Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Perhaps that's not what they meant to prove? (Score 1) 166

by argStyopa (#49379275) Attached to: At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series

Nonsense rationalization.
Part of what makes a sport a sport is the consistency of competition.
Do you see Germany playing with different-sized soccer goals than Brazil? Do you see Finnish hockey played with golf clubs? To use your example, do you change the number of pins based on the bowler?

Of course not. The idea would be absurd.

To then put the rules and standards at the whim of the populace is crass and ridiculous, tantamount to making a motor-race more like a racing version America's Got Talent where 'viewer votes' materially affect the outcome.

Let's say Danica Patrick joins the ePrix. She promises to drive topless if she wins the vote, and does, beating the next-best driver by 0.05 seconds. Did she win because she was a better driver, then? Or because she had tits and was willing to show them? Maybe Kim Kardashian could join the next race and really make it competitive?

I don't know about you, but I'm frankly uninterested in any 'sporting' contest in which the victor is decided by who prompts more slavering fans to call in. That's no longer a "sport" but merely "celebrity".

Comment: We need Quis custodit custodes legislation (Score 2) 142

by argStyopa (#49374491) Attached to: Silk Road Investigators Charged With Stealing Bitcoin

Any crime perpetrated by someone held responsible for the victim or subject by reasonable judgement shall be tried and sentenced as escalated one step more severe than the normal context of the crime, according to the following list:
infraction -> misdemeanor -> gross misdemeanor -> felony -> capital crime.

Therefore, while "beating someone up" might be a gross misdemeanor assault in the eyes of the law, when performed by a custodial parent on their child, or a nursing attendant on one of their wards, it would be considered a felony.
Petty theft of $100 might be a misdemeanor, but when it's done by someone in custody of the cash drawer, it's a gross misdemeanor.
By this standard, however, sitting members of Congress and the President could be considered to be "responsible" for the entire country, and thus automatically always escalated.

Comment: Re:Freedom to discriminate == no protection ... (Score 1) 1072

Yeah, I just *hate* haters, don't you? /irony.

You might want to review

But here's the key: When a Scientologist (or Muslim, or Christian, or yoga enthusiast) says it works for them, this is what they're talking about. The mythology isn't important -- if these rituals have saved your life and later on a teacher says, "Yeah, this technique works because of the ancient thetans that live in your *******," you're going to shrug and say, "Sure, sounds good." If you tell the lady in yoga class that the reason she feels better afterward is because negative spiritual energies tend to pool in the hip joints, you'll get the same reaction.

Then if you, as a cool, rational person, butt in and say, "Actually, yoga is just engaging the endonomic nervous system and reducing cortisol levels," all they're going to hear is you replacing a very easy-to-understand explanation with a very complicated one that sounds like gibberish. If you smirk and roll your eyes at these gullible lemmings, then go grab a mirror and smirk at yourself, partner, because you do it too.

You physically don't have room in your brain to keep track of how everything in your world works (****, you don't even really know how your brain works) so you can feel all superior to a Christian who doesn't believe in evolution, but somewhere there's an engineer who feels superior to you for not knowing how your iPhone works (and you know "endonomic nervous system" is just a nonsense phrase I made up, right?). The reality is that you don't know how your iPhone works because knowing that wouldn't change your day-to-day use of it at all. Likewise, thinking the Earth is only 6,000 years old doesn't make it any harder to have, say, a career-repairing air conditioner. But believing that self-discipline, patience, and hard work are sacred virtues from God definitely makes it easier.

And if you look hard enough, you'll see that this flaw -- favoring what works to the exclusion of everything else -- encompasses everybody. The compulsive liar got to be that way because it works. So did the bully, the racist, and the greedy bastard. And every single cult, hate group, or political party has figured out that you can ensnare people by gluing the weird parts onto a bunch of common sense axioms that nobody can disagree with.

Comment: Eventually, values will clash (Score 1) 1072

At some point your freedoms will clash with my freedoms. Who wins then, Tim?

For every person demanding that kids be taught that homosexuality is normal and natural and thus should be accepted by all (as proved by its persistence throughout history despite brutal efforts to suppress it), I'd like to submit that we - using the same criteria - teach that murder, rape, and war are LIKEWISE "normal" and "natural".

Oh wait, one is obviously "good", the other obviously "bad"? Some people might assert that homosexuality is biologically deviant and phylogenically a waste of resources, while war culls the weak.

