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Comment How many inches long is your right to free speech? (Score 1) 308

You did not understand what I wrote, evidently. Rights, at least by your definition, are inalienable. They only exist because people agree they do. You can argue that they are "real world", but that is not a particularly meaningful term as you have used it. They are absolutely not empirical -- you cannot measure your right to free speech, for example. And yet there is an empirical analogue which you may be said to possess, which can be taken away, granted, or restored. The appropriate word for this is likely 'freedom'.

It is not to say that there is anything inherently wrong with the idea that rights are independent of the real world, or with suggesting that they only have a notional existence: the same may be said for love, or morality, and all products of rational thought, including mathematics. Empiricism is also not without its flaws, though you'll pardon me if I encourage you to read more on the subject of epistemology rather than explain more fully. The point is that we must distinguish between these two types of truths, or you're likely to spend a lot of time arguing irreconcilable positions. Similarly, the difference in how truth is determined is the source of probably every argument of science vs. religion.

If arguing the undecidable is your entertainment, of course, by all means keep on as you are; one imagines a healthy level of ignorance would even help that endeavor. Even in that case, however, you may want to retain the idea that when two people are offering incompatible definitions of a concept, the chances are excellent they are not talking about the same thing.

Comment Rights vs Freedom (Score 1) 308

You're arguing about rights as if they are some sort of Platonic ideal. It's important to reason about rights in this way, because they are part and parcel with our ideas of morality, and morality is not generally held to be subject to empirical revision. However, there is a difference between these absolute concepts and the actual real-world freedom to do something. Personally, I don't prefer rationalism or logic to empirical evidence. The concept of "inalienable rights" is simply not useful, since they are clearly violated wholesale, daily and globally. It would be nice if we could deceive ourselves to believe that we are progressing towards any of these ideals, but there is no evidence of that.

Your concept of Rights cannot be wholly dismissed. Still, while in my more honest moments I can't find a very sound basis to compare logical or moral truths with empirical ones, if your concept of the world conflicts with the world as measured and experienced, you should certainly recognize that you are not describing a real-world concept, and it could be argued that you are ipso facto wrong. Either way though, neither of you can win this argument because you're arguing about not only different truths, but different ways of determining what is true. Yet another argument that could be avoided by an undergraduate course in epistemology.

Comment Re:Google Has No Responsibility -- And Shouldn't! (Score 1) 153

Full BS. If I create some content, it belongs me and not you, plain and simple. Just as if you buy a car, it belongs to you, not someone else. The only role government plays is ensuring, the content owner retains ownership. It's not legal fiction.

You clearly have no idea what copyright is. You would have a stronger claim if you suggested some sort of inherent right to attribution, but in the words of Jefferson:

Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property. If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it.

If you create a physical work, you are more than welcome to sell or trade that specific book or image. You cannot physically control the idea itself, even with the aid of the government. The term "legal fiction" is therefore justly warranted. What copyright actually does is provide an exclusive right to monetize a particular idea. It could be argued that this is not necessary, since humanity in general and the arts specifically carried on very well without any such invention for many centuries. However, I feel that some form of copyright is probably a better idea than e.g. patronage for allocating resources to content creators.

Running a quick check using humans and software is not impossible. YouTube generates billions in revenue. I can't believe they can't hire people to police content, at least random checks, if 100% checking of all videos is too expensive.

You have yet to establish any sort of argument for why they should do any such thing, even assuming it were possible, which I do not grant -- the issue of whether a work is infringing is a legal problem, not a technical one. Not only does Google not have the obligation to determine the legal status of a work, they also do not have the right to do so, absent a specific agreement from the content owner. It is not to say that no part of the legal system may be automated away, but this particular problem is not remotely tractable.

Again, legally this is all very clear-cut, and no one is considering changing any of the laws here, or even pursuing any other service providers. Not only would there be wild outrage about introducing liability for infringement for service providers, but actually jeopardizing YouTube's existence would eliminate a billion dollar revenue stream that the content creators don't have to pay overhead costs for. We are not hearing cries for new laws, we are not hearing cries for the Department of Justice to investigate, we are not hearing cries for YouTube to be shut down. We are hearing cries about Google's profits. You yourself are only complaining about the monetary issues. This is a shakedown.

Comment Re:Google Has No Responsibility -- And Shouldn't! (Score 1) 153

You are wrong. I don't really care if you like copyright or not, but they are responsible for serving copyrighted content. "Centuries of jurisprudence" is a joke.

Presumably you meant "infringing content". Despite your eloquent and well researched rebuttal, it's very clear you have a motivated misunderstanding of copyright. Given your passion for this argument and your inability to support it, I would advise you to keep arguing in the exact same way: you're doing wonderful work for the opposite side.

Comment Google Has No Responsibility -- And Shouldn't! (Score 4, Insightful) 153

Google has absolutely no obligation to police any other party's copyrights, and the web would be a poorer place if they did.

A copyright is your own private monopoly on a piece of content. It is a granted right, and something of a legal fiction: we have collectively agreed to treat this non-scarce good as if it were scarce, to serve an economic purpose. We, collectively and severally, have no further obligations to you. Neither Google nor any other third party is responsible for your private property, absent a specific agreement to that effect. The DMCA makes no provisions that Google do anything more to protect your property than [a] not to block tools used to detect infringement and [b] to respond expeditiously to takedown requests. ContentID is a wholly voluntary program, whose primary purpose is to reduce the number of DMCA requests they have to process.

Forcing Google to police all content submitted would not only be contrary to centuries of jurisprudence, but it would probably kill off user-submitted content entirely. In point of fact, there's not been any clear ideas proposed on how exactly to do so, because the content industry knows very well that their position is legally indefensible. It's not like they have had any issues buying favorable legislation before, after all. This is a public campaign and not a K street one because they don't want a change in law, they just want more money. This is a shakedown, pure and simple.

Comment Constitutional Questions (Score 1) 983

I think your comments about the Constitutional aspects of this issue are spot on, but not quite the whole picture. I have elaborated on my concerns here, perhaps you could gratify me with your further opinion? In particular, I should like to note that there is no Constitutional justification for the police to bear arms (aside from the 2nd Amendment), that such was not envisioned by the Founders, and that in their capacity as war officers (as you adroitly term them) they fulfill all the fears that our Founders had relating to the tyrannies of a standing army. I do believe this now constitutes a Constitutional crisis, but of slightly different scope than you have identified.

Comment Founding Fathers (Score 3, Interesting) 983

The founders of this nation distrusted standing armies, viewing them as inherent threats to liberty. The Second Amendment was primarily established as a way to secure the ability of the People to defend their Nation. The burning of the Capitol in 1814 might well have heralded the death of the civilian militia: the defenders, though vastly more numerous, were unarmed or poorly armed, and completely failed to impede the British Army. Even before the War of 1812, with the purchase of the original six frigates of the United States Navy, we turned away from the path of the citizen militia, and since then we have gone so far away from the ideals of our founding as to have amassed the largest and most expensive defensive force that the world has ever seen.

There have been a handful of examples where the U.S. Military has been used against its own citizens, but overall the threat to (domestic) liberty has been negligible, although the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII could be an important exception to the rule. The Founders' fears of standing armies were completely mistaken -- or were they?

Until the middle of the 19th Century, guns were expensive, time-consuming to maintain and to fire, and police forces when they existed at all were armed with swords and clubs. During the middle of the 19th Century, however, we see a great shift in American society and culture. The Civil War spread both arms and conflict, and men like Samuel Colt both popularized and enabled gun ownership on a wide scale. It was (as far as I am aware) during this era that police forces were instituted -- and armed.

Today we have a national crisis. The country resounds with gunfire, and daily we hear of new atrocities, of acts of brutality, and of ever-greater police powers. I believe that we have taken the idea of the citizen soldier to its ultimate bloody conclusion, and that we must disband this hostile Army which has set itself over us. I believe we also have a duty to disband the Gun Culture or perhaps even to disarm ourselves as well, given the failure of the purpose of the 2nd Amendment and the examples of other countries around the globe. We have badly strayed from our founding principles. We have a new Civil War which is escalating daily. We need to drastically revise our society, starting with our Police.

Comment 2nd Amendment Issues (Score 3, Insightful) 565

So do you also agree with the Founders that standing armies are inherent threats to liberty? How are you on the Swiss military/militia? How would you feel about disbanding the Army and Navy?

The second Amendment was intended to protect the ability of the People to defend their nation. It can certainly be argued that it also includes a guarantee of personal safety, but if you're going to argue Constitutional integrity, then you should be prepared to reconcile the vast difference between our current society and that document intended. Personally, I see a trained, professional cadre of soldiers as being an absolute necessity, and consequently would look favorably on either some variant of the Swiss system, or a far greater restriction on gun ownership. Either way, I'm fine with taking an empirical approach to the situation, and since this seems to be a national issue the CDC seems well situated to conduct such studies. If you would like to take issue with empirical findings, do your own study. If your position is that this is a moral or rational issue not subject to empirical findings, then again, you are forced to reconcile past intentions with present conditions.

This isn't a huge issue with me. I'm from Alaska and know my way around a hunting rifle, and don't see any reason for those to be particularly restricted. While the military has at times been employed against the People, generally it hasn't been the huge issue that our Founders thought, at least in terms of domestic freedom, and most of the incidents of military violence against citizens have involved the National Guard, which at least approximates a militia. With the current conflict of personal safety versus national safety versus the strict adherence to the Constitution and the Founder's intentions, I think the most likely scenario is that the Constitutional right to bear arms will be further eroded and restricted, or preferably but less likely it will be amended to make explicit that we have turned aside from the path of the citizen soldier.

We as a nation need to have a talk about these issues. We have a lot of dead citizens, a huge standing army, and we are not being true to our founding principles in any sense. Something needs to give. Taking the empirical approach may in fact not be the correct path to a solution, but we do have a problem and we do need to solve it somehow.

Comment Rightsholder responsibilities (Score 1) 246

It is not up to YouTube to police your copyrights. The ad-revenue goes to the content owner — the uploader, until proven otherwise. Feel free to sue them for it.

It was a neat trick whenever the recording industry got the FBI to investigate copyright claims. I understand it's a lot of work to try to insist that a certain set of bits are yours. I even understand that there are valid economic reasons why we try to pretend non-scarce goods are scarce. Trying to alter the law to force private third parties to police your copyrights is an exceptionally stupid move that will either force YouTube to make legal judgments about content ownership, or more likely to destroy user-submitted content entirely. It would also fly in the face of centuries of jurisprudence, which I interpret to mean that it has little chance of happening.

Lawyer up. If you think Google is not responding expeditiously to take down infringing material, sue them. It's your work, and your responsibility. The reason why this petition is not a class action lawsuit is because Google is operating entirely within the law. That the law is inconvenient to you is no one else's problem.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 299

Then lets call it a force, man are you nitpicking.

We are not nitpicking. There has not been any force or thrust detected.

Actually we don't agree :D I'm kind of scientist. At least I had a very scientific school and university education. Error bars were once mentioned in a side note and we certainly understand something different than most on /. do. I'm meanwhile convinced that americans learn something different in school about "error bars" hence the strange posts regarding AGW etc.

Your education was incomplete. Quantification of error is fundamental to science, it's why physicists talk about "five sigma" or "six sigma" results -- there is always the chance that an observation is a measurement error, and unless you take steps to minimize that error, and determine how much error is in your measurement, you do not know whether you have measured anything at all. You may not have read any scientific publication which talked about error bars, but I'm willing to bet you've never read a scientific publication that did not discuss p-values, which is the same subject.

In my eyes it does not violate that law. You throw something out one way and get a reaction the other way. We only need to figure what the "something" is.

In this case it's slightly more subtle in that the claim is more energy (momentum) out than energy in, and no fuel expended. There really isn't any way this could be true without throwing most of physics out the window. I would be just as happy as you I'm sure if there was a halfway plausible theoretical explanation as well as the (very dubious) experimental results. Suffice to say that is not the case. At this point, not only is the evidence pointing the other way, but also if it works, it would be pretty trivial to construct an infinite energy device using the same principles. That unfortunately would cause more problems than it would solve, and not just theoretically. Honestly, it's fairly conclusive, at least until either there's a workable theory or credible experiments.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 299

Every /. article about a lab trying this experiments has reported "thrust", and I thought we all agree that this thrust is "unexplainable".

You can't claim to have shown thrust until you rule out other explanations. The experiments have not been able to rule out other explanations. Specifically, they have not been able to show that this was not measurement error. Few of the studies have even attempted to do so.

How can something be outside of an errorbar when the errorbar is not determined?

I think we agree that not attempting to quantify your measurement error is foolish. Perhaps someone can inform the "researchers" about this.

As far as I see no creditable debunk, I consider science reports true, perhaps you should correct your attitude towards them?

There have been no published studies, because none of the "researchers" can pass peer review, because they can't show that their results are not measurement error. All theories attempting to prove the non-impossibility of this device have been thoroughly debunked. Your "creditable debunk" is the normal laws of physics, which do not permit violation of the conservation of energy/momentum. With no empirical evidence, no theory, and a mountain of both theory and evidence pointing the other direction, you are not describing science.

I can only assume that your desire for this to be true has prevented you from actually trying to evaluate whether it is true.

Comment Nope (Score 1) 299

You're usually less credulous than this. No labs have shown "unexplainable thrust", and no explanations have passed peer review. In point of fact, no explanations have been without serious physics errors. No experiment has shown thrust outside of their own error bars, and in most cases those error bars have not even been determined. There is no evidence for this phenomenon just as there is no evidence for over-unity energy devices, despite much sound and fury on the Internet.

What you're saying is completely untrue. Please correct yourself.

Comment Motivated Reasoning (Score 1) 299

McCulloch's paper has been repeatedly torn to pieces on r/EmDrive and this current theory fares no better. No one has measured thrust beyond the error bars, none of the experimental results have passed peer review, and all theories trying to explain the supposed phenomenon have basic physical errors, and just happen to overturn one of the most fundamental and well-tested concepts in science.

I don't know what combination of ignorance, credulity, and motivated reasoning is required to believe in this. I'd suggest you should reexamine your beliefs about this phenomenon, but at the least you should not be promoting a paper which has been so thoroughly discredited.

Comment Re:Thank you, government, for saving us from Uber (Score 1) 218

Yes, cars. Not just taxis - so the price that is to be increased is that of car operation

Interesting idea. Most cities with severe traffic problems solve them by declaring that, absent emergencies, you're not allowed to drive on certain days. I'm sure your idea would be a welcome source of income if it is feasible.

Your first point addresses parking, not congestion. Your second point refers to sparsely populated areas, which do not typically have congestion issues, absent slow motorhomes or large animals in the road. I'm not entirely sure I'm following what you're suggesting with regards to "smooth[ing] the transition", but alleviating some of the issues associated with congestion is clearly not preferable to preventing congestion.

From my standpoint, it seems impossible to accurately price the space available on city streets, therefore market-based systems will perform poorly. I'd like to be wrong about that. Panama City would probably also appreciate a solution; I believe they have chosen to build light rail instead of implementing a medallion system.

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