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Comment Re:They didn't "cheat". (Score 2) 288

let's gather together and reinforce our anger/banding-together memes. AKA politics as intended.

It depends on whether the audience has the maturity to read about an event without automatically getting upset about it. Sadly, most Americans have been conditioned by repeated example to do the opposite. This is highly desirable from the standpoint of the media, because irritated emotions tend to shut down critical thinking.

Comment Re:Remember Legal != Moral (Score 5, Insightful) 288

It's not cheating if the ones making the rules (The Aussie government) says it's perfectly legal.

It makes me wonder exactly when and how those rules got onto the law books, how they were sponsored, and what relationship the supporting politicians had with the major corporations of that time.

There are lots of ways to cheat that are legally legitimate.

Comment Re:could and should and all that (Score 1) 131

First, you have to prove that you deserve a flying car.

Then you have to prove that you can be trusted to dive/pilot a flying car.

Given how the vast majority of people drive, almost no one passes the second test.

I'm not claiming that I do either. I also know that I should not ride a motorcycle because I don't have the right kind of attention for it.

With a motorcycle your main problem is the other drivers.

What you would discover (or be reminded of) is that average people don't put any thought or attention energy into anything that isn't directly in their selfish interests. George Carlin called it stupidity and consumerism, Erich Fromm called it alienation, I call it spiritual infancy. Regardless, that's the deal. The SUV driver doesn't see your little motorcycle as a threat and isn't likely to spend much time looking out for you (meanwhile they can't move out of the way fast enough for a merging tractor-trailer - see how that works?). You have far more to lose in such a collision.

If you actually talk to motorcycle riders (at least in the US) you'll hear the same thing over and over.

Comment Re:Abjectly false argument (Score 5, Informative) 235

You mean like illegally tapping telephones then giving obviously bogus justifications to the court?

Don't worry. No matter how many cases like this we know about, the next time you are in a courtroom and it's your word against the police officer's, you will lose. Every time.

So you see, they have everything under control.

Comment Re:"suicide, which all religions frown upon" (Score 1) 363

Let me put it this way: I can make infinite creatively worded claims, which can in no manner be disproved by you.

None of which would be falsifiable (c.f. Karl Poppler) by experiment, and therefore not scientific in nature. Hence the fallacy of demanding proof and referring to scientific methods in the middle of the discussion.

The irritation is that we have a casual conversation. At no point (and the point for this would be the very beginning) is it declared to be a scientific discussion. No one agreed to adhere to rigorous scientific methods. But then you say something that the other party happens not to like, and suddenly an outcry is heard for scientific proof.

Like I said, it's just a way to demand that the other guy substantiate his beliefs while feeling no obligation to return the favor. It's a desire to put the other person at a disadvantage while maintaining one's own air of legitimacy. It's that instant "hah I win, you lose" effortless slam-dunk victory everyone on this site seems so desperate to experience. Personally if I want to outsmart or out-debate someone I like to have worked for it, feel that I have earned it, and most importantly I make my intention known from the start. If I have to use cheap-shot tactics to avoid a level playing field, just to feel like I am right, then my own views must not be very sound.

I have speculated in the past that the constant reoccurrance of this phenomenon is likely because of personal insecurities on the part of many Slashdotters. It matches strongly the need for validation and a sense of superiority that insecure people tend to display.

Comment Re:It's just a tool I guess (Score 1) 294

That's the only reason why.

No it's not; you're forgetting Richard Nixon's white-hot hatred of hippies ;-)

One could also mention the blatantly racist methods used to promote prohibition of both cannabis and cocaine. But like Nixon's control-freak hatred, that was a means to an end. The lobbyists I mentioned wield the real power in Washington and decide what becomes or remains the law of the land.

Comment Re:It's just a tool I guess (Score 4, Informative) 294

Both heroin and cocaine were originally developed as medicine. Turns out that their potential for misuse far, far outweighs any medical benefit.

And yet they both are still used in medicine ( While marijuana is classified by the US feds as having no medical use. Go figure.

The cannabis plant is too easy to cultivate and has too many non-drug uses that threaten several powerful industries with lots of lobbyists. That's why something with demonstrated medical use that is practically impossible to overdose on is listed as a Schedule I. That's the only reason why.

Comment Re:It's just a tool I guess (Score 2) 294

I agree that "regulate the hell out of it" is a bad solution but "let's just keep it illegal so we don't have to regulate it" is an even worse solution because "illegal" is basically synonymous with "regulated out of existence".

If by "regulated out of existence" you mean "supplied by the black market" with all the problems that go along with that, then yes.

Comment Re:It's just a tool I guess (Score 2) 294

I agree that the war on drugs is stupid and causes more harm than good. However, the counter argument that "people should be allowed to do things that only hurts themselves" is pretty poor in the case of most addictions (including but definitely not limited to drugs).

