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Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 327

by silentcoder (#48922357) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

>When you have no cash, and nobody is willing to give you credit ... this new government seems to be living in a fantasy if they think they can just make that all go away.

You mean like Iceland did ? The worst thing that could happen to Greece is they may lose their EU membership if they do. That may not be so bad if they are hellbent on NOT doing what the rest of the EU wants them to do.

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 1) 327

by silentcoder (#48922325) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

>Bankers would run off with a lot of money... that would become incredibly devalued.

Do you really think the kind of bankers who run of with such a lot of value can't convert it into other currencies BEFORE it gets devalued ? Indeed, actually accelerating the devaluation for everybody else when they buy all those dollars and pounds and yens in bulk ?

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 120

by silentcoder (#48922253) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Erm... yes it does.
Anarchism does not equal chaos, it is not the absence of a system at all. It is merely doing away with one aspect of the system: the concept of wielding power over another.

That doesn't mean giving the ability to use power to everybody, it means giving it to NOBODY, and having systems and mechanisms to ensure that nobody CAN exercise power over anybody.

Anarchism isn't an absence of laws and rights, or even of law and rights enforcement, it's merely a system for passing laws, establishing rights and enforcing those without any individual wielding power over another.
You still have courts, you still have appeals. You still have punishment for crimes.

It's not by any means the absence of social order, it is merely the absence of government and authority.
In an anarchist state, for example, you could still have a police service but instead of answering to politicians - they would report directly to the electorate that appointed them.

In such a system the kind of thing that just happened in Fergusson would, theoretically, be impossible since the people who are now protesting in the street would be capable of - themselves, arranging to have the entire local police force fired and replaced.

Many anarchist systems DO have elected officials who speak on behalf of small communities in larger regional forums (which can in turn send delegates to larger national forums etc. etc.) but unlike in a republic they hold no power, and have no decision making position on those forums - they are there solely to represent the views ALREADY VOTED ON in the communities they represent and can be instantaneously recalled at any time if their community felt they even slightly misrepresented them.
These ideas, however, predate modern communications technology -such representatives really wouldn't serve any purpose at all today.

Most people don't realize this but history is full of successful anarchist societies that did not turn out as you predict. The biggest was the Roman republic. Yes Rome was not a republic as YOU know the concept, the Republic of Rome was, in fact, an anarchist society. Why ? Because they practised direct democracy - which is literally the sole requirement to be an anarchism.

That is also why there are as many visions of anarchist societies as there are and have ever been anarchists - because so little is set in stone, everything else is up for debate, up for adjustment - meant ot be scientifically investigated and changed whenever a better idea comes along.

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 120

by silentcoder (#48911833) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Firstly - I never declared myself in favor of anything at all - I merely mentioned the existence of these ideas. Acknowledging that a concept exists is not, in and of itself, an endorsement of that concept.

Secondly - this particular version comes from anarchist philosophy. So there is no fear of what the government may or may not know as there IS no government at all.
Or alternatively - since all people get to vote on all laws and nobody ever has to live under any law they didn't get a direct say in... I suppose you could say it's the biggest government of them all - the entire population is in it.

Either way - in the absence of authority, there is no reason to fear the abuse of authority.

And, yet again, merely knowing that these systems of thought exists and even recognizing their potential does not constitute an endorsement of them.

Comment: Re:US politics are tainted with money (Score 1) 120

by silentcoder (#48903487) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

>Turning water into wine? Bootlegging; producing alcohol without a license or paying taxes on it.

And not charging for it. Clearly anti-capitalist.

>Healing the sick? Practicing medicine without a license, and violating FDA rules.
Also didn't charge or demand medical insurance - clearly an Obamacare socialist !

>Feeding a crowd with just two fish? McDonald's and Burger King would sue him, and demand an FDA inquiry into his kitchen methods.

Feeding the hungry sounds an awful lot like foodstamps to me.

Basically, as Bill Maher pointed out, Jesus couldn't get elected in the Jesus party !

Comment: Re:Where Does He Stand On the Issues? (Score 1) 120

by silentcoder (#48903463) Attached to: Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

But that's not the only form democracy could take. There are several versions where the number of votes a person has on a given law gets increased the more he or she will be personally affected BY that law.

So even if you get 90% of the people to vote that all gays should be put to death on a funeral pyre the law STILL wouldn't pass because the 10% voting against it would include the gay people and because they are only ones affected, and the way they are affected is so extreme - they would easily still get 60% of the total vote.

