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Comment Re:Advantages of Authoritarianism (Score 1) 202

Why are we speaking of monopolies of all things?
Keep in mind that the largest monopoly is the government which supposedly is keeping these from being created! And that monopoly prevention is a relatively small task for a government to have. It doesn't need a lot of power or resources to enact narrow functions like that.

Nope. Government is not a monopoly as long as the voters can vote for it to no longer be one. A true monopoly is beyond reach of basically everything and becomes a state within the state.

Plus, you can sue a business while governments typically can hide behind sovereign immunity.

Wrong. It is quite common to sue governments. And win, too.
In what cases can they hide?

Why do you think the U.S. has some of the most strict laws in the world regarding this?

Because the US has long desired and supported relatively free and competitive markets. For example, one of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the British government passing a tax on tea so that the East India company could have a market advantage in trade in the American colonies. That lead in turn to the Boston Tea Party, the illegal dumping of a bunch of East India tea into the Boston harbor.

Your point being what exactly? You are making my point.

And with the case of microsoft, almost an international level.

Microsoft has never been a monopoly. It's had market dominance for a time, but there's always been substantial competition.

Well, I'd say that could be debated. There was a long time were it was almost impossible to choose anything else and the acted like complete assholes if one did. Actually it was often worse in other countries, which is not very well known in the U.S.
Anyway, the market was saved by those laws.

In practise, it is far easier to guard secrets in a small organization.

Sure it is. Now even if we grant that unwarranted assertion, consider that there are a zillion such small organizations in the US government and some of these are probably so secret that even their current names are classified.
The ability to evade oversight is the biggest issue with large and complex governments. But you also have the problem of various forms of unintended aggregation of power. A government tasked with health care has a new avenue for accessing personal information about you and a lower threshold of risk for those in power who break the law. Rather than having to break into a doctor's office, they can just tap into a national data base, a far less risky approach.

Yeah, well now that is a totally different matter, and not a part of the discussion as I understood it.
Anyway, companies be just as omnipresent.

Because reducing it doesn't change much, especially when the companies taking over the (often huge) job typically becomes huge monopolies after a while.

Government does a lot more than just prevent monopolies from forming (well monopolies other than the government itself). We can cut the parts that government shouldn't be doing and well, keep the itty bitty parts you want, like the ability to prevent monopolies.

Well, the problem is that the this that it is not itty bitty things that I wan't.
Simply because there are huge things that cannot be entrusted to other entities.
So many things work like crap because people think that the same ideology can be applied to every area of society.

Anyway, most people tend to not act on their own initiative. Nor should all have to.

So what? There are consequences both positive and negative to such choices. One shouldn't expect a government to play a hand in such choices.

So what?? That is where we part ways, I think.

"Does everything for you" is just straw man-y. No one calls for that kind of government.

Well, that was a bit of rhetorical puffery on my part. It does remain that there doesn't seem a natural limit or extent to what government could allegedly be doing for me. The same people who argue that government should be interfering in my work, my health care, my education, my retirement, or any of a bunch of things that have at best minor relevance to society probably will probably find new needs for government action down the road.
And the general justification for government intervention is pretty open-ended. For example, the "safety net" concept is based on the fact that bad things happen to us. But most such safety nets go well beyond anything that addresses the original problem, such as mandatory pensions and health insurance coverage.

As well as it is very easy to go too far the other way. And probably it will. But likely, it then will go back a bit, then the other way.
That is how stuff works. It is about finding an equlibrium. Not some be-all-end-all ideology like small or large government.
I'd like people to just calm down a bit.

Most just want to work to live and love and for that reason they want to contribute to a society.

Why does "contributing" to society involve taking from society?

Negative "contributions" usually result in jail time.
Society is usually not very forgiving when it comes to that.
I would advise you to reconsider your interpretation of that word.

Comment Re:Advantages of Authoritarianism (Score 1) 202

they have to run a profit and have physical assets that must be protected in order to run that profit.

Well. That is quite easy once there is competition to your monopoly or oligolopoly
2.your war chest is so large that no one will be able to threat it for a foreseeable future.

