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Comment The Corporate View (Score 1) 675

The first job of any executive is to protect the existing revenue stream. The problem with telling an existing multi-billion dollar company to come up with a new business model is like trying to take a 90 degree turn in a 747. The aircraft will not survive the maneuver.

Everyone knows the content and distribution businesses have to change. Nobody has any idea how or what the result looks like. Its not like culture will come to an end, there was culture before TV and record companies. But empires have been built and the people they employ are going to do their best to save them. That's not a conspiracy, its the nature of institutions.

Comment It Won't Work (Score 1) 181

In the real world, nobody can amass the hardware, software and expertise to do this kind of thing. Even the much vaunted NSA does little more than scan widely for keywords and narrowly for specific individuals or small groups of individuals. They also don't do any investigating. All such systems suffer from exactly the same limitation, false positives. The false positives overwhelm the investigative resources.

The only people to successfully implement a robust and lasting system for monitoring and control were the Soviets. They didn't use technology to do it. And they didn't care about false positives because they defined all positives as true.

Comment Voodoo Science (Score 1) 512

TFA is nonsense. Full of generalizations, suppositions and voodoo. They make no distinction whatever between different types of depression. They don't mention physiological symptoms or account for the role of anti-depressants, ECT or other treatments in relieving symptoms. They don't deal with the obvious problem that depression can lead to suicide. The notion that encouraging rumination should have a measurable impact on the progress of the episode is laughable. Should blowing your nose more often have an impact on how quickly you recover from a cold?

In very rough terms, there are two types of depression: transitory and chronic. Transitory depression is a reaction some people have to trauma, psychic or physical. When someone says 30% of adults suffer from depression sometime in their life, this is what they are talking about. If your marriage breaks down, you get depressed for a time. You might even benefit from focusing on your problems, but to say the depression is an evolutionary adaptation that leads to the analysis leads to benefits is voodoo. Its the same thing as saying Sickle Cell Anemia confers a resistance to Malaria.

The notion that every human characteristic must have an evolutionary benefit is plain stupid. Its this kind of thinking that has turned Evolutionary Psychology into a joke. This article is a prime example.

Comment We Are In Quarantine (Score 2, Interesting) 642

Fermi's Paradox came up in a dream once. The explanation, according to the dream, is that Earth is in quarantine. The powers that be in the Galaxy put a communications blocking bubble around the solar system of all new technological civilizations for 10,000 or 15,000 years. The point of the exercise is that new civilizations are like teenagers, dangerous and unaware of their power to wreak havoc. This is especially true of newcomers that discover inter stellar travel while not yet having complete control over their atomics. So they just wall us off until we either 1) destroy ourselves, or 2) grow out of our galactic adolescence.

The dream went on to explain why we see UFOs that don't communicate with us. They are outlaws breaking the quarantine. Humans, said the dream, have unique language abilities unknown elsewhere in the galaxy. A single human could write more and better code than teams of hundreds in the next-best software civilization. So the UFOs are from some of the shadier civilizations out there and they come to kidnap code slaves. They have to stay stealthy or they will get caught.

This was a real dream I had about 10 years ago. And yes, I was asleep at the time. The story is obviously full of holes, it was only a dream after all, but intriguing.

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