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Journal Journal: A geeky, Catholic, pro-life plan to reduce GCC 4

They tell us global climate change is caused by atmospheric carbon. Based on plant ability to sequester atmospheric carbon, I suggest the following methodology for sequestering carbon away from the environment for long periods of time.
  1. Plant native, drought resistant, edible plants on every available surface with sun. They need to be native and drought resistant because they will only be watered with rain.
  2. Have lots of babies. At least 10 children per family, whenever possible.
  3. Encourage the mortal sin of gluttony. Ideally everybody should die of an obesity related illness and should weigh in at over 200 lbs at death.
  4. Discourage cremation at death, encourage full body ground burial in metal caskets encased in concrete to prevent accumulated carbon from escaping back into the atmosphere.
  5. Close sections of graveyards when full, and plant native drought resistant edible plants on top of the graves, to accumulate more carbon for sequestration.
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Journal Journal: Where are those GREAT people #PresidentTweety promised to hire? 47

Don't forget that #PresidentTweety promised to hire the best and most competent people. He claimed that running his possibly successful businesses (though we still can't tell without seeing the details in his tax returns) taught him how to get GREAT employees.

Yesterday Spicer stood on the White House podium and said Hitler didn't used chemical weapons. This fiasco proved yet AGAIN that Sean "Schadenfreude" Spicer is NOT the best and most competent spokesperson. I just realized that my amusement at Spicer's incompetence has crossed that line. Yet more amusement that it was a rather horrendous German history "mistake" that invoked the German word for that special emotion.

Remember that Trump hasn't even replaced all the people he fired when he occupied the White House. He doesn't even trust the staff members he couldn't fire. Sean Spicer proves that competence is NOT the issue, so that means the Donald can't even find enough people who are sufficient loyal and willing to work for him.

The only competent people now appear to be some of the SAME generals he was denouncing when they worked for President Obama, but they are faced with the option of obeying Trump's orders or ending their careers. Of course, even there Trump managed to employ an utterly incompetent general in Flynn.

The main accomplishment of #PresidentTweety's first days has been to decapitate the American government. What more could Putin ask for?

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Journal Journal: Principles of taxation?

There are various principles for personal taxation. I favor progressive taxation that increases the tax burden on people who can afford it, mostly because they are getting most of the benefits from the civilization that the taxes pay for, but also because poor people are human, too, and their suffering should be reduced when possible.

It is obvious that the current principles of personal taxation are working to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. My interpretation of Ryan's proposed "tax reforms" is that the so-called Republicans have realized they can't squeeze any more blood out of the poor people, so they are going to squeeze more out of the people who aren't poor. Yet. Unfortunately, this will NOT solve the fake problem of the super-rich people. There is NO amount of money that would "solve" such greed.

The usual principle given to justify consumption or sales taxes is that they are equal for everyone. A common buzzword is proportional taxation. However the reality is that they are actually regressive because poor people have to spend all of their money and get taxed on all of it. If the rich people spent all of their money, then they would become poor, and it never works that way. However, there's a much more serious problem with taxing consumption. Taxing something tends to discourage it, but consumption is fundamentally a good thing and should be ENCOURAGED, not discouraged. Consumption is what drives the economy, and the main job of the government is to make it as smooth and as convenient as possible for people to buy stuff, but sales taxes are like throwing sand into a machine.

Corporate taxation should also be considered in the broader topic of taxation. Obviously the current American tax system supports corporate cancerism with many industries collapsing to one or two companies. Capitalism requires meaningful competition (per my sig), but cancer worship is NOT capitalism.

I would like to propose a new principle of corporate taxation to increase human freedom. Progressive corporate taxation based on market share. Once a company's market share gets too high and starts reducing the customers' freedom, then its tax rates start rising. Don't think of it as a penalty for success. Rather the winners are being rewarded by being encouraged to reproduce and COMPETE with more choices. Going farther, I think there should be special tax incentives when a giant company divides itself into directly competing companies.

Rather than protecting a monopolist's profits by fighting against innovation and dangerous changes, the company's would be motivated to keep right on competing and innovating. In cases where there really is a natural monopoly, the extra taxes should mostly be invested in (1) carefully regulating the monopolist and (2) researching (and even investing in) ways to break the monopoly.

Lots more details available upon polite request, as the old joke goes.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Rossum's Universal Robots 7

Slashdot has probably borked the text although it looks fine in preview. A non-borked version is at my blog.
        Half a century ago I was reading a book by Isaac Asimov. I donâ(TM)t remember what book, but I know it wasnâ(TM)t I, Robot because I looked last night and it wasnâ(TM)t in that book. But in the book, whichever one it was, Dr. Asimov wrote about the origin of the word âoerobotâ; a story by Karel Capek titled R.U.R.: Rossumâ(TM)s Universal Robots.
        I searched every library I had access to, looking for this story, for years. I finally gave up.
        Then a few weeks ago I thought of the story again. I have no idea what triggered that thought, but it occurred to me that there was no internet back then, and since the book was so old, it would probably be at Gutenberg.org.
        It was! I downloaded it, and to my dismay it was written in Czech. So I fed it to Google Translate.
        Thirty five years ago when I was first learning how computers work and how to program them, I read of a program the US government had written to translate Russian to English and back. To test it, they fed it the English phrase âoethe spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.â Then they fed the Russian translation back in. The re-conversion to English read âoeThe wine is good, but the meat is spoiled.â
        I figured that in the decades since their first efforts at machine translation, it would do a better job.
        I figured wrong. What came out of Google Translate was gibberish. It does a good job of translating single words; paper dictionaries have done this well for centuries. But for large blocks of text, it was worthless.
        When I first saw the Czech version I could see that it was, in fact, not a novel, but a stage play. I kept looking, and found an English language version translated by an Australian. Itâ(TM)s licensed under the Creative Commons, so I may add it to my online library.
        Wikipedia informed me that the play was written in 1920, and a man named Paul Selver translated it into English in 1923. So I searched Gutenberg for âoePaul Selverâ and there it was! However, it was in PDF form. Right now Iâ(TM)m at the tail end of converting it to HTML.
        After reading it I realized that this story was the basis for every robot story written in the twentieth century, and its robots arenâ(TM)t even robots as we know robots today. Rather, they were like the âoereplicantsâ in the movie Blade Runnerâ"flesh and blood artificial people. That movie, taken from Philip K. Dickâ(TM)s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? would have actually been a sequel to R.U.R., had R.U.R. ended differently.
        The Terminator was R.U.R. with intelligent mechanical robots instead of artificial life. Their aim, as the âoerobotsâ in Kapekâ(TM)s story, is to destroy all humans.
        Asimov said that his robots were an answer to Frankenstein and R.U.R. He thought the very idea was ridiculous, so he made his own robots inorganic and mechanical rather than organic, and added his âoethree laws of roboticsâ. His laws werenâ(TM)t physical laws like the inability of anything to travel faster than light, but legislation; similar to Blade Runner, where the artificial people werenâ(TM)t allowed on Earth. In a few of his books, like The Caves of Steel, robot use on Earth is strictly limited and controlled and people hate them.
        I thought Asimov had the first mechanical, non-magical robots, but I was wrong. There were fictional mechanical robots before Asimov was born. The first US science fiction dime novel was Edward S. Ellisâ(TM) 1865 The Steam Man of the Prairies, with a giant steam powered robot.
        One thing that put me off about this play (besides the fact that itâ(TM)s a play, which is far better watched than read) was that the original story was written in a language I donâ(TM)t understand. Thatâ(TM)s why I donâ(TM)t read Jules Verne; his stories were written in French, and I donâ(TM)t speak that language, either.
        I dislike translations because I used to speak Spanish well, according to South American tourists, and a smattering of Thai. And Iâ(TM)m a reader. Itâ(TM)s more than just the story, itâ(TM)s how itâ(TM)s written. There are word plays and idioms that are impossible to translate. For instance, a beautiful English phrase that uses alliteration would lose its beauty in any translation. And, there are no boring stories, only boring storytellers. I suspect that Kapek may have been an excellent writer, but Selver wasnâ(TM)t, to my mind. Little of the dialog seemed believable to me.
        But in the case of this story, even the poor translation (Wikipedia informs me itâ(TM)s abridged) is worth reading, just for the context it places all other robot stories in.
        It will be at mcgrewbooks.com soon.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot: Crowd-sourcing to counter medical malpractice 19

My endocrinologist (I'm on hormone replacement therapy) has been lying to me for 5 years. It's only after another doctor ordered additional tests to find out what might be contributing to my fatigue and depression that the truth came out. My endo had been giving me only 1/4 the recommended starter dose for HRT. I confronted him, telling him that I had never consented to non-standard treatment, and would obtain the missing medication illegally if he refused to fix the problem. He only increased the dose to 1/3 after a very heated discussion. I obtained the missing estrogen elsewhere and thoughts of suicide have disappeared. Now, in what looks like either retaliation or an attempt to keep from being second-guessed, he's removed estrogen levels from my blood tests.

I've never crowd-sourced or crowd-funded anything before, but it seems to be an effective way to at least draw attention to the problem. Hopefully the slashdot hive mind will have some ideas.

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Journal Journal: Where did capitalism go? 1

American capitalism has died. Old-fashioned capitalism has now mutated into something that we should call corporate cancerism. The Russians have basically the same thing, though they got there by a different route. Now we are witnessing a battle royale between two strains of economic cancer.

Corporations win, humans lose. Have a nice day?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why I'm boycotting Earth Day 7

Earth Day - the day we're supposed to show our concern for the environment by turning off our lights for one hour between 8:30 and 9:30 pm - is just greenwashing.

It's still below freezing here, and I doubt than any of the people who will be turning out their lights will be pulling their main circuit breaker to also turn of their heat, fridge, etc. But if everyone did, it would actually have a negative impact on the environment, as everyone turning the heat back on at 9:30 will create a spike in demand - a spike that will have to be met via peak electrical generator units, which are less efficient.

And everyone driving to some place to hold a candle-light vigil? Come off it - unless you walked or biked you probably used more energy than if you sat at home with all your lights on at once.

The sun sets here today at 7:13 pm. I'm not going to be bumbling around in the dark for an hour like some poseurs. I'm greener than anyone I know. I walk everywhere I can - last Wednesday it was 13 km to go to the dentist and back the day after the 16" snowstorm. Next week it will be 19 km round-trip to the doctor's. I use public transit when I have to. I recycle. But my lights are going to be on tonight. I don't need to fake being green so I can feel like I'm doing something positive.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How the spammers almost nuked Rosetta@home

Not that they meant to. Just more of their collateral damage. Let me explain:

It seems that the DNS problem was ultimately due to increased security for domain registrations. The driver for making the domain registration process more secure is that spammers and various other cyber-criminals need domains to abuse. I'm going to lump all of them under the tag "spammers" because the spammers were the first cyber-criminals and because I really HATE spam. Also, I believe that spamming was the entry point (gateway drug?) for most of them, the first step in losing their souls, so to speak, as well as the source of most of their seed capital.

The abuse their domains in MANY ways. You probably know that 419 spammers like to use bulletproof domains to harvest their suckers. The anti-google PageRank attackers want vast networks of controllable domains for the links they can create.

However, in the case of BOINC the threat of a hijacked domain for ANY project is vastly greater. I know it's hard, but imagine there is a bug in the BOINC client. Imagine that bug allows a downloaded work unit to hijack (AKA pwn) the computer. Now imagine that the spammer hijacks the project's domain and captures ALL of the client computers for his zombie network. This spammer now "owns" the most powerful spam-generation system in the world and could probably DDoS attack the Pentagon with his spare cycles.

As a sort of sick joke, I sort of blame Al Gore. If he hadn't been so competent and effective in giving the nice creators of the Internet all that nice money, then maybe they would have considered real-world economics in the design. SMTP didn't have to assume the world is full of nice people who deserve "free" email. (No such thing, per my sig.)

Solution time? Really hard to get all of the worms and cats back into the bag now, but focusing just on email, I think there are two basic approaches. I used to advocate for a non-SMTP-based email system with tracking that would automatically slow down the spammers so their marginal costs would rise to infinity from the present zero, but now I think it's too much trouble.

Instead, what I would like now is an anti-spammer tool that would let nice volunteers donate bits of their human time towards breaking the spammers' economic models. Actually the same tool could be extended to fight against most kinds of cyber-crime, and I still think most people are nice, notwithstanding how much the spammers seem to outnumber us. One implementation would be as a "Fight spam" button added to an online email system (such as Gmail).

If you choose to be a good Samaritan, then it would parse your suspected spam and let you confirm the analysis in a webform. There would probably be several rounds of iteration, where you would adjust and correct the analysis and help select the best countermeasures and their priorities.

As the joke goes, lots of details available upon polite request. Even better if you have a stronger and more constructive alternative.

User Journal

Journal Journal: In response to a story about the google's AI to recognize objects in videos

Oh wait. The summary says it can recognize a dachshund. Proof enough for me! Everyone knows dachshunds are the most EVIL breed of dog.

Actually every article about the google tends to sadden me. Such a nice little child company grew up to be such a monster. Dare I say EVIL? Yes, notwithstanding finishing yet another book about the google yesterday amid all of the protestations of how much the google wants to be a good and friendly little boy. The tools remain as morally neutral as they ever were, but things have changed anyway.

The "Don't be evil" slogan has mutated to "All your attention are belong to us."

The mission of making all of the world's information accessible and useful has changed in a more complicated way. Information is overabundant, even super-abundant, so the google had to prioritize. Turns out the highest priority information is what the advertisers want to pay for YOU to see and the ultimate utility function became the corporate profits. Yes, they are still throwing a few crumbs at the residual humans who produce the content that carries the ads, but the big winners are all corporations. Ultimate victory of AI?

There are two problem with "shareholder value" as the sole criterion of goodness. The minor problem is that share price is a delusion. The major problem is that it defines an unsolvable problem, even if you don't call it greed. There is NO share price that represents maximum shareholder value. No matter what you did yesterday, the corporation has to work to make the share price higher today, even if it ultimately makes the corporation EVIL.

Speaking for myself, I can't call it super-greed because corporations are inhuman, notwithstanding SCOTUS. Only humans have such emotions as greed.

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Journal Journal: POTUS Emeritus Alfred E Neuman on Trump 7

Bush's comments came after a prominent Republican in Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, called for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and was in touch with Trump's top advisers during the campaign.

Bush said he would trust Senate Intelligence panel Chairman Richard Burr to decide if a special prosecutor is necessary.

But, Bush added, "I think we all need answers ... I'm not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered."

Indeed our world has now been turned upside-down. Not only does Trump make GWB look intelligent and well-spoken, he even makes him look presidential or diplomatic. While we already knew a while ago that the GOP took such a hard right turn that it would reject Reagan himself as a commie, now they've dove headfirst so enthusiastically into the loonie bin that Bush seems like a born leader and statesman.

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Journal Journal: Reactions to General will 2.0: Rousseau, Freud, Google 1

Reactions to General will 2.0: Rousseau, Freud, Google by Hiroki Azuma (äèæå--2.0 ãfã½ãf¼ããfãfããfãããf¼ããf)

In summary, a tremendously provocative and rather interesting book, but too flawed and immature to be important or influential. It makes me feel like I have to start with rationalizations about the book's limitations. I think there're three kinds of problems that affected this book.

One is that the translation itself seems somewhat suspicious, Either because the material is so difficult or possibly because the translators own philosophies were brought into the picture, especially if either of them is a libertarian. In my page-based notes I will include a few specific questions about the translation, but I think there's more a general problem manifested in the confusion of proper nouns with generic usages. Quite frequently the book uses terms such as "general will 2.0" that should be capitalized and treated as proper nouns, but which appear in lowercase. It is barely possible that this reflects a feeling that the frequent capitalization would have made the book feel too heavy in some way, but I think it much more likely that it reflects the lack of capitalization in the original Japanese. (There are no capital letters in Japanese.)

The second problem could be described as a kind of trauma due to the disastrous earthquake and tsunami of 2011, immediately followed by the nuclear-power-plant disaster in Fukushima. My own trauma was relatively minor, just that I voided elevators for a few months, but perhaps the author had tighter connections to Fukushima or for some other reason felt the disaster more deeply. He gives the impression in the introduction that he was forced by the earthquake into rethinking many of the points raised in the book in ways that prevented him from merely polishing the original essays. His choices were to present them almost intact from the magazine serialization or completely rewrite the book.

The third problem can be described as a kind of forced extension beyond the original conception, especially as regards Rousseau. He is trying to rework the philosophy of Rousseau in a way that goes beyond the plausible implications of the original philosophy of the "social contract". I think it started as an interesting thought experiment, but he went so far that he at some point even the author understood that the connection to the original was overstretched. Even with the stretching, it's thought-provoking, but I felt it was not a mature conceptualization. There was some additional confusion caused by the layering in of later philosophers and thinkers, especially as regards Freud.

So here are my page-based comments:

On page vii I saw the first thing that made me worry about the translation. Near the bottom he says "I was able to assume the place ..." in a way that sounds quite pompous and assertive, even aggressive. I suspect the original Japanese may have represented a gentler conception that should've been translated into something like "I found myself thrust into a place ..."

On page xii he notes that it is September 11, 2011, which is exactly half a year since the disaster of the great earthquake. As an American I was struck but that the date was also exactly 10 years after the great and similarly traumatic disaster of 9/11 in America. It would have been even more striking as the double anniversary. (The 9/11 disaster was mentioned on page 60.)

On page 6 he talks about the Google's mission statement of organizing the worlds information. My main reaction was negative in light of my reconsideration of that mission statement in favor of giving priority to accessing the advertising information with the new utility metric of the paying advertisers' profits. I wonder if his generous and friendly interpretation was still plausible when this book was written?

At the bottom of page 11 was another sentence that made me wonder about the quality of the translation. It uses a very unusual word, "sublated", in such a way that it could not be clearly interpreted from the context. Perhaps a dictionary-based translation? Following the literal Japanese, but the result was not clear in the actual context. Better writing or a better translation should have made this concept clear. There are other examples in the book where free translation was clearly used. For example the "two heads are better than one" expression is used instead of a direct translation of the Japanese expression about the three men being wiser then Buddha. (ääåãOEãæ-æ®Sã®çY¥æ was referenced in a note.)

On page 53 there is a confusing note about the two Japanese forms of ææ and æå--, which are homonyms with closely related meanings. (One kind of åOEéYç義ã) However my main reaction to this footnote was to realize that all of the Japanese intrusions in the book would have benefited from the inclusion of proper Japanese. The use of Romaji was as usual ambiguous and confusing. If you don't already know the Japanese, then the Romaji is just gibberish, and if you do know the Japanese, then the Romaji is just intrusive.

On page 69 he's discussing the shallowness of conversations on the infamous Nichanneru (2ããfã"ããï¼Y). Reminds me again of Nicholas Carr's excellent book The Shallows.

On page 70 the second note is talking about the creator of the Google's Japanese input system, someone named Taku Kudo. One of my reactions was to wonder if he was might be related to the security expert Kudo-san at IBM Japan, but mostly I was curious about the extra features of Google Japanese input.

What struck me about page 73 was his essential confusion about the nature of freedom. However I think it helped to trigger me to think more about the meaning of constraints based on reality within the context of my own equation defining the most important sense of freedom. [#1 Freedom = (Meaningful - Coerced) Choice{5} â (Beer^4 | Speech | Trade) in my favorite sig.] Not sure if this is when I started wondering about some way to work the word constraint or reality into my sig, but it also reassured me about the usage of "Coerced" there.

My main reaction to page 79 was probably do to his apparent confusion about the you effective use of personal time. This is also another intersection with The Shallows.

Page 81 i talking about island universes from a libertarian perspective, but this is a concept I now map to do-it-yourself brainwashing.

Page 86 represents another other intrusion of libertarian fantasies. He's trying to rationalize minimizing government without considering the essential blindness of masses of people. The kinds of data he is collecting here are fundamentally incapable of revealing what should be done, incapable of dealing with the notion of change itself, but only capture the static conditions. I7m doubtful that the author understands that leadership requires unified vision, though this might be an overlaying of the libertarian conceptions. There's also some confusion with his use of the word "database" throughout the book, where he was probably thinking about something like "big data". Perhaps the use of big data came later, so he was forced to use the approximating word database?

I had two reactions on page 96. The main one was feeling his interpretation of Google PageRank was quite shallow and even inaccurate. I also had trouble with his interpretation of Freud here.

Not certain what caught my attention page 113, but perhaps that is where I realized the confusion between database and big data? The closing paragraph of that chapter was quite confusing to me, though that might be another translation problem.

Page 115 he had me thinking about reality-based constraints in relation to freedom.

