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Comment Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 1) 288 288

> what gives the government the right to force said interference?

The fact that a majority of people for moral reasons do not want certain types of agreements to exist, for example selling yourself into slavery.

> is there any scientific evidence that government control over car rides is actually making us significantly safer?

Why are you limiting yourself to car rides? If goverment control over _any_ other common business field, say, pharmacy, building safety, water, roads, rail and air travel, is making it safer for customers, why would this oversight suddenly be useless for public transportation by cars? Or are you implying that goverment control over _any_ other service provided to the public is a scam too?

> how do we know that the government is not vulnerable to private interest

We dont. And it is even naive to assume they arent.

> Is it reasonable to expect that giving such immense power to a small group of people will lead to fair decisions?

Allowing a single company to disrupt a whole existing diverse industry is even more unreasonable, since all the power would shift to a even smaller group people you cant even elect. Allowing Uber to drive eveybody else out of the public transportation market is like letting Microsoft drive everybody else out of the personal computing market.

Comment Re: maybe (Score 1) 512 512

> and everyone thinks that's normal

Because pretending that it is normal is way easier than fighting public accusations of racism.

As soon as the Muslims/Africans living in the west and mutilating their girls reaches a critical number it will become "the new normal" the same way male genital mutilation is.

It is only "mutilation" as long as an (uninfluential) minority does it. As soon as you cant effectively ban it any more, it becomes "their culture".

Remeber how for example homosexuality only 2 decades ago was classified as a mental disease across the west.

Comment Re:Emacs and Guile need each other (Score 1) 107 107

> I wish that the project, talked about for years, to rewrite Emacs and base it on Guile would take off. It would save Guile

Exactly, and this is exactly its problem. It is not the Emacs people who are pushing this rewrite, but the guile people. in order to get a "killer app" as a vehicle to advertize Guile, because nobody else wants to write a killer app in guile from scratch.

Of course, Emacs would benefit from an vastly improved Elisp engine too, but my feeling is that the usual Emacs users actually do not want to switch from Elisp to Scheme in the long term. Elisp is a descendant of Maclisp, and as such much more resembles the look and feel of Common Lisp than Scheme. There is even a big subset of Common Lisp implemented in Elisp. There is no similar Scheme package, because Emacs people do not like Scheme. They like Lisp.

The problem is, even though they have two Lisp implementations under their umbrella, CLISP and GCL, GNU made the decision to _not_ use Common Lisp as their "official" high-level language some 20 years ago, because RMS had problems with Lisp companies during the 80s, and they are now sticking with Guile no matter what against all opposition. It was a bad decision, but now they have invested 20 years of effort into guile an do not or can not go back. The push to get Emacs onto guile is purely political. I have the feeling that the political push by GNU to start writing in Scheme instead of Lisp will alienate a lot of people in the emacs community and maybe lead to a fork.

In short: Pushing people to write Scheme instead of Elisp will either lead to Emacs dying (because people do not like Scheme) or lead to a fork (because people do not like Scheme). If you absolutely have to rewrite Emacs because the Elisp engine is so kaputt, rewrite it in Common Lisp. Having a high quality Common Lisp available with every Emacs install would benefit _Emacs_. Having Guile installed with every Emacs will only benefit Guile, but Emacs will die. And why? You'll guess it, because people simply do not like scheme.

Comment Re:Why not teach with BananaOS ? (Score 3, Interesting) 90 90

If Reactos ever threatens to get into an usable state, Microsoft can simply outspend them by moving on and letting Reactos always play costly catch up.

The effort invested into Reactos would make much more sense if invested into Wine instead.

Using Reactos still means using Windows and writing Windows apps in the first place, so it benefits the Windows overall ecosstem. If the effort were spent on Wine instead, people would be able to run their Windows apps, but would have to switch to Linux first, and Linux would be their new primary environment while Wine would be just a compatibility layer. Nobody would directly write apps for Wine, it would be just a way to run old apps until they are ported to your new native environment, Linux.

Reactos is not the necessary step away _from_ Windows, it _is_ Windows with all the usual downsides of Windows, but without the benefit of a company like Microsoft supporting it.

