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Comment If I were a farmer, here's what I'd do. (Score 2) 447

I'd research alternatives to John Deere. I think there are actually some, right? If there are, I'd go to the Deere dealers first. I'd take my time, chat up the sales guy, get all the way to what looks like a closed sale. Then just as I'm about to sign I'd back out and tell him why. Waste their sales guy's time, and tell all your buddies to do it too.

If all of the companies are pulling this shit, it might be time for another tractorcade like we had in the 70s. Block the Beltway and turn up the turf on the Mall like they did back then. Maybe that'll get their attention.

Comment The real issue is preemption (Score 1) 164

The real issue is preemption. State law preempts local law. It's a tool, and thus value-neutral. Preemption has also been used to prevent cities from setting up municipal WiFi. Comcast bought the state legislature. Bad. In this case, preemption appears to be used to create a "right to rent". Good if you want to rent. Bad if you don't like people coming and going in your neighborhood.

Preemption at the state level means that if the law doesn't suit you, you must chose another state or live with it. Since leaving Indiana is not an option for many of the people who will find this undesirable (namely, people who find short-term rentals in their neighborhood to be a nuisance), I find myself leaning against this.

IMHO, preemption should generally only be used when municipal governments are "mis-behaving" in ways that would cause problems to the state as a whole. e.g., cities generally aren't allowed to license drivers as it would just annoy the hell out of anybody moving within the state. OTOH, cities are generally allowed to license businesses and Airbnb fits that pattern. So does WiFi. We ought to have a right to municipal WiFi... but a lot of places don't.

Comment Free speech and a more general lie filter (Score 1) 429

The point that even Holocaust denial is free speech is well taken; but HD is also a lie. It's also just one particular type of lie. How about a general purpose registry of lies and a "warning, contains registered lies" flag next to the search results?

Now even what's a lie can be subject to debate. Some people think climate change is a lie. Some people think evolution is a lie. So. We'd need multiple lie registries, and you could chose to have your search results flagged based on preferences. Christians could chose a Christian lie registry, and any search results with evolution in them would be flagged as lies.

Eventually, everything would be flagged by somebody's lie registry. Believe me when I tell you, everybody's a liar.

Comment Really bad police work (Score 3, Insightful) 227

Without bothering RTFA, this sounds like horrendously bad police work and he should get a much bigger settlement. Hitting that IP address warrants surveillance, not arrest. After some nominal period of time looking at his traffic, they would have realized it was an anomaly and nobody outside the precinct would have known about it.

In real cases of pedo that get a conviction, there are usually whole hard-drives full of disgusting stuff that gives agents PTSD. You can't get that with a typo.

Comment We have met the primitive tribe (Score 1) 147

We have met the primitive tribe, and they are us.

We've all seen stories of how primitive tribes get sugar, or whiskey, or drugs, or other trappings of modern society and proceed to ruin themselves even more than we do because they're not accustomed to those things.

Submitted for your consideration, that this time the tribe is us, and we have done it to ourselves.

Imagine if Mars had a slightly more advanced civilization than Earth, and they contacted us in 1950. Let's say they had no interest in hostility, but gave us the technology they had been using for a few hundred years.

Reports in the Martian media would be full of our foibles--of how accidents went up due to texting, of the spying, of the fake news, of the conspiracy mongering. They would be wondering if it had been a good idea to give us their tech.

'tis the Martian's burden, I suppose.

Comment Re:On the One Hand... (Score 3, Interesting) 149

I don't think the Chinese will cut corners on this one. It's one thing to make a piece of military equipment cheaper and accept higher casualties. It's a different ball game in space. You can just throw more soldiers into a battle. You can't just throw more astronauts at the Moon. They're worth too much. It's not *just* a human life on the line. It's the cost to their international prestige and the value of contracting services to other nations. We don't use Soyuz rockets just to save money. They're also one of the most (the most?) reliable man-rated boosters. I'm sure the Chinese would love to have a business like that.

Comment Getting around HR (Score 1) 1001

Every break I ever got came from doing an end-run around HR. Picture HR as a bunch of 300 lb. tackles in the middle of the field, each and every one of which has had way too many concussions; but they can still fuck you up. Your first job is to get the ball and run fast and wide, hoping to squeak by the sideline without stepping out of bounds, and get into the end zone. The actual job is usually so much easier. Think of it as kicking the extra point; but you get 1000 points instead of 1.

Comment Re:Why is income equality necessarily good? (Score 1) 516

I don't define achievement as the exertion of power over others.

The Patriots won. It was an achievement. I may not like it; but I'm not oppressed because of that.

Perhaps that's a bad example because they had to exert power over a tiny percentage of the population in order to win. How about a math test? It's not explicitly a competition--getting 100% is an achievement, even if the other students don't know you got it. Many others will not get a perfect score. You did better than them--and it's funny that I have to point this out: there's nothing wrong with that.

Comment Re:Why is income equality necessarily good? (Score 2) 516

Absolute equality is probably just as bad as extreme concentration. I don't think anybody is seriously proposing that we target perfect equality, except Marxist ideologues.

The problem with absolute equality is the enforcement mechanism and the way it tends to crush the spirit of anybody who desires to achieve.

The problem with wealth concentration in the upper tiers is that it leads to *power* concentration in the upper tiers--government by the wealthy, ie, oligarchy.

I think it's often the case that the optimal position is somewhere in the middle. When wealth is concentrated in the upper tiers, a move towards absolute equality seems appealing, but only in the way that moving towards a fire seems appealing when it's freezing.

Comment Apollo 8 patch (Score 1) 317

I love the Apollo 8 patch. That's a logo designer's dream. It practically designed itself. I almost wonder if they made sure it wasn't 7 or 9 just so they could do that.

Anyway, that mission made sense as a stepping stone to landing on the Moon. Doing it again *sort of* makes sense just to dip our toes back into something other than LEO operations... but if Mars is the next target maybe other missions are more logical steps...

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