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Comment: Re:slashdot - daily news about whiny bitches and S (Score 1) 347

Gandhi refused to let British doctors give his wife a life-saving shot of penicillin, on the grounds that she should not have alien substances injected in her body. This was a death sentence for her. And yet he was willing to accept quinine when he himself later contracted malaria. He also let British doctors perform an appendectomy on him, another alien intrusion to be sure.

Anti-Western, or post-colonial, intellectuals and activists bring up the West's rap sheet not because we were uniquely complicit in slavery, colonialism, and imperialism, but because we are uniquely vulnerable to such guilt mongering. "I think it would be a good idea," Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi famously replied when asked what he thought of Western civilization, as if Indian civilization was without sin. To this day, left-wing poseurs have this line stuck to their refrigerators or use it for yearbook quotes as if it is a brilliantly insightful and humorous bon mot, when in reality the joke is on them.

Gandhi was in many respects the pioneer of exploiting Western self-loathing. For many pacifists, "What Would Gandhi Do?" is a more important question than "What would Jesus Do?" and for good reason. Jesus did believe that violent self-defense was sometimes justified (that's why he instructed his followers to carry swords). Gandhi did not.

Undoubtedly one of the most idiosyncratic world leaders in modern memory. Particularly given the prevalence of New Age pieties these days, he has become a saint of sorts. A true ascetic, Gandhi voluntarily eschewed luxurious pleasures. He found satisfaction in more humble pastimes. Indeed, among his greatest joys and fascinations was the successful bowel movement.

Paul Johnson notes that the first question he asked of his female attendants every morning was "Did you have a good bowel movement?" One of his favorite books, which e reread often, was Constipation and Our Civilization. Deprived of a sense of smell, which no doubt impaired his sense of taste his vegetarian diet was centered around the goal of a successful digestive cycle.

His advice on both personal diet and public agriculture was not merely impractical and gloomy. Had his ideas been translated into public policy they would have subjected millions of Indians to even worse starvation and even more pervasive poverty than they were already enduring. Gandhi's social and economic vision was perhaps best described as Tolkienesque. Technology was the enemy of decency, the perfect political unit was the Arcadian village, a subcontinental Shire where, instead of hobbits, Hindus would work individually on their tiny looms.

Of course, you would not know this from the film that helped cement the Gandhian legend. For instance, in Gandhi the movie, audiences are led to believe that his first hunger strike was to protest the British police's horrific slaughter of a crowd of peaceful Indian protesters. But Gandhi's first hunger strike was devoted to protesting a British effort to grand the Untouchables-India's lowest and most oppressed caste-greater rights and freedoms, including providing them with access to a form of affirmative action. That wouldn't play as well on the big screen, alas.

The filmmakers were merely picking up on a practice begun by the British foreign office. Simply put, Gandhi was a creature of the system he sought to overthrow. For years the British Empire used Gandhi as the most convenient nationalist. Unlike other anti-colonial activists, Gandhi worked assiduously to prevent violence. "The true oddity," writes Richard Grenier, "is that Gandhi, this holy man, having drawn from British sources his notions of nationalism and democracy, also absorbed from the British his model of virtue in public life. He was a historical original, a Hindu holy man that a British model of public service and dazzling advances in mass communications thrust out into the world, to become a great moral leader and the 'father of his country'."

Gandhi's accomplishments were great, but absent the context of a liberal empire, he would have accomplished little or nothing. He was "not a liberator, but a political exotic," writes Paul Johnson, "who could have flourished only in the protected environment provided by British liberalism." (Paul Johnson, Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties (New York: Harper Collins, 2001, p. 471) The reason there was never a German Gandhi to stare down the Nazi regime is that the Nazi regime was immune to such appeals. Orwell observed that "it is difficult to see how Gandhi's methods could be applied in a country where opponents of the regime disappear in the middle of the night and are never heard of again. Without a free press and the right of assembly, it is impossible not merely to appeal to outside opinion, but to bring a mass movement into being, or even to make your intentions known to your adversary. Is there a Gandhi in Russia at this moment? And if there is, what is he accomplishing? (George Orwell, Reflections on Gandhi," Partisan Review (January 1949)

Hence, Gandhi's brand of nonviolence was not a universal standard for all of humanity but was instead an exceedingly parochial, even backwater, idea. The Gandhian conception that violence never solves anything worked because nonviolence was an effective tool against the British conscience and a country exhausted by war with Germany. Violence wasn't the answer for colonials in India. But, suffice it to say, violence was the answer for American colonists dealing with the same British Empire a century and a half earlier.

