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Comment Narcissism? (Score 1) 379

Quite honestly, and this question can be asked about bloggers, facebook users, twitter feeds and quite a few people that published memoirs over time, I wonder what makes someone think their life is so earth-shatteringly interesting that they need to record it all for posterity.

The average life contains a lot of very, very dreary and dull moments. In between the interesting bits, insofar as there are any, most of us lead a life that is decidedly mundane and uninteresting, present writer included. The notion of recording it all not only suggests narcissism to the point of being megalomaniacal, but is also in jolly bad taste.

Have we, as a species. evolved to the point where we are prone to such self-important wind-baggery that we need to subject our environment to every brainfart that crosses our mind? Quite frankly, the last thing I want to subject my son to is the image of me as a kid or teenager. I'd settle for raising him to be wise and kind, and the rest is irrelevant gravy.

The fact is that when I die, I cease to be. And people will remember me for a variety of reasons, be they good or bad. A recorded lifetime takes a lifetime to watch, which seems to me a gigantic waste of one's life.

Comment Re:Moral panic (Score 5, Insightful) 684

In my home country, we've legalized weed. And for many years, there were fewer junkies and drug-related crimes in the Netherlands than in surrounding countries. Then we introduced a measure that wouldn't even make it illegal, it's more like a membership required to smoke dope. That spurred crime alright... Within no-time we had street sellers occupying the corners of every street in towns that previously didn't have this issue.

So they reverted to the old system. And the peace returned.

The same goes for prostitution. In Sweden, they're on a moral high horse about prostitution, but there you get Eastern European and Russian girls that are forcibly kept in dodgy apartments as a default, while only a percentage of prostitutes in the Netherlands are actually forced into the business.

My point is that bad stuff will always happen to good people, but draconian measures, prohibition and even harsh punishment have all been proven to exacerbate whatever problem they're aimed at. Time and time again.

As a result I would argue that a ban on porn is just plain obtuse. It is a limitation on the right to free speech and congregation for those that are consenting afficionado's of filmed exhibitionism, it derives all manner of people of a way to release sexual tension and it's just not effective.

I do wonder what would happen to the rape and violent crime statistisc in a society if they went overboard in sexual conservativism.

Comment 50.000 geeks..... (Score 2) 352

I just did a ctrl-f on this thread and nobody mentions the word woman.

I've been married for slightly over 2 years now, and quite frankly I would love to explore the hot body of a woman outside of my marriage more so than outer space. I've had good experiences with Russians, but then I am curious about Brazilians and Moroccans. I'm a liberal man, I can swing many ways.

Seriously. People. The *only* reference to sex I spotted was Natalie Portman's Beowulf cluster with Cowboy Neal.

We are a sad, sad forum.

Comment Re:Why not both? (Score 2) 354

The Wiki for emergency lines per country has 124 hits on 112 in the list of supported emergency numbers, while 911 is only mentioned 54 times.

Quite a few nations in Africa and the Middle East have their own emergency numbers, but route both 112 and 911 to emergency services already.

Having said that, it seems that world-wide there is a larger population of people that use 112 than 911, so the obvious choice would be 112.

But all things being equal and the US being what they are, either 911 will be shoved down everyone's throat, or they will happily ignore a choice of 112.

This whole discussion could be side-stepped by simply choosing something like 951 or 159. It cuts diagonally across the keyboard, is not easily pressed accidentally and is not in use by anyone at present.

Comment Re:What are you typing on? (Score 1) 279

Now I have to chip in here because I work for HP and HP have famously designed some of their stuff in California. Hell, they designed Silicon Valley, while we're at it. Didn't Steve Jobs learn a thing or two at HP and Xerox, back in the day? HP still designs some stuff in California, but then a lot of it in Houston as well, funnily enough. And all over the planet. That's not the point though.

California didn't become one of the largest economies in the world because Jobs launched the iPod, you know. It was pretty much already there.

This is a good illustration of what Obama meant when he said "You didn't build that yourself". The infrastructure, technology, educational system, time and circumstances have to be available for people to come up with the things they come up with.

This is why a dirt-poor coffee farmer in Guatemala without electricity didn't come up with the iPod.

Apart from that, I buy Apple products because the interface is spiffy, they mostly just work, they are silent across the board and they look good. Alternatives that are equally silent and good looking have only become available recently, and then still at a price point that is not far off. You might say I don't care where my electronics are designed or assembled, I care about look, feel and functionality.

Now I'm pretty sure this goes for most Apple consumers. Quite frankly, I had an iAudio X5L MP3 player back in the day for some of the reasons you mention. However, the interface was so sucky that when it broke, I played with an iPod Classic for about five seconds and realised why this was a superior product in every way. It's got nothing to do with fanboys, it's just good design.

If however another company becomes better, I have no qualms in ditching them.

Comment Re:City of USA (Score 0) 279

Why that big a reaction? It is an urban myth, and he believed that urban myth. The whole key point about an urban myth is that quite a few people know and believe it.

His overall point isn't bad though, so I don't understand why you had to tell him to go fuck himself.

You come across as a cantankerous asshole, so maybe it's good you're an AC.

Comment Re:But... (Score 2) 279

This is why we should have a political system in place that would include minimum wages and inflation correction on those minimum wages. The fact of the matter is that the government of a country has a duty to define what it thinks is a decent minimum standard of living for its citizens, and the accompanying infrastructure needed to uphold that.

In my view people should see their pay, at the very least if it's minimum wage, increase at the same rate as inflation across the board. This is the only way you can keep substantial portions of your citizenry from slipping into the crushing poverty you see. The US is a very uncivilised country from that perspective. There are a lot of very poor people. These poor people are, by and large, under educated. Furthermore, since the only affordable food is junk, these people are open to risk of obesity, diabetes and other health related issues. This is all the more an issue when you consider that universal health care is actually still a topic that seems to be controversial in the US. Nobody on this planet understands why it's a controversial topic, so you're very much alone in that.

Now many people in the US and in Europe seem to believe in the trickle down model of wealth distribution. Any idiot can see this is really not the case. The reason everyone knows Buffett, Gates and Carnegie is because they were / are exceptions. Most people we classify as Rich (R) are only out after becoming Wealthy or More Rich (TM). Having said that, I do believe that if the bottom of society is well off enough to consume, this will spark increased demand, which is good for the layers above it.

To cut a long story short, a worker's pay shouldn't increase only because he / she is more productive, a workers pay should increase because it's the civilised thing to do. Furthermore, the economy develops best from the bottom, not the top.

The latter point I made is actually seen in economic growth indices for countries when you correlate that with the average income gap between poor and rich. Statistically speaking economic growth increases as that income gap decreases.

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 279

When do you see anyone from any content refer to Chile, Brazil, Argentina or Suriname as "America" because it's in South America? I'm not trying to slag you off (unlike some others) but I am really curious about the answer.

Thing is I have never come across *anyone* from this side of the pond or from South America that doesn't see "America" as being the USA. Moreover, people from South America don't say they're from South America, they mention weird stuff like Venezuela, Colombia or Guyana. ;)

Comment Re:good (Score 1) 783

If you do not teach the fundamental underlying concepts of life, you do not teach people to contemplate the question.

So, telling a kid a liver breaks down certain poisons for you and it's bad to lose it doesn't inherently equip the kid to discover more about the nature of the human body.

Hence, starting with the basis of electronics and teaching fundamentals would be important in my view. But then my school period was an endless cliched period of regurgitation and blandness, and we even have relatively OK schools here.

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I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman