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Comment If you're going to geoengineer... (Score 1) 140

...let's do Mars first, and *then* take those lessons back to earth.

The law of unintended consequences for well intentioned human interventions into natural systems is legend. Diurnal mongoose introduced to Hawaii to eat nocturnal rats, ended up attacking the same endangered bird species as rats.

Comment Re:Maybe it's just you (Score 1) 2

you just have to be so annoying that random moderators decide to go into your post history and find enough other pissy/whiny posts to mod down

If these are random moderators it seems like they are finding something so annoying that they not only mod the offending post down, but then go through post history and mod *everything* down as further punishment...that seems contradictory to the spirit of moderation which should, even for someone who is occasionally really, really annoying, give an honest mod to each post on its merits.

Of course, then again, maybe the moderation system is designed to allow for blanket punishment when you're really offended by someone's single comment...

For what it's worth, there is a limit to how many times you can moderate the same account.

What is that number?

Also, don't waste your time with Funny posts

Interesting...didn't know that, thanks!

Comment Monopolies are bad when competition is prevented (Score 1) 257

Monopolies, in and of themselves, aren't anathema to customer satisfaction at all. The only real damage a monopoly can do is to create a climate (almost exclusively with government regulations and controls) that prevents competitors from its space.

About the only way that a monopoly can do harm without government is if they're sitting on such a pile of cash that they can undercut new competitors to drive them out of business...which, isn't a sustainable model for a monopoly - eventually they run out of money and competition makes it in. The undercutting the competitor model also ends up benefitting consumers, in a sick and twisted way.

That being said, Facebook isn't a monopoly unless you consider "Facebook" some single industry. It's certainly a shitty company, but that's another item entirely :)

Submission + - Moderation vendettas - a solution? 2

An anonymous reader writes: So a number of months ago, after a long debate with someone on a controversial comment stream, I had massive numbers of my comments downmodded all at once. Karma went from Excellent to Terrible in one fell swoop. I figured, okay, someone who hates me has mod points — I can deal with that, just stay off the controversial topic, and disengage. Except now, every time I manage to get my karma to positive, that same moderator slams down every single post of mine they can find, regardless of topic. It's quite obvious someone is walking through my comment list, and systematically downmodding comments, since they all happen nearly simultaneously — it's not like I'm just going off the rails and the community at large is showing umbrage, there's obviously a single guy (or maybe a group of guys), flush with mod points every once in a while who decide to slam my karma in the name of revenge rather than content.

Is there some way to prevent these kinds of moderation vendettas? Limit multiple down mods against the same person? Allow the reporting of moderation abuse somewhere? I know meta-moderation is supposed to eventually deal with this kind of abuse, but it seems like anonymous moderation means you can't directly call out the culprits, even when it's quite obvious.

Posted AC, for obvious reasons.

Comment Thought is hard, physical is easy. (Score 1) 561

Corporations tend to have a hard time dealing with diversity of thought - pandering using something superficial like internal or external genitalia or melanin content of the skin is the easiest thing to do to hit the "diversity" buzzword.

That being said, there is something to be said about having *some* similarity of thought in corporate culture. I mean, obviously it's not easy to have pro-fracking people work for the Sierra Club, or atheists working for Catholic Charities...there are some corporations out there that rightfully screen (and perhaps unfortunately screen) for a specific type of thinker.

I think the problem Apple has is that it's having mission creep - they're a technology company delving into social issues. I might appreciate some of their corporate choices, and decry others, but their forays into these kinds of topics are generally cynical marketing tools to shape brand image, or more disturbingly, arbitrary displays of power by leadership for their own personal convictions.

Comment Maybe take it a step further. (Score 1) 421

Your critique seems to tilt in favor of eliminating government schools entirely, and allowing responsible individuals decide exactly how and when, and if they send their kids to school. The fact that government schools have become de facto babysitting centers leads me to believe that if we're going to run them that way, we should just build them to that specification - eliminate any pretense at curriculum, and just hire babysitters to keep law and order amongst the inmates.

Comment Privacy is an illusion (Score 5, Interesting) 124

A compelling illusion, but an illusion nonetheless. The metadata generated by even the most privacy conscious individual leaves a mark, and given the resources of an interested government, only the most dedicated living off the grid can escape their view.

The only thing we have going for us, is that the vast majority of us won't raise the eyebrows of any government employees in our lifetimes. The sad part is that a lonely few will, and they'll be dealt with unfairly and harshly.

The general masses don't have much to fear, but anyone who raises the ire of a nameless bureaucrat will.

Comment EPS != digital currency (Score 1) 85

EPS, I get - like you said, there are already banks using phones like credit cards. Centralized banking, based on existing currencies, using cell phones for electronic payment is trivial and common.

The "digital currency" device - that's something a bit tricker, especially given the double (or more) spend problem from truly decentralized digital cash.

That being said, the whole "digital currency" bit being sold here is just the buzzword on top of "we're offering a new fiat currency".

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