Democracy doesn't have to mean tyranny of the majority - there are many ways to avoid that. Many types of checks and balances one could imagine and many of those have been tried. The Republic is just one possibility out of quite a large list, and it probably isn't the best (or even a particularly good) example from it.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 4, Interesting) 78

by silentcoder (#48902815) Attached to: Fish Found Living Half a Mile Under Antarctic Ice

Looking at the history of the planet, what we have is basically lots and lots of mass extinctions - every major branch of life reaching it's peak and then being almost entirely eradicated and life basically starting over (and by the way - this happening to the human race is not just likely but an absolute certainty - the only actual defence is off-planet colonies which we don't yet have).

There are different ways you can interpret this data however. One interpretation is that life is extremely rare, that we came so close to it ending forever so many times that we must assume the odds of us being here were billions to one and that it may well never have happened anywhere else - that even if life had gotten started elsewhere, it probably didn't survive into present day.

The other, equally valid, interpretation of the same data is that life is extremely resilient - that it has survived absolutely everything the universe has (quite literally) thrown at it. Species and even entire families aren't resilient but life is - even if something kills absolutely everything except a few extremophile bacteria at the bottom of some volcano somewhere -that's enough, life will re-arise and some day, something as intelligent as us will walk the earth again. By this view it's quite likely we are NOT the first, though we're probably the first to make it space. Biologists like Jack Cohen will tell you that the odds of there being a single shred of evidence we ever existed in a billion years time is as close to zero as makes no difference. Even our roads and buildings aren't as long-lasting as we imagine, they only look that way on human time-scales, not on planetary ones. The satelites will all eventually crash with nothing to replenish lost velocity. That little plaque on the moon may survive- but who knows if it will be found by whatever is next able to ask "why are we here".

There is no real way to choose between these views, they are both equally well supported by the available data and until our capacity to look is significantly improved we can't get data from enough other places to see which prediction they match. For the moment we have two predictions from the same data but until we can confirm either one we can't know.
That is why looking is important. It's also why things like THESE are important, they add data which can let us refine our predictions.

That is a critical part of the scientific process, it's helps us figure out what to be looking for in the first place. The more extreme conditions we find life in - the wider the potential search space becomes (and theoretically - the more likely we are to find *something*). It also means that searching it all takes longer.

There is no scientific answer to the question of whether life is such an unlikely event it only ever happened here, or common and happened many, many times. The data we have can equally well defend either conclusion.
So we need more data. Every bit of new data helps.

Comment: Re:Ethics? (Score 1) 556

by silentcoder (#48632415) Attached to: FBI Confirms Open Investigation Into Gamergate

> and about a secret Google group where the supposedly "independent journalists" were given marching orders and told what to push, what to ignore, and whom to attack. When the news came out? THIRTEEN gaming sites issued THE EXACT SAME STORY about how they didn't need gamers and that gamers were "dead".

A discussion group for journalists in a particular field... shocking, oh wait, all journalists in all fields have had those for decades, long before the internet they had forums like that via other means.
Journalists have been building relationships across publications and collaborating in this manner for-ever, it actually makes journalism STRONGER.
The only plausible explanation for you thinking this one is a scandal is:
1) You're an idiot who didn't know that this has been standard practise since Ben Franklin published a newspaper
or
2) You know that but are hoping WE don't, and want to deceive us.

Comment: Re:Home of the brave? (Score 4, Interesting) 589

by silentcoder (#48624301) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

Actually - not really, that statistic is simply based on crime numbers. More people are killed by spouse/partner than any other source. This is pretty much a global reality, the only significant exceptions are the middle of warzones.
The vast majority didn't make random choices, they just made WRONG choices.

Comment: Re: Slashdot, once again... (Score 1) 289

by silentcoder (#48492459) Attached to: Gilbert, AZ Censors Biology Books the Old-Fashioned Way

Actually you answered your own question without realizing it. Morality is not in the sphere of science so by implication must not influence what is put in textbooks. Science is by nature progressive since there is no forbidden knowledge. He is right because the issue of the morality of birth control has absolutely no relevance to the question of whether a biology textbook ought to discuss birth control. Conservative thinking wants to restrict what people know. To control their behavior by controlling information. This is fundamentally at odds with the foundational principals of science which makes science progressive or at least anti-conservative. Scientist hold morality as applying to how you use knowledge never to the knowledge itself. The same physics that gave us nuclear power (arguably a moral good) gave us the deadliest weapons ever created (undeniably a moral evil). The application of knowledge has moral questions but science is liberal because it never allows anything (including morality) to dictate the knowledge itself. Whatever the scientific method produces is published without limit or exception. Indeed caring about what people may do with it is a fallacy - the appeal to consequences.

There's no future in time travel.

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