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Comment Re:They sound completely insane (Score 5, Interesting) 325

I've often heard the following related, occasionally to point out the absurdity of corporate policy. There are several versions, but here's one I found from a quick Google search:

It happened that there were three monkeys in a cage. Suspended at the top if the cage was a bunch of bananas. There was a ladder from the floor of the cage up to the bananas. One of the monkeys, who was both clever and agile and also liked bananas, decided to head up the ladder to grab a banana.

Imagine his surprise (not to mention that of the other two monkeys) when suddenly a fire hose washed down the cage, blasting all three monkeys over to one side. Cold and shivering, the three monkeys regrouped and thought about what had happened.

Monkeys don’t have a real long memory and, after awhile, a second monkey thought again about the bananas and headed up the ladder. Same thing—a fire hose washed all three monkeys over to the side of the cage. They picked themselves up, shook themselves off and hoped the sun would come out to warm them up.

After another couple of hours, the third monkey couldn’t resist and he went for it. Sure enough, same result—fire hose and cold, wet, miserable monkeys.

Finally, all three monkeys became convinced that going for the bananas was a bad idea, and went on with the rest of their lives.

Then the zookeeper drafted one of the monkeys for another exhibit and replaced him with a new monkey. The new monkey arrived, looked up at the bananas, looked over at the ladder and couldn’t figure out why the other monkeys hadn’t gone for the bananas. He headed for the ladder and got about 1 rung up when the remaining "experienced" monkeys tackled him, dragged him to the floor and pummeled him into submission. He quickly concluded that climbing the ladder wasn’t a good idea.

A week later, the zookeeper replaced the second monkey. Monkeys are somewhat single-minded. The new monkey spied the bananas, headed for the ladder, and the remaining two monkeys tackled him and pummeled him into submission.

Finally the third monkey was replaced and, you guessed it, the same thing happened. So life went on among the monkeys and after some time the first of the "new" monkeys was replaced with yet another monkey. Sure enough, the new guy saw the bananas, went for the ladder and his two peers then tackled him and beat him into submission.

Why was that? None of these monkeys knew anything about the fire hose. None of them had ever gotten wet for having climbed the ladder in the quest for bananas. Yet the monkeys had been fully culturalized to know that it was a bad idea. And you could likely go on individually replacing monkeys one at a time forever and expect the same result.

The Parable of the Monkeys can be readily applied to just about every organizational community structure in the human sphere. We can laugh at the silly monkeys, but humans are the only creatures on Earth capable of amassing and arming themselves to fight and die by the tens and hundreds of thousands because another human claims yet another human is building firehoses to keep all the bananas for himself.

Comment Re:Not a surprise... (Score 1) 269

Your own link contradicts what you're claiming. Germany and Denmark have the highest prices (unless you know how to avoid paying VAT and the other taxes) in part because they subsidize their green energy production which drives the overall price up significantly. Plenty of other sources show this as well.

I don't know the specifics of the Australian market, but I would imagine some kind of fuckery is going on, possibly similar to what happened in California where someone in the private sector stumbled on some highly exploitable government policy. If a government tries to regulate a market in a way that makes it possible or easy to exploit, someone's going to do it, especially when the payout looks good. Same holds if the government starts granting private companies monopolies similar to the U.S. cable industry. Of course you're going to get stuck with a single provider, shit service, and a shit price when it's illegal for anyone else to compete.

Also, Australia has loads of the Thorium. Nuclear would be a a great investment for their future. You suggest that the government needs to "fix the market" as if that wouldn't create an equal amount of bureaucracy and regulatory bodies. No matter how much green power you invest in, unless you massively overbuild, you need something to serve as a solid base, unless you want to invest the tends of billions of dollars in a storage solution that'll be just as obsolete in a few decades.

Comment Re:So what is YOUR plan? (Score 1) 406

Indeed. As always, the solution to speech with which you disagree is free speech of your own.Make a website pointing out why ISIS is bad and how it tries to lure people in. That's going to do far more to prevent people from joining ISIS than trying to make it a crime to view a website.

Not only is this a bad idea on principle, but it's so easily abused and impossible to enforce. It would take all of about five seconds after it has been passed for some mischievous person, likely outside U.S. jurisdiction to start sending links to pro-ISIS websites to millions of unsuspecting people. Never mind things like web forums where anyone can post a pro-ISIS message, making potential criminals out of anyone who visits that particular thread or the site owner for not removing it in a timely manner.

Comment Re:NOT being computer-addicted is a danger sign? (Score 1) 62

It doesn't have anything to do with computer addiction, rather a decrease in activities that are cognitively challenging. It's similar to how a person who does less reading as they age may be doing so due to cataract build-up which makes it more difficult for them to see and by extension read.

Comment Re:so THAT'S the reason (Score 3, Informative) 202

I don't expect it changes the overall rates that much, simply due to homosexuals being a small minority of the total population, but I remember one report that found that homosexual women were significantly more likely to be overweight as heterosexual women and homosexual men were significantly less likely to be overweight than heterosexual men. I don't know if the researchers had any idea why this occurs, but it's kind of interesting.

Comment Re: Huh? (Score 2) 96

Interestingly back in the day the laws and courts were more sane and it wasn't illegal for companies to circumvent Nintendo's lockout technology and there were a few companies that produced unlicensed games for the original Nintendo. Even more funny, one of the companies that was (in)famous for doing so produced a lot of bible themed games that they sold through Christian stores because Nintendo started to lean on retailers to stop them from selling unlicensed games.

There were even more primitive versions of "DRM" in older PC games such as the game periodically requiring the user to enter the fifth word on the seventh page of the manual under the assumption that people with a copy wouldn't have the manual. A few others had codewheels that came with the game that served a similar purpose. Eventually this resulted in the pinnacle of copy protection.

Comment Re:Dear Brain Master (Score 5, Informative) 108

It's not due to supply, but rather the cost of extraction. Both the United States and Australia (among others) have good supplies of many rare earth metals (as well as reserves of some rare metals that China has very little of such as Tantalum) but due to China's devil may care attitude towards environmental regulations, they can extract theirs at far lower costs than other countries, and if anyone else were attempt to start, there's no doubt that China would cut prices temporarily to destroy the competition.

Even if we were mining it ourselves, we'd ship most of it to China anyhow as that's where most of it would be put into manufacturing components that require those elements.

Comment Re:The DNC overlords always get their way (Score 1) 644

Honestly, the majority people don't have to vote for either candidate or even consider it. Most states are so heavily slanted to one party or the other that it's incredibly unlikely that their individual vote will have any influence on whether the candidate they prefer of the two wins or loses. If that's the case for you, why waste your vote choosing between the lesser of two evils when there's a different candidate that you'd actually prefer?

Comment Re:read the polls (Score 4, Insightful) 644

He has already moved Hillary to his positions on free college and universal health care.

Considering how many times she's changed her position on just about everything, he's only succeeded in getting her to talk about supporting those positions until she decides not to in a few months. I didn't agree with him on some of his positions, but I knew where he stood on them. Sanders had the integrity that suggested he would hold to his word. The only integrity Hillary would know is an LLC by that name that's contributed to her campaign.

Comment Re:It's Heartbreaking you're not in Jail (Score 3, Insightful) 482

I think that so many people on the left only support immigration because the people on the right are against it would hardly be fitting to agree with anyone you've been decrying. After all, if you constantly call them a bunch of racist hicks, then agreeing with them would make you a racist hick as well. The same goes for the political right which will similarly cut is own throat out of stupidity rather than admit that the Democrats have a good idea because they're obviously a bunch of freedom hating socialists and agreeing with them on anything would make you one too.

Neither side is terribly ideological consistent if you bother to look at their positions. There are no end of people on the right who argue for a right to life right up until they want to give someone the death penalty or those on the left who believe in taking all kinds of measures because science has shown that climate change is a problem, but will do anything to prevent nuclear energy or GMO foods because the science must be wrong.

We need to get rid of our first past the post voting system, because without changing that we have no real hope for anything but two tribes that end up becoming more and more opposed to each other to the point of absurdity. Even if both the Democrat and Republican parties ceased to exist tomorrow, the Green and Libertarian (or some other parties) would be there to fill their shoes and nothing would ultimately change.

Comment Re: karma's a bitch (Score 1) 393

I don't think most people are capable of turning off their cognitive functions that make them strive for self-preservation. Some people might tell you that they can do it, but put them in a shitty situation and they'll habitually look out for number one. Never mind that if you want to require that, most people aren't going to do it for a cop's salary.

Too many people think that their local neighborhood is what everyone else must also live in and haven't seen anything that could be described as a bad neighborhood, let alone mildly troubling. The worst place I've ever lived that made me feel uncomfortable about living there doesn't even rank in the top 1000 if we're going to look at statistics. I can't imagine what being in one of those environments for an extended amount of time would be like.

Anyone who has to live or work in those truly bad areas honestly needs therapy because I don't think the average person can deal with that for any prolonged period without becoming warped.

Comment Re:What went wrong, Nothing went wrong (Score 2) 186

If she did that, she'd definitely end up in club fed for several years. It wouldn't surprise me if there's a silent partner that knew the score and has made bank while she mostly gets to walk away because it doesn't look like she profited from any of this. The whole thing can be made to look completely above board if the payout is in the form of a well-paying position at a company owned by this silent partner. Everything else is just pageantry and theater to keep people from looking to closely at the magician's hands while this trick is being performed.

Comment Re:Nothing new (Score 1) 235

I'm somewhat surprised that they would upgrade it though. Typically, the base model is there so they can claim an entry price of $699.99 or free with contract, but it has something like the low storage that makes it unappealing enough that they can get a lot of users to buy the $100 upgrade which costs Apple an extra $4 in component costs if that, which is another $96 in profit. Do that a few million times and you'll need a bigger pool to have the afternoon money fights in.

The real question is whether or not that they're also increasing the other size tiers to compensate. 16 GB to 64 GB would get a lot of people to upgrade. Going to 64 GB from 32 GB isn't going to hook as many people. The only way it makes sense for them to start at 32 GB is if the next tier up is 128 GB and the top model is 256 GB. Most people probably don't need 128 GB, but the disparity seems so great that many people will drop the extra $100, even though they might not need it.

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