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Comment Re:Fascists (Score 5, Insightful) 250

In other news, most of Britain wants the UK Government to be removed and replaced by people who are not asshats. Unfortunately, it turns out that nobody who is not an asshat can be persuaded to want the job.

In yet other news ... here's an idea! If you are concerned about propaganda causing your citizens to become "radicalized", why not take the most effective steps possible to prevent that? Create the most sane, free, reasonably run society in which civil rights are sacrosanct, all of the laws are sensible, and all of the laws are equally enforced.

You'll find that far fewer of the citizens would ever want to do anything to oppose that. It's more effective than playing whack-a-mole with an ever-growing list of terrorists.

Comment Re:"Organic" (Score 1) 187

Because the US only tracks people in their jurisdiction right? Remember you have no rights if your not american because american's are the new aryans. Sieg hiel!

I know this is difficult for one-track minds like this AC to understand, but many issues are in fact nuanced and complex. Shockingly, law appears to be one of those. Just to name a single example: data retention laws. They vary by jurisdiction.

Comment Re:Search poisoning (Score 2) 187

If they start poisoning search with for-profit results Google will be quickly reminded that they are not the only search engine in town.

As long as the ads are marked somehow, a user script will be able to suppress them.

It's sad I need to mangle the web to make it usable, but not as sad as not having a mangling facility would be.

As someone who runs NoScript, Adblock Plus and various other user scripts, I think it's a good thing to be able to take control over your own experience. It's good not to be passive. It's good to see only what you want to see. The more people do this, the more these companies have to comprehend that this is the nature of the network in which they have chosen to participate. The Web would lose most of its appeal to me if it were entirely corporate controlled like television.

What's really sad is that other mediums like television, radio, and periodicals are one-to-many, heavily centralized, and don't include such great control over what you see. They're package deals that require you to accept the crap along with the content and are often not worthwhile.

Comment Re:"Organic" (Score 2) 187

That's as bullshitty a term as it is in your supermarket. There *are* no "organic" results when they're calculated based on your tracking history, ad clicks and social connections.

Friends don't let friends get tracked. Use the quack that doesn't track!

I use startpage.com myself. I like the idea of getting actual Google search results without any sort of Google tracking. They don't even log your IP address and they're outside of US jurisdiction.

By the way I hope our federal legislators appreciate that. I hope they are proud that now, "outside of US jurisdiction" has become a selling point.

Comment Re:Thanks, Obama. (Score 1) 185

BAD MOD: Not everyone will agree with this, but that doesn't mean it's flamebait.

Anyone who needed to have that explained to them is demonstrably resistant to facts and so-called "common sense" and is therefore a lost cause. Mass numbers of non-individuals agreeing with you bandwagon-style is the only thing they would find persuasive.

Comment Re:Real World (Score 1) 91

Your tastes and preferences define your notion of importance. This is empirically verifiable.

I don't dispute that. What I contend is that, while doing so, one should recognize that it amounts to viewing the world through the lens of one's own interests. Any decisions made are tempered by that knowledge.

It's a self-awareness beyond standard ego consciousness. It tends to make you truly ashamed of and prepared to abandon any sort of self-centered, exploitative motive.

It's one of those things that anyone is capable of doing, provided they really want to.

Comment Re:get'em laid (Score 1) 91

I've been saying all along that the schools should get the geeks laid instead of the jocks. Even with this study they still won't listen.

I don't know. There is something romantic about choosing to be a geek, against the grain, up the hill, against all odds and disincentives, doing it because you really want to and not because you were bribed into it. It shows great courage and spirit, which I believe is closer to what life is all about. The ones who "go with the flow" and do whatever is the path of least resistance are cowardly and hedonistic by comparison.

Comment Re:Real World (Score 3, Insightful) 91

I believe that the "real world" is a fallacy. Everyone has their own perception of reality.

I would go so far as to say that you never truly reached adulthood until you can clearly and effortlessly distinguish objective, evidence-based reality from your own subjective feelings and opinions and wishes. Objectivity is when your own tastes and preferences do not influence your decision-making about anything important.

Until you can do that, life is a chaotic mess with no solutions except those that create more and more problems.

Comment Re:Um, (Score 2) 91

Aren't happier people better at pretty much everything? Isn't that sort of the problem with depression?

It's also the problem with alienation and dehumanization, not merely depression. Go out sometime and see for yourself, how rarely people talk to one another like fellow human beings. Usually they would rather talk at someone, listen poorly and keep interrupting (because they have no patience) even when they are listening to an answer to their own question, and generally can't relax and slow down and "take in" much of anything. The irony is, this rushed and hurried approach to life is so error-prone that they accomplish fewer of their goals than they would otherwise.

Compared to that, depression is just a particular special case, an instance of a much more widespread problem with the way we live.

Comment Re:Top gun manufacturers fail to protect users (Score 4, Insightful) 162

From pointing the gun at their face.

Indeed. And "rules that require even more complexity in passwords" backfire because the notion of protecting people from themselves is fundamentally flawed. Note the way you practically never see this notion questioned in any headline or summary.

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.

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