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Comment: Re:The power of EULAs only goes so far (Score 1) 166

by ultranova (#46785015) Attached to: Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

They could also write in that if I click 'like' on a cereal facebook page I would have to kill myself, but that doesn't make it legally binding.

It doesn't have to be legally binding, it just has to make a court case drag on a bit longer. In a battle of attrition the company is always on high ground to mere mortals.

Comment: Re:perception (Score 1) 312

Shantytowns are symbolic of failure,

The failure doesn't disappear just because you make the shantytown illegal. All that accomplishes is make the people who lived there even worse off, for the sake of letting those who didn't pretend the problem doesn't exist. And in a way, it doesn't: a "failure" implies an unintended undesirable consequence of some decision or policy, while demolishing the homes of worst-off members of society for the sake of appearances is an intentional, deliberate action. It confirms that you are okay with this outcome, of treating people like garbage to be thrown aside and disposed of if they aren't economically useful; in other words, you haven't failed, you're simply evil.

Comment: Re:Rewarding the bullies... (Score 1, Insightful) 777

And what they could possibly have hoped to achieve by filing charges, other than a nasty (and well deserved) publicity backlash?

Most likely they were defending the concept of domination. In their view, society is made of hierarchical power relations, and the only way to advance is to challenge someone above you. Bullying is a natural part of such system, used to establish pecking order, and it's "cheating" to expose it to outside judgement.

Basically, the school administration approves of bullying because it helps perpetuate a system where they're top dogs, and consequently view any effective attempt to stamp out bullying as a direct threat to their own status. It's ultimately the same reason why some people like to shit on the poor (sometimes despite being poor themselves), or get bent out of shape at the thought of everyone getting a prize: if there's no way to divide people into winners and losers - or pure and impure, or whatever terms you prefer - the hierarchical system will collapse, and take with whatever part of your identity you have invested in status in it.

Comment: Re:Over 18 (Score 2) 627

by ultranova (#46757299) Attached to: IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

By that reasoning, I don't owe said debt, as no one I've ever voted for has actually been elected.

You don't owe the federal debt, actually, the entity known as the United States of America does. You are only affected insofar as the US might be unable to provide its current level of services at their current price, and are free to renounce your citizenship and move elsewhere.

Federal debt operates just like limited liability corporations debt would, in this sense.

Comment: Finland (Score 2) 383

by ultranova (#46757029) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

Here in Finland, the tax department sends me a tax card which tells how much to withhold each month based on my estimated yearly earnings, which I give to my employer. I later get a prefilled tax return based on my real earnings, which details any extra to be paid or returned. I check it, and if it's okay, I need do nothing.

A more cynical person might think a system where the market for tax apps or accountants for the average person exists is intentionally designed to make paying taxes difficult and aggravating.

Comment: Re:u can rite any way u want (Score 1) 431

by ultranova (#46745701) Attached to: Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

But, despite what people frequently seem to think, making lots of grammatical errors does obscure your meaning, especially if you're trying to communicate technical or complex thoughts. Without knowledge of grammar, you're limited to general, simple sentences.

Complex thoughts require simple sentences. The reader already has his hands full trying to understand the idea. He does not need to struggle with parsing text too.

Unless, of course, you are trying to make simple thoughts seem deep, complex and subtle, in which case - and no other - obscure, riddle with unnecessary grammar structures, and generally flourish - in the gesturial, not growth, sense, for the latter would just make no sense in this context, altough it might be an appropriate pictorisque description for the metaphorical tangle of such sentences, if we consider words to grow like vines in a jungle (tropical rainforest, but the underbrush of any thick area of vegetation might do as a metaphor for such off-tangent rambling) - your sentences away.

Comment: Re:Deniers (Score 1) 852

We absolutely, positively need petroleum right now in order to exist.

And we absolutely, positively can't keep relying on it, for the simple reason that it's running out. We need to start investing serious money into moving to post-fossils economy while we still can, so why not start now and save ourselves some of the pain of full-scale climate change?

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.