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Comment Re:Loss of culture (Score 1) 490

The greek city states never had republics... You are mixing this up with Rome.

That's a matter of definition. The term republic as used by the Romans, res publica, merely refers to affairs handled publicly. In many ways, the Roman system was closely comparable the mixed constitutions present in most Greek city states. (Before the Delian League, at any rate, Athenian style democracy was far less common than mixed constitution systems.) Most of these were outgrowths of competition among elites. Early city states would be headed elders from wealthy landowning families. (Even the term senate, from senex or old man, reflects this--incidentally senile is from the same root as senate.) Popular assemblies would also be used for matters like war and use of public lands. In many cases, nouveau riche from the merchant classes would agitate for change and gradually expand the franchise to increase the number of loyal voting blocks to achieve their ends. The real anomaly is the Athenian system which, under the likes of Pisistratus and Cleisthenes, expanded the franchise to ever greater proportions--and in their own interests--until the people's assembly held most of the power.

The term republic has evolved since that time. If you look at the way it was used in the Renaissance/Early Modern period, it merely meant a constitutional arrangement without a monarch. This is rather closer to the Latin meaning of res publica than the way we use it today. (There's not really an ancient Greek equivalent, though the Greeks freely discussed mixed constitutions composed of democratic, oligarchic, and monarchic elements.) But under the influence first of Anglo-American and then of French systems of representative government, it has come to mean something very different. When we speak of republics these days, we often mean representative systems. But this is one of the (great) innovations that has occurred since parliamentary systems came about in the past millennium. Contrary to popular belief, the Roman Republic was not a representative system. See Polybius, Histories, Book VI if you'd like some details, but the quick and dirty version is this: Romans did elect magistrates for certain positions we would term 'executive.' But all legislative power was vested in an assortment of popular assemblies. The senate was an advisory body made up of former magistrates who'd attained a respectable rank, but it had no direct legislative powers.

In short, the meanings of these words have changed so much that saying the Greeks had no republics but the Romans did requires some parsing. If by republic we mean a representative system, then neither Greeks nor Romans had republics. But if we mean what the Romans meant, then many Greek poleis were republics.


China's Island Factory 199

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC has a lengthy investigative report about China's efforts to create and expand artificial islands in the South China Sea. They've been going to coral reefs and atolls, dredging the bottom for material, and dumping it on top of the reef to create new land. On at least one of the new islands, China will build an air base large enough for fighter jets to use. This highlights one of China's main reasons for constructing these islands: sovereignty and strategic control of the surrounding area. "The U.S. government does not acknowledge China's claim, and the U.S. Pacific fleet continues to sail regularly through the South China Sea. But the Chinese navy is beginning to grow more assertive. In December 2013 China sailed its brand new aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, into the South China Sea for the first time. Shadowing it, at about 30 nautical miles, came the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Cowpens. A Chinese amphibious assault ship approached and ordered it to leave the area. The commander of the Cowpens refused, saying he was sailing in 'international waters.'"

Comment Re:Fleeing abusive companies? (Score 1) 257

In fact why does this article focus on the tech sector? Similar claims could be made of banks or car companies among others. If anything has changed it's that the tech sector has grown and diversified enough that its subsections can support major companies as monopolies (or near monopolies) for example facebook/twitter for the relatively new social media section.

So major companies with virtually no competition naturally become destructive to society. Maybe we need a wave of enforcement of anti-monopoly laws... or given modern corruption per Citizens United some new major limitation on how corporations are allowed to incorporate or buy stock in existing corporations for any state (e.g. Make Wal-mart unable to incorporate in a new state due to its annual revenue nor buy out smaller companies and run them as mini-Wal-Marts).

Of course, we should outlaw Corporations as "People" on top of that.

Comment Ergodox (Score 1) 82

Massdrop just started another run on the ergodox that will be ending in about a week, anyone interested in this keyboard would probably want to check that out.
I've never used anything but standard cheap keyboards but I'll be trying the ergodox on this latest run. At a glance they appear very similar. I like this guy's thumb layout better, though I'd prefer the board was split into two pieces one for each hand.

Submission + - Activist group sues US border agency over new, vast intelligence system

An anonymous reader writes: The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has sued the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in an attempt to compel the government agency to hand over documents relating to a relatively new comprehensive intelligence database of people and cargo crossing the US border. EPIC’s lawsuit, which was filed last Friday, seeks a trove of documents concerning the 'Analytical Framework for Intelligence' (AFI) as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. EPIC’s April 2014 FOIA request went unanswered after the 20 days that the law requires, and the group waited an additional 49 days before filing suit. The AFI, which was formally announced in June 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), consists of 'a single platform for research, analysis, and visualization of large amounts of data from disparate sources and maintaining the final analysis or products in a single, searchable location for later use as well as appropriate dissemination.'

Submission + - France Bans Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations (dailymail.co.uk)

Sun writes: Citing the violence these demonstrations deteriorate into, the French government has placed a ban on all pro-Palestinian demonstrations. The step is receiving criticism from all sides of this particular conflict.

One has to wonder whether more traditional means of crowd control wouldn't be more appropriate, such as limiting the number of participants or assigning locations not next to Jewish centers.

Comment Re:John Carmack, no questions asked (Score 1) 285

Having read your link, no he did not. From your source:

When we got the first build to test, I was pleased with how the high res artwork looked, but I was appalled at how slow it ran...
...Using the iPhone's hardware 3D acceleration was a requirement, and it should be easy...
...As usual, my off the cuff estimate of "Two days!" was optimistic, but I did get it done in four, and the game is definitely more pleasant at 8x the frame rate.

He converted an existing implementation that used software acceleration to use hardware acceleration instead. The original team did estimate 2 months for that change.

Comment Re:Living in Colorado, and yes, there is a shortag (Score 1) 401

The Chinese folks seem to have their ducks in a row. They ain't great on the innovation part and you have to spent a LOT of time steering them, but at least they work hard.

The Indians spend most of their time emailing management about how awesome they (the Indians) are, rather than doing any actual work.

The Americans seem to be stuck in the glory days of post-WWII when America didn't have any real competition (rest of the world was smoldering ashes) so they now seem allergic to the concept of hard work.

I've found 0 (or near 0) correlation between country of origin and work ethic. This is complete bullshit and flamebait. That this was posted by an AC does not surprise me.

My company tried for almost a year to find good tech people. Begged, scrounged, tried to poach, nada. The jobs may not be the best paying, ~$120k/year

I'm not certain about the COL in silicon valley and other very expensive areas (generously assuming you're even in one), but unless the skills you were looking for was some obscure language and/or toolset I'm pretty sure this is obvious bullshit as well.

Comment Classic $Politician (Score 3, Insightful) 211

It seemed odd that only posts I see on this subject ("Classic Obama", "Obama ... What is it with this guy", and "Why does Obama keep doing this") all seem to suggest this hypocrisy is somehow unique to the current president.

Maybe I'm missing something as I was born in '88, was there a time when politicians weren't appointing people based on who would be best for the major corps in the industry.?How is this anything but the standard Corruption which we can expect from all future presidents?

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