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Comment Re:Oh, the surprise. (Score 1) 800

A tough choice; and an irrelevant one. I'd trust either of them more than, say, Andrew Jackson. This is an important precedant, and it doesn't matter who I'd rather have making the call; these calls will indubitably be made in the future by a president I trust substantially less than Bush or Obama. Who makes them now doesn't matter.

"It's bad civic hygiene to build the apparatus of a police state" -- Bruce Schneier

Comment Re:Just because the bubbles are different... (Score 1) 187

There's a big distinction between coercive and noncoercive social/governmental pressure. Is there pressure to conform? Yes. To take the society's goals as our own? Yes. It's based on our nature as herd critters. But there's a huge difference between recognizing the existence of social pressure (an inevitable in any society) and attempting to force people to abide by the social norm. I'll admit there are many examples of that in Western countries. Every where from Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant in Canada, to Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, folks have been prosecuted for stepping too far outside the 'social norm'. (The US has been remarkably resistant to that, due to a fairly strict interpretation of the first amendment.)

But there is a massive quantitative difference between enforcement like NK, and enforcement like Canada. I think both are qualitatively abominable, and I agree they stem from the same human urge to enforce conformity seen in classroom bullies the world around. But I don't think the Western bubble is really comparable, because the coercion is the exception, rather than the norm. Indeed, we even pride ourselves on how far we go to accommodate radically different ideas.

I guess I'm just saying it's a completely different system when the primary pressure to conform is internal (social) rather than external (coercion).

And no, Aaron Swartz isn't a counter example. Copyright law is idea-agnostic, and so is nonbiasing on ideological bubbles.

Comment Re:Information bubble in the USA too? (Score 1) 187

You want to suggest Voyage from Yesteryear as a suggestion for moving beyond what we have? What we have is a massive set of economic and psychological data which predict humans will never respond en masse like they do in that book. Is it possible we're just measuring some sort of inherited culture we could break from if only we could get a generation away from us to think on their own? Not really. Cultures have been abandoned repeatedly, for centuries, and never developed anything similar.

Furthermore, it posits unlimited resources. While possible, it's quite unlikely any time soon. Even granted that though, it completely neglects information cost! Even if raw materials and labor are practically limitless, the knowledge about what is worth having and what isn't is worth something. That knowledge must be transmitted somehow. Currently, it's in prices. In an unlimited resource society, it will still be prices. There is no evidence that anything else is remotely as efficient, and quite a bit that lots of specific other things aren't.

If by the US's 'ideological bubble' you mean a grounding in the observable and measurable, I aim to never escape it! I want to spread that bubble to encompass the world, that they may taste of fruit of knowledge! This is the foundation of science; no amount of wishful thinking is preferable.

Comment Re:Where is the profit (Score 1) 187

Try reading the Declaration a bit more closely.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal,
That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,
That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

Secure. Similar to protect. Not meaning provide, grant or give.

You cannot secure something which does not already exist. The rights governments (according to the authors) are instituted to protect are clearly preexisting, unlike rights to food, water, or other provision which does not and cannot exist without government of some form.

Similarly, "Promote the general welfare" does not imply "Provide for the needs of the public." It means exactly what it says, to promote our general welfare through protection of rights, enforcement of laws, and redress of grievances. The general welfare is promoted by any well-ordered government, regardless of whether it institutes a policy of provision for the unfortunate.

Comment Re:Closed Room + Faraday Cage (Score 1) 328

Trite phrases become trite through exhaustively correcting common errors. If the error wasn't common, or (more to the point) wasn't actually an error, it wouldn't be trite.

So, no, the plural of trite phrases is not rebuttal. But when the phrase in question is a rebuttal, then the triteness is irrelevant; it's still a rebuttal.

But if you want a slightly more long-winded rebuttal, here you go:

Statistics never prove anything. Seriously. At their best, when properly applied, they can tell you how likely something is to be true. In this case, what we'd like to know is if this guy's abnormally good play was simply a fluke. The best statistics can tell us is that there is an X% chance it wasn't. We have good data on the population of his previous plays, so, given an objective measure for the goodness of moves, we can tell a good bit about the distribution, and get a reasonable estimate of the probablity of playing one excellent (grandmaster-level) move. So we can give an estimate for how much of an outlier his play actually was. As far as the "we shut off the cameras and he started playing normally", that's pure anecdote. Correlation in a sample size of two is utterly useless in demonstrating anything. Now, if you toggled it off and on and off and on, and got a dozen data points, it might be helpful. But as it stands, all you can say is he started playing the most probable moves again at around the same time. That in no way counters the possibility that his good play was merely a statistical anomaly; it's imply the expected behavior, until your sample set is large enough to show correlation

Comment Re:Plus, Dassault Systemes (Score 1) 372

Autocad - that's a semi-professional thing as compared to NX and CATIA.

Nuts. Autocad is THE premier 2D CAD package. It's not quite as good as, say Solidworks, for 3D, but it's definitely professional. Whereas NX is the clumsiest, brokenest piece of CAD software I've ever had the privileged of being forced to use. Professional or no, NX can't hold a light to the better CAD packages.

Comment Re:The major difference is the applications (Score 1) 372

Bricscad (based on the Intellicad fork of Autocad) runs on Linux. In some ways it isn't quite as good as Autocad or the better Intellicads for Windows (eg. Cadopia). In others though, it's better. For instance, it allows exporting to truly ancient DWG versions, which can really help exchanging files with customers, etc.

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