Why do you think the U.S. has some of the most strict laws in the world regarding this?
The answer is experience. Monopoly creation has been the case again and again on local, regional and national levels. And with the case of microsoft, almost an international level. Haven't you heard the song "16 tons"?

Enlarging/shrinking government actually doesn't affect the transparency issue much.

Sure it does. a vast, complex government can get away with a lot more than a simple one.

Not really. In practise, it is far easier to guard secrets in a small organization.
So not in relation to the fact that a large government will simply have more things to do.

And what makes you think government reduction won't contribute?

Because reducing it doesn't change much, especially when the companies taking over the (often huge) job typically becomes huge monopolies after a while.

Keep in mind that there's probably no more important aspect to democracy than a population willing to act on its own initiative rather than waiting on the local authority figures to act for them. A large government that does everything for you gets in the way of that.

"Does everything for you" is just straw man-y. No one calls for that kind of government. And large government actually does not get in the way of it seems.
Most of the countries with the largest governments belongs to the echelon with the highest voter turnouts.
What DOES seem to correlate strongly with high voter turnout in all forms of democracy is reasonable income equality and general education level.
One should be careful to not over-emphasize any aspect of democracy.
Especially when the U.S. has a far lower voter turnout than many other comparable countries, while having a smaller government.

Anyway, most people tend to not act on their own initiative. Nor should all have to.
Most just want to work to live and love and for that reason they want to contribute to a society.

Comment Re:Accuracy (Score 0) 861

0. I did not say that Israel wasn't war-torn. However, it would be rather ridiculous to compare the level of devastation to that of Gaza.

1. The stronger, richer party ALWAYS have a far bigger responsibility.

2. And how about NOT slowly invading your neighbours? Could that perhaps cool stuff down?

3. So you mean that the Jews have a right to live and need for more room. I recognize that reasoning. Now who was it that said that? Can't remember? Anyway, I think he called it "Lebensraum", or something to that effect. Probably was a nice guy, too.


Why can't the Palestinians go live in some other part of the Muslim world? 1.2 billion of them and they can't find homes? Jews want a homeland too, and Israel is ours. They have enough fucking countries of their own. It's not our fault if none of them can put together a decent economy or political structure. Saudi Arabia has plenty of space, and the government there gets just as much support from the US as we do.

Muslims just want the Palestinians to suffer so they have someone to claim they are fighting for when they blow up towers in New York.

Have nothing to say about this, really. Just wanted to repeat it because it is so incredibly stupid and uninsightful. :-)

Comment Re:Accuracy (Score 5, Insightful) 861

Which is why it's so hard for the rest of the world to not buy into the deluge of photos of dead children, supposedly from Palestine. I mean seriously, I've seen more photos of dead children than the official numbers stated. It seems anti-semitic propaganda is alive and well in 2012.

Hm. I sure haven't.
Then on the other hand, I treat ALL information in situations like this as propaganda, which means I do not trust the "semitic" information one iota more than the "antisemitic" kind.
Additionally, the "semitic" information gatherers only has the information of the weapon systems and their operators, which, to put it mildly, usually leads to quite crappy and low estimates of the civilian casualties involved. So it is not only "anti-semitic" propaganda that is alive and well in 2012.

The correct number is usually somewhere in between.
Humanitary organisations are usually pretty close. And their numbers are horrendous enough.

To not "believe" either side of a conflict at all, is a very dangerous path.
Completely innocent people, including children, going about their normal life, are ALWAYS terribly hurt in conflict.
Especially so when they have nowhere to run, which is the common case here.
That is just a fact. Try go to a war torn area sometime and see for yourself.

Comment Valve and linux (Score 1) 150

Just a thought. Could the reason for valve making a native linux client be a low-profile way to gradually enter the android platform? How much linux is android from a game standpoint? Either that, or they are contemplating a linux console.

Or perhaps just that given that people with linux hasn't paid $300 for their operating system, perhaps they instead can put some money on a game?

Anyway. It is a kind of interesting process:

Comment Re:Freedom of Speech limited to Americans (Score 5, Informative) 560

In which country do you have more free speech rights than the US? ALL customs operations all over the world work exactly the same: you have no rights at the border.

