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Comment Look deeper, real root cause: single choice voting (Score 1) 338

Switch to approval (aka "multi-choice" voting) and the need for tweaks that mitigate burial and vote splitting issues go away. I think most if not all the crazy stuff that you see in primaries evolved from various moronic attempts to fix plurality.

Plurality always slowly degenerates into dysfunction. Try it with a bunch of friends. Use single choice to decide where to go for dinner. It might work once or twice but most of the time it will not yield the "winner" that makes the most people happy. Then switch to approval (which actually most people would intuitively use anyway). The result might not be perfect but it won't be pathologically wrong most of the time.

By the by, IRV is *worse* than single choice. This is one of those cases where intuition leads you astray. Also don't waste our time with range voting. Burial is a major source of voting dysfunction and a 0-1 range (approval) is far less vulnerable to burial than a 0-10 range (for example).

Comment Great, first, global warming, now global fattening (Score 0) 34

If we mine the asteroids and bring the metals back home the planet will get heavier and heavier, that means we will get heavier (weight, not mass) and the year will get longer. I'm sure that will lead to some kind of disaster. Better for us to all pick flowers from our organic gardens and just look up at the stars at night. Mining asteroids! Hmmph, stay home I say.

Senior Luddite #153.

Comment Testing theory against reality can be done ... (Score 1) 375

by careful inspection. At least this can be done to a degree. For an example of where this was done well with Economics (at least done well in my opinion) see Henry George's book Progress and Poverty. For the time starved listen to the free audio book on you daily commute. or the unabridged version:

Submission + - The Scheme language died and no one told me. (

kiatoa writes: I've been using Scheme to get things done for over 20 years. Sure, I've had a series of wild affairs; Turbo Pascal, Perl, Tcl, Ruby, even a little C, D and Python, but I always came back to Scheme and just got things done. I was happy. Until I posted a notice about a windows installer for Chicken Scheme that I helped put together. Out of the box it has gui (IUP), sqlite3 and more, combined with mingw it gives me a pragmatic and productive platform to write programs for Windows and Linux (and theoretically MacOS). It seemed so exciting to me.

But no one noticed. One reply to the mailing list pointing out that I forgot the URL and then silence. So this story is a plea of sorts, come on, give Scheme a try, yes it sucks, all programming languages suck. They are fraught with engineering trade-offs, community drama, big egos and bad ideas pretending to be good ideas. But perhaps you, like me, will find that with Scheme, you just get things done.

I'll stick with Scheme, probably for the rest of my life. It gets tiresome to try new languages only to discover that they are not so different once you get past the initial excitement. Good bye Scheme, rest in peace. Now let's go get something done ...

Comment Thanks! Your sequence looks like it will work perf (Score 1) 575

I tried this on my work laptop and it's almost working! Thank goodness I kept a USB floppy drive around in my PC parts junk box. I don't know how you got the patch on one floppy though. It took 122 floppies for the patch I downloaded. Was I supposed to compress the patch somehow? I'm currently loading floppy # 83, wish me luck.

Comment Re: Never gonna happen. (Score -1, Flamebait) 472

You know who I voted for? I'm no fan of the Democrats. Nadar said it best, the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is the speed at which their knees hit the ground when the corporations come calling.

The Democrats tend to be dumb/compassionate, the Republicans, dumb/cruel but both tend to have some connection with reality. The Libertarians are the worst, they are intelligent/out-of-touch. Clueless about the reality around them and pawns of corporate power whilst totally unaware of it. There is no greater destructive force at play in the US today, well, except maybe for the religions ...

Why, prey tell, should the President negotiate with the Republicans right now? There is no win scenario in that for him. Given that you responded to my obnoxious and trollish post I can only assume you are of a Libertarian bent. Since Libertarians are unable to see past their moronic goddess Ann Fucking Rand I am painfully aware of how pointless dialog with you all is and know that I just wasted five minutes of my life responding. However I take some pleasure in being a total jerk about it. Hmmmm... time for another snifter of Hennessy

Comment Re:Never gonna happen. (Score 1) 472

Motorcycles, sports cars and large pickup trucks are jerk magnets (apologies to genuinely respectful decent people who drive such vehicles, you seem to be the exception). Given that fact don't expect kindness towards speeders, tailgaters, or aggressive drivers built into the programing of robotic vehicles.

(still bitter and bitchy, explanation elsewhere in this story).

