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Comment Re: What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

Now then, do you have an alternate proposal I should consider, or are you just gonna keep saying,

No. I don't have all the answers. I do have some ideas I'm working on. But I'm more of a technically oriented person rather than a PoliSci type. Whether they'll pan out or not is anybody's guess. How about you? You don't believe in direct democracy. I'm not so quick to write it off. But it has to be accompanied by something that allows people to easily and effortlessly keep themselves informed with unbiased or possible equally biased information. How about if it takes a 2/3rds vote to pass but it only takes a 1/3 vote to repeal a law.

One thought is we have to make getting involved in the political process as easy as updating Facebook. We're trying to use an 18th century system in a modern world where technology has made it obsolete. There has to be a much better way. What we need is a lot of smart people figuring out how to implement a better system. Kinda like what happened in a little backwater country in the late 18th century.

The biggest initial hurdle is getting people to recognize the current system is broke. The propaganda machine is strong and is being driven by a lot of existing powers that stand to lose a lot with change.

Comment Re:What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

I think that argument can work both ways. If they don't know the laws, they can't enforce them.

They're certainly going to know the law better than any normal person and they'll have people that know them much better than your average Joe. If they want someone they just have to dig around and twist meanings. Prosecution overreach happens all the time.

The NSA is certainly not piping data to local police departments

Exaggerating? You sure about that?

Besides, I really think they just don't care about J. Random Citizen complaining on the street or on the Internet. That's not a threat to them. They're more likely to feel threatened by journalists, as we have seen.

Your right. They don't care about people talking. Let them rant and complain all they want. But try to do something that might actually have an impact and they'll get interested real fast.

More generalizing.

The fact that everything didn't happen to everyone doesn't mean I'm generalizing.

Those that were were not harassed by federal agents but by the NYPD.

Some were harassed by federal agents. So you're claiming that local police departments don't work with Federal law enforcement? That's crap. The link above puts the lie to that. Just because they're not all part of one monolithic control structure doesn't mean they can't and aren't working together towards the same goals. Local police departments are militarizing way beyond what's required for a police force. They send fully armed combat teams for mundane arrest that could be accomplished by 2 guys knocking on a door or even a phone call. Guess who's supply all those toys? If they want to keep playing they have to cooperate.

And you're generalizing the OWS thing as well. Most of the people who participated were not oppressed or arrested.

And most of the people who participated in the Tiananmen Square protests weren't either. Enough were to quell the protest. In both cases. Yes, I know the oppression used to quell the OWS protests didn't rise to anywhere near the level of that used for the Tiananmen Square protests but they didn't need that level crush the OWS protest. And I have little doubt the level of violence and other forms of coercion would have risen to what ever was required to crush the protests.. Peaceful protests like that are supposed to be a Constitutional right in this country.

Comment Re: What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

The system, the gangsterism that thrives through weak and corrupt politicians that we vote for, who cannot otherwise occupy the office, all of it, it's all ours.

What "people like you" can't seem to get through your head is that the whole friggin system is broke. It doesn't matter who you vote for. It's the fundimental system as it is currently implemented. Maybe you'll get a car analogy. You can't fix a broke car by continuing to push it around where ever you want to go. No matter who you vote into office they still have to function in the same broken system. As long as that is the case nothing is going to change.

"People like you" live in this dream world built by the BS propaganda we've all been fed our whole lives. Try peeking behind the curtain some day.

Comment Re:Slashdot Canidate (Score 1) 688

Hmm, I've never heard libertarianism described in quite such a way before, and it does sound to be a worthy position. But take a concept like Equality of Opportunity - to me that would suggest that everyone should have, at a minimum, equal access to education, and probably equal access to adequate health care and diet as well, at least as a child - those things all directly and deeply impact a person's lifelong capacities during an age where they can't reasonably be expected to have a major say in their own development. What are your thoughts?

Comment Re: What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

Stay with the herd then. Your compliance is noted and appreciated.

Ummm...you really need to look in a mirror. So you're breaking out of the herd by going out and voting with everyone else even though it won't and can't change anything? Non-compliance is plodding along doing exactly what the government tells you all good citizens are supposed to do? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Comment Re: What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

Funny part is, even the people within the political machines with near certain victories tend to feel like they can't radically fix things because the system won't allow it. I'm not kidding, I've had politicians basically tell me so while intoxicated.

