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Comment Re:Is that all (Score 1) 246

It's inevitable that a certain fraction of people go off the deep edge. People are irrational, even (or perhaps mostly) people who are convinced they are entirely rational. Rationality is a fragile thing because emotion and confirmation bias are deeply woven into everyone's thinking.

For normal people are few more powerful emotional impulses than the urge to protect children. It should hardly be surprising that children come to harm from it.

Comment Re:DCMA Fair Use / Parody (Score 1) 198

Ah, but is it a parody of the copyrighted elements? That's the tack I'd take if I were Samsung's lawyer: this is not parodying Samsung's IP, it is quoting Samsung's IP in a literal, non-transformative way that is not actually parody.

Of course in my heart I'd hope to lose, but that argument is no more ridiculous than many others that have become established case law. Issues like privacy and IP are where fundamental values we have as a society cut against each other and generate innumerable weird corner cases.

Comment Re:So it appears . . . (Score 1) 172

It's not just how hard you check, but how incisively. It's easy to satisfy yourself that software's anticipated failure modes won't happen. What's tough is discovering ways of screwing up that have never happened before.

That's why there's no substitute for experience. This gets back to the very roots of rocket science: the path to success passes through many, many failures.

Comment Re:So...FUD propaganda then? (Score 1) 83

The mass bleaching of the great barrier reef where 20% where bleached and died off in one year would tend to disagree with you

Unless of course, that happens all the time, including before human-caused global warming. Then I guess it wouldn't tend to agree with you.

Comment Re:So it appears . . . (Score 2) 172

Billions of dollars spent on hardware, and some fuckup software dude sends the whole thing crashing to the ground. Come on guys, was this not checked, double-checked, and tested? This pisses me off. This is not a CTRL-ALT-DELETE 'oh shit'. This is enormous sums of money and peoples careers. Someone should go to jail for a very long time as soon as we figure out exactly what was screwed up.

I suggest ten years for writing that low wattage post. It's humane, but still sends a message that we won't put up with those idiots who second guess tough engineering problems without bothering to think.

Comment Re:The war on speech is already being waged.... (Score 1) 377

You claimed that hate-speech laws were either ineffective or actively contributed to the holocaust.

I still do. Note in the quote I gave that the three top pre-war propagandists all had been tried for hate speech. Julius Streicher even made a career of it with two jail sentences and 36 appearances in court by himself or his editors. The trials just generated massive free publicity for the Nazi cause.

My view is hate speech law doesn't even slow down the worst abusers. It's a reward not a punishment. Instead, it's a typical secret police kind of law to force normal people to watch their words because some informer might be in earshot. Best to just not have the law in the first place so that people can freely speak their minds no matter what nastiness is in that mind.

Comment Re:The war on speech is already being waged.... (Score 1) 377

I'm not surprised you're resorting now to a "think of the children" argument. The answer remains "no". Corporal punishment is not speech. Schools which refuse to address bullying aren't speech. Brain changes due to stress are not speech. Characterizing brain changes as "scarring" are not speech.

Everything I've seen you or the rest of the world say about hate speech is that you are trying to ban certain speech that you don't like (and every example you've given so far is something I wouldn't like either). But my view here is that hate speech crosses the line from banning harmful behavior to banning peoples' ability to speak their mind (no matter how many spiders dwell in that mind). If that additional freedom means somehow more brain "scarring" than before in young adults, then sorry, that's a consequence I find acceptable in order to have the necessary level of free speech.

But having said that, I don't believe hate speech laws will actually do anything to prevent harm to children any more than they prevented the Holocaust. Even when such laws are successfully enforced, society loses in many ways.

Comment Re:The war on speech is already being waged.... (Score 1) 377

Your denial of the fact that hate speech 1) Is violence
2) reduces equality from the law and
3) endangers people

What I think is going on is that you are trying to censor legitimate speech and failing hard for the most part. Saying speech is "violence" is meaningless since speech in itself can't cause bodily injury. Saying it reduces equality from the law is vapid since speech doesn't have anything to do with equality of the law. Procedures and actions of the legislature, regulators, law enforcement and the courts do. And of course, you have yet to show that hate speech endangers people.

So not only do I deny your claims, but I believe reality does as well.

Comment Re:Not to Sound iIke a Snowflake... (Score 4, Insightful) 226

It's not only that. The problem with most theories of eugenics is that they draw from experience with agricultural breeding of domesticated species. Humans are not domesticated; we're a wild species with massive genetic diversity compared to, say, purebred Arabian horses.

This means that with us sexual reproduction still does what it is supposed to do: generate genetic diversity in offspring. Look at large families. You get some who are tall and some who are short; some who have Grandpa Joe's nose and others that have Grandpa John's jaw, others who get both or neither. Even with litter of pedigreed puppies you'll get one total loser and if you're lucky one champion; and pedigreed dog litters are much more alike than any set of human siblings. And that's just physical traits; in terms of interests, talents, and success there is massive variability among siblings, although there is some correlation, in part due to economic circumstances, upbringing and education.

Nature works this way because variability is good for the species, and that variability comes from combinations of genes being shuffled. Add to that the massive behavioral plasticity of our gigantic brains, and the idea that you can sample some of, say, Steve Jobs DNA for successful CEO markers is ludicrous. If you'd raised Jobs in a different family and sent him to a different set of schools, and didn't get him luck out by ending up close friends with Woz, then while he may well have been quite successful in some other way, he wouldn't have been the Steve Jobs we knew.

Of course, willingness to go along with the DNA test is a good test for one phenotypical trait: the willingness to put up with pseudo-scientific baloney.

Comment Re:The war on speech is already being waged.... (Score 1) 377

>Just like it did in the Wiemar Republic? Hitler was jailed for the terrible things he said and did. That didn't stop him from gaining power

Every single word in that is a flagrant lie.

Learn grasshopper:

The horror of the Holocaust serves as the founding narrative legitimizing European integration, and it's the key motivation for hate-speech laws on the continent. The European Union has called on all its member states to pass laws criminalizing Holocaust denial. This European narrative is based on a widely accepted interpretation of what led to the Holocaust. It basically says that anti-Semitic hate speech was the decisive trigger, that evil words beget evil deeds, that if only the Weimar government had clamped down on the National Socialists' verbal persecution of the Jews in the years prior to Hitler's rise to power, then the Holocaust would never have happened. I was confronted with this argument during the Danish cartoon crisis, in 2006. People condemned the cartoons as Islamophobic, and warned that the demonization of Muslims might trigger mass violence. "We know what happened in the twenties and thirties," critical voices argued, referring to the seemingly inevitable link between speech and violence.

Researching my book, I looked into what actually happened in the Weimar Republic. I found that, contrary to what most people think, Weimar Germany did have hate-speech laws, and they were applied quite frequently. The assertion that Nazi propaganda played a significant role in mobilizing anti-Jewish sentiment is, of course, irrefutable. But to claim that the Holocaust could have been prevented if only anti-Semitic speech and Nazi propaganda had been banned has little basis in reality. Leading Nazis such as Joseph Goebbels, Theodor Fritsch, and Julius Streicher were all prosecuted for anti-Semitic speech. Streicher served two prison sentences. Rather than deterring the Nazis and countering anti-Semitism, the many court cases served as effective public-relations machinery, affording Streicher the kind of attention he would never have found in a climate of a free and open debate. In the years from 1923 to 1933, Der Stürmer [Streicher's newspaper] was either confiscated or editors taken to court on no fewer than thirty-six occasions. The more charges Streicher faced, the greater became the admiration of his supporters. The courts became an important platform for Streicherâ(TM)s campaign against the Jews. In the words of a present-day civil-rights campaigner, pre-Hitler Germany had laws very much like the anti-hate laws of today, and they were enforced with some vigor. As history so painfully testifies, this type of legislation proved ineffectual on the one occasion when there was a real argument for it.

Reading the history, Hitler's trial for treason was a flagrant failure which devolved right away into a propaganda exercise for Hitler that made him known throughout Germany. The authorities apparently never bothered him about hate speech as far as I can tell and given the consequences of the treason trial, it may have been well that they did not. So in that point, I was incorrect. I had thought that hate speech laws had been applied as part of his trial for treason.

2) No laws had anything to do with Hitler gaining power. Because his gaining of power was entirely extralegal. Contrary to popular belief the NAZIs NEVER won an election. The best they ever did was 11% in 1929. That did, however, gain them some seats in parliament. The conservative government panicked and hoped to appease and quiet the extreme fringe by giving Hitler the presidency. In theory a good move since the presidency was almost entirely a ceremonial role. The president did get to appoint the chancelor but only if the current one resigned, retired or died. Other than that - almost no real power. Except in 1930 the chancelor DID die and the closest thing to a bad law in the entire story was that the constitution did not prohibited the president from appointing himself chancelor - which is what Hitler did. The next day he brutally killed every left-wing politician in parliament. All the conservatives instantly joined the NAZIs for fear of being executed as well. The first pogrom the NAZIs ever did was to rid Germany of socialist politicians.

Hitler was never president of the Wiemar Republic though he tried. That position was won by Hindenburg in 1932 against Hitler. The Nazi party won 37% of the vote for the Reichstag in mid 1932 and lost some ground later that year. But through clever maneuvering, Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg at the beginning of 1933. So far everything was nominally legal from Hitler's point of view (sure he had a history of lawbreaking, but he didn't break the law in achieving the position of Chancellor or in his party obtaining and holding for half a year a plurality of seats on the Reichstag). Key lawbreaking had been done by unrelated parties such as deposing the Free State of Prussia, the single largest obstacle to the end of the Wiemar Republic or ongoing violations of the Treaty of Versailles dating back to the early 1920s.

In the next year, up to Hindenburg's death, Hitler consolidated his power with the purge of rivals and an increase in the covert violations of the Treaty of Versailles. Past that point, he became dictator of Germany and so on.

No truth to your claim whatsoever. None of your claims are true. And the Canadian law you are so panicked about isn't even passed yet - and there is nothing abusive about it, just right-wing press idiots like thefederalist making wild claims about how terrible it is with no evidence that it can or will be abused or that there is anything wrong with it.

I cited a example of abuse of existing Canadian hate speech law in my previous post. I don't know how quoting facts of the case could morph into "no truth to your claim whatsoever", but it's not relevant to me.

By the way - the law in South Africa is stricter -and if anything it suffers because the courts are not willing to enforce it strictly enough. Too many people still get away with illegal racism for example.

What's "illegal racism" here? Just because I oppose hate speech laws doesn't mean I oppose all laws against racist behavior. I would support laws against racist hiring practices, harassment in the workplace, or variation in treatment by police and the justice system. These go beyond speech to actually harming people in concrete ways.

Comment Re:The war on speech is already being waged.... (Score 1) 377

I have, the supreme court has, so has the supreme courts and constitutions of the entire free world. The right to safety, to equality before the law, to freedom from violence - those are all violated by hate speech and anything that does not violate those is not hate speech and you pretending it is, is merely an attempt by you to construct a strawman by painting these laws as if they outlaw mere 'naughty' speech.

Once again, you haven't shown anything. A right to safety, equality before the law, and freedom from violence are not furthered by hate speech laws. In fact all three are undermined by hate speech laws which allows the the state to make you very unsafe and impose violence on you for what you say (violating the first and third rights you mentioned), and the notoriously biased and arbitrary application of hate speech laws (violating the second right you mentioned).

Comment Re: let's get even simpler! (Score 1) 106

It's right there in the article. I'm not missing it, you are.

No, it's not. It's a lazy ass assertion by a bureaucrat. Let's reason this out. Does removing the advertising or changing the branding label remove the feature from the vehicle? No, it doesn't. So the driver can still use the feature to be as inattentive as they can get away with.

There is no credible reason to removing the advertising or changing the name from "autopilot". It's not misleading or false advertising. It doesn't change driver behavior. Thus, it turns out to be completely irrelevant to the actual problem such as it is.

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