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Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 1) 604

As an aside, a note of follow-up: I was persuaded that the official response was not innately unreasonable in discussion with some IRL friends over last night.

I still hold that the original post I responded to (holding that debating the point at all would be hurtful to those seriously impacted by the event) was full of it.

Comment Re:Dream on. (Score 1) 292

I also didn't notice any strafing, jumping, or crouching going on, so yet again these gimmicky input devices prove that the keyboard+mouse/controller is still the superior input mechanism. You can see the red team running circles around this guy the entire time.

You'd certainly want to have servers/rooms set up only for folks using this setup to make it fair, yes. That doesn't strike me as infeasible.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 1) 604

This entire series of events in Boston transpired in less than 24 hours. A cop was murdered at MIT, a man was carjacked, and the police responding to the carjacking were shot at, and had bombs thrown at them as they chased the suspects through the city. They shot one and took him into custody, the other was cornered in hiding in the neighborhood where they conducted the searches during the day Friday. Would you really have preferred they just told people, "Hey guys, don't worry about it, this guy's wanted in connection to the murders of 4 people & the maiming of 200 or so, he's armed, desperate, and hiding in your neighborhood, but we're all going to just go home and get a good night's sleep, and we'll keep looking for him tomorrow night, or well, he's bound to turn up at some point, we'll get him then, I guess! Keep calm and carry on!"

Were this shutdown isolated to a single neighborhood, I would have no qualm.

That said -- you're putting a lot of words in my mouth. "Good old-fashioned policework" does not by any means imply that the level of police resources involved in a response not be proportionate to the level of risk of further criminal activity.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 2) 604

*In between* air raids, they were asked to "keep calm and carry on" - and that's a reasonable request. But in the middle of an emergency, they weren't being told "Pop over to the cafe for a spot of tea and crumpet while the bombs fall, don't let that Luftwaffe ruin your day!" They were being told, "take shelter, and turn out your lights.

You're seriously comparing two criminals running around (using, admittedly, significant ordinance) to having enemy bombers overhead?

Taking reasonable precautions is certainly appropriate during a known attack. Shutting down the city because there might be some further incident is an entirely dissimilar category.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 1) 604

It's the internet, you don't have to pretend to be a tough guy - we don't care. This was not a response to the bombing on Monday and your concern trolling is a bit overdone.

I'm no tough guy -- but I live my principals on this.

When I lived in San Jose, I walked the "bad" parts of town, at night, alone. I do the same today in East Austin (and, to distinguish this from random "Internet Tough Guy" talk -- I play Ingress, so if you go through the trouble to look me up, you can verify the portals I own, and that the resonator spacing is consistently better than is reasonably achievable from a car). I'll do the same in the next place I live. And as I said, I'm no tough guy -- my fiancee (a tiny disabled woman) has a long history of putting assailants in the hospital, but I don't.

The point I'm making is that I'm not spouting things I don't believe for the sake of trolling. I genuinely believe that the Right Thing to do to make urban spaces safer (to the extent that their safety isn't sorely underestimated already, which is my principal thesis) is to act as if they're safe and encourage others to do the same... and that the right way to deal with dangerous attention-seekers is through good old-fashioned police work... while the rest of the populace keeps calm, and carries on.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 1) 604

You've done the math on one side; how about we do it on the other?

Boston is 625,000 people. Asking all of them to stay home for a day is 1,736 person-years of productivity lost (more, actually, because this isn't scaled to workdays but to days in a year overall) -- before taking into account network effects (people who relied on or used services from Bostonians).

Over a thousand person-years of effort is not so trivial a thing as to be beyond questioning. To be sure, the individuals who were killed or maimed had it far, far worse... but the impact goes beyond them, and that is in no small part a result of official overreaction.

(What I haven't touched on, but others have, is that demonstrating that we, as a people, have a large knee-jerk reaction to these events encourages other suicidal attention-seekers to follow a similar course... but I'll leave that discussion to happen in other threads).

