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Journal Journal: Angst Badger - Why SUV's wont DIE but will have to be KILLED

Re:One person suffering trade offs is not conclusi (Score:4)
by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday August 14, @05:48AM (#13314855)
There's more to it than that. Anyone remember Thorstein Veblen's theory of conspicuous consumption? The basic idea, for those who haven't, is that when unnecessary overconsumption is socially sanctioned -- that is, when it becomes fashionable -- then the normal laws of supply and demands are, if not suspended altogether, then greatly modified.

There is no consumer pressure to make fuel-efficient cars because the very inefficiency and extravagance of the modern SUV is what is really being purchased by design. People want wasteful, expensive vehicles because they are fashion statements. They say, "Look at me! I have assloads of discretionary income." An Armani suit is manifestly inferior to jeans and a denim work shirt in purely practical terms, but no one buys Armani because it's practical. A twenty-dollar digital watch is a functionally better watch than a fancy Rolex, but people aren't buying Rolexes because of their chronographic accuracy.

If you want to reduce the waste of resources, you have two options: make efficiency hipper than waste, or require efficiency through regulation. To wait for simple market forces to correct the situation is to wait in vain: viewed through a purely economic lens, the market is working correctly. It is delivering what people want, which is waste.

Energy-efficiency is primarily a social problem, and only secondarily a technological or economic problem. Oh sure, in the long term, energy-efficiency is a survival problem for the human race, but humans are not very good at long-term decision-making.
If you can read this, you aren't the President.

User Journal

Journal Journal: imsmith - finally explained the tyranny of the masses

Re:Feeling Privacy (Score:5, Insightful)
by imsmith (239784) on Monday March 28, @12:05AM (#12062484)
Privacy is not the diametric to freedom, it is a freedom.

Privacy is the freedom to control access to information about yourself and your behavior from those who you would rather not know it because it is embarrassing, incriminating, or simply against your wishes.

Freedom is not synonymous with an open society either, in fact an fully open society is the least free (libre) arrangement of human interaction because there isn't any haven from the will of others to impose themselves or their ideas upon you. No thought may go unchecked by the group, no dream unconfirmed to the mores of the society at large.

You cleave to the idea that there is the 'truly moral' while simultaneously evoking that the 'government is us', which I find a little silly.

If the government is in fact 'us', then the tyranny of the mass is reason enough to demand and safeguard our privacy, and insist on something less than an fully open society.

If there is a 'truly moral' way of living, then there cannot be a government of the people, for the people, and by the people because it would imply either that this moral truth is known by people, thereby rendering moot the need for government at all, or that in the absence of this knowledge personally, the collective acts of a nation can be somehow conformed to a superior standard of conduct, which betrays the notion that the people are self-governing, since they do not possess the knowledge of the moral truth themselves and are instead being governed by the ideology that is external to them.

It is a logical fallacy that we are somehow "safe" from a sub-set of the population that is opposed to a particular behavior or belief and is empowered to act with authority to eliminate that behavior.

There is an enormous difference between what is moral and what is legal. Legality is the thing of government and of power. Morality is the thing of humanity and of ethics.

What is criminal today can overnight become legal, and vice versa, simply by the caprice of a majority of 538 human beings in the District of Columbia. That isn't a complaint, it is a fact. To live under the illusion that you aren't potentially a target of someone's bias, prejudice, or ideological action is really pretty foolish.

I'm sure that few people in the Arab-American or American-Islamic communities realized they would become the enemy, subject to seizure, torture, imprisonment without charge, and social stigma simply for the way the looked, who they spent time with, the books they read, or the location of their religious centers on September 10th 2001. They likely felt just as most Japanese-Americans did on December 6th 1941.

Just because what you do is "what everyone is doing" doesn't make it morally OK. It makes it popular. It was popular to ignore the Nazi rise to power and the lynchings in the deep south and the Inquisition, too. None of those are considered morally OK. Morality, when viewed through the lens of history, generally is the opposition to power being abused, not the tacit acquiescence to brutality.

Living a life shrouded in secrecy isn't an un-free life if you are doing it because you choose not to share the intimate details of your life, not because you have to. Living a life under surveillance and scrutiny by anonymous actors who believe they are above reproach and constantly on the lookout for any small breech of one of a myriad of civil and criminal laws that no one can abide by is not freedom. When everything is a crime and the enforcers pick and choose to whom and when the law will apply, that is not government by the people. When you think that what you are doing is truly morally OK, and that the government will never think you aren't, you are living a life that is not free.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Beefo - either an idiot or a troll

Re:Cheap? Clean? when will we learn (Score:3, Interesting)
by beefo (738495) on Friday December 10, @01:47PM (#11050651)

Yeah, I know I'm ill informed. It's true. I've never worked on a tokomak or any other nuclear facility. I do know that it takes more than two degree C from ambient to make fusion happen with known methods. And the product of twenty years of operation is not well understood, there is more than one person in the nuclear field (possibly informed, and/or just crazy) that wonders what happens to materials even if the neutrons are not 'hot'. The argument that nearby materials will not get dangerous appears to be based on statistics (of course because this is all you've got). So who is looking at real failure modes (versus the ones where things get two degrees out of wack and the confinement politly disipates into a safe cloud of well behaved plasma)? Take another look at the density goals for these operations, recalculate the energy moderation outside a confinement, then let me know if you still come up with only two degrees. (I'm also pretty bad at arithmetic, so I get exponents wrong all the time, just by one or two, but hey, a few degrees of magnitude make all the difference, don't they)

User Journal

Journal Journal: ratamacue - insightfull bugger - add me to your newsletter

Re:China also jailing journalists. (Score:2)
by ratamacue (593855) on Wednesday December 01, @12:49PM (#10962109)
China is an amalgam that has been held together by force rather than by desire

Every government is held together by force, because force is the fundamental tool and first prerequisite of government. If government were voluntary, it wouldn't be government at all -- it would be free enterprise, and it wouldn't posess the right to initiate force. Don't be fooled into thinking that the voting process removes the element of force from government.

The difference between force and voluntary association is the difference between government and everyone else. Government is the organization which holds the unique right to initiate force as a means to an end; anyone else who does so is a criminal. That is the only consistent, absolute, and universal way to define government. Always has been, and always will be. Notice I've said absolutely nothing about whether government is moral, practical, or efficient -- I've only provided the absolute definition of government.

The concept of "voluntary government" (and I put that in quotes because it cannot possibly exist) is primarily used by democratic governments as justification of their powers over the people. In reality, there is nothing voluntary about any government. If you don't comply, you will be threatened with deadly force, and if you fight in self-defense, you will face deadly force itself.

The bottom line is that the social contract theory is a logical impossibility. It states that citizens volunteer to submit to government rule. On first glance, this seems like a perfect way to justify anything government could possibly do. On closer inspection, you will find that the social contract theory claims the impossible.

Force and voluntary association are the only two possible modes of human interaction. Every single interaction you have with others throughout your life may be classified as either involuntary or voluntary association, but never both. Why? Because the two concepts are mutually exclusive and logically opposite -- a person cannot volunteer to be forced, just as you cannot force a person to volunteer. Otherwise, neither concept would have any meaning!

Either you initiate force as a means to an end, or you don't. Civilians don't; government and criminals do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Disaster awaiting- F for foresight

Re:1,791.38 GBP (Score:5, Interesting)
by Coryoth (254751) on Tuesday November 30, @02:45AM (#10949319)
( | Last Journal: Friday November 26, @10:40PM )
There's plenty to worry about. See my sig for an attempt a non-partisan, level headed approach to looking into the economic issues the US may in fact be facing.

Elephants in the living Room: Possibilities for Economic Peril []

User Journal

Journal Journal: DigiShaman -Some-one so naive should'nt have a computer! Foe

Re:milspec requirements (Score:2)
by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday November 29, @10:59AM (#10941498)
( )
"But it looks like Bush will just start up another war, so you may be in luck."

If he does, it's NOT because he wants too. Hell, he almost lost the election because of the war. The only reason I can fathom Bush starting another war is due to national security based in intelligence gathering. But, that information is classified to the general public and may not be declassified for a very long time. I guess untill then, the conspiracy theories will be running rampent.

Anyways, just my humble POV.