Ramen to that. This is what people need to wake up to. Voting within the current system isn't going to change anything. Problem is everyone is so tied up in "America bastion of democracy and land of the free" they can't see past the propaganda they've been bombarded with their entire lives.

That brings up the question. How does one change the system short of violent revolution? Given the technology available today and the open source paradigm I truly believe direct democracy is practical in a society like America's. But how do we get there?

Comment Re: What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

There are more than two possible choices on your ballot. Use them wisely, or quit your bellyaching.

None of the choices on any ballot in the current system are going to make a lick of difference. The system as it stands is completely broken. Continuing to vote in the current system does nothing but perpetuate it. And it's not bellyaching. It's leaving the "America land of the free" fantasy world and facing up to the facts. A lot more people need to do it before anything is going to change.

Comment Re: What do you mean by "can"? (Score 1) 259

My dad was a mid level political player in state politics. Even he joked that if voting could change anything, it'd be illegal. He grew up with the Philly Democrat machine. Every election was basically fixed. Republicans have their own parts of the country that they "own" as well.

Funny part is, even the people within the political machines with near certain victories tend to feel like they can't radically fix things because the system won't allow it. I'm not kidding, I've had politicians basically tell me so while intoxicated. "Your district is 99.99% (insert Repub or Dem), short of being caught with a live boy or dead girl, you're getting re elected. What's stopping you from going Ron Paul*? - You don't understand. You can't fight the system. You only have so much leeway to work within." * Not specifically endorsing Ron Paul, he's just well known for bucking the party line when it came to votes. I meant "Do whatever you want regardless of your party's desires."

Comment Re:What do you mean by "can"? (Score 2) 259

Meh. Most people don't care because they're generally too busy trying to pay the bills, raise their kids, keep the car running, etc. More than 70% of Americans don't want to get involved in Syria. A lot of the more neutral polls show much much softer support for indefinite detention, pervasive surveillance state and the rest. Without rigged polls, the majority wants basically the status quo. They're fine with some degree of horrific government authority, for edge cases. They're not exactly drooling for the NSA to become the next Stasi.

That's how it always has been, that's how it always will be. The majority don't want to rock the boat because they're too busy trying to live. It's only a relatively handful of ideological extremists on either end of the spectrum that tend towards radical change, usually for the worse.

Comment Re:What do you mean by "can"? (Score 2) 259

But even cynical as I am, the despairing belief that the United States of America is currently little more than a well-disguised police-state is so blatantly false to anyone who lives here as to be laughable.

You're drinking the coolaid. The US Library of Congress doesn't even know how many laws there are much less what they may be. The people who create the tax code have no idea how to follow it. You have to devote your career to the tax code to have even a reasonable understanding of it. Just given those 2 pretty much everyone in the US is a criminal. And the NSA is busy collecting all the evidence and then secretly giving it to the police to use against you when ever they want. Sure you can protest as long as you only do within the Government mandated restrictions. Step out of those bounds and you're off to jail.

That we can have this conversation without fear of retribution at all is testament to that fact.

I can't find it at the moment but just yesterday I was reading an article that the Chinese government allows people to talk and complain about the government as much as they want. As long as it's just talk. Once actions start any dissent is oppressed. This bares a striking resemblance to what happened with the Occupy Wall Street movement. It was all good and fine until people actually started doing something. Then the peaceful protest were forcible oppressed. You have just enough freedom to keep you in line. If you get out of line those freedoms all go away.

Wish I had time to write more but I'm on lunch.

Comment nearly-airgapped (Score 1) 222

Even full automation would probably not be an issue if the control systems were heavily firewalled - i.e. no sort of network link, just a single unsigned number delivered via parallel port that indicates desired power output. No buffers to overrun, no data structures to exploit, just a single N-bit desired power indicator that gets read at regular intervals. Couple that with a post-firewall automated sanity check that requires human confirmation for any abnormal behaviors and you're pretty solidly insulated while having millisecond response times to normal load balancing commands.

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