God bless those Satanists
This is such a Slashdot story
"A girl invited me to her house on several occasions. Each time, I spent more and more time being impressed with the Commodore 64"
I think Snowden changed the game on this
Before the Snowden revelation, it wasn't widely accepted that the government was reading everything anybody ever wrote. For _one_ of these companies to come forward to complain was like the prisoners dilemma. There was no guarantee that other players would follow suit, so for GOOG to come out and say "The NSA is spying on you and we can't stop them" puts GOOG at a competitive disadvantage. Furthermore, all of this stuff was secret; not to be disclosed publicly, etc. Companies weren't sure how much teeth there were in those rules, so were further hesitant to talk much about it.
Post Snowden, its all different. Now its an open secret that this happens, and it happens to everyone. Now there's no posturing or competitive advantage to be exploited; everyone is in the same boat. This is a populist issue and once one company made noise about sticking it to the NSA, the rest were going to have to follow.
The other thing that has changed is that Snowden and Lavabit have both gone public. The public has spoken. We now have proof of what kind of stuff the Feds will do and how far they'll go to keep it quiet. The people who leaked this stuff survived.
The government might be able to sue Yahoo or Lavabit or any of them individually, but it cannot sue the entire tech industry.. not right now.
You are low. You need to also include Homeland Security, parts of the FBI that do surveillance and para-military operations [i.e. HRT], as well, in my opinion, the VA. This number is discussed often. For example here. Additionally, it does not include any "black" off budget operations, including a big part of the NSA and CIA budgets, perhaps $50B. You simply can't look at only the defense industry.
The fact that it is declining in terms of GDP percentage doesn't mean that defense is shrinking, it means it's not growing as fast the overall budget or the economy. Which is to say, it's still growing in real dollars in most years.
Thanks for correct on Medical GDP. I apparently have not updated that number in my head since the last 1990's. Healthcare is another huge topic.
The bottom line is that it is ridiculous to think that the US would go to war based on the advocacy of any single company, or even the defense industry.
And this is because it's not the single biggest sector in the US economy? It is a huge boondoggle, with millions flowing through the government to private industries. And it's highly political. The defense industry has outsized influence.
The problem is that you were a small part of an evil system. You didn't create it, you didn't make it, and you weren't responsible for it.
I mean it's not an unfair criticism. They are doing the job that the Administration asked of them.
The problem is that not enough people resigned. That is how you show the world you are unhappy. From the top to bottom, when Pres. Obama or anyone else asked them to do something that was illegal, or lied about it during routine oversight, there should have been waves of resignations. Waves.
When the order goes out to do something illegal, or without appropriate authority, then it should be met with cold silence and the sound of thousands of keyboards typing out letters of resignations.
c.f. - yes, but not all of those operations would be illegal. There are all sorts of intelligence gathering operations that are perfectly legal that states conduct against each other all the time.
And the same is true for the other direction, the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) spying on U.S. politicians is illegal in the U.S..
Not necessarily. If the BND is using open sources, and having it's official diplomats observe and report what they see, they aren't doing anything illegal at all. Instead, that is the privilege of a soveign state credential for diplomacy in the United States (and all civilized states).
The US is breaking the law by intercepting communications. As far as you know the BND is not doing so. For example, imagine the response in the US if it was revealed that BND was listening to Michelle Obama and Barrack Obama's personal phone calls. There is a non-zero chance that we would nuke Berlin.
The truth is you don't know what the national security state is costing us. It's too secret to disclose.
But the broad strokes are that it has direct budged and non-budgeted costs in the range of $1T a year. On top of those expenditures are the revenues that are generated by selling weapons systems overseas. In some years that's tens of billions more. That's on an economy of ~$15 trillion. So that's on the order of 6.5% of the entire economy is directly involved in this sector.
That is not small. It is not tiny. There are few sectors that are as big and probably none that are bigger. The entire auto sector - manufacturing, sales, advertising, exports, imports, repair shops, parts shops, the whole supply line, shipping, trucking, etc is 5-6%. The entire healthcare sector including every doctor, every nurse, every insurance agency, R&D, the drug industry, every drug store, all the drugs, the pharmacy items in the drug store, that entire supply chain, heavy medical equipment, home health care, hospice, hospitals, hospital construction, medical tourism, advertising, medical lawsuits, lab services, medical schools and everything else lightly related to the medical business is about 11% of GDP.
Put it this way. If the national security industry was it's own country, based on GDP, it would be the 15th biggest in the world. Bigger than all of the entire South Korean economy, put together.
I saw the posters at my kids school and I am was unconvinced this is a good idea.
Programming / coding is a lot of things, and it's different to a lot of people. But the idea of teaching it by discussing game design really strikes me as a bad idea, for a lot of reasons:
1. Game design is inherently difficult. I mean, it's an art and science, and it is multi-discipline. After an hour, or ten hours, or whatever, you aren't going to have a lot to show for your efforts. Games designed and built by large teams of skilled programmers often fail to complete. Even a simple game requires substantial
2. Most programmers are not going to be doing game development. Or even game development. It's like trying to educate you on medicine by bringing in a surgeon to talk about remote micro-surgery. Sure, you could be the 1/100th of all doctors who are involved in that field. But chances are if you become a doctor it will be a GP.