The question is whether jail is an environment that will make them better people and help them overcome these problems. A related question is whether armed police, not doctors/therapists, should be the ones we send to deal with people who have not used fraud or violence against another person.

Unfortunately, most people only think of the immediate physical effects (e.g. secondhand smoke) and don't think of the more long-term effects, especially those which are harder to quantify.

It's hard to think of a more damaging long-term effect than expanding the definition of "crime" to include "something other than using force/fraud to harm another human being", the subsequent mutilation of the Fourth Amendment, the asset forfeiture abuses that continue to happen, and the increasingly aggressive paramilitary police that even the law-abiding are afraid of. Ask an older person about what police used to be like sometime.

Comment Re:Seeking open source alternative (Score 1) 280

I would love something open source, so I'm going to have a look at Wazapp (a.ka. OpenWhatsapp). Anybody have any experience with it?

You're confusing two things. OpenWhatsApp is an OSS implementation of the WA app. It uses their network, and they still get your data. The only difference is that you don't use the official app, which can have its advantages, like making sure that it doesn't misuse personal data.

Wazapp is another app, another network, and it may be open source, but that still doesn't mean that you can trust them with your data.

What data does a messaging app require other than your chosen username and your IP address? I mean okay, your public key would be nice too so that end-to-end encryption can be implemented...

Comment Re:Malice? I think not. (Score 1, Insightful) 166

(She simply couldn't understand that I could be unemployed, broke and depressed without being violent and/or suicidal.)

As part of the general descent into fascism, there is a movement within the US to prevent veterans from privately owning guns by declaring them mentally unfit. She couldn't understand that because she was directed not to. Lots of people she reports to have told her that you're potentially very dangerous, and a few high-profile shootings were likely blown out of proportion in order to reinforce this point. The lack of hard science in the field makes psychiatry particularly easy to influence.

The truth is, the more tyrannical a government becomes, the more afraid they are of highly trained men who have a deep sense of honor. It really has nothing to do with public safety, preventing shootings, or giving you the best psychiatric care.

Comment Re:"suicide, which all religions frown upon" (Score 1) 363

For something like a criminal trial, a scientific (falsifiable) theory, or a matter of logic, I fully agree with what you said.

For something like whether I love a woman, whether blue is my favorite color, or whether there is a God, one has to recognize that these are not scientific questions. It's ridiculous to pretend that they are. The insistence on pretending this is a scientific matter is a rather selfish motivation: to claim a superior position when the truth is, no one has any indication either way in terms of hard evidence.

It's amazing the lengths people will go to in order to tell someone else they're wrong/stupid/etc. This one is cheap because it requires no work and no effort, just a declaration. It's the low-hanging fruit picked by those too dishonest and insecure to admit that in terms of hard evidence, no one really knows.

If you actually are willing to consider it as a real question, there is one thing you may find fascinating. The Golden Ratio keeps popping up everywhere in nature, even when many other values would work. This is not what one would expect from randomness. It particularly pops up in astronomy. I find that most interesting though I would not call it proof.

As for me, I consider the existence of God to be a personal question. I am not arrogant enough to tell you what you should believe, given that same lack of hard evidence. The question itself is not falsifiable and is therefore outside the domain of scientific inquiry. Someone who doesn't understand that is extremely ignorant of the very science they claim to cherish.

Comment Re:Where to draw the line. (Score 1) 267

Inciting someone to commit actual crime is already illegal.

Yes but a fine that only represents a fraction of your net profits is hardly a disincentive.

I propose that when corporations commit criminal acts that would land an individual in jail, we should put the corporation "in jail". That means freezing all their assets and bank accounts and halting all sales for as long as a real person would have been locked up. This is certainly doable and would actually be consistent with the (foolish) notion that "a corporation is legally the same as a person".

Comment Re:Where to draw the line. (Score 1) 267

Money is what keeps me showing up at work five days a week. Now I'd like to think I'm doing something useful there, granted I'm not curing cancer or anything like that but still. Throw me in a "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" communist hellhole I'll do my best to be useless and needy.

Thus you are an asshole, and deserve to be lined up and shot. Perhaps Stalin didn't go far enough...


If your social system requires systematically killing even more people than Hitler did, I propose that your system is broken.

Comment Re:Where to draw the line. (Score 1) 267

For example me and a few friends like to go camping, I'm sure we'd do more of that. It's good exercise, good nature experience and a social event. The tangible output for society though? Nothing.

Nonsense. Society benefits by having members who are healthy and well-adjusted.

... and society also benefits from having people go outside and experience quality time with loved ones rather than consuming the shallow, infantile bullshit most heavily promoted by the entertainment industry.

At least that's my hypothesis: that those who have had meaningful contact with nature are more likely to form healthy relationships and less likely to demand songs from manufactured "artists" that whine about failed relationships from a self-centered emotional perspective that should have been outgrown during childhood.

The record companies would probably still blame piracy I'm sure.

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