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Comment: Re:Those without a timeline will be at an advantag (Score 1) 57

I considered that, and have cut/am cutting off other forms of voluntarily information/thought exposure. But with /. there's no point. This has been my homepage for 15 years. I can't imagine how many reams of e-paper I've written on here in that time. I am absolutely easily doxxable, and anybody who's mining this site already knows everything I think. And you can't delete your accounts and posts. I'm already naked here, so there's no point being modest now.

Comment: Re:The real issue is not the technology. (Score 1) 157

by meta-monkey (#49196339) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

Exactly. There's nothing wrong with technology or tools. It's how they're used that makes all the difference.

Which is why I'm feeling kind of hopeless about the ubiquitous surveillance thing. Yes, encryption is great. It is definitely better than no encryption. But you still can't trust it.

Are the algorithms secure? NSA already intentionally weakened one. And they employ more mathematicians than anyone else in the world. They could have cracked AES and SHA-2/3/whatever years ago and how would you know?

Can't trust your software. Even FOSS. See the Underhanded C Contest. And I'm calling it now that systemd is a plot to infiltrate and subvert the Linux ecosystem by the US military via the Red Hat corporation. I know, I know, tinfoil hat, but 8 years from now it'll be "duh, everybody knew that!"

Can't trust your hardware. Corrupted harddrive firmware. The binary blobs that are the heart of your cellphone radio. Intel's locked-down bootloaders.

And that's just the shit that's obvious or that we know about. If you have a near limitless budget, insanely smart people, government authority to do whatever you want, and no conscience, well, sky's the limit. If it were my job (and I were evil) that's absolutely what I'd do. Hell, just have an agent apply for a job at Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, etc etc and sneak in whatever vulnerabilities you want.

You can never lock everything down. There's too many attack vectors, and the adversary is very good at what they do.

And you can't "secure" the services that make everything work together, anyway. Your phone company kind of needs to know where your phone is to route calls to it, and they need to know what calls you make to whom in order to bill you for it. And someone HAS to have the root password to that database for it to work.

No, the only way to stop this is a political system that makes such attacks against the citizenry illegal, an oversight process, and severe penalties for those who violate your rights.

For instance, in my job, I have full, back end access to the hospital database. I can see all your medical records, all your billing records. I have to in order to do my job (data warehousing and analysis). OH NO YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS AREN'T SECURE! Umm, yes they are. What I do on the database is logged, there is a internal review board and a privacy office who reviews all internal requests for data, no non-aggregated data leaves the organization, and there are severe penalties for misuse of your records. HIPAA. If I mistakenly misuse your records, I'm fired. If I maliciously misuse your records, I go to felony prison. And that's actually enforced.

No technological solution can keep your devices and communications secure. It has to be a political system, and the political will is not there to establish such a system. Half of Americans WANT the government tracking everything they do. There's no real pressure for lawmakers to act, and whenever they do they put in so much weasel language it makes no difference. "The government is forbidden from doing awful things A, B, and C. Unless it has a good reason to."

Is what it is.

Comment: Re:Ok then... (Score 2) 157

by meta-monkey (#49196025) Attached to: How Activists Tried To Destroy GPS With Axes

A man also painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, discovered a vaccine for polio, and invented Cookie Crisp cereal. It's almost as if some people can do good things and some people can do bad things. And sometimes, and this is totally crazy, the same person can do some good things and some bad things!

Comment: "Stereoscopic 3D" vs "VR" (Score 1) 142

Other than being able to sense head movements and thus providing another means to control the camera, this is just ordinary stereoscopic 3D, not "VR". I understand why everyone wants it to be, but this is the umpteenth time something is being touted as VR when it's not even trying to be close. Before that it was Second Life. Before that Doom.

At the very least, you should have a full range of sensory perceptions, and physical actions by your body should reflect in the simulated world.

Comment: Re:you care more for your own kind, its science! (Score 1) 247

by Grishnakh (#49191031) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

Geography certainly has had a huge effect on societal development: the Hawaiian islands' warm (year-round) climate, fertile volcanic soil, and remote location free from competition from outside cultures (until Captain Cook) enabled their culture to develop this way, no doubt.

However, the point is that we can look at societies like this, especially isolated ones, and see that human behavior does not have to conform to a certain pattern seen in other (typically western) societies, and instead we can see some extremely different dynamics. This proves that what we think of as "natural" may not be natural at all, just a product of our geography and society.

Comment: Re:you care more for your own kind, its science! (Score 1) 247

by Grishnakh (#49190693) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

I'm not even going to bother looking at some bullshit from the Christian Broadcasting Network. You're talking about a business run by a man who's a con artist, blames 9/11 on gay people, and uses his riches (from all those tithes he insists people owe to him) to finance business interests in Africa with the likes of Robert Mugabe. You're a fool if you think anything to do with him has any veracity at all.

