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Comment Re:Nature's taking care of the problem (Score 1) 137

Can't tell if trolling or just stupid...

"you must be american" --> Well don't let *facts* get in the way of your discrimination against people from a particular country:

India has a land area of 2.87 million km^2. 1.2 billion people live there.

The U.S. has a land area of 9.83 million km^2. 328 million people live there.

If the implication of your comment "you must be american" is that my country is more overpopulated than India, it's going to be fairly hard to convince me of that, when we have many times more land and about 1/4 as many people living in that land.

Yes, the US has a population growth problem, but then so do most parts of the world. But the US is not currently, as it stands, anywhere near as overpopulated as India.

Comment Nature's taking care of the problem (Score 2, Insightful) 137

http://www.albartlett.org/pres...

Either we choose from the list of ways to solve the population problem, or nature will choose for us. India is grossly overpopulated. Nature is running its course. You cannot build a society, a philosophy, a religion, a way of life that's built around reproducing as quickly and exponentially as possible while discovering new resources (land, energy) at a rate slower than exponential. The math doesn't work.

Their next strategy is to try and spill over into the other less-overpopulated parts of the world and make *those* places just as overpopulated as India, if not more. They just don't seem to get it.

Comment Price and bugs (Score 1) 270

It's not the media that dissuades me from buying a self-driving car. Not at all. It's the price of self-driving cars, and the fact that they're still pretty buggy.

Once the price of reliable, safe, bug-free-to-a-very-high-standard-deviation self-driving vehicles drops, I'll be in the market. I couldn't care less what the media wants me to think. The FUD bounces off and splats against the floor.

Comment Duh (Score 1) 64

I first realized something to this effect way back in 2002, when a company called Ctrax offered a download-based DRM music service for college students for a small fee (or was it free?). This was absolutely revolutionary in 2002, when Spotify, etc. didn't exist, so if you wanted to obtain large quantities of licensed music for free, this was basically one of the best ways to do it. I guess Ctrax came so early at the beginning of the "de-DRMing" of the music industry because college students were among the most egregious music pirates, so getting money out of the university and/or the students is better than getting $0 out of them. ... But you couldn't transfer the files between machines; you couldn't convert them to MP3s; you couldn't listen to them in other media players; you couldn't apply pitch shifting (and the EQ sucked); you couldn't transfer them to a mobile device; you couldn't back them up; and you'd lose access to them when your subscription to Ctrax expired.

In other words, the company didn't trust its users, so they imposed arbitrary restrictions on users, and used your own computer hardware against you to enforce those restrictions.

And I complained - loudly - about this in philosophical discussions in Computer Science courses. But of course everyone laughed at me for being silly about restricted music downloads because it's only a minor inconvenience, and I should be happy to have access to that much music anyway.

Well, we gave them an inch, and now they've taken every mile of the surface of the Earth. Good job, guys.

Comment Re:OVH - the abuser gets abused (Score 1) 116

The complaints aren't being "ignored". You try to deal with as many customers as they have while still turning a profit and see how many complaints you get and what your response time is. Besides, if OVH disappeared today, all the spammers would flock to the next-cheapest hosts, and then Amazon or Microsoft or Hetzner or whoever would be the #1 spammer, and we'd all be complaining about them.

Don't blame the landlord for a high crime rate in the city.

Comment Re:Sucks to be her I guess (Score 0) 412

Sounds like a person with a mental disorder who should be receiving professional treatment, not receiving accolades for trying to extort money from the people who took pride in being able to raise a daughter and sharing that joy with others.

No kidding. It is the highest privilege and joy to raise a child, even for people who realize world acclaim and fortune. Everyone always says, with complete honesty and without reservation, that their children are the most important thing to them in the world. Unless this woman has an excessively dysfunctional relationship with her parents to the point that they literally intended to do this specifically to torment her, it is an utterly harmless act for them to post the pictures. 99.999% chance they just love their daughter. This is really sad.

Comment Re:Fiber to the sidewalk (FTTS) (Score 1) 44

You're either trolling, or you have no idea what you're talking about. The problem is that Verizon is not hooking up even those who have requested -- no, *begged* -- for FiOS for *years*, consistently, with their complaints reaching as high as regional executives. If they were just not actively hooking up those who didn't request it, that would be fine. But they are not actually providing service to *many* households that they pass, and there is nothing that a consumer without a lot of money and influence can do to make them provide service.

If they were doing this with their own private capital, I wouldn't be complaining. But Verizon spends an enormous amount of public money at all levels of Government on their FiOS rollout. They even take money that was earmarked for enhancements and maintenance to FiOS or the PSTN (the old phone system including DSL), and use that towards building out their cellular network. So even when you *give* them money to build out fiber and better landline internet connections, they won't do it. They can't help but be tantalized at the prospect of making $10 for every gigabyte of traffic sent or received by every consumer in the United States, and if the regulators don't stop them, that's exactly how it's going to be for an increasing number of people.

Comment Fiber to the sidewalk (FTTS) (Score 3, Interesting) 44

Apparently Verizon's strategy for laying fiber and building the next generation of Internet infrastructure for US consumers is to lay fiber buried underneath their street or sidewalk. Because you see, consumers don't actually want to CONNECT to the fiber; they're perfectly content with just the idea of it passing down the street in front of their house.

And for this, let's collect many billions of dollars in taxpayer money and funnel it to this corporation. I'm sure this will pay huge dividends for our GDP as our consumers become more connected to the global economy... through their $10/GB 4G LTE connection.

Fuck Verizon.

Comment Re:Completely wrong.... (Score 1) 618

Oddly enough, I actually agree with both of you (meta-monkey and Stephan Schulz).