Gandhi's commitment to nonviolence led him to what can only be described as an incandescently dumb positions. The Mahatma implored the British to surrender to the Nazis (and not the other way around). "I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity," he told the British. "Let [the Nazis] take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds." (Mohandas Gandhi, "To Every Briton," Radio Address, New Delphi (July 2, 1940))

Fortunately there were no takers.

A starter illustration of the futility of Gandhi's prescriptions can be found in his advice to the Jews. Asked what the Jews should do in response to the cruelty visited upon them by Gandhi's "friend" Adolf Hitler, the answer was simple: Commit mass suicide. Gandhi-who despised the idea of a Jewish homeland in "Arab Palestine"-believed that the Jews shouldn't allow the Nazis to bully them out of Germany. Hence he advised Germany Jewry to stand up to the Nazis with Gandhian civil disobedience. He believed that such defiance would "have aroused the world and the people of Germany to Hitler's violence." When his biographer asked him, "You mean that the Jews should have committed collective suicide?" Gandhi replied, "Yes, that would have been heroism."(Orwell, "Reflections on Gandhi")

Even after the war, when the full extent of the Holocaust was being realized, Gandhi never recanted his position that "the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from the cliffs" The Jews died anyway, Gandhi explained; at least if they'd followed his advice they would have died significantly. Theologians, ethicists, and philosophers can debate which aspects of this response are the most offensive. Heroism, after all, is ultimately in the eye of the beholder. What is not open to debate is the stunning naivete of Gandhi's universal philosophy of peace. How likely is it that Jewish mass suicide would have "aroused the world" to Hitler's violence, when the mass murder of the Jews did not. Moreover, of what use is arousing world opinion when Gandhi's preferred course of action is surrender? If all you propose is to call attention to violence but do not believe that force is ever justified to stop it, why bother?

Still Gandhian nonviolence is preferable to the sort of violence employed by today's self-proclaimed anti-imperialists: Muslim terrorists. If the Palestinians, for instance, took Gandhian nonviolence to heart, they'd be living in their own state already. But instead they've opted for terrorism and bloodshed. When Hamas blows up pizza parlors or sends assassins to slit the throats of babies in their sleep, the "violence never solved anything" chorus remains remarkably mute. When Israel takes lawful action to prevent or punish such attacks, that is the cue for the very same chorus to kick in. That's because, as ever, the claim that "violence never solves anything" is not a universal truism; it is a selective attempt to manipulate the conscience of those with might not to do right.

I recently read about this in The Tyranny of Clieches by Johan Goldberg (above is Shamelessly paraphrased)

Comment: Re:finger pointing (Score 1) 404

by theArtificial (#49357029) Attached to: Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US
Do other countries have a glut of school administrators with salaries to the tune of $700,000+ a year plus perks? OC Register Article featuring several salaries. LA Times

UC San Francisco's Sam Hawgood, who started in July, is the highest-paid UC chancellor, at $750,000 . In hoping to erase disparities, regents noted that Gene Block, who came to UCLA in 2007, is paid $428,480, which is below what Gillman will be paid at a smaller campus. (In addition to salaries, chancellors receive housing or housing allowances.)

Absolutely ridiculous.

Administrators ate my tuition

Here's an interactive chart with a state by state breakdown. Why the obscene jump in administration, especially over the last 20 years? Far greater than the educators, you know the ones actually doing something, many educators are adjunct instructors (pardon the source), in a nutshell so they're working cheaper and they comprise the super majority of instructors.

braindead republicans, ruining the country

Your bias is showing. Both parties are fully bought and paid for and further corporate special interests. Democrats were in control for many years and furthered ghastly policies began by the previous administration. Apathy and partisan politics is ruining this country. Control by splitting into hostile groups, it's not new and it's effective, you're doing them proud! The Millennials will make up a larger voting block than the Boomers this year.

Comment: Re:Do It, it worked in AZ (Score -1) 884

Unless you're the Government, or a School, or a Business. Being most everywhere is fixated with Diversity (code for institutionalized sexism and racism) we can play name games with things! Douchebag Google, Douchebag University California Irvine, Douchebag Stanford University. Maybe we can just swap out parts of the name for Douchebag? Douchebagrosoft. Since many sites are also imposing policies, maybe Douchebagdot or Douchebaggit?

Comment: Re: A turd by any other name (Score 1) 317

by theArtificial (#49294955) Attached to: Microsoft Is Killing Off the Internet Explorer Brand

Wow you seriously don't have any idea what you are talking about. Most of the web application development world had abandoned MSIE around 2001,

Abandoned IE? IE dominated from the late 90s to the mid 00s. No amount of revisionism will dispute this fact. It's not like I work(ed) for Microsoft or enjoyed supporting IE6 later in its life, it's just a fact it was immensely popular for multiple reasons. This was the infamous era of applets and ActiveX, static webpages, single user computers, Sub7, Melissa and peak AOL. Web application development was IE centric, especially in the form of intranet sites, which were responsible for it being around an unnaturally long time. This isn't about ideology, it's simple business, you target what your customers run and at the time that was IE(6).

