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Comment Re:Field Sobriety Test (Score 1) 608

In terms of the political system working as it should, and the public being listened to, it should be noted that the legalizations in Washington and Colorado were a result of ballot initiatives—direct democracy. To the extent that the initiative process is less compromised than other legislative processes, the result is by definition determined by the public.

Comment Re:Field Sobriety Test (Score 2) 608

Washington and Colorado legalized possession of small amounts, without penalty. I don't know all the details of the Colorado law offhand, but in Washington sales are also legalized. Both states already had medical marijuana, this is legalization for recreational use. At least one other state legalized medical marijuana in the same election.

Comment Re:Whose Data Is It? (Score 2) 227

I think responses like this are missing the forest for the trees in the idea being proposed here.

Let's take a step back. The context of the idea is a dying traditional music industry; most of the old business models are failing. In the old models, there were a number of large marketing and distribution networks who collected the sort of data Keating is asking for, and used that data to inform their marketing and distribution efforts. An organization in the business of successful music sales needs to know the size, makeup and geographical distribution of the audience. As those organizations become increasingly irrelevant, the capacity to make those informed decisions is to some extent decentralized, but also to a large extent in danger of vanishing entirely.

What Keating is asking of "internet radio" (Pandora being a major source of her exposure, but it is really a clarion call to the changing music industry) is to recognize the fact that artists are becoming more and more isolated and atomized, and to create a business model that represents that. If any of the businesses currently "in the game" want to be relevant, they'll allow artists (to the extent they're motivated and willing) to act as their own respective businesses, and do a lot of the work that the old marketing and distribution channels no longer can or want to do.

And it really is a gift to the industry players to publicize the idea this way. The alternative is to build the new model in relative obscurity, grow it and supplant the current players. The idea is about more than data, but that data is central to its success. The real idea, at its core, is that the new model (and she touches on this in her blog post) requires a great deal more individual initiative on the part of artists. And whatever you may think about "whose data is it?" and the fairness of the request, a music industry can't survive if artists fail. A successful, modern music industry would help to foster all of that atomized effort in a productive way. And isn't that, basically, what most of us have been asking for since we saw the writing on the wall for old music business?

Keating and other enterprising artists want a venue to reach their fans. They don't just want this, they require it for commercial success. We, as music fans, require the artists' success for our lives to be enriched by the music. A team of enterprising developers could provide this in a relatively short time (relative, at least, to the pace of the old industry's death), and pretty much steal the show. As Keating says, the new model is supposed to be peripheral sales, the music being the driving force behind those sales. Providing what Keating has asked for is not a concession, it's a recipe for success.

As an artist myself, I've imagined creating a tool of this nature. It's not enough to have a place to upload music files and artwork. It's not even enough to have a couple of form fields to link to the artist's blog. A lot of the elements of a powerful new business model already exist, but they're woefully unintegrated. What artists and fans alike need is a way for everyone to get connected, in a very distinct way from the existing social networks. Artists are businesses in this model, and anyone who empowers them to act in that capacity stands to win the day. And I think we'd all be better off for it.

As a developer, I'm unfortunately indisposed with other work too important to me to pursue a business like this, but I thought it would be helpful to share this perspective in case other developers are reading and want to create the next big thing in music. That thing is: create the tools that artists need to reach their audience. Giving them data lets them adjust their own marketing efforts, their own performance efforts, their own merchandise efforts. Everything else is icing on the cake. These tools are force multipliers, and the more you can accommodate those efforts, the more artists will succeed and the more they'll choose your service. And fans will follow, not just because that's where the music is heading, but also because that service would provide more of what fans want too. Why would I choose the noise of "radio" when there's something better?

Comment Re:Shameful behaviour (Score 1) 743

No, it doesn't! The mere fact of authority doesn't determine validity. It only determines power. Unless you believe that miscegenation was wrong until the Civil Rights movement changed all that. Or if you believe that being Jewish and existing in nazi Germany was wrong, until the Shoah was ended. Or that it was once wrong to believe that the universe doesn't require a supernatural creator, but is also wrong no longer. Or any number of other formerly prohibited but unquestionably valid thoughts, behaviors, characteristics. (All cases of being no longer wrong depending, of course, upon jurisdiction! Validity is both temporal and geographical? I think not.)

To believe that punishment determines rightness is to believe that power comes from a divine source.

Now, you buried a second claim in your response—that defying authority is stupid. In some cases that may well be true, but in others it may just as well not. It quite depends on what edict you defy, what your values are, what the costs might be and whether they are worth the action having been done.

I should anticipate the stupid claim that I'm assigning some sort of moral equivalency between the parties in TFA and the parties I discussed above, which of course I haven't done and have no intention of doing. Illustrating fallacious reasoning requires no such equivalency. It simply encourages us to consider our arguments more carefully and thoughtfully.

Comment Re:This stunt by Apple (Score 1) 743

Note that the screenshot I provided is for an external third-party display. No Apple display I'm aware of supports rotation, but the OS does support it for those third-party displays which can be rotated. I expect that the share of Mac users who rotate their non-Apple displays is roughly proportionate to Windows or Linux or other OS users who do the same, but I'm not aware of any data for that. But I doubt the feature would exist if it isn't used.

Comment Re:This stunt by Apple (Score 1) 743

I can't speak for thaylin, but had I looked at the same times I would have noticed, because I often look for interesting design techniques when I view (not the actual graphics of the design so much as the site has been used for years as a testbed for interesting CSS and JS techniques), and I have certainly noticed that their front page has for some time been viewport-dependent; but it has not used the same implementation that it does on the UK version (it's been the way it is on the US version), and I would notice that change.

Comment Re:Not all objections have just causes (Score 1) 446

This validates all extremism (B) by claiming that it must have had a valid complaint (A).

Not that it must but that it does. That doesn't validate anything, it addresses reality rather than ignoring it.

What violent extremist movement exists today that does not have a public, democratic, social, economic or otherwise legitimate way of addressing its concerns?

Given al Qaeda's foundation in wahabism, centered in the Arabian peninsula and expanding into south-central Asia and northern Africa, the dearth of democratic institutions is pretty relevant. For that matter, the fact that no targets of US foreign policy have any input into the policy underscores that. This is still not to justify the extremism, but rather to point out that other forms of input are lacking, broken, or compromised.

That said, I'll reiterate that the concerns are worth addressing on their own merits and that it's a positive side-effect that it would undermine the support climate for the violent extremist reactions.

Comment Re:Encourage good behavior (Score 1) 446

The point is that extremism is not a necessary consequence of their complaint. There are other ways.

It's not a necessary consequence, but the complaint is a necessary precursor! Violent extremism, as a phenomenon, requires a sea in which to swim.

I would rather encourage good behavior than give credence to bad behavior, because by acknowledging legitimacy to bad behavior, you encourage more of it.

It's not giving credence to bad behavior. It's addressing real problems that already need to be addressed. As a positive side-effect, it provides much less of a foundation for those violent extremists to rally people.

Comment Re:We don't force them to become extremists. (Score 1) 446

1. Not everyone becomes an extremist, because there are other ways of expressing discontent or changing policy.

But the violent extremists are the problem in the context of the discussion, and the context of your comment which I responded to. All of your options were for "the terrorists", not for people taking other directions with their discontent. And those people, I think we'd agree, are not who we want to stifle.

2. You assume they have no choice in the matter, and that our acts manipulate them directly.

How do you figure? I assume they exist, and that we want to solve the problem rather than not.

This seems to be the type of permissiveness that rewards bad behavior and ignores good. If you're worried about bad things happening in politics, find the people who are doing good and get them into power.

Insofar as I agree that that kind of meddling is even appropriate, it's worth noting that those people who represent our interests commonly complain that the conditions that inspire people to become and support violent extremists are a serious detriment to their efforts.

By encouraging us to see the choice to become an extremist as normal, you are encouraging the devolution of politics into more conflict and terrorism.

I'm encouraging no such thing. I'm pointing out that people don't become violent for no reason, and that it's worth addressing those reasons to undermine the choice to become violent. Let's never mind that only one option on your list is not violent and extreme and you dismiss it out of hand.

Comment Re:Need to make a comparison, not absolute judgmen (Score 5, Insightful) 446

4. Determine the conditions that inspire people to become—or, more importantly, support—violent extremists who threaten us and our values, and mitigate or eliminate those conditions.

Most people have the good sense to support that option, especially in recognizing that those conditions themselves fundamentally threaten our values as well, if it's presented as an option. It's so far from the dominant discourse that we end up facing the false choice you've presented.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman