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Comment Re:Torn between reading and doing (Score 1) 263

I read most of volume 1. 30 years ago we were still working out basics and many programmer had to write or at least understand, basic processes. This is why this book was useful. In addition we were still writing lots of code, rather than just understanding and applying APIs. For instance no one is going to write a sort, or a gaussian elimination, or a GUI outside of classroom anymore. Few developers are going to have to know how to really code, or what is really happening in the engine they are using.

Comment Re:Thoughtcrime (Score 1) 410

Which of the socialisms was Orwell advocating?

The cited text (Lion & Unicorn) would explain better than I could hope.

From the point of view of Marxism (and I'm obviously not a Marxist) neither of the situations you describe are socialism. The first, I believe would be dismissed as "primitive communalism." The second seems to be a self-defeatingly histrionic* description welfare state ideology. It is a common these days to confuse the welfare state with socialism. Historically, however, the modern welfare state was the invention of conservatives (esp of Otto von Bismarck) and was explicitly an anti-socialist measure. It is an accident of history that the welfare state has become associated with nominally 'socialist' parties (long after the imminent threat of a socialist takeover faded, rendering the welfare state no longer necessary to conservative purposes).

Marxists view socialism as a "transitional state," as a the final form of state power on the path to their utopian (though Marxists would object strenuously to that term) vision of stateless communism. The famous motto "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need" which is meant to characterise communism is matched by the starker motto of socialism, "to each according to their contribution" (if memory serves me both come from Marx' Critique of the Gotha Programme). The idea was that the proletariat as the "universal class" (a imho mystical conception Marx inherited from the conservative philosopher Hegel who regard the bureaucracy as the universal class) would set up a self dissolving "dictatorship" in which the fruits of production would be shared only by those whose labour brought them into being. That is the owners of factories etc (the means of production) would be dispossed. Socialism then is most easily defined as the state ownership of the means of production as a path to the eventual state self-elimination which was to be communism. [Note that no country under Communist Party rule has ever claimed to be communist. They did claim to be socialist]

And that was their "scientific" socialism which they distinguished from "utopian" socialism!

But actually my main point was, notwithstanding the dig at the Soviet system, in 1984 Orwell was not so much describing a dictatorship of any political colour, but rather showing a state whose purpose served no ideological agenda at all, other than the exercise of power for powers sake. It is a very worthwhile read.

[*It is more persuasive to define a system first and then go on to show how aspects of that system ineluctably lead to poor outcomes rather than over-obviously writing the untoward outcomes into the very definition. Just an idea if ever you want a good essay mark.]

Comment Re:Well that's terrifying (Score 1) 410

To a free man it's not valid

To such a "free man" 7 need not be a prime number either.

... violates the first principle of human rights.

And the canonical example of what might constitute a "valid law" of the English Parliament, namely that "all blue-eyed babies be put to death" doesn't?! *

Prohibition was "duly enacted" in the US, too, but it was a stupid, ill-advised, and evil power trip.

It may well have been stupid, ill-advised and an evil power trip. It was nonetheless, as a matter of mere fact, a valid law. After all, Prohibition was repealed rather than being struck down.

[*Besides which, those so-called "human rights" which are actual rights rather than aspirations, are simply called "rights"]

User Journal

Journal Journal: Filling in a DNR or Advanced Medical Directive is sobering. 3

With people living longer, and with the possibility to extend life even when doing so would be undignified, and distressing to everyone around you, eventually you should ask yourself "do I want to live like that?" Nobody wants to spend their last years unable to recognize anyone, in diapers, eating through a tube, and being the source of continual stress for friends and family.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

Your arguments are bullshit when it comes to experimental treatments. People can give consent after being informed that the treatment may make their disease or condition worse, or even kill them.

The same applies to people in drug trials. In blind tests, you cannot tell people whether they will receive the test treatment or not, and if you haven't noticed, All consent forms for treatment, even in hospitals, contain the stipulation that the patient has been informed of any risks (and "any risks" includes death) before consent can be given.

It is universally recognized that ANY and ALL treatments carry a risk, that every medication has side effects, and that it is the right of the patient, unless they are unable to give or withhold consent, to make an informed decision.

You might want to look at things like advanced medical directives, where you can give consent to procedures that will, for example, reduce pain even though they will hasten your death. Get with the times.

Comment Re:Analyzing a car purchase over 1 year? (Score 1) 33

True. And the cost/arrest concept is broken too. Would the arrests have been made anyway? Could they have been made another way?

When people have a tool they use it, whether it is the use-case that was supposed to justify the purchase -- and that can be a good thing (because the widget is earning its keep) or a bad thing (using a tool that's overkill, to expensive to operate, or counterproductive). The real question is what did they specifically buy this for? If the cost justification was that it was going to allow them to make x arrests per year, it's probably a failure. If the cost justification is some other kind of scenario that doesn't necessarily happen every year (e.g. the Beltway Sniper), then the question is whether they're using this thing reasonably.

Comment Re:Elephant in the room (Score 1) 246

And you ignore that 3d printing is not about printing things you can buy.

Where can I buy a Garmin to BMW GPS adapter plate? nowhere
Where can I buy headphone hangers for my specific desk? nowhere
Where can I buy a Death Star dice box for my friends that are Star Wars RPG lunatics? nowhere
Where can I buy a switch delete plug for a 1979 civic? nowhere
Where can I buy a China bolt style red 3Watt LED to Yamaha rear tail motorcycle mounts that look stock? nowhere.

3d printing is for creating and printing things that you can not get, its for people that use their brains and create and then want to effortlessly get a plastic part.

It has never been a "print out these things that you can just go buy" and I have no clue at all where you got such a horribly uninformed idea that it was.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

If the patient has a fatal illness, it doesn't matter - they're going to die. That's what fatal illness means. And then we have people screaming not to give those same patients heroin because they might get addicted.

Also, since this is a test, you don't know if the placebo is less dangerous than the treatment being tested - or you wouldn't need to run the test. Your arguments are not based in law, nor are they in agreement with the physician's code of ethics, which works by informed consent in such cases.

Comment Re:Look up laws on booby traps (Score 1) 229

Hence what I said about "overly literal geeks". You think so long as you can find something that you consider to be logically consistent, that'll work and you are out of trouble. I'm telling you that is NOT how it works in a court. They very much take the "reasonable man" approach and factor in intent. Doesn't matter how clever you think you are, what matters is what the law says and how the judge applies it.

Comment For two reasons. (Score 2) 117

Musk is the only man that is actually building shit to help society and further humanity while making a profit.

The other two are simply hiring others to make money off the masses for personal gain. Bozos and Zuck have done absolutely nothing for society, in fact many would say that have done the reverse.

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