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Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 3, Interesting) 347

Donald Trump is an anti tyrant. He's more like a little boy who has no idea what to do or how to do it.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Donald Trump has "ideas" about "what to do." He's pretty famous for them. They may be wacky or unrealistic or even impossible, but he has ideas. Some of which could have major political ramifications if he even attempts to follow through.

Anyhow, I think you may not realize that "tyrants" in world history take many forms. Relatively few of them throughout history started out as clear "twirling the mustache" evil dudes who had a Machiavellian plan to become a "tyrant." Much more common are situations where you take a somewhat average guy, put him in a leadership position, create some tough choices, and watch him choose the bad ones. A lot of "tyrants" throughout history very gradually slipped into tyranny, often with the support of the public along the way, cheered along by their fears and promises of "security" from a well-meaning leader.

You know what prevents that sort of thing? Knowledge. Knowledge of history. Knowledge of politics. Realizations that paths others have taken before have led to badness. History has shown again and again that the most ignorant "nice" folks who end up leadership positions can turn out to be the worst... they don't know any better, so they can be swayed into all sorts of bad acts.

And Donald Trump doesn't even have that "niceness" to go along with his ignorance.

In some ways having a child who doesn't understand politics at the top of what is shown to be an institutionalised assault on the rights of all may actually be a good thing.

Maybe. Or it could be even a faster track to a dictatorship. The problem is that it's completely unpredictable.

None of this should be viewed as an argument in favor of Clinton, who is also a terrible candidate. But acting like things are likely to be better because Trump is an "outsider" and less corrupt (at least by the political establishment) is just not a safe bet.

Comment Re:You're being silly (Score 2) 370

The evil libtardos aren't coming for your guns.

Well, Hillary Clinton thinks the Supreme Court is incorrect, and that we don't have the individual right to own guns. That what she says to her money people when she hopes the press isn't listening. She's also said she'd consider confiscation, a la Australia. And the left is cheering her lying, corrupt self into office - not least because they agree with her on this - the constitution is there to be "reinterpreted," as Clinton puts it.

Do you have any idea what you're chances are against a modern, mechanized army?

What does that matter? That's not why millions and millions of Americans own guns. They use them for sport, for hunting, and - as record numbers of recent buyers are showing in research - for self defense, especially in the context of social unrest. That's EXACTLY what the founders had in mind when they said that the government could not be allowed to have the monopoly on keeping and bearing arms: so that individuals could exercise their own rights to do so if and as they see fit. For whatever reason they see as appropriate. A standing army being necessary for the country, it's not to be considered justification for infringing the people's rights to their own tools of self defense. Sound familiar?

Stop caring so damn much about your precious firearms and start doing something about oppression brought on by wealth inequality.

Ah, I get it. Because someone else is prosperous, your right to vote is being oppressed. Or your right to assemble, or freely speak. Or your ability to go to school. Or your ability to ... which ability is it that you're being denied because someone else has money, again? It's not a fixed-sized pie, dude. If it was, we'd all be living in total poverty. But we're not. The standard of living has never been higher in human history. The "poor" live better than the vast majority of humanity ever could have dreamed.

Wage slavery? Get rid of nonsense like Obamacare, which went out of its way to entrench the system that prevents you from shopping across state lines for health insurance, and went out of its way to keep such services expensive by carefully avoiding tort reform at all costs. Or... do you mean that people who haven't trained themselves to do something valuable are finding it hard to move on in life? Yes, getting rid of our ability to defend ourselves will definitely fix that. We can only do one thing at a time, right?

Voter disenfranchisement? Yes, this is a real problem. We have millions of dead an ineligible people registered to vote. Every time a vote is cast in one of their names, that disenfranchises a person who is voting legitimately. When the Clinton campaign spreads around information, as we've just seen, about how to get illegal immigrants into the voting booth, that disenfranchises people who play by the rules. Definitely a serious problem, I agree. But the disenfranchising actions of voters mostly as encouraged by liberal activist groups go largely unprosecuted because that task would fall to the very party in power that encourages the crime. So, we have to live with it. Steps to mitigate it, like having to show who you are when you vote, just like you have to when you cash a government check, are considered "racist" by disingenuous people who know perfectly well it's not, but there you have it.

Hell, there are folks who matter talking about taking away women's right to vote.

They only "matter" in the sense that you're enjoying mentioning them. There is nobody with any prospect of infringing that liberty calling for that. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who certainly leans towards infringing constitutionally protected liberties and says so out loud, to great applause from the usual would-be little tyrants on the left.

It's been 8 years. Don't you think if he was going to do it he would have?

He knows he can't get what he wants past a legislature more inclined to protect those rights. He fails on that front because what he proposes - usually in the wake of some broken person killing some people - fails on the face of it to even address the actual problem (broken people). He doesn't propose making it easier to lock up crazy people, he proposes making it harder for law abiding, non-violent people to possess or transfer a firearm ... even though that would exactly nothing to stop, say, a Sandy Hook type incident. So every time he talks about "using his pen" to limit rights, it fails because, of course, people see right through the total lack of causality in the chain of things he pretends he's addressing. He's had multiple unconstitutional executive orders smacked down in the courts, exactly as they should have been. Hillary Clinton wants a court that would prevent those checks and balances from impacting her agenda (see above-mentioned confiscatory sensibilities and assertion that, for example, the second amendment doesn't mean what the founders said it means).

Comment Re:Yes, selecting the US president isn't "gossip" (Score 3, Insightful) 313

Those parts of the emails are valid to report on. Stuff like a staffer thinking Lessig is smug is not valid to report on.

Who determines what is "valid" to report on?

Good reporters report on the part that matters, bad reporters just try to find something salacious to poke a bee hive.

Yeah, except "the part that matters" is never some objective category valid for all places, times, and people. This site used to have a tagline about "stuff that matters," but the reality is that a lot of the stuff posted here didn't "matter" to the vast majority of people in the world. Meanwhile, a lot of stuff that "matters" to the vast majority of the world wouldn't be of interest to a significant portion of the audience here (e.g., sports, celebrity gossip).

Here's the reality of journalism -- the "news" is mostly about selling stuff, NOT informing people. Yes, "good journalists" who want to be respected generally tend to focus on certain topics and ignore others, but they are conscious of the "bottom line" like everyone else. And if some reporter claims to be completely oblivious to stuff like that, you can darn well bet their editor isn't.

So, the question is rarely "Is this too salacious to be 'legitimate' news, or does it 'matter'?" The question is usually, "We know that this will get a lot of clicks/sell a lot of ads/papers/whatever. But will it piss off our readership or advertisers if we do so?" Somewhere down the list, far below that set of concerns about revenue, maintaining readers and advertisers, etc., are things like, "Is this 'respectable journalism'?" Or, "Does this matter?"

Because, let's be honest here -- even if something appears to be "too salacious" to be a story, if it gets caught up by SOME major media source, eventually most of the other major media will start reporting on it. You don't want to be the newspaper or whatever who steps "out of line" and starts looking like a cheap tabloid, but as long as everybody else is writing about it, it's gonna be fair game.

What really "matters"? Human life? Well, most Americans (even educated liberal well-meaning and loving ones) don't really have much interest in African news. I mean, some say they do -- but they really don't care about reading about that stuff every day, even if every day is pretty much a bad day for millions of people in Africa.

Meanwhile, is the Queen of England having another great-grandchild?!? Let's devote weeks of news for that. Does that "matter"? I don't mean to pick on the royals -- any celebrity gossip will do. Or what about sports? Does that really "matter"? It's certainly not going to have as much of an impact as that genocidal African dictator, but editors know that there are loads of people who basically pull the "sports section" out a newspaper (or do the equivalent online) and ignore most of the rest.

But to bring this back to the current political stuff and scandals, we basically end up in a situation where fans of politician A think stuff "doesn't matter" and publishing it is "salacious" but people who don't like politician A definitely think it matters. To many fans of Bill Clinton, the various scandals about possible affairs and interns "didn't matter" compared to his leadership capabilities as President. To some Trump fans, clearly his views on women also "don't matter" to the evaluation of his leadership abilities. (I'm not equating these two people or their actions by any means, just noting similar reactions I've noted among fans.)

To those fans, publishing a bunch of stories about such stuff is just "salacious" and yellow journalism, which is targeting stuff that should be irrelevant to their political life. To others, this "matters" deeply and it's irresponsible NOT to publish something that tells you something about their "character."

Anyhow, getting to TFA, the question of where information came from is WAY down the list, far below other ethical concerns about journalistic "integrity" and reputations of the media source and individual reporter. (Note that I'm assuming the information is verifiable, as much of it seems to be in the present case. Obviously if there was a question of whether the information was even true, that's a separate issue. But assuming it is believed to be true, it's really unfathomable to me that most modern journalists would ignore a story simply on the basis of where the information came from... legal or not. Even if they tried not to report, other media sources would, and then they'd be duty bound to do so as well to avoid being left behind in coverage.)

Comment Re:Cui Bono? (Score 1, Insightful) 146

They demonstrate subterfuge, lying

The emails we've all be pawing through for the last several weeks (not just Podesta's, obviously - Clinton's own, as released by the FBI and State in as absolutely slow a manner as they can muster, when those should have been FOIA-able records the day she left office) demonstrate that she was lying under oath before congress. The bulk of the emails, yes, simply show that she and her team lie regularly to their supporters and the voters, on almost every matter before them. But what matters is her fictions surrounding her provisioning and use of her home server to do official business, and her destruction of records after being subpoenaed for them by congress.

