The government can "take over" by passing laws that make it illegal to use or exchange bitcoins unless they are registered or have some other control feature. Private money is not illegal in the US, but it doesn't have to stay that way. That wouldn't stop the illegal usage of bitcoins, of course, but having the government go from indifferent or passively hostile all the way to actively hostile will be a serious problem. Even drug traffickers need to get their eventual profits into state-sponsored money for it to be useful for them. If they didn't, they would have created their own monetary system decades ago.
I wholeheartedly agree that the employee rating system needs to be less about competing with your co-workers and more about competing with your actual competitors.
While there does need to be some accounting for people who are not performing, you don't create a system that tries to find that out at the cost of completely undercutting your own teams.
I've met people who are shitty at their jobs, but excellent at backstabbing. MS already has too much of that. Hopefully they pick a CEO who changes that, but that will be an uphill battle, to say the least. It's already cultural.
I was just talking to my seven year old nephew about math and I described to him a Linear Algebra problem. He didn't understand it. What are they putting in the water these days to make kids so dumb? It's probably all dem vaccines. And sugar.
If it's on the Internet, it's true. Didn't you learn anything in public school?
Fire has been used by humans for 1.9 million years or so. It is very useful for killing people painfully. I'm still pretty happy with fire.
Linux has been used from the early nineties, and now its going to kill people. I'm still pretty happy with Linux.
Granted, I'm not going to brag about that aspect, but I wouldn't go so far to say it is a ghastly aspect. Modern militaries use everything from brooms to paperclips in support of their mission to kill stuff. That's because militaries use systems to accomplish their tasks, just like everything else does. If you create a system to move food around the globe, you also create a system that moves food between war zones.
I'd be proud that Linux is deemed capable of underlying a mission critical system, even if I don't like the results of said system.
On the other hand, one of the best generals on the Continental side was Major General Benedict Arnold. He pretty much won the Battle of Saratoga and therefore, the contributed considerably to the winning the whole war.
He was so good that he actually has one or two memorials: one at Saratoga and one at West Point. They don't actually have his name on them. Too bad about his later career.
As a tactician, Washington was not one of the great captains of history, in the sense that Napoleon or Hannibal could crush their enemies in battle after battle, but he was a very good Commander-in-Chief in the sense that he was able to hold together a fractious alliance and maintain an army in the field. He also was very much lacking the gigantic ego that the other generals, like Arnold, had. That one feature is a significant reason we have a United States today that is more or less a functioning democracy, as opposed to a string of dictatorships and juntas.
All that said, Washington was probably not going to pull a Cannae on the British, but it isn't like the British weren't trying to win. They certainly tried to stop Washington and failed.
I see your point, and I am actually not sure one way or another if you're right. I will say, however, that you shouldn't discount even raw bandwidth as something that could drive jobs. The more software online there is, the more bandwidth is needed. A 10MBps line that would have been massive for a small company in the 90s is incredibly insufficient now. Now we need 100Mbps or something like that.
The more fiber there is, the more fiber gets laid, and the more fiber gets cut. Is it the same as churning out new cars? I don't know, and there may well be other products that are moving into the space as well.
The original Luddites feared for their jobs, not because they were all stupid, but because there was an entire paradigm shift. It would be putting a machine in a soccer goal net instead of a goalie. You'd be putting all goalies out of a job, but you'd probably have to hire twice as many people to operate the goaltender machine.
That said, perhaps this digital revolution really IS different. Perhaps we do need to consider a world were we no longer determine what a person earns by what "value" they provide. I'd say it would be a good thought exercise either way.
That's the United States of Heinz. That's somewhere in Europe. Near Andorra.
I find the idea that I am single-handedly able to overthrow a system which accreted over generations to be ridiculous. I understand that you might be saying that the mindset involved needs to change before change can happen, but to me "change" isn't enough. The system exists and is resilient because it co-opts people by working its way into a place where people need it. The Tea Party is trying to "change" things, and they look like assholes, but I will give them some props for knowing their goal and going after it. The problem is, they won't get their way without pissing off constituencies, and that is also why you really can't effect reform in other areas either.
You want to do away with government sponsored spying? Then don't support Social Security or Obamacare. Sound like completely different things? They are, but at the root of all of them is a reliance on government bureaucracy to solve our problems. It's just that other people find some problems more important than others. The problem with government is that you get an NSA for precisely the same reason you get a Department of Education: somebody who thinks big government has the power to make your lives easier and safer, the only difference is how they want the government to go about it.
We'd still support the Saudis because Europe and China still use Mideast oil. We might not have been independent of Middle East oil, but we've always used much less of it than other places do. The problem here isn't feeding US SUVs as much as it is keeping the world stable and out of an energy crisis. If the Saudis suddenly stopped selling oil to Europe, the US would be mostly okay, but it would trash our allies and seriously destabilize the world picture.
There's a difference between being a part of a system that you have no objective control over, and being complicit in specific activities that we have no way of having oversight over.
If I was a roofer on the Death Star, I might have no idea what the big crater looking thing was for. I'd think I was building a big battlestation, at best. Is it my fault that I didn't walk over to the other side of what was the size of a small moon and ask what they were building over there? Would I know a superlaser if I saw one? Hell no. I'm a roofer, not a turbolaser technician. I wouldn't know a superlaser from a thermal exhaust port.
While I have no intention to collaborate with finding out private communications between US citizens, I don't see why the NSA would not try and break TOR. TOR is a communication system that would allow terrorists to communicate without being monitored, it is a job of a spy agency to get into those communication methods. It's like telling James Bond to not try to break into the safe of the bad guy to get the secret papers because, "breaking and entering is illegal and not nice".
There is nothing wrong with breaking TOR, because TOR doesn't deserve it's reputation if it can be broken. I'm glad that they've broken it and we know about it. I've always known that, while it had certain benefits, it has always been very susceptible to being compromised if you have enough assets and the will to do so. All they've done is proven it. Now we move on to something else, or we accept the caveats that working with TOR constrains us with.
I'm not worried about what they can do, I'm worried about what they do with their capabilities. The fact is that someone is going to be able to do what the NSA is doing, sooner or later. Let's make sure that it is the good guys who are doing it, and that those people who go into that field are responsible and honest people who understand the need for privacy in the course of normal events.
In a word, "yes". What do you think happens to other people who use civil disobedience? Garden party invitations?
I'd have to agree there. Changing the home page to a "closed" sign does not take all that much effort and may be necessary to show that the interactive parts of the site are inactive.
Although I really don't know what is up with monuments and parks being closed down, if they were mostly unmanned to begin with. At that point, I think someone is just trying to make a statement, as opposed to showing the actual realistic result of a (so-far) short federal shutdown of non-essential services.
Of course, even open air parks need maintenance for some tourist facilities, so shutting down some of the parks will have an effect on safety eventually. That said, if they have money for armed patrols, you'd think they could patrol those areas and just cordon them off if the maintenance was compromised.
More likely it is:
FBI: The precedents handed down allow us to demand this.
Judge: That sucks... unfortunately you are right.
FBI: Tell them to hand over the goods or we'll appeal and you'll get slapped down and you'll still have to do it.
Judge: Fine, assholes.
Lavabit: We're going to comply in the least cooperative way.
Judge: Don't fuck with me, I'm already in a bad mood from Special Agent Dickface over there.
Judge: Okay, fine. Which is to say, pay a fine, now.