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Comment: Re:Umm... (Score 1) 141 141

Also, why do we care what a former biologist, now sci/tech article writer for the WSJ has to say about technology-related education? Is there some connection that I'm missing?

Wall Street dreams of coding to become yet another minimum-wage unskilled job. It probably will, simply because coding isn't all that difficult, just tedious, and as computers continue getting everywhere programming will ultimately become like literacy is now.

Comment: Re:If you're using GPL code, you have no choice (Score 3, Insightful) 145 145

Project Gutenburg would be a counter-proof.

Well, no. The issue is whether code - or any other copyrighted work - will ever enter public domain. Mickey Mouse Protection Act says it won't, and Project Gutenbert doesn't contradict that.

Not that it matters: copyright law has almost no legitimacy whatsoever, so it simply gets ignored despite draconian punishments. The whole concept of property law seems to simply be incompatible with the digital realm, consequently various message boards and other sites depending on user-generated content basically operate as communist utopias: everyone contributes whatever they can, the results are free for everyone to use at their leisure, and even personal glory isn't an issue, at least in anonymous messageboards. That's right: aside from its current immaturity, Anonymous is pretty much a model Marxist collective.

Funny, isn't it? Capitalism won the Cold War, but its natural development is now leading to Communism because that maximizes production in the Information Age. It wasn't a good model for industrial production, but as that keeps getting automated and focus shifts on coordination and cultural production, it turns out hierarchies simply get in the way. So nominally communist countries were arranged like giant corporations, while the new organizational model everyone's learning growing up now is "contribute according to your abilities, enjoy other people's contributions freely".

I wonder if this is why neoliberalism has been so fashionable lately: it's the struggle of a fading system to maintain it's dominance rather than be relegated to handling just a small subsection of total economy?

Comment: Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 3, Informative) 103 103

Somebody got drunk and noisy, so what?

So your business is causing a disturbance that extends to my property. The noise and drunks are basically waste products of your business; you don't get to dump them on my lawn.

People living in those houses never drink? Never get noisy?

Sure they do, and when they do, the police comes to take the criminal scum away. But that doesn't work when you have a whole new customer lined up for the next night, and another one for the next, and another one...

Are hotels covering tourist behaviour outside of hotel premises?

Hotels are subject to zoning laws which generally put them into commercial districts, precisely for this reason.

You are full of shit, just like this entire case.

No, I'm simply defending my property rights. The hotels are defending their right to equality before law. The only one full of shit here is you, even by your own standards.

Comment: Re:"Are" or "could be"? (Score 5, Insightful) 103 103

Not having insurance means this: the hotel industry lobbies the government to make competition illegal, that is all it is.

According to the summary, the customers are "partying all night, some running around naked, and generally trashing their neighborhoods". The hotel industry is perfectly within their rights to demand everyone plays by the same rules. If you can figure out a better way to run a hotel, good for you; but if you simply figure out a new way to externalize the costs, you should be forced to eat them - and for Joe Average, that means licensing and insurance.

As a side note, we have far too many people who want to be treated as business geniuses despite doing nothing but turning costs to externalities, and often even making them costlier in the process. It's that failure of human spirit that makes it impossible to have completely free markets.

Comment: Re:Prime Scalia - "Words no longer having meaning" (Score 1) 590 590

If you aren't from here, haven't grown up here, live here, then you are talking out of your ass.

Roof is from there, grew up there, and lives there. I think he's made his view on what the Confederacy flag stands for quite clear. Nor does your testimony contradict his.

The oppression and racism thing ended down here back in the 60's. You just don't see that here anymore and no..the Stars and Bars for my lifetime has not been use or seen as something for oppression.

Yet here we have an incident of just that: someone who identifies with the Confederacy and southern pride murdering blacks for living like humans (that is, not knowing their place). How do you reconcile the fact that such things happen with your claim that they don't?

It was a backdrop for a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert, nothing more than that level of southern pride thing.

For you it was. For a black church, the Confederacy flag is a backdrop for a racially motivated terrorist strike. That, too, is a southern pride thing.