User Journal

Journal Journal: singularity - some-one who gets bluetooth

Bluetooth dead? I hope not... (Score:5, Insightful)
by singularity (2031) * > on Tuesday November 09, @05:16PM (#10767042)
( | Last Journal: Tuesday October 12, @11:17PM )
I am glad to see Bluetooth development continues. It seems like a technology that was released just a little before its time.

I have written before on my desire to see a true PAN (Personal Area Network), and there does seem to be some work being done on this idea.

Instead of going to all-in-one units (the PDA/phone/camera/game machine Slashdot users like to rant against), why not have individual pieces that work together seamlessly?

Imagine a phone being broken into three pieces - a headset (similar to the Bluetooth ones you are seeing now), the actual phone receiver (for interacting with your provider) that is nothing more than a small matchbook sized piece without any UI, and then a full PDA to contain addresses and phone numbers. Want to call someone? Grab your PDA and hit a phone number. it uses the PAN to tell the phone what to dial, which then uses the PAN to interact with the headset.

Do not want to carry the PDA that day? Fine, leave it at home. It is always synced with the phone device, which can be controlled using your voice (voice dialing).

Taking pictures? Listening to music? Why should my digital camera be limited to the 128-512 meg flash card I put into it? I have my iPod/MP3 player with hard drive on me! The camera could use the PAN to save images to the hard drive on the MP3 player. You could even separate the MP3 player from the hard drive, and use the PAN to stream from hard drive to a set of PAN-enabled headphones (or to an MP3 control device hooked up to the headphones).

So you put pictures you took with your digital camera onto the hard drive. Want to view them? Take out your PDA with its nice screen and view them on that via the PAN.

Want to get online? Pull out your PDA (or laptop) and have it interact seamlessly with your phone device to get online.

Walk up to a computer? Have it PAN-enabled so it detects who you are before you sit down (or not, depending on how security-minded you are).

The advantage of Bluetooth over 802.11[x] is the power constraints. Bluetooth and similar technologies are designed with battery life in mind. I do not want to have to charge every PAN device I have every night to make sure I do not run out of battery just walking around.

The technology to do all of this currently exists. I think this is the next step Bluetooth (or a Bluetooth replacement) needs to take.
- (c) 2004 Hank Zimmerman

User Journal

Journal Journal: millahtime - Just another troll

Maybe not (Score:0, Offtopic)
by millahtime (710421) on Monday November 08, @10:21PM (#10760076)
( | Last Journal: Wednesday June 02, @03:20PM )
Well, I know I will get hit hard for this but have to bring it up....

What about the flood written about in the bible, in ancient writings of India, written about by the ancient peoples of middle america and in many other old cultures? Could this have been it? Could they have all drown?

It has been estimated that if all the ice melted and the rain all come down that there would be quite a distance of water over the highest peak of the planet. Could this be it?
The media is saying what!?!?!?! []

User Journal

Journal Journal: AJS - a geek that understands gadget lust

Re:Third time's a charm... (Score:3)
by ajs (35943) on Saturday November 06, @06:26PM (#10742382)
( | Last Journal: Sunday October 24, @02:33PM )
Can I get a phone that is just a phone please?

Not trivially, no. There are many reasons for this. First, "just a phone" is a term that is in flux. Certainly 15 years ago, that meant a device that was attached to a wall either directly or by a short cord, and converted your face-noise to analog signal on a copper wire.

So, what you're saying now is you want a wireless phone-like device. Then you say you want to block numbers... well that's not really a phone-like thing at all. Certainly not a phone-like thing when measured against what phones have done for the last 50 years!

You're asking for a new device. While your wish list is nice, to ignore the wish list of the vast majority of other customers would be neglegent on the part of the management of the cell phone manufacturers.

No I don't want a crappy digital camera on my phone.

And yet, the idea of camera phones has caught on like wildfire, and is one of the single most popular modifications to the basic cell phone since user-downloadable ring-tones. I'm not saying you're wrong not to want this, but to act as if the industry is going off half cocked and ignoring the customer is putting blinders on to who the customer really is.

No I don't want a crappy music player on my phone. No I don't want a crappy web browser on my phone.

Granted, implementations of these features have been lame to say the best.

