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Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Comment Re:Thinkpads have their OWN style. (Score 1) 278

Sounds like all the Thinkpads and most of the Apple lappies I've had over the years. The stickers are a bit different...mostly either political, Anime/Manga or F/OSS related. But yeah, not a business look, more "geek in the house" look. My new Lenovo Ideapad is still virgin...for now. But it will look like "Ms. Geek's current lappie" soon enough. X60T was a really nice machine.

Comment Wisconsin Strategy (Score 2) 757

Political pundits often claim that part of the reason you pick the VP candidate should be to help win a key state. Obviously that wasn't an issue with Palin in 08 since Alaska is dark red, but Wisconsin has been light blue the last couple elections, and with Scott Walker surviving his recall election here, perhaps Romney is hoping Ryan will help flip the state red? As a native Wisconsinite I don't think it's too likely... The state hasn't gone red that often, in fact you'd have to go back to 1984 to find Wisconsin flipping red in a Presidential election. Still, past performance isn't always a guarantee and the Romney team might feel energized by Walker's recall victory. Then again it could just be that Romney is afraid the base thinks he's too moderate and wants a loyal Tea Party running mate to fire up the base. That has the potential to backfire though, since moderate voters might shy away from Ryan, and elderly voters will almost certainly have a hard time voting for the guy that prioritizes tax-breaks for millionaires over social security and medicare. And of course Ryan is now going to be thrust into the spotlight more than he's ever been in the past, with every last detail of his life examined and scrutinized. I have no reason to believe there's any skeletons in his closet, but if there are you can bet the media will dig them up. Overall though the VP pick is really only important in what it shows about the Presidential candidate, and Romney has had a problem of never really wanting to commit on issues since he's likely afraid whatever he says will come back to bite him. His VP pick is obviously something he can't easily walk away from, but I think it's too early to tell if it will help or hurt him.

Comment Re:A few more (Score 4, Informative) 1244

Must not forget, then, "Stand On Zanzibar" which posits what life would be like on a crowded, '60s-inflected world in 2010. Brunner did get one thing right: a worldwide, 24/7 news network called Engrelay Satelserv, English-language Relay Satellite Service. Say it with me in your best imitation of James Earl Jones: THIS IS CNN. From the perspective of two years after 2010 it reads more like a dip into an alternate Earth which zagged where ours zigged sometime in the '70s. Brunner was a genius.

User Journal

Journal Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

Comment Plasticity (Score 5, Informative) 171

How timely, I just read a blog post about brain plasticity. Basically, the list of activities that do not alter the brain is probably much shorter than the list of activities that do. The human brain is constantly rewiring itself. Here's an article about a study that shows brain plasticity may be even more radical than we thought, possibly even reprogramming the genomes of individual neurons:

Comment Way to keep us informed? (Score 5, Insightful) 434

Funny that I had to read about this on Slashdot. You think they could send out a mass email to everyone with a Steam account, especially when credit card numbers are involved (even if they're encrypted). I hate inbox clutter as much as the next guy, but Gabe himself says to watch your credit cards for suspicious activity (which is never a bad idea), but how are Steam users supposed to know to do so if we don't read the Steam forums, or read Slashdot? Seems like they kinda dropped the ball on the whole communication thing here...

Comment Better not tell Rick Perry (Score -1, Offtopic) 228

I know this is horribly OT but I can't resist. Rick Perry says evolution is full of holes and that nobody knows how old the Earth is (with the clear implication that he's pandering to the fundamentalists that say it's 6000 years old). So when I see an article like this about the real, actual science behind human origins I can't help but feel a combination of shame and rage that a candidate for the highest office in the United States is essentially sticking his fingers in his ears and saying "La la la, I can't hear you, reality."

Comment Re:Games (Score 1) 481

I agree with everything you wrote. Why Netflix is going to offer game rentals, and then I went to make a sandwich. Hey look a bunny rabbit.

I have to admit, that's pretty funny. Except, dear AC, in my post I did warn you that I was about veer offtopic in parenthesis (like these) in hopes that I would preemptively prevent comments such as yours. Bravo though, that was better than I was expecting. I fully admit that my style of communication is rather rambling, both online and in real life, because I tend to see abstract connections to topics that most people view as entirely unrelated. In fact going from Netflix offering game rentals to a rant about game demos is a pretty short stretch compared to most of my ramblings. So consider yourself lucky!

Comment Total Lack of Cognitive Dissonance (Score 5, Insightful) 2115

What's going to be entertaining (in the sense that the sad circus of American politics is entertaining) about this whole thing is to watch the about-face the conservatives will make about how much money it takes to be rich. Recently, various state governments have been going after unions, and you see conservative commentators on the various shows talking about how teachers make enough money, how $30-40k a year is plenty when you consider union benefits, blah blah. Now these same exact people are going to go on the same exact shows and, with a straight face, say how those poor folks making a million a year are just struggling to get by and really need a break in this kind of economy while completely ignoring the fact they've spent a better part of a year telling us a teacher's salary is downright lavish. How does a conservative's head not explode from the cognitive dissonance? Do they actually simultaneously believe these polar opposite stances they take, or are they (like all politicians) simply bought and paid for by their masters and puppet whatever talking points they are fed?

For those of you who are going to dispute my point, here are some preemptive replies. First, I know that folks on the left do this shit all the time too. I remember Kerry's "flip flopping" helping cost him the 2004 election. But pointing to the other side and saying "See, they do the same reprehensible thing we do" does not actually make it okay. It's still downright disingenuous. My point is simple: How much money does it take to be rich? Because the conservatives in America have two different definitions that depend not on the amount income, but essentially on class. The fact that these same conservatives are the first to scream "Class Warfare!" at this kind of proposal is deliciously ironic and the whole thing would be fucking hilarious if the stakes weren't so high.

Reality check: to solve the long-term debt crisis, two things need to happen. Taxes need to go up, and spending needs to go down. Either side that says you can do one but not the other is living in some magical fairy-tale land where facts are superseded by what they wish were true.

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