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Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 632

If it's really about protecting the citizens of other countries from their evil regimes, why is the U.S. military is involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and not Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or Iran, let alone Rwanda, Libya, Sudan, Burma, Venezuela, or North Korea?

I reject the notion that you can end tyranny by killing people and blowing up things until it goes away.

Comment Re:Unfortunately (Score 1) 702

You clearly don't understand what fragmentation is.

Fragmentation isn't one device superseding another in capabilities, or rendering the first one obsolete. Those are all normal parts of evolving technology. No one expects a Pentium II to be able to run Crysis. It's simply beyond the capabilities of the older hardware.

No, fragmentation is when you have two devices of the same generation that support a different set of features. For example, the Red model might support features A and B, and the Blue model might contain features B and C. Want to make an app that requires features A and C? Tough luck!

You can call a "feature" hardware buttons, software support, or even whether a particular carrier has locked out a certain capability or not - but either way, this is a real problem that Android has that iPhone doesn't. Is Android better or worse than iOS? Debatable. But iOS isn't fragmented, and that's a point in its column.

Comment Re:The rollback of the Bush era infringements (Score 1) 359

In the absence of some outside restraining force, how do you avoid the inevitable natural concentration of power when everything is left to its own forces?

  1. Checks and balances. The federal government was designed to be an organization at odds with itself: the executive could do nothing not approved by the legislature, the legislature could do nothing not permitted by the Constitution, and the Constitution couldn't be modified without the consent of the states. Sadly, this has all but fallen by the wayside, with recent presidents using the executive order as a means of creating law, and Congress ignoring the Constitution.
  2. Citizen awareness. You need a populace with a strong education in civics and citizenship, a respect for process, and an understanding why subverting the Constitution is a Very Very Bad Thing, even if it's being subverted in the name of something you support, because one day it might be subverted for something you hate. Citizens need to understand that people who ignore the Constitution are a threat to liberty and need to be voted out of office, without exception.
  3. Strong local governments. Don't like the laws in your town? Move to the town 5 miles down the road. Don't like the laws in your country? Tough luck, you're screwed, unless you really want to leave all your friends and family behind, or go into national politics and try (probably unsuccessfully) to fix things yourself. This is precisely why the majority of lawmaking should be done at the local level.

Comment Re:1st step in something useful for deep explorati (Score 1) 284

Debris isn't really something that the engineers need to worry about. Space is very, very empty - I read something once about how if you took all the matter in the known universe and evenly distributed it throughout the volume of the known universe, it'd work out to something like one hydrogen atom per cubic kilometer. If you launch something out of orbit, the odds of it striking another object in your lifetime are virtually nil, even objects of microscopic size.

Comment Re:Ignorance, not indifference. (Score 1) 220

Sadly, I don't know if 50% of voters (at least in the US) can name Candidate A and Candidate B, much less something they disagree on.

There was some poll done a couple years ago in the US that showed that more people can name all of the Seven Dwarfs than can name two of the nine Supreme Court justices.

Comment Re:What about today's mistakes? (Score 1) 369

I've been a lifelong Catholic, been going to church every week for decades, and not once have I heard a homily threatening hell for anyone who disobeys the religion. In addition, Catholics hold philosophies such as "baptism of the heart" and "baptism of desire" which state that, in essence, good people get to heaven even if they're not Christians.

Might I suggest you read up on Catholic teaching before condemning it.

Comment Re:Rebuttal of the "RFTA, it's distributed" respon (Score 1) 295

The difference, of course, being that when the original authors (or the maintainers of the original metaserver) go to the dark side, it's not hard for a nonprofit benevolent geek to open up her own server, and allow users to migrate their data over to the new server and remain on the same network, keeping all their connections intact. At that point you're basically moving your website (your social network "node") to a new host (another Diaspora server), while remaining on the same network!

Right now, if you're fed up with how Facebook is handling your data, you have to quit Facebook. With Diaspora, if you're fed up with how your Diaspora server is handling your data, you switch servers, or even start your own.

Furthermore, the whole thing is going to be free software, so in the event of the original authors trying to slip nasty stuff into the code, a) we can know about it and b) it won't be hard to fork the project into a compatible non-evil project.

This is radically different from Facebook's philosophy of "we own all your data and you're stuck with us." My only hope is that the Diaspora guys can make their stuff easy to use.

Comment Re:You don't say (Score 1) 1224

Coming from a Catholic tradition, we don't believe that all of the Bible is literal truth, but rather all of it is spiritual truth. Of course there are contradictions and inaccuracies - it's a compendium of books written by dozens of authors over the course of centuries. The goal in reading it is not to merely read the words - it's to seek a deeper spiritual truth through meditation and prayer.

I won't speak for other spiritual texts, but you can't read the Bible in the same way as you do a textbook.

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