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Comment: Re: Civics class (Score 1) 474

by cduffy (#48455001) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

From my perspective, it tends to be the people who say they support "family values" that actually support legal and social measures that keep families small.

Look at who it is defending zoning laws enforcing "single-family household" status as excluding larger chosen (non-blood-related) families, and compare to who it is embracing legal and social norms that allow maximum flexibility in assembling a strong, self-supporting structure from such components as available. Look at who is trying to restrict legal marriage and adoption and who is trying to extend it. Look at the group voting for judges that view large aggregated families-of-choice as evidence of perversion -- from which children should be protected -- and the group voting for judges who view a large, stable support network built from people who love and care for each other as precisely that. I'm all for "family values", in by that one means values that support large and strong families... but if I say "family values" in public to a random stranger, what's going to come to their mind is not the same as what I'm actually referring to.

I say this as someone who is overwhelmingly happy to have participated in the upbringing of children -- two of whom are now legal adults -- in whose genes I have no role, but to whose memes and ethics I am gratified to have contributed. I'm glad to have contributed to the financial stability of their household; I'm glad to have been another person there to help with homework and listen to their stories and serve as a role model and help keep things running. The people who say they support "family values" but who would have broken apart that family? I cannot, at such short notice, find words for the damage I see being done -- or attempted -- in the name of "family values".

*sigh*.

And yes, I know that you're acknowledging much of the above, and that a great deal of my rant (perhaps all of it) doesn't apply to you. Please forgive that. I don't believe your assertion that anyone (for a statistically significant value of same) views state programs as an adequate replacement for having a genuine support structure... but would suggest that, perhaps, there are those who would like those who don't have a support structure to have somewhere to turn.

I've known too many people whose blood families weren't a healthy place for them -- physical abuse and the like. Several of those people were welcomed into a family of choice that gave them the support that they needed -- but not everyone can be that lucky, and establishing social policy in a way that only helps those who are already fortunate... well, there's a lot of that done already, and a lot of people it leaves behind.

Comment: Re:UPS (Score 1) 233

by sootman (#48450073) Attached to: What is your computer most often plugged into?

I've had the opposite experience. I just get basic APC UPSs and I've never had one cause me a moment's trouble. I can't say I WOULD have lost data if I HADN'T had them, but it HAS saved me the bother of having all my machines unexpectedly do a hard shutoff when the power dips for a second. You just have to test on occasion and replace batteries as needed because they WILL fail silently -- if the battery is dead, you won't know until the power goes out and your machine goes down.

Comment: Re:In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 453

by cduffy (#48446921) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

Finding road edge boundaries in snow, at least, is actually a place where existing self-driving car systems do better than humans already. Keep in mind that they're not limited to the visual end of the EM spectrum.

For the rest, I'll defer to empirical studies on effectiveness under varying conditions. It's easy to think of corner cases -- but the real question, corner cases or no, is whether the average amount of liability incurred per hour of driving is greater or less than a human at the wheel.

Comment: Re: In a Self-Driving Future--- (Score 1) 453

by cduffy (#48446869) Attached to: In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

I guess, if you like the state or insurance companies telling you when and where you may travel.

The power of the state is one thing. On the other hand, doing harm to others without means to provide recompense is legitimately immoral even under reasonable Libertarian frameworks.

Motor vehicle insurance allows the externalities which would otherwise be created by individuals defaulting rather than being able to pay off debts they incurred to be priced by the market -- quite transparently, given as the profit margins are known and available to customers as well as shareholders. If you can't pay for the harm you're doing to others by an action, even as aggregated and normalized by the insurance industry, can you truly morally justify that act?

Comment: Boycott Bennett! (Score 5, Insightful) 243

by sootman (#48403041) Attached to: Big Talk About Small Samples

Slashdot by now has OBVIOUSLY seen how much we don't like this guy. The fact that they keep posting him means they're just trolling us, or going for pageviews, or both. Or maybe Bennett has some kind of deal with the site, or has something on one of the editors. Whatever. I don't care. From now on, NO ONE post any comments on one of his stories. Not even to say how much you hate his stories. This will be my last comment on one of his stories. Hope this takes!

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