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Comment: Re:Pathetic (Score 1) 683

by omfgnosis (#46097193) Attached to: VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

Of course the "masses" can be turned against scapegoats. That's why scapegoating is used: because it obviously works. If you're seriously asking this question, I would like another, better explanation for why anyone gives half a fuck about immigrants something something jobs, sexual deviants something something morality, flag burners something something... what? This is just from where I sit culturally, but the mechanics of scapegoating are the same in many expressions of, or aspirations to, power.

It so happens that it also manifests in some ways as a matter of course: to people with an immature but real class consciousness, conspicuous consumption is a target that's easier to identify and condemn than a massive and byzantine corruption. Plainly, most people can hardly reason with economy. To a poor person who does most things right and still doesn't get ahead of a struggle to survive, it's a lot easier to find and blame a privileged class of high-skilled labor that benefits disproportionately from this corruption. It's especially easy when real journalism is breathing its dying breaths, in which that other privileged class whose labor is devoted entirely to deeply researching the state of the world, and then exposing that research, has very few remaining outlets and proportionally an even smaller audience.

It might be that there isn't even a real, concerted effort to use these privileged workers as scapegoats, but rather that it happens because they are impressively easy to resent. Put yourself in the shoes of, say, a barista. Whose faces do you see buying your product that you very probably couldn't even afford? Who do you serve?

But it's still a gift to the actual ruling class, a tiny population of people who can exploit nearly everyone and everything. Wouldn't it be nice to have literally no economic worries in life, and let the plebes duke it out over the difference between paycheck-to-rent and paycheck-to-mortgage?

Comment: Re:Pathetic (Score 1) 683

by omfgnosis (#46078061) Attached to: VC Likens Google Bus Backlash To Nazi Rampage

Neither are good analogies at all. But if one must be better than the other, it's because one has a class component and the other has a racial component. If that isn't immediately obvious, everyone asking this question needs to go back and read like... one book about anything that ever happened in history.

Comment: Re:All the more reason (Score 1) 230

by omfgnosis (#45733121) Attached to: Unreleased 1963 Beatles Tracks On Sale To Preserve Copyright

So it's okay to generate revenue from property but not from work? Or does work need to be "for hire"? How are creative people supposed to live? Or do you give a fuck? I honestly don't want to consume culture only in the form of branding. Do you?

Obviously copyright law needs a great deal of reform. Obviously it's deeply vulnerable to chicanery. But please don't let's forget that copyright law (like patent law) was originally conceived to protect workers who provide excessively exploitable value. It might be that the vast majority of the evolution of these laws should be gutted and their intent radically reimplemented. It's quite likely. But for fuck's sake, the idea that we should just throw creators and inventors to the wolves because their exploiters are exploitative is just wrongheaded.

It's worth noting that, in music in particular, experiments with less restrictive copyright enforcement (for example the "pay what you want" scheme) have proven to be a wash for the most popular artists—those who have enjoyed the benefit of years of massive corporate marketing exposure! Eliminating copyright entirely as a mechanism for generating revenue from reproduction would utterly destroy creative culture as anything more than a cultish communal phenomenon.

But wait, that's not all. Guess who would be the biggest winners! Corporate sponsors could perpetually hire creative talent as works for hire. By controlling the entire communications and distribution channel, they could reap even more of the profit than they already do. The creative work would command the tiniest fraction of a percent of the actual revenue generated. Without royalties, they would be free to reproduce and exploit a given creative work eternally. Is that better than absurdly long expiration periods in existing copyright law?

Those of us who care about these issues need to find a better way to communicate not just what we hate about the status quo, but what we expect to do that's better. Maybe we should instead start by placing severe restrictions on how copyright is granted and transferred, and eliminate extension? That would be a phenomenal first step. It would drastically reduce the disparity of power between corporations and creative workers immensely. It would preserve a revenue stream for creative workers. And it might actually be achievable.

Comment: Re:Chrome (Score 1) 163

by omfgnosis (#45711805) Attached to: Facebook Tracks the Status Updates and Messages You Don't Write Too

Facebook doesn't provide any user value for transmitting any data (even metadata) about content the user doesn't end up posting. They don't even provide any *feedback* to the user that anything is happening. They also don't provide a mechanism for the user to opt-out. That makes it quite different from Chrome's behavior. I'm fairly sure the same points apply to Ubuntu.

Comment: Re:Time to switch gears (Score 1) 163

by omfgnosis (#45711779) Attached to: Facebook Tracks the Status Updates and Messages You Don't Write Too

Thankfully, browser vendors realize that a key event can be as volitional as a mouse event (or a touch event). Keyboard control is an accessibility feature. You can't engineer network-enabled software completely away from potential for abuse without severely limiting its function. The abuse ultimately has to be stopped by social pressure.

That said, there are opportunities for engineered **improvement** without destroying keyboard accessibility. A lot of browser restrictions already depend on certain kinds of volitional action to be invoked (think built-in popup blockers). I could imagine a solution where an attempt to access network resources as a result of key events prompts the user for permission, either temporarily or on a whitelist, even per "action" (e.g. form or field identity).

Note that some keyboard accessibility is available without any JavaScript (as it should be) and should *never* be curtailed. Particularly the use of keys to press buttons or submit forms.

Comment: Re:Scratchy (Score 1) 157

by omfgnosis (#45523451) Attached to: Beer Drinking Networks In Amazon Tribe Help Explain Altruism

Root juice.

And while we're being pedantic... yes, it's beer. Starch -> sugar + yeast -> fermentation = beer.

Beer has been made from malted barley, wheat, rice, corn, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, even non-starch sugar sources like honey, sugar cane, beet sugar and chestnuts, not to mention (gasp) fruits. Frankly the only sane reason wine, mead and cider are distinct from beer is tautological: they have their own names. The same is true of sake.

The use of herbal adjuncts (like hops) was developed as a method of preservation, and as additive flavoring (and sometimes for real or perceived psychoactive properties).

Beer is extremely loosely defined (notwithstanding Reinheitsgebot). Have a beer, loosen up, and educate yourself! :)

This comment brought to you by beer.

Comment: Re:We need a workers government (Score 1) 465

In the richest country in the world, people have cheap gadgets and are slaves to the transportation they inevitably need to get to work? That's empowerment? Say it ain't so.

Also, I wouldn't call corner stores with fritos and gummy worms access to food.

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