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Comment: Re:Statements taken out of context and manipulated (Score 5, Insightful) 371 371

If anything, this whole debacle has made me question the Royal Society and UCL, It speaks poorly upon those organizations that they would go off half cocked without collecting evidence and performing a full investigation, which is the hallmark of good science.

And it makes me wonder how well they could handle a real controversy in the scientific community, when they can't weather a twitter storm of questionable origin. If you can't bear the slightest political intrigue, what makes you qualified to answer questions about the world? Just post the questions to twitter and let the masses decide the properties of time.

And especially now, when we have had similar occurrences in recent memory, with Donglegate and whatnot, I expect institutions of the pedigree of the Royal Society to show a little more discernment in handling situations like these. I mean christ, Sir Newton wasn't exactly an uncontroversial figure in his day, and that whole row was dealt with with more class and sobriety than this.

The scary future is here.

Comment: Re:Statists vs. Libertarians (Score 1) 144 144

No, that's not true at all. The Libertarians do recognize the government as necessary — we just want its role to be as limited, as it was during the times of Jefferson and Franklin. It is to only play the roles given to it by the Constitution

Then strictly speaking, you aren't a libertarian, but a peculiar brand of constitutionalist that ignores the following 200 years of changes to the Constitution and evolution of the government. Turn back the hands of time, and you still end up with more government centuries later. You are living in the end result of that document.

When so called libertarians pay lip service to necessary government, it is always a given that the government services they think are needed are Good and Right, and everyone else who wants superfluous services, but when you get down to brass tacks, the situation isn't nearly as clear. Is public health a necessary government function? What about in a time of biological warfare? And when you speak of not having welfare in the time of Jefferson, are you forgetting An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen? What a terribly ignorant and romanticized view of history.

First of all, take the "will of the people" part off — that's just a better-sounding spin on the "mob rule".

Why? Do you believe the Constitution was transcribed from the mind of god? Any, organization of more than a few ends up with some form of government, or as you so euphemistically put it, mob rule.

The rest of us know it as the give and take of working within a group, and essentially "the will of the people" as opposed to "the will of the king". If your associations end in lynchings, I feel badly for you.

Second, the bigger the beast, the less tractable it is — and that's the point of the Libertarian teaching in general

As proven by monarchies being smaller than republics, therefore must be easier to control, no? Or are platitudes by someone who has never had to deal with a corrupt small town government pass as fact now?

We can further reduce the size of the Federal government by getting rid of the checks and balances. Or maybe there is a flaw in your logic.

Yes, "corporations" are the scary bogey-man of all Statists these days.

And with good reason. When a Mouse can buy legislation outright, nullifying that precious Constitution, you understand where real power lies.

It's not as if corporations or business are outside the realm of government, but inherent to it, and also compete with each other to insure the government reflects their own goals.

thus automatically less powerful than the government.

Except governments are at least localized, while corporations are trans-global. They can influence the polices of multitudes of governments.

You might rethink your notion of monopoly.

Comment: Re:Statists vs. Libertarians (Score 1) 144 144

The end, as you noted elsewhere, is to compel Reason into suspicious activity to its user base under trumped up charges. Not to mention what good is power unless you flaunt it every now and then?

The typical libertarian argument against government posits it as an all or nothing deal. The difficulty is not that the government gives you everything, it's that the beast must be tractable to, at a minimum, the rule of law and the will of the people. That holds true regardless of the size of government. Or corporation for that matter.

Comment: Re:Statists vs. Libertarians (Score 1) 144 144

Not really. This is more a battle in Those Who Believe in the Rule of Law vs. The End Justifies the Means crowd.

A similar event happened when the NSA issued "official" letters to telecos demanding information. The NSA knew what they were asking for was illegal, the telecos also knew the requests were illegal, yet all complied except for Qwest. That didn't end well for them.

Of course. it is a different world now, where we can justify torture in the name of All-That-Is-Holy-And-Just, and the government regularly flaunts its power as it is accountable to no one.

What should be happening is an investigation into the Justice Department's request, and the rubber-stamping of the gag order. Not going to happen for small fry like Reason, but sends a clear message to those who question the status quo to mind your tongue. You are being monitored.

Welcome to Police State 2.0.

Comment: Middle Management (Score 1) 381 381

So I wonder what percentage of middle management this will push into hourly employees?

As it is, I've notice a seemingly endless half-days for them as they bitterly complain about those below them demanding comp. time as a minimum.

Now they are in the same boat. I see a lot of bloat being cut from their ranks.

Who am I kidding? They will just give raises to just clear the threshold of of being salaried while demanding even more time since everyone just got a raise.

Comment: Moral Panic (Score 4, Interesting) 490 490

This assumes that most of these girl specific initiatives intend to actually help girls. They aren't, and instead serve as flashpoints to draw money to charlatans, much like any of the "think of the children" campaigns from the last few decades.

I swear the similarities between modern feminism and the Satanism scare of the 80s are becoming increasingly uncomfortable.

And the conclusion is correct- most of the women coders I know were, in part, goaded into familiarity by playing with their brothers.

Comment: Re:Missing? (Score 1) 277 277

On the other hand, only nerds know what Zork is. It's never made the leap out to the real world.

You've made essentially this same comment about other games in this thread, and I'm not sure it is a good metric to go by.

It would be like judging all of music by what is popular, since that is the only thing to have a real cultural impact (at least monetarily).

I'd rather if it were video game aficionado's pointing the way to the general public as to why these games are important, and perhaps how they shortchanged themselves by only following what is popular.

And a vote for Sini-Star.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 294 294

Oh, it gets better.

Too many forget we've been down this particular road before, and it ended with congress granting immunity to telecos for illegally supplying data without a warrant and woe be onto you if you question it like Quest.

That was the start of Obama's campaign, which he voted for immunity. Hilary as I recall voted against.

And now we're here, with everyone's data an open target.

Comment: Re:No one votes (Score 1) 113 113

The largest public response (at least at the time) to a government action was to TARP. MILLIONS of people contacted their representatives and told them to vote against it.

You can see how well that turned out.

And in fact, the Tea Party really gained steam as a response to "drive the rascals out" that voted for it.

You can see how well that went too.

Fact of the matter is our government is broken, and by my estimation has been broken for some time now.

And in case you haven't been paying attention, people rioting in the streets over killings by police has gotten at least some token responses, and well on their way to effecting real change.

  The evidence is clear. The system responds to violence. And likes on Facebook are just a way to confirm that I know that you know the emperor has no clothes.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1094 1094

You act as if property taxes aren't currently being collected. The requisite agencies are already in place, including appraisers to value the property for tax purposes.

All that's left is to gradually implement it so it doesn't catch anyone by surprise, and disband all other tax agencies. The only fear is that property taxes go up and all other taxes remain in place.

You really aren't making much of an argument against.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1094 1094

Does the possibility of effecting low-income houseowners over-ride getting rid of the IRS, doing away with shell corporate tax structures, and having a clear tax obligation?

Further, there is nothing to suppose low-income houseowners wouldn't be affected by other taxes, or even an increase in property taxes under the current or any other scheme. In all likelihood, they would end up paying less in total taxes, unless they are slumming it in Manhattan. And you've reduced the overhead cost of tax administration tremendously.

No system is perfect, but I have yet to hear of any other tax scheme that has more benefits.

Having a set dollar amount doesn't resolve the possibility of more people on the dole than working. You very much want it to be solvent regardless of what the economy does, with any type of welfare directly tied to what the economy can produce.

Comment: Re:Wrong answer to the wrong question (Score 1) 1094 1094

Already solved.

Land value tax and pegging the amount of basic income as a percentage of GDP or revenue.

There was a study I believe out of Canada that found replacing traditional forms of welfare with basic income was equivalent with welfare costs, excluding administration.

If you include administrative costs, the cost of welfare goes up to $61,320 per person

Certainly simply cutting a check would be cheaper, and you could get rid of several other programs like Social Security (as well as getting rid of the payroll tax). Pegging it to revenue (or some other measure of the economy) insures the system stays in check.

Land value tax also keeps taxation in check, so revenue has to track with the economy as well (no $100 houses in Detroit with $100,000 tax liens). As above, reducing the overhead costs also means you can get rid of other taxes and simplify the system while reducing corruption. As an added benefit, this scales easily with increased automation (which apparently California will be a hotbed of development).

I was leery of essentially taxing a form of wealth, but the benefits are just too great to ignore.

Comment: Re:"Whether or not you believe there’s a pro (Score 1) 613 613

Ah, the Aristotelian idea of to rule and be ruled. Nope, that simply will not do. We jockey for positions of power less for absolute control than to keep ourselves from being directed by others.

And so it goes, the latest being to impinge on the goodwill of others, except more and more it looks like obligation, and frankly my sense of concern is near exhaustion.

The perverse side effect being more and more the geek community is starting to loath being baited this way, they will simply not give a damn about any sexism realized or not, and those who chastised them will have succeeded in creating the very thing they were trying to eliminate

You can only call someone a monster for so long before they are willing to prove you right.

Comment: "Whether or not you believe there’s a proble (Score 3, Insightful) 613 613

What an antithetical beginning to scientific thinking.

The proof thus far of rampart sexism in science is at best contradictory, and especially now, this push seems to have the flavor of if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes fact.

Also, I see no reason why women should be singled out in this regard with a myriad of social injustices that take place. By the HDI, they are a privileged class.

Right now there is a Supreme Court case pending of how affirmative action ends up being discriminatory to Asians, similar in effect to quota systems to keep Jews from higher education.

I caution attempts at social engineering result in greater injustices than those they seek to fight against.

Comment: Re:Not sure (Score 1) 361 361

I'd also question the validity of "popular" music, and it seems to be dominated by the same 4 styles (rap, dance, alt hard rock, and country). That a pretty narrow field to judge calcification. It seems to me rather that popular music has calcified.

Especially now, as there is a fuckton of different music being made. Just taking in a small sampling has meant I have listened to something new every week for the past few years. I lament that I will never live long enough to hear all the good stuff available made in just the last decade.

And even for genres I favor, the bands of my youth are still putting out reasonably good albums, there are new bands taking up the torch, and obscure bands I missed the first time around.

And there are whole histories of music that laid the groundwork that I'm starting to investigate as the internet has made them easier to locate, and there is a push towards preservation (such 1930s blues).

I mean in the context of ALL the music available to me now, popular music is a minor blip, and it is absurd to use that as the yardstick to quantify diversity of taste.

You are an insult to my intelligence! I demand that you log off immediately.