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Comment Re:When government is involved-everything is polit (Score 1) 245

Indeed! We're losing access to the common airwaves!

Only the most biased reading possible could have led you to believe I was talking about the spectrum licensing function of the FCC. While it could probably be implemented better, that idea is sound in principle and I have no problem with it.

You may have noticed that nowhere in my post did the word "license" appear in any form. That's because I was not talking about the licensing of scarce EM spectrum. So, in typical Slashdot fashion, you decided to go for what you thought was a cheap-shot slam-dunk "victory" but only managed to miss the entire point being made. This is known as making an ass of yourself by being too eager to be right.

What I *was* talking about, which you would know if you made an effort to comprehend my post, was the FCC's regulation of the speech that said license-holders may put on said airwaves. That's an entirely different matter and you know it.

It's getting more and more difficult to have adult conversation on this site because it's become overrun by people like you. Honestly, grow up.

Comment Re:When government is involved-everything is polit (Score 4, Insightful) 245

When government is involved, everything is political. From the control of the airwaves to scientific research.

Freedom means being free and switching the channel if you don't like the F-work.

Consumerism and the way mass-media is done* has bred a dominant culture of intellectual and emotional babies. They're stuck at an infantile mentality and the surest sign of it is the unwillingness to take personal responsibility. A form of this personal failing is like this: "it's not good enough that *I* don't engage in an activity I disagree with - no one else should do it either!" This pathological inability to be satisfied with anything less than such options not being present at all is a complete rejection of even the slightest self-determinism. It's like these people don't even trust themselves not to watch, read, listen to, or engage in something they find distasteful.

They demand some authority to do this selection for them, and of course authorities are only too happy to find another growth area for their power. They look for it the same way businesses look to expand into new markets. Power instead of money is just a different form of currency. Usually "for the children" provides a good excuse, which again goes back to personal responsibility; it is a rejection of the idea that parents should actually be parents and be involved in what their children are exposed to. Soon enough the whole concept will be deemed absurd and wishful thinking, despite the generations before who did exactly that.

It's scary to consider that we are rapidly becoming a culture that conceives of freedom as being too bothersome. After all, real freedom means that other people might do things you wouldn't do yourself. Allowing consenting adults (and only those) to do such things would mean, most of all, believing in the power of your own counter-example if you really find some thing (drugs, curse words, whatever) so offensive. It would also mean having the emotional maturity to let go of the need to control other people, to be content living your own life as you see fit and giving others the tolerance and space to do the same.

This is what we're losing. It's no bargain because I have yet to see what we're gaining.


* Mass media doesn't inherently influence people to be shallow and stupid. It's one of those "corporations make more money that way" sort of deals. Governments also find it more convenient to rule over a population that won't question anything too deeply. Then the candidate who wins is usually the one with the most money to spend on advertising.

Comment Re:Skepticism (Score 1) 419

I appreciate the thougtful responses I always receive from you.

The world is not only a stranger place than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. It is some incredible arrogance to pretend that we can declare with absolute certainty that anything cannot be. The very best science we have is merely the truth as we know it so far. Science has repeatedly found that its ideas of "impossibility" sometimes turn out to be wrong. Sadly, this usually only happens when the old guard dies off because they refuse to change their minds.

It reminds me of the Electric Unvierse theorists. I find their site to be fascinating. It's updated every weekday and it's the sort of material that makes you think because it comes from a rational non-mainstream perspective. But just try mentioning it around here. People won't just tell you "I disagree with that theory" or "I think they're wrong". They'll tell you how much of a moron you must be, that you should go fuck yourself, that you probably go to witch doctors too, etc. That's how small-minded people deal with anything too far outside the comfortable worldviews their cowardice clings to.

The funny thing is, you don't normally see that level of vitriol and invective used agianst an idea unless there really is something to it. This is the only service the small-minded provide by being the way they are: they let you know when you're onto something.

Even if the Electric Universe theory turns out to be completely false, their critique of how modern astronomy is done is invaluable. It shows the ways that science isn't terribly different from the religious institutions it has come to replace. It still has an orthodoxy and you're still a sort of heretic if you deviate very much from it. You won't be allowed telescope time and your papers won't be published. One would think that open analyis and peer review would quickly reveal any falsehoods, but that is the position of secure people. What you actually see is a sort of irrational fear.

If you're up for it, you would probably appreciate this page and especially this one. Whether you agree with them or not, it will quickly become obvious to you that these are free thinkers. I love seeing that anywhere I find it.

Comment Re:Skepticism (Score 3, Insightful) 419

"Sorry, no. The whole point of skepticism is to assign a negative (false) value to anything but proven assertions. You may still be in the realm of empiricism, but you are not being skeptical."

Not at all. As a skeptic, it behooves me to judge which is more likely, based on actual evidence. (And if I do the job properly it should be good, solid evidence.) But if I waited until everything was proven I'd be waiting past the heat death of the universe. As "causality" pointed out, what you advocate is positivism, not skepticism.

I'll never understand why simply saying "I really don't know, but it may be possible" is so damned difficult.

It seems to me like another silly ego game to declare something false when it has not been falsified, (ab)using the concept of positivism by taking it to an extreme just so you can tell somebody else that they're wrong. Yes, the burden of proof is indeed on the person making a claim, but hiding behind that to smugly declare that something "is false" is a roundabout way to make a claim yourself (that something is false) while excusing your own burden of proof (falsify it or admit you don't know). It's an attempt to put the other person at a disadvantage to "get even with them" for having a different inclination.

