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Comment: Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (Score 1) 361

Neither the US constitution, nor does any commentary I'm aware of, state that electors are pledged to represent the interests of their state.

U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clause 2: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors..."

The idea that a state legislature would choose electors that represent its interests should be common sense.

Of course, at every crucial point in history prior to the 1860s, somebody suggests reducing the power of states in favor of either democratic populism (Jackson) of federal power (Hamilton, Washington...), and the argument against goes something like, "You're just trying to abolish slavery!" American federalism was invented as a pretext to sustain slavery in the colonies where it was economically entrenched.

You could just as validly claim that slavery was a scapegoat excuse for the Federal government to usurp power from the states. Preserving states' rights is yet another reason why we would have been better off if slavery had never existed...

Comment: Re: That's a nice democracy you have there... (Score 3, Insightful) 361

The problem with the electoral college is not that it exists, it's that it's being used improperly as a flawed proxy for the popular vote instead of as it was originally intended, which was to reflect the will of the individual states, not the people. Similarly, Senators were not supposed to be elected by popular vote, but rather by vote of their state legislature. And, of course, the office of the President was not supposed to be nearly as powerful as it is now.

What does this all mean? It adds up to the idea that the states were supposed to be much more powerful in comparison to the Federal government than they are now. Since states are smaller, it's easier for individual citizens to meaningfully interact with their state representatives than their federal ones. If states still had the power the Framers intended for them to have, individuals would have better representation than they do now even without electing the President or Senators.

Corporate interests are allowed to dominate because people feel like their vote doesn't matter. Why doesn't their vote matter? Because all elected offices who's constituency is small enough for them to actually affect don't do anything important enough anymore!

Comment: Re:The "what?!" is reaction time (Score 1) 297

by mrchaotica (#48894601) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

It also means that, instead of just being charged with "distracted driving," the perp can be charged with "texting while driving" and "driving erratically" and "distracted driving," which adds up to triple penalty (including jail time!) unless he gives up his right to trial and allows himself to be railroaded into a "plea deal."

Comment: Re:It's just moving your trust to someone else (Score 2) 83

by mrchaotica (#48888911) Attached to: Data Encryption On the Rise In the Cloud and Mobile

Do you have an example?

To my naive understanding, the output of any encryption should appear random. Then, encrypting anything random should also be random -- the only effective difference should be that you now need (some mathematical function of) both keys to decrypt it.

I could accept that the above could be wrong, but I'd love for you to explain why it's wrong.

Comment: Re:Good news (Score 4, Informative) 418

by mrchaotica (#48887367) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

Then you have Khan. Perfectly good movie. And you had nerds raging because herpaderpawhiteguynamedKhanNoonienSingh.

No, we had nerds raging because the damn thing had plot holes big enough to drive a fucking starship through (except you don't NEED to drive a starship anymore because we can just BEAM TO GODDAMN Q'ONOS now...)!

Comment: Re:Most calls not really from Dish (Score 1) 236

by mrchaotica (#48886763) Attached to: Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

If Dish continues to exist, they will continue to need people to install the dishes -- whether they're outside contractors or Dish employees. Either way, you could still continue installing dishes.

If Dish went out of business (and DirecTV's sales didn't increase to take up the slack) and demand for satellite installations decreased to the point where your company went out of business, well, that's the owner's fault for not diversifying.

Regardless, concern for your well-being as a a Dish contractor is not a reason to disregard Dish's law-breaking!

Comment: Re:Translation: (Score 2) 157

by mrchaotica (#48885643) Attached to: Surface RT Devices Won't Get Windows 10

AMD64 would never have reached the market unless Microsoft had ported Windows to run on it.

I don't believe that. Since x86-64 is backwards-compatible to 32-bit OSs, It would have been just fine for AMD to release it running 32-bit Windows. It was still as faster processor, after all, whether it was running in 64-bit mode or not.

Then customer demand would have forced Microsoft to provide x86-64 support, Intel's wishes be damned.

In fact, the way I remember it, that's pretty much what happened. The first x86-64 chips came out in 2003, but Windows XP Pro 64-bit didn't come out until 2005. Even then, and most desktop users with 64-bit CPUs continued using 32-bit XP and didn't switch to 64-bit Windows until Vista (2007) or even 7 (2009). (I distinctly remember dual-booting 64-bit Linux and 32-bit WinXP for several years...)

Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had to be taught how not to. So it is with the great programmers.