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Comment Direct Democracy is the weakest form... (Score 1) 634

When a politician resorts to calling for a referendum, it's very exactly admitting s/he cannot take the issue in charge.
Elected people are supposed to be most responsible persons, carefully selected to take in charge unexpected problems to come -not jupt people that'll call referendums for any new problem.
Otherwise we can as well replace them with automated polling machines.

I for one am not at all for direct democracy, in which obviously the majority of voter do not know all consequences.

Ideally we should vote for people we really are confident in, whose curriculum among others should be convincing -but there are fewer and fewer such, perhaps because of the way political parties work, perhaps because of the way media raise our attention (only to the most shocking out of them, etc.)

Direct democracy elects Hitlers.

This, said by a French citizen, whose country's referendum directly voted against the European Constitution, a mark I'll keep till my death.

Comment Luddites? (Score 4, Interesting) 1052

(...) I'm pretty certain that there would be very negative consequences for society overall if the population is left to starve because of increasing automation.

I'm definitly not accurate on History things, but at some point in the past there was an event in Britain's history called the Luddite's revolution, featuring a (finally failed) anti-machinism attempt...

Maybe we could gain something by looking at what happened at the time, although I fear the relative dimension of the event was different from now (a much smaller population among others)

Comment Simulation, Multiverses, Panspermism = faiths (Score 2, Insightful) 951

Like the idea of Multiverses (you know, this thing when everytime you make a decision, the whole Universe duplicates in two branches, and in the other branch you made the alternate choice), like the theory of Panspermism (life never born around here but brought by some intergalactic comets from unreachable places), we face here a nice theory that completely eliminates the risk of being tested.

In other words, it is not a scientific proposal : it's a faith that is proposed to you.
And a low-grade one at that. The Matrix movie did much better.

We'll soon have enough such topics to start a dictionary, whose first historical chapter would address Angel's sex debates in the Middle Ages.

My concern is, that historical chapter probably will relate the Angel's thing to the time and place where the quarrel happened -the famous city of Byzantia, just when it was about to be destroyed.

History tells us that when a society's intelligence falls this low, its end is very near.

Comment Re:The specs are awful for the money (Score 1) 81

For vector illustration I'd say DrawExpress (admittedly the only good one I know); for cloning MS powerpoint there are various efficient things, like the german PresentationMaker/PlanMaker/Textmaker; for photo serious processing (including raw/dng files, curves correction etc.) you get Photo Mate (also the only one I know).
DE and PM do propose inventive GUIs, specific to 'fingering' on small screens, with striking efficiencies.

Honestly, and while I'll never rely on android installations that are not root by default (which shrinkens enormously the market) I believe the transition from laptops to tablets has already started, and for a couple of years now.

And when it'll be over, with 99% of users not root anymore, we'll cry we hadn't seen it coming.
I see VERY little ways out...

Comment Existing companies partly doing this... (Score 1) 51

among other I retain the Dutch phone company Fairphone, which details its supply of conflict-free metals, selected a (chinese) factory explicitly allowing syndicates etc.

For they second model this year they additionally evolved towards a modular design where one can replace specifically a broken part (be it the screen, the camera, of course the battery...) with either bare hand or a standard screwdriver. Alas in parallel they moved from a pre-rooted android OS to a non-rooted one. So... I remain with their earlier model.

I know no other company doing this, apart the (also Dutch) Max Havelaar coffee suppliers and some minor green food supplies.

Anyone?

Comment Re:The French??? (Score 1) 46

I'm french, and have been part of the European engineering team that built the Huygens lander, part of the Nasa/Esa common mission Cassini-Huygens to Titan. Indeed we Prime contractor were french.
A part of our work was obviously to coordinate with Nasa/JPL, for which almost every quarter a significant part of our team crossed the ocean and got to Pasadena, discussing interfaces a week's long.
The thing which struck us European the most, was that during these delicate and costly missions, everyone at JPL stopped any work at 16:00, whatever the criticality at stake, and even though everyone knew there were precious little hours left to advance before the end of the week.
In the beginning, with the European Space agency engineers we tried to stay in the meeting rooms in order to at least prepare the next morning's meetings. We were promptly ousted out by guards. With dogs.
Let's say this is the real world, instead of the spitting contest I just see here. But, I don't want to bother you in your dreams here.
Don't hesitate to go on spitting.
Mod me down, too.

Comment Re:Upgrade hell, not (Score 1) 39

Well I for one handle various WP sites and upgrading is absolutely not a hell. I have less than a dozen plugins on each, and just update them before upgrading the core. Never found an issue, for a couple of years on.
BTW, I went here to check if some new issues would have appeared when switching to 4.4, and I see none.

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