Comment Re:Never gonna happen. (Score 1) 472

Robotically controlled cars are just an expensive, inefficient and dumb way to do public transportation. Everyone will use either public transportation or an automated car so you pay one way or the other, only thing is the robo-cars will be 10x the cost of public transportation so only egotistical dumbasses will buy 'em.

Think elevators but horizontal and branched.

(I'm still bitter after spending $$ to visit Washington DC and being locked out of the Smithsonian, did that leak into this post? Moron libertarian tea party nutters fsking up the country. Rand was a moron fraud, wake up damnit. Mutter, grumble, snarl ... )

Comment Re:Cell radio nets shuold be a single entity (Score 1) 378

Instead of a forced single entity how about something a little more wacky? For example I'd like to see all the cellular radio providers put hidden bids in for the *sell price* of their bandwidth. The market price is set at the average of the two lowest bids and *all* carriers must honor that price. Can't make money at that price? Off to the auction block with you. The price setting process would be carried out every six months. At best it would lead to convergence on two or three "best" carriers providing cell bandwidth around the country. At worst it would provide some entertainment value watching the carriers do battle.

Comment Re:republicans (Score 1) 378

The "two-party system" is a symptom of single choice voting. Multi-choice (approval) voting is a supremely simple fix but few enough people are willing to study it to the point of getting it so I guess we'll be stuck with "one man, 1/n vote" for the foreseeable future. Given all that the only response likely to make a difference is to choose the party least loathsome to your values and try and make a difference *inside* that party.

Comment Re:RAID (Score 1) 552

WHS sounds interesting but a bit complicated. Also, obviously not available on Linux. After many years of trying (in no particular order) rsync, unison, bup, ugarit, btrfs raid, afs (that was the worst install ever) and probably a few others I found Moosefs and for my situation it seems to work pretty well. My requirement is that I can slap a few components together for a new system, boot from USB stick and be up and running in under 15 minutes of my time (the install process may well run much longer but I can get other things done). I have a script to install Moosefs and install all the packages I normally require. Moosefs replicates my data across multiple machines keeping N copies of each file where N is: /home = 3, /mythtv = 1, photos = 3 and so forth. Machines and drives seem to break every year or so and it is annoying but easy to build the new machine and install everything needed. This has been a low stress solution because the machines are very minimally configured. No LVM, no volumes etc. Just two partitions and a default install. Oh, and because I use fossil every time I commit my changes are auto synced off site which lowers my stress/fear from losing data even more. I use bup (will switch to ugarit when I get time since I'm a scheme fanboy) to keep offsite backups as I don't feel comfortable with my data in the cloud (adjusts tin hat carefully). Oh, and mythtv seems to be just fine writing/reading shows to moosefs. If I have simultaneous recording, watching and commercial flagging I do get stuttering but I can live with that. Moosefs has a feature where you can use a remote server for storing a copy of your data without slowing down access but I haven't tried it yet.

Comment Re:I Absolutely hate (Score 1) 139

I dunno, I've eaten dog before (tends to taste a bit like what it was eating, coconut and scraps, yech). I also had a dog that got hit by a car and the neighbors got to it before we did. Apparently they ate well that night. Shit happens. Things are born, die, sometimes get eaten by other things. That said I could never eat my own dog (extreme starvation situation excepted). Your emotional attachment is just that, an emotional attachment and personally I'm fine with offending your sensibilities if it yields a cure for some nasty disease.

All that said however, I'm a firm believer that *all* animals should be treated with compassion and respect. I consider brutal treatment of cows destined for a grease burger just as despicable as torturing lab monkeys with toxic cosmetics. Why single out dogs for special treatment?

Comment Re:What fun! (Score 1) 139

Seems like a great solution for feral dogs and helping breeders get rich. To all your pure-bred (assuming genetically modified is still "pure-bred") dogs, cats whatever add a gene that causes them to die if not fed a special additive to their food.

No more strays ...

I'm just kidding of course but whats the bet that the Monsanto equivalent in the pet world does just exactly this?

Comment Re:Don't forget lotus notes (Score 1) 152

Whilst a captive user of Lotus Notes at IBM I frequently grumbled about it. In retrospect I really didn't appreciate how good it was and how much easier it made my life. I regularly synced my mail to Linux and to Windows and was able to seamlessly work offline. If it was an easy install on Linux I'd seriously consider dropping the $100 or so for a copy and I don't own *any* commercial software.

The "slosh data around model" has a strong appeal and Notes seemed to mostly do it pretty well. In a similar way the ideas behind freenet appeal to me also. Well, except the lossy bit.

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