(I'll just point out that even composing this post and the examples above was an intellectually challenging exercise, but the moment we don't TRY to understand the viewpoint of our ideological opposite - who likely has the same moral stance, just a different set of facts/priorities/filters - our arguments are bankrupt.)

Personally, I believe that racists, and homophobes, and sexists should be allowed to just do what they want, and be who they are, as long as they don't actually harm anyone. If they want to refuse service in their business, that's a commercial decision they can make, and can cheerfully live with the consequences of that choice - I mean, it's not like the internet would make it simple for the world to be informed of these choices, and the marketplace - the true democracy, with people casting votes they actually care about with their $ - can vote on whether it's anathema or ok.

Comment: Perhaps that's not what they meant to prove? (Score 1) 166

by argStyopa (#49370289) Attached to: At the Track With Formula E, the First e-Racing Series

If the racing guys can't figure out how to give electric cars a reasonable range with their budgets and top-end engineering skills, then no, electric cars are NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME.

Besides, WTF is this:
"...Although power is limited to 150 kW during the race, three drivers are actually able to use 180 kW for up to five seconds. This is called the FanBoost, as fans vote online for their favorite drivers in the hours before the race. This extra slug of energy can come in handy to overtake or defend against a rival, although obviously it will drain the battery even faster than normal...."
This is absolutely idiotic. It would be like fans voting which batter can take an extra strike, or if a team gets an extra down in (American) football. Who comes up with this crap?

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49368991) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

They have however maintained a farely solid voter base through recruitment of a younger generation who sadly don't seemed informed enough to see greens for what they really are.

The only remotely mainstream party in Australia politics with a progressive, centre-left, social democratic policy base ?

Pretty sure that's why they're getting the youth vote - because they're the only party that give a shit about demographics after baby boomers and have policies with a view past the next election.

Greens really are part of labor now, the only time they vote against labor is when they see a chance to gain publicity or popularity.

The Greens have a well developed and mature policy platform. They promote legislation that aligns with it.

no offense but it sound more like you are the one getting their information from Rupert to have such a positive view of them.

Murdoch portraying the Greens favourably ? You live in a very different world to me.

Comment: Climate never STOPS changing (Score 3, Interesting) 421

by argStyopa (#49366489) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Of COURSE it isn't sufficient.

When - ever - has an activist said "yeah, well, what's being done is pretty much good, yeah. I'm happy. I guess I don't have much to be upset about any more"?

Here's a hint: if there's one thing I can guarantee the climate won't do, is be static.

Comment: Re:Time to stock up on shotgun shells (Score 1) 137

by Pharmboy (#49361329) Attached to: How long until our skies are filled with drones?

That is silly. A falling bullet has a much lower speed than one that was just shot. I've been hit by shotgun pellets at the end of their range, it was like having gravel slung at you.

A returning bullet CAN hit someone, and possibly injure them if everything is lined up right, or there is a very low angle of fire, but they have a small fraction of the energy they had in the first km after being fired.

Comment: Re: Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49359603) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

I think the biggest indictment of them is the fact even my highly pro environmental friends refuse to vote for them as they see them as only a destructive force towards environmental sustainability and see either coalition or labor as a better choice for the environment.

I'd love to hear the rationale behind their thinking.

Because I'm at a loss how two parties promoting growth at all costs, overconsumption, exploitation of the environment (stripe-mining Coal, CSG, dumping of spoil on the reef, etc) could possibly lead to a "better choice for the environment".

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49359597) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

I think you are thinking of the greens from more than a decade ago. The Greens haven't stood for that for a long time. They are basically part of labor and push for policies for short term rather than taking consideration of the long term effects or goals.

Here is the Greens policy platform.

Tell us about which parts bother you.

The greens having power would probably do more damage to human decency and DEFINITELY more damage to the environment and the prospects of a sustainable future (if you destroy business you can't head to sustainability, you head towards being a 3rd world country or Greece).

Yes, obviously they'd do far more damage than the "growth at all costs", "destroy the middle classes" pro-oligopoly parties.

Comment: Re:Don't blame me. (Score 1) 124

by drsmithy (#49358525) Attached to: Australia Passes Mandatory Data Retention Law

They are all pretty much scumbags. Not even most environmentalists vote for the greens anymore as they are little more than an extension of the labor party, focused on short term thinking and power plays.

Greens an extension of Labor ? Now there's a chuckle.

Sounds like you get most of your political information from your local Rupertarian.

I'm sure a few hardcore greenies have abandoned the Greens as they slowly morph into a generalist centre-left social-democracy party, but their share of the primary vote has remained pretty constant for a decade or more.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.