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Comment Re:Surely Wikileaks can function without Assange (Score 1) 235

100% agreed. I'm actually a fairly big fan of what Wikileaks wants to accomplish and I find it rather fascinating/humorous/depressing that the various parties seem to be anti/pro Wikileaks as a function of whose info is being leaked.

Assange I'm not a a fan of. As soon as Wikileaks becomes a tool for personal vendettas it loses all credibility. Even if he is credible (and I don't believe he is anymore) he does more harm than good because perception is everything and he's created a credibility issue.

Comment Re:Should've worked with Congress (Score 4, Informative) 169

They did. Last year they passed this: which was an extension of the original 2013 CIPA and included language about 'space weather'.

And as directed the WH released in October of 2015 their directive to DHS and other departments to develop a plan for studying the impact of such an event.

This year the amended 2016 bill stalled (from what I can tell) and the WH issued an executive order to develop a plan for responding to such an event as directed by congress.

I know, particularly on sites like /. that it's cool to throw stones at the government and cast the rest of the world as incompetent but this is an example of government working, not government failing.

Comment Re: Hardly news.. (Score 1) 89

Interesting conversation though I think you're misconstruing my noting a characteristic as passing judgement on it.

In no way was I implying subjective good or bad net effect, just that it has a negative impact in some area. I personally believe the net effect is exceedingly positive but with it comes a rather interesting downside, driven by evolutionary tribal responses which predate the current environment by millions of years.

All in all I suspect we're in agreement.

Comment Re: Hardly news.. (Score 1) 89

I get the evolutionary cause for tribalism, I mentioned it. I also understand the need for variance in tribal response since it effects churn rates.

What I struggle to understand is the variance and how to tackle it. When faced with somebody who has a strong tribal impulse most people's response is to simply ignore them or yell back louder, neither is effective.

One of the interesting (to me) changes in the past 20 years is the impact the internet has had on tribalism and 5 sigma personalities. 30 years ago people with very strong delusional or paranoid proclivities tended to be isolated. If they lived in a town of 100K they were unlikely to meet very many people who shared their views. Theoretically they could now link up with the set of all people who shared their views. It makes them much stronger forces since they can work in concert.

The internet is now enabling tribal linkages between individuals who historically would have been isolated given their deviation from norm.

Note, I'm not casting anything as good or bad, simply as 'is' (apologies to Bill for appropriating his word).

Comment Re: Hardly news.. (Score 3, Insightful) 89

I still struggle to understand the portion of the brain that drives tribalism. It gives rise to a long list of the rather irrational emotional responses of
- my sports team great your sports team bunch of cheating losers even though they're statistically identical.
- My religion good yours bad even though to an outside they're nearly indistinguishable except you spin clockwise rather than counter clockwise on alternate Tuesdays.
- My political party good yours bad even though neither is driven by anything other than the self interests of the party itself and their leaders.
- My OS good yours bad even though they're simply very complicated hammers for different nails.
- My race good your race bad even though genetically they're indistinguishable.

Some people simply seem to have a brain with stronger response wiring. From an evolutionary standpoint there's utility in having such varied response since it affects churn rate when two populations come into contact, still it'd be nice if we could tamp it down some, it's sliding from useful to dangerous in terms of utility.

Comment Re:Activists have no place (Score 2) 182

In theory I agree but that's not how those things work.

Here's a link to the commission, note that every member represents some constituency:

The two missing constituencies (local government and environmental community) are the two I would think are the most important for an environmental regulatory commission.

If you could somehow ensure that the other 6 people were selected based on their credentials then it makes perfect sense that the 7th should as well but it seems unreasonable to single out that one constituency.

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