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Comment: Re:bunch of naggers (Score 1) 82

First of all, I'm not British, so I only meant this as an outside observation. I'm Canadian, so certainly well versed in the realities of Westminster politics.

Second of all, as much as Cameron may be far from ideal, I don't think he's any kind of Palpatine. As much as anything, he's been delivered the fruits of the Labour meltdown in Scotland which began in 2010 and now appears to be permanent.

I do think that the specter of a Labour government reliant on the SNP disturbed a good many English, and I think there are reasonable grounds to argue that, for England, the idea of a Devo-maxed Scotland still able to push English MPs around on matters of largely English concern demonstrates fundamental inequities. And before we all forget, it is Labour, as much as anyone, who created this dilemma by dealing with the Scottish question, and going out of its way not to deal with English question.

At any rate, British voters had their chance to pick a new electoral system that would have made the ability of any party to form government with less than even a 40% share of the popular vote far less likely. They rejected that. Coupled with what looks to be a permanent break with Labour in Scotland, and the phenomena of UKIP actually stealing more Labour votes than Conservative votes in the North, the Tories probably have a good chance of repeating the 2015 election again, providing they don't go completely off the rails. And that will moderate them as much as anything. Their first majority in 23 years is not something they're going to be keen to throw away on a pack of Thatcheresque exploits.

Comment: Re:Surprised those edits weren't reverted (Score 5, Informative) 82

I think there's a sense of defeat amongst most Wikipedia editors right now, that if they revert the removal of sourced, no-BLP-problems, negative information from Wikipedia, they're going to end up in a fight that leaves them banned for "edit warring" or "incivility" by admins and arbs more keen on the appearance of dealing with conflict than on resolving real issues with off-site organizing of vandalism and harassment.

I wouldn't recommend anyone get involved in that hole for a while, and as such I reluctantly discourage anyone from reading Wikipedia for anything but the least controversial articles - unless they're also willing to put the work in and examine page histories, checking references, etc.

Comment: A candle against the dark (Score 2) 187

by dbIII (#49774283) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
You are mistaking kicking back against PR agencies, people in politics defining a difference to other people in politics and medicine show "religion" who see science as a threat to their business model for "scientific consensus".
Banding together against the barbarians at the gate who wouldn't know the scientific method if it bit them on the arse is not "scientific consensus" - it is a defence of expertise versus wilful ignorance and deliberate lies.

Comment: Re:Grant money and politics are the problems (Score 2) 187

by dbIII (#49774223) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
From a variety of sources I have heard that once a scientist reaches a certain level they have to put in far more than half their time chasing grants, which leaves the actual research to poorly supervised students. Apparently there are far more hoops to jump through to get the grants so it's not just relative scarcity - blame red tape that was not there before instead of the senior scientists that are being wasted as data entry staff filling in forms.

Comment: Re:sophistry (Score 1) 187

by dbIII (#49774191) Attached to: Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed?
Bullshit - it's when the corporations with major labs have NOT been goal oriented that they have hit the pay dirt nobody expected - for instance Bell labs with the transistor and many other things. When a lab becomes nothing but a place to focus on development instead of actual research it only works for a while until someone who is pushing the envelope turns up to eat your lunch. IBM, HP and many others used to put a lot of effort into research without any immediate goal and that was part of the reason they survived for so long, and have been eclipsed by others no that they no longer do it.

Comment: Re:Ho hum (Score 1) 196

Actually the legal difference between hard core and soft core, is that the latter is simulated, the former is technically "real". That is, for example, showing an actual erection would count as hard core pornography.

But yeah, porn is inherently unrealistic: the pizza delivery guy never arrives that quickly after you place your order...

Comment: Re:Why do this in the first place? (Score 1) 78

Because of the three existing mobile platforms, two have gatekeepers with a veto on what can and cannot be installed. This makes it exceptionally difficult for Mozilla to make mobile browsers with any chance of success.

This is only not important if you think:

1. Mobile devices will never become the most common way of accessing the Internet
2. Android (the sole platform that allows the user and only the user to ultimately decide what's allowed to be installed on their device) will always have a huge market share, so big that iOS and Windows Phone/Mobile/whatever it's called today will always have a negligible marketshare.

I suspect (1) is already false. (2) is laughably false. So this is important for Mozilla.

Comment: Re:Is this actually important to DC? (Score 1) 196

by jandersen (#49773487) Attached to: Leaked Document Shows Europe Would Fight UK Plans To Block Porn

I would suggest that this might be an issue that David Cameron used for the elections and for politics and that it isn't a core issue that he'll defend against such pushback.

I think it is quite important - as a diversion tactic. He doesn't want people to catch on to the fact that the Conservatives are selling off public assets as part of a larger, ideologically motivated strategy. I won't deny that they and the Liberal Democrats have done a reasonable job of handling the crisis, in as much as they have done at least part of what had to be done, but they have moved on from the pragmatic running of the country, to a targeted implementation of ideology, and that will inevitably hurt society. This is not because Conservative ideology is worse than the others, but because ideology tends to ignore reality.

The Conservatives have this romantic notion of 'Big Society', which in their minds means that charities, voluntary work etc should cover for more and more things, and the state should not - something I find rather disturbing; presumably if you fall through the 'Big Society' safety net, you are free to go and sell your body to scientific experiments? Another one that sounds a bit hollow is their being the party for 'Working People' - not 'The Working Class', note - which one suspects may mean they are in favour exclusively of people being in work, so you are not on benefits. Thus, changing the benefit system so people are forced to take shitty jobs far below their abilities, because there simply isn't anything else, will be 'For Working People', right?

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