What the world really IS waiting for is a decent, way to manage contacts. Now that phones are portable, we NEED a way to have our numbers move with us as trivially as that note-pad that we used to keep by the phone pre-cell. Replacing a phone should not be traumatic, but because of the proprietary formats involved it IS. You usually need a for-pay version of Outlook on Windows just to read the data from your phone. This makes no sense.


Once again, define phone.

Aaron Sherman: Mushroom Pics! []
(c)2004 expires in 2024

User Journal

Journal Journal: yog - F*cking American Idiot

Re:Robots with shotguns scare me (Score:2)
by yog (19073) on Saturday November 06, @08:14PM (#10742879)
( | Last Journal: Wednesday January 08, @06:48PM )
Agreed, what's all the fuss about? These aren't autonomous robots; they're just mechanical extensions of a human being who is operating them from safe inside a bunker or a tank.

Iraq seems like the perfect place to test and perfect this technology. Build a couple thousand of these drones, fit them with rapid fire guns, tear gas, and some nasty explosives in case they become disabled inside enemy territory or just for a little "suicide" mission here and there. Send'em rolling into some of these God-forsaken places like Sammara and Fallujah and let THEM take the bullets.

I don't want to any more Americans hurt. These insurgents, though, the ones who do the beheading and the blowing up of Iraqi children and women and unarmed Iraqi Guard trainees. Waste'em. Use them as target practice. Make them afraid to go to the potty, with our robots crawling all the hell over the place.

In fact this would be a profitable venture if the Pentagon ever thought of it that way. They could sell control of some of the pacbots to any citizen. Get six hours of mayhem for only $150!!! You will remotely control a pacbot from the safety of your living room; all you need is a modern browser. Joystick recommended. You will get an online scorecard, nickname, and chatboard to compare your hits with those of your friends. A true people's war!

it's = "it is"; its = possessive. E.g., it's flapping its wings.

User Journal

Journal Journal: sinnfeiner1916 - Another bigot

Re:Constitutional amendment proposal (Score:-1)
by sinnfeiner1916 (793749) on Saturday November 06, @08:18AM (#10740803)
( )
Franco was a Catholic. However, it was very clearly Franco in charge of Spain, not the Pope. While Franco's Catholic beliefes may or may not have influened the policy of his government, that is irrelevent. The Church was not running Spain. Franco and the falangists were running Spain. Having government policy founded in a religion is not the same thing as having the Church run the State. Clearly, you do not know what a theocracy is. Plus, fuck what Jesus said. he was a god damned hippie. I'm Catholic, but whatever. Jesus also hung out with prostitutes, tax collectors, and terrorists. No gays tho'. And the Old Testiment said gays were bad. It boils down to this, IMHO: Sex is for reproduction. Marraige is to make legitimate children. Gays can not have children, thus have no issue of legimimacy. Therefor, gay marraige is pointless. Also, gay sex, as it can produce no chidlren, and thus is not a benefit to society in any way, is merely throwing off reason and become a desent into base animal passion, and is selfish and inhuman. This is what makes it a "sin" -- also the ass is for out only, please thankyou. Further, here is the definition of theocarcy. You don't seem to be useing it correctly:

\The*oc"ra*cy\, n. [Gr. ?; ? God + ? to be strong, to rule, fr. ? strength: cf. F. th['e]ocratie. See Theism, and cf. Democracy.] 1. Government of a state by the immediate direction or administration of God; hence, the exercise of political authority by priests as representing the Deity.

2. The state thus governed, as the Hebrew commonwealth before it became a kingdom.
The More Laws, the less Justice --Marcus Tullius Cicero

User Journal

Journal Journal: Tony Hoyle - very insightfull

Re:Why is this a surprise? (Score:5, Interesting)
by Tony Hoyle (11698) on Saturday November 06, @02:32AM (#10739961)
( )
Actually New Age and modern charsismatic evangelicalism have many of the same roots (basically they're the product of early post-modernism). Things like the veneration of subjective experience over objective facts - 'I can feel sense the spirits of the dead' is very close to 'I can feel the Holy Spirit in this room'. They're treating subjective feelings as objective facts.

