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Comment Re:What year is this? (Score 1) 559

Revolution; and then true socialism

Unfortunately, the traditional Marxist-Lenist mechanics of winning a violent revolution tends to make achieving actual socialism difficult.

First you have to get a few billion people murderously angry with their neighbours and sisters and brothers; then you have to set up a centralised command-authority to make all those murderously angry people kill the right people and not the wrong ones, and train them how to kill efficiently and without moral qualms; then you have to deploy that command authority to take a burned out, smoking wreck of a world filled with well-trained, still murderously angry but now hungry killers, and make them not kill you. Easiest way to do that is to intimidate them by being really nasty, nastier than the old government they got angry enough with to overthrow.

Congratulations! Now you've got a world filled with smoking wreckage and scared, emotionally scarred angry people who are good at lying to your face so you don't kill them, but who still remember how much better things were before the revolution and the civil war. And now you get to use those people to create an open, loving, honest, trusting society where everyone does things for everyone else out of the goodness of their heart.

Good luck!

Comment Re:What year is this? (Score 1) 559

If a replicating machine can produce anything at will, the obvious first step is to have them produce more replicating machines.

Yes, we've had those for a few billion years; they're called lifeforms. They run on water and sunlight, and put together they make this wondrous technological fabric we call an ecosystem.

Hey, guess what! We already live in an entire post-scarcity nanotech-run planet! And yet, somehow, we still seem to want stuff. And our assemblers often run amok and compete for feedstocks, or try to eat us.

Why do we think that crude low-resolution self-assemblers that run on metal and plastic and electricity are going to be significantly more efficient or tractable to design and deploy than the bio-nanotech we already have?

Comment Re:What year is this? (Score 1) 559

Our economy is a giant high pass filter. Things that happen too rapidly directly affect day to day life. slow changes are not really noticeable.

This is an important point and is true not only of the economy but many other complex systems, including the environment, cities, and climate. Slow changes are fine; fast changes cause stress, and the faster the change the worse the trauma.

This is also true when we look at history. It doesn't go in a straight line, it goes in bursts of disruption and adaptation. Many of the major suck-points in history, that we look back at and think of as normal for that time, weren't in fact normal - they were traumatic responses to abnormal periods of rapid change. Dickensian London with its rapid influx of industrial workers into suddenly growing cities; times of war, plague and crop failure; the period of huge migrations that crashed the Western Roman Empire. All of these were changes that stressed a social system beyond its adaptation points and eventually provoked a new adaptation - but not without major grief.

Tapping your chest with a bullet won't hurt. Getting hit by that bullet at the speed of sound, will give you a very bad day. It's all in the kinetic energy, the speed of the change.

Comment Re:it was mostly hype, man... (Score 1) 103

We go to asteroids and the moon and we *fucking mine that shit*

And once we have it, what do we do with it?

Getting space ore down to Earth in a rocket cargo hold will pay off only if it's solid gold/platinum, last I checked the ballpark numbers.

De-orbiting entire asteroids the cheap way is not particularly fun for those near the impact site.

Leaving it in space for colonists to build with literally begs the question: what would be the economic reason those people to live in space? To mine more stuff so they can build more homes for more miners? That's a nice pyramid scheme, but we can already run those cheaply on Earth.

Comment Re:Virtualize the environment (Score 2) 953

Take an image of the workstation running XP, convert it to a virtual machine. Take your new Windows 7 Machine, load up VMWare.. and tada.. you're running in a more secure, easy to manage virtual XP environment which you can keep protected and unchanged for years to come.

Might work if there's no hardware involved. If there is... I'd give 50-50 odds that even under VMware it will still fail.

These people don't write these things to standards. That's the whole problem. If they did it'd already just work under Windows 7 and wouldn't need virtualising.

Comment Re:Disable Networking (Score 1) 953

Prevent those few computers that are running the program from touching the Internet in anyway. No networking services, web, email, ... or anything else. Make them strictly one function standalone devices.

Yep, that's the only real solution. There are some cases where virtualisation simply doesn't work, and that's when you just have to bite the bullet, give them a physical XP box, and yank the wall cable.

And hope nobody ever accidentally plugs one in, ever.

Comment Re:Should run on Win7 (Score 5, Informative) 953

No need to upgrade to new software, it should run on Win7. There are multiple ways to configure compatibility.

"Should" is most certainly not "will". There's a piece of somewhat exotic medical hardware I have the misfortune of knowing which has drivers which only work on XP - mostly because it uses an extremely cheap and badly designed anti-piracy dongle. And no, it does not run on Windows 7 with compatibility mode, and no, it does not run in Virtual PC either. Because dongle.

(Because when a piece of hardware costs $10,000 and up, and the software which connects to it is utterly useless without that expensive hardware - because it's basically just a dial showing a readout - of course a practical use of programer time is to add an extra pointless $1 anti-piracy hardware component to stop the millions of free copies which will soon flood the intertubes. Sigh.)

Anyway, tldr, yes, this is a huge problem in medical (or any special-purpose, critical-path) software. It's written by a hybrid of Ebenezer Scrooge and Bizarro Iron Man. Exorbitantly expensive, cheaply written, full of edge cases and bugs, hugely dependent on the manufacturer's support whims, will only run or be supported on extremely vanilla OS, and built without any concept of security or ability to work with a patching plan.

And then there's actual "security" software, that runs cameras and such, and if anything that's worse.

Comment Re:tell me again (Score 1) 1105

Guess it's too soon to make points that, if someone wants to kill other people, they can do it no matter what is legal or illegal?

Let's investigate that logic.

Since what works between individuals ought to work between states, then it's obvious that any country that wants to attack another country with nuclear weapons will do it whether or not they are legal or illegal, so let's abandon all international nuclear proliferation frameworks and hand out plutonium pellets in the UN lobby like candy.

Oops. Perhaps, after all, there is a difference between wanting to commit a crime and having the ready means available to do it efficiently?

Let's try that logic from the other side.

If someone wants to kill, they will do it with or without a gun, using a knife or a baseball bat.
Therefore, it's obvious that guns are exactly as efficient killing weapons as baseball bats.
Therefore therefore, anyone being attacked by a thug with a gun only needs to display a baseball bat and the thug will run.
Therefore therefore therefore, nobody ever needs to buy any more guns. All gun stores can convert to sporting goods stores, and people will be exactly as safe as before. The firearms industry and large chunks of military defense contractors, can close down overnight, saving the US citizen and taxpayer millions of dollars.


Hope that helps! You can send me the cheque for solving the sequester crisis later.

Comment Re:tell me again (Score 1) 1105

So far as the Benghazi incident didn't prompt calls for immediate changes in domestic policy like Sandy Hook did, have you considered that might be because Benghazi isn't in the USA so there's fuck all changes to domestic policy that would be relevant to "preventing the next Benghazi"?

Of course, when it comes to foreign policy, it's possible that if the US military stopped trying to covertly smuggle arms through 'peaceful' embassies to Al-Qaeda-affilliated terrorist factions in Syria in direct contravention of the international antiterrorism treaties they themselves set up, then the other side might stop treating those 'diplomatic' bases as the illegal military bases they actually are.

But strangely the Republicans don't seem concerned about that Benghazi scandal.

Comment Re:My theory (Score 1) 1010

My question was..."Who turns their computers off these days?

Anyone who doesn't want to be spied on 24/7?

The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

Comment Re:not a complete success (Score 1) 245

idiots who concatenated strings instead of using string builders, and similar abuses of common sense

Hmm. In many languages, string concatenation is simply string concatenation. Possibly a language which artificially creates two separate ways of handling strings - and not the user's "ignorance" of this baroque mechanism - is actually the thing which is violating common sense?

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