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Comment New things are always worrying (Score 1) 83

I'm a big fan of China in many respects, and I think their central government very often get things right - more so than many in the West. But as many sincere fans, I am not just uncritically accepting everything they do as right. In this case I reserve judgement; many things depend on how this is implemented and how it is used.

In my view, it was always obvious that something like this must turn up at some point. The unregulated internet was a lot of fun in the early years, certainly, but it is no longer all that much fun - there are too many things going on that are anything but fun, quite frankly, with scams, false news, rumour mills, organised crime, bullying, people trafficking etc, and the genuinely good things are sometimes drowning in the effluence. So it has to come to an end in some way or other - things like censorship, lack of anonymity and social credit scores are attempts at hammering out some sort of "law in the Wild West" of the internet. I'm not sure they are all good, but eventually we will settle one something that most people will find acceptable, and which will be reasonably effective.

At then end of the day, the internet is a public space, ultimately paid for by "society": the physical infrastructure etc maybe be owned by companies of various sorts, but at the end of the day, their customers pay for it and it trickles down to us (that is the only part of "trickle down economics" that actually works: all expenses are ultimately paid by those at the bottom of the pyramid game). But that being the case, the rules have to be set in such a way that they are acceptable to most people, and most people prefer there to be limits for what you are allowed to do and say.

Comment Re:People need to chill (Score 1) 250

Really, people need to chill out. When absolutely everything gets you offended, really your offendedness is meaningless.

Yeah, sure, but to be fair, I think the "offence" this time was over the inclusion of a rather non-descript magazine, whose main selling point was the vaguely pornographic pictures, to an audience, whose main interest is somewhat removed from idle chit-chat. Playboy's core customers have always been the stupid rich, who think Las Vegas is an exciting holiday destination, that middle-aged men in glittery suits singing Sinatra songs are the height of cool, and who think that smoking cigars is sophisticated. We'll look at nude photos any ime of the day, but Playboy is or management types in suits. If they wanted to please a crowd of nerds, it might have worked better to include a graphical novel (or whatever the better class of cartoons are called) or a reprint of some of the more interesting comics from a byegone age. My favourites are the early editions of "The Broons" which are written in a very crinkly sort of Scots English.

Comment What utter tripe (Score 1) 356

It is really bizarre, the way fact checking and standing up to liars, fear mongers, hate speech has been twisted around so that it is now called "propaganda" and "censorship". I suppose we are fortunate in some ways - at least Trump's nasal whine doesn't evoke quite the same passion as Hitler, and I don't think they have a master manipulator like Goebbels yet. And unlike in Germany in the thirties, companies are not flocking to him as one; and we now have the internet, so perhaps there is hope that he won't get it all his way. But it is going to be grim for a while.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 412

How about you.....improve the lives for angry young men to combat the radicalisation epidemic?

Indeed. The problem, in practical terms, is that once we have let things slip as far as we have, where we have "angry young men", it becomes very hard, because they will now try their worst to stop you from actually improving things. Like now Daesh and other terrorist organisations are active, they profit from the ineqalities in our society, so they don't want us to fix it; that is one of the major factors in why they direct their attacks against innocent people.

Comment Re:Are we there yet? (Score 1) 203

Because Bitcoin is not a currency according to previous legal rulings and the IRS seems to be treating it however would advantage them in any given instance

Tax, as far as I know, should be paid on any transaction that results in somebody receiving something of real value. I don't know if bitcoin falls into that category, but in most countries, if you receive payment in kind, you still have to pay tax of the value, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. So whichever way you turn it, it is reasonably that the revenue services know; bitcoin doesn't need to be "currency" or legal tender, it doesn't even have to be inherently valuable (if that even has any meaning) it only needs to have a trade value.

Comment Re:or how about less sugar anyways? (Score 1) 327

...anyone that actually likes chocolate likes a good dark chocolate that is already not as sweet

Funny enough - I like chocolate to be either quite light milk chocolate or very dark, 90%. I find the 60% - 85% ones too sweet in combination with the bitterness.

Comment Re:Nestle (Score 5, Funny) 327

Yes I agree, I live in central Europe and if you ever have tasted LÃderach (Swiss) or Bachhalm or Zotter (Austrian) you would not touch any Nestle dreck with a 10 ft pole.

If you really lived in Central Europe, you would know that Poles, although excellent people, rarely get that tall.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 412

Yeah, people like you like to play the 1984 card, but it is getting a bit worn along the edges.

The threat from things like radicalism of various sorts, or from pedophiles (as brought up elsewhere in this thread), is similar to an infectious disease: if left to fester, it spreads amongst the most vulnerable in society, like the young and disenfranchised. So, apart from the question of whether having dangerous thoughts should be considered a crime or not, there is the harm that their presence as a "disease of society" does; and in any epidemy, the first thing you do is quarantaine to try to limit the spread. This is not because being ill is a crime, but because being infectious constitues a danger, and society needs time to take appropriate measures to stop more outbreaks; such as clearing the slums or digging sewers, if you will. In a similar way, it is very hard to improve lives for the angry, young men, who are now becoming terrorists, as long as the radicalisation epidemic is raging.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 0) 412

There is no evidence that viewing child porn causes the consumer to commit more child abuse, and some evidence that it is preventative.

Really? As the many, very serious cases that have been all over the news, at least here in UK, like the Jimmy Savill case and others, pedophile predators cause immense harm that cripples the survivors for life. Many pedophiles, if not most, don't see themselves as needing help with their problem - they don't think they have a problem, it is society that "just doesn't get it". And just like pornography has never really been anything other than a poor substitute for the real thing, watching child porn or using a plastic doll is only ever something that can, at best, take the edge off. That might be a help, if you feel strongly that you have a serious problem, but it is not my impression that most pedophiles see it that way.

Apart from that, production of child porn is not likely to limit itself to just animations and fantasies, is it? I don't think so - possession of child porn is very often evidence that you are an active pedophile, or that you are moving in that direction, and that you are not likely to seek help, unless you are forced to do so.

We often punish pedophiles just for seeking psychological help.

I assume you have the evidence to back this up? Could you point us to it, please?

Comment Re:Twitter, aka @Jack, doesn't care about hate spe (Score 1, Insightful) 1054

Yeah, I'm pretty sure SJW's will still be free to call every Trump support a racist, sexist, homphobe

SJW? You say it as if it is an insult; I think having the courage and decency to stand up for what you know is right, being willing to put yourself on the line to speak out for the weakest and working towards a fairer and better society, are things to be proud of.

It would be easy for me to just go "Well, if you don't want to be called racist, don't be one"; but if you feel that your views are always being rejected, despite being well thought out, perhaps it is something in the way you present them? Fire and brimstone doesn't persuade - it just alienates. That is why I try to stick to measured arguments and facts; not that I always succeed, but when I do, people quite often listen and sometimes even agree. And sometimes I have to change my mind too, if I realise that my views are wrong.

Comment Re:Trump is love (Score 2, Informative) 1054

Honestly, how stupid is Twitter's management? Here is one person who has helped Twitter actually eclipse the MSM, despite the fact that nobody want to buy them, and this is how they wanna treat him? Go right ahead, and he can dry up the Twitter swamp.

I think perhaps twitter look a bit wider and further ahead than to whether Trump and his followers want to use it; you guys are still a minority in the wider world, where twitter allegedly has some of its business. And of course, once he becomes president, his popularity is going to decline, we all know that, I think, because he is not going to deliver what his followers want, and the rest will see their expectations of his perceived incompetence confirmed. All in all, it won't matter whether he stays.

On another note, come Jan 20, Trump will own both @RealDonaldTrump as well as @POTUS. Now, they may ban the former, but will they ban the latter as well?

Of course - why not? Being the president doesn't entitle you to behave like a bigger moron than the average user - on the contrary. Just look to what the public did to Mr Clinton over his extramarital affairs, not to mention the impeachment: both were for things that would have merited very little in terms of legal machinery, had he not been president. Even bog standard celebrities are subject to scrutiny and criticism far beyond what ordinary people experience - why should Trump not be put through the wringer, then? If he doesn't like it, maybe he should retire to a more protected role suitable to his abilities.

Comment Re:No, just no (Score 1) 560

Only a complete moron would think that a recreational drug that alters your mood and brain chemistry is 'safe'.

Of course it isn't safe - even aspirin isn't safe. But if we know what we are doing, we can act in such a way that we minimise the risks. People drink alcohol - which is more harmful than cannabis - and it is widely recognised that there are ways to drink responsibly; the same is true for most recreational drugs. I speak from experience - I have tried many different things - the only time I lost control and were unable to think clearly was the very first time I tried alcohol. Even on LSD, you can still make intelligent decisions and act responsibly; or I can, at least. I have never been so spaced out that I didn't know that I shouldn't try to operate heavy machinery. There's no magic involved either - you just need to go into it with sensible expectations.

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