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Comment Re:I see plenty of people reading (Score 1) 264

There was never a golden age of literature when everyone read authors that meet your approval. If people are reading more breezy escapism and genre fiction today than they were before, I'd look at why they feel they need that escapism. Anyway, even a hack can write a pretty good book every once in a while -- especially given that most hacks are unnaturally prolific.

Comment Re:How Does One Become an Editor? (Score 4, Informative) 372

Yes, that happens sometimes. People get a bit fanatical about reverting vandalism. The best thing to do is to always use an edit summary with polite, neutral language that directly cites Wikipedia policy. For example: "remove unverifiable, unsourced statement, per [[WP:V]]" or even just say something terse like "unsourced". That will signal to people that you're at least vaguely familiar with Wikipedia's policies and not a simple vandal who likes to randomly remove sentences.

When people challenge you, tell them the burden of proof lies on them. You can cite [[WP:BURDEN]], Wikipedia policy which explicitly states this.

Comment Re:Pseudoscience debunked? (Score 1) 374

To some extent. Its use is controversial and losing support, but there are still some old school hold-outs who swear by it. I think what we're seeing is a few of these hold-outs lashing out in a last, desperate attempt to save their image, but, with some luck, this will end up being the final nail in their coffin.

Comment I don't think most people care (Score 4, Insightful) 272

I've tried making that argument, but most people won't really care until it becomes a talking point beaten to death by demagogues on TV. Also, I cringed a bit when I read that summary, because every phrase screams "leftist academic". That's one of the quickest and easiest ways to get dismissed by moderates and center-right allies.

Comment Re:On his watch (Score 1) 240

Sounds a lot like Mozilla's attempts to clone everything that Google does, except in a half-assed way. Kind of funny, really, because I hadn't actually thought to connect Steve Ballmer and Asa Dotzler like that before. When you think about it, though, they seem pretty similar. Neither Microsoft nor Mozilla seem terribly interested in actually doing anything until Apple/Google do it first.

Comment Re:what?? (Score 4, Insightful) 608

Well, yeah. But Google has an enviable image and works in emerging markets, where they can set consumer expectations. Microsoft has a crap image and works in entrenched markets, where customers have strong opinions and entrenched ways doing things. This is a bit of a simplification, of course, but I think it helps to explain why people complain so much about everything that Microsoft does, while they give Google a free pass.

Comment Re:Just askin... (Score 1) 221

There's a difference between opt-in and covert actions taken without permission.

However, I don't see why anyone would let MIT have access to their e-mail account, just so that they can simulate having the civil liberties violated. But, then again, I don't see the point to a lot of things that get posted to Slashdot.

Comment Re:"Ego trip" (Score 1) 458

I don't think it's necessarily right wing nutjobs. More likely, it's just plain old ordinary nutjobs, plus some authoritarian, nationalist nutjobs. There are plenty of Libertarians that support WikiLeaks and Snowden, and Libertarians are pretty far to the right.

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Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards. -- Aldous Huxley