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Comment Re:We need a MINISTRY OF TRUTH! (Score 1) 113

The problem with 1984 is that the Ministry of Truth was propaganda, not objective truth. We actually do rely on society, and even government, to tell us what things are actually, really true. That's the entire education system, for example. No, it doesn't always get it right.

Comment Re:employee improvement plan (Score 1) 392

I guess it depends on the company. Around here you don't get put on an "improvement plan" unless you're doing badly enough that firing you is really the only option left. You'd already have had your manager talk to you on multiple occasions about what you needed to fix, and have failed to do that. The improvement plan is just your formal, documented, and last chance to fix it.

That's how it's used here, anyway.

Comment Re:Hillary? (Score 1) 555

In a word, yes. If Hillary so much as coughed, there were news stories about it.

So yeah, when it dawns on someone that the guy who has become known for sending bursts of 3am messages is going to have the ability to send texts to everybody in the country, it gets talked about. In a country where there's probably just as much news coverage of what the Kardashians had for dinner yesterday, that's not really a surprise.

Comment Re:So... (Score 4, Informative) 1321

My understanding of the US system is that the Electoral College votes for the president, and they actually ignored the popular vote and selected Trump in this case.

No, that is completely false. Electoral votes are decided state-by-state. The electors haven't even cast their ballots yet, so the totals you're seeing are how many Trump and Clinton will get if the electors all vote the way the popular vote tells them to. The detail you're missing is that it's the popular vote in each state that matters, not the national popular vote.

For a simplified example of how this works, imagine 3 states with 10 people in them. Each state gets 1 electoral vote.

State A: All 10 people vote for Clinton. She gets one electoral vote.
State B: 6 people vote for Trump, 4 for Clinton. He gets one electoral vote.
State C: 6 people vote for Trump, 4 for Clinton. He gets one electoral vote.

Trump wins the election 2 electoral votes to 1, even though 18 people voted for Clinton and only 12 for Trump.

Comment Re:Surviving on Earth is easier (Score 1) 522

The technology we would need to survive on any other planet besides Earth would also make surviving any catastrophe that could b fall Earth -- including catastrophic climate change, nuclear winter, or a giant meteor -- trivially easy in comparison.

Think of it like RAID. You can improve reliability only so much. Eventually, you have to accept there will be a nonzero failure rate, or a nonzero planet-go-boom rate. The only way to improve the survival of the species beyond that is to be on more than one planet.

Comment You know which answer is nearly always wrong? (Score 1) 165

I really like Schneier's work in general, but if there's one answer that has to be nearly always wrong it's "We need a new government agency."

It's also patently false that because a thing isn't manufactured here, we can't regulate it. We can (and do) regulate the import of things that aren't manufactured here. If he's talking about regulating things that are manufactured, sold, and used elsewhere but also happen to be on the internet, then we just shouldn't be doing that at all anyway.

Comment Re:yes they should (Score 1) 1081

But really it is there for a REASON. You are a citizen of your state first, and then a citizen of the United States.

This was set up in a time when traveling to another state was often a multi-day journey and doesn't reflect present day reality anymore.

I live in one of the battleground states, and lemme tell ya, it was damn weird this cycle realizing how many millions of people's votes didn't matter because of the electoral college. If you're voting for Trump in California or Clinton in Wyoming, you may as well not bother.

Comment Re:Snopes picks strawmen to debunk when it suits t (Score 1) 203

See, Hillary laughed when interviewed about it. It's on the tape [youtube.com]. That doesn't count according to Snopes because "she did not laugh about the case's outcome." They say she was just chuckling a few times, for example when saying she mistrusted polygraph results because they would've indicated her client wasn't guilty. Snopes, please tell us, why is the rape of a 12-year-old funny at all? Should we just ignore that Hillary has a rather morbid sense of humor [youtube.com]?

I've listened to the tape. As someone who doesn't like Clinton at all, it sounded to me like a rueful "can you believe how crazy the system is" laugh.

Personally, I've found Snopes to be pretty reliable and it's nothing short of a terrible irony (cue rueful laugh) that people are finding a measure of success in casting a web site that debunks nonsense on the internet as a purveyor of falsehoods.

Snopes remains a damned reliable method of checking on the validity of the junk the average facebook user posts. If you're the suspicious type, by all means check Snopes and other sites AND check the "facts" they present to see if they're consistent.

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