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Comment Re:Overthrowing the NSA. (Score 1) 413

Unfortunately, society is made up of economies and people, not just test tubes filled with chemicals or molecules obeying rigid physical laws. A government that regards scientists as supreme is no better than one that regards them as useless.

If you want a technocracy, find a place that has no government and try to create one. As a technocrat, I expect that the people you want to claim superiority over will have a different opinion, but I'm sure you would be successful if such a form of government is truly better than all others.

Comment Re:Overthrowing the NSA. (Score 1) 413

That is such a horrible view, made by an idealist rather than a realist. When both choices are unacceptable, the only logical choice is to not vote.

My view is much more realistic than yours. Neither you nor I can say why those people didn't vote. There is more than ample precedent for people not voting because they don't care, which I supported by numbers from a local election where not very many people voted, and in that election there was really just a lot of "yes/no" proposals and a lot of uncontested seats. It's very hard to claim that "yes" and "no" aren't acceptable choices to a yes/no question. It wasn't that it was too hard to vote, this was a by-mail election. It was apathy that led to those low numbers.

You can claim all you want that they didn't vote because they didn't like any of the options, but that's a guess. When someone does not vote they are not expressing an opinion of any kind. You can't count the lack of noses as anything more than a lack of noses. That makes not voting a completely illogical reaction, because in that form of election the person with the most votes wins no matter how small the turnout. By saying nothing you say nothing, you're not speaking volumes.

And when the result comes out in a way they didn't like, sure, in a country with free speech rights they technically have a right to complain about the result, but they also have a responsibility to accept the blame for the failed result. That's what the colloquial meaning of "you have no right to complain" is: you have every legal right to whine but you bear responsibility for the failure so you have no logical right to complain. "You have no right to complain" does not mean you have lost your Constitutional rights. You're making claims of censorship where none exist.

Comment Re:Overthrowing the NSA. (Score 1) 413

He made a power grab.

You seem to think I am defending someone. Stop. I've already said I wasn't. I was responding to TWO SPECIFIC STATEMENTS that I quoted. One was dealing with "will of the people", and the other was specific about breaking campaign promises. That's it. End of story.

That's a touch more egregious than "breaking campaign promises".

And I'm not the one who said he broke campaign promises. And I didn't say he was a prince of a fellow who is getting a bad shake. I was specific in what I quoted, I was specific in my response. Read nothing further into what I wrote than what I wrote.

Comment Re:ONE THING I agree with Chomsky on (Score 5, Insightful) 530

The normal rule of gunnery is to shoot, and then whatever you happen to hit: call that the target. ;-) With terrorism, whoever you missed is the target. And whoever you hit, is your weapon against that target. But in order to work, it requires the cooperation of the target. If the target does not choose to react fearfully, then the terrorism does not accomplish its objective.

Does the same thing apply to carjacking? Armed robbery?

No. The goal of carjacking is to get a ride; the goal of robbery is to obtain value. Deciding to not fear it, does not deny your adversary his goal.

But terrorism is about persuading the survivors, the technically-not-victims. Nobody ever carjacks in order to get the next car to lock their doors. Nobody commits armed robbery in order to manipulate a third party (movie script counter-example: Die Hard, but the FBI was manipulated as part of a "Briar Patch" strategy, rather than terrorism(*)).

e.g. Not Terrorism: "Your tank factory and its workers are gone. This gains me a numeric advantage in next month's tank battle." Terrorism: "Your tank factory and its workers are gone. Surrender or else I'll wreck more of your expensive factories and kill more of your workers."

(*) Does this happen in real life? What believed acts of terrorism were actually not?

Comment Constitutional basis for compulsory terroree-ism (Score 1) 530

The president has constitutionally-granted authority over of the armed forces. We have a legal draft. Combine those two things, and ergo, it is within generally-accepted powers for the president to be able to label you a Designated Terroree, such that you're required to be afraid whenever told to, if people being afraid is believed to be militarily advantageous.

OTOH, the Third Amendment means that you don't have to be afraid whenever you're at home. So the president's legal powers over your emotions are limited, somewhat.

Submission + - Google paid AdBlock Plus to get its ads whitelisted

recoiledsnake writes: German site Horizont Online reports that [translate link] Google paid AdBlock Plus to unblock it's own ads. According to their tests, Google's text ads show up with AdBlock Plus installed, but Bing's and Yahoo's are blocked even though they are similarly less intrusive. This creates a conflict of interest for AdBlock Plus since it encourages companies to pay them to get whitelisted. Note, Adblock Plus is not directly related to Adblock. We previously covered the FTC was making new rules to prevent search results from looking like ads and how 62% of folks didn't even realize there were ads on search result pages because of search engines reducing background contrast to increase ad clicks.

Comment Re:First post (Score 1) 259

The standard argument is that the engineering and physics challenges with long-distance space travel are so great that any entity that can solve them doesn't really care about the bugs on Earth or Earth itself, they can get what they want from any sun or planet they can find and feed into their matter/energy/matter systems.

Or they have perfected remote sensing that they don't travel at all.

Comment Re:surprisingly complex (Score 1) 44

I might actually be trivial with practice, which is also (as you pointed out) not surprising. None of this is very surprising.

I'm guessing if you wanted to add a visiting vehicle's thrust, you'd first have to re-calculate the center of mass given the attached vehicle, and then calculate how much thrust -- and in what direction -- from that vehicle will produce what angles of rotation around which axes.

Not that I could do it all, but I think I might be close, and I can imagine the calculations that go into it and I am, frankly, not at all surprised even in an imaginary sense.

Comment Re:This slowly drives me nuts (Score 5, Interesting) 138

I see what you're saying, and you're *mostly* right. It's just that every now and then you do need to get your hands into the nuts and bolts of an algorithm (in my own case, about twice a year I need to look at something related to graphs or optimization).

It is rare in practice that the compsci knowledge is needed, but knowing such stuff ahead of time is the difference between knowing how to just get on with the things and struggling for weeks on end, or just staring blankly at the screen, or just writing some kludge code that "kinda works".

Comment Re:Whole Trial is bullshit (Score 1) 325

2:23 Dispatcher: Are you following him? Maybe the Dispatcher interprets the background noises as Zimmerman running.
Zimmerman: Yeah.
Dispatcher: Ok, we don't need you to do that.
2:28 Zimmerman: Ok.
Zimmerman has stopped and talks to the dispatcher for 1m:38s.
4:06 Click and the call ends.

A running Martin had close to 2 minutes to get to his house 200'-300' away (5 houses away) before the end of the call.

It's almost another minute before the calls about the fight start- not near martin's house.

Obvious conclusion- Martin decided to confront Zim and did not go to his house but came back to confront Zim.

Within seconds the state's only eyewitness, Mr. Good, (the rest are just 'earwitnesses) saw Martin (guy in the black hoodie) on top of Zim (the guy in the red sweatshirt) and Martin was beating Zim so badly that Mr. Good immediately called 911.

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