From my perspective, if you look at all the currently living humans, meta-monkey is correct that some of them (many of them) will never, and can never be, brought to believe and uphold modern Western values of freedom, brotherhood, and universalism.

However, the way that a Western civilization seeking to change the behavior and values of another culture can accomplish this, is through two things: (1) selective breeding; and (2) waiting for those who will never share our values to die (preferred over violence in almost all cases); or, if they are dangerous, actively kill them.

Selective breeding refers to the idea that a human being born and raised into a culture that is at least not actively hostile to the Western values and way of life, is far less likely to become radically (militarily and/or ideologically) opposed to the West. So, being able to control the education of the young for the masses of a population of non-Western people is a very important point of leverage if our goal is to instill in them our values.

It also refers to the idea that those who *do* become ideologically opposed will tend to act on their opposition in some way during their life, and that their activity can be labeled in such a way that our government can justify striking them before they have a chance to harm us. The problem is that certain forms of retaliation or preemptive violence against these people will tend to radicalize a lot more people than are being killed by us; this is the effect that has made our problems in the Middle East worse over time, instead of better. Even if you are raised to value Western ideals, seeing someone you love or know intimately get killed by a drone missile strike is going to dramatically increase your chances of wanting to become militant or ideologically supportive of anti-West organizations.

We needed (past tense) to handle the Middle East problem more like we handled the Japan and Germany problem in the 20th century. Now the problem is so large that I'm not sure we can actually contain the ideologies that have cropped up against us, no matter how we choose to act. If we kill people, we just piss even more people off. If we don't kill people, they will sit there and fester; spread their ideals; gain power, influence, and resources; and strike back at us when they're prepared and able. Either way, we lose. Even if you kill every last one of them in that whole geographical area, that act alone will serve to radicalize people who sympathize with them from within the Western civilization's citizenry, leading to riots, uprisings, and heightened levels of terrorism that will itself be far worse than what we're enduring presently. Clearly, that isn't a viable option, even if you were able to morally justify it in your conscience.

While in a utopic world, universalism would be "by design" (due to all cultures on Earth agreeing to some basic principles on the value of human life, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; I'm not saying you have to be an overt capitalist), the reality is that it will now take many generations of careful efforts by Western civilization to properly control the cultures we've radicalized against us, and breed out the ideologies that are incompatible with ours and portray our civilization as the root of all evil.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if we have enough time to effect any plan at all, before these groups become powerful enough to actually have the capability to destroy us. They are already turning our own governments against us by enabling politicians with authoritarian tendencies to enact laws that trend toward authoritarian goals and move away from traditional Western values of democracy and human rights. These politicians are perfectly content to rule by fear; when we weren't afraid of anyone, they had no platform to stand on. Now they do, thanks to our ideological enemies making everyone live their daily lives in fear of being nuked or hit by a hijacked airplane or any other imaginable "movie plot" disaster.

If these ideologically backwards humans succeed in toppling the collective Western civilization -- North America, western and central Europe, Australia, Japan, etc. -- it will plunge humanity into a second dark age, setting back scientific progress, moral progress, and human rights progress by several centuries. Higher-minded ideals will eventually rise up like weeds opposing these ultra-conservative ideologues, who in time will become the establishment; and over time the moral high-ground will win out... but it will take a very long time. And billions of people will die to hunger, war and disease in the interim. Horrible, horrible ways to die.

As long as groups of people feel oppressed by, wronged by, and hateful of the Western civilization -- rather than feeling like they are a part of it -- progress of humanity towards a future where we can truly let the values of human universalism transcend our values and way of life to the next level, will be prevented. We have to take that step together, as an entire race, atomically. It's all-one or none, as Dr. Bronner says.

I don't think you're wrong in your assessment of the present, meta-monkey. You're totally right. But I have to believe that time will change that. On the other hand, pretending as if the current peoples of the Earth are actually in a state of mind to fully embrace universalism, is indeed naive, but that doesn't mean we should lose sight of the goal.

Comment Re:why would you believe this guy? (Score 4, Informative) 66

Not even Photoshop; using "Inspect Element" (Developer Tools) in any modern browser, you can easily add genuine-looking markup styled exactly the same as existing markup on the page (identical font, etc.) with 2 minutes of effort and basic HTML knowledge.

Comment Re:Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX. (Score 1) 125

"Fail often, fail fast" is a horrible model for the space industry, though. Google's model explicitly includes taking mostly unproven ideas, shipping them in production, and seeing what sticks. Google can do this because the cost of a beta web application launch for Google is essentially zero: they just have to yank a few nodes of the Google Compute Engine cloud off the public cluster and allocate them to the new app. If the product doesn't improve their bottom line in the way they thought it would, they just shut it down and repurpose the hardware for something else.

You can't do this with rockets. There are external factors like planetary orbit and rotation, a finite number of suitable launch sites (safe, and in the right area of the planet to get it into the desired orbit), our distance from other bodies in the solar system, etc. Then the vehicle itself is stupendously expensive, and carries a lot of expensive payload (in the most extreme case, the payload has immeasurable value -- human lives).

The loss of a rocket and its payload is akin to a plane crash: if this were a smaller private space company, it would probably spell the end of the company from this singular event alone. But even the largest private space contractor in the world can only take a small number of these severe hits before it will go belly-up.

You have to mathematically prove out every stage of any rocket launch before you execute, and make sure that (literally) all the planets align to get it just right. If a rocket blows up or fails to complete its mission, it's not just, "oh well" -- it's a medium-term disaster for the company that requires from months to years of strategic corrective action to recover from.

Rocket science is hard, but the goal should remain "never fail, always get it exactly right" -- not just "let's launch and see if it works; if not, oh well". That kind of thinking is only expedient in software where there are no consequences for failure.

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