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 1) 604

The lockdown was a minor inconvenience compared to those who lost their limbs.

Multiply an inconvenience by hundreds of thousands or millions, and you've got something substantially more. At risk of being accused of further trivialization, I'm going to recall a quote by Steve Jobs:

"Well, let's say you can shave 10 seconds off of the boot time. Multiply that by five million users and thats 50 million seconds, every single day. Over a year, that's probably dozens of lifetimes. So if you make it boot ten seconds faster, you've saved a dozen lives. That's really worth it, don't you think?"

Keeping a sense of scale is important in multiple directions. Amount of impact to a single individual is one axis; number of individuals involved is the other. Neither stands alone.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 1) 604

Civil panic being "Please stay indoors while we finish chasing down the other person who did this to your loved ones"?

That's an example, yes.

I -- and my better half as well -- love city life. High-density urban living is often much maligned, but the world is full of people, and people are interesting creatures, with interesting habits and habitats. Society is, on the whole, a resilient thing, and it works better when people get out, interact, and have a (cautious) modicum of trust for each other. So yes -- it would dishonor my memory, or hers, for a city to be brought to a standstill on either of our behalves.

Shutting down a city's public spaces destroys trust, not only in the essential decency and resiliency of the community, but also in the basic safety of those public spaces. Shutting down commerce harms everyone -- and it's not for you to say what's a small way and what's big; if someone who's paid by the hour misses their rent, it's no small matter to them. And to what end?

When you make these deaths worth going to any end for, you say that these people are better, more important than those whose deaths happen less spectacularly, even when similarly untimely or undeserved. I, for one, would rather know that however I go, my time was spent building a strong, resilient society and community -- one that trusts in the essential decency of others and is too strong and self-assured for needless fear.

Comment Re: Slippery slope. (Score 4, Interesting) 604

I just cringe at the thought of someone who's life was affected reading some of the comments in this discussion.

Far more lives were affected by the lockdown than by the bombing itself. Who are these hypothetical "someone"s you speak of? The victims' families?

You can't predict an individual's reaction any more than I can -- I can only predict my own. I'll tell you this: Civil panic would be a horrible way to "honor" the death of one of my loved ones. Speaking only for myself -- the only person I can speak for -- I would find no offense, and perhaps even some small glimmer of comfort, in my community and country opting to follow the British war slogan: "Keep calm, and carry on".

Comment Re:How about Python or something? (Score 2) 245

The author of python even stated that he designed python for web hacking

I'll have to ask you to back that up. Python 1.0 is from 1994, and didn't have much by way of specialized facilities for this purpose. Sure you aren't thinking of PHP?

Anyhow, if you care about "type systems and formalism", you should be on Haskell; Java is distinctly half-assed. (Type-erasure generics? Really?!)

Comment Re:The only ones who win are the lawyers. (Score 2) 132

If true, you should have patented it and then made if available on a perpetual royal-free unconditional basis. Otherwise someone else could patent it and abuse that patent.

First, getting that patent through the system is a lot of expense.

Second, publishing prevents someone else from patenting a later invention of same.

Comment Re:it is in enforceable in at least US, UK, Austra (Score 1) 153

Excellent post, raymorris. Though one thing I wanted to bring up is that I believe there might be rare circumstances where you can sue to enforce a unilateral promise. An example might be someone publically pledging to donate a large sum of money to a charity. Say, if a corporation pledged to donate five million dollars to a hospital to build a build a new maternity ward. If that hospital reasonably believed the pledge and started engaging contractors to build it but the corporatin then withdrew the promise. As best as I understand, that hospital could sue to compel the corporation to deliver on its pledge or at the very least pay damages to the hospital amounting to the money the hospital spent when it reasonably believed the corporation's pledge. I believe that can happen in the US or am I mistaken?

That lines up with what I learned in my (US) business law course a decade ago, which explicitly covered the topic. Not a lawyer, not legal advice, YMMV, etc.

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