Comment Re:Stable? (Score 1) 59 59

> Canonical has shown no signs of letting up with the crazy

Unity is by far not as unusable and "different" as all the haters make it up to be. In its essence, it a reimplementation of WindowMaker with desktop icons.

I've had Windows users without _any_ prior Linux experience use it intuitively without any difficulty or complaints whatsoever.

The only people who complain about Unity are those who cant believe that Gnome2 was killed and desperately want it back. I know that because I was one of them. Until I actually used Unity for a longer period of time and found out that my prior complaints were just emotional rage about the killing of Gnome2 and not about Unity itself. Unity itself is perfectly usable for day to day work.

But it was not Canonical who killed Gnome2, the Gnome people themselves did that and they are to blame. It was and is in Canonicals best interest to cut as many ties to Gnome as possible because Gnome definitely jumped the shark and the Gnome people lost their way, their mind and their sanity.

Comment Re:Are we any smarter than we were 2000 years ago? (Score 1) 202 202

> The closer you get from the "source" is with the Q'ran because it was never translated

The whole Bible NT is available in the original koine greek.

> however it was written from memory by followers of Muhammad

With the Bible, the things are even worse. Nobody knows who actually wrote the core part, the gospels.

The other half of the NT, Paul's writings, which predate the gospels by a few decades, dont even mention that Jesus was somebody who actually existed outside of Paul's visions and theological concepts.

Comment Distribution concept, too frequent releases (Score 1) 319 319

In my view, Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular is greatly harmed by the concept of monolitic "distributions". Besides hardware drivers, this has been in my experience the biggest obstacle to Linux/Ubuntu adoption.

From the point of view of a Windows user, having to upgrade the whole system and _all other apps_ just to get the new version of one single app, is asinine. As a Linux advocate, I had many people I tried to make use Linux return back to windows just for this single reason alone. An Ubuntu app should install on any reasonably recent Ubuntu and not be tightly coupled to a particular release. When people get windows apps, they are usually not called "XP apps", or "Vista apps" or "Win7 apps", they are just Windows apps, and in most cases install without problems even on 10 years old XP machines. This is what made Windows win the giant market share it has, and this is an issue that has greatly bothered me on Linux the last 15 years, and Ubuntu might finally be the one Linux that fixes it.

Do you have this problem on your radar and are you going to do something about it?

The second issue is the too frequent releases of these distributions. You've just released 12.04 LTS a few months ago. Judging by published upgrade stats, a big number of users has already upgraded to a non-LTS 12.10, and in my view, devalued the LTS. I see here an example of the Osbourne effect at work. Too frequent new releases devalue the old releases (especially the LTS), so targeting the LTS becomes less attractive for games and other commercial vendors. I think that being a too fast moving and backward incompatible target is bad for Linux in general and for Ubuntu in particular. I think that forcibly slowing down the chaotic development Linux ecosystem would greatly benefit it as a target for commercial development.

Do you have this problem on your radar and are you going to do something about it?


Comment Re:Tantrum? (Score 5, Interesting) 287 287

> his legal team is still carrying on his maniacal vendetta

To complete your statement with direct quotes:

  • "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,"
  • "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."
  • "I don't want your money. (...) I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want."

Apple has built such a Fuehrer cult around Jobs, that they now have to realize his last wish even if it greatly harms them, or risk admitting that he was crazy, at least with regard to his irrational hate for Google.

Comment Re:No Death Penalty (Score 1) 379 379

> We shouldn't execute people, because we're not really sure that we're killing someone who's guilty.

And why should we execute somebody who we are perfectly sure _is_ guilty? Why cant they, you know, jsut go to prison like everybody else? Why do we have to intentionally _kill them_? Just because a lot of crazy people out there want to see their blood? This is the sick part, not the fact that statistically we also execute not guilty ones.

Comment Re:Why OpenOffice? (Score 2) 71 71

> should be merged into one product

Which one? And whois going to get the last word on decisions?

> isn't it equally open source again?

Open source does not imply that there somehoiw should be only one application of its kind.

On the contrary, isnt having forks the whole point of open source?

Asking why OpenOffice and LibreOffice should coexist is like asking why OSX and Windows should coexist, or why Linux and FreeBSD should coexist.