That said, simply banning the flag won't do anything to help the situation. It can't cast Confederacy's dispersed essence the rest of the way into oblivion because, as you keep demonstrating, it's part of a lot of people's identities; such cultural excorcism would be extremely painful, just like de-nazification was painful for post-war Germany. Nor does redeeming it seem possible, since there's no entity left which could represent it - after all, the Confederacy is no longer embodied by a political system, but lingering cultural influences. So that leaves it free to continue its war from the shadows, claiming a victim here and another there and then using those possessed meat-puppets to murder other people, incapable of coordinated action but also almost invulnerable to a counter-attack due to its intangible and distributed nature.

Issues like this are why I believe we desperately need to put resources into developing social "sciences" into real science and corresponding technology. Because then the question becomes: how do you precisely identify the memetic organism - or "spirit" - the Confederacy flag represents, remove unwanted elements - such as racism - and put the rest back together so the result is able to outcompete the original in the cultural ecosystem? No, not outcompete, "upgrade" or "reinterpretation" would be better terms.

Because, as a certain other terrorist demonstrated, lingering darkness coming out of hiding, possessing people and causing havok is hardly an issue limited to America. And it's just a matter of time before one happens to get access to nukes rather than a mere rifle.

Comment: Re:Prime Scalia - "Words no longer having meaning" (Score 1) 590 590

As someone that has grown up in the south and is more than a few years, that is not the case.

Cayenne... are you black? Because, to put it bluntly, horrible oppression is often a sweet deal for the oppressor. It's how it gets their willing participation in horrendous crimes, especially if it can outsource the direct application of violence to sadistic thugs and let Joe Average pretend he's not doing anything wrong, despite it being Joe who supplies the truly vital ingredient: legitimacy.

This uproar and associated meanings with the Rebel Battle Flag is a recent occurrence.

No, it's not. The flag has always stood for racism and slavery. The uproar is new, simply because the concept of civil rights for the blacks in America is.

I grew up with it and it was never that was a backdrop for a Lynyrd Skynryd concert, or the top of the General Lee.

The Nazi flag was a backdrop to the Olympics, once. The people who watched them were unlikely to be any worse than the average person anywhere. They went home with golden memories of a wonderful day. But the culture that flag stood for was still monstrous.

Harmless symbols of southern pride.

And southern pride was about keeping oppression going even after military defeat. It's not harmless. It is, in fact, murderous.

The Allies forcefully de-nazified Germany after the war and forced the people to confront the truth. Unfortunately, the North couldn't force the South to repent, since it was just barely better itself. This terrorist attack is simply yet another surfacing of that lingering taint, a spring that keeps pushing poisoned water from endless aquifers, a weed that can keep growing back forever since the roots remain in the ground.

All this because one jackass that killed a bunch of innocent people had a picture of him holding a small version of it.

Southern culture contains structural violence embedded to it by its history. Everyone who takes it in - as everyone must, growing up - also takes in the poison. Some manage to avoid the worst of it and are relatively fine, while some turn into Ku Klux Klan fodder. And if a particular mind happens to be particularly vulnerable, either inherently or because of the specific conditions they're in, their own personal identity can take a backseat to one of the archetypes of their culture. In the US, especially in the south, one very prominent archetype is the racist lyncher who kills any blacks who get "uppity". That's the archetype the entire Confederacy was founded on. It's all there ever was to it.

Roof may be a "jackass", but he's also the embodiment of Confederacy as it truly was and is. Nations come and go, their spirits tend to live on, sometimes with their own name and sometimes as seemingly random aspects of culture. And the Confederacy's spirit is still alive and inspiring the only thing it ever stood for: tyrany.

Comment: Re:Prime Scalia - "Words no longer having meaning" (Score 1) 590 590

We've seen the Rebel flag suddenly become a horrible symbol of oppression, and hate and vilified all of a sudden and yanked even from online stores and private individual sales on ebay.

The Confederacy flag always was a horrible symbol of oppression. People just got a little reminder of just what it actually stands for. I guess some of them don't like the real face of the Confederacy so much.

Comment: Re:Just doing their job. (Score 1) 136 136

Just want to mod you down for being a deadbeat Greek. Your country owes money, your country needs to pay money. Your poor and destitute can go suck ass as us freemarketer's are concerned.

