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Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 207 207

So in lets say 10-15 years, it will be "criminal", "not eco friendly" and so to collect free water.

Or we could just not say that. I don't see any reason to "expect" water quotas.

If there is a "right" to have access to water, how far does that right go? Does my mobile home on the Moon have a right to the same access to water as you? Should society ship me water at 10k euro per kg? I see that there's apparently about 150 liters of water consumed per person in Europe. That's a 1.5 million euro per day per person right I have there. And oh look, I'm the one providing the extremely profitable shipping to my locale. How convenient.

Entitlement rights are nonsensical. It's too easy to contrive a situation where one can milk such a system for tremendous gain. Then it becomes the duty of some mealy-mouthed bureaucrat to explain why the right really isn't a right. Cue the water quotas. It's better not to waste our time with the exercise in the first place.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 105 105

There was no censorship.

That's wrong to say since this researcher doesn't have infinite time and resources to both deal with the alleged investigation and impounding of equipment as well as doing whatever they do for a living and discussing the security issue they have allegedly found. At best, it might be that the censorship is an unintentional consequence of a police investigation of a genuine criminal activity with genuine probable cause. But the above actions indicate the police did not think the researcher would be cooperative in the investigation. Why?

The existence of an exploit is not evidence that anyone, government or not, is actually rigging an election. Its evidence of risk. There are most likely exploits in every electronic balloting device and in every web voting system ever made.

Depends on the exploit. The original report claimed the potential for introducing false voting data as well as a denial of service attack. The latter would not be useful to throw an election, but the former would. Further, if such accusations routinely result in an abusive police probe, harming the livelihood of anyone involved, then that would be indication of a serious risk to a democracy. After all, voting is one of the most important aspects of the democracy.

Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 207 207

Actually, the trend is towards liberalization of such policies.

Rainwater harvesting is not illegal. It was heavily restricted in Colorado, Washington and Utah until 2009, but all three states have since relaxed their bans. In six or seven other states, rainwater harvesting is regulated -- you have to obtain a permit, which is in most cases is about making certain that your harvesting equipment doesn't contaminate groundwater -- but not illegal. (You have to obtain permits to construct houses or drive automobiles, but that doesn't make people claim such activities are "illegal.")

I note your link says pretty much the same thing.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 105 105

It remains to be seen if there is censorship. Impounding material evidence is not necessarily suppression.

But heavy-handed behavior is a good indication that such suppression is going on. After all, why wouldn't this researcher cooperate with the police?

As for the "definition". In a region where a generation or two ago "kill the messenger" was literal not figurative, the figurative definition doesn't work.

Bullshit. When the figurative definition is ignored the literal one comes back. Throwing elections (and thuggish suppression of evidence of that) is a phase I'd expect in a return to such tyranny.

Comment: Re: The reason is more simple (Score 1) 564 564

The truth is the automobile industry is heavily subsidized through tax incentives and the oil industry even more so.

Let's see this truth. One of the huge problems with discourse in this area is rampant dishonesty of comparing renewable energy subsidies to fossil fuel subsidies. For example, a subsidy that discourages oil production, such as selling oil at below cost to a certain country's inhabitants in order to stabilize a particular country's kleptocracy is considered a subsidy for oil. Similarly,there are a number of supposed fossil fuel subsidies that renewable energy businesses can share in.

Also, depending on the survey, there are plenty of nonsensical subsidies that are pulled out of someone's ass such as deciding without a shred of justification that fossil fuel use has a high externality or that oil companies not paying huge penalties to a government is a form of subsidy that somehow doesn't apply to the renewable energy sector.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 2) 105 105

Having to buy a new computer and restore from backups is not in the same league.

Doesn't have to be in order to fit the definition. And milder forms of censorship and suppression are often preludes to greater forms especially in places where there's already a history of such tyranny.

Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 207 207

Sadly, in more and more parts of it, it's becoming illegal to collect it. And mind you, I'm not talking about diverting seasonal drainage, I'm talking about collecting rainfall from your roof, let alone from a structure purpose-built for collecting water like you commonly see in areas with high rainfall and low government interference.

That's a far cry from a hydraulic empire since first, there would be no central control over water and it's trivial in the cases you mention to circumvent any such authority.

Comment: Re:That's still exactly what it was (Score 1) 207 207

Oil is the big one right now, but water is showing all signs of being the next.

No, it isn't. Water falls out of the sky in most of the world. And farmers, the largest consumers of water can in most parts of the world considerably reduce their water consumption with some simple approaches should that ever become important enough to do so.

Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 1) 256 256

I don't think you understand the tragedy of the commons from your interpretation of it there. What you are describing is straightforward fraud, and it's much more easily dealt with than by saying "well sorry, nobody can have anything".

Fraud when used to overconsume a public good is a manifestation (and a very common one at that) of tragedy of the commons.

and it's much more easily dealt with than by saying "well sorry, nobody can have anything".

Sure, we'll just make more rules and increase our surveillance of everyone. And sometimes we won't actually do anything to diminish the fraud, because the point of creating the public good was to enable the fraud. One ends up with a lot of theater and a diminishment of human freedom as a result.

For example, I believe that's what US defense procurement is about these days. They make a great show of accounting for screws and a remarkably poor one of accounting for the effectiveness of the resulting military systems. Using substandard screws is abhorrent while building a few hundred planes for a good part of a trillion dollars that are terrible for the roles they are used in is just fine.

Comment: Re:David Cameron is actually a genuine idiot (Score 0) 256 256

Just wow, socialism does not advocate panopticon surveillance, infact I don't think socialism has anything to say about matters relating to observation of the population.

While sure, it's true that some flavors of socialism don't, it's worth noting that public surveillance is a natural consequence of the creation of public goods. For example, are you going to take my word for it that I'm actually five hundred people, all drawing a public pension and all using up expensive health care at my personal health care facility which strangely enough has an abandoned parking lot as address and only employs a few dozen members of me.

To prevent such fraudulent overconsumption of public welfare-related public goods (a standard tragedy of the commons situation BTW), by necessity, they need to know that the application is a real human and relevant data to that applicant. The more services and goods provided, be it welfare or some other things, the more surveillance of its citizens needs to be done merely to protect the viability of what is provided.

Not only does this directly encourage more surveillance of a populace inching towards total surveillance, it also creates ammunition for a future tyranny. Health care records which can be used to prevent abuse of public health care can also be used in combination with other data to create a more complete understanding of would-be rebels and their associates in a society.

Comment: Re:It's that time... (Score 2) 319 319

The entire point of asimovs multi book sagas about the 3 laws is... they don't work, can't work, and are a really bad idea.

Actually, the laws did work and by the end of the series had worked too well, to the point that robots had not only removed themselves from human society in order to protect humans, but it is implied that they also had removed any other potential intelligences (in the whole galaxy!) that they had deemed non-human as well.

The computer is to the information industry roughly what the central power station is to the electrical industry. -- Peter Drucker