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Comment Re:Wikileaks absolutely does "vetting" ... (Score 1) 303

I've watched the video, and though I seriously hope that there will be a Nuremberg Trial for the people who decided to illegally invade a foreign country (however disgusting its leader was) and for the people who decided that it was OK to police a civilian city with missile-armed helicopters, this particular incident was a honest mistake.

They did not lie, the video shows very well how difficult it was to see anything at the distance they were (I was absolutely unable to tell if the things the journalists carried were weapons or not), the guys in the 'copter were very honest about what they were seeing ("possible presence of weapons"), and it's only after a radio exchange with a ground team who had no access to the live video stream than the pilots forgot the "possible" part of "possible presence of weapons" - classical logic jump for people without thorough scientific reasoning.

Again as a very classical example of basic human psychology trumping rigorous analysis, once they fired they never went back to asking themselves whether their very uncertain target assessment were correct: when they saw people coming to help they assumed it was the "insurgent support team" and eagerly fired.

Which, if one finds himself in a counter-insurgency task (which means that something has seriously derailed before), is a logical thing to do: it's so difficult to discriminate insurgents from the general population that if one wants to eliminate insurgents (which obviously means that one has a lot of soul-searching to do, because something probably went wrong before), an occasion to take out a whole bunch of them is gold and should not be missed.

Even after they identified children among the dead, and again as a classical example of basic human psychology, the copter pilots did not pause to ask themselves whether their target assignment was wrong, but rather considered that "terrorists should not bring children with them in their attacks".


So, ordinary men did their ordinary job, and got the ordinary result one gets when policing cities with missile-armed helicopters...

Comment Ergenokon (Score 1) 99

Ergenekon is not "an armed group", it's the Deep State - alliance between secret service, far-right politicians, some high-ranked officials, some big business representatives, and organized crime, all more or less under CIA control, in order to "fight communism".
It's standard procedure in all NATO, but pushed to unprecedented levels in Turkey (even more than in Italy), and fell under the spotlights with the Susurluk car crash in 1996.

So the Ergenekon trials were a very important step in the democratization of Turkey, as many AKP voters did vote for AKP not because of its islamist program but because they saw it as the only force able to tackle the Deep State.

Now that Erdogan is backing away from the democratization process and alleging that Ergenekon trials were misconducted by Gülen sympathizers in the Judicial branch, such revelations come at a very opportune moment...
It doesn't mean that this forensic expertise is false, but they need to bring proofs, not "we say so so it is so"...
Without auditable proofs, the whole story should be taken with a grain of salt.

Comment Re:How it works. (Score 1) 144

Thanks for your informed reply, but are these mosquitoes bred in sterile environment? If not, they'll be carrying tetracycline-resistant bacteria with them, won't they?
Apart from that, amongst the millions (if not billions) mosquitoes released, who is to say that ALL of the descendants will be mutation-free and so actually dead before hatching? What genes are really included in the package beyond the sterility one, and so will be released into the natural mosquito population if a descendant survive? Gene-slicing is a darwinian process, it doesn't add ONE gene only...
And if I understand correctly what has been said, selection of the males is by culling of the females, based on size of the mosquitoes (the females being much larger). Which means there is probably a small error margin in the process, which will lead females to be released too, and have offsprings.
Basically, it seems a good idea, but are all these concerns really accounted for?
The solution not being open-sourced AFAIK, it's a bit hard to tell...

Comment Re:Another example of rigging the system (Score 1) 106

Downloading is ethical not because it is free to the user, but because it is free to humanity - you create wealth as you copy, you don't take it from anybody.
Yes, there is still the need to fund the initial creation, something the majors are notably inefficient at - that's why we have Patreon and Tippee and Kickstarter and such.
Yes, crowdfunding creation is nowhere in scale yet in par with creation funding needs, but that's mostly because the MAFIAA has spent tons of money these last years trying to prevent an efficient economic model to emerge...

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