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Comment Re:And we have Google (Score 1) 204

You can't have it both ways, either we have a forgetful society ... or you let things be remembered forever and applied to your "reputation".

The so-called "right to be forgotten" has exactly zero relevance here. For one, it never prevented anyone from assembling a database of social interactions with "scores" based on individual behavior. It only prohibited the details of that behavior from being searchable by the general public. This new system China is implementing does not need to be public or searchable to be effective and would be fully compatible with the nonsensical "right to be forgotten" laws instituted in the EU. Moreover, the ability to search historical records for once-public information about an individual's past does not in any way imply the degree of official monitoring and collection of private data about individuals that China's plan calls for, much less mandate that this information be used to control access to goods and services in service to the rulers' political and social agenda.

When a person with extensive debt and a history of missing payments is denied a loan based on their credit score, that is simply common sense. If more information allows that risk to be assessed more precisely, so much the better—so long as the information is made available voluntarily, and deliberately hiding relevant data to obtain credit which would not have been extended had the lender known about the risk is tantamount to fraud (i.e. theft). On the other hand, when an otherwise responsible, low-risk individual is denied a loan merely because an intrusive government deems them "potentially subversive" or "not a team player" we have a serious problem, especially when the government exercises significant direct influence over the economy.

TL;DR: The problem is not the absence of "forgetfulness" or the existence of a "reputation score", it's the influence of the government over the economy and the application of political force guided by that information. Without that information the government's meddling would be perhaps a bit less efficient, but no less wrong.

Comment Re:"safe and could withstand an earthquake" (Score 4, Insightful) 240

The building itself might be able to withstand an earthquake, but the ground it's built on might not. In SF, that'd be a concern - especially since the very fact that the building sinks indicates that the ground underneath might be of the type that loses its strength when shaken.

Comment Re:Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! (Score 1) 294

I haven't seen a software project of any complexity come in this close.

Even your average "Hello, World" app running on a modern PC is probably more complex, if you count all the software involved in getting from a few lines of trite source code to pixels on a screen: compilers, program loaders, standard libraries, system calls, filesystems, pseudo-terminals, terminal emulators, IPC, rendering libraries, graphics drivers, window managers, memory management, scheduling, etc. We've just become very good at automating the management of all that complexity behind the scenes, to the point that it's routinely taken for granted and treated almost like magic. Physical designs are trivial by comparison—but the complexity they do have is much harder to manage compared to digital constructs.

Comment Re: Crybabies (Score 1) 524

Since when has anyone who is not an Obama critic been concerned with a Constitutional crisis?

For crying out loud, our current President negotiated a treaty with a hostile foreign power with no consent from the Senate! He just created it out of thin air, and worse, the Senate just rolled over and let him do it!

If a President negotiates a treaty with a foreign power, that is not a Constitutional crisis. Quite the contrary: under the constitution, that's his job. And it's the job of the Senate to ratify such a treaty with a supermajority. I'm not sure where you get the idea that the Senate is not in the picture.

Well the Senate was certainly not in the picture when they secretly landed a plane with pallets full of cash to hand over to the Iranian president...

Comment Re:Crybabies (Score 1) 524

Not that I think there's any evidence, either, but there are only 2 counties in the entire country that gave Hillary the larger popular vote. One is Cook County, where Chicago is, and Chicago is well-known for voter fraud (just check out the evidence from the JFK election). The other is Los Angeles County, CA, a large area with a lot of undocumented immigrants.

Comment Re:It's past time. (Score 1) 1424

The electoral college was specifically designed so the person who won the popular vote could still lose the election.

When the electoral college was designed there was no popular vote for the presidency. The electors were expected to meet, debate, and ultimately select the president and vice president as free agents representing the interests of their respective states—very much as if Congress directly appointed the president and vice president. The role falls to the EC rather than Congress itself mainly to ensure that the electors are all recent appointments, whereas a member of Congress may have been elected up to four years prior. The idea that an elector would be expected to vote for predetermined presidential and vice presidential candidates based on the outcome of a state-wide or nation-wide election (with or without the binding agreements and legal penalties for noncompliance employed by some states) is a comparatively recent invention.

For myself, I don't really care whether the president is selected by the EC or a popular vote. There are pros and cons to both systems. What I would like to see, however, is the option for any candidate to be disqualified through a 20-40% minority veto. Anyone who manages to alienate enough of the voters and/or electors to warrant such a veto should not become President. I do not think it unreasonable to expect that the President should at least be deemed marginally acceptable by 60-80% of the citizens he or she will rule over for the next four years. This business of choosing between two bad candidates (and a few minority candidates who certainly won't win, and are apparently on the ballot only to split the vote) is utter nonsense. The lesser evil is no way to select the representative for an entire nation.

Comment Re:Did they ban VPNs, TOR, etc? (Score 4, Insightful) 250

You think so eh?

Well, they don't need to ban TOR: companies like Google and CloudFlare already make sure you can't access vast swathes of the internet from a TOR exit node. The powers that be don't need to ban TOR because it's effectively been rendered useless by unaccountable privately-owned companies.

In short, these companies do the government's bidding and they're pretty happy to do it - which, incidentally, is a trait of Fascism.

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