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Comment Re:Not acupuncture (Score 1) 159 159

Religious laws in the past were actually subject to a lot of the same kinds of evolutionary pressures as genes themselves, and thus societies often end up with a set of practices that are by and large neutral or helpful. Sure, you have a lot of useless crap and even some harmful crap, but it's a pretty clever way of figuring out the world absent rigorous scientific models. The problem is when those practices interfere with further cultural evolution.

Comment Re:Not acupuncture (Score 4, Interesting) 159 159

Even if it's just luck, that doesn't mean it doesn't merit study, especially if some portion of the practices show promise. Imagine if we were able to turn acupuncture into a practice that actually has some science behind it. Real medicine could gain a new tool and people in general can be better protected from Charlatans.

Comment Re: "Mimic the act of driving"? (Score 2) 157 157

Actually, there is a way to have these kinds of issues covered outside of both the tradiational public and private sectors. From the evil overlord list.

12. One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.

Comment Re:For an alternative (Score 1) 581 581

Yes, it's still censorship. Censorship isn't inherently a bad thing. It certainly can be, and we should be careful of it, especially from the government, but it's not a bad thing in and of itself. "Censorship" is a much broader term than the way you are thinking of it, just like "discrimination" would be describing which of the billion messages you want to air.

Comment Re:For an alternative (Score 5, Insightful) 581 581

No, censorship is when something is censored. Government censorship is when the government censors something. Someone might even self-censor to avoid offending others, even out of pure politeness. That's what the word means. You do touch on one reason why we consider non-government censorship to be much less of a concern: competition. If one channel won't air something, another might not. Generally speaking, we don't have as many options regarding our government, so we take government censorship much more seriously.

Comment Re:For an alternative (Score 4, Insightful) 581 581

The First Amendment is about government infringing that right. Private censorship is still censorship, and it can potentially become as big of a threat to social progress as speech repressed by the government. For example. lots of social issues have been avoided in mainstream media because of corporate/political incentives to stay quiet about the subject. On the flip side, there is censorship that most would find totally acceptable. I'm quite fine with not seeing the genitals of a man who was streaking through a stadium. But that's still censorship, and we need to acknowledge that, and consider it as such.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?