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Comment Re:Why it's shameful (Score 1) 445

Throughout history, every library sale and used bookstore has had its opportunistic patrons, only difference here is that knowledge of the medium is no longer required. What before could only be accomplished by a select few bibliophiles, every patron can now perform. The constant "Oh look dear, see if that nice gentleman over there with the scanner can help you find what you need." factor can't help morale much either.

Comment Foundations of Meritocracy (Score 1) 172

So left-right (analytical thinking, creativity) balance is cited as increasingly crucial to success in the marketplace, and has been shown to deteriorate when influenced by the promise of monetary gain. Interesting -- if one thought for one moment that given a random sample of the population, the mere promise of financial reward could somehow enhance those qualities. But in science it is often necessary to demonstrate a principle, however obvious, before moving on to more interesting experiments. Any meritocracy should provide numerous tools useful in identifying those few individuals naturally exceptional in this area (absent any incentive), and whose attention top employers will naturally compete for (often financially). For the talented, financial reward is not a stimulant, but potentially a retainer and definitely an enabler -- it ensures these individuals' needs are met outside the workplace, so they are better able to focus on the higher level problems at hand. It would seem the question here becomes: how do organizations identify, attract and foster this talent amongst the general workforce, knowing financial reward is not the answer? It would seem we should continue to focus on predisposition, identifying those individuals demonstrating a high degree of interest in an array of left-right subject areas, and an ability to attack problems in novel ways.

Comment Re:Pre-internet history? (Score 1) 200

SMTP message bodies are quite often HTML. POP and IMAP may suffer the same fate as NNTP in another 10-20 years if the signal-to-noise ratio continues to diminish (goes from 99% to 99.999% spam). BitTorrent uses HTTP for tracker communications, but will never be considered mainstream while it is primarily used for copyright infringement, and IM clients may not be running on port 80 yet but they are increasingly using HTTP (if not HTML formatting as well), specifically to minimize the barrier to adoption posed by firewalls. So these examples support the spirit of my previous observation quite well, thanks.

Comment Re:Enforcement? (Score 2, Interesting) 296

Difficulty in policing something isn't a reason to allow a crime to be legal.

The jury has been out on that for a few hundred years now. Consider 1.) An unenforceable (de jure) law ultimately rewards the dishonest while punishing only the honest who confess their crime (Hobbes). And 2.) From a political standpoint, unenforceable legislation creates the appearance of real moral authority without risk of alienating those constituents who would be punished if were enforceable. Public disregard for enforceability therefore promotes dishonesty of both the citizen and the official -- exactly the sort of business an ethical society should avoid.

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