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Comment Freedom to vs freedom from (Score 1) 1633

As an outsider (I live in Australia) I find it amusing (and slightly scary) that removal of an individual's rights are automatically assumed to be evil.

In Australia, most people *don't* have the freedom to carry hand-guns (or crossbows or semi-automatic assault rifles) and mass killings in Australia are vary rare (only one that I can think of in the last 20 years).

What we have is freedom *from* mass killings. I'm happy to give up my freedom to carry deadly weapons if it means that most other people also don't have deadly weapons most of the time.

At the end of the day, the ultimate individual freedom is to be able to absolutely anything you want, absolutely any time you want to, including killing anyone you want whenever you feel like it. We deny people that level of individual freedom to protect the freedom of society as a whole to get on with their lives in (relative) safety.

And if someone goes mental in Australia, 99% of the time they go mental with fists or maybe a knife. If we can't stop all murderous psychopaths, I'd far rather have a murderous psychopath with a knife or two in my country than one with several semi-automatics.

Comment Are you an employee or a sub-contractor? (Score 1) 716

If the bricklayer is an employee, then the employer might yell at the employee (or fire them) but it's the employer's responsibility to get the wall fixed. If the bricklayer is a sub-contractor, then they are their own boss, and it's their job to fix it on their own time (and their own dime).

That said, it's not really a fair comparison. People have been doing brick walls for thousands of years, and the basic process hasn't changed *that* much in centuries. If you build a brick wall and the bottom falls out, it almost certainly means you're incompetent. Whereas programming has existed for around half a century (give or take), and most languages we use today have been around for a decade or less, and many of the tools we use have been around for a year or less - and all are constantly changing.

More than that, coding is (I assume) significantly more complex than bricklaying. While I've never been a professional bricklayer, I'd be prepared to bet that there aren't *that* many things to learn about how to actually put bricks together with mortar (I'm not talking about preparing foundations, I'm just talking about bricklaying) - at least not compared to learning a programming language (or several), how to use them well, not to mention learning to use SCM, a bugtracker, etc etc.

Comment Re:Orson Scott Card (Score 1) 732

Agreed. Not sure if your reasons are the same as mine - I won't be giving OSC a cent because my (female) cousin pays her taxes and never hurt anyone but was nevertheless bullied and beaten for falling in love with another woman. And OSC is a part of that problem.

I'll see the movie if/when I can (without a cent going to OSC) but I sure as #@(& won't be financially supporting him.

Comment Be able to see back in time (Score 1) 456

I'd like to be able to see (and preferably also hear) things that happened in the past.

Want to know who shot JFK? I can go back and look. Want to see what Jesus *really* did and said? I can find out, and end millenia of arguments. Want to know if the blurry photo of the Loch Ness Monster is a fake? Well of course it is - but I can go back and see them staging it, and prove it to the world once and for all.

Of course there'd need to be checks in place to make sure the super-power isn't abused. But heck, it'd be good to have.

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Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas