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Comment: Re:Garbage Disposal (Score 1) 153

Why would you think that they could not twist being treated like "normal" criminals as something special?

They can try and probably will. Think of it as attacking a heavily fortified bunker rather than open field; sure, it can be done, but it's a lot harder.

In the US, Muslim recruiting is prisons is very effective.

But this is only a problem if you buy Islamic State's claim of being a Caliphate and thus representing all Muslims. Otherwise we're just looking at criminals finding religion and straightening up, which is hardly a bad thing. And that again gets us into this being primarily a war between competing stories, rather than physical militaries.

Liars are gonna lie, nothing you do is going stop that.

Which is precisely why their story needs to be contradicted rather than confirmed at every turn.

Comment: Re:Garbage Disposal (Score 1) 153

Wars seldom end through peaceful negotiations. They end because one side completely and utterly destroys the other.

Well, no. A war most often ends in a negotiated truce. Otherwise most still-existing nations would have no lost ones in their history.

Then again, I can see you're working through some personal issues here, so I guess facts are of little importance. But perhaps you could choose some topic where you won't cause actual damage by venting?

Comment: Re:Not a problem... (Score 2) 292

by ultranova (#47939879) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

That assumes that all those environments are pointless wastes of space, unfortunately that premise isn't true- those areas of land serve important purpose for example the sands of the Sahara blow across the Atlantic and fertilise the likes of the Amazon rainforest.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 1) 182

by ultranova (#47939711) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

If you work someplace that bad, get a new fucking job.

Every place is the same. They're made of people socialized into the same values, after all.

It's not like actual Stalinism, you don't go to the Gulag for trying to leave.

Of course not. You simply lose your mortgage and get thrown to the street. That's entirely different.

That's one (of many) good thing about capitalism, corporations aren't alone you can vote with your feet.

You can vote with your feet, but the candidates are pre-selected by the system, thus they all support its values - just like under communism.

Comment: Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (Score 1) 487

by ultranova (#47939151) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

Simple, trident missiles guarantee your enemies destruction. What you say? Scotland doesn't have enemies? Take away those missiles and we'll see about that.

The problem is, your enemy sees your Tridents and gets some of their own to ensure their safety, and then we all get to wonder how long till someon sneezes.

People remember Cuban crisis as the closest we ever came to nuclear war, but the fact is, close calls are a common occurrence. Radars malfunction, phone lines go dead, and people push the wrong buttons. Our luck will run out eventually; we either build sufficient international systems that nations can afford to de-escalate their armies to non-nuclear status, or we'll die. And bullshit like yours is advancing the latter option.

Comment: Re:Garbage Disposal (Score 4, Insightful) 153

It not even hurt to brand them as crazy and to lock them up in an asylum for the criminally insane.

Like we don't do to common criminals? Gee, you must be thinking of them as something else then, such as a legitimate if hostile power.

That would allow the state to medicate them and in some ways, to make an example out of them.

An example that the Islamic State can point to and say: "See, even our enemies agree that we're not just another gang and are afraid of us!"

Martyrdom? Nope, straight-jacketed and drugged and forced to talk about your feelings. No rewards of heaven for you.

"Our brave fighters are willing to face not only death but humiliation and torture before it! Truly, they shall be blessed and rewarded in Heaven!"

Seriously, stop helping the Islamic State. Stop supporting their story. Every time you suggest a "clever" punishment for them you're supporting their claim of being a Caliphate rather than a criminal gang, thus bringing them closer to victory.

You win a war like this by deciding on what view of reality you want to be commonly accepted, then behaving consistently as if it was. By doing this you're constantly telling a story to everyone you interact with, some of whom will accept it and start repeating it in turn. As the number of converts increases, it eventually reaches the tipping point and becomes the new "default" consensus reality, sweeping even those who originally rejected it in. That's what classic nation-building is about: storytelling. Islamic State is trying to short-circuit the process by baiting foreign powers into lashing out against them, effectively recruiting their enemies to testify for them. Such impatience is a serious weakness, since those foreign powers can as well deny the story. However, given how clumsily Al-Qaeda was handled, they probably thought the risk was worth it.

You know, this kind of basic mechanism should really be covered in elementary education. All our technological and economic might won't help us any more than their muscles and armor helped the dinosaurs if our situational awareness continues being that of a brain the size of a peanut.

Comment: Re:Garbage Disposal (Score 5, Insightful) 153

Just toss these fuckers into the sea and the Great Whites will make them disappear.

But that would play straight to their hand. "Islamic State" is doing things like this because they're trying to tell a story: that they're a Caliphate straight from the dark ages. Treat their agents any differently than a common crazy murderer, and you're saying that you agree they are different, thus putting them a little bit closer towards having their story commonly accepted.

Here, let Littlefinger explain it.

So, what we must do is counter their story with our own: that they're nothing more than a bunch of brutal criminals. And we do that by treating them exactly like any other criminal. Counter the fantasy with banality, don't let them draw us into it. That's the mistake we did with Al-Qaeda: we allowed them to define themselves as "terrorists" rather than "murderers".

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 1) 182

by ultranova (#47936495) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

No, maximizing profit is the goal of a capitalist. An immoral capitalist has no problem with it if it maximizes profit. Now before you get your panties in a bunch, remember that any other immoral idealogue will also tend to have no problem with it if it maximizes their objectives.

The problem is, if you don't institutionalize morality, you get a situation which rewards the immoral psychopathic capitalist and punishes a moral and sane one, and if you do institutionalize it - for example in the form of welfare state - you get hordes of people howling that the state is interfering in the marketplace and creating inefficiencies, which of course is true but misses the point. Capitalism, like any social system, fails when it stops serving human needs and becomes an end to itself, since at that point is has betrayed its very purpose. And it's on the verge of just that.

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 1) 182

by ultranova (#47936249) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

The fact is slaves are shitty workers. They only work hard enough not to get whipped, and to get that you have to pay someone to hold the whip. Might as well pay them directly.

And yet this lesson still remains unlearnt. Just look at how most companies treat their employees, who respond by putting in the absolute minimum effort they can get away with, and sometimes with outright sabotage.

I think it's because we're still socialized to value domination over cooperation. "Putting someone in their place" feeds the ego of a manager, thus there's some amount of economic reward they're willing to give up to do so. And when every single one of them does the same thing, at every ladder of the hierarchy, you get a horribly ineffective organization.

All in all, a modern corporation is a pretty good approximation of a totalitarian dictatorship: peons are merely squeezed dry as long as they keep their heads down, leaders declare grandious and frankly delusional "visions" that nobody takes seriously but can't call out as completely unrealistic either, everyone inbetween concentrates either on covering their back or stabbing daggers in those of others, and random purges threaten all. Stalin would be right at home in the modern boardroom, and probably a darling and role model of the business world.

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 1) 231

by ultranova (#47927001) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

As for FDD... standard on the east coast USA and many other parts of the world. It works for unthinking peons but utterly fails for jobs that require imagination.

If you treat your employees like unthinking peons, they will respond by behaving like that - and that means turning a blind eye towards the innumerable small irregularities and problems a workforce that doesn't actively hate you could easily correct before they have a noticeable effect on production. That is the difference between workplaces where everything seems to work as if by magic and one that does a passable impression of being haunted by an evil spirit because it is, specifically yours.

There are no jobs that don't benefit from thinking about how it fits to the bigger picture.

Comment: Re:Experience counts (Score 1) 231

by ultranova (#47926861) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

But if you're afraid to do your job, it's because you have a problem with confidence in your own skills. Blaming management for such fears just takes the incompetence you exhibit to a whole new level of blame-gaming.

Unless it's not just you, but every one of your fellow employees. Then the problem is systematic in that workplace, and thus must be in the system itself.

The thing is, managers are humans and sometimes have serious issues or even outright mental problems, such as ego too powerful for them to handle. And sometimes they're simply afraid of their superiors. Competence only matters in a healthy organization where everyone is trying to meet its goals; in an ill one they concentrate on covering their ass, not just against mistakes but also against backstabbing.

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 1) 231

by ultranova (#47926163) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Have You Experienced Fear Driven Development?

It seems like you're extrapolating from that experience, to thinking "FDD" is a current trend. AFAIK it's not.

Sure it is. What's happening to programming is what happens to anything when there's more supply than demand: a race to the bottom. Personal computers used to be rare, so programmers could rely on their skills being so as well; now they're ubiquitous, and the industry is entering the same phase others did during the Industrial Revolution. The only known solution is to unionize and bargain collectively, but of course that requires giving up the cherished illusions of being able to make it on your own.

Comment: Re:What is a customer? (Score 1) 290

by ultranova (#47896675) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

telling us the name, address and phone number of the human responding to the mail

I'm pretty sure Google is not allowed to give anyone's private information without proper court warrant, and I'm very sure that an email saying "I'm a Judge, honest!" is not a proper warrant.

Not replying to this email will result in a doubling of your fine.

Courts of law don't have the power to arbitrarily double the punishment because they happen to be feeling ornery. They can add contempt of court charges to the case, but it's highly questionable whether ignoring an e-mail - which can be from anyone - counts as contempt, especially when said e-mail seems to involve illegal action and blackmail.

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 2) 288

by ultranova (#47896301) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Those are all wonderful reasons for voluntary government certification: anybody who wants to can go to the government and get some government seal of approval; I as a rider can then make a voluntary choice whether that certification is useful information or whether I want to throw caution to the wind and ride with uncertified drivers.

But I, as Joe Driver, can't choose whether I want to share the road with a taxi driver who pulls 16-hour workdays out of greed or desperation. Unless, of course, some entity with sufficient power forces the taxi to take breaks.

And of course you're also ignoring the well-known fact that human beings are extremely bad at estimating risks. So no, you as a rider can't make an informed choice about whether getting a certified taxi is worth the hassle, especially since unlicensed taxi companies have every incentive to bombard you with misinformation, while bean-counters utilizing cold math can. So it's a choice between letting a preventable tragedy play out forever, or stopping it but possibly hurting someone's cherished delusions of grandieur.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A cucumber is not a vegetable but a fruit.

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