But somehow you do need to be a libertarian to think that expecting those that have benefitted the most from society to pay towards its upkeep is theft.
How about contributed the most to society? If you look at it that way, you might start to wonder why they should have to pay extra for having provided people with their needs.
Congress doesn't write laws. Corporate ghost writers write laws and Congress signs them.
I guess that's what you get for not paying attention to congressional elections instead of the, in reality, completely inconsequential presidential election which instead has become the only election anyone seems to care about in the US these days. The entire reason why your founding fathers designed the electoral college system is because there's really no need to elect the president popularly -- he is merely the chief of the executive branch, whose task it is to carry out what Congress decides. You're not supposed to elect him "for his political agenda" (if anything, that's what the congressional elections are for; though I'd argue otherwise in another rant), but for his ability to lead the government. Which is why he was supposed to be elected by professional electors tasked with the elucidation of such properties in people.
See, you're better off over there then we are here in the Democratic People's States of Europe precisely because you get to elect your congressmen personally, rather than voting for pre-selected party lists as we get to do under our varieties of proportional voting. It means that you actually can elect people on such virtues as incorruptibility and honesty, rather than the ability to climb the party ranks by spouting the party line.
Electing a president popularly based on "political agendas" is, if anything, directly undemocratic, since it implies that the entire nation has to elect as one entity, leaving the majority with no other choice than to oppress the minority (where, of course, the "minority" is 45% or so of the people).
Disregarding the facts that the healthcare/insurance and banking industries are so regulated that they can hardly be considered private enterprise, and that the blame for the recession lies, apart from the aforementioned regulation, with the Fed and the government-run banks like the FNMA; what strikes me the most with your post is this:
It kinda amazes me that people with a healthcare system that is useless in the middle of a global recession all under the management of private industry, then dare to ask whether government can run things.
If not that, then what do you suppose they should ask? Is not the determination of the means by which the ends sought should be attained, indeed, the foremost question that should be on everybody's mind? Should regulation just be tried at random just because anything might be better? If that is the mindset of the regulators, then I finally understand why laws look the way they do.
(By the way, I don't think the US healthcare system is such an utter failure as you make it out to be. You should try living over here in Europe for a while.)
(3) at least one study indicates that placing commonly used keys far apart, as with the QWERTY, actually speeds typing, since you frequently alternate hands; and
That point almost makes your study sound suspect, though, since one of the main points with Dvorak is supposed to be that the keys are placed so as to make hand-alternation is frequent as possible.
I don't use Dvorak myself, by the way. I just thought that sounded weird.
Methinks that's missing the point. Judging by the summary, what his friend misses isn't crafting or just housing, but the opportunity to be a griefing fucktard with impunity. He doesn't miss just housing (which half the games have nowadays anyway), but more specifically thieving, which in the context of housing really boiled down to exploiting some clipping bug to nick someone's furniture that per the game rules you shouldn't have had access to. Basically he's missing a game that's equally half-baked, buggy, exploitable, and with equally piss-poor GM support, so he can be as big a griefer as in the good old days of UO.
As one of the writers of Haven & Hearth, I have to disagree. The reason me and my friend wanted to write the game is that we wanted a world where the actions that players can perform actually have an impact on the world itself, rather than just another theme park where you can just enjoy yourself withing the very strict frame set by the authors of the game; and those of our current players that seem to enjoy the game the most seem to agree with that. It leads naturally to a game world where the emergent phenomena become the most defining feature of the world, rather than the mechanics that we, as the game authors, build into it. The coolest thing about the world, if I may say so myself, is that there isn't a single structure in the world that hasn't been built by the players themselves.
It is true, of course, that theft and raiding are important parts of that, and the primary enjoyment of many players is the politics that arise out of factions competing with each other; but mind you that theft and raiding does not necessarily equal "griefing". In Haven, despite only having a few hundred players, there are actual wars being played out without us authors having to write a back-story for them. We don't have to write a back-story at all since that can be done entirely by players; and it also leads to a story that the players can actually care about since they are part of it themselves, rather than having had it pushed upon them.
