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Comment Re:Many kinds of freedom (Score 1) 312

I was wondering the other day what the limits of tolerance should be in Western society. I concluded that the only thing we mustn't tolerate is attempts to replace tolerance with intolerance. In other words, sort of political GPL: you have the freedom to do anything you want, except take that freedom away from others. As an example, after the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt, the democratically elected government set about using its mandate to dismantle democracy ("one person, one vote - one time"), and so had to be ousted by force.

I see the GPL in the same light. Freedom isn't free, its price is eternal vigilance. The GPL says, you're free to do anything you like with this code except remove that freedom from any users of the code.

I don't know whether it's less successful at delivering software than "free, do whatever" code; I suspect that if it is, then both are dwarfed by proprietary software. My point being, if there must be only one model of software development, by that metric we should ditch free software altogether. I'm happy with a variety of models, and would probably choose GPL for anything substantial I wrote in my spare time.

Comment Re:How Would That Help? (Score 1) 275

As to things like the Paris incident, it occurs to me to wonder how easy it would have been to wander through a crowded venue shooting people at random if some of those people had been armed themselves...

If what you fear is getting shot, by a terrorist or anyone else, then it's worth pointing out that that's much much less likely in a society where no one has weapons except the bad guys (and the state, though I suspect many don't make that distinction).

If what you fear is a cataclysmic situation where it makes sense for everyone to be armed at very short notice, then the ongoing cost of gun ownership may be acceptable.

Comment Re:Real smart fella (sarcasm) (Score 2) 519

Moral relativism and moral equivalence are separate things to me. Moral relativism is to say that different people have different morals, which seems obvious to me. Equivalence is to say that therefore you cannot say anyone is wrong. I'm not saying that. I'm saying that ISIS are wrong.

Comment Re:Real smart fella (sarcasm) (Score 5, Insightful) 519

I agree with you about violence. But on evil, he's right of course, but as a politician he's a fool to have imagined a cerebral point about moral relativism wouldn't be misinterpreted by the people at large, or misrepresented by his enemies as support for ISIS.

ISIS are evil by my definition of evil, and I'd gladly see them all hang. By their definition of evil, I'm evil, and they'd gladly see me hang. So, I bomb them, and they abduct and decapitate me.

I still think I'm right - I'm not saying that I think there's any moral equivalence between me and them. But I'm able to see that they have exactly the reverse position, and thus that in their minds, they're not just not evil, but even rigtheously good.

Saying "ISIS aren't evil" as a shorthand for all that is not likely to get people's votes. Hell, even saying all that is likely to piss off people who see the world in simplistic black and white (as I believe the majority do).

Comment Re:They say you get the government you deserve... (Score 2) 115

Only 24 out of every 100 adults voted for the asshats. It's the electoral system that screws us, but the only people who can fix that are the very asshats themselves... well, until the revolution! Now if you'll excuse me, it's Nov 5, I must... attend to other matters.

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