of Diet

Infant mortality had more to do with low average lifespans in the past - you can have a vast majority of people who make it to adulthood live into their 80s, and still have an average lifespan of 30 years, if 10 children die before they make a year old for every 1 that makes it past.

We tend to make the assumption that an average lifespan of 30 means that nobody lives past 35 years old - but that's simply not the case.

"Consider this: If we accept as a given that the average life expectancy of the Middle Ages was 25, then life expectancy has tripled, right? Since we know from both historical and archaeological records that some people lived to 80+ years in the Middle Ages, wouldn't that mean that people are living three times as long? Shouldn't there be some 240 year olds running around, grousing that things just aren't the same since Thomas Jefferson died?

And therein lies the problem. Even if the statistic is accurate, people hear something very different than the statistic is saying. A stat talking about life expectance tripling is about the average tripling, but the way it is popularly perceived is that the length of time people live has tripled. And, of course, it isn't. If you're old enough to read this, a century from now you'll be dead, no matter how much life expectancy rises."

Comment: Tried Google Drive 1TB... (Score 2, Interesting) 272

by hsthompson69 (#47745735) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

...but man, it sucks. Messed up git repositories. Requiring a complete download of all content if you restore to another disk (yes, boys and girls, gdrive actually decided to track files by what fucking inode they were on, instead of doing something rational like checksumming). Self-DOS attack on large uploads, literally sucking up all the bandwidth you have going up, causing all other traffic to stall.

I'm waiting for Yosemite and iCloud Drive - hopefully they'll do a better job with reasonable rates.

FYI, for those using OSX and gdrive, you can stop it from self-DOSing on large uploads by using ipfw to limit https up bandwidth:

sudo ipfw pipe 1 config bw 400KByte/s
sudo ipfw add 1 pipe 1 ip from me to any dat-port 443

Comment: Thank you, big government... (Score 1, Interesting) 145

...for establishing a system of competition based on government regulation rather than quality of goods and services. I'm sure harassing 124 small time hosts will help the big players, who line the pockets of politicians with contributions, scare off hundreds more. And of course, since New York has no other crimes to look into, this is a perfectly prioritized use of limited prosecutorial resources. /sarc

First we had the #warondrugs, now we have the #waronunlicensedhotels?

Heisenberg may have been here.