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Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 435

it performs just fine in spite of that and I can access it anywhere, which is the biggest single reason to stick with it.

I don't understand what you mean here. I can access my isp-privided pop3/imap mail server from anywhere. I can also SSH into my main desktop from anywhere and do it that way. What is Gmail providing that these cannot accomplish (other than targeted marketing)?

Comment Re:Deminishing returns on "fun" (Score 1) 312

Keeping in mind I've only purchased one game pre-launch in the past ten years (Skyrim) so maybe I just "don't get it"

Actually in all the ways that truly matter, that's a sign that you really do "get it". Something so frivolous as commercial amusement should never become so important. The real danger is that companies other than EA may really get this right, make such idolatry comfortable, meaning that the dangers of such horribly faulty priorities in life may never be noticed by those who didn't already understand them.

Comment Re:You'll play it and you'll like it (Score 2) 312

Look - are you really going to give up a game you've been anticipating for months

There's something horrifically empty and meaningless about a life in which this or any other form of entertainment would be a really important, high-priority concern.

You're EA's bitch, and you'll like what they give you, when they decide to give it to you.

I would say both the customers and EA are the "bitches" of something far more tragic.

Comment Re:EA is an ethically bankrupt company... (Score 1) 312

...that doesn't give one solitary shred of a damn about its customers. News at 11.

The only reason a large enterprise gives a damn about its customers is because they believe it is more profitable to be seen doing so. If they believe they can profit without bothering, the expense of doing so will be dispensed with.

Giving a damn about your fellow human beings, how you are treating them, what that says about who you are and which ideals you represent, and what kind of world it helps to build one baby step at a time ... well, these humanizing things don't scale nearly as well as do organizations and top-down implementations.

People may say "well it's just a game" because they don't appreciate the full effect of the massive acceptance and endorsement of the business practices creating said game. When large numbers tolerate this and reward it with money (the language and lifeblood of corporations), it becomes much more than just a game. It becomes a precedent.

Comment Re:And now they get credit for saving us (Score 4, Interesting) 322

Would you prefer that they stick to their guns and continue doing harm? I prefer politicians who are willing to change their minds based on public opinion, thank you very much.

If we had politicians who didn't give a fuck about public opinion and perhaps even had contempt for the way it was openly swayed and outright engineered by all the fearmongering, we'd have never had a Patriot Act to begin with.

Amending the Constitution to make every Senator an elected official was a huge mistake. It's one of those things that sounds nice until you realize what it actually causes. You really do need state-appointed Senators who can and will halt rash and badly-written laws because they aren't vulnerable to "Senator X voted to make us less safe!" rhetoric at election time. It would also go a long way to curtailing the federal practice of bullying the States by withholding their own damned money if they don't do as they're told.

Comment Re:Who Says they Never Paid for those Nukes... (Score 1) 215

Norman Finkelstein is a Jewish Antisemite. A useful idiot at best, a self-hating Jew at worst.

Is Chris Rock a self-hating African American for doing a skit about how he "loves black people" but "hates niggers" (his words) and fears getting mugged or assaulted by them and owns guns to protect himself from them?

The general unwritten rule of Political Correctness is that a member of a minority group who criticizes that group cannot be considered a racist or ethnocentrist.

Of course you know, the childish concern over who hates whom and what terrible name with which you should brand them has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with the truth of what they say. You do know that, right? If the worst racist in the world claims that two plus two equals four, he would be correct, unless you want to give such scum the power to redifine all of mathematics while you're at it.

Comment Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (Score 1) 321

We have too many people who are products of their environment, knowing only what they were taught,

Sounds like another veiled stab at the education system. Do you think the people would have been better off if schools were abolished? That never made sense to me.

Actually, prior to mandatory public schooling, America was held in awe by the rest of the world because it had one of the most educated populations known. I urge you to read The Underground History of American Education if you would. It will be quite a revelation.

The public schooling system was inspired by the Hindu caste system in which about 1-2% could rule the rest with no fear of revolts, and the system used by Prussia that regimented their society and gained them power. This was done by old-money families and other monied interests who had a dreadful fear of American entrepreneurial ethic in which over 90% of people owned their own business and had their own independent livelihood. That doesn't jive with factory production and corporate systems at all. The founders of public education were quite open about this in the late 1800s when they gained ground. They didn't hide it; they were proud of their reasons and motivations.

Comment Re:And now they get credit for saving us (Score 5, Insightful) 322

Do people really fall for this?

To the ones pulling the strings, such an incredibly short memory and inability to draw contrasts is not a bug, it's a strongly encouraged feature.

Most people are passive mentally and believe thinking to be a burden that should be avoided whenever possible. Therefore, if the TV news doesn't specifically highlight something in a nice ADD-friendly 10-second sound bite, it won't be widely known. If this sounds incredible or alien to you, it's because the Slashdot crowd doesn't represent mainstream America (though the way people keep arguing from emotion, that's changing).

There is no one in power who wants a well-informed, smart, savvy, thinking population that has a long memory, is familiar with dialectic and able to easily perform critical thinking. No one running the show wants that at all. It's no surprise that within the little feudal system of a corporation that no one is forced to do business with, this goes unnoticed. It goes unnoticed with huge political changes that affect daily life.

Comment Re:Enough already... (Score 1) 215

Correction... WE know all about the intercepts now. But the mass audience the Guardian wants to reach isn't as well informed.

What that puerile bitch Snookie is up to (and like-minded garbage) is sadly much more important to them.

The minority who try their best to be aware don't deserve to reap what the majority have sown.

Comment Re:Who Says they Never Paid for those Nukes... (Score 1) 215

Pardon me but the ONLY rule for criticizing Israel while not getting branded an anti-semite is... not criticizing Israel.

Fixed that for you. And I'm serious - this isn't about actual antisemitism, it's about suppression of criticism by claiming racism.

It's standard fare in politics sadly. If you want immigration laws (even just existing ones on the books) to be enforced, you're racist against Mexicans (an accusation made by people who have never reviewed Mexico's much stricter immigration laws!). If you criticize Israel, you're an anti-Semite. If you're against President Obama's politics or Eric Holder's actions, you're racist against black people. Etc etc. I wonder what such people would say if we ever developed a real problem with millions of white Canadians illegally entering the country, but I digress.

It's a cheap way to shut down all reasonable discussion and put the other person immediately on the defensive, trying to disprove a negative. It comes from people who don't want reason and logic to enter into the discussion because these are threats to their position, a position based on self-interest and not based on what makes good policy or which view is closest to the truth.

A side-effect I consider intentional is that the obsession with group identity is a direct assault on the concept of individuality. Real individuality is a strong threat to the main method of politics today, which is to divide people into multiple groups and gain power by promising to protect each from the others.

Comment Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (Score 5, Insightful) 321

We have very similar stories, except I am from Africa, and the bit about the swimming. I agree with you entirely.

I have noticed that people born in the USA take their liberty for granted, and are careless with it. On the other hand, those who have seen oppression (and I have seen the trajectory we are once already) understand the real and present danger we face.

Some of us who were born there do love and cherish our liberty and recognize the many ways in which it is being trampled with impunity. The problem is, we are drowned out by so many who think that professional sports, pop music, consumerism, television, and personal dramas are much higher priority. It's a problem of values and a problem of dehumanization as explained by Erich Fromm.

You absolutely must have a broken people with malleable values and loyalties before you can have a police state. A strong, intact, whole people who are relatively self-sufficient and value ideals far beyond their own convenience cannot be trampled in this manner.

Comment Re:Illegal, Not Undocumented. (Score 1) 391

You remind me of so many I have encountered before, those who have the skill to usually win arguments despite being dead-wrong. These are not people who ever admit they were mistaken and you never hear that old view from them again. They are true believers. I have acquired enough humility and experience to recognize that nothing I say matters much to such a person, for they have a faith in their beliefs that cannot be shaken by reason.

You made this a personal matter the moment you implied there were a "select few' and that I regarded myself as among such an elite. It so happens that those who see clearly often are not those with popular positions, but that is not my doing. Oh how I wish that were not so, but I accept that it is and has been for a long time.

It's a roundabout way of saying that the number who agree with a thing and whether this is generally apprecaited is relevant to the truth of that thing, which is simply and plainly false. I am sorry the clarity of this passed by you unnoticed, for I did try to bring this to your attention, but the feelings and motivations of such a position are not difficult to understand. It's comfortable and cushy to accuse someone of being some kind of elitist while never explaining where their reason is flawed, and so very difficult to refute because it amounts to proving a negative.

You're a rarity because I can't say for certain whether you just love being right, or whether you really understand what you're doing. But I don't doubt your sincerity for a moment. And if you were wondering, pride has no proper place in such matters, which was exactly my point with my previous post.

Comment Re:UNDER THE POLICE STATE ... (Score 4, Interesting) 321

You know, I really hate posts like yours, for a couple of reasons.

First, you say that warrantless wiretaps have been going on for a very long time. Maybe they have, but they were certainly never standard operating procedure. Good hell they're warrantlessly wiretapping EVERYBODY these days. And back then they never came out and said,"Hey, we're doing warrantless wiretaps, and if you don't like it you can fuck right off" like they do now.

Second, saying it's been going on like this for hundreds of years makes it sound like it'll always be this way, so you might as well do nothing. It also lends it an air false legitimacy: "If the founding fathers were doing it it must be okay."

The Founding Fathers were adamantly against this sort of thing and were willing to risk everything to try and create a nation that stood for something better. Their real problem is that they had to deal with the social realities of their day that were not within their power to overturn, such as the institution of slavery and the notions of class and wealth. Yet within those suffocating boundaries they instituted something more that we have failed to realize.

One of their fears about having a Bill of Rights at all, was that the mere existence of such a document may foster the notion that human rights were limited to only those which were enumerated. As it stands today, the Bill of Rights is merely a yardstick by which we measure how far our failures have progressed.

I sincerely believe that future generations will consider us a Dark Age greater than any medieval period, for never has the average person been so petty, emotionally and spiritually immature, ill-informed in the face of an Information Age, navie, and unwilling to stand up for what was right. The medieval serf at least had the excuse of being at the mercy of the information brokers and gatekeepers of their time. Our ignorant, on the other hand, can point only to their own laziness and failure of priorities.

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