Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

How Perl and R Reveal the United States' Isolation In the TPP Negotiations

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the just-look-at-those-graphs dept.

Stats 152

langelgjm writes "As /. reported, last Thursday Wikileaks released a draft text of the intellectual property chapter in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Since then, many commentators have raised alarm about its contents. But what happens when you mix the leaked text together with Perl regular expressions and R's network analysis packages? You get some neat visualizations showing just how isolated the United States is in pushing for extreme copyright and patent laws."

cancel ×

152 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

In summary, what can we conclude from these data? (5, Funny)

DrPBacon (3044515) | about 9 months ago | (#45461753)

"In summary, what can we conclude from these data? Canada, with by far the most sole-country proposals, seems like it is up to something." Those shifty Canadians. I knew it.

Don't worry, eh? (4, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#45461915)

It's just Mayor Rob Ford's plan to go oot the hoose and take the world off to a the great, white, crystalline North. Beauty, eh?

Re:In summary, what can we conclude from these dat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45461963)

"In summary, what can we conclude from these data? Canada, with by far the most sole-country proposals, seems like it is up to something."

Those shifty Canadians. I knew it.

Or, you could simply conclude that the US is indifferent about copyright laws, because they just buy their way out of the courtroom anyway.

(Believe me, the that is not clouds of innocence over the US. It's a fog of corruption.)

Re:In summary, what can we conclude from these dat (-1, Flamebait)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 9 months ago | (#45461991)

Oh really?
By what means do you
Arrive at this
Machiavellian conclusion?
Any reasonable observer
Could conclude that you
Are merely a
Racist, full of
Evil thoughts.

Re:In summary, what can we conclude from these dat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462075)

Oh really?

By what means do you

Arrive at this

Machiavellian conclusion?

Any reasonable observer

Could conclude that you

Are merely a

Racist, full of

Evil thoughts.

My apologies. I wasn't aware you were working for one of them. I'll let you get back to the bar there, Genius.

Re:In summary, what can we conclude from these dat (2, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462465)

Mod parent up, and ask him if he can also write haiku.

Re:In summary, what can we conclude from these dat (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about 9 months ago | (#45462267)

Political scientists often talk about dyads, by which we simply mean groups of two. ... If we did this for every possible dyad, we could compare the frequency of dyads and get a sense of how often countries’ negotiating positions overlap.

I hope the above quote from the TFA may answer what you are looking for when you look at the chart on the TFA...

Re:In summary, what can we conclude from these dat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462279)

More importantly why is there is no link to the Perl, regexs, and R code used to analyse the data and consequently allowed the the PhD candidate to draw such conclusions?

Here's a link (5, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462581)

Here's a link [wordpress.com] with more technical detail. I had to tone down the technical aspects for the Washington Post.

That link does not have full code, but if you want, I can e-mail it to you (I already have for two other people). I didn't post the code online because I wanted to keep track of who was asking for it. But I'm happy to share it.

Re:Here's a link (4, Interesting)

fatphil (181876) | about 9 months ago | (#45462785)

Did you ever do a "countries on springs" analysis such that countries which concur with each other are pulled together, and those that disent are pushed apart? Similar to the 3rd quartile cutoff one, but with all countries, and with distance made more significant.

One way I've done this in the past is to stick all dots on the unit sphere, anneal them into a stable position on that sphere with a suitable repulsion law, and then to squash the sphere. Chose a random point on the surface, conformally map the sphere minus that point onto a unit disc, re-anneal, and chose the outcome with lowest energy. Random point selection will naturally find the biggest open areas, bordered by the most repulsive countries, ones which deserve to be on the peripheries of the flattened diagram.

Hehe, I like the idea of the US being the most repulsive country. ;-)

Re:Here's a link (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462953)

I did not try that, but the R igraph package does have a "spring" layout, so I may give it a shot. Thanks!

Go Canada (1)

g4sy (694060) | about 9 months ago | (#45461773)

Please let there be a lack of groupthink

Re:Go Canada (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 9 months ago | (#45461843)

:Go Canada

I don't think it can. I looked at a map and its sort of suck between the USA and the arctic as far as North South moves go and between Greenland and Siberia East and West.

Re:Go Canada (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 9 months ago | (#45461907)

Well then, they'll just have to wait until the North Pole melts and/or the US implodes. Both have been predicted, eh?

Seriously though, is it possible (I can't be bothered to RTFA just now) that Canada is the only one in this group who actually thinks for itself? Or dares oppose the more outlandish US proposals? Profits trumping health sounds distinctly Uncanadian, for one thing.

Re:Go Canada (1)

g4sy (694060) | about 9 months ago | (#45461997)

Seriously though, is it possible (I can't be bothered to RTFA just now) that Canada is the only one in this group who actually thinks for itself? Or dares oppose the more outlandish US proposals? Profits trumping health sounds distinctly Uncanadian, for one thing.

Canada is certainly an outlier, FTFA. All the not-lawyers will have to read the actual negotiations for you.
Who cares what sounds "Uncanadian", the point is there has to be countries holding sovereignty in the debate. Civilization will only benefit. Good or bad IP law will determine the next 100 years of innovation and development and social change.

Why hasn't anyone wondered out loud why the US doesn't have a bunch of bootlickers agreeing with every single one of their proposals? How have they lost their clout SOO quickly? Honestly wondering here.

Re:Go Canada (3, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 9 months ago | (#45462177)

Up until this point a lot of our copyright policy seems to have been dictated by the US. In the last couple of years, I think the US copyright lobby was actually found to be sending the exact text of what they wanted included to the people in Canada responsible for it.

Re:Go Canada (3)

somersault (912633) | about 9 months ago | (#45461995)

The US having the least correlation with other countries is a sign that there is either massive brainwashing/groupthink in the rest of the world as a whole, or in the US itself.. hmm :p

Re:Go Canada (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462065)

I would personally say it is because the USA has bet the farm on being the monopoly holder on intellectual properties. Look where Hollyweird is, where silicon valley is, etc. A goodly portion of the US's GDP is based on intellectual properties, and ventures related to or hinging upon, intellectual properties or intellectual property laws. (Hollywood, music, software, biomedical, pharmecutical, biotech, etc.)

Compare that with the economies of the other countries implicated, who have GDPs predominantly composed of the trade and sale of material goods.

Given its market position, NATURALLY, the USA would only sign on to an agreement like this, if it could leverage market dominance in that market niche.

Re:Go Canada (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462215)

I would personally say it is because the USA has bet the farm on being the monopoly holder on intellectual properties.

That's a bad bet - something more affected by corruption and propaganda (the wonders of our "post-industrial" economy!) than by any rational policy choice. The excessive and corrupt influence of the "intellectual property" and financial parts of our economy hurts the rest of the economy. There are limits to the potential value of "intellectual property". It's not as big a part of our economy as is often hyped, other countries can easily produce large parts of it (e.g. movie and music production don't have major barriers to entry), and does anyone really expect other countries to rigorously enforce IP laws that mostly benefit the US, regardless of what trade agreements say?

Re:Go Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462123)

...or both.

Re:Go Canada (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462189)

brainwashing/groupthink

That's a very polite euphemism for corruption. The excessive influence of industries concerned about "intellectual property", was bought and paid for. In addition to locking up people, or fining them into penury, for sharing a few songs, it means the foreign and domestic economic policies of the US are distorted in favor of this handful of over-hyped industries, and to the detriment of the rest of the economy.

Re:Go Canada (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 9 months ago | (#45462255)

The US Government is less concerned with the interests of its people than most countries. It's heavily controlled by monied corporate interests, which seek to control the power that comes with having the world's reserve currency and a printing press. Don't worry, this won't last too much longer (which will shock most Americans when their purchasing power falls by 60% or more when everybody else leaves Bretton Woods).

I'm actually more surprised that the interests that worked so hard against SOPA and PIPA are not raising a ruckus this time; most of the same provisions are in the US version of the TPP and it's not even 'just' a law that Congress can theoretically repeal - this is International Treaty, which effectively becomes permanent law under the US Constitution. What's worse, Congress is set to give the Executive Branch FastTrack approval on this treaty.

But, the US Government is less concerned with the interests of its people than most countries.