If you look deeply at human behavior, you will see for yourself that most people have a desperate need to feel superior in some way to another human being. It is not enough that someone be right; someone else must also be wrong. It is not enough that someone explains their opinion; someone else's must be bullshit. It's not enough to disagree with something; the other person must be put down or mocked or denigrated in some manner. Always there is an attempt to hide this by giving it the appearance of legitimacy.

Yes, in hard sciences positivism is a good thing. It prevents a lot of pseudoscience and weeds out a lot of false notions. But there is a distinction between "we're going to treat this as though it were false for now, but if you have other evidence please show me" and "this absolutely is false and I'm closing my mind now".

As far as it concerns Slashdot, I wish people would grow up, get some emotional maturity, deal with their petty little insecurities, and realize that the only real sense of worth human beings ever find comes from within yourself. It does not come from the relativity of making another person look worse than yourself and the attempt to do that is completely childish. Sadly it's also accepted as normal because it is so common.

Comment Re:You don't say? (Score 1) 84

And when she buys an iPad, how are you going to duplicate that setup?

Is it really so hard for you to accept that this family found a solution that works for them?

I mean, if he claimed that everyone on the planet should use Linux or else they're less than human, then I could understand your incessent urge to find some flaw or disaster-waiting-to-happen in "steveg's" setup. But he made no such claim (nor did he claim that Linux is completely invulnerable to security issues). He merely described what worked for his family.

What part of that bothers you?

Comment Re:fail2ban (Score 1) 171

Denyhosts can be set to block all, not just ssh, if wanted. I decided not to because some might have ISP NAT and that would block many people from my webserver... Maybe unlikely though, and leaving them an option to find an exploit in apache or wordpress might not be that good idea...

Sorry it took a while to get back to you.

My point is I would rather have all traffic from an offending IP address be DROPped at the kernel by an iptables rule, than have the machine continue to receive packets only to have connections rejected by TCP Wrappers and the hosts.deny file.

Of course with TCP Wrappers you do have more fine-grained control. You can, as in your example, decide to block one service and not another. In my own use-case there is no scenario where I would want to deny SSH access to an attacker while still wanting them to have access to something else. For me, the more secure option of just having iptables DROP all packets from the offending host is a feature. Then I'm not accepting non-TCP packets from them, and like in your example they can't look for some unblocked service to screw with. The IPs around the world that want to hammer my little server and fill up its logfiles with failed login attempts (usually dumb shit like Username: root Password: root) have no redeeming value to me.

My own server is small-scale so ISP NAT concerns also don't apply to me. If I were running a commercial site with many potential customers, then I would have to think about that. Still, I really consider that the problem of the ISP in question, something they should have thought of when adopting that approach. Perhaps their customers should demand cheaper rates compared to ISPs that more freely assign unique IP addresses to offset this risk. Or maybe their customers don't care. Either way, my primary responsibility is to secure my own systems so they don't become spam-spewing zombie platforms used to attack others; compared with that, I can't be concerned with things beyond my control such as how certain ISPs do business.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 339

Yeah, he said Microsoft is making money from their monopoly So of course he meant they're not using the money for research and development. Just blow and hookers

It's refreshing to see another person who can handle basic reading comprehension. Not twisting the words of another to make them look wrong when they have in fact spoken the truth, well, that's a sign of adulthood. It's something I respect anywhere I see it. Thank you.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 339

You were contesting the truth of Microsoft's Windows monopoly on desktop PCs. You wrote "I'm sure that'd help if it were true, sure." Well, it is true. This has been recognized in various courts around the world, as well as market share figures.

I made no claim about Microsoft resting on its laurels. For someone so quick to accuse another of childishness, perhaps you could learn not to put words in the mouths of others. I merely implied that Microsoft's "survival" (your word) was all but certain, given its entrenchment. Therefore it is nothing to be impressed about.

I would be much more impressed with a startup that had to rise above multiple competitors.

That's all I was saying. No more, no less. If you want to have a dick-waving contest, I am sure many others here will oblige you.

Comment Re:No (Score 4, Informative) 339

Or a strangehold monopoly on an entire market. That helps too. I'm sure that'd help if it were true, sure. I don't think what you're saying applies in this particular situation, though.

So you cannot fathom how the Windows monopoly on 90+% of all PCs sold for the last couple of decades may have provided them a steady revenue source? Interesting.

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

The people who spend like you describe don't stay rich long. Most rich folks are only spending a small percentage of their annual income.

If by "rich" you mean slightly upper middle-class, sure. If by "rich" you mean the commonly-understood definition of multi-millionaires and above, no.

You have to report illegal income. To not report is how they get you. That is how they got Capone.

... who was already well-known to be a major criminal and was under a ton of scrutiny. Are you pretending that had nothing to do with it? That the government didn't try as hard as it could to nail him for anything they could prove and had to settle for tax evasion? That would be a denial of reality.

Even worse, this scheme encourages hoarding and discourages spending. Killing demand sure will be great for the economy.

Yes, just like state sales taxes have done. Oh, wait...

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

Why does everyone stop reading at the words "consumption tax" and ignore the actual facts related to the proposal?

Because the media is a very powerful force and that is what it has programmed them to do.

When you see these behaviors, you are not dealing with people who think for themselves, do their own research, and form their own conclusions. You are dealing with people who see that a bunch of vocal people dislike something and then assume it must be inherently bad. All while maintaining the illusion that they have made their own decision, which they proceed to defend passionately.

It's one of the very sickest tendencies human beings have. It is the root of many other forms of evil.

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