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Comment Re:Pledge Music (Score 1) 133

The incentive is simple.

If you have enough to give, and you appreciate what I do, there's a chance you'll give. If you don't have enough or don't appreciate it, you weren't going to give anyway.

If you do something for other people that they appreciate, and they see a way to help you, they'll likely do so, especially at low cost to them.

Comment Re:Pro big donor (Score 1) 528

most utility right-of-ways in the US were created by and are maintained by government action, which is one of many good reasons people want net neutrality, as these cable runs should be treated as public goods, maintained by a carrier that was granted a situational monopoly, the alternative would be to return the land/etc. to the people. Don't forget also that most of the cable that exists was laid with significant amounts of public funding as well, this system belongs in large part to the government/to the people, or at least that's how it should be given who paid for it. Letting AT&T/Comcast/etc. have their way *again* after rolling over on the issue of the infrastructure itself is simply a horrible idea. These corporations have shown time and again how little regard they have for both public good *and* the right of the people to govern themselves, they should not be allowed this incredible power grab.

Comment Re:Guilty much? (Score 4, Insightful) 685

said so-called "leech class" would actually be more accurately described as a combination of a large artistic/creative class, and a large class of DIY-minded individuals, who if they were ensured their basic needs would happily work to improve their own surroundings. Want mega-engineering projects? Well, when workers cost $0, you can pull off a *lot*.

Comment Re:Guilty much? (Score 1, Insightful) 685

I have to agree with most of what you said, but I take serious issue with your attack on UI benefits, which invariably stimulate spending and work to keep people from falling entirely out of the system while the economy recovers (as opposed to tax cuts for the rich which just cost the govt money it could be using to serve the people, same as all these acts of war...)

If this country had Basic Income then none of this would be important of course, but the US Federal Govt and most if not all state governments would rather let some 10-25% (depending on who you ask) of the country end up jobless, penniless and homeless (let alone having no access to any health-care, which is *still* a huge problem despite the claims of those who pushed the latest bills through) through no fault of their own. (Remember, UI benefits are only paid out to those who lost their job through no fault of their own, these are not benefits paid to those who are fired for cause or (usually) those who simply quit).

Comment Re:Ah, nice BULLSHITTING (Score 1) 233

This is actually rarely the case, in the US at least its the cop's word against anyone else's and people still generally tend to believe the person in uniform (jury trial) or side subtly with other authority figures (judge only trial), and so even when we have footage from numerous cell phones of what happened, police still rarely get more than a temporary suspension for murder.

I'd also be surprised if it was as good as it sounds up in canada, at least in parts of the country, considering the recent police state in Toronto during the summits. They did everything they could to make peaceful protest impossible and to arrest anyone who was involved, right up to and including passing a law that went into effect *before* its manditory announcement time, and would be quickly found illegal itself anyway once it did become public, so that they could arrest people and charge them with this to keep them out of the way. Of course all the cases got dropped unless they could provoke more charges, but that didn't matter, they got their control for the most part.

Comment Re:Backups (Score 1) 202

media collections are very much important data, especially rare/hard-to-find items, losing my media collection would be a rather serious inconvenience, and therefore to me does qualify for at least an on-site backup (at least of the audio, I want to buy enough space for video backup too but I just don't have the money)

Comment Re:Backups (Score 1) 202

If a hurricane, earthquake or flood manages to take out my onsite backups, its likely taken out most of the onsite itself, and honestly, any data I have that is more important to me than the physical posessions in my home is already backed up in many places just because I want to have access to it everywhere I go, so I've replicated across a few cloud services and a VPS box. If we manage to get enough natural disasters to get rid of all of my data all at once then sure, I'll be a bit pissed, but I suspect I can reconstruct even that from what I know, considering about the most important data I can come up with are software and other things I've been writing and somehow far more important, my contact networks, my phone book and e-mail contact lists are about the most important data I have as a social creature in a networked world, but I suspect I could reconstruct even that if I manage to find a few of my friends post-disaster.

Comment Re:Backups (Score 1) 202

off-site backups are nice, and indeed can save you from a total failure of your security, but if you have any idea how to set up a network in the first place, this shouldn't really be a worry unless you are not picky enough about who else you let on, *and* happen to run software that is currently a major unattended malware target, which for whatever reason, linux and osx don't seem to be. Assuming your security doesn't become a problem (which with a decent firewall it shouldn't), the only other reasons for offsite are to hopefully sidestep any given local disaster; offsite doesn't even necessarily make your data more secure unless you're talking about offline offsite, which S3 very much is not, because with online offsite you're hoping someone else's security is good enough, their power conditioning is good enough, etc.