Huh?? WTF?! As a non-US citizen I take offence to that!

1. What free-speech rights would that would be that are lacking in basically all western countries? I am Swedish, and I can write/say whatever the fuck I want as long it is not libel/slander. And yeah, we can say *fuck* on TV too without being bleeped too. You have ridiculous levels of censorship and then you walk around saying stuff like this. I am not saying we are perfect. But we are certainly not worse than the US.
Free speech is also not some US invention( as it sometimes sounds as it is:
"England’s Bill of Rights 1689 granted 'freedom of speech in Parliament' and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted during the French Revolution in 1789, specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right." Yeah, eat that. The french!
And BTW, democracy is a greek invention from about 500 BC or whatever. And yeah, we've got that too. Only difference is we don't allow corporations a huge influence on inventions. For example, if IKEA would have been able to form superpacs we would all be dead.

2. No. Not ALL customs operations work like that. Would our customs treat a foreign public figure like that there would be a national outcry, and the opinion would be that behaviour like this would be beneath us. One thing is to ask about terrorist activities if they are actually suspected, but to ask about views on the countries' policies is low stuff. And also quite pointless. What is being described is stuff you'll normally only have to tolerate when entering obscure military dictatorships. And I would expect this to be uncommon even there.
To be able to detain and to actually detain is not the same thing.

Comment Not new, it's the competitive exclusion principle (Score 1) 183

And it has been used medically in treatments for ages, I actually fail to see what is really that new with this(especially since the mouse microbiota is so fundamentally diffent from the human's), albeit it interesting.
In this context it means that introducing a new bacteria to the gut microbiota that consumes a certain resource, starves other bacteria that lives on that resource.
It is very useful, as literally hundreds of studies show.

- begin rant

However, as the research and pharmaceutical world works now, studies has, for no actual reason beyond prestige, politics and money, to be huge and expensive to matter.
Even when outcomes are clear and many others repeat the results, all the credit goes to the first huge one.
Credit aside, this means that it is very difficult to develop new treatment regimens. Especially for smaller companies and for uncommon illnesses where the number of study participants simply cannot be that high, or with treatments that you just can't not give, as when patients are severily ill. In the last case, it is unethical to have a non-treated group to compare with.
Yet it is extremely uncommon that treatments are approved generally no matter ho obvious the outcomes are. I has to be blinded, randomized and so on regardless, completely disregarding patient health or simply...math.
Double-blinded randomized trials add no actual statistical certainty over repeated non-blinded multicenter studies if outcomes are very obvious.
RTs value are when outcomes are less clear, there is a large potential placebo effekt and there the financier of the study is a pharmaceutical company and one of the few researching a specific substances.

Simply put, sufferers of severe illnesses have a really har time getting their research going anywhere.

- end rant

IANAMPBIAATR/W(I am not a medical professional, but I am able to read/write).

Comment Re:How does one 'simulate' this? (Score 1) 36

They simulate it like the military simulates casualties I suppose. "That guy's dead, now carry him".
You don't actually have to DDoS, the problem is the infrastructure around the systems, that people don't know what to do.
The systems are supposedly down, so there is not much to do about it but trying to get them up again and that is a different exercise I'd think..

Comment Re:Top coder (Score 1) 377

Whatever you might wish to think, the computer science universe started with algorithms + data structures and that has not changed, nor will it ever. And certainly not to make a gaggle of marginally competent self styled software engineers feel good about the degree they got in button clicking.

Well, I have been around a while too, when I did my CS-stint nobody spoke about frameworks, and I started with assembly language demoing on the C 64 before that.
But you know, things has changed, and as things has gotten more abstract, the bottom-up knowledge I have of how a computer works has become less and less usable.
Also, software development has become easier, and so people with less technical profiles become developers which means more of them monkeys.
On the other hand, I am not sure how great I'd be if I suddenly got thrown into a large framework at age 19, it is a different set of problems.

I also think that many of the problems out there is because employers think that they don't have to educate the new arrivals.

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