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Comment Re:Professional attention whore strikes again (Score 1) 904

It is impossible for an insult appearing in the conclusion of an argument (in the "then" part of an if-then) to constitute an ad hominem.

Interesting. Could you provide a reference link to support that?

Also, ad hominem or not, I still suggest that insulting people generally makes it harder to win them over, not easier, if that's your intended goal.

And you're a fucking retard for not knowing this. (This is a joke. Also, it is not an ad hominem. I hope we've learned something today.)

If calling a stranger who just admitted to mental disability "a fucking retard" is your idea of a joke, then you may really need to work on your comedic skills. And yes, I hope so too.

Comment Re:Professional attention whore strikes again (Score 1) 904

Just in passing, your decision to use prosopagnosia as your example disorder with which to perform an ad hominem is not only in bad taste but also ironic, since the intellectual function of sufferers remains intact (as noted in the very first paragraph of your linked article) and rather than falsify connections it prevents them.

For example, if we were acquainted and I saw you on the street, prosopagnosia would not make me put the wrong name to your face, it would interfere with my recalling any name for you at all - but if you then told me your name again, I could remember you had accidentally insulted me.

Protip: insulting your opponent risks insulting your audience, which tends to ruin your chance to win hearts and minds.

Comment Re:A very good more basic question (Score 1) 720

Hmm. US "federal" budget. You're using the 2015 estimate, checking states budgets... total states spending estimate of 1.83 trillion in 2015, minus 0.59 trillion federal contribution. So combined budget of the USA as a nation in 2015 estimate 5 trillion. Divide by 240 million adult citizens, 20k/y each.

However: UBI would not be giving 20k to every adult citizen. A sensible UBI would be set to the poverty threshold, which 2015 estimate is 12k (averaged, will vary by state). So actually a little over half the US federal and states combined budget should _at most_ go to UBI. Note that current US federal budget spending on SS/unemployment/labor in 2015 already 33%.

A further requirement for UBI to be implementable in the US would necessarily be economic reform to ensure that those who have no need of the UBI (a wild hypothetical appears: those with more than median household income) would return their UBI and fund others to the government via the usual higher-income taxation methods. This would further reduce the budgetary impact.

Inb4 "state vs federal": UBI by definition only works if it is embraced "universally". Given the way the US operates its spending, for UBI to be implementable in any given state, that state's government will have to come to an arrangement with the federal government on how to fund it. This means UBI may not happen in (part of) the US, but that's a political problem not an economic one.

Inb4 "my taxes": you are _already_ paying. And you pay not just in taxes but in the levels of crime, health and liberty you are prepared to accept or surrender.

UBI reduces crime by reducing poverty (indeed, effectively eliminating the latter barring acute/outlier circumstances, and less crime means less taxes you need to pay to combat crime and heal those injured - directly and indirectly - by crime and poverty).

UBI increases liberty by reducing government power (e.g. its ability to control and micromanage distribution, of the taxes you provide for the common welfare, to favor special interest groups).

I hope this helps clear up misconceptions about UBI at least a little.

Comment Re:Wrong Priority (Score 1) 236

Or you could just use a revision numbering format standard that includes a temporal direction, e.g., and insist that third-party drivers adhere to that standard (Microsoft does have a WHQL certification process after all)? That way it wouldn't matter if someone accidentally'd the filesystem date stamps for the driver files at all.

Comment Re:Being a member of a union (Score 1) 594

1. One difference is that, good or evil, a government - a.k.a. hierarchical organisation of some kind - will form due to human nature. A union, however, is only _conditionally_ necessary (as a response to excesses of pre-existing authority). Thus the right to form a union should be upheld, but not the right to forcibly conscript others into that union.

2. Insert long-winded sociological blah that can be TLDR'd as "it really is different, because human nature".

3. There are also laws to prevent the abuse of workers by a boss. If the debate presupposes those aren't being enforced, why does your argument expect laws preventing the abuse of workers by a union to be enforced?

4. Your argument is that having to be stuck with one ruler you didn't vote for is undesirable, so why are you arguing that more rulers you didn't vote for is better?

Comment Re: Backups? (Score 1) 131

Your assumption of whether GP understands the difference is irrelevant to their argument: that during the period where your system is overwriting the only copy, you don't have a backup* to "preserve data in the event of a hardware or other failure"...

Oh, and also? While an archive is not necessarily a backup, a backup is inherently an archive.

* (you may have part of a backup, maybe even parts of two backups, depending on how your backup process overwrites the old one with the new one, but I certainly wouldn't be counting on being able to recover a full backup out of the pieces)

Comment Re:Fortune hunters (Score 2) 455

From the article summary, "a lock-out mechanism to prevent operation of one or more functions of handheld computing devices by drivers when operating vehicles," Apple apparently disagrees?

Yes, you and I both know the reality. And I'd be ecstatic if the entire patent system disappeared up its own hypocritical butthole and never returned. But if Apple wants to make such claims then they can have their day(s) in court to explain how their patent claim isn't actually claiming what it says it claims while still being legally allowed to make that claim.

Comment Re: When's statute of limitations? (Score 1) 73

The problem, as I understand it, is that the espionage laws - the ones that apply to the crime Snowden is accused of - specifically and deliberately _do not allow an exculpatory defence_.

Basically: You admit you drove over your neighbour in your truck? Sorry, you're going to jail - oh, he was about to shoot your cousin? Well, okay, that's a valid defence, we'll let a jury decide whether you went too far.

Snowden: You admit you told the public that the US spy agency that hired you was violating the constitution? You're going to jail - nope, don't care, you're going to jail.

The lawyer is in fact giving Snowden the best possible advice: stay out of the US, because the system is rigged. The laws were deliberately written to screw whistleblowers. Far as I can tell, at this point his options are basically a Presidential pardon (and Obama has stated he can't pardon Snowden before a trial, despite that being total bullshit; q.v. Nixon's pardon), staying out of the CIA's grasp for the rest of his life, or some kind of legal or political deus ex machina.

Comment Re:Secret ballots are a right, not a duty. (Score 1) 317

Yes, and? I'm not saying you must vote. I'm saying that if you do vote, you must vote responsibly. I'll put it as simply as I can for you:

Right to bear arms = Right to vote. You don't have to, but you can.
Duty to handle arms responsibly = Duty to handle votes responsibly. If you are going to do something, do it properly.

Sorry for the late reply.

Comment Re:Secret ballots are a right, not a duty. (Score 2) 317

Wrong. Secret ballots are a right AND a duty, for exactly the same reason guns are in the Second Amendment.

You have the right to bear arms. You have that right because it is "necessary to the security of a free State". What you do NOT have is the right to leave your loaded gun laying around out in public where anyone can use it or record your ownership of it on a list.

Comment Re: Misdemeanor? (Score 1) 317

Which regional superpower is going to invade us if we don't vote the way they want us to?

Organised crime.

And before you go "that's not a regional superpower", you might want to google the effective GDP of organised crime; globally, if organised crime was a country, it'd slot in around 12th place somewhere around India, Russia or Mexico (based on 2009 figures, mind you).

Which still mightn't be a problem if organised crime was actually a nation and its soldiers actually wore uniforms. But it's not and they don't, so good luck with that.

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