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Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 1) 151

by ultranova (#48945535) Attached to: Mathematicians Uncomfortable With Ties To NSA, But Not Pulling Back

To fail to recognize WWII was a holy war, is to fail to see what is happening now.

To the Nazis it certainly was. And it became that way for everyone towards the end. The entire 1900s were a time of religious warfare between fanatical supporters of various nations and ideologies.

Any ancient Athenian would instantly recognize, say, the American Eagle as the local equivalent of Athena. Which is fine, people need group identities to cooperate effectively, and these group identities will inevitably end up having recognizable personalities. But we'd gain more control over the outcome if we'd acknowledge that nations, ideologies, and anything else that can command people's loyalty is functionally a god and thus follows mythological, rather than rational, patterns.

Currently people aren't really aware of these high-level structures, which is why trying to control or even predict the outcome of various situations is a bit like decompiling a highly optimized program. And often the result ends up simply repeating typical religious patterns, for example with current efforts in Europe to placate the angry god Invisible Hand with public sacrifices - or "austerity", as the clerical cast ("economists") like to call it - to get back economical prosperity. And of course, communists on the other side of the ideological divide insisted that their god should bring forth a paradise on Earth, if only doctrinal purity was maintained. Evidence mattered little, until people finally lost their faith, at which point the Soviet Union fell pretty much overnight.

A god is a superorganism typical for humanity, the equivalent of anthill or beehive, thus every war is a holy war - a clash between rival deities - no matter what its nominal cause. Every member of a particular society has its image in their mind, suggesting courses of action compatible with said society, which then serve to reinforce them in anyone witnessing these actions. All too often that image has been quite beastly, but with greater awareness of these mechanisms, one can exert conscious control over the image - take actions which project the image one wants, hopefully starting a chain reaction that perpetuates the updated image through the entire society. It's about time we take human destiny into human hands under conscious control, rather than leave it to luck and instincts that have outlived their usefulness.

Comment: How can she live on such a low income? (Score 1) 73

by Futurepower(R) (#48945177) Attached to: Cutting Through Data Science Hype
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Made $16 Million Last Year -- Is She Underpaid?

Top 10 Reasons Why Ginni Rometty Will Fail as IBM's New CEO

Summary from the article:
1. IBM Forgot Who They Were.
2. Ginni Has No Vision for the Future of IBM.
3. IBM Executives are out of Touch.
4. IBM's Sales Culture is Poison.
5. IBM's Executive Compensation is Misaligned.
6. IBM's Rape, Pillage & Burn Acquisition Strategy.
7. IBM's Offshore Model will kill its Services Business.
8. IBM Sells Futures. What is IBM's strategy? Smarter Planet?
9. Watson is not the Panacea.
10. IBM Seems to be Preparing to Sell its Services Business.

+ - Gmail is no longer acceptable - Slashdot, please opine on alternatives! 1

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Bettering security, I enable a VPN now (Avast Secureline) before accessing my banking and any other financial sites. Difficulty: gmail then thinks I'm a bot, and requires a captcha. In the past, after a few days of answering captchas, Google disabled access to my gmail, without recourse. It lasted 48 hours. I don't need this happening again. So, Google has now gone far enough IMHO. I need a reliable, secure email provider, with calendaring. So, (ahem, apprehensively) /.r's, you know the history (and can you see into the future?) of this sordid tale, what email service do -you- recommend to keep -my- email communications private? Or do you succumb idly to the false sense of security that accompanies the services of the almighty Goog?

(with a semi-faux-sheepish, yet vaguely wicked grin)"

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 0) 293

by Creepy (#48943337) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

Well conservatives downright hate the poor - cuts to SNAP and food stamps tucked into the farm bill? Hell yeah! (yes, that is sarcasm)

My problem with liberals usually has more to do with the money. They want all these fancy social programs but don't want to pay for them, so the programs are doomed to go belly-up starting in about the next decade likely with Medicaid. If you want these fancy programs, either increase taxes, fix the broken corporate tax system so corporations pay taxes (most pay zero tax, 94% of US corporations pay less than 5%, and yes the tax rate is 35%), or make cuts (military spending would make sense, since we're not actively in any wars, yet Obama is asking for more spending here) to pay for them. I miss Clinton in this regard, but also hate him for burying the actual debt numbers that show money needed to be able to keep social programs running, mainly to garner favor of older voters (and every president since has continued this).

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 4, Insightful) 441

by ultranova (#48940807) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

I'd like to know who first got the public all excited about the terminator gene. It's obviously a self-regulating problem; if the terminator gene somehow crosses over into another population, those plants don't breed and they don't carry the gene forward.

Scenario: terminatored corn is widely succesful and replaces regular corn. Something bad happens to stop Monsanto from delivering more seends. What will the farmers plant? They can't use seeds from terminatored corn since they're infertile, and they can't plant regular corn seeds since they no longer have any. Mass starvation follows.

Planned obsolescence in vital systems is a really bad idea.

"Well hello there Charlie Brown, you blockhead." -- Lucy Van Pelt