Comment Re:Extradition? WTF? (Score 2) 94 94

> Brits, it IS your country. Man up and start running it like a real one, not the butt-boy of the USA.

How are people supposed to change stuff without being able to directly vote on it? Like with copyright, big parties can simply agree on extradition and effectively shield it from any democracy, since nobody is going to form a new party just to fight this one single extradition law.

Without direct democracy, parties can simply win elections on "big issues" and completely and utterly disregard the will of the people on such "small issues".

Comment Re:Don't bet on it. (Score 3, Interesting) 1226 1226

It also doesnt make sense to try to reach them, once they've grown up in religion, they wont let it go for emotional and tribal reasons. It defines them as a community much stronger than their nationality does. It is sufficient to reach their kids, before they irreparably brainwash them.

I dont think religious adults really believe any of this, they just dont want to let it go because they _know_ what a slippery slope it is. Like that librarian Jorge in "the name of the rose" who burnt books because they were dangerous to religion. I think many of them know that they're creating an artificial reality, they simply prefer it to real reality, like the people in "The Village".

Theres no point in arguing evolution with them, they do not want to discuss it because that way they would above all confess to _each other_ that they all know that they've been pretending to each other all the time. For religious adults, theres simply too much emotional investment and pride and embarassment involved to simply give up faith. Accepting evolution will only work for kids, before their parents forcibly create a too strong emotional bonding between them and baby Jesus.

Comment Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 1) 242 242

> Absolutely, unequivocally, no.

Well, maybe you dont, but I do.

> create a tyranny of the majority

Can you give me an example of a direct democracy gone wrong? You probably cant, because the only direct democracy existing is Switzerland, and it works perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, can give you a long list of the supposedly better representative democracies gone wrong. Nazi Germany grew out of a representative democracy, for example. Hitler was an cleanly elected "representative". And because their politicians decisions were unstoppable, suddenly millions of Germans had to go and die on the Ostfront, because there was no way to democratically override Hitlers decisions.

> makes changing certain aspects of governmental operation incredibly difficult.

This similarly means that when the representative goverment goes wrong, for example with copyright policy or the "war on drugs", it is also incredibly difficult to change that. So for representative democracy to be "better", you actually have to assume that it already _is_ better, and not allow any change (or make the change so hard to be effectively impossible). But this assumption is demonstrably wrong.

Comment Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 4, Insightful) 242 242

For direct democracy to work you dont have to give up representative democracy, you can make direct democracy optional, like in switzerland, so that if enough people _want_ to vote on a topic they perceive important, they can.

At the current representative level, we're basically not allowed to vote on copyright, becaue our "representatives" dont like the probable outcome of the vote. So they simply enforce their policy against the "will of the people", leaving us with a de facto dictatorship with respect to copyright. We cant vote on it, and those we voted in wont do as we want, leading to a situation where the law whether something is legal or illegal absolutely does not represent the public opinion whether something actually is right or wrong.

In switzerland, representative democracy works as usual, but if enough people collect signatures, they have a way to vote to override politician's decisions. They can stop unpopular laws. In Germany, we cant. If our goverment decides to crack down on filesharing, we cant stop them. If our goverment decides to go to war against iran because of some "NATO obligations", we cant stop them. All we can do is wait for 4 years and then vote in somebody else and pray that he wont do the same, because we cant stop him either. The whole problem originates in the fact that our politicians, once they're in after making false promises, they _know_ that they're literally unstoppable and behave accordingly.

What Pirates want for Germany and what the Swiss already have in Switzerland, is to make politicians stoppable and their decisions reversible, immediately by popular vote, not by waiting 4 years and then hoping their successors are going to reverse it like they "promised".

Comment Re:Can someone explain to me (Score 1) 242 242

> The problem with system itself originally was scaling, it simply didn't scale well beyond small city-state sized community

So if real democracy is impossible above a certain size, does that mean that getting (or staying) above a certain size is a method to circumvent real democracy?

If Germany is too big for direct democracy, then split it up in chunks small enough for direct democracy to work.

I think that they're attempting a similar coup with the EU: First get big enough for representative democracy to not scale any more, then complain that even representative democracy isnt scaling, then get rid even of representative democracy because only some authoritarian construct scales to that size.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. -- John Naisbitt, Megatrends