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Comment: Re:Mixed units (Score 3, Insightful) 61

by profplump (#47921993) Attached to: Micron Releases 16nm-Process SSDs With Dynamic Flash Programming

It sounds like you're saying /. doesn't support Unicode. Make all the excuses you want about it being hard -- they might be true -- but Unicode support on /. does not exist. The idea that a whitelist (that doesn't even include mu) is evidence of support is like claiming that an F1 car is road-legal because you added headlights.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 0) 73

by profplump (#47916097) Attached to: NSW Police Named as FinFisher Spyware Users

Tell me about it. And don't even get me started on the Anglicans -- they do almost nothing except plot terrorism. Given the number of current and former Anglicans in Australia it's hard to believe you can walk down the street with getting blown up.

/ Or maybe reducing the entire world to the single dimension of religion is not a terribly useful way to understand "terrorism"

Comment: Re:So long as it is consential (Score 1) 362

by profplump (#47845067) Attached to: Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?

The smaller government is the less harm it can do. But also less good. You can argue about where the point of balance should be, but to argue that smaller is always better assumes that government can do nothing worthwhile. That is not a widely held assumption, so you must support it if you want to convince anyone of theories that assume it.

Comment: Re:So long as it is consential (Score 1) 362

by profplump (#47845055) Attached to: Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?

Exactly what makes parents more qualified to make educational decisions than other people? I know they *feel* more qualified, but it's unclear to me that feeling is justified by any observable fact. Parents have a certain perspective to offer, but no particular expertise (at least not as a group), and certainly not the only valid perspective. What you're suggesting is essentially self-regulation -- which we know from other areas creates inherent conflicts of interest and readily ignores broader societal goals. Why do you think it will work here when it clearly does not in other places?

Comment: Re: Misleading Headline (Score 2) 246

by profplump (#47844845) Attached to: Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

And the parent says "fair" as though there's only one way to evaluate that declaration. As with most things it's a more subtle question than simply declaring that some other position is morally wrong and therefore your position must by default be the only acceptable option. If you want to support a regressive tax feel free, but simply declaring that a progressive tax isn't clearly morally superior is not the same as providing rational in support of a regressive tax.

Moreover anyone who excludes payroll taxes from their definition of "income tax" is stretching credulity. Payroll taxes are paid by even the very poorest earners, are proportional to income, and are deducted from paychecks. The only people who avoid them are the very rich who either hit the upper limit -- though it's unclear why such a limit even exists -- or those who don't have earned income in the first place, like those living on investment income.

And of course most poor people pay both payroll taxes and sales taxes, even if they "pay no income taxes at all". Which is why taxation needs to be considered as a system and not as a series of independent pieces -- only they very rich have the freedom to choose which taxes apply to them.

Comment: Re:Official Vehicles (Score 5, Insightful) 261

by profplump (#47769265) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

You've got this 100% backwards. Deciding to drive slower than everyone else makes you a much bigger risk than the people driving the same speed. If the speed at which most drivers are comfortable on a road is too high for safety the road system itself (which includes signage and surroundings) has been designed incorrectly and should be corrected.

Comment: Re:Firearms? (Score 1) 191

by profplump (#47746259) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

Or maybe we're just familiar with past disasters and a more or less complete lack of the sort of scenario you imagine. I know it's fun to pretend that everyone else is evil and coming to hurt you -- that's the plot of more or less every zombie movie -- but in real life it's just not much a threat compared to say, dehydration.

Comment: Re:Are You Kidding? (Score 1) 541

by profplump (#47648053) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

So which differences in skin tone, height, and facial features uniquely define the races? If you start with the assumption that race is a physical, heritable trait this work might make sense. But if you want to be take seriously you first have to establish that claim, and thus far no one has done so (nor is anyone honestly trying, as definitions of race are not stable across cultures or time, which almost certainly means they aren't physical in the first place).

Comment: Re:Politically Correct Science (Score 2) 541

by profplump (#47648029) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

You might want to re-read the quotations from the article: “Our findings do not even provide a hint of support in favor of Wade’s guesswork.”

That is not the same as saying "I didn't publish those conclusions" -- it's a rebuttal that the conclusions he makes are supported by the evidence he provides, from one of the foremost authorities on that evidence. You can claim that the original authors are lying if you want, but they aren't making the sort of wishy-washy statements you describe.

Comment: Re:alas (Score 1) 541

by profplump (#47647955) Attached to: Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

As soon as you come up with a heritable definition for race you can start on your analysis of heritable differences in relation to race. But historically we can't even come up with racial definitions that are stable across cultures and over a few generations, let alone that are heritable on the scale of evolution, which makes the whole discussion nothing more than handwaving.

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.