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Comment Re:it was the McCarthy era (Score 1) 282

SF is the art of the technical class. The central message is "You can fix it or create wonders by applying intelligence and dilligence to the problem."

Huh? That is not the central message of SF. That is one single theme used in some SF, and used in the most generic sci-fi out there. The conflict is man v. nature/technology or man v. society (or even man v. self), where the virtues extolled are up to the writer. Besides intelligence and diligence, some other virtues often key in SF include self-reliance, capacity for specific emotions (love/empathy/etc), having morals, willingness to deviate from the norm, etc.

Mainstream fiction is the propaganda of control of the general population: The central message is futility

What the hell kind of mainstream fiction did YOU read that was contemporary with Bradbury? In 1953, when Fahrenheit 451 was published, the books that topped the Adult Fiction bestseller charts were: The Silver Chalice (Costain), East of Eden (Steinbeck), Desiree (Selinko), Beyond This Place (Cronin), and Lord Vanity (Shellabarger). None of these books had a message of futility OR conformity; very much the opposite.

You are saying that Bradbury imported the mainstream fiction message of "Do what the authorities tell you to do. No matrer HOW badly they're doing and HOW bad things get, don't try to improve them. Anything you try will make them worse.". Not only was that not the mainstream message of the day, you would be hard-pressed to find that as a theme in any of Bradbury's works. I ask you to please name a single work of Bradbury's where this could conceivably be the case.

Comment Re:Get Self-Employed (Score 1) 268

That is a false comparison. Most people I know who work in radio do so because they are drawn to something about it, whether it's the music or the other people or simply working in a studio with all of the equipment. So making whatever sacrifices about working conditions or pay tends to be an informed and willing choice. I suspect few, if any, people working in Amazons warehouses are doing so because they love working in a warehouse.

Employment, being a contractual situation (because SCOTUS has repeatedly said so), is about a mutual, reciprocal exchange of value. If the value Amazon is attempting to extract from their employees is not reasonably commensurate with they are paying, then Amazon is deficient in holding up their side of the agreement. If the conditions under which the employees are working are unreasonably onerous or unrealistically sustainable by an average person, then Amazon is not only deficient, they are willfully so, which under contract law, puts them even more in the wrong.

Comment CS should not be a core subject (Score 2) 131

CS, much like blacksmithing, is a combination of art and science; as such, while anyone can learn the basics, only a minority of people are ever going to be good at it--let alone understand it enough to be good at it from the start. To put it another way, anyone can learn to play a musical instrument, but only a minority of people can be described as being musicians. There are many CS jobs that work this way, programming, database admin, and system and network administration being the obvious examples.

CS courses in elementary and even in middle school are generally a waste of time. The amount of accretive knowledge to be gained at that early an age isn't going to put any student so far along the learning curve that doing it all again in high school would be so repetitive as to be a waste of time. So just do it at the high school level, when kids are actually at the point of making career choices and the corresponding college selections to follow those choices. And don't make every kid take the CS course, when it's obvious far from every kids will be pursuing a CS-type career.

Comment Re:Europe has also had wire transfers (Score 1) 294

>It's 2015. Why does transferring money in the US take more than a minute and a few cents? I transfer money via ACH all the time for $1 per transaction.

Manual wires are different, and have a lot of costs associated with them. There are people involved, not just data being pushed.

Comment Re:Called "Communism". (Score 1) 503

Star Trek was absolutely not communism, in that the State did not own everything. Sure, they owned the star ships and space ports and most of the stuff on them. But there were still farms and businesses and trade routes and mines and the State did not own any of that. They were much more efficient than that: The State owned the power production. The State was the only entity that made anti-matter, and without anti-matter, your star ship wasn't leaving the solar system. And if you couldn't leave the solar system, you had no access to the Andoran or Vulcan or Klingon markets. While on present-day earth, the dictatorships and kingdoms of the middle east thrived for as long as they did because the state owned the energy production, i.e., the oil. We are in the midst of huge changes in that regard, which is part of why the US government goes to great lengths to prop-up the Saudi dictatorship in order to protect access to their oil, despite said dictatorship being quite antithetical to nearly everything the USA was founded upon and is presumably supposed to stand for.

Militaries do no uses communist economics, it's dictated and centrally budgeted (i.e., planned). The notion that a pilot wants or needs to own his or her fighter jet is absurd at facevalue. In practice, the pilot, while presumably a volunteer, is nothing more than an employee.