I don't really care about the rest of it. That the (now) head of the DNC was just caught red-handed providing Clinton with a verbatim debate question in advance of the event (and, of course, now lying about that) or a hundred other little behind-the-scenes bits of tawdriness and sleaze is indeed just typical politics. But lying before congress, destroying federal records, and playing fast and loose with classified material (in a way that would prevent anyone else from ever holding a federal job again, and possibly landing them in prison) actually matters.

Comment Re:Cui Bono? (Score 0, Flamebait) 146

So your take on all of those thousands of emails, including the ones that further demonstrate the lying and corruption of the Clinton machine, are ... what, fake? Are you aware of explicit, credible denials about, say, the accuracy of those Podesta emails (in, say, the form of Podesta or his correspondents releasing alternate versions of them) ... that nobody else knows about? No? Didn't think so.

Comment Re: Equal amounts? (Score 1) 316

Barring that, I think pushing Johnson or Stein into double digits would be fantastic.

Why? Getting them in to double digits is guaranteeing that Clinton will be in power and will shape the Supreme Court for next 20-30 years. Her loathsomeness extends to her ideology, not just her corrupt ways of working people and making herself wealthy at the public trough. She's anti-liberty. Trump can be a tool, socially, but we know which direction is SCOTUS nominees will lean: towards contstructionism, not tyrannical liberal activism a la Clinton. Having a hissy fit and voting for the Libertarian or Green candidates is guaranteeing the Hillary Clinton will be our chief law enforcement officer for at least the next four years, and will seat justices that are as hostile as she is to the liberties protected by the constitution.

Comment Re:Equal amounts? (Score 1) 316

How about not sensationalising everything they publish?

They publish non-sensational stuff all the time. But written evidence reinforcing our long understanding of Hillary Clinton's parade of corruption is rather sensational here in the weeks right before millions of people who know she's a corrupt liar none the less make her the chief law enforcement officer of the country. You don't think things related to that deserve some attention?

The "stuff they're leaking" is ABOUT politics. It's the DNC (a political entity) and her campaign (a political entity) making back room deals with the media, among others, to spin for her in her quest for power. How can leaks that are entirely about a politician's conduct and the behavior of her supporting minions in their pursuit of the White House be anything BUT political in nature?

Comment Re: Great! (Score 1) 261

We agree on the rights that we agree to protect. Then when someone decides they don't care about that agreement, we agree on what to do about that person if they act in violation of our agreement. If someone outside of our agreement decides they don't care how we operate as a society, and looks to destroy it (or parts of it) for the lulz or for territorial acquisition etc., then we agree on when and to what degree we do something about it.

You're "that's cute" bit of phony condescension shows you to be just another whiner who likes to pretend we can't decide on and enforce the protection of such things because your notion of what you're entitled to is at odds with everyone else's. Just to help your cause, you're complaining about other people's greed, to fake insulating yourself from anyone else's criticism that you're too lazy to get involved in the defense of the rights we recognize. So, just another anonymously craven, lazy whiner troll who thinks that calling other people cute gets them off the hook for their own intellectual cowardice. Carry on! Just remember you're not kidding anyone.

Comment Re:AI -- FAR more hype than substance (Score 1) 207

But the things you listed aren't features of intelligence, they're bugs in our brains (or simply, things that natural selection de-emphasized out of comparative irrelevance in your basic cave man survival scenario).

Nope, they aren't "bugs." Learning is fundamentally about prioritizing information, making "higher-level connections," creating abstractions that lead to "understanding," etc. No AI system can do this on even the level of a small human child. But a fundamental process necessary to this stuff is being able to prioritize information, which necessarily entails de-emphasizing most of input that's less relevant. It doesn't NEED to be forgotten, but these "bugs" are probably the most efficient way of dealing with the problem.

If those short term memories were more reliably committed to long-term, or there was no real distinction between those things, would that really be a disqualifyier for intelligence?

Yes, if the "long-term" commitment was not accompanied by an incredibly complex (by current AI standards) abstraction process that effectively renders most of the irrelevant "long-term" data as "background" that would rarely or never be accessed anyway. "Forgetting" again is not essential to the process of intelligence, but it likely makes it a lot more efficient and easier for the algorithms in our brains to work. A computer AI which refuses to prioritize information in this way is always going to lag way behind human comprehension.

Comment Re:AI -- FAR more hype than substance (Score 1) 207

Filtering out extraneous data and acting on the environment is something all living things can do but computers are horrible at.

Unless computers have been trained to do exactly that. We're (genetically) trained to do so through natural selection. Things like software controlled radios are trained to do the exact same thing through careful programming in comparatively short time, rather than across millions of years of trial and error.

Comment Re: Great! (Score 1) 261

Yeah, Dyn is just a bunch of clueless amateurs. If only they'd asked you how to mitigate a colossal DDoS flood. You'd tell them: security! Because ... the problem with a publicly exposed service that doesn't work if it's not publicly exposed, is that it doesn't have good enough security to keep the public traffic out. Gotcha.

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