Comment: Re:It's called hindsight (Score 1) 144

by meta-monkey (#49188331) Attached to: Technology's Legacy: the 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All

It's also useful in learning from the mistakes of others, and stilling our anxiety that bad things can happen to us, too.

It's related to the cognitive bias called the "just world theory." It's what makes people blame victims. Sometimes more appropriately than others, and our conscious is more "shocked" the "less culpable" the victim is. And why people get more upset about bad things happening to animals than most anything else. Even children because of the assumption the parents or the state is partly at fault for not protecting them.

When a child molester is beaten/killed/raped in prison, people don't get too upset. Well he did bad things. Had it coming. Still totally the fault of the guy who attacked him! But it's a Just World when bad things happen to bad people. Don't molest kids and you won't be thrown in prison and attacked. Sleep softly.

When someone associates with thugs, and the thugs turn on him and beat or kill him, well, don't hang out with thugs and it won't happen to you. Just World. Sleep softly.

When a man is walking through a dark alley at night carrying a bunch of cash and gets robbed, well, that was kind of dumb. Totally the fault of the robber! But yeah don't do that and you're less likely to get mugged. Don't leave valuables in plain sight in the car, either. Lesson learned. World's still kinda just. Be wary, but you can still sleep softly.

When a woman is raped after going out wearing a short skirt, maybe drinking, well that's totally the fault of the rapist. It's complete bullshit that a woman can't feel safe wearing what she wants and having a good time. But there's a still a lesson to learn to help you avoid the same fate. She did put herself in that situation, after all. Maybe don't party so much, bring friends, watch your drink. The world is not just, but maybe you can protect yourself.

When something happens to a kid, what the fuck man?! The kid has no agency, there's nothing he could have done to "deserve" that or could have avoided what happened to him! But...where were the parents? Where were the teachers? CPS? It is an unjust world where anyone would hurt a child. But maybe you can learn a lesson about protecting your kids in this unjust world...

But when something happens to a defenseless God. Go John Wick on their shit. There is no justification, there is nothing the puppy could do to deserve its treatment, there's no way it could defend itself, there's no one who "should" have been looking out for it. Sleep with one eye open because there are monsters in this shithole of an unjust world.

And I'm not saying any of this is good or correct! It's a cognitive bias! But it's natural and hard to overcome.

Comment: Re:you care more for your own kind, its science! (Score 1) 247

by Grishnakh (#49188117) Attached to: Racial Discrimination Affects Virtual Reality Characters Too

a) Go back far enough in time, and the Hawaiians "stole" it from someone.

This is quite likely false. All the available evidence points towards Polynesians being the first settlers on the various Pacific islands. Unless you want to argue that they stole it from whatever native land animals lived there (boars? I don't think Hawaii ever had a lot of fauna).

Comment: STILL smells like a duck... (Score 1) 157

by fyngyrz (#49186083) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

Except that science collectively doesn't claim to know what happened at the points when the universe was dense enough and at high enough energy scales that it is speculated current laws of physics break down

Yes, that's my point exactly. They don't. Because they can't. Because the theory is based on assuming something happened that our physics can't describe. BB theory is therefore incomplete in a way that makes it unable to stand in the face of what at this time appear to be some very simple and reasonable questions. Questions physics force us to ask.

To stick with your analogy, the Big Bang theory isn't saying the baseball materialized spontaneously from the ground, but that it appeared at some point on that path, with some evidence that the trajectory goes back some where near the ground for loose definition of "near." In which case, there being a pitcher and it being spontaneously generated on that path both being consistent with current theories and observations

No. Quite wrong. The specific reason I use this analogy is that BB theory goes right to the ground -- fractions of fractions of fractions of a micrometer above -- such that the option of there being a pitcher or a ball launcher, or a firecracker under the ball, or a really strong dwarf cricket or even microbe, etc., has completely gone away. You cannot explain BB any further using our physics because they state that the theory covers it right back until it cannot. Consequently it either has to be some other physics, or else it's massively wrong. Theories that are rigorous but then, still within the context of their own propositions, devolve into "and then we don't know" or "because we have no idea"

BB theory may, as I said above, be quite correct, and we may need new physics to understand it. if that's the case, on that day, it becomes a complete and compelling theory to me. Until then, it's not.

As of right now, spotting a galaxy that shows what we understand to be evidence of being older than would be possible if BB theory is correct does not particularly surprise me, any more than finding evidence that "Thor" was just some dude with a really big hammer would surprise me in the context of the ideas that present the Æsir and Vanir as "gods." Because just as, at present, there are no physics that would actually make the idea of a god or gods credible in the face of objective, reality-based inquiry, there are no physics that actually make the idea of the BB credible in the face of same.

Are you having fun yet?