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Comment Re:Only Two Futures? (Score 1) 609

I think the US system is a lot more flexible than the European system, since it's a lot harder to create and organize a new party in Europe than to shift the direction of one of the US parties. The latter can be done one politician at a time.

Well, now, I wouldn't think that was true. It's easier to create a small boat than turn around an aircraft carrier. In Canada, which is arguably similar to Europe, parties start up, balloon up, and pop on a regular basis. Similarly, in Europe, I'd argue that it was easier to make the German Green Party or the Pirate Party an electoral success, at least enough to get its points heard in parliament and the press, than to turn the Democrats or Republicans into a Green Party or a Pirate Party. Think of the votes one of those big tent American parties would lose nationwide if they actually adopted a (for now) minority viewpoint. The urge to govern the nation squishes minority opinions, even when they are well-regarded and electable in one region.

Comment Re:Uh... haven't you heard of LiveCode? (Score 3, Interesting) 299

LiveCode is great in many ways, and I really appreciate that it is now a free download, but it lacks one feature that really made a difference to people who were learning HyperCard. In Livecode, every object is its own layer. In HyperCard, there was a simple, useful distinction between the background layer and the card (foreground) layer. People quickly grasped how to make a picture or button show up on every card or just one. Now, if you google "livecode background layers," you're likely to get instructions to add a background to a single card. I hate to say it, but I don't think that LiveCode, even free, can build the same kind of community that HyperCard has...simply because of this choice. It's not a trivial difference.


Comment Re:Duh (Score 5, Insightful) 818

You know, I think the surest way to keep politicians semi-honest is to have a multi-party system and its corollary, the minority government. Just in my own lifetime I've seen a prairie protest party (Social Credit by name, not nature) disappear, a major party on the right (Progressive Conservative) go from the largest parliamentary majority ever to extinction, a party that wants to break the country in two become the Official Opposition, another prairie protest party on the right (Reform) try to take national power, a socialist party (NDP) go from perennial third or fourth party status to being the Official Opposition, Canada's other major party, the Liberals, drop down to a poor third, the party on the right reconstitute itself, the Green Party get a member in parliament for the first time... And I'm simplifying. New parties are always bubbling up, and the three biggest parties go up and down and sometimes disappear.

Nothing keeps the rascals on their toes like fear of the electorate.


Comment Re: France is obsolete today. (Score 2) 506

England is a country that has been incorporated into an artificial conglomerate along with the countries of Scotland and Whales. These artificial constructs tend to come apart anywhere in the timespan of a few decades to one or two centuries. In fact, the secession movement in Scotland is gaining more ground recently than ever before. And similarly, there are now some new countries to appear as well as among many others the California Republic and the Texas Republic secede from the United States

Hilarious. The artificial construct that you expect to come apart in two centuries at most was established by the Act of Union in 1707 when the UK was formed. Wales and England were joined into one kingdom starting back in 1535. We've had an odd period of dissolving nations, mostly in Europe, since the end of the Cold War, but notice that Quebec rejected independence in two plebiscites already and Scotland is likely to reject independence in its own plebiscite, according to all the polls.

I suppose we can solve the problems with Iran by waiting for the Medes and the Persians to split into two nations? No? Surely they're overdue by now, having been united in 550 BC. Don't hold your breath, though, because one man's Mede is another man's Persian these days.


Comment Re:Wow (Score 2) 888

The problem with garbage jobs is salary. Don't put a salary only related to the skills needed, but also to the "unpleasenes" of the job. You will have all the garbage mans you want.

I think it was HG Wells who said that it was unfair that the pleasant, rewarding, challenging jobs were also the best paid ones. The shit jobs should be the best paid ones because they have the fewest intrinsic rewards.


Comment Re:Why can't you just be friends and get along? (Score 1) 282


On the surface, it seems like the Japanese government has repeatedly acknowledged its crimes during World War II. See List of war apology statements issued by Japan.

They have indeed. They have also repeatedly retracted those apologies. The strongest apologies have come from lower level officials. Even an apology by the prime minister is really like John Boehner apologizing for America. An clear and unambiguous apology by the emperor would carry far more weight.

Not exactly. An apology from a prime minister (and there are quite a few on the linked Wikipedia page) is like an apology from the President of the US. Prime Minister=head of the government. If you want one from the head of state, however, the emperor, then how about this one on the same page?

October 8, 1996: Emperor Akihito said in a speech at a dinner with the South Korean president, Kim Dae Jung: "There was a period when our nation brought to bear great sufferings upon the people of the Korean Peninsula." "The deep sorrow that I feel over this will never be forgotten".


Comment Re:Japanese Military (Score 1) 282

Apparently you're the dick with no clue whatsoever.

It's similar in size to the next British carrier class which has been sized for 36 JSFs.

Sorry your shitty segue onto a pet topic didn't work out.

If you're refering to the HMS Illustrious, which is the last of a set of three, as being about the same size as the Izumo, then you have a point. The Illustrious is 22,000 tons and the Izumo, 27,000 (full load). The Illustrious did act as an aircraft carrier while the British still had Harriers, but those are gone and it's helicopters and marines for her now. On the other hand, the "next British carrier class which is sized for 36 JSFs" is the Queen Elizabeth class. The latest estimate of the displacement on those ships is 70,600 tons. Not really in the same league as the Izumo, is it?

On the other hand, if Japan buys F35B planes (the VTOL ones) then I bet they could be landing and taking off of the Izumo's flight deck really quickly.


Comment Re:Ribbon (Score 1) 157

[snip] Do you know what happens when a student tries to make their lab report in LibreOffice, or on a mac or something, and then uses a school windows computer to print it 2 minutes before class? The formatting gets all messed up, and I doc them points because of it. So you make extra work for yourself. You either have to save time to re work on your document, or you have to own your own printer and save time to use it before class.

Save as pdf. Print the pdf. Where's the problem?

I'm no fan of monopoly.


Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 311

Can someone tell me why a readership that embraces every speculative technology suddenly gets downright angry about the very thought of an electric car?

Or for that matter any mention of energy produced by any alternative means?

Because many of those 'alternative energy' technologies are scams and most of the rest are subsidized by our taxes because they make no financial sense.

Have you considered this: things that make no financial sense may make no financial sense because of the way that accountants arbitrarily add in only a few of the costs of the existing technologies. The rest, like the cost of sick days from polluted air, high building maintenance or replacement costs because of acid rain, the contribution towards the costs of global warming, these are all called "externalities" and not considered. Add in those, and some of the alternative sources of energy might have a lower cost than the traditional ones. If not, then do the comparison after the R&D for the alternative energy sources is paid off. For example, I was reading Flibe Energy's estimate that the thorium-liquid salt reactor they want to mass produce will cost $100 million to develop. On the other hand, once it's developed, many of the (pollution, scarcity, radioactive waste processing and storage, high cost of manufacture) issues of other forms of energy production will virtually go away. I note that business may not fund this because it provides no short-term financial return, so they're going after military funding. It's also government money in the form of military funding that's keeping Polywell research alive.


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