Version numbers weren't important, features were: you could build a new-skool web site using Phoenix and then hack it to look less-than-shitty in MSIE (does that sound familiar? It's still the process most of follow today).

The person who replied named Firefox specifically, not Phoenix, nor Firebird. You're moving the goal posts. Compared to the popular browsers at the time few people would've been using it prior to 2004 because it simply didn't exist as such. Regarding the claim about the process "most" follow today, (anecdote? are you the arbiter of the world wide designer/developer leauge?) , it's focused around Chrome and if they're half way competent Firefox. Why? Because laziness isn't new or unique to this industry. Just to be clear, how do you determine laziness? There are things called vendor prefixes which enable non-standard vendor specific CSS. Lazy folk will just use the popular ones which typically mean webkit specific. Things have improved as support for HTML5 and CSS3 increases. I'd love for ISPs to release the metrics for the User Agent strings for a more objective list of browsers/devices instead of relying on sites people visit. might be a worthy runner up, but here's a wiki page citing several stat sites in the browser wars.

The Wikipedia article on Firefox doesn't cover all that, so your apparently insightful research simply isn't.

For the record this is just a topic which I've firsthand experience with and calling it research cheapens the term and I'm not involved with the articles I referenced in any way. I just did some admittedly quick searches for supporting citations where possible, honestly, what is/was difficult is finding information on Netscape and IE JavaScript performance. There is a reason why Netscape users jumped ship and it took writing something from scratch to succeed. Your post contains no links, for those who aren't familiar with the details of the situation the more information available the better. My post isn't gospel and citing wikipedia doesn't grant one authority, it's simply convenient. Lots of sites have disappeared over the last ~15 years to boot. What would really help is finding a side by side comparison of the features supported by each browser (including Netscape!) I often search for things on my own, and I don't think I'm alone in this practice and I encourage anyone to do the same when educating themselves.

As an aside, revisionism is rampant. Look at Windows XP being lauded as light on resources, which at the time it was considered a busted pig compared to Windows 2k and 98 on this very site.

Comment: Re:I want to get paid (Score 1) 322

by theArtificial (#49289707) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades
Nonetheless it sounds like a worthy experiment :) There are passionate people who are far more experienced I who've graciously shared their wisdom and experiences, all it takes is asking the right questions. If it's a single piece of hardware with drivers on hand, why not provision a fresh image and just install the drivers again? No sense in making a production out of it unnecessarily, unless that's your cup of tea!

Comment: Re:I want to get paid (Score 1) 322

by theArtificial (#49289691) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades
I think we've all been bitten by the upgrade bug. I've become conservative with updates to setups that work. Sierra was extremely effective at branding "save early, save often" into my impressionable formative brain. While the times have changed I've taken this to heart and make liberal use of snapshots when doing anything in a VM. I'm not certain which platform you're using but most of them have roughly similar features. Not to say I don't cowboy things from time to time :)

Comment: Re:English (Score 1) 274

by theArtificial (#49281133) Attached to: Speaking a Second Language May Change How You See the World
If you're looking for partners I can't recommend highly enough, dig a little in the site and there are oodles of free tutors. I've met many interesting people through the site and it's a great way to meet native speakers. I'm not affiliated with the site, I just enjoy language. The accent you have will help you immensely with English speakers, embrace it. ;)

Comment: Re:A turd by any other name (Score 2) 317

by theArtificial (#49280189) Attached to: Microsoft Is Killing Off the Internet Explorer Brand

No, that doesn't follow at all. Firefox was a significantly better browser at the time, before they jumped the shark after version 4.

Your disagreement seems to be looking from now backwards instead of from the beginning. Since Firefox was named specifically, it's a browser that wasn't released until 3 years after (4 excluding the technology previews) the competition.

Better is such a subjective word, better how? Stability? That eliminates technology previews bumping the "better" browser back another year. I sincerely hope something developed years after its competition was released would improve upon established norms. Out of the gate it was feature incomplete by their own version numbers. Steve Jobs is one who can make that a compelling argument. Firefox also featured some really cool fundamental concepts, like the now ubiquitous download manager.

