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Comment Re:In the US (Score 3, Interesting) 562

Anyone who advocated a national language and tried to institute the teaching of the language would be called racist.

That's hilarious because a non-racist would assume that all races are equally able to learn, read, and speak a national language. The person claiming a national language is "racist" is implying that some races are less able than others to cope with such a change, which is itself a racist belief. It is amazing to me the way this is so often glossed over and not pointed out.

This then would have the effect of raising the overall standard of living of the entire country...

I don't know about all of that, but being able to understand one another because there is a standard is how you maintain a nation long-term, without having it spilt into factions of people who see each other as different from the rest, only to become Balkanized over time.

NOTE: this is not a joke... It is a sad truth in the US today!!!

Another sad truth: political power is gained and expanded by dividing people, not by uniting them. The extreme hypersensitivity encouraged by identity politics and the obsession with group identity has two major effects. One, it encourages emotional, irrational thinking which helps prevent the sort of attention and scrutiny those in power don't want. Two, it produces division and squabbling over matters that by design cannot be resolved, creating much distraction, wasting much energy, and most of all allowing politicians to keep (and expand) power by promising to protect each group from all of the others. It's classic divide-and-conquer.

Inventing "racists" where they do not actually exist is never going to lead to the sort of color-blind society that judges people by the content of their character. "I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law", Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Comment Re:Thanks Mr Schneier (Score 1) 397

I don't have time for leakers, traitors and narcissistic wreckers like Snowdon and Assange. And it has been easy for me to dismiss their statements, and those of their camp followers out of hand.

For me, having somebody as credible as Bruce Schneier take such a stand, changes everything. He's not just some criminally insane lunatic like Julian Assange, or some spotty kid out to make a name for himself -- he's an erudite, wise man with a proven track record of good judgement. If credentials matter -- then I think that having Schneier weigh in on this side of the political debate will have a major impact on people who are formerly undecided about the issue, including myself.

Really? Because I make these decisions based on the facts of the matter, not the popularity of those involved. I suppose during the early 1500s you'd have sided with Tolosani against Copernicus because the latter was not considered credible (and by some, heretical - our version of a "crackpot") during his time.

I scrutinize the message, not the messenger. I doubt you appreciate just how easy it is to demagogue and character-assassinate, not to mention that both of those are carried out with emotional arguments/manipulation and other propaganda techniques. Reason is much more difficult to twist; facts are even more difficult still.

I'm not trying to be rude, but the mentality you demonstrate (which was instilled in you) is the major reason why society has as many faults as it does today.

Comment Re:No complaints about the NSA here (Score 1) 397

There is no reason that secure can't also be user friendly, the illusion that secure must also be difficult is part of the problem.

People don't send just send lolcats through my email they get order confirmations when they purchase something and other sensitive data. A low pay NSA Analyst could become and identity thief just as easily as any other low pay employee that can gain access to your information. So keep it secured.

If I were a guest in your house, well you wouldn't be charging me, so I'm not a guest and as a paid service I have expectations.

I appreciate and admire your intentions here, but the sad fact is: you cannot reason with this kind of narrow-mindedness.

Although, I would be glad to be proven wrong on this one.

Comment Re:That's cute, kid. (Score 1) 164

They aren't introducing me

Is that how you describe the spying, manipulation, and dehumanization in which they engage? You rate them on how effectively they do so and express your disappointment that their art has not yet been perfected as a science?

Sometimes I suspect that this civilization is lost.

Comment Re:what's the point (Score 1) 123

what's the point of surveillance when everyone knows that you are doing it?

You never read 1984 or you didn't fully comprehend it.

The message is, "you will fall in line, or we WILL find you". The patient and therefore smart move is to set up the surveillence infrastructure first, get people used to the idea, and then become a more oppressive government. The only power governments have over their own citizens is against people who break the law.

Comment Re:Precribing (Score 4, Interesting) 340

You should never seek to make yourself helpless or at the mercy of people that know more than you do.

When you have a culture in which average people believe thinking and reasoning is a terrible burden to be avoided or offloaded at every opportunity, you naturally will observe the kind of dependency and vulnerability you point out here. It leads to people who don't want to be involved in decisions that drastically affect their own lives.

Somehow there arose this myth that you either know nothing at all, or must be a fully trained expert, that no intermediate level of knowledge, no amount of reference could ever be useful.

Comment Re:My favorite part (Score 5, Insightful) 271

It amazes me that conservatives have given Obama such a free pass on all of this so far. Hopefully that changes now.

It amazes me how you or anyone else can see this happen time and time again and still believe that we have two distinct parties.

Jefferson knew what a two-party system would become and specifically warned against it. At some point they both realize they can play the voters in the middle, sort of like "good cop, bad cop". For maximum effect, switch roles once in a while. Then people support a given one for irrational, emotional, tribal, "my team" reasons and stop thinking critically. Take a hard look at the world of US politics and tell me this isn't exactly what's happening. Then make the next tiny leap and understand that someone definitely benefits from this, and it is not accidental.

Comment Re:Car salesmen (Score 1) 168

... or maybe headbutting the wall a few times if the stubborn customer has insisted on actually paying for the car, thus depriving you of the finance company commission.

lol My dad found out how to frustrate the dealership, pick out a car and plop down a credit card. Salesman is frustrated, clerk is baffled, accounting is pissed(all of a sudden that 3% fee seems to matter...) He'll pay it off when the bill comes I imagine and the only one paying finance fees are the dealer. That probably wasn't their goal :) Airline miles reward card too of course on a nearly 30k car ;)

Heh I actually did this once. The credit card was only a form of payment - I had the money in the bank (otherwise, this would be immensely stupid).

The sales guy was noticably pissed off but he went through with it. He even acted professional and everything. Oh and this was after extensive haggling and (through willingness to go elsewhere) talking him down to some thin margins.

He was a likable guy and I have nothing against him. It was satisfying to see him sweat, all the same.

Comment Re: Apples to Apples. (Score 1) 274

"Limited liability" means that the corporation's liabilities are separate from the owners' personal liabilities. If the corporation damages you, you sue the corporation, not the owners. If the owner damages you, you sue the owner, not the corporation.

Nobody escapes liabilities, but owners are only risking what assets they put into the company.

The major criticism is that creating a corporation is a way to gain personal enrichment without personal liability.

Comment Re:Premium not enough? (Score 1) 274

If you think that's cheating, how about this nice fact: for at least the last 50 years, worker productivity has steadily increased and continues to do so. Meanwhile, wages (when accounting for inflation etc) have remained stagnant.

That's a masterwork of negotiation and shrewdness on the part of corporations, to be sure. Yet if by "cheating" you mean "doing something unfair/inequitable/unethical" then you must admit this fits the description. Unless, of course, you wish to argue that someone who produces more should not also be compensated more, in which case I'd be interested to hear your reasoning. I suppose while you're at it you could explain why a luxury sports car should cost the same as a rusty jalopy.

Comment Re:Premium not enough? (Score 1) 274

The D's tend to attract immature people who use emotion (which is easily manipulated) when they should use reason, and believe that the intensity of the emotion makes this okay. The R's tend to attract materialist business interests (which are easily manipulated) and old people who think that leaving their children and grandchildren with more debt than they could ever hope to repay is excellent parenting.

Neither represents me and I would be shocked if either represented you.

Comment Re:Premium not enough? (Score 1) 274

I really can't fathom how so many people don't understand what's going on. Thomas Jefferson explicitly warned against a two-party system because he knew what it would turn into. The idea is, you play "good cop, bad cop" and for maximum effectiveness, you swap roles every now and then. The result is that you play the voters in the middle. If you think that couldn't possibly be going on, it's because the parties understand strategy and you don't. Both parties benefit by doing this, just as all cell phone companies (competitors now) benefitted by overcharging for texting. It's an informal collusion that doesn't require a written arrangement. All it requires is that each entity promote their own self-interests.

It gives the illusion of choice because it de-emphasizes one critical fact of American politics: it is not a competition for the best ideas that puts a candidate into office. It is the campaign donors who do that. Now then, isn't it odd the way so many corporations donate to BOTH parties? It's as though they get their influence no matter who wins. Hmm.

Meanwhile the only differences between the parties are about useless (from the standpoint of sustaining a collapsing nation) issues like abortion and gay marriage. Both parties intend to grow the size and power and pervasiveness of the federal government. Both parties view the Bill of Rights as something to find clever ways around, usually in the name of safety or fighting terrorism. Both parties fight pointless overseas wars against foreign nations that are not a threat to the USA because the military-industrial interests demand it and because the economy would have collapsed long ago without it.

For your own sake, take a hard look at what's going on.

Comment Re:Minimum wage technician? (Score 1) 274

What you describe is true in an ideal employment environment.

The problem is, when criminal bankers knowingly make unsound loans and employ bad financial instruments like credit default swaps, and do it on a scale that it grossly harms the global economy, then jobs become more scarce and workers become more desperate. In this kind of scenario, the employer is at a clear advantage and the worker is at a clear disadvantage. This is especially true with a (multiple) state-sponsored organization that does not even have to make a profit such as this one. The usual market forces apply less and maybe don't apply at all.

This will cause people to take jobs they don't want and otherwise wouldn't take because they have families to feed and mortgages to pay and consider themselves fortunate to have work at all. The workers aren't bad negotiators or incompetent or doing a disservice to other candidate workers like you suggest. They're doing what they have to do to survive, not what they want to do in an ideal scenario.

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