Comment Re:That long ago? (Score 1) 721

this supposed "right" is actually a limited monopoly granted by a combination of some back-room treaties pushed through and laws that even when originally enacted I'm not sure were terribly good for anyone and now seem to be entirely a mess. I've not ever found a declaration of human rights that includes some "right to exclusively profit from creative works" or however it would be described.

Comment Re:Its the economy, stupid (Score 1) 338

This country has never been a meritocracy. Since its inception, despite the wonderful propaganda put out to suggest otherwise, this country like almost any other I've ever heard of is ruled by the elite, with only a few notable exceptions in various major offices over the past 200+ years. If this were truly a meritocracy then the backgrounds of the leaders would reflect the average set of backgrounds, which would have you expect a set of leaders that mostly comes from non-privileged backgrounds since most of the people (far more than half) are from what most would agree are non-privileged backgrounds, but the truth is the leaders in this (and most other that I've studied) country are those who already have plenty, and always have had plenty.

They are so far removed from reality they often have little or no idea what it is like to need to worry about the rent or their next meal (thus the anemic social programs in this country, well that and that they are far too complicated, basic income would be so much cheaper, far less bureaucracy needed). And yes I am talking about the United States, as it is the country I've had the most experience with.

Comment Re:Its the economy, stupid (Score 1) 338

I only have one way to reply to this and that's by calling bullshit. Drugs are everyone's favorite scapegoat but guess what? I've had my share of experience with things you may never expect, including at least one of the things you mentioned, but drugs do not lead to unemployment nor do they lead to theft, on the other hand, people with very little to begin with, and with damn good reasons to be depressed often turn to drugs, and without good drug education (only stupid DARE propaganda), people don't realize the risks they're taking and are unaware of how things are actually impacting their lives (unless they are lucky enough to be able to educate themselves on the topic, which is still fairly rare)

If you disagree, see the Rat Park experiment, the Addiction theory of drug [ab]use is, for the most part, bullshit. (I don't dispute the existance of withdrawal syndromes but that's another issue).

I've done heroin before, I've done meth before, (only 1-2 times each, didn't end up liking them all that much compared to other things), and I'm no slave to any substance, by choice and force of will, and by the effort I've undertaken to educate myself on what the full effects of each substance are, both neurochemically and individually. Were it not for prohibition and prohibitionist propaganda, drug problems would be mostly a thing of the past, IMHO.

Comment Its the economy, stupid (Score 1) 338

If everyone in the country (we'll say just the citizens for now but it should eventually extend to all citizens of the world) were given enough resources (cash, aid, whatever) *by default* to take care of food, shelter, clothing, health care, all the basics *required to live*, then this sort of thing would be far less attractive. (this would mean doing away with most/all specific programs, minimum wage, etc., and replacing it with a basic income that all citizens get in one form or another, guaranteed to be enough to live on wherever you happen to be living, leaving people free to pay more sensible amounts, and opening the way for more socially-oriented work to happen (volunteer work, large work projects that don't pay but get something done for your town/city/county/state/etc., etc. -- people *want* to make their world nicer, and will if they aren't constantly afraid of dying of starvation/exposure/etc.)

This gets the [federal/state] government out of the business of specific social projects (save perhaps a single-payer nationalized healthcare system, those seem to work a lot better and kill off the stupid amounts the insurance companies get for no real reason) -- local governments would probably be *more* likely under this system to spend money on social projects as well since workers come a good bit cheaper, etc., b/c instead the progressive income tax goes to pay for everyone's basic needs under this sort of system), of course nobody wants to implement this at the higher levels because they're all afraid of losing all that power they've amassed, but it needs to happen. Too much centralized power kills a system, this has happened in every society where it happens, the fat cats of all stripes steal from everyone else in various "legal" ways and then set up all sorts of scarecrows to distract the citizen, or to convince them they can have a piece of the pie too if they just work themselves half to death in the process, when most of them lucked into it by accident of birth. I also propose significant inheritance tax, progressively graduated like income tax is, so small inheritances aren't a big deal but 100B worth would have something like a 50% tax or more, this should help defuse the whole fat cat system, especially if this tax is strictly to go to paying the basic income for the nation

Hopefully needless to say, the basic income, coming from the government as it is, is not to be taxed, otherwise again we're implementing a poor tax, which is one of the stupidest ideas ever economically, right up there with non-luxury sales taxes. (luxury item taxes are different, and could even just be done as a progressively graduated thing, i.e. you buy something for $500M and you have to pay some serious tax, but for $500 is likely untaxed.)


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