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Comment Re:Skepticism (Score 1) 419

I appreciate the thougtful responses I always receive from you.

The world is not only a stranger place than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. It is some incredible arrogance to pretend that we can declare with absolute certainty that anything cannot be. The very best science we have is merely the truth as we know it so far. Science has repeatedly found that its ideas of "impossibility" sometimes turn out to be wrong. Sadly, this usually only happens when the old guard dies off because they refuse to change their minds.

It reminds me of the Electric Unvierse theorists. I find their site to be fascinating. It's updated every weekday and it's the sort of material that makes you think because it comes from a rational non-mainstream perspective. But just try mentioning it around here. People won't just tell you "I disagree with that theory" or "I think they're wrong". They'll tell you how much of a moron you must be, that you should go fuck yourself, that you probably go to witch doctors too, etc. That's how small-minded people deal with anything too far outside the comfortable worldviews their cowardice clings to.

The funny thing is, you don't normally see that level of vitriol and invective used agianst an idea unless there really is something to it. This is the only service the small-minded provide by being the way they are: they let you know when you're onto something.

Even if the Electric Universe theory turns out to be completely false, their critique of how modern astronomy is done is invaluable. It shows the ways that science isn't terribly different from the religious institutions it has come to replace. It still has an orthodoxy and you're still a sort of heretic if you deviate very much from it. You won't be allowed telescope time and your papers won't be published. One would think that open analyis and peer review would quickly reveal any falsehoods, but that is the position of secure people. What you actually see is a sort of irrational fear.

If you're up for it, you would probably appreciate this page and especially this one. Whether you agree with them or not, it will quickly become obvious to you that these are free thinkers. I love seeing that anywhere I find it.

Comment Re:Skepticism (Score 3, Insightful) 419

"Sorry, no. The whole point of skepticism is to assign a negative (false) value to anything but proven assertions. You may still be in the realm of empiricism, but you are not being skeptical."

Not at all. As a skeptic, it behooves me to judge which is more likely, based on actual evidence. (And if I do the job properly it should be good, solid evidence.) But if I waited until everything was proven I'd be waiting past the heat death of the universe. As "causality" pointed out, what you advocate is positivism, not skepticism.

I'll never understand why simply saying "I really don't know, but it may be possible" is so damned difficult.

It seems to me like another silly ego game to declare something false when it has not been falsified, (ab)using the concept of positivism by taking it to an extreme just so you can tell somebody else that they're wrong. Yes, the burden of proof is indeed on the person making a claim, but hiding behind that to smugly declare that something "is false" is a roundabout way to make a claim yourself (that something is false) while excusing your own burden of proof (falsify it or admit you don't know). It's an attempt to put the other person at a disadvantage to "get even with them" for having a different inclination.

If you look deeply at human behavior, you will see for yourself that most people have a desperate need to feel superior in some way to another human being. It is not enough that someone be right; someone else must also be wrong. It is not enough that someone explains their opinion; someone else's must be bullshit. It's not enough to disagree with something; the other person must be put down or mocked or denigrated in some manner. Always there is an attempt to hide this by giving it the appearance of legitimacy.

Yes, in hard sciences positivism is a good thing. It prevents a lot of pseudoscience and weeds out a lot of false notions. But there is a distinction between "we're going to treat this as though it were false for now, but if you have other evidence please show me" and "this absolutely is false and I'm closing my mind now".

As far as it concerns Slashdot, I wish people would grow up, get some emotional maturity, deal with their petty little insecurities, and realize that the only real sense of worth human beings ever find comes from within yourself. It does not come from the relativity of making another person look worse than yourself and the attempt to do that is completely childish. Sadly it's also accepted as normal because it is so common.

Comment Re:You don't say? (Score 1) 84

And when she buys an iPad, how are you going to duplicate that setup?

Is it really so hard for you to accept that this family found a solution that works for them?

I mean, if he claimed that everyone on the planet should use Linux or else they're less than human, then I could understand your incessent urge to find some flaw or disaster-waiting-to-happen in "steveg's" setup. But he made no such claim (nor did he claim that Linux is completely invulnerable to security issues). He merely described what worked for his family.

What part of that bothers you?

Comment Re:fail2ban (Score 1) 171

Denyhosts can be set to block all, not just ssh, if wanted. I decided not to because some might have ISP NAT and that would block many people from my webserver... Maybe unlikely though, and leaving them an option to find an exploit in apache or wordpress might not be that good idea...

Sorry it took a while to get back to you.

My point is I would rather have all traffic from an offending IP address be DROPped at the kernel by an iptables rule, than have the machine continue to receive packets only to have connections rejected by TCP Wrappers and the hosts.deny file.

Of course with TCP Wrappers you do have more fine-grained control. You can, as in your example, decide to block one service and not another. In my own use-case there is no scenario where I would want to deny SSH access to an attacker while still wanting them to have access to something else. For me, the more secure option of just having iptables DROP all packets from the offending host is a feature. Then I'm not accepting non-TCP packets from them, and like in your example they can't look for some unblocked service to screw with. The IPs around the world that want to hammer my little server and fill up its logfiles with failed login attempts (usually dumb shit like Username: root Password: root) have no redeeming value to me.

My own server is small-scale so ISP NAT concerns also don't apply to me. If I were running a commercial site with many potential customers, then I would have to think about that. Still, I really consider that the problem of the ISP in question, something they should have thought of when adopting that approach. Perhaps their customers should demand cheaper rates compared to ISPs that more freely assign unique IP addresses to offset this risk. Or maybe their customers don't care. Either way, my primary responsibility is to secure my own systems so they don't become spam-spewing zombie platforms used to attack others; compared with that, I can't be concerned with things beyond my control such as how certain ISPs do business.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 339

Yeah, he said Microsoft is making money from their monopoly So of course he meant they're not using the money for research and development. Just blow and hookers

It's refreshing to see another person who can handle basic reading comprehension. Not twisting the words of another to make them look wrong when they have in fact spoken the truth, well, that's a sign of adulthood. It's something I respect anywhere I see it. Thank you.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 339

You were contesting the truth of Microsoft's Windows monopoly on desktop PCs. You wrote "I'm sure that'd help if it were true, sure." Well, it is true. This has been recognized in various courts around the world, as well as market share figures.

I made no claim about Microsoft resting on its laurels. For someone so quick to accuse another of childishness, perhaps you could learn not to put words in the mouths of others. I merely implied that Microsoft's "survival" (your word) was all but certain, given its entrenchment. Therefore it is nothing to be impressed about.

I would be much more impressed with a startup that had to rise above multiple competitors.

That's all I was saying. No more, no less. If you want to have a dick-waving contest, I am sure many others here will oblige you.

Comment Re:No (Score 4, Informative) 339

Or a strangehold monopoly on an entire market. That helps too. I'm sure that'd help if it were true, sure. I don't think what you're saying applies in this particular situation, though.

So you cannot fathom how the Windows monopoly on 90+% of all PCs sold for the last couple of decades may have provided them a steady revenue source? Interesting.

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

The people who spend like you describe don't stay rich long. Most rich folks are only spending a small percentage of their annual income.

If by "rich" you mean slightly upper middle-class, sure. If by "rich" you mean the commonly-understood definition of multi-millionaires and above, no.

You have to report illegal income. To not report is how they get you. That is how they got Capone.

... who was already well-known to be a major criminal and was under a ton of scrutiny. Are you pretending that had nothing to do with it? That the government didn't try as hard as it could to nail him for anything they could prove and had to settle for tax evasion? That would be a denial of reality.

Even worse, this scheme encourages hoarding and discourages spending. Killing demand sure will be great for the economy.

Yes, just like state sales taxes have done. Oh, wait...

Comment Re:Unintended Consequences (Score 1) 427

Why does everyone stop reading at the words "consumption tax" and ignore the actual facts related to the proposal?

Because the media is a very powerful force and that is what it has programmed them to do.

When you see these behaviors, you are not dealing with people who think for themselves, do their own research, and form their own conclusions. You are dealing with people who see that a bunch of vocal people dislike something and then assume it must be inherently bad. All while maintaining the illusion that they have made their own decision, which they proceed to defend passionately.

It's one of the very sickest tendencies human beings have. It is the root of many other forms of evil.

Comment Re:We also have crazy checks (Score 1) 427

That your education was poor doesn't mean that all public educations are similarly poor.

I'll never comprehend this tendency to take a subject applicable to many millions of people, and make it personal. I'll never comprehend it because it makes no sense.

You see, my own education _was_ pretty good. I still didn't trust anything so important to random strangers like the school system, so I also made a serious effort to educate myself. It's what I did with time that others spent chasing after footballs and things like that which I found to be meaningless.

Precisely because I know that my personal experience is only anecdotal and not universal, I did not mention my own education in any way. Re-read my prior post and you will see that yourself.

Then take a hard look at the world around you, the kind of politicians who get elected and why, the kind of decisions that are made at the highest levels, the way most people are too busy conforming or running themselves ragged with their burn-out lifestyles to seriously question how things got to be this way, the way this nation is beginning to collapse not because of a foreign enemy, but because of simple mismanagement. You will then see that the general public does not understand the principles you were talking about. That is a problem that the public school system is nominally supposed to have prevented. That is what I was talking about.

The media is simply too powerful and benefits too much from the status quo for this to readily change. The average person is not going to review the methodology of a survey, or try to independently confirm what the talking heads tell them, or assume that advertisements are the most biased source of information imaginable, or assume that people with power are inherently untrustworthy. They'd rather believe that the guy they elect is their buddy who wants to make their life better. It's a sad state of affairs.

Comment Re:Not really true. (Score 1) 427

Poor people typically consume more of their money because their income and their "minimum spending necessary to survive" are closer together.

What is this modern obsession with how much of one's total income is spent? I certainly spend a higher percentage of my income to survive and make ends meet than anyone remotely "rich". And I don't care -- or rather, I feel no reason to charge them more in taxes as a response to it. That wouldn't put more money in my pocket because federal tax policy has had little to do with funding government for a very long time now.

What I want is to balance the federal budget, stop enforcing victimless-crime laws such as those concerning drug use, stop trying to be the world's police, stop enforcing at the federal level laws that did not involve crossing state boundaries and laws that otherwise local and state governments are able to handle, and to dissolve the Federal Reserve so we can issue interest-free currency. That would make everyone's burden easier, particularly in non-material terms of freedom.

And if, after all of that, a rich person gets to save more money than I do, good for them. I personally value time with loved ones more than 80-hour workweeks. I get what I want. If rich people value material possessions more than time with loved ones, well, to me they're getting the short end of the stick, but it's not my job to decide that for them. This idea that someone must be punished for being more fortunate (inheritance) or more successful (hard work) than I am is so fucking childish. Even if we somehow could make life perfectly fair for everyone, and we cannot, government is the very least trustworthy entity to bring this about.

This obsession with what somebody else makes and how much more than you they can save up tells me something. It tells me that you have more in common with rich people than you might care to admit. Both of you have an extremely materialistic point of view. You're like two denominations of the same basic faith.

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