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Comment Re:Surely Wikileaks can function without Assange (Score 1) 239

Yours is a fair question, one which reasonable people might disagree. My answer...

Trump's words appear to be strong evidence indicating an actual crime (even if the precise incident(s) might be outside criminal liability by the statute of limitations). In the present context, where prominent public figures have been fantasizing about locking Clinton up on weak evidence of a crime, well, yes, it is worth days and days of coverage.

Trump was hung by his own words on multiple levels -- that is why the story sticks. Besides the words at their face value, he has a public persona of being a bully, especially against women; we were just not quite sure how that played out in private. Furthermore, he advertised he was going to hammer Clinton on a personal level to shake up the campaign, thus Trump implicitly invited digging into his own personal behavior. This kind of stuff is very relevant because Trump endorsed its relevance already.

Comment Re:Surely Wikileaks can function without Assange (Score 1) 239

To make things more perplexing, Hillary and the media aren't even trying to dispute any of the information's validity. The only argument they are making is that it's not fair that what they are doing has been made public.

The reason the information is ignored is it is, at best, very weak circumstantial evidence of any wrongdoing, where "wrongdoing" does not even bear any semblance to a crime, but merely some slightly embarrassing kind of cozying up. That is just not a compelling story in the news cycle -- it is just a soundbite that withers under even the disappointing modern standards of journalism.

The situation is only made "worse" (from your POV) by myriad self-deluded individuals who make fantastic claims against Clinton that fail to survive rational scrutiny when matched up against the existing evidence. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most specific claims made against Clinton are trivially proven to be lies, by even a modest amount of investigation. When you travel in a herd of sheep who are constantly crying wolf, well, do not be surprised if no one listens anymore.

Comment Re:That's, for better or worse, for a court to dec (Score 3, Interesting) 218

I don't think copyright is totally bad. For example, I recently published my first novel. Without copyright law, someone else could grab my novel and start printing/selling their own copies of it. I'd wind up competing with my own novel. Then there are issues of film studios being able to take anyone's work and make movies based off of it without compensating the author at all. I'd have to spend a lot of time and money filing lawsuits to make them stop and, without copyright law, I might not be successful.

That is a good point. Without copyright, not only would you compete against yourself when selling your own book, it would annihilate any control directly related follow on work -- movies, book sequels, etc.

Removal of copyright would have far reaching consequences to the entertainment industry and software industry. Many people here on slashdot think that software patents are mostly bad, and we should fall back on copyright. Well, gee, do we really want to categorically remove the concept of intellectual property?

Comment Re:It worked for ancient Rome (Score 1) 75

Kudos to you for offering a broader view of propaganda.

As for securing the borders, that was a monumental failure of our political leadership. Iraq is bordered by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran. Every one of those nations had strong factions within the gov't that had reasons to want to see a US occupation of Iraq fail. The Bush administration seemed to believe that awe and fear would keep them all in line. Rather than offer even a token olive branch, the administration preferred to imply that Damascus and Tehran could be next. Well, that kind of threat only sort of works, under the best circumstances. Once the occupation hit a rough patch, the threat has the opposite of the intended incentive -- making Iraq hell for US forces was a very practical means of keeping America distracted from further adventures.

Comment Re:Cynicism (Score 1) 523

Depends what you mean by "comment".

It takes very little brains to be a critic as insightful as Adams. His talent is that he can make his pedestrian insights funny, which is indeed entertaining and laudable in context, but of negligible positive value beyond the sphere of entertainment.

What is really valuable in the real world is a person who can point to a direction where a useful enough solution may lie, and express reasons for going that way in understandable language, even if that solution will inevitably be imperfect and open to criticism. Adams is too cynical to even make an attempt.

tl;dr -- whining like Adams is easy; making an effort to solve a hard problem is hard; Adams never really tries.

Comment Re:but in a different way from Clinton, who does t (Score 1) 689

Both are bad in different ways. With Trump, you have a pretty good idea of what he's actually thinking, that's good as a someone who is supposed to represent you, bad as chief diplomat. Clinton is better at lying to Putin, Hassan Rouhani, and us.

First of all, do you actually know fuck all about what Trump is actually thinking? Or are you getting the impression that you understand what he is feeling? There is a world difference between the two. Off the cuff thoughts are often forgotten. Feelings much more easily so. Furthermore Trump seems to have a talent for constantly contradicting himself, which strongly indicates he is not thinking about anything carefully enough ever to even care about his own past opinion. Why should you care more about Trump's words than Trump does?

Second of all, thoughts and feelings do not particularly matter. Until they have really solidified into clear intentions, you cannot name goals. What matters are goals that are sufficiently coherent enough to be useful in building policies.

And here is where we hit brass tacks. For all that Clinton plays a whole bunch of games with her words, I think I can hear the difference between what are serious intended policies and what are just window dressing.

With Trump, he cannot even answer a softball question about what he wants to replace Obamacare with. That should have been an easy triple or home run for him, but he kept on whiffing. Yeah, I think I understand what his feelings were. How does that help us?

Comment Re:Thought Experiment (Score 1) 523

It is not zeal. It is that I understand your argument perfectly, and I happen to believe it makes insufficient sense, at least regarding the second half, regarding also overlooking Trump's behavior.

IMO, I can imagine what leaving Bill's personal life out of the discussion could actually mean, whether I personally like, love, or hate the man. He followed a fairly common pattern of less than perfectly honest politicians trying to keep his private life private. There was a woman who changed her story long after the statute of limitations passed on the alleged sexual assault incident -- that stays in the past, and I did not make assumptions about anyone involved, positive or negative. Reasonable people can disagree there, but we can at least agree or disagree about where to draw the line based on some coherent discussion.

But when it comes to Trump, what the heck is personal life and what is public, where to draw the line, is completely ambiguous. Is insulting a beauty queen and making a racist joke about her personal or professional? I could list a dozen examples in a similar vein. Badmouthing people, getting away with whatever he can get away with because he is "smart" and a "winner" is both the man and the message. Trump literally cannot answer a softball question about how to replace Obamacare without falling into an incoherent blather. All the man has is his big mouth and no plans and no policies. So which absurd badmouthing and bullying is it okay to talk about? Should I cut him slack on the bragging about sexual assaults? Why?

Trump steps over lines of behavior as a purposeful gambit to play the media. If he wants to run a campaign where the usual moral goalposts are installed on a moving cart, then it is not possible for an honest man to give Trump's personal life the benefit of the doubt in the usual manner. Even if I wanted to try, I do not know how. He makes things personal as a strategic choice, and such is a natural consequence --- unfortunately for him, sometimes life is fair that way.

When you were suggesting we could cut Trump slack in his personal life, do you actually have an idea where to draw the line? Do you have a clear idea why that would be the right place to draw the line? Based on what? Tradition? A manufactured sense of fairness that so happens to hide away and normalize bizarre behavior?

Comment Hillary is correct (Score 1) 689

Considered in the actual context, her response was on the nose.

Effective leaders have a wide set of tools in their toolbox for persuading. Making all discussion public all the time does not make better policy.

Furthermore, while it makes an entertainingly pointed question to call it "two-faced", what exactly would this non-two-faced world we are allegedly hoping for look like? Because I am noticing there is a strong correlation between people who have a reputation in the public sphere for "talking honestly from their gut" and spreading a lot more outright lies than the typical pol. Examples: Trump, Sanders. These supposedly forthright speakers are not notably less two-faced; really they are more two-faced in a more entertaining style.

Are we trying to make a serious argument about wanting leaders who are most honest? Or are we just playing a pretentious game where style counts over substance?

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 689

For the debates I have watched so far, Hillary, always, a 100% of the time, tries to put Trump down with personal attacks.

Those of us who watched merely the first 40 minutes of the second debate know you are utterly wrong. Clinton often tried to stay on topic. Trump couldn't handle that and kept interrupting, including throwing in personal attacks.

Your own argument is actually an argument FOR CLINTON, but you are too stupid and dishonest to understand your own words.

Comment Re:Thought Experiment (Score 1) 523

First of all, as Hillary already argued, if it were really just an isolated tape regarding private behavior, perhaps a reasonable person could overlook it. But it is very much one piece of an overt public pattern of tawdry behavior on Trump's part -- badmouthing, bullying, threatening, and a bizarre inability to keep control in the face of a minor embarrassment or taunting, especially against women or minorities.

Second of all, Bill is not running for office, right now. So whether we should care about a politician badly behaved spouse is an entirely new topic.

Comment Re:A poor craftsman blames his tools. (Score 1) 531

Quite frequently the team in place doesn't have a lot of incentive to have that will -- if the software is ever actually good, it would threaten those fat paychecks they collect for maintaining the mess.

IMHO you are ending a pretty insightful post on an unnecessarily cynical and misleading note.

Messes do not get fixed for reasons. Lazy programmers are not the primary reason. The biggest reason is fixing the mess is expensive in man-hours with approximately zero returns in new features over the short term. An engineer so brave as to take on that task without very strong backing from the CEO better keep his resume handy, because he will get hammered for the smallest slip up that "breaks stuff that was working, when there already are so many other bugs to fix".

It is the company leadership who must decide that they are willing to give up the slow and painful progress they can squeeze out of the entire next year or so of the engineering department's effort, in the hope that the company will be much better off, in terms of being able to be reasonably responsive to customer requests for bug fixes and new features, 3 or 4 years down the road. CEOs who are under pressure to show growth see such efforts as very risky, and may even be correct about being cautious when viewing the fate of the company as a whole.

The reason the engineers may act "lazy" is there sense correctly that a small effort will fail, and a big effort will be sabotaged without executive team support. They may think about such things explicitly, but they know that refactoring projects have a way of getting the necessarily resources stripped away from them a few months down the road, before they produce much in the way of useful improvements. Why bother?

Comment Analogy fails on all levels...'cuz oreos are oreos (Score 1) 229

You do not pay extra for "double stuff". The costs of the ingredients are a miniscule costs compared the larger marketing and distribution infrastructure costs, and more stuffing and less cookie is not even necessarily more expensive to produce. You can browse over at Walmart online and see for yourself that double-stuffed, triple-stuffed, chocolate, original, etc. all are very similar in price.

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