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Comment Have we lost the battle? Tragedy of the Commons (Score 1) 38

"Criminals need the internet to make money. They do not want to kill the net and they do not want to make it unusable for their victims."

But the tragedy of the commons shows how a group of criminals, none of whom want to kill off the net may end up doing so anyway because they are (a) greedy and (b) unable to coordinate their actions to keep their greed in check.

The net is a classic common pool resource, which means that Tragedy of the Commons is a real threat when each additional attack increases the profit to an individual black hat while reducing the collective profits taken by all of the black hats (the marginal utility to the individual is positive, but the marginal utility to the whole dark economy is negative). Over-fishing is a classic example.

Elinor Ostrom showed that in real life, common pool resources can be successfully managed against this threat, but only when there is a mechanism to set and enforce rules (either through formal governance or through informal norms and sanctions). Essentially, unless black hats develop their own dark government to effectively control and limit attacks, there is a real possibility, in principle at least, of tragedy of the commons bringing down the net.

However, just because it is possible does not make it likely. I am not qualified to assess the probability of this kind of collapse.

Comment Re:Not a Cliiimate Scientist (Score 1) 257

Well, he also doesn't know what he is talking about either. John Kasich has publicly said that humans contribute to climate change but he doesn't agree with the approaches to it with the EPA.

Kasich frequently asserts that "we don't know how much humans actually contribute" to climate change." And since scientific assessments can determine that there is greater than 90% probability that human activity is responsible for more most of the observed warming of the last half-century, Kasich is either dishonest or ignorant about the science.

Comment Re:Odd bedfellows. (Score 1) 96

"Justice is what the judge had for breakfast" isn't just a silly blurb, there was a study that showed increased parole rates for cases after lunch hours. Granted, it was probably American courts, but I doubt UK courts are equipped with enough checks and balances to avoid the fallibility of arbitrary law.

It was Israeli courts. http://www.pnas.org/content/10...

Comment Re: Location Location Location (Score 1) 63

It turns out there's a massive amount of stuff that ultra-low latency isn't that important for.

I have no expertise here, but it strikes me that it's not just about latency due to path length and signal-propagation speed. It's also about traffic congestion.

If you shift a huge amount of traffic from inside the continent to overseas sites, you are moving form a highly connected network to one in which all the traffic has to move through a much smaller number of edges. If lots of companies moved lots of high-traffic data centers overseas, how would this traffic impact congestion on the international connections?

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 138

Child porn is illegal, even if it involves NO CHILDREN whatsoever. Many of the people being prosecuted were making or viewing animations or adult actors, not anything involving actual children.

Didn't Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition 535 US 234 (2002) overturn that and rule that the First Amendment protects cartoons, animations, and other works that do not show the sexual violation of actual children?

Comment Re:there are plenty (Score 2) 330

I wonder, if you are slow, or am I so unclear... Did you not see the requirement for pairs of links? One to a prediction, the other — to its confirmation?

Comment Re:Climate modeling (Score 1) 330

Dyson's big reason not to worry about climate change is that "I consider it likely that we shall have “genetically engineered carbon-eating trees” within twenty years, and almost certainly within fifty years. ... After we have mastered biotechnology, the rules of the climate game will be radically changed." I am not so sanguine about betting the world's economy on massive breakthroughs in genetic engineering technology. Maybe they're work out, but maybe this prediction will be about as useful as Dyson's designs for spaceships powered by nuclear bombs.

Comment Re:"writing" has nothing to do with it (Score 1) 122

Maybe you didn't understand what I was talking about. Your grant proposals and tenure review processes are secondary effects here. The primary driver is how the government sets its budget internally.

Thank you for the clarification. That context wasn't clear to me in your original comment and this makes it much clearer. I thought you were talking about how individual scientists' work is judged, but you were talking about how science is judged on a much larger scale, and in that context you are correct.

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