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Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 590

Sure, why not? There comes a point where an individual is so dangerous and destructive that a society cannot contain the violence they unleash at every opportunity. Life in prison merely changes the population exposed to that individual. Prison guards, staff, and other prisoners deserve protection from such uncontrollably violent people just as much as anyone else. Capital punishment reduces recidivism rates to zero. No one who has been executed has ever been found to continue committing crimes.

Comment: Re:An alternative to the death penalty (Score 4, Interesting) 590

It's only cheaper because our capital punishment process is so badly broken. It should not take decades to complete the process; that's just dumb. On the other hand, there are flaw in how it's applied currently (moving to the second part of your issue with it), so those also need to be fixed. I support the death penalty, but with some pretty major reforms. And as a strong advocate of it, I would be open to suspending it until said reform has changed the process to one which is much faster, cheaper, more humane, more fair, more evidence-based, and more regulated. For starters, take all the stuff the Innocence Project is doing and integrate it directly into the process and provide wide open access to all information going into the process to any third-party groups wishing to provide sunshine/oversight.

Some individuals are so dangerous and destructive that all members of society (including prison guards, staff, and other prisoners) deserve permanent protection from them. I have no issue with extinguishing the existence of those who are so fundamentally broken that we can't contain their violence. However, we need to bend over backwards to ensure the process to do that is applied fairly, reasonably, and is designed to make it as close to impossible to execute an innocent person as we can reasonably make it.

Comment: Re: just hang them (Score 1) 590

Capital punishment certainly can be "revenge killing", but it is not necessarily so. Personally, I think that if it's fairly applied and handled reasonably, it can be as simple as a society determining that an individual is simply too dangerous and destructive to be allowed to continue existing. I have no problem with that. Prison guards, staff, and indeed other prisoners are people too and they have a right to be protected from particularly destructive and dangerous individuals. At some point, it's fair to admit that you cannot adequately control the violence unleashed at every opportunity by someone who is fundamentally broken in a way we cannot fix.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 0) 590

The US Constitution doesn't give a damn about the rest of the world. Frankly, the rest of the world has such a sordid history (and present) that we should be thankful for that.

Capital punishment is long-established in the US. Taking the "cruel and unusual" approach won't get anywhere. Now if someone comes up with a particular method that's different enough (e.g. giant catapult, throwing people out of an airplane, letting alligators eat them, etc), you can attack the methods.

Comment: Re: Stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 590

Oh please; they just realized how the drugs were being used? Decades of repeated, public use and some executive finally picked up a newspaper? Give me a break. What actually happened is that they periodically reevaluated the amount of money they made off sales versus the PR hit they took for making those sales and eventually the numbers tipped in a new direction.

Comment: Re: Idiotic (Score 0) 590

Murder is against the law; killing absent unlawful motive or negligence is not. Hence, the state can lawfully kill someone once their guilt is determined, their due process rights respected, and the penalty determined to be reasonable given the crimes committed. An individual whose life is at risk by the actions of another individual can also kill, legally. Justifiable homicides happen all the time. If I break into your home to try and murder you, you can kill me and the state has no interest in prosecuting your causing my death.

Capital punishment doesn't bring anyone back to life and if we're honest with ourselves, it likely has little deterrence effect on other criminals. However, the benefit is that it stops an individual who is so dangerous and destructive that society cannot afford to risk their continued existence. Locking them in prison subjects other prisoners, guards, staff, and even other members of society to varying levels of risk from that individual. When an individual is found to exhibit a certain level of danger and destructiveness, society's best option may just be to end that individual's existence in a fair and lawful process.

Comment: No need to be a genius (Score 1) 385

by Loki_1929 (#49500303) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Even being above average means you're surrounded by (relative) idiots. Hell, just stay informed about world events, history, literature, and then stand there in disgust as all people can talk about is the latest episode of "Naked and Afraid". This is by no means a recent thing either; every generation throughout history has repeated the same sorry story.

Comment: Re:Sadly, I don't see an "out" for AMD (Score 1) 133

by Loki_1929 (#49494483) Attached to: AMD Withdraws From High-Density Server Business

This is exactly correct. I myself replaced a SQL Server cluster that was using boxes with dual 12-core AMD procs with one using dual 4-core Xeons a couple years ago. Performance and responsiveness went way up while the bill to Microsoft dropped massively.

I was a solid AMD enthusiast from the original Athlons all the way up until about 5 years ago. They went from huge underdog to reigning champion for a long time while the marketing guys ran Intel's product offering into the ground with everything from Northwood to Prescott and all the stuff in between. But the landscape has shifted for AMD. They've simply gone downhill. As of the last couple of years, I can no longer justify buying AMD procs at work and I'd already switched at home. That AMD could boast significantly more cores was the last leg they had to stand on in the server market; now they're a has-been.

I sincerely hope they recover and blow past Intel as they've done in the past. I think that's healthier for the market and I think we all win when that competition heats up. But at this point, there's little to justify their existence in the server space and the market share numbers reflect that (dropping from >25% share to ~3%).

Comment: Re:That's great news! (Score 1) 517

Two equal candidates, but one who overcame greater adversity to reach that point, suggesting they have greater inherent potential.

Part of the point of an egalitarian system is the idea that inherent potential is not a thing. Not to any significant degree, at any rate. This argument runs directly counter to the underlying philosophy on which your basic thesis depends.

Comment: Re:Affirmative Action is not the same as sexism (Score 1) 517

That's ~51% at birth. It doesn't stay that way for all that long, due to another factor that hasn't been completely explained: women tend to live a bit longer than men do. This phenomenon spent most of history being masked by the fact that childbirth is much more dangerous in humans than in most species: until around the turn of the 20th century, it was the #1 cause of death among women in most cultures, and that skewed female life expectancy much lower than today. In the modern developed world, childbirth is a much safer process; it's still not completely devoid of dangers, but as it has receded as a killer of women, their life expectancy has not only caught up to men's but actually eclipsed it. There are places in the developing world where this process hasn't yet completed, but even there we can see improvements along similar lines.

The end result is that the population spends most of the human lifespan close to 50/50. At the high end of the age range it skews female, though this doesn't become significant until quite late in life.

Comment: Re:That's great news! (Score 1) 517

If two people have the exact same accomplishments, except one is from sex/race subjected to discrimination, then isn't there a good chance that the disadvantaged person would have done more if not subjected to said disadvantage?

Is there a chance? Of course there is.

Is there a good chance? I'm not convinced that there is. A person's life is a complex thing, and the advantages and disadvantages we face interact in extremely complex and sometimes completely counterintuitive ways. For one candidate, things may very well work out as you say: without the disadvantage, the character could do better. Another candidate may use the relative freedom from disadvantage in other ways, unrelated to the task at hand, resulting in a candidate who is very different from the one in question, but not particularly better or worse. There is a third possibility: you seem to imply that those who actually don't face these sorts of disadvantages essentially rest on their laurels, but if they do, then we must also entertain the possibility that a currently-disadvantaged candidate, if he or she were not to have faced these disadvantages, may have done the same, resulting in a candidate who is once again not particularly better, and perhaps even worse.

There is no way to predict what a candidate might have done if they had not faced disadvantages. Because of this, the question has no meaning, and should not be considered in hiring decisions. We must act based on what is in front of us, not on what might have been.

Doesn't that in fact make the disadvantaged person the "better" candidate?

It might, in a parallel timeline where the disadvantage did not in fact apply. But we cannot gamble on parallel timelines; we can only go by what is real, in history as we know it. And by that history, you have two equal candidates.

Seen on a button at an SF Convention: Veteran of the Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force. 1990-1951.