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Comment Panopticon (Score 1) 1018

Basically Wikileaks is trying to change the world so that we are so afraid of things we do in private being revealed that we don't do anything bad. They are doing this in the name of the public, and there is something to that, but they don't seem to care if they are crossing the lines between appropriately private matters and ones where the light of day would do significant public good. They absolve themselves of responsibility by adopting a pretty much filterless approach to revelation. There are great costs accompanying the benefits they provide, and though in the grand balance they may have done more good than harm so far, the magnitude of the stakes could tip the scale the other way very quickly.

Comment Re:The amounts are outrageous (Score 2, Insightful) 764

But the message is crystal clear. You can't legally COPY someones work and especially you can't share it.
I'm a writer and I want to get paid for copies of what I write. NO ONE has a right to take my work and
share it with others or copy it without paying. I have every right to expect that what I write IS MINE
TO SELL or give away - but it's MINE.

If you never show it to anybody, it is absolutely yours. If you show it, or distribute it, it is no longer yours in an ownership sense. Copyright is an artificial and temporary right which is granted only as incentive for you to share your creations.

Technically, you don't want to get paid for copies of what you write. You just want to get paid for doing what you like. It just so happens that getting paid for copies of your product is the primary economic mechanism for this compensation in your case. And it is (arguably) worth preserving this mechanism, but not necessarily at the cost of arming abusive corporations so that they can chug along sucking up the lion's share of money derived from OTHER PEOPLE'S creations, while they stifle personal liberty, social and educational commentary, and technological innovation.

I am not a big fan of illegal file sharing, but the *AA have taken advantage of the situation to push a reprehensible agenda.

Comment MOD PARENT UP (Score 1) 313

The best way to avoid terrorism is to live in fear all the time.

Of course, private business could generate just as much fear as the government, but with much lower cost to the private citizen...

Support deprivatization of the fear industry!

Brilliant. Truly brilliant

Comment Re:LiveSQL (Score 1) 78

Interesting idea. Basically would need to establish event triggers on relevant tables. Should also be able to invalidate results that were previously found, and provide updates as well. Would require a lot of memory to persist enough information about the previous results that you don't end up with duplicates. I'll try and check in when you actually have a site.

Comment Re:GPL (Score 1) 154

IANAL, but if you transfer the copyright, they are free to reuse without a license so the version you transfer can still be used by anyone under the GPL, but they are free to modify as needed without any "viral infection". All the same, it would probably still be unacceptable to the lawyers drafting the rules.

Comment What was the question? (Score 1) 1268

The problem is that it is not stated directly what the question is that is being asked, so students are required to infer what the question is. Unfortunately, they just assume the "=" implies a question is "what is 4 + 3 + 2?" since that is the sort of question they are used to being asked. They are probably not used to (a) seeing an equality as a "statement", and (b) inferring from the hole in that statement that there is an implicit question as to what would fill in that hole to make it true.

It's a very easy leap for me, and probably always has been, but for my second-grade son on the autism spectrum it is a nearly insurmountable leap of logic. Our local school system works very hard to encourage this conceptual thinking in math, but at least for my son that is making it even harder for him to shore up the basics.

All that to say, I can understand how this state of affairs could come to be, but am sad to see that middle school kids in general are not exposed to enough logic and inference.

Comment Cultural abuse? (Score 2, Insightful) 629

By your argument, raising your children within a culture of any sort could be an "abuse of human nature and damages your free will to an extent that is [irreparable]". Religion is just a peculiar sort of culture which is entwined with, but not at all synonymous with, spirituality. As such, it generally does have a stronger impact than, say, what type of music you listen to, but it is still ultimately a culture issue. We all are influenced by our origins, and make choices as a result. Life in the long run is largely about progressing from that origin to a better place, often requiring that we recognize that our free will is not as "damaged" as we think, no matter what we have gone through. Granted, there are exceedingly many examples where religion is used as a cudgel to beat down free will, and it leads people to make horrible choices, and woe to those who wield such weapons. I do not mean in any way to excuse such actual abuse. But you overstate the case that "making" someone into a Christian or Muslim or Jew is in and of itself abusive.

I for one view myself as a Christian (culturally) who pursues Jesus as a spiritual choice. I know plenty of people who share one of the two labels above but not both. I don't advocate abolishing all Christian or religious cultures, but I am totally on board with loosening the coupling between religious cultures and spiritual choices because in the end it will only be good for people.

Comment Re:Metastable Flip flops still have bias (Score 1) 395

As pointed out elsewhere, 50/50 split is not so important, since that just impacts the % distribution of outcomes and can be corrected for. However, acheiving metastability without bias from the previous stable state is tricky, and as you mentioned tricks with the power supplies can make a huge difference.

Comment Re:Do I have it (Score 2, Interesting) 171

I think you have a high bar for what a "meaningful" level of ASD would be. My son is (as far as the spectrum goes) very high functioning, but it's impact is tremendously meaningful. And my experience is that this end of the spectrum is not a small group at all. It seems to be the broader end of the spectrum, at least as current diagnostic trends seem to me to indicate. As for the clinical relevance, certainly odds are small that this particular drug will be of use for a wide range of ASD sufferers, but I think progress on one aspect of the spectrum at least fills out the picture of this poorly understood class of disorders.

I don't think medical science can "define" autism as uncurable, though it might currently list it in that category. I disagree that the concept of curing it is nonsensical, but it would certainly be along the lines of "curing" amputation, i.e. it would take some serious neurological rewiring to accomplish what could reasonably be considered a cure. And that is certainly beyond the pale of current medicine, but at least for the milder cases like my son's, I have some hope that (should he need and desire it) such a treatment would be available within his lifetime.

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