I shan't pretend that Haven isn't buggy and exploitable, but those are things that we do plan to remedy before going into beta without having to rip out the most defining aspect of the game, viz., its mutable world. "Piss-poor GM support", as you put it, is an intended feature: We don't want to set the rules for the game any more than is necessary as a part of writing basic game mechanics, and in the end, we believe that it leads to a more meaningful player experience since players don't have to be bothered by any arbitrary rules of morality that we may set up. The point is that most of our players don't want to be "griefers" -- they simply want to be a meaningful part of the game world itself, which they cannot be in a theme-park game like WoW. I don't want to pretend everyone wants a game like that (there is obviously a reason why WoW has four or so orders of magnitude more players than we do), but it's not like it's just for griefers.
If you can read this... 01110101 01110010 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100111 01100101 01100101 01101011
While you, on the other hand, would need to learn to capitalize and write proper sentences. And yes, I read that using neither a calculator nor an ASCII chart.
AFAICT, the only reason we're all using Flash is that it was a stop-gap measure to deal with the fact that normal video support in web browsers wasn't what it should have been.
What I don't understand, though, is what was wrong with the <object> tag. It could be used to embed the client's favorite media player into the page to play a video over HTTP, could it not? What does the <video> tag do that the <object> tag couldn't?
Well, that still means that those living their will be living better than they did previously (or they wouldn't reasonably move there), and the city doesn't have to pay the cost for razing the stuff. Where, again, was the downside?
You're just purposely trying to evade my point, rather than meeting it. Yes, there are alternatives to many of the GNU utilities. I, too, could probably name a dozen embedded Linux distros or so that don't use GNU code to any larger extent, but that's just besides the point.
The point is that the systems the vast majority of people use (say, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, &c.) are heavily based on GNU. So much so, in fact, that it if you really seek a single qualifier for it, it would be more appropriate to call it GNU than to call at Linux. At the core of the system lies all of the GNU system, including the coreutils, GCC, binutils, bash, texinfo, gzip, glibc, all the reimplementations of basic system tools like grep, sed, awk and what have you not. What you're normally actually using, as a user, is more often than not GNU code. (And that applies to very many GUI users, too, seeing how GNOME is part of GNU.)
Also, I'm not trying to force you to call the system GNU/Linux instead of Linux, honestly. I, too, usually call it Linux, but only because that's what I and others have become used to, not because I think that it is the most correct denomination to use. (Well, only when I speak with laymen, though, really. When I speak with my friends, I can usually leave out the "Linux" part of it completely and just say that I use "Debian".) On the other hand, I certainly have no wish to actively discredit GNU's extremely pivotal role in the system.
Linux is not a GNU project, though. It's a kernel made from contributed code from many different people. Their ideas, their expertise, not the direct result of GCC. GCC is just the program used to compile their ideas. You could build it with ICC and it still is Linux, but it doesn't turn into Intel/Linux.
Certainly so, but noone, not Stallman and noone else, calls Linux the kernel GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is the term for an operating system based on the GNU userspace along with the Linux kernel.
It's entirely possible to boot a Linux system with binutils or BSD userspace utilities.
Well yeah, sure, that's possible. Do you know anyone who uses such a distribution? I'm pretty sure RMS speaks of GNU/Linux because that's what people actually use.
Even if you say that the line between applications and operating system is fuzzy, I do think we can both agree that it is reasonable to count something which is required to build and boot the system as "part of the operating system", no? Especially so if we speak of the actual operating system distributions, like Debian or Fedora, which doubtlessly uses those programs for those purposes, and where it would require large amounts of work to replace them.
(Furthermore, I'm pretty sure Linux (the kernel, that is) requires GCC, GNU ld and gmake to build. I might be wrong about that, though.)
It certainly isn't. Neither X, any desktop environment, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Perl or any web browser is necessary to do even so much as boot or create the system. They're all perfectly optional components that you can choose to run on top of your GNU/Linux operating system.
Sure, many people do, but others don't; either way, that's not the point. The point is that they aren't part of the operating system, and therefore there's no reason to name it after them. GNU software, on the other hand, is most necessarily and intrinsically part of the operating system, and therefore it is reasonable to acknowledge it.
Aside even from that, I would still argue that it is reasonable to credit GNU, not only for the actual software, but for the philosophy of the entire system. If it weren't for RMS, FSF and GNU, free software as we know it would probably not exist.
I think you would have a more compelling argument the day you don't:
Just sayin'. And I probably missed a few things.
"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday