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Comment Re:Enforcement and Boundaries (Score 1) 196

I'm really wondering if the current French government even cares about France being seen as a serious country.

As a french citizen, I can assure you that the last few years have definitely demonstrated that our politicians will squander every last shred of credibility France still has, as long as it can even potentially give them a single vote back.

I mean, seriously... the very existence of Hadopi and its millions of euros worth of budget for nought ? The Florange debacle ? The Peugeot mess ? High-profile Minister posing in marinière with kitchen implements in hands on the cover of a magazine ? Government officials contradicting each other in matter of national policies ? The Twitterweiler communication mishap ? The list goes on and on and on...

Pretty much every member of our governments of the past decades has amounted to little more than a bad clown with delusions of grandeur, much to the population's pain and shame.

Comment Re:Isn't this just bulimia? (Score 1) 483

If that was true

It is true, as duly reported by athropologists, like theo ne I cited above. Within the same regions, the primitive farmers are more often victims of famine than their hunter-gatherer cousins living next door.

then why was agriculture even invented?

Because it allowed for planning and higher population density, in particular a much higher number of children.

how did agriculture based communities overtake hunter-gatherers in population, if there was no scarcity of food?

See the previous point. More population growth leads to morel and needed to sustain it, which is why agricultural peoples spread themselves, conquering the lands of hunter-gatherers until they had pushed them all onto least useable land.

Do you think people would spend that much energy if food was plentiful?

Surveys done by anthropologists show that both hunter-gatherers and primitive farmers spend about 20-24 hours of their week working at "producing" food, with a slight advantage in raw number of calories (2140 daily average) and much bigger advantage in terms of food diversity (upwards of 70 different plant and animal sources) going for the hunter-gatherers.

Switching to farming is not a matter of work spent (apart from the food diversity it's pretty much the same), it's a matter of being able to plan for the future and especially plan for feeding more children as well as securing food supplies in case of a catastrophe such as the Great Thawing Up of 15000 B.C.

Comment Re: Hmm (Score 1) 25

I remember playing V-O back in 2004, for several months (as "Sacred Chao"). Back then we were already promised capships, player-owned space stations and sectors, and PVP-determined domination over the war sectors between the blue and red factions. There was some progress, at one point we could land aboard the automated frigates that would tour the galaxy, and man its turrets.

But, after all these years, there has been no more progress ? I'm underwhelmed.

Comment Re:Isn't this just bulimia? (Score 2) 483

we've evolved to fatten up when food is plentiful so that we don't starve when food is scarce

Not quite.

We've evolved to fatten up to a limited extent when food is plentiful, and to adapt our metabolism to a wide extent whether that supply remains plentiful or shortens up. That's what gives reproductive advantage. For hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years our ancestors lived a life of plenty as hunter-gatherers (see "Stone-age economics, by Marshall Sahlins) and "when food is scarce" was a rare occurrence that they hardly ever cared to prepare for.

Fattening up without limit, turning obese and diabetic earlier and earlier, and developping cardiovascular disease in ripe age, gives no reproductive advantage and is thus not an evolved trait. They're disease, or more accurately symptoms of a deeper disease of the human metabolism's hormonal regulation system, and it's most probably caused by the foods that did not play a role in our long evolution, foods that were introduced very recently and do affect our hormones.

Comment IP is not property (Score 1) 147

Khanna wrote a brief suggesting the current copyright law might not constitute free market thinking.

Damn right it ain't. Free market applied to intellectual works is trade-secret protection. If you want your information non-disclosed, you only communicate it to people prealably bound by non-disclosure agreements. If there is a breach, the discloser owes you the indemnity that you had agreed upon initially, which represents the added value of creating the works in the first place. That's the whole of it.

That's how it works within the prestidigitation business. That's pretty much the model that the education world applies: teaching essentially IS a business of distributing non-copyrighted intellectual works. Even certification courses that teach things that the teachers do not want disclosed around, aptly have non-disclosure agreement requirements upfront.

Intellectual property only makes sense in auniverse where someone has to redo the work of (re)inventing the intellectual work over and over in order to sell it over and over - a universe where ideas are rival. That's not the universe we live in.

Comment Re:seems to be some disagreement on the right (Score 1) 227

Reason had a great piece about how, historically, big business has never been pro-free-market. If you're interested in the difference between free-market advocates that consider public-private partnerships positively or negatively, have a look at the history of the "New Left", Murray Rothbard and the Kochtopus, maybe. There indeed are libertarian movements that consider capitalism neutrally instead of positively. Agorism is one such.

Comment Re:blah blah Capitalism Evil blah blah (Score 1) 227

Think mid-19th century industrial revolution, where people worked long hours, with no benefits, no labor restrictions (rampant child labor), no concern for safety, etc.

Oh please. Workshop labor was a major improvement over working even longer hours (child labor included of course) with no benefits, no labor restrictions, no concern for safety etc. in the fields as most of these people used to do. How else do you think child mortality went down so fast in this period, average lifespan grew, and the number of schools went up at the same time ? These people were trading truly horrid and stagnant conditions, for bad conditions that at least let their child have an improved future (which they got generation after generation).

So why do we now have so many vivid depictions of industrial revolution's labor conditions, but so little of the much worse conditions of peasants at that time ? Because the latter were hidden away in the country and left there to toil, suffer and die, while the factory workers were just down the street to the people writing those books and newspapers carrying those depictions.

Also, at that time, the ones who worried most and actually did something about those poor work conditions were not the governement, but employers. It's not the state that first installed childcare facilities, hospitals, schools and started mutual insurance funds for covering healthcare costs and retirement pensions, it was the "industry captains" of the time hand in hand with the Church.

Comment Health before weight (Score 3, Informative) 150

It was the sad realization that I was becoming diabetic, that forced me into doing something about my weight and eating patterns. After a couple years of failing by following the Usual Advice(c) of eating less and moving more, avoiding fats especially saturated ones, etc... I decided to learn human biochemistry directly, discovered a lot my doctor apparently didn't know about diabetes, glucose metabolism, and yet some more... I successfully replicated Tom Naughton's "improving your blood lipid panel while eating fast food for a month by applying one caveat" experiment in April 2007, and picked up low-carb paleo by winter that year as I kept reading more. This cured all the diabetic symptoms I had suffered for years in a matter of days. Interestingly, I also went down from size 12 to size 4 over the following 9 months without any calorie counting or sport, cured myself of a long-standing depression, a creeping arthritis in my left knee, gastric reflux, insomnia and bruxism, and I regained the running endurance I had in my teenage years - without training.

Nowadays I only weigh myself from time to time to make sure it keeps working, and so far it does.

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The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow