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Comment: Re:Just wait, Islam will lead us to another one (Score 1) 31

by ultranova (#49763709) Attached to: Universe's Dark Ages May Not Be Invisible After All

Banning Mosques is cultural self-defense.

You mean cultural suicide. After all, it violates the freedom of religion, which is absolutely vital for the marketplace of ideas to exist. That marketplace is the essence of Western Culture, underlaying every currently reigning local ideas.

The only thing mosques do is give the local populace a chance to copy whatever good ideas Islam might have, and of course the other way around. And the only ones it threatens are those who are on top in current status quo and wish it to remain.

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 170

by ultranova (#49763423) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

Raise the tax rate to 75% of the corporate profit and see what happens...

Companies will reinvest revenue rather than pay it out as dividends. Also, stock prices fall as future expected dividends are cut by 75%, and then rise again as said reinvestment makes economy grow faster.

Actually, this could be just the stimulus economy needs...

Comment: Re:To be more precise, Amazon will collect on taxe (Score 1) 170

by ultranova (#49763375) Attached to: Amazon Decides To Start Paying Tax In the UK

The only way to do that is raise prices.

If you can make more profit by rising prices, why haven't you done so already?

If I am unable to raise prices that far, then I'll invest the $10 million of capital somewhere else.

"Somewhere else" is taxed too, so it'll do you no good. You'll simply have to settle for a level of profit the market can offer, the same as everyone else. Of course, you could sit on your $10 million and let inflation eat it away.

If my current profit is $1 million and you now say it will be only $100K due to new taxes, then either my prices have to go way up, or the product/service won't be offered.

In the latter case your profit will be negative due to inflation. $100K is the best option you have. And, should you decide to pass as a protest or whatever, that's okay too, your competitors will gladly expand their market.

Comment: Re:Mark Zuckerburg (Score 1) 100

by ultranova (#49763257) Attached to: Oculus Founder Hit With Lawsuit

Definition of irony:

a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.

But if you're aware of the concept of irony, and people find it amusing, and that people are fond of posting things they find amusing, this logically means that you're expecting something unexpected, which thus is not unexpected, thus nothing can be ironic to one who knows of irony, not even this very fact.

Comment: Re: This isn't a question (Score 1) 481

by ultranova (#49763217) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

There is no parsing of the OP that indicates he's talking about suicide.

If you drive someone to suicide, is it really a suicide or a homicide?

Sure, they're dead because they were too weak to deal with your shit, but then again, the guy I shot is dead because he was too weak/slow/unobservant to shoot me first.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 481

by ultranova (#49763147) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Why just two people? That seems like it discriminates against people who want three people in a marriage...

It does, but removing gender requirements from marriage law is much simpler - and thus less likely to have unintended negative consequences - than allowing 3- or n-way marriages. The law doesn't have proper encapsulation or interfaces, thus every change could interact with anything else - but other laws are already supposed to be gender-neutral, so it shouldn't.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 481

by ultranova (#49763063) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

But if you're a polygamist who adopted, who gets the kids...Sue or Molly? Who gets the house? Which one makes the call to keep you on a feeding tube while you're in the coma?

Wouldn't these issues be solved by what this post argued for: incorporated marriage? So the answer to all these would be "the legal entity created through the marriage contract", which is controlled by its members.

Comment: Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 481

by ultranova (#49762521) Attached to: Ireland Votes Yes To Same-Sex Marriage

Because it is one of the very few institutions found in all human cultures. Any legal system that doesn't deal with marriage in some fashion is profoundly deficient.

That's just not true. Until fairly recently in human history, marriage was largely a religious and private issue.

Until fairly recently in human history, religion was the law, and no issue could be both religious and private.

Comment: Re:Republican Hypocrits (Score 2) 95

It's absolutely disgusting. A total affront to the democratic process. People that pull this should be tried as traitors to their country.

Capitalism has no country, kin nor master. It has only slaves, some pampered and some abused. It has redefined the perceived reality of the entire world in terms of profits and ownership. That has been enough to rule the last quarter millenia and triumph over the old order as well as attempts at rebellion. It is, as the term has been understood for most of human history, a god, and the chief one of the modern world. Any ancient Greek would instantly recognize economic forecasts as exactly similar to the ramblings of the Oracle of Delphi, though less accurate, banks and stock exchanges as the temples they really are, the Cold War as religious warfare between two competing pantheons, and so on.

So no, people like Harper are not traitors. They're simply possessed. They do not deserve to be punished; they should be simply removed from power, both for their countries sake and their own. It's the constant cultlike repetition of their idol's message that leaves them unable to see any option or outcome besides the ones compatible with that message. But of course the average voter is bombarded by that same message as well, which is why they elect people like Harper in the first place.

