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Comment: not the lines you should be worried about (Score 1) 315

by silfen (#48187547) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

The problem with Burning Man lines is the regular screw-ups at the gates every year. They cause lines that are many miles long with people stuck in their cars for half a day or longer. And those screw-ups are frequently technological.

Waiting in line for an hour to get ice while chatting with other burners... not a problem, and if it really bothers you, just come back another time.

Comment: Re:The law comes to Deadwood. (Score 1) 480

by silfen (#48184523) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

This is about abusive, manipulative, disruptive and often threatening behavior that would not be tolerated off-line in the name of free speech --- because it is the enemy of free speech.

All of what you describe is protected as free speech.

The enemies of free speech look like you and spout the same kind of nonsense as you do.

Comment: Re: It's the OS, Stupid (Score 1) 249

by silfen (#48178035) Attached to: Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

There are many similarities, but for obvious reasons, they had to strip a lot out in iOS to make it practical for mobile hardware

Sorry, but those reasons are not "obvious" to me. Mobile devices these days have the compute power of high-end desktops of only a few years ago, desktops that ran professional UNIX environments just fine. What was there to "strip out"?

Comment: Re:Judging by salary and the "supply vs demand" lo (Score 1) 212

by silfen (#48176133) Attached to: Microsoft, Facebook Declare European Kids Clueless About Coding, Too

I can't honestly think of any existing system ever that didn't end up with a small lining of aristocracy (however that was called, whether it's the aristocracy of the good ol' times of nobility, whether it's the aristocracy of the communist politburo or whether it's our aristocracy of money).

The rich do not form an aristocracy in the standard meaning of the word; in fact, capitalism was instrumental in ending the power of aristocracies in Europe.

The term "aristocracy of money" may also be used as a metaphor, to express the idea that money confers aristocracy-like benefits, but that analogy does not work, because the old saying “It is only but three generations from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.” holds true. Most wealthy in the US became that way without inheriting the wealth.

By the way: The system you might describe as "communist" (which I refuse to accept, it was much but certainly not communist) failed for the same reasons, oddly, that the system we live in today will fail (which I refuse to consider even remotely capitalist).

Absolutely. The commonality is the phenomena described by public choice theory. Nepotism, cronyism, abuse of governmental power exist are both a problem in our society and were a problem in all socialist and communist countries. But there is a big difference in terms of degree. In the US, that kind of corruption may account for 30% of the economy, in socialist and communist regimes, it easily accounted for 90%, and that makes all the difference: it's why we ended up wealthy and they did not. Furthermore, such corruption is part of life: you can't eliminate it entirely, and if you tried, the cure would be worse than the disease.

I'm fairly sure true communism can work. I'd still prefer true capitalism. Not because it's better, but it's far easier to implement.

That's always ever been the utilitarian argument for capitalism. Ideal capitalism works worse than ideal communism, but real capitalism works better.

But there is a second question, namely not what "works", but what kind of society we want to live in. Even perfect communism would result in a large loss of individual liberties; it's intrinsic and unavoidable.

Comment: Re:freedoms f----d (Score 1) 130

Chauvinistic "holier-than-thou" idiots exist in every group.

European anti-Americanism isn't an occasional exception, it is long-standing and widespread phenomenon in mainstream European society. It's been an integral part of European history and European intellectual life since the US was founded.

Whoopsie, hope I didn't hurt your feelings...

Since I am from Europe, why would you be hurting my feelings? All you are proving is your ignorance.

Comment: Re:freedoms f----d (Score 1) 130

That wasn't sarcasm.

Oh, sorry, I misread you. What would Americans have to rationalize? The US still is the richest and most powerful country on earth. We aren't getting any aid or handouts from Europe.

And I'm quite sure that while Europeans consider some less developed countries to be failing, they do consider others to be thriving. Otherwise their wouldn't be attempting to get onto the markets in those countries, nicht wahr?

Europeans have been "getting into the markets" of countries they consider inferior for centuries, usually to exploit, oppress, and teach them the superior European ways. N'est ce pas?

Comment: Re:freedoms f----d (Score 1) 130

Now I'm waiting for American intellectuals to invent all sort of rationalizations for why their supposedly superior culture keeps failing while some developing countries are thriving. ;-)

What a lame attempt at sarcasm. Yeah, Europeans have all sorts of erroneous beliefs and prejudices about "developing countries" as well, starting with the erroneous idea that they are "failing".

Comment: Re:freedoms f----d (Score 1) 130

There are always aspects of the US that Europeans have found attractive. But those have always coexisted with a firm belief that Europe is culturally superior. Receiving aid from the US only has bred more contempt, and European intellectuals invented all sort of rationalizations for why their supposedly superior culture kept failing while the US was thriving.

A secondary effect is that the people who figure it out just pack up and leave Europe if they can, further increasing the majority of those hostile to the US.

The fact remains that from a US point of view "change your behavior or we won't like you anymore" isn't much of a threat coming from Europeans, given centuries of European abuse heaped on the US.

Comment: Re:freedoms f----d (Score 1) 130

Given your blanket generalization I'll retort "No, they don't". Numerous countries have been force into following the American model to compete (Europe), but that is not the same thing as "agreeing" as you so bluntly claimed.

I know it's hard to remember given how impotent Europe is these days, but in fact the US was forced into following the European model by European powers, both on copyrights and on patents. It took a while until the US managed to beat Europeans at their own game.

Perhaps you should consider why numerous countries are very hostile toward US companies, especially in the Medical and Agricultural sectors.

We have considered it and we don't care anymore: Europeans just look down their noses at Americans, always have and always will.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly