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Comment On the 'promote the Progress of Science...' thing (Score 1) 92

What has got lost is the 'promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts' bit. The 'by securing' bit has become a religious dogma. In the modern world, examples like Free Software show how the current 'implementation' does not fulfil the aim of 'promot[ing] the Progress of Science and useful Arts'. In the light of the relatively modern invention of modern computing, the 'by' but (the implementation) needs a serious rethink. But those who benefit disproportionately are economically bound to campaign to move law more in line with their interests, and the 'promot[ion of] the Progress of Science and useful Arts' is the victim.

Comment Sneakernet (Score 1) 283

If you want to watch porn in McDonalds, just bring it in on a USB stick. More seriously, though, the 'public health crisis' or porn is a public health crisis with regards to how we deal with what, in our sex drives, is a basic survival instinct which is often strongly frustrated and dissatisfied, and constrained by traditional ideas that it should be all but starved out of existence. First, the main crisis is a near-total lack of sensible sexual education: what these biological functions and drives are, how they feel in various situations, how to use them safely and hygienically, and if you really need to go (just as needing to go to the toilet), what the sensible options are. In crafting a society where there are essentially no sensible options that are publicly acceptable, save for long term relationships, we force relief of sexual frustration into the foundations of long term relationships and marriages, telling people with strong sex drives to pretend to be somebody they're not, telling their partners to trust them to be that somebody they're not, and then acting disgusted when the person pretending to be something they're not can't keep up the pretense any longer, some breach of that trust (to be something they're not) occurs, and the relationship rapidly rips itself apart. By harboring strong traditional expectations, and withholding practical sexual education, we are creating this crisis. The massive popularity of porn is just one symptom, the acts of people instinctively and desperately seeking outlets for their sexual drives, and simultaneously trying to hide those acts to save face and possibly avoid prosecution is another. But make no mistake, by trying to cage our sexual drives and starve them into submission we are creating the problem, and by giving people little in the way of sensible publicly and socially acceptable outlets to relieve these drives, we deny ourselves a means to remedy it. Porn takes the blame for what religious zealotry has created.

Comment Will they ban browsers with JavaScript? Programmin (Score 1) 282

Crypto can be done easily in JavaScript with commonly available libraries. A simple Ajax script with one additional function call ( as in send(end(msg),key) rather than send(msg) and similar for decryption ) is all you need once you have your encryption library and a means of secure key exchange. How they will implement something which can be implemented in a simple php script with a common is library is beyond me.

Comment ISP level is where to do it (Score 1) 146

Rather than requiring foreign sites to adapt, the ISP level porn blockers could be adapted to do this: require an account's owner be age verified. How you separate access from an authorised machine at a home address from one which is not is another matter, but I doubt it's that hard. My worry is that this is more of a political stunt to win votes from conservative votes with tradition-derived anti-sex attitudes, and to try and win the religous vote to the Tories away from Labour: compassion and care for the poor vs anti-porn/sex/gay policy. Sensible followers of religion should be more interested in the former, but I fear the latter is more easy to motivate political support for amongst those (swing voters) who would waver between Lab and Con at an election. In additon, those who care about the ability to access porn for people who are not underage are likely too small a minority to have an effect at the ballot box.

Comment Re:tired of being second (Score 1) 160

Tribal caveman instincts. The basic psychological machinery which leads to 'us vs them' mentality between a group of people and those who are readily observed to be different is something that would have worked well in terms of survivability of groups of humans (tribes) in the many many millennia before civilisation. As such, the machinery has been bred in, and there is no effective means to breed it out, thus the need to teach each and every generation how to prevent these instincts from causing problems. Ironically I find the early scriptural writings of the major religions to be good stabs at doing this, but major religious traditions are often more interested in furthering themselves than actually understanding what their tradition was supposed to be, and vehemently oppose any attempts to persuade them to change (what is labelled 'religious conservatism' in polite circles, but which is basically refusing to turn the steering wheel when your car comes to a bend, declaring that it is divine will that you keep going in the same direction, and that if you hit the tree in front of you, it was foretold and inevitable, or similar). Our basic instincts will harness and co-opt all that they can to further themselves, and that is what they are effectively biologically programmed to do.

Comment Political and foolish (Score 1) 167

Politics has descended into rhetoric and vote-hunting. Nobody in politics cares that much about consequences of policies compared to whether it sounds good with the voters. Porn is a stable bogeyman in religion and politics, a 'great evil that lurks in the dark shadows of the internet' which must be valiantly fought against. Like the 'negative automatic traits' of clinical psychology, these ideas prevent themselves from being challenged: the reality is ignored, rhetoric prevails, votes get won, and nothing gets fixed. The problem with underage people accessing porn is one of sexual education, or lack thereof. Humans naturally seek sexual enjoyment, if starved of this and offered only a few choice morsels, people can be motivated to work desperately. This effect (akin to the squirrel learning an assault course, as shown in a BBC program called Daylight Robbery (2, part 4/4 on youtube if you are interested)) has probably been beneficial in the past, before the rise of modern marketing. Sexual is used in much of marketing because it works. It works because often pictures of scantily clad young women on adverts are all that a young man will see in their day, and their brain will naturally reward and learn things associated with them (the primitive mate hunting instinct, a relic of our evolutionary past, would never have needed to be adapted to modern marketing).

A more sensible and pragmatic viewpoint is that humans in general have sexual desires and fantasies, often quite strong, that leaving these desires starved and frustrated has the capacity to wreak havoc in somebody's decision making. Rather, modern society need to learn to both satisfy and harness these drives, ensuring acceptable and effective outlets exist for everybody so that there is no need to seek sexual outlets elsewhere. Sexual desire, being short lived, is not a good foundation for a long-term loving relationship or a family, and thus in the modern world these things (sex and relationships) need to be less coupled than they have been in the past. Yes, sex has a major place in relationships, and ensuring drives are satisfied is a responsibility of those in that relationship, but how they are satisfied needs to be far less prescribed than it has been in the past. In addition, if there is a mismatch between desires of those in a couple, there needs to be acceptable options if one or both in a relationship are not to be frustrated (and this frustration can have serious detrimental effects psychologically, both individually and on the relationship itself, if that relationship gets perceived as an obstruction preventing relief of sexual frustrations).

Various forms of sexual entertainment need to be available, people need to understand the basic human needs better, how to use sexual entertainment sensibly, when it is a sensible option, how to avoid addiction-like behaviours, how to prevent obsessions growing to the level of being problematic, and so on. Much of this needs to be taught to children in proper sexual education (rather than the traditional religious ideas of 'tell them it's naughty and not to do it, then hope they work everything out for themselves successfully'). Conservative attitudes to sex were probably a good thing back in their day (a few centuries ago, before the rise of modern science and medicine), but these days they do more harm than good. Appealing to them is an effective means of political point scoring (which is what the 'porn filter' stuff has been about).

That said, porn filters by default is not necessarily a bad idea in itself: parents should have a degree of control with respect to what information and imagery of a sexual nature is available, but this control _must be used wisely_ in the raising of children, and that is what I doubt will be the case. Trying to keep the lid on a Pandoras box that was never closed in the first place is stupid and foolish, yet politically expedient on countries such as the UK and the US. When will we learn?

Comment Re:Domestic parliament? (Score 1) 62

The more general one is of rights without obligations. One has rights to own property and resources, but not the obligation to use those resources for the best of everybody. This tacitly encourages people to use them for selfish gain, in line with our inherited caveman psychology. The results in the modern world are plain to see, and we are turning in to a race of overdressed cavemen running around with magic toys.

Comment Capitalism, Self-Interest and Market Failure (Score 0) 496

You have 5 million unemployed, most of them probably could do decent jobs and would want to, provided they were there at decent pay. The trouble with private industry is you have a large collection of self-interested entities all of who want certain things. They do not care about people who could work for which there is no job they can do, they do not care about contributing to a society which could provide pathways for those unemployed, as a private company they cannot afford to, since the resources they would spend wouldn't be recouped by them, and would put them at a competitive disadvantage. So we have a mismatch between what is wanted, and what is available, and the wanters don't want to change their demands, and the available labour won't magically adapt to match the desires of the companies.

Let's get this clear: 5 million unemployed is wasteful. Some may not be able to work for health reasons, but only a small fraction. What happens in the West is that all these competing private companies have no incentive to improve the work situation for those 5 million unemployed, and the nature of market competition means they have a strong incentive no to. Thus bringing the country to a point where jobs are available, or appropriate training is practically accessible, is left to a government who is already heavily in debt to private companies the world over, and thus cannot afford to help the situation either. Those 5 million have little they can do beyond protests and protest votes. This is wasteful, and we need to take a top-down view, seeing all human and material resources as a single pool, and work out how to rectify the situation. Or we can simply have 5 million unemployed, employers with jobs they can't fill, overworked people complaining about the unemployed sitting on their arses, right wing politicians demanding we remove any social support and starve the poor buggers until they magically turn into the workers the private companies want, and left wing politicians demanding we tax the shit out of private companies to pay for better sofas for the unemployed to sit on, better TVs to watch, so as to win their share of the votes, and basically f*** all else. This is a tremendous waste, but who on earth is going to do anything to rectify the situation?

(Yes this is a rant, and is rather less well researched than I would like, so read it as such.)

Comment USB hard drive (Score 1) 226

I prefer to download or rip. My Amazon stick is nice, but both Amazon and Netflix have a habit of changing what is available. How many times have you begun watching a TV series only to have it pulled when you are partway through? In addition, local rips can be played with basically anything. A 32gb microsd in a pi with libreelec/osmc and usb keyboard is a fave. I like something which, when it comes to watching, I can just switch on and have work. I have toyed with a cut down openelec system which autoplays local media (stuck it on using your pc, store, then just plug into your pi and switch on at play time). Streaming is too complex compared to sit down, switch on, press play.

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