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Comment Stealth became a necessary tactic (Score 4, Insightful) 197

Other aliens out there may have discovered what we haven't yet figured out:

Not everyone in the universe is nice.

Having a whole bunch of radio signals emanating from your planet is like saying "rob me! rape me! kill me!" to any wandering castoffs from alien civilization.

It might not even be organized military action; only pirates, or serial killers, or even just disaffected artists with a flesh fetish.

Comment Biological validation (Score 1) 538

There's going to be a shift from passwords in general. Not only are they often insecure, but there's no verification that the person typing in the password is the user who owns it.

No, we're going to switch to biological means. This will be more secure, but as a side effect, there will be more assaults in which the eye/finger/penis is removed and used to gain access to these bio-protected systems.

Comment Don't use your real information, unless... (Score 1) 245

There is only one time when you use real information: when you're paying for a service and it has a vested interest in keeping your information off the open internet.

Otherwise, it's time to fill in the B.S. Think of your best friend as a child, and a common object around the house. Those terms are your first name and last respectively.

- Dave Paperweight

Comment A better analogy (Score 1) 270

Actually, to look at it more clearly, you're arguing for people to create objectionable speech. I'm suggesting that it will change society in ways that may not be positive. To a bigot, their preaching of bigotry (let's pick a neutral target and say they are bigoted against global warming) is harmless to you. You, on the other hand, don't want to live in a society where that is the norm.

Comment I don't always agree with him but find him valid. (Score 1) 129

Let's hold up a bit. Whether or not he's wrong, I think the type of thinking he does is useful here.

Our entire society is detail-obsessed and linear thinking obsessed. Hazelton offers another view, which is a top-down analysis based on a high level of abstraction. If new ideas are going to emerge, they're going to come from this process, not more churning through details based on past precedent.

I think what he's doing here is quite valid. Markets need some regulation; that's clear, and as much as I'd like to agree with my libertarian friends, I can't stomach the idea of a world following the ethics of fast food and television, which is what would result with pure consumer markets.

However, it's important to make sure that regulation doesn't screw up the process of the markets themselves, and I think Hazelton's analysis here shows a good way to think about that kind of problem.

Whether or not I think he's wrong in this instance has no bearing on the validity of his inquiries as a whole.

Comment I think highly of Finland. (Score 1) 270

Note also that the Finnish Freedom of Expression protects you against censorship by anyone. The U.S. equivalent protects you only against censorship by the Government.

Thank you for that addition. It's an important point. In the US, anyone with enough popularity can lobby for their propaganda to be taught in schools, which then causes large interest groups to drown out legitimate opinions.

It reminds me of something Stephen Pinker said in The Blank Slate, or maybe it was Socrates in The Republic. When something gets repeated enough, it builds inertia because people are personally terrified of not being part of the trend, and yet aren't brave enough to speak their minds otherwise, which is the one thing that could deliver them from their terror.

Comment You don't know what you're talking about. (Score 1) 270

False dichotomy and reductio ad absurdium in one post.

Neither fits the form. Now you're arguing like an AOLer.

All the kinky porn in the world won't harm anyone (unless they were harmed in the filming...and didn't want that).

If ABC news dedicated its resources to publishing nothing but Nazi propaganda, and started gaining in popularity, would you have the same view?

Comment Again with the arbitrary argument. (Score 1) 270

Why should you get your society where what you don't want is not allowed, but not others shouldn't get their own version?

Because it's not arbitrary. Some things work better than others. A society of obese people is going to have health problems.

Further, you could argue that we need to break up into sub-societies for people to have their own standards. But that sounds awful like the states' rights argument the Confederates were advancing.

Comment Confusing consequential decisions with shopping (Score 0) 270

Now this is getting silly:

Pickup trucks are perfectly legal; does that make them government-recommended?

Decisions that affect the health of a society are different from the type of mundane shopping decision you're arguing. Do you really think drug use is on par with what type of car you drive?

So what would be the social consequences?

The main consequence is that it determines what type of society you live in: does it have standards and values, or not?

That's not how a free society works, because everyone wants something different out of society. A lot of people want a society without black people, but they don't have the freedom to live in a society without black people.

I think you're confused here as well. The point of a free society is that you're not compelled to do things against your values. That doesn't mean there are no rules or standards. If anything, you've shown why our society has become "un-free" with the adoption of forced pluralism.

Comment Not much different than the 1st Amendment. (Score 1) 270

In substance, not much different than the original 1st amendment:

Everyone has the freedom of expression. Freedom of expression entails the right to express, disseminate and receive information, opinions and other communications without prior prevention by anyone.

Basically, you can express any idea you want, no matter how unpopular.

It has never had any bearing on pornography, which isn't an idea. It's just entertainment.

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