Traditional evangelicalism is more like you describe. This was a product of the enlightemnent - everything must be proved/explained - so you'll find those kinds of christian more 'bookish' and generally reject experience as a means to understand anything.

Interesting society is still changing - I've been to churches where dogma is almost anatheama and everything is debated and reasoned out, and it's not uncommon for everyone to have a completely different opinion - my own feeling is that will be mainstream within 20 years (at the moment it's a few hundred 'emerging' churches), as society is
already a long way along that road - you can see it in slashdot between the 'QT might be true, you never know' and the 'this is bollocks' type of people, getting into arguments about how it's wrong to say anything is bollocks just based on solid scientific evidence...

User Journal

Journal Journal: quarkscat Your ideas are interesting and I would like to su

Black Projects & Black Holes ... (Score:3, Interesting)
by quarkscat (697644) on Saturday November 06, @12:18AM (#10739336)
The people who coughed up the money for
these dubious "projects" should be put up
against a wall and shot. (That is one tax-
payer expense I would be happy to cover.)

But the previous /. poster is correct --
really, really assinine projects are often
a cover to fund other "black" projects.
The "Iran Hostage/Exchanged For/Military
Spare Parts" quickly morphed into covert
funding for the Contras. Once a big chunk
of money is "off the books", it becomes much
easier to hide from the US Congress and the
taxpayer. In the past, our "government-
within-a-government" has used such methods
to fund the assassination of Latin American
leaders, the overthrow of governments, and
even an invasion or two (Bay of Pigs?).

Considering how money earmarked for the war
against terror in Afghanistan was siphoned
off for the run-up to the war in Iraq, one might
ask exactly where has the huge sum of money
earmarked for the reconstruction of Iraq gone?
It sure hasn't gone to where the US Congress
earmarked it. Consider all the internet
"background chatter" from neo-cons regarding
Venezuela, the "oil worker revolt" there, and
the recall election that Chavez won. The over-
throw of a left-of-center regime that has had
the temerity to support Castro's Cuba with
cheap oil sounds like a bonafide Bush/Cheney

Between the veil of secrecy (post 9-11) and the
USA Patriot Act (I), not much info slips into
the press to cause public blowback. If you
try to begome a "whistleblower" on some of these
shennanigans, you are likely to disappear into
Gitmo Bay (not unlike the "vanished" in

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chemistor is a homophobic bigot! Foe he is!

The president should reflect people's values (Score:-1, Flamebait)
by Chemisor (97276) on Wednesday November 03, @05:20PM (#10712379)
> that won because he openly advocated limiting
> civil rights of an etnic group, and used it to divide the country.

People want to have a president who shares their values in order to have the kind of a country they want to live in. In case you haven't noticed, people in 11 states decided that gay marriage was unacceptable. I suspect that majorities in other states hold similar views, and if the majority wants something, in a true democracy they would get it, since that is the definition of democracy.

> It sickens me to think that people who never voted
> before said "Whoa, nothing else has mattered to me in
> the last 20 years, but the QUEERS WANT TO GET MARRIED!
> Jarlene, find me my votin' hat!"

When you see the moral standards of your society being destroyed, what good man would not act, if the decline could be stopped, or at least slowed by simply showing up and voting NO? If he does not want homosexuality to become an accepted practice, surely it is the right thing to do.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hanssprudel makes sense - friend he is.

Re:Richard Dawkins goes in depth in his book (Score:2)
by hanssprudel (323035) on Monday November 01, @07:46PM (#10690349)

I am not the one who drew up the semantic separation between belief and reasoned conviction: the religious people are. I have never run into anybody who could honestly claim a reasoned conviction in the existance of a god: rather it always ends up coming down to "Belief" with a capital B, which stands for some kind of conviction that cannot be attained or questioned with reason.

I do not believe in any god in exactly the same manner as I do not believe in Santa Claus, unicorns, a flat earth, or that the moon is made of cheese. I am convinced that I had Kebab for dinner because I remember it and I can still taste the sauce, but neither of those things is proof positive. To claim that it is necessarily dogmatic to be convinced to about something leads to a reality where you have to claim agnostism to every fact, which is hopeless. // oskar
-- There are too many mod points: thirty +5 posts per story is a joke. I only moderate down!

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