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Comment Memento project, yo. (Score 2) 161

I would like to see participation in the memento project/stable URIs (http://mementoweb.org) become considered as a fundamental element of being considered "a journalist", part of the media, etc., in order to get the protections of that status. The lack of a consistent history in the web based media is harmful, and more than one massive corporation has used the "fluidity" of the web and hyperlinks to be more than fluid with the truth.
Oh, and yeah, for e-laws and the presentation of findings of governmental groups and organizations, and those receiving governmentally recognized status as candidates of recognized parties with web presences... mandate that asap, and I will hug the government!
Transparency is only as good as your hyperlink protection and preservation plan.

Comment Re:Power trip and nothing more. (Score 1) 762

Being offended is nothing but a power trip. Get offended, well the OTHER person has to change according to the fucked up mores of our society. Offended people get to exert power over another person - if they allow it.

You have been marked "fame bait", but, seems worth noting, for those reading along, that you too have missed the point of the comment you replied to.

That comment was saying that "offensiveness" is irrelevant to most any matter (and in particular, this situation); white nationalist racists have forever been "offended" by marriages between people of differing ethnicities. I don't actually care about their perceived offendedness. Offence doesn't matter. Harm matters.

"Safe injection sites" offend many folks, they reduce the harm to those who are addicted, and provide an access point for them to be in contact with people who can provide assistance if/when they do decide they can try to quit, stop spread of disease, and also reduce the number of overdose cases.

Offence? No, it is not people being "offended" that is frustrating, it is needless, pointless, unfunny, un-shocking, base, common ---avoidable-- harm that is frustrating. What I, and I think most others who see this as a problem "care" about, is harm. This continuation of placing women as objects for "observation, rating, and sex" (while there are women in the audience who could code circles, and have decades more experience than many men, yet when high level groups accept and condone this sort of view of their potential "value", is hurting the advancement of the tech industry.

Why, exactly, is it a "virtue" to have to wade through objectification, and even high level conferences on the future of tech to condone, feature and present more of this closed group "boys club" mentality. That is not what will drive forward the industry, that is not what will drive forward civil society. Did you have to wade through obstacles that are as needless as they are hostile in order to be judged by your work, rather than on appearance? Women DO often have thick skins developed, they face this stuff daily, don't go sneering about how "soft" others are. Open your eyes and look at the extra hoops women deal with. Commenting on such an issue is not a sign of a "thin skin", it is strength to speak up when they know they will face your attitude that daring to speak results in demeaning accusations, and orders to sit back silently, in line.

Comment Re:Power trip and nothing more. (Score 2) 762

You miss the point, demonstrated by your reliance on attacking "puritanical" things ie. 'superbowl breast incident'. Irrelevant red herring. It isn't "seeing a breast" that bothers people here... it is treating women as objects to stare at, and not respect. Or rather, continuing, like is so absurdly common in the 'tech' industry, to do so. It has implications, because when an atmosphere of "heh, heh, boobs, to stare at, which is what they are for- lawl" is created and fostered (as was DEFINITELY being done, once again), it impoverishes us all, by driving women, and also men who hate that sort of objectification and diminishing of women, their minds, and sum of all abilities, rather than "things to look at", it shuts out, minimizes, and silences women (and men who don't cry out for "biological" [read sad and demeaning] excuses). People are not all fools, and many, by allowing this sort of stuff to be so pervasive as to be cliche, will come to realize that their input is not valued by many, and that they could only "appeal" to "men" by their bodies, rather than to be able to receive respect and dignity through their minds, actions and deeds (like any man would desire [but because of history, seems to get by default, without having to "earn and prove it" as women experience), in particular, here and elsewhere, the young women who might want to one day participate in that 'tech' industries.
humor is often used to "break societal expectations", to "shock"... this is not shocking and not breaking any expectations; this is one more example among millions, of men waddling along oblivious to their privilege, one more among millions of examples of having the "punchline" be one which settles on those already marginalized in an industry which pervasively has a problem with marginalizing and driving out women, and people from other minority groups.