All that said, Capitalism precedes Industrial Revolution and in fact started it. It is the reason for the relative abundance of modern world, even if the price of getting here was terrible. But it's becoming clear it can't handle that very abundance. Some work themselves to death while armies of unemployed fall to destitution, leading to the enfeebling of the very markets Capitalism depends on. Euro and the apparently endless sacrifices it demands from people threaten to rip apart the EU and thus start again the cycle of European wars. China seems hellbent on developing their very own branch of authoritarian Capitalism while Russia is turning towards a cult of personality to distract its people from its miserable performance. US is quickly degenerating into a third world country, caught between increasingly militant fundamentalist factions of various bents. All in all, it seems like the system is in dire need of a major upgrade.

So what next? Does situation continue to detoriate until people lose faith, thus rendering Capitalism unable to function as a model for organizing the society, like what happened to Communism? Even if something emerged to replace it, we would lose its admittedly impressive benefits, the material abundance and ability to quickly and efficiently put scientific and technological innovations into use. Could it be upgraded, to keep the benefits while mitigating the problems? Mybe, but the very power it wields over its worshippers makes that extremely difficult; the last time required two depressions, two world wars, a wave of Communist revolutions and finally Hitler and the Nazis to force the issue, and even then fundamentalists set to reverting the changes as soon as possible.

We live in the treshold of two ages. Some people get disillusioned, others become ever more rigidly orthodoxic in their beliefs. Cracks in the foundations of Capitalism could be mended with new ideas, or they could grow until people can see through them and the whole structure falls down. We could reach a new Golden Age or another Ragnarok. Perhaps it's time we stop leaving such matters to chance and extend our control from our physical environment to our cultural one, from the realm of matter to the realm of gods.

Comment: Re:"WSJ stunt to maximize anti-Clinton engagement" (Score 1) 224

by ultranova (#49759431) Attached to: WSJ Crowdsources Investigation of Hillary Clinton Emails

Why does anyone trust them?

No reason, but also no need - they're simply publishing documents.

This stunt should not be a surprise.

This "stunt" is what the press is supposed to be doing. Judge actions by themselves, not by whether you happen to like whoever's doing them.

Comment: Re:Publicly Funded Research (Score 1) 36

by ultranova (#49757503) Attached to: New Class of "Non-Joulian" Magnets Change Volume In Magnetic Field

What I don't get is why I, as one of the millions of taxpayers that funded this research, don't have free access to the paper.

Costs are public, profits are private.

That's a compromise reached after raw capitalism's "costs are someone else's problem" resulted in near-collapse of the entire system. The problem is, it's impossible to calculate the ultimate costs of any action (install automation? That causes layoffs, which causes poverty, which causes crime, which caused the hit-and-run that killed your cousin) so we maintain a public fund - state budget - which pays for them, and which everyone is forced to pay to according to their ability, which we call taxes.

This system has obvious problems with incentivizing destructive behaviour. It's also opposed by many people who apparently think communism and fascism can't happen again, should enough people fare badly enough for long enough. We're currently seeing a crisis caused by these twin factors: financial geniuses had little reason to care if their actions destabilized the entire world economy, and austerity hawks concentrate on cutting support for the poorest, which is screwing over both those poor and everyone who sells consumer goods. Time will tell if what emerges on the other side is still some form of capitalism, or if all the accumulating changes have finally reached the point of phase transition, similar to what caused capitalism to emerge from feudalism in the first place.

Comment: Re:Pro-bono? (Score 3, Interesting) 65

by ultranova (#49748255) Attached to: Australian ISP Offers Pro-bono Legal Advice To Accused Pirates

I suspect, based upon their previous legal challenges that the management of iiNet actually think that what is occurring here is wrong and they're putting their money into what they believe which isn't something that you often see in the corporate world.

It also makes them a more attractive choice for an ISP to potential customers. Copyright industry is pretty much an extortion racket at this point, extracting "settlements" from random people.

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 607

by ultranova (#49736051) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

However, "Thou shall not kill" is definitely wrong. The Hebrew word is "murder", not "kill". There isn't any ambiguity on that one.

I wonder if religious memes are selected for because a religion forces its followers to excersize their mind thinking up ways to get around the religion's commandments?

Comment: Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 607

by ultranova (#49735703) Attached to: The Demographic Future of America's Political Parties

I think it's a trend that will grow as more and more people realize that both Republicans and Democrats have utter contempt for civil rights and personal choice.

Democrats believe in personal choice, and that the state should decide what options are made available.
Republicans believe in personal choice, and that businessmen and corporations should decide what options are made available.
Libertarians believe in personal choice, and that good options will be available for free.

Frankly, these are all rather unrealistic. Does anyone have better ideas?

Maternity pay? Now every Tom, Dick and Harry will get pregnant. -- Malcolm Smith