Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:There is no debate (Score 1) 423

No one can take away an unalienable right. It's not even a feasible scenario. At worst, another can infringe upon an unalienable right.

If I shoot and kill you, I didn't take away your right to life - if I had done that, then no one would care whether or not I had shot you: you wouldn't have the right any more, you see?

Rather what happens is that because I have infringed upon your right to life, my crime is recognized by the society in which I live, and I can reasonably expect retribution.

Comment Re:Look.... (Score 1) 195

Neither - parent is merely using a little hyperbole.

China owns the vast majority of our foreign debt. Should they decide to take the financial hit themselves, they could just dump that debt onto the market and devalue the dollar. This would, in all likelihood, result in a flurry of worldwide dollar selling, and in a matter of days we here in the U.S. would be burning our currency to keep warm at night, seeing as it wouldn't be useful for much else.

Of course, they've got their own financial issues, and I doubt they'd do such a thing thing - at least not right now.

Comment Re:child pornography is bad (Score 1) 405

It's the purchasing that drives up the demand. Making it illegal only drives up the profit. Then again, making it legal would increase proliferation, which in my opinion would be worse.

If you need to censor something, it's because it's being given away for free. Not only is there little reason to give something illegal away for free, but also consumption of a free (and freely and infinitely reproducible) commodity does not drive up demand.

Note, I'm not trying to defend child pornography, I'm just pointing out that neither censoring nor not censoring it makes an appreciable difference. Given this, there's little reason to go through the time, trouble, expense, and immorality of censorship - the sole exception being for political appeal.

Comment Re:The Internet Has Its Merits (Score 1) 405

Horza has the right of it: the right to free speech means the preclusion of prevention, not the right to immunity from consequence. There was once a time in this country when speaking or writing ill of the president was a felony - but you were completely free to do so anyway.

Now we have a Supreme Court verdict against "chilling speech", or tacking arbitrary consequences to certain expressions, which tends to prevent (or censor) completely free speech.

To put it another way, here in the U.S., we are completely free to shout "FIRE!" in a theater all we like - we just aren't immune to the consequences.

Comment Re:The Internet Has Its Merits (Score 1) 405

Wouldn't we need to remove hammers? Because someone may bash someone in the head with it?

No, of course not, no more than guns should be banned. But when the only purpose for filtering tools is censorship, and censorship is inherently evil, then the only people with the tools should be the misguided ones that want things censored from them.

In other words, all filtering should be done on the client-side.

Comment Re:That's "dilithium" (Score 4, Informative) 355

Vitamin A:

Carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, pumpkin, cantaloupe, apricots, papaya, mangoes, peas, squash.

Vitamin D:

Generated within the human body on contact with sunlight (UV light). Can also be produced in mushrooms grown under UV light.

Vitamin E:

Avocado, spinach, asparagus, wheat germ, wholegrain foods, most nuts, seeds, and palm & vegetable oils.

Vitamin K:

Spinach, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, avocado, kiwi, parsley.

Comment Re:ad-hoc mesh networking (Score 1) 222

Yeah, until sunspot activity randomly interrupts the mesh network on some random day, simultaneously causing millions of accidents across the country...

The solution to congestion in cities is public transportation - automobiles were originally designed for rural areas and sparsely populated towns in mind, and for crossing the empty spaces in between, not navigating the dense urban environments that we have today.

The solution to get higher speeds, less congestion, and less (I won't say no) drunk driving is much, much simpler than networking vehicles - it's banning commuter vehicles from city streets, making them stop at the city limits and get on the subway/trolley/train/bus line.

Comment Re:Sure, but (Score 2, Informative) 222

Uh, most people don't travel around by military march. The individual, taking his time, walks at 3 mph. A fit individual walking briskly moves at about 4 mph. A power-walker covers ground at 5-6 mph. I know these things because I used to cover around 100 miles on foot every week, for exercise and exploratory purposes.

Comment Re:Sure, but (Score 3, Insightful) 222

His point was that public transportation is useless for rural U.S., and that no amount of infrastructure re-organization will ameliorate the need for private vehicles in those areas.

Public trans. is great for cities; we need more of it there, no doubt. I live in a city and work 8 miles from my home (in a neighboring city) - using the current bus system actually takes more time than walking there directly (2.5 hrs vs. 2 hrs), and I feel a little guilty about driving so short a distance.

But the need for privately owned vehicles will never go away in the U.S. - at least not until our population exceeds some 2 billion or more people, and given that our birth rate has just recently fallen below the rate of replenishment (yay!), it'll be a good long time before that happens, if ever.

We have a need, more than any other industrial nation (save maybe Australia), for clean and efficient cars. The fact that our auto industry is so very reluctant to supply them demands a paradigm shift. If I, as a layman, can design a 3 person vehicle that gets 180 miles to the gallon (of biodiesel) based on existing designs and current technology, what exactly is the holdup?

Comment Re:why not just a national tax? (Score 1) 1505

Hey, I'm all for a consumption tax. There was even a small bi-partisan movement a few years back for a 23% consumption tax on all new goods and services to replace the income tax. Didn't go anywhere.

I think it's highly unlikely that we'll see a consumption tax in the U.S. anytime soon, if ever: it would reduce consumption. This country literally thrives on over-consumption - it's our primary export.

Comment Re:two ways to solve the tax "scam" (Score 1) 1505

Precisely. The federal government doesn't need to be spending money on either of those things, although they're welcome to fund their own highways. If they elect not to, the states could just raise the tolls again.

The federal government could easily cut all it's spending in education as well; schools have only gotten worse since the DoE took over in the 90's. And farming subsidies to large agribiz - no need for that. Also, no point in paying farmers not to produce, either.

Oh, and don't forget the war on drugs - that's completely needless expenditure that could be turned into massive tax profits.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 1) 126

Get over the spelling, they invented the language

Er, no one 'invented' English; it has always been a mash-up of multiple languages. While it may have originated in England as a modified Germanic tongue, it has moved so far from its origins that no one group of people could be said to have created it.

Just because we 'fold, spindle, and mutilate' different languages/words and incorporate them into our language here in the USA

The U.S. is not the sole practitioner of this - this has happened to the language since its inception, which is why we all don't speak and write in Old English anymore.

Realistically, I have to take the position that both spellings are technically correct.

Comment Re:Shift in dynamics (Score 1) 1124

The problem there is that the Republicans have always relied on simple minds for the bulk of their votes, just as the Democrats rely on the lazy ("I just want the government to take care of me") vote.

While the majority of the stupid and lazy don't vote, the majority that do vote are, unfortunately, also stupid and lazy. The shift in paradigm that's needed to get this country on the right track begins with education and a firm belief in self-reliance. Any ideas on how to spread those around?

Comment Re:And.... (Score 1) 1124

Oh hell, I've been cheering for gridlock since I was 11 years old.

The best government is the one that does nothing at all. No growth, no reactionary laws, no behavioral regulations. Local communities are and have always been able to take care of themselves, given a state of general peace.

Slashdot Top Deals

Save yourself! Reboot in 5 seconds!