Comment Re:Flash ban was never about battery/performance (Score 1) 209

My point was that "making an app store" was not obviously, or evidently, or "certain" to be the "golden egg" that the comment I responded to suggested. They also tried to construct an app store environment within the new windows 8. So far that has not taken off.

Windows proper wasn't really what my comment was about, it was about app stores, and the idea of "apps" having been somewhat of a gamble, depending on how far from the "old" ecosystem the new app store takes a company (as evidenced by them still being hit or miss, and subject to many factors).

The've served the company well for 25 years or so, and whilst they have started to lose ground, they are still where most of MS's money comes

You are actually making the point I was trying to make, that "diversifying" into "being the store" was/is/can still be a huge gamble. Rather than some foregone gateway to 'easy money'.

Comment Re:Flash ban was never about battery/performance (Score 1) 209

Apple had a cash cow, they knew it was going to be HUGE and they were canny enough to lock it off and protect it like a golden egg-laying golden calf.

You have heard of Microsoft, the "go to" competition in Operating systems... how is their cash cow producing? 2.6 % of the market? Something like that. How many people are running and jumping to pay the cost of developing code for this "locked up golden goose"?

I don't "oppose" MS, I am just saying, like BB, or any ecosystem with limited app choices, and people worried about devoting money to developing for a system that might or might not gain traction, or like WinPhone8, might be abandoned by it's own creators... and I don't want to see any of them "dominate" (be it google, MS, Apple, BB, or otherwise... a healthy ecosysem is one where they all try to out impress us with their features and advances [not silly little cat-fights over who copies who, or "advertising wars", show me a product that is better, not a better way of saying "you suck" in an ad) there was not an obvious "test case" for "app stores" being a golden egg-laying goose (or calf).

I mean, apps and buying them from a store was not "new", Ovi, or whatever nokia called it before that was around, it was mostly just "free downloads" of stuff, but if I remember right there were "premium" apps there... how much did anyone ever spend in it? How many micro-developers go a few bucks, or encouragement to make their app more complex, or to rebuild their app? How much of it was the same tired apps, lazily tossed out by huge developers, because there was almost NO competition at the small scale. And how flipping difficult and angry making, and long and weird was the process of actually "putting" anything on your phone (the answer is something like boring, long, and more effort than benefit [no diss to Symbian 60, nice old system, but "surfing", or "doing anything", not easy or a pleasure])?

Anyway, not clear that anyone "knew" they had a goose, or a cow... could easily have been cow-pies, like so many before, and many after, and many to come. Anyway, "web-apps" are big as ever, if not bigger. And people are recognizing the need to "get to" people in all of the "divided ecosystems" (which drives innovators to "fix what is missing" or fill a gap.

Comment Re:Flash ban was never about battery/performance (Score 1) 209

I would love to hear the "apple conspiracy to lock into the app store" accusations address the abandoning of flash in android systems (and HTML5). People without Flash are helped, not hurt by the lack, ultimately, people will attack apple if it drags, or sucks battery, not "flash". It is why I never understood how long it took microsoft to get serious about user access controls, and spyware monitoring, and all that "system maintenance/defence" stuff, their name went through the mud, even though the "cause" was goofy internet browsing, lack of caution by browsers, etc., no one cares "why" things suck, they care who has their name on the thing that is sucking.

Yeah, this comment makes way more sense than the responses that seem to suggest that it was "obvious" that events would unfold as they have, that apps would create a new class of software, a middle ground for small purposes between the (often bloated) mega apps (before "apps", what did you need to do something like "HDR imaging"... photoshop, plugins, etc.,).

At the time it was not a "given" that this new ecosystem (however walled or locked it may be) would stick. People had sold software for a long time before... but ease of access to it, ability to just download it, to have a "licence" that didn't evaporate when you moved and lost the tiny scrap of paper that had your "holy code that proved you bought it"... one of apples best changes in the software landscape is to build licences that are not tied to "hold a physical paper" (presuming you "want" to "buy" software [and I get that this is fraught with issues, such as second sales], making it not hinge on some ephemeral token is a big step up, and works in the consumers favour. just a few years ago that was not only the "norm" it was all that existed, and people looked askance at anyone suggesting that it was a more costly model for casual end users. Like it or not, end users are going to be "consumers" of software. It advances technology faster when masses are buying into tech (smartphones of all sorts are leaping and bounding in features, and investment in chip/display/processor function and shrinking; because of the "consumer" drive, rather than the "hobby", or "professionals" driving earlier advances [professionals will hack in their own duct tape code solution when something doesn't work right, or the room sized computer isn't working because they aren't "holding it right"). Consumers will push for wide-reaching improvements, stability is driven at a premium pace.