3. The goal of getting more kids into programming, I would imagine, is to get kids to become programmers to do useful things. Games are a nice slice of entertainment, but in the big picture, except for the individuals, no one is really better off because of a new game being developed. If we as a country/specifies/whatever want more programmers, it should be to be more productive, to have a better economy, etc. We don't want/need more programmers for the next Candy Crush. That's a side benefit. Not a purpose.
Well, we don't know that Mr. Fusion was available in 2015. Doc Brown might have traveled further into the future, after all.
BoA, Wells Fargo, and Chase are the douche banks. Most banks will do better but not much, but some are pretty good.
I switched from Wells Fargo to Chase for my routine banking and unlike with WF I've been very happy, bordering on delighted. I've never paid a fee for anything. They've even waived wire transfer fees for me. The manager at the local branch is the most helpful banker I've ever encountered, so maybe it's actually more him than Chase, but I'm happy.
I hesitated to respond to you because we live in entirely different worlds, and I don't think any number of Slashdot posts is going to fix that.
However, to be clear, I wasn't implying that Reagan or Thatcher had a problem with violence.
On the contrary; they had a problem with South Africa becoming a communist satellite. When the communist agitators resort to violence, that just makes it easier to convince the domestic public that the communists are bad. Obviously when it is bin Laden fighting the Soviets, violence is just fine. We both understand how it works.
Regarding your last point: South Africa of today is one of the most dangerous and violent places on earth; Mandela did next to nothing to address black on white or even black-on-black violence. There was a huge white-flight out of SA during the 90s.
Perhaps you think this is a positive outcome. I don't.
No racial reconciliation is perfect, of course. I would say that the US probably didn't do enough to help re-enfranchise blacks, and that South Africa may have done a bit too much.
The bottom line is this: I very much enjoyed living in the Reagan years America. I very much would NOT have liked living in the Mandela years SA.
I think Reagan and Thatcher were both great, as far as people who have actually held office go, and I am disappointed that the Reagan we got was nowhere close to the Reagan that campaigned. I was all for abolishing the Depts of Ed, Energy, and the ATF. Very disappointed with Reagan on that score...
The other transgressions in his career (military adventurism) bother me, but I don't think they actually bother Reagan detractors that much. The people who bitterly hate Reagan tend to hate him for reasons that his supporters like him. Similarly, if you accuse Thatcher of being a union buster or for cleaning up free loaders on the dole, people like me will say "bravo Thatcher".
The bottom line is that you and I probably agree that Reagan/Thatcher supported a bunch of wars and terrorists that they shouldn't have. But you shouldn't pretend like that is the basis for your displeasure with them. Especially not when every other US and UK leader since (some of which you've certainly hated LESS, if not mildly supported) has done the same exact shit...
Not that you're interested, but for the benefit of people who come across your posts, I offer this clarification:
Read the Wikipedia article on Mandela. All of it.
ANC/Mandela supported economic nationalism. He was honored by the Soviet Union for his pro-communist affiliations. In 61-62 he participated in a _bombing campaign_ to put pressure on the apartheid government.
Mandela was anti-capitalist. Not as in, "bmajik says so", but as in, Mandela says so.
Reagan and Thatcher were hesitant to cut off South Africa not because they gave a shit about Mandela or because they loved sticking it to black people; they saw SA as a pawn in the cold war. They didn't want a bunch of African Nationalist Parties starting communist and Russia-aligned states all over the untapped African continent.
To Manela's credit, while he advocated for nationalizing of banks, gold production, other mining, and the abolition of private property, he didn't enact these policies when he eventually took control of the government. He was smart enough to understand that SA badly needed foreign investment, and nationalizing industry and destroying property doesn't get you investors.
Mandela is a mixed bag. As terrorists go, he was a pretty pleasant one -- MK (the militant wing he was part of) only attacked infrastructure at night, hoping to minimize civilian losses.
But, he was willing to resort to violence to bring about a communist revolution in Africa.
You think Reagan and Thatcher were against that? You're right.
Again -- read the WP article. I just summarized it here.
You're actually missing an important aspect of sea-steading.
One implementation of seasteading calls for smaller groups (nuclear or extended families, lets say) to have their own independently float-able barge/ship/unit/whatever.
One of the key problems with soil-based governments is that your neighbors (and hence, their bad politics) are "sticky" -- its hard for you to control who your neighbors are, and since they always manage to impose their will upon you, this is the practical limit to freedom for land-based societies.
But this isn't necessarily true in a cluster of sea-steaders.
Imagine 100 families that have tied their rafts/boats together (like something out of Snowcrash). You liked your new neighbors for a while, but over time, they became more and more a hinderance to your lifestyle.
If we're talking about a land-based community, you have to sell your house and find a new place to live -- which is going to have the same problem.
But if we're talking about sea-steading, you just untie the ropes and sail off. Maybe a few likeminded people follow you.
The interesting possibility with sea-steading is that people groups can constantly form and split and reform and split and reform at a very granular level. Nobody needs to fight over who stays and who leaves; nobody needs to suffer a neighbor they don't like.