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Comment: Re:Patriotic to NOT watch it instead? (Score 1) 225

by quantaman (#48671475) Attached to: Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

South Korea has already mentioned plans to take this film, put it on dvd, and float balloons across the border to incite rebellion in the population. By trying to prevent the movie from being distributed at all, North Korea is essentially trying to avoid anarchy caused by external propaganda.

If a bad movie can incite rebellion in your country then your country is in a terrible, terrible place.

Why are we so eager to overthrow their regime?

Why do you think making a movie was an attempt to overthrow their regime?

Is democracy so sacred that we must ~force~ it on every country around the world? What business is it of the US (and Hollywood) to decide what is the best system? What they have there is what developed in that region. It is a system that won out over the infighting to unite their country. It might not fit our definition of "fair" for the population, but that's only our definition. It's our own view that we're extending upon them, a culture that has had to isolate itself just to keep together.

If there ever was an argument for pushing democracy on a foreign country North Korea would be it. North Koreans aren't citizens, they're prisoners, they'd actually be better off living in Orwell's 1984.

Comment: Re:Cut Down On Olympic Bloat (Score 1) 232

by quantaman (#48668913) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

Get rid of the sports that cannot measure the success of the competitors using the Olympic motto: higher, faster, stronger. That means no figure skating, no synchronized swimming, and, especially, no more rhythmic gymnastics. Essentially, nothing that requires assigning a number to a performance via a panel of judges. (I'm a little torn about any sport that chooses winners based on the points that they score on a particular day but when I think about the excessive coverage given to beach volleyball in the last few Summer Games I lean hard to the "drop them, too" side.)

Just think how much less expensive it would be to hold an Olympics would be if all those judged "sports" were taken out. The potential sites for the games would mushroom without a need for all the additional venues for the judged events. Cities that hold the Games can rarely afford to and the citizens wind up footing the bill for facilities that will rarely see use after the closing ceremonies. Plus, if it would get Bob Costas' interviews with prepubescent gymnasts off the air, we all win.

Considering the TV coverage those are probably some of the sports that are actually profitable (assuming you don't build a custom venue).

The events costing money are the ones you don't hear about.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 1) 263

by quantaman (#48665477) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

China also has regularly peacefully voluntary power transfers between the conservative and liberal branches of the party every 8 years and probably quicker if a loser gets appointed.

As autocracies go they're surprisingly stable, but the average citizen doesn't have much of a voice.

Even Democracies where public opinion is critical politicians have trouble gauging what the public really wants, in an autocracy they're just guessing. China, just like every country, has a lot of widespread discontent. The difference in China is that's it's hidden because people are afraid to speak out. If something ever happens that people feel empowered to speak out then things could turn very chaotic very quickly. In healthy democracies people aren't afraid to speak out so the discontent never gets bad enough to seriously jeopardize the system.

they've slowly changed to Capitalist (Fascist).

I'm not sure what you're trying to say but I disagree regardless.

Fascist has an actual definition, it doesn't apply to capitalism and I don't think it applies to China.

And in both systems if someone is too radical such as Ron Paul, well they're shut out of the process, eg the media announce 1st, 2nd, and 4th places.

Ron Paul was shut out because his support is deep, but very narrow. The party never took him seriously because they knew his policies were too extreme to survive a general election, and the media didn't take him seriously for the same reason.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 1) 263

by quantaman (#48664869) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

The US on the other hand is a large healthy democracy

For certain values of "healthy" that include "largely dysfunctional".

Every country has is fucked up in its own way.

But the US is part of a group of countries that have regular peaceful and voluntary power transfers.

Countries that have established that pattern tend to keep it.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 1) 263

by quantaman (#48663571) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

I never have understood the world's fetish with the US dollar. Every nation has a currency. The US economy is just as prone to stagnation, deficit, over, and under valuing as any other currency.

I'd like nothing better than to see the Rothschild's hold on international markets broken. If it takes China to do that, then all power to China in the endeavour.

Really? In under a year the ruble recently dropped in value by over half, do you really want to tie your economy to that?

As for China I think it's been fairly stable, but China is still an autocratic regime and those aren't typically stable. The US on the other hand is a large healthy democracy and I'm not aware of a single case of a country starting out as a healthy democracy and ending up as something else. Maybe the euro can eventually rival it for stability but for now you'd be a fool to bet on something else.

Comment: Re:Hahahahahahahahaha LOL (Score 1) 439

by quantaman (#48656027) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

They break because there was no selective pressure that made them work. Cartilage doesn't regenerate because it lasted as long as we were mobile, veins don't clear plaque because that wasn't an issue with the ancestoral timeframe and lifestyle, neurons don't regrow much because they lasted long enough to keep up, our cancer defences are limited because the cell division errors generally don't go crazy until later life, etc.

There's not one root cause, each system fails because it's just not designed to keep going past that point. You can fix one system, and that might buy you a couple years if that was the thing that would kill you, but there's still dozens of others all ready to fail in their own unique ways.

Comment: Re:Hahahahahahahahaha LOL (Score 4, Insightful) 439

by quantaman (#48654653) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Cancer is just one of many, many things that are likely to kill you before you're 120.

Yup... and its not even the worst of the bunch. I'd put Alzheimer's on the top of the list; maybe advanced Parkinson's after that. Or a bad stroke...

Yeah, I think people underestimate the difficulty of extending life.