Firefox became competitive in 2005/2006. Prior to that IE was top dog, when IE6 was released it was better than the other browsers by means of features like standards support and speed. Prior to the JavaScript engine wars fundamentally changing things, there were incremental steps. IE6 believe it or not was peppy compared to Netscape's offerings. This is documented in Netscape Navigator's decline. IE6 at the time it was released and for many years was what the vast majority of designers targeted and designed for. Designed for Internet Explorer, Designed for Netscape Navigator were prevalent like perverse badges of honor. In my opinion the debut of Firebug in 2006 was a turning point for designer/developer interest considering many tools are heavily inspired by its features. Here's a neat little read on IE1.0 upto Firefox 2.0.

I never claimed there was only _one_ tool. You sure love to jump to conclusions about things I never said. There was another utility I used to use back in the day too, it might have been MultIE. I've deleted / removed almost everything related to IE.

The way you mentioned it was, paraphrasing: "Sandboxie was really annoying." So is installing Steam games into it and so is supporting dozens of viewport sizes. Welcome to software!

You're missing the point. Microsoft popularized that crap. Just because other vendors are doing it doesn't give MS a free pass.

I feel like somewhere in your secret volcano lair there exists a giant whiteboard which has a soul crushing flowchart with winding complex paths leading to the giant Sauron like cloud labeled "Microsoft: Great Satan". At some point the responsibility shifts to the shoulders of those who take action.

Comment: Re:A turd by any other name (Score 4, Insightful) 317

by theArtificial (#49279565) Attached to: Microsoft Is Killing Off the Internet Explorer Brand

In typical MS fashion it didn't get good until 3 versions later, IE4, before getting proprietary vendor lockin with that piece of shit IE6.

If IE6 was such a piece of shit, as you put it, that implies that the other browsers at the time were much worse than that. You've inadvertently made a profound statement about the browser landscape of the day. IE6 rightfully earned infamy in its unnaturally long life even more repugnant is rampant revisionism. IE introduced a feature that is the foundation of today's web, some of you might be aware of the XMLHttpRequest object, for the non-developers it's like the force now, all around us. JavaScript support and performance, CSS support. Unfortunately this period had to occur, and it will occur again once these lessons are forgotten; Without the stranglehold IE6 eventually obtained, and more importantly stagnated the web with, the choices we have today wouldn't exist.

Their stupidity of not being able to down-grade IE or simultaneously install different versions so web developers could test ALL the various versions, forcing people to rely on hacks like SandBoxie, was absolutely retarded.

As much as it pains me to say Microsoft wasn't unique in this regard, as an aside, try installing multiple versions of Safari. Even the easy mode package managers don't support multiple versions of browsers out of the box (not to say it's difficult). Internet Explorer 6 released in 2001 following the launch of Windows XP. For those unfamiliar with their history, Web Development of that era revolved around IE and Netscape. With IE being the Chrome of its day (as in "works here, onward!") since the browser market was 90%+ IE and IE6 was supported on Windows 98, NT, and 2k. Low usage for potential targets results in a chicken and the egg problem. Low single digits just aren't a priority for many shops, see Opera.

Sandboxie came out in 2004ish and has its uses, especially on 32bit machines. However, for web development involving IE it's much easier to use MultiIE which has been around since 2006. IETester is worth another mention. Not to mention there are alternatives due to the ever growing number of devices and variants released year after year, requiring a different approach such as farms that show screenshots from targeted browsers. Regarding the hassle of Sandboxie, limiting yourself to one tool is pretty silly.

This is a little off topic. Since this criticism is being framed as a Microsoft issue you might be shocked to discover how apps and to a lesser extent websites, are developed and tested in 2015 on devices manufactured and supported by multiple vendors. This process requires physical devices, in many cases multiple to support the popular OS versions on them (there are other OS, but they're less than 8%). Think it's a hack to wrangle Sandboxes or multiple installations, try wrangling devices that let you only upgrade! But what about device simulators, one might ask? Oh yes, they do exist and they're improving but there isn't a substitute for deploying and testing on device. IE variants are a dwindling piece of the very large fragmentation pie.

Microsoft writing the browser from scratch, is too little, too late.

Too late for whom? With the next version of Windows being released as a free upgrade (there are restrictions, naturally) we might see Linux get a run for its money consumer side. Price is an important factor with products (see Walmart or Target in Canada) and one of the big Linux advantages is its cost. The majority of users don't use a platform for the license, ideology or obscure technical features but the tasks it lets them perform: Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, Twitch*. Until recently that ment Flash support. If these things work better on a particular platform, that doesn't have an immediate cost, could become very popular in no time. Look at the adoption of Android instead of homebrew handset OS. Beyond these streaming and internet services, is if the vast library of software available for Windows runs on the new "free" version, that's quite an advantage.

*North American downstream usage.
History of Internet Explorer

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"