Re:Go Canada (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#45462477)

That is why the talks are being conducted in secret. What the people don't know about, they can't protest over. Until it's too late.

Re:Go Canada (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462621)

will shock most Americans when their purchasing power falls by 60% or more when everybody else leaves Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods was abandoned 40 years ago.

As for a reduction in the exchange value of the USD, 60% could only come from a panic, not an accurate readjustment. A panic won't be allowed to happen. If nothing else other countries have too much to lose from it.

OTOH a smaller reduction in the exchange value of the USD would be very good for us. It's idiotic that we've spent so much time and effort post-WWII to prop up the dollar, when it only gives us bigger trade deficits and destroys our industry. There have been a few exceptions, like the Plaza Accord, but that's been long undone, thanks in large part to the corrupt influence of the finance industry.

it's not even 'just' a law that Congress can theoretically repeal - this is International Treaty, which effectively becomes permanent law under the US Constitution

It's not a treaty, it's a "congressional-executive agreement". It requires simple majorities (like an ordinary bill) instead of 2/3 of the senate. It's a constitutional gray area, and it sounds like BS to me when applied to long term agreements like trade "agreements" (treaties in all but name), but they've been upheld. On the bright side they're easier to repeal.

Re:Go Canada (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462005)

Go Harper! - the US oligarch's biatch

What a poor commentary (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 9 months ago | (#45461779)

In summary, what can we conclude from these data? Canada, with by far the most sole-country proposals, seems like it is up to something.

Right, "Canada is up to something" is a great way to report on international negotiations. Okay, they've taken the geek approach of grepping through the drafts instead of reading it in full (fair enough), but at least they could have extracted whatever keywords appear after "Canada" and "oppose" / "propose", to figure out the something it's up to. It's not hard in Perl, gee...

Re:What a poor commentary (3, Informative)

Narcocide (102829) | about 9 months ago | (#45461889)

I can only assume that they must have meant it sarcastically. I analyzed the data they presented and came up with the conclusion that the US and Japan are "up to something," while Canada just seems to have a lot of friends and new ideas. But I didn't read the actual drafts either.

Thanks (5, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462529)

Author of the article here. You're right, I meant it to be a little funny. As I noted to the GP, most people studying these issues already know where the countries line up. Canada has a history of being different on IP issues than the US (much to the US's chagrin - it's why we put them on the Special 301 "priority watch list" [eff.org] in 2012).

Re:What a poor commentary (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 9 months ago | (#45461931)

Yes, this one-page article clearly represents the entirety of his knowledge on the subject, he's obviously not a political science professor or anything.

Re:What a poor commentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462217)

Also, he didn't mention actually reading the text, just analyzing, well, meta-data. One could read for understanding. I guess we call that old-school now?

Author here (2)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462597)

Hi, I'm the author of the article. I have read the text (well, not all of it, just the portions relevant to my research - mostly copyright and pharmaceutical data exclusivity aspects, as well as the traditional knowledge article). However, I'm not a lawyer, and many lawyers have already analyzed the legal aspects of the text. That's why I linked to Margot Kaminski, Michael Geist, etc. in the article.

I thought my analysis would be valuable if it did something the lawyers were not (and could not) do.

Author here (3, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462497)

Hi, I'm the author of the article. Thanks for reading it. Originally I thought I might extract the "oppose/propose" and attach it to country names, but I didn't for a number of reasons.

First, as you note, "oppose/propose" by itself tells us very little without knowing the content of what is being opposed/proposed. But even if we do know the content, without the context it may still convey little. E.g., we might find "[US propose: a]" or "[CA oppose: the]". I thought about using Perl's extract_bracketed (and actually did at first), but decided against it.

Second, anyone familiar with these issues already knows where the countries line up. The US is pushing extreme IP laws. Australia doesn't necessarily agree, but follows along in many cases. Canada often tries to do its own thing (e.g., they were one of the only countries to take advantage of a TRIPS provision [keionline.org] allowing them to manufacture an on-patent drug and export it to a developing country without manufacturing capacity). So showing people this information wouldn't necessarily add much value.

Re:Author here (1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#45462731)

A few tips: Python