Free market does not imply favoring debtors over debtees. Why would it? If you're dumb enough to make a bad investment, why would it suddenly be anyone's problem but yours just because that investment took the form of a loan?

Comment: Re:Just doing their job. (Score 1) 136 136

Any alliance is secondary to your own country's interests. Of course you spy on your allies, you are just expected to be a bit subtle about it.

Right. So is the information NSA has gained worth more than the cost?

The problem with realpolitiks is that, with some rare near-legendary examples like Bismarck, people simply aren't smart enough to cut through their cultural conditioning to figure out what the actual results will be. So they simply drag their country from disaster to disaster; or, if they're less lucky, get some initial successes which makes them throw caution to the wind and make the final mistake all the more epic - and proving that even Bismarck wasn't smart enough to see how certain cultural traits of the new German Empire could turn out to be weaknessess in the right conditions.

No, you don't "of course" spy on your allies, you carefully weight the value of gaining information versus them getting pissed and your reputation taking a hit. But the NSA can't do that, because spying on teveryone at all times is their essence; even if someone there made a cost-benefit analysis about a specific case, the conclusion would be all but dictated by their employer.

So, what this all is coming down to: ethics matter, whether or not you think they should.

Comment: Re:We've only got ourselves to blame (Score 1) 380 380

We have this weird lust for capitalism, making excuses when it beats us down. "Oh, that's out of love. Capitalism knows we need to hurt in order to get better."

Not lust, faith. Reformed Capitalism became the US state religion during the Cold War, just like Communism (or "Marxism-Leninism") was the state religion of the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, after the Soviet Union fell we got a bunch of fundamentalists who took it as a sign and decided to return Capitalism to its "pure" roots, the result being the misery and poverty which fundamentalism always brings. So now we have the true believers, the people who go along with it because they grow rich by the current system, the average economist-priests doing their sooth-saying, and the regular people who get the blame for anything that goes wrong. And as things continue getting worse, this secularized religion demands ever-greater shows of faith and doctrinal purity, as the whole thing slowly drifts towards the breaking of its power to cast a spell over people, and subsequent collapse.

The interesting question is: when it falls apart, will the US remain standing, or has it tied their fortunes together too tightly? That is, will disillusionment with Capitalism turn into disillusionment with the Union, or perhaps even the individual States? Might be a good idea to start decoupling these ideas in a hurry...

Comment: Re:I think it is the fear of being sacked (Score 0) 380 380

Your assumption is that everyone else thought it was exploitation. This is probably not the case.

It was exploitation and the teachers went along with it pretending enthusiasm because dissent is the first step to open rebellion and is thus punished. The workplace is one of the last remaining fortressess of despotism in our society, and this is how despotism works.

Just imagine the principal looked like Kim Whatever of North Korean fame, and the pattern becomes all too clear.

Comment: Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 271 271

This is usually solved on the first come first served basis, and Google should to the same.

First come first served leads to squatting, for example domain squatting. Google has little to gain by hosting garbage channels, in fact they detract from Youtube's overall value by drowning out signal under noise, and frankly I doubt Google's staff likes parasites any more than anyone else does.

On the other hand, any other decision criteria means deciding who has "rights" to a certain name. If this decision process involves human judgement for anything except what are the matters of fact, it's ultimately arbitrary. And if it doesn't, if it's purely algorithmic, then its decisions can't be reversed - because otherwise people can and will do so when they think the loser is more sympathetic.

Comment: Re:Please fix slashdot (Score 1) 111 111

Really, you should be able to cope with this sort of change. It's minor, and this isn't your site. Deal with it like an adult and quit cluttering up the discussion threads with your whining.

There isn't all that much to clutter up anymore. People are reminiscing about the good old days while packing up their proverbial wagons. Meanwhile, the devs make random changes that won't attract new users but will help drive away the rest of the old.

It's sad, but everything has its end. And at least Slashdot also had glory days. When your grandkids ask you "Anon, what's Slashdot Effect?", you can tell them you were there, crashing those servers.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra