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Comment Re:"apex predators" (Score 1) 258

Regardless, even if EVERYTHING ends up being automated (except programming the automation machines), that doesn't mean there should be wealth distribution to give away one's money to another for doing nothing.

When everything is automated, the notion of money becomes rather nebulous to begin with. Money represents scarcity of resources, including productive labor. If labor is no longer scarce, it cannot be tied to money in any meaningful way anymore.

Comment Re:"apex predators" (Score 1) 258

This is only reasonable within the traditional capitalist framework where everyone has to work to earn their living. When you cling to that framework, as automation and other technological advances reduce the number of people required to efficiently create some product or perform some service, you have to introduce artificial inefficiency into the market so as to "create jobs". This is basically a form of the broken window fallacy, and, as such, bullshit. We need more efficient processes, and if that results in less workforce being utilized, well, perhaps it's time for universal basic income guarantee?

Comment Re:Another one that has turned evil (Score 1) 258

Amazon doesn't actually deliver anything

They do - "Amazon Local Delivery" is their own thing. And that program is going - it started with just Seattle, and it was already 10 cities last year.

Also, I think that popularity of Amazon was in large part the reason why UPS and FedEx got their shit together, at last.

Comment Re:Hangings (Score 1) 1160

Minorities in Afghanistan got the short end of the stick from the get go: the new constitution of Afghanistan - adopted in 2004, right after Taliban got kicked out, and with heavy NATO presence in the country providing security for the new regime - explicitly declares the state to be an "Islamic republic", and Sharia to be a supreme source of all legislation, which cannot be contradicted. In practice this means that apostasy is a capital crime, for example, and there have already been convictions.

Comment Re:over-reaction? (Score 1) 279

It might be tricky when the part is manufactured rather than purchased, and does not have any serial number - what do you count as "the gun" then? At best, you can say that "lower receiver is always 'the gun'", but the problem is that a stripped receiver for many kinds of guns is pretty much just a steel box, and banning steel boxes by themselves is not feasible. So you'd have to say that it's a receiver if it's used as one, or can be used as one in combination with some other things that a person has - which would, again, be constructive possession.

Comment Re:Hangings (Score 1) 1160

It's exactly as you said - execution carries powerful symbolism with it. It's essentially a drawn out ritual to take out a human life away in a very specific, deliberate manner. As a society, we tend to place the value on human life far higher than most other things (at least, on innocent lives). Consequently, performing such a ritual on someone who's innocent is going to provoke an extreme emotional reaction.

And yes, .5% error rate - one innocent in 200 executed - is way too high. Heck, even .05% is too high. Really, like I said, there's no excuse for not killing anyone and just using life imprisonment instead - even a single innocent human life is too much to pay for all that symbolism bullshit. We're supposed to be a rational society, not barbarians with primitive superstitions. I would only accept death penalty when we have absolutely foolproof means of determining guilt - brain scan or something like that.

Comment Re:Hangings (Score 1) 1160

Your argument is equally applicable in reverse, though. Think of the symbolism of a planned, carefully enacted execution of a man who is later found innocent - it's outright disgusting. If you place that much value in the symbolic aspect of it, then you should understand why this is very different from those "extra 1 in 100k chance of death" calculations you've brought up earlier.

Don't get me wrong, I fully agree that there are crimes for which death penalty is a perfectly appropriate punishment. I just don't believe that any justice system anywhere in the world is even remotely close to be good enough to consider actually applying death penalty, given the chance of mistake and the gravity of it.

Comment Re:Thank god (Score 1) 279

I think there are some other aspects to it, even if the weapon is realistic. As you say yourself, it boils down to how reasonable it is to feel threatened - and I feel that the probability of facing an actual bad guy toting an AK in the middle of the street in broad daylight, vs a kid playing with one, should factor into this decision.

The other thing is that I think that police in particular should be held to a higher standard of scrutiny in such cases, and even when there were legitimate signs of danger, if they could be reasonably interpreted either way, cops should err on the side of caution even when it carries a risk to themselves - because the alternative is to place the risk on the populace at large, and the whole point of police is to reduce said risk!

In other words, cops are paid to get into the danger's way to protect the rest of us. This is also an example of that, just a non-obvious one - they could have protected the kid by not being trigger-happy and risking the AK actually being real and fired at them. My opinion is that they should have.

What we have instead is a situation where cops actually get away with things that would send a civilian to prison, everything else being equal. Prosecutors tend to be really unhappy about pressing charges against police, so if they can write it off as "mistake" or "negligence", and just reprimand or demote them, they do so, even when injury or death is involved. The result is that police in US tends to be extremely trigger happy, with numerous cases of mistaken identity, wrong place, mistaking something for a weapon, or miscommunicating the order to drop a legally carried something that could be used for a weapon, ending in deaths of innocent people.

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