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Comment Rational Economic Behavior (Score 4, Insightful) 298

WWU isn't in business to educate kids; they're in it to stay in business, and liberal arts majors vastly outnumber technical majors. In trying economic times, the money sinks are going to be the first to go.

As for the utterly irrational economic policies that have resulted in scores of directionless kids heading to college and picking the easier majors, distorting the market for technical degrees and leaving us with bottomless piles of college-educated baristas, well... I don't know where I'm going with any of this.

America: We're getting what we deserve.

Comment Re:Why the password? (Score 1) 434

I'll drink to that.

I rarely if ever have something to contribute to the discussion here, but I keep coming back because I am almost guaranteed to find at least one good debate among the comments in any given story that allows me to study both sides of an argument and come to a much better opinion than I might on my own.

Slashdot is one of the internet's last strongholds of popular and accessible but deep technical discussions... that I know of.

Comment Re:And so (Score 1) 346

First off, you meant hypothesis, considering your "theory" lacks any supporting experimental data.

Second, it's been demonstrated that HFCS is processed through different metabolic pathways in the liver than sucrose and that our large acute doses of HFCS specifically overload these pathways and get preferentially converted to fat.

There's many more reasons why HFCS metabolism differs from that of sucrose in damaging ways, but it's Christmas and I've got things to do. Stop spreading your contrarian bullshit and educate yourself.

Comment Re:The scourge of mankind (Score 2) 161

Considering the frequency of dopamine-related mutations in humans that seem to require dopaminergic drugs for treatment (And our culture's current paralyzing fear of dopaminergics), it seems far too early to label tobacco a universal scourge.

How many murders or confrontations in general have been prevented by a dose of nicotine? How many suicides prevented due to its acute antidepressant effects? It's very difficult to quantify nicotine's benefits, and its negative effects are much more visible.

Not that I imagine you're anything more than a garden variety insecure ego looking for his crutch to feel better than others. Smokers are an easy group to target.

Comment Re:Search engine rankings for legitimate sites (Score 1) 175

I think you just clarified a lot of similar but muddy thoughts for me.

I was thinking I just romanticized the past of the internet where I was hitting new and unheard of domain names every day to find awesome in-depth websites on whatever subject I was searching for, but I don't think I'm doing so to excess.

Much of the internet's information has been centralized on these monolithic info clearinghouses, but it's just so... sterile, and Google is obviously to blame by putting far more emphasis on the generic popular website than the specialized and relatively unknown one.

The question is how does anyone, even Google, fix this? I have no clue myself.

Perhaps we need a... oh God I hate myself for using this word... a crowdsourced sort of Google. Make every indexed page taggable and votable. Except that just skyrocketed the value of botnets. Yeah I got nothing.

Comment Transparent Agenda (Score 4, Insightful) 176

Disclaimer: I'm just a paranoid stoner.

As someone involved with that habit and lifestyle, it's easy to notice the government's quite profitable agenda of socially marginalizing and exploiting parts of the population. Incentivize "proper" social conduct with the various perks of society with tools like credit scores and background checks, using jail as the stick when carrots fail to sufficiently motivate.

The x-strike laws strike me as a particularly transparent attempt to maintain this status quo. The internet has lead to the creation of online communities for just about every "unsavory" hobby, habit, or problem you could think of. The "wrong" people are no longer socially isolated; Legalization movements are making record progress; Government is losing control.

Somewhere at the top, someone finally realized the decentralized nature of the internet means standard models of exercising authority fall short. How to reassert control? Convince society of the necessity of elevating the internet to the level of the "gated community home, SUV, and health insurance," you know, out of the hands of those filthy subhumans who live outside the walls.

Copyright makes sense as the first step. Everyone already agrees on the vital role companies like the RIAA play in our economy, so we must take the privilege of internet from those who dare jeopardize its profits. Then, once it's socially acceptable to deny someone "the internet" for copyright violations, the floodgates are opened to deny it to anyone who displeases the powers that be. Internet privilege denial will become as standard a punishment as revoking a teen's driver's license is for almost any infraction these days.

"But Spazntwich," you say,"The internet is ubiquitous! You can't possibly prevent someone from getting on the internet!"
Of course you can't. Just like the government can't even keep drugs out of its own prisons. Ineffectiveness of a law has never been a reason to overturn one.

The internet's universal nature plays right into their hands. Any infraction, intentional or otherwise (remember citizen, ignorance is never an excuse!), will be a violation of probation/parole and place one back at the mercy of the authorities. Right where they want you.

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