Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

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.

Comment Re:Wait what (Score 2) 267

This is not a justification, nor an excuse, for the attacks "we" have endured; it is an attempt to understand the processes at work.

Anyone who needed to have that explained to them did not have an opinion worth listening to. Consider it a litmus test.

The small-minded and emotionally immature are perpetually concerned with fault and blame, be it international conflicts or their own personal lives. They have neither the presence of mind nor the objectivity to focus on cause and effect. For as long as they engage in such self-limitation, true understanding remains beyond their reach.

Comment Re:Newsworthy? (Score 2) 363

Why should I respect stupidity and willful ignorance? Because that is what religion is. ALL religion.

You could do it out of altruism and grace. That is, you could respect freedom so much that you don't need to always approve of what other people do with it.

If you need a self-centered reason, like most people do, there is one: you want them to respect your lack of religion, right? You had the same choice they did, to believe or not to believe. They simply chose differently. The way this works, is that either everyone has the freedom to make that choice, or eventually no one does. Because the moment you find an excuse not to respect another's right to choose, you harm your own freedom. Eventually that list of restrictions will be expanded to include you (sooner rather than later, considering how vastly outnumbered you are). Tyranny has always been done that way, over time by means of incremental expansion.

Honestly you sound like a short-sighted person who hasn't thought this through, probably because thinking it through would interfere with feeling superior to religious people.

Slashdot Top Deals

The bogosity meter just pegged.