And I don't charge my kids for use of the house because I didn't have kids as a means to an economic end; i.e., I didn't breed just to have free labor to use for my own purposes or to rent to others. So again, your notion that household economies are communistic are absurd.

Comment Re:Why don't they have a sat link? (Score 2) 102

A sat link isn't a viable alternative for providing data access to a government, much less an entire country.

TFA mentions the microwave backup being down, because commercial microwave links actually can provide significant levels of bandwidth.
The only real limit is line of sight and how much you want to spend.

And as always: Two is one and one is none.
There's a reason why NASA uses triple redundancy when they want something to never fail.

Comment Re:FOIA isn't meant to support a business model. (Score 1) 139

And waste more taxpayer money forcing a public employee to go through all the work again?

I can't recall the name, but there's an organization that spends its free time re-requesting FOIA'ed documents just to see what is or isn't redacted in subsequent releases.

It's basically a social engineering approach to un-redacting documents.

Comment Re:Cry More (Score 1) 139

but I found these two quotes to be interesting:

Heh. The problem is not the fees.
The problem is that journalists and activists overwhelmingly end up having to sue Federal (and State) Agencies in order to get a response or responsive documents to their FOIA requests.

This is despite the fact that Federal Agencies are required by law to respond to FOIA requests within 30(?) days.

"Even when a journalist acts with the utmost diligence in filing a FOIA request and pursuing his or her rights in court, agency feet-dragging can frustrate a journalist's attempt to obtain records at the time when they are needed most," [Jason "FOIA Terrorist" Leopold] wrote [in his written testimony before Congress].

"Investigative journalists should be spending their time and resources investigating, not litigating," he added. "Unfortunately, some agencies refuse to conduct adequate searches and fail to properly apply FOIA's exemption provisions until a lawsuit has been filed."

It can take years of litigation to get documents out of Federal Agencies.
Years. Of paying lawyers.
And then their scoop is gone.

I see the merits of arguments in favor of "upload immediately" (which IMO should be the default position) and "give the journalists a chance."
I think this trial run will expose the lie in any unsupported assertions being made by journalists arguing their position.

Comment Re:I believe it... (Score 1) 327

Students were again instructed to mimic surfing to a designated basket of URLs (Table I) as they might perform research for a paper, casual surfing (news). They were required to spend at least 5 - 15 minutes on each site.

Table 1: Basket of URLs Visited
youtube.com
bild.de
gamestar.de
cnn.com
shopping.com
bloomberg.com
spiegel.de
ebay.com
nytimes.com
mashable.com
yahoo.com
huffingtonpost.com
digg.com
washingtonpost.com
reddit.com
abcnews.go.com
buzzfeed.com
cbs.com
yelp.com
espn.com
msn.com
dailymail.co.uk
skysports.com
imgur.com
imdb.com
techcrunch.com
alibaba.com
reuters.com
cnet.com
thesun.co.uk
stackoverflow.com
bbc.com

Phase II of the testing was conducted from March 15, 2015 to May 1, 2015 with 103 students participating. Phase II revealed some interesting results. For the purposes of analysis, we selected two computers with the most web traffic, one with Adblock Plus (Computer Y) and one without any ad-blocking technology (Computer S).

That's an interesting test methodology and a highly questionable way to cherry pick analyze 2 weeks worth of data.

Comment Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 452

Reddit was started as an experiment in free speech.

Wait, what?

I recall Alex coming on Slashdot a lot to promote Reddit when he first launched it. "An experiment in free speech" was not anything I recall being discussed. I also remember him posting on Slashdot while still developing reddit.

What I recall, is promotion of a general interest platform that was more open than Slashdot (unlimited moderations for all!) and less susceptible to vote brigading than Digg.

It was while ago, so I may be a bit foggy on the specifics.

Comment Re:Dwindling airable land? (Score 1) 279

I think what the Libertarians fail to realize is that farmers, as a general rule, are not smart enough to diversify or maintain course.

First, I think that's a ridiculous assertion. Smart farmers don't diversify because the taxpayers bear the risk of their crop failure, or of crashing prices; they have insufficient incentive to diversify.

Second, if we had a true free market, dumb farmers would go out of business and we would be left with smart farmers allocating resources efficiently. Isn't that the point of economic libertarianism?

Note: I am far from libertarian.

Comment Re:So does this qualify as 'organic'? (Score 1) 279

What do you mean by cyclical? Do you mean the livestock/fertilizer/crop/fodder cycle? Do you mean crop rotation? Or something else entirely?

Just curious, since I'm not aware of either cyclical production or crop rotation being a requirement for organic farming (although both are considered best practices).

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