On pages 136 and 137 he made me feel like he was confused about how the wisdom of crowds works, even though he refers to that book. The independent perspective of the individuals within the crowd is key to avoiding mob-based decisions.

The third note on page 139 made me think of time-based economics, although that general topic is clearly beyond his thinking in this book. I think that was the main problem that caught my attention on page 145, too.

On page 150 he's talking about the Japanese website Niconico, which has a real-time chat mode similar to YouTube's. He's talking about the problem of an overabundance of comments on the right side. This make me think about an obvious solution. Most of the comments should never be displayed, though perhaps they could be saved somewhere else for later reference. The displayed comments should be throttled to a slow speed to make sure they can be read. After each comment that makes it onto the display there would be some number and buttons. The first number would represent how many comments had been skipped before accepting the displayed comment. This would give a real-time indicator of the activity of the discussion. A thumbs-up and thumbs-down button would let the audience try to push the comment up or down the list, with a number for the net value. If the comment is accumulating a lot of positive reactions, then will tend to rise in the stack of displayed comments, but if it's getting negative reactions it will sink. There should also be a button for "the subject has changed". If enough viewers click on that one, then the comment will disappear to make room for a new comment. This system would then semi-automatically create a time-based list of the most important comments associated with each part of the video. More ideas and details available upon request, but that offer feels like a joke these days...

The discussion of Twitter on pages 182 to 184 was also thought provoking. It made me think of a new way to make Twitter much more interesting and useful. You should be able to sort and group the accounts you are following so that the different kinds of information appear in separate lists. On a large screen computer you would be able to display the lists side-by-side. For example the Twitter feed of your family members and close friends might be in the first column on the left side, while the second column might be for news sources and the third column for celebrities you are interested in. On a small screen device a sideways flick could switch between the columns representing your groupings. Another new idea of the sort I like to think about...

On page 204 he suggests that Google and Apple are influenced buy their shareholders. Seems to me to be a remarkably naÃve statement, based on my firsthand experience as an Apple shareholder and most starkly in a recent interaction with Sony. They are not interested in new ideas or any sort of "guidance" from shareholders. That's part of a more general problem and made me think his economic models are too naÃve by half.

Those are my page-based reactions to the book. They sound somewhat critical, but I'm still interested in many of the topics he raised. Not sure if I can actually recommend the book, but I'm thinking of visiting the coffee shop (or maybe it's more of a discussion salon) that the author manages.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Generalizable comments on Google+ 1

[Just the repost. Mostly relevant to Slashdot with the trivial substitution, but I don't think Slashdot is worth that much effort (and still wrapping up my affairs here before another hiatus).

Is it possible to have a civilized discussion using Google+? What are the rules for most effectively dealing with trolls and other rude people?

Just asking because it appears that the google has changed the rules again. I'm only sure that I don't fully understand the rules. However, I am also sure that I don't want to waste the time playing with trolls or even cleaning up after them.

My own preference would be to avoid seeing their mindless trollage in the first place. I still think that the best tool or feature for that purpose would be an age-based maturity filter. Should be an option, but I would set mine for about 2 months since I believe few sock-puppet identities last that long. A 2-month maturity requirement would render them invisible to me.

A bit of a diversion now, but if this topic has already been discussed (and I bet it has), then I was unable to find those discussions here. There is a search function, but it was not helpful. What if the google took the words and sentiments of my draft comment and used them to pop up relevant discussions for me to consider? Then I could see if my question had been answered, or even better, I could explain what was different about my problem and what parts of the answer didn't fully apply. (Going beyond that, the prior participants could be notified the topic had become active again.) Now back to our irregularly unscheduled discussion of how to have a "deep, thoughtful, and polite" discussion in Google+ (or anywhere on today's exceedingly messy Web of fake opinion).

In the unclear area is the question of long-lived trolls. I don't even know if Google+ has a block function or some kind of kill list.

I actually think the deeper solution would involve reputation-based filtering based on a symmetric relationship to each identity's contributions. If someone rates a comment favorably, then that favor should also accrue to the person who wrote the comment. I actually think it should have an option for higher dimension ranking, and most of the dimensions should allow for both positive and negative rankings.

Lots of details available upon request, but let me confess that I'm NOT anticipating a deep and thoughtful discussion here. Hoping for such, but all my hopes seem increasingly feeble these days.

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