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Comment Re:Do we really need new books? or new TV (Score 1) 405

So what's the point in making more? Either TV or books. The amount we have seems to be sufficient for our needs

And what are our needs? If it's merely "something to put in front of our eyes for momentary distraction", sure, there's more than enough. If it's "something that speaks to the human condition as it exists today, that evokes an aesthetic experience, that's a different matter.

Also, of course, there is the joy and reward of having created something. I hope to sell a lot of copies of my book, but even if it never sells more that 100 copies I learned a tremendous amount in the process of writing it.

Comment Re:One drop rule? (Score 0) 250

I am pretty sure the problem can be traced all the way back to the inequality in public schools.

Of course there's no inequality in private schools. Right.

I don;t think Google and other companies like Google would be begging for more H1B visas to hire more minorities from other countries if they were racist.

Non sequitur. American slaver owners were racist but were happy to have more Africans imported into the country to enslave.

Any unnecessary discrimination would be cutting into their bottom line.

Not at all. In a racist and sexist environment, where folks who are not white males are generally underpaid compared to us white guys, a company maximizes profits by continuing that underpayment, perhaps just doing it slightly less than their competition. ("The industry average is that Group A are underpaid by X%. Amalgamated Profits Inc. only underpays Group A by (0.9*X)%, so as a member of Group A boy am I glad to have a job here.")

Comment Re:A relic of spinning rust (Score 1) 521

Now, with faster HDDs and even better SSDs, making "save" a separate, user-triggered operation doesn't make much sense.

Of course it does. "Save" means "commit the set of changes I have made to this file". It's all well and good to have an separate auto-save (preferably incremental and saving several versions) to back up my work, but if I do a bunch of edits and then decide that I don't like the result and want to start over, I'm going to be pissed if I find that some moronic developer has destroyed my original document without my direction to do so.

I think the real shocker is why applications still have a 3 1/2" floppy disk as the save icon. It's just an anachronism now.

So is the light bulb icon used in many contexts, the phone handset icon on your phone, videocamera icons that look like 1990s camcorders, video playing software with a film icon...

Comment Re:The Problem Isn't "Free Speech vs Privacy" (Score 2) 278

If your ability to earn a living can be taken away because of something you said or did, even though what you did is perfectly legal and you broke no laws, and even though you weren't at work when you said or did it, then you have effectively created a society where there is no free speech.

Nope. You've confused "freedom of speech" with "freedom from consequences." When you say hateful and vile things about a group of people,whether you're on or off the clock when you say them, no one in that group can work effectively with you. They know, after all, that your opinions don't change when you come into the office.

To take a recent example, Brendan Eich has the right to say and believe whatever bigoted nonsense he wants. Others have the right to say "fuck you" and choose not to associate with him as a result of that. If those people's free choices mean he can't do a certain job and so he doesn't get the job he wants, cry me a river; I can't get the job I want either. (I keep looking but no one is offering a six-figure salary to be a subject for hedonic engineering studies but no one's hiring.)

Comment Re:Finally! (Score 1) 137

Essentially a lot of women got jobs because the family needed the money, not because they read "the second sex", or because Gloria Steinhem existed.

Except that's not the matter in question. Could a woman in 1950 get a job? Sure. As a secretary, or a nurse, or a kindergarten teacher. The feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s opened the door to women taking employment on an equal basis with men. Of course that job's not done yet; and there are elements of the feminism movement that have gotten distracted with misandrist and authoritarian bullshit (both before and after the 60s and 70s), but that doesn't change the progress that has happened because of feminism.

You can disagree if you like, and that's fine, but having a different opinion on where change comes isn't un-educated.

When your opinion is at odds with historical facts,yes, that's ipso facto uneducated.

Comment Re:For it (Score 1) 475

For the same reason that someone who makes 10 minutes of local calls on their landline pays the same as someone who makes 200 minutes of local calls.

With a landline, if you only make 10 minutes of calls per month, you can often get a "metered" rate and save money. I'd do this in a second if Verizon still offered POTS here, but they don't; only FiOS based voice service, so I replaced my POTS landline with a second cellphone.

And with that second cellphone, since I only make a few minutes of calls per month, I got a prepaid plan that charges by the minute and saved money.

I don't have a problem with broadband providers having less expensive plans for limited use. The problem is imposing ridiculously low usage caps on plans that were formerly billed as unlimited

Comment Re:Tears of a clown (Score 1) 149

Someone else will come along and compete with them.

How do folks like you manage to so completely ignore observational evidence? It is a natural talent or a learned skill?

He never advocates to eliminate the government enforced monopoly status

High speed telecommunications needs wires, cables, or waveguides. That means access to land. Access to land means permission of governments: it is governments that turn land into "property".

The telecom infrastructure is a public good like roads, rails, the water and sewer system, and the electric grid. Ideas of competition simply do not apply. If you don't find the sort of pants you want in the market, you can go start making your own and compete; if you don't like the railways, you can't start laying down tracks next to Amtrak's and Conrail's. We can recognize that and do things sensibly, with public ownership or a heavily regulated monopoly; or we can have the sort of corrupt and counterproductive bullshit that marked the start of the railroad age and which currently infects telecomm in the U.S.

Comment Re:It's not "Han shoots FIRST"! (Score 2) 210

First implies an order.

First can also imply pre-emption. A nuclear first strike, for example, is intended to knock out the other guy's arsenal so that there is no counter, no second attack.

First can mean "before some other thing, event, etc.: If you're going, phone first." Or "[b]efore or above all others in time, order, rank, or importance: arrived first; forgot to light the oven first.". Or "[b]efore anything else; firstly. Clean the sink first, before you even think of starting to cook..

"Han shot first" is quite grammatically correct.

Comment Re:Its time to move on (Score 2) 210

Like it or not, George Lucas never wanted Han to shoot first.

1977 Lucas did, and wrote the script and made the film that way. The guy who changed the film, 1997 Lucas, had the edge and artistic integrity that 1977 Lucas had.

It's unfortunate that 1997 Lucas can screw with the work of 1977 Lucas.

Maybe we should all get over it.

Or maybe we should try to preserve a work of art against the deprivations of corporate scum, and of screenwriters and directors who lose their talent.

Comment misapplied mathematics (Score 5, Insightful) 426

One of the most profound advances in bullshitting in recent years is the way researchers from a variety of fields are beginning to misuse mathematical terms in order to give their ideas a facade of intellectual responsibility. Since no one has yet come up with an agreed-upon definition of what this "consciousness" is as an objective observable phenomenon, trying to talk about it in mathematical terms is nothing more than intellectual masturbation.

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