It isn't just one thing that needs to be fixed, some immortality gene that needs to be turned on. It's everything.

Our bodies are designed to work really well for about 45 years, and decently well for another 15-20 after, but after that we're operating outside of spec.

None of our systems evolved to work after seventy, they don't all breakdown at the same rate, but they all break down.

I think we'll hit the singularity or cyborgs before we hit average humans passing 120.

Comment: Re:$32 million of greed. (Score 1) 170

by quantaman (#48639867) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

Somehow I greatly resent people who profit massively from kids' math textbooks. He was such a person.

How would you prefer people to get rich?

I don't agree with the philosophy that people aren't supposed to get rich helping people, if anything those are exactly the sort of people we want to get rich.

Comment: Re:Blameless employees? (Score 1) 340

it happened to the blameless random employees who were just using their company's email system. Because of that, they've had their most personal conversations -- gossip, medical conditions, love lives -- exposed

If you were using your company's Exchange server for gossiping and thought it was safe (i.e. the IT department would never have access to this, oh no) then you're stupid and deserve whatever fate you get.

I can sympathize with the people whose SS numbers were stolen out of no fault of their own. But Amy Pascal making Obama black jokes on company email was just stupid as hell and she deserves whatever scorn people will heap on her.

People spend a lot of time communicating with co-workers and generally become friends of some kind, it's pretty natural that they'd make jokes. And if your primary form of communication is over email it's natural you'll joke over email as well, it's not stupid as much as human nature.

And I don't see what makes the jokes offensive. Sure in the wrong context they're racist, but there's no reason to think they were using a bad context. This just feels like one of those incidents where a politician says something dumb and everyone wastes a newscycle trying to be offended by it.

Comment: Re:Unbelievable! (Score 1) 190

by quantaman (#48609247) Attached to: Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

Well, denmark, for example, is focused on renewables. Doesn't mean they don't want to be the ones pumping up the oil and selling it. You can do other things with oil besides burning it also. I wouldn't put it past the danes to claim it as theirs and then not pump it in the name of protecting the arctic. They just might be altruistic enough.

They're not altruistic enough to leave the current oil in the ground I don't see why this oil would be different.

Sure they may delay a few years, but people tend to be a lot more altruistic when it isn't costing much. The moment I point out you're sitting on a ton of oil is the moment you start to rationalize reasons that pumping oil isn't so bad.

Comment: Re:Quoted from TFA (Score 3, Insightful) 200

by quantaman (#48609055) Attached to: NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower

Yeah, it's hard to see why the article frames this as an indictment of NASA's bureaucracy, given the article explicitly says a senator from Mississippi explicitly forbid them from stopping construction. This is just another reflection of how money is more important than reason in Congress these days.

Don't worry. I'm sure congress will do the right thing and point to this wasteful spending as a reason to cut funding to NASA.

Comment: Re:Move to a gated community (Score 0) 604

by quantaman (#48605031) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

Kinda depends on what/who was there first

No it doesn't. The freeway and the side-streets are public spaces, and no one living on a public street has a right to demand that anyone else not use it as they like, so long as they follow the laws of the road. If you want a private street with no traffic, live in a private neighborhood (gated community), where the builders do spread the community cost among the homeowners. The roads were paid for by taxes collected from everyone. Your taxes don't pay for the roads directly in front of your house, and therefore you have (and rightly so) no right to dictates who can use it. Most of the road-work money comes from gasoline taxes, so its fair game.

It's legal but it's still a bit douchey. This is why cities make horrible convoluted suburbs now, to thwart this exact kind of action.

Comment: Re:If Sony keeps doing it (Score 1) 250

by quantaman (#48605003) Attached to: Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

If Sony keeps doing it, their documents will be forever alive in the form of magnet links, formerly torrent file sharing technology.

They do have the the army of trained lawyers to harass mass audiences, except that newspapers have seen much badder boys coming to them with the threats.

Now, assuming Sony documents will survive, will be available for everyone, and will be commented, how exactly SONY will know which newspaper has caused an actual harm?

I think that their litigation budget will be fully depleted for several years in the future.

Actually they might have the right idea. The info the media will be most interested in is the gossipy Sony exec emails, and those things only really have legs for one news cycle.

So a lawsuit does two things, first it causes a bunch of papers to run things by the lawyers first, this could slow down some of the reporting until the news cycle has finished.

Second it gives them another related bit of news to report about, so the email contents are now part of the previous news cycle and the Sony lawsuit threat is the new news cycle.

Comment: Re:Comparison equally valid on both sides (Score 1) 880

by quantaman (#48598737) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

So where are all of the officially sanctioned Christian slaves and sex slaves? That's kind of the way these discussions go. On one hand is the active and widespread activity of Isis, al Qaida, and other actors in the Muslim world, and on the other is someone pointing to a Bible verse and says, "See! See! Christians and Jews could do something like that hundreds or thousands of years ago too!" The problem at hand is what they are doing now.

So was the US not practising Christianity in the 1850s? Because there were a lot of slaves with a lot of Christian endorsements of their condition.

So is the problem Islam, or the contemporary expression of Islam in specific regions and among specific populations?

The problem with just blaming Islam as a whole is you blame a whole lot of people with beliefs completely unrelated. It would be like pointing at the Westburo Baptist Church and saying Christians are homophobic.

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