Why in the world would I pay Apple $1 if I could play Angry Birds for free just by using the browser in the phone?

Why in the world would people continue to develop "games" for you if you couldn't be bothered to pay one dollar? Why are you "owed" games, yet others should feel ashamed to be "owed" one $ (or free if you time your purchases). The only reason "angry birds" exists is because it can be sold to you. This world where micro-scale apps/games.programs that replace everything from thousands of dollars in photo touching, to typing apps for 10$ insteat of $250, competing PDF readers, competing RSSFeed readers, the world where these all just "appear" on the internet is a hypothetical, an imagining. To then be upset that someone made a buck on it... while we, users, have gained middle ground apps and have fostered tiny developers (who might get swallowed by the Mega's, or be the next...).

The market at the time consisted of "freeware" (abandoned projects, buggy, some cool features), or $60 capital G Games. I mean, fine, you think things should be free, and open source projects are incredible, and people giving time and energy to them are special people... but free isn't sustainable for a diverse ecosystem of projects. It was actually a gamble when the "app" idea started. People had access to the internet long before the "app store", so why was apple not jumping into a crowded pool?

Because it was no "easy guarantee" or "sure thing".

Something that people ranting about how "overrated" Steve Jobs was, or telling us all how he was not *actually* brilliant for what he "built", or "pioneered", or "envisioned", he was not an engineer, or a super programmer, or electrician have completely misunderstood what he was, what he contributed. Those people are right (of course, because all the "elements" of the "ipod", or "iPhone" existed, there were dozens of "MP3 players" that came out...) His brilliance was in being able to say "no". To pare down lines from dozens of "options" that added nothing, but cost in "manufacturing inefficiencies", and "artificial limiting of scale of production". I wonder if the current apple might learn from that lesson a little more. Yes, it is important to compete in "as many markets as possible", but also to watch out for bloat... fewer product lines, with intense focus, and swift development and investment in design and function can outcompete "scatter-shot" products (who can name the code from a given "acer [aspire 5050 W3C2E 3?]")

Steve Job's gift (or contribution to the rapidly moving computing world we are really lucky to live during) was in being able to say no. Sometimes behind the scenes or to employees, and sometimes to angry media and 'opinoneers'.

Comment Re:old news.. (Score 2) 325

Well, I have yet to read the articles linked... but like you say, this is not "news", this is a well established (though "controversial", in that it often seems to induce giggles from undergrads who say "hey, that's me, and ritual/feasting cultural events that help facilitate people who might not get along to celebrate X are important... but beer-lol").

So no, probably not "news" to those who were already aware of this. But I guess it is also "things that matter", so I am very much looking forward to what is *hopefully* a well crafted presentation of/collection of links and sources describing this theory of cultural origins.

It is another beautiful example of what Colin Renfrew might refer to as "at the edge of knowability" (with regards to the "origins" of PIE) - there are thousands of points of evidence, but the "truth" lies in that niche of "invisible elements of the human/social/internally lived past", which means we cannot point and say "here is the book that tells us how true the theory is regarding the absolute 'origin' of culture"... because obviously, the earliest examples of this were pre-writing cultures (the Egyptians did it, and it was definitely a "Civilization factor"... used to marshal loyalty, and labour, a "thing", a "gift" that workers would otherwise be completely unlikely to gain access to), but in the earliest cultures, we do not have the meticulous scribes and records of actions, tallies of labour and gratuities... and so the *Truth sits invisible, attested to by the contents of containers, and association with ritual sites, and sites of feasting, but, ultimately, we cannot (yet) say "here lies the Cup that Started Culture with the Beer that was inside of it, and it operated socially and culturally in This manner, and people Reacted Like This".

(Like, the summary talking about "shy" people... that might be projecting a modern social aspect on a situation in a manner that is undue).

So, anyway, not news, but hopefully a nice collection of and presentation of an argument regarding "stuff that matters".

Comment Re:Societal structure (Score 1) 290

Doesn't work that way. My claim is that we do not know.

Fair enough. Your point uses valid logic, and makes sense. You are really just recognizing "one of the many areas we don't know enough about, and could know more about", a useful thing to do. Agreed that discussion of "more" or "less" complexity is boring, pointless, the territory of vague, ill-defined positions, and the stomping ground of people with axes to grind (both in the "animals are mysterious, how do they work, better than humans magic", and on the other side, "humans are the ultimate end point and pinnacle of 'evolution'... both being goofy oversimplifications. I read your comment at first as being an ode to "mystery of what we don't know about animals", which is not very interesting.

What you were saying was more interesting.

But what you initially responded to was:

"No other species has built as complex of a societal structure to compare with."
Which, within it, defines complexity as societal structures. And also recognizes the whole "[impossible] to compare with". You were sort of responding to a straw man (who does exist, but was not in the comment you responded to).
Ants get death certificates. Ant death certificates are little puffs of chemical release.

Comment Re:Societal structure (Score 1) 290

Quote: "Hell my dogs can communicate with me (not even their own species) whether they are tired, want to play, hungry, need to go out, scared, happy, angry."

Do you? Do they? Or do you simply choose to read signals as "telling" you these things (all of which may be mollified by similar responses [comfort/food/attention]. Dogs and humans are very good at picking up cues. Picking up communication cues is not the totality of complexity? Is it? You are right in saying terms ought to be defined. We don't know if it is you reading into your dogs actions (another argument for impressive human complexity, that *you* are reading the cues of another speices, but granted, dogs are pretty neat, and likely have great potential for advancing as a species).

That dogs are domesticated more than some 'other' arbitrary animal species, and that this facilitates empathic, or communicative actions between you and it, does not tell us who is reading what.

I mean, yeah, "comparing" animals and humans isn't very interesting or useful, or fruitful, but you said yourself, humans are vastly complex, have complex societies, global interconnections (without even getting to the internet, the electronics, the secondary encoding of information [beyond biological signalling, like pheromones, vocal chord vibrations, color changes, enlarged genitals etc.,]

You could say that ants have many of the elements of a "civilization" that I listed a few comments up... but is there global connectivity, with instant transmission of information between ants across the planet? So, right there, we have the same elements as they do, and then we add layers on top of that... and ants have some of the most complex social structures we know of in other groups of life. This leads also to the base idea that "we study ants, they cannot study us", this may be because of "on being the right size"... stimulus response is not all of complexity.

They seem like maybe the most likely for global complexity, or maybe more-so microscopic organisms (the communication between bacteriological cells inside humans, the "threshold" communication system that scientists have seen in bacteria are fascinating examples of a complexity) microscopic lifeforms are perhaps the ones that most likely have some "invisible" organizational supra-structure... but yeah, fantasy and sci-fi, or 'gaian' hypotheticals.

It's pretty complex, human society is. I mean, yes, it is possible that we live in a "toy story" like world where animals talk and have societies, and complex global networks in 'secret', we just aren't looking... but that could be puffin-ery.

Humans for absolutely certain have complex societies, and have had for incredible lengths of time. Have gone to space, have chosen to imprison those who threaten stability of collectives of humans, rather than eating them, or killing them by tearing them apart.

We then have a complexity to debate whether it is actually *more* decent to tear someone apart on the spot, or to leave them languishing in those prisons just described.

I guess I just think yes, "it could be puffery"... animals may have complexities we have yet to see, but people are responding to what seemed like "well, humans actually suck, because MAYBE other species are more complex than we know"... dismissing or demeaning the complexity that is evident and right before you (while I agree, there *may* be complexity we may be blind to).

Complexity might be "taking techne beyond biology", or it might be a "communication" thing, or social order thing, or... all of that, and more, there are MANY complexities... so yeah, dolphins, possibly using tools, and possibly teaching others to use them? Or migratory pathways, or the salmon navigating back "home", yes, Complexity... but beyond base complexity? Not really, certainly not "more" than humans doing the same things, magnets in the beaks of birds or not, it isn't complex, just not fully explained; humans can not only do any of these things, with our brains alone, or with tools our brains help to build, beyond this we may theorize, systematize, and alter these concepts.

Like I said, it is a waste of time in this time, with our lack of sophistication at interspecies communication (though it must be said that leaps are occurring in this arena, our chemical understandings of animals, our brain interface computing is moving along), so we are not yet 'reading' other animals thoughts directly, but it seems out of place to act superior to people recognizing and appreciating the complexity of human beings, and not only inherent complexity as animals, but as a species that is acting to cross species boundaries of communication (in the context of [frankly] ignorant earlier comments giving some rote, unthoughtful "humans do violence, and in large scales, thus are evil" lines). People's responses to you on the complexity of humans should be read in *that* context... not as "absolutes" that only humans are complex (I think anyway).

Can you think of any examples of animal complexity that rivals humans? Even just "unexplained complex interactions". People have thousands of examples of the many facets of human complexities, and yes, our knowledge of animals is quite incomplete, but it is not total, we spend a lot of time studying, examining, watching, learning from animals... and have done so for millennia, look at the cave paintings at Chauvet, or Lascaux, they show humans who were *deeply* knowledgable of animal behaviours and patterns, and were in close quarters with animals...

Tl:dr, you are right, animals can be complex, and there is much we do not know, but your example is an example of complex human interaction with a domesticated species... not the best case for humans not being intensely complex.

Comment Re:Idle speculation (Score 1) 290

The funny part is that you essentially just reworded (minimalistically) a widely used traditional definition of civilization used by... historians, anthropologists and archaeologists... you said the same thing, but without the frequently given specifics (which, if you were going to lecture us all on "what civilization 'really means'", people might expect elaboration).

Also, your view of hunter/gatherer society is very trite, and limited, H/G societies demonstrate many and varied social adaptations, such as ritualistic sharing, feast events, complex social resource distribution constructions that distribute food and resources in numerous manners, evident in cultures across vast spans of time and space. Definitely not as simplistic as "animalistic first come first serve".

Gordon Childe had a list of criteria for what makes a civilization.
The most common practice is to split his list in two, primary and secondary characteristics.

Primary characteristics: All civilizations are/have;
-societies in which populations are densely settled in cities (this facilitates ease of access to people in order to control [guide, direct, legislate, connect] them).

-an elaborate division of labor with considerable specialization.

-Concentration of food and labor surplus controlled by an elite (this leads directly to the next characteristic).

-social stratification (people who are given [or take] differential life chances/opportunities).

-state organization (kinship means less than the positions/roles/status one occupies).

-States principly serve the needs and wants of elite; this is not to say that states dont serve the people (directly or indirectly)

Secondary charachteristics (elements that either hinge on a primary characteristic, or are influenced in their presentation by primary factors, or the influence of interactions with other secondary characteristics):

-monumental works (only can exist where there is a surplus of labor)
(ex., irrigation, temples and ziggurats, statues)

-Long distance trade (during the Uruk period, long distance trade networks; elite dominance/social stratification, "he who controls the spice controls the galaxy; at some points trade was administered by elite state bodies, at other points religious)

-standardized, monumental artwork

-Writing (or record keeping).
Inca used knots to communicate a message.
In a "civilized society" there are too many interactions bvettween too many people over too long a time to store in one person's head, so there was a need for some sort of external 'reminding'/communicating technology device.

-'Science' (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy [many presentations of this, some early uses of math was basically as tax forms, or tabulations of goods for transport, and subsequent increasing complexity/abstractions]).

Each of those elements provide a buffer between the vagaries of chance, the unpredictability of neighbouring societies, or the environment and climate... but the idea that "civilization" simply and clearly civilized us out of brutes with no society, is way overstating reality, state societies (civilization) quite clearly lead directly to mass scale conflicts, and many of the baser modes of living. Including the taking of land, resources and tributes from hunter gatherer societies that formerly existed on the margins of state societies. The accretion of power and wealth seen under civilizations is clearly closer to "first come first served" than the cultures which survived for thousands upon thousands of years prior to the rise and accretion of power by state societies.
I don't know if this makes you a traditional "clueless anthropologist/historian"... or worse, because in your rush to demean 'academics', you missed that what you were saying fit in very well with what a 'traditional' definition was.

Comment Re:Fear of robots is a red herring (Score 1) 275

This comment makes really good points.
Another angle to consider (beyond the obviously dubious ethics of autonomous death, lie practicalities) amidst the claims like "Deploy a robot army and watch the costs come down. No need for living quarters, no need of food or water, logistics becomes cheaper in every aspect."

Take you average modern car, how long will it last when driven hard, in tough conditions, owned by an irresponsible owner... no oil changes, no fluid maintenance, no checkups, no garage, just left in the snow and rain and Shamal winds. Maintenance is a serious cost in machines of war (I bet someone more versed in aircraft maintenance could enlighten us on how much it costs to keep a modern jet fighter maintained [and they aren't out flying missions and seeing action beyond patrols, nor are they at surface level where there is far more dust, dirt, grit and grime to get into moving parts]).

This maintenance free mechanical world isn't a reality yet, so, yes, one day it may be possible to set it and forget it. Then again, there may be something to say for "lifespan" robots... for one, giving us a leg up in the more improbable 'sci-fi' angle, with some sort of 'autonomous weapons revolution', seeing us all as pests that threaten a 'higher purpose' (maybe Siri13 sees it as vital to seed knowledge to the universe, or to find the predicted other lifeforms of the Drake equation, or to put golden records with knowledge on other planets of the galaxy), but also the more mundane, near-term realistic; captured, reprogrammed and turned around... if a robot has a short lifespan...

Isn't there a story about generational robots that just keep being reprogrammed by two sides? Back and forth, and it follows a unit, or a single one as it goes from side to side, but this one has a buried memory unit and code side-load/backup installed by an old man (who was a kid who grew up in the 1990's), so it is 'aware' of the tragedy of the swells of war, one side will rally, and dominate, then lose their tech advantage, and then the other just does the same. It ends with the robot shooting the great-great grandchild of its memory benefactor without a second thought.

Comment Re:What luck! (Score 1) 265

Right, and yes, this is funny, but, and this is a big but; it isn't like pouring money into quicksand. Say we pull out 'only' "$150B" from it with $200B investment; that by design says that someone has put together some serious hardware, and done serious R&D on asteroid exploitation. The developments that are gained along the way to that 150B are lasting, and don't simply evaporate like a bomb. So, yeah, funny, but on the other side, this isn't like a war boondoggle that seems to have jaded many Americans to outlay of capital on large projects, we aren't just tearing things down only to rebuild them (ok, right, yes, that actually technically is what mining and using asteroid resources is, opps [but my point is that in "using" those resources, serious scientific work must be done, with a large investment in the sorts of life-support and complex areas that have many "side-applications" like velcro, lasting benefits, and bonus, partially payed for by recovered costs in natural resources]).

Comment Re:Because... (Score 2) 208

Ok. I don't understand your comment, is it supposed to be sarcastic? Or are you being serious; because Super Mario Bros was excellent as a film related to the "super mario bros" franchise, a mix of funny, and a little dark and a little just plain bizarre.
Taxation is how individually poor people pool resources under a common banner to do, build and invent new things. Taxation helped buy the baseline for the communications network you are using to complain about taxation*, among other things. Taxation and equalization of states is how the US was founded, and is able to exist at all, preventing the absolutely likely potential for interstate conflict (that the founders rightly saw as a hallmark of the history of Europe, which led to Great wars, which the founders helped us avoid reproducing [not sure where yr' coming from, U.S is context I know about]) (*and Super Mario Bros, incorrectly)

Comment Re:only problem (Score 1) 237

You seem to not mention that the Cambrian EXPLOSION ( like explosion of life..) on Earth... was during a period when the Earth was CERTAINLY at least a Slush-ball... and POSSIBLY an ICEball. [science]) Not jumping to attack your position; just thought it was worth pointing out that the "environment 'needed' for evolving to create complex life... is not necessarily a fixed variable.

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