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Comment Re:How long will that last? (Score 1) 690

Actually, no, sale does not enter into it. One of the primary precedents for the expanded interpretation of the Commerce clause is Wickard vs. Filburn from 1942. SCOTUS determined that an Ohio man growing wheat as fodder for his animals and no other purpose was nevertheless subject to Federal limits on production and consequently liable for the statutory fine for his actions. The mere existence of Filburn's wheat was considered to have a *substantial economic effect,* according to the majority.

Comment Re:Reguarding (Score 1) 226


For the first time, scholars and reviewers could quote briefly from copyrighted works without having to pay fees.

Prior to 1909 these arrangements were not unregulated. Often the fees were often nominal or wholly foregone. These fees did not significantly impair the ability of authors to react for and against, or academics to cite, previous work.

Better yet, in fuller response to the ostensible value of *fair use*, a term of 7 years might be more efficacious.

Comment marketplace of ideas (Score 2, Insightful) 391

This is an exceptionally pernicious metaphor. We do often prefer one idea to another, but a market does not exist. One idea is right and one is wrong and the choice is usually a false one. Choosing what others have chosen is a CYA tactic and not a way to conduct one's intellectual life. This result demonstrates man the social animal impeding man the rational animal.

These are not new problems and are not limited to democracies of taste or meritocratic capitalism. One of the more interesting results was the *new band* question. Participant is asked if they had heard of these four new bands, one of which was spurious. The profile of recognition was statistically identical to that for the three real, but little known, new bands. Respondents need to be seen as knowing, whether they have actual knowledge or not. This makes clear that musical taste as a function of personal identity formation and not music appreciation. The big labels have know this for years: it doesn't matter who you front as long as you flood the airwaves and hype the sucker.

That said, there are a handful of people in all times and places who do not consider themselves tied to their peer's taste; who strive to think for themselves. They usually have unique access to actual ideas. They are often shunned by their peers because they call into question the intellectual shorthand everyone else contents themselves with. They are either crackpots or geniuses, sometimes both. One thing they never are is boring.

Comment JavaScript is incredible (Score 1) 303

I agree that JS is an incredible language. It is incredible that it has survived all the twists and turns of its development and dubious implementations. JS is frankly ass. Its DOM is an abomination and its semantics are cluttered and redundant. The scripts are crappy by necessity.

It continues thanks to inertia in browser development and the determination of fresh-minted programmers to remind themselves how smart they are by making their work hard. The toolkits exist because the work is soul-killing without them. They don't represent interest in JS so much as interest in making it go away.

I don't quite understand the role of lambda calculus for an ostensibly object-oriented language like JS, either. If it is a functional programming paradigm you are after, XSLT is an order of magnitude more coherent a language, in spite of its verbosity.

Comment Re:root question (Score 1) 399

the reality of such statements

There are lots of excellent ways to talk about value. Almost none of them have to do with absurdities like the value of a human life. Compounding this with reference to some infinite horizon of all human potentialities makes the entire project an exercise in emotional masturbation.

It is a persistent problem with contemporary political discourse, or I would not have mentioned it at all.

Comment root question (Score 1) 399

the expected value of preventing them could be high, as it represents the value of all future human lives.

Cuts right to the chase, don't it? The value of all future human lives, indeed. Expressed as what, wish units? The projected value of all future human lives is precisely nil. Or the universe of possible value. Or both at the same time. Far more productive to spend the money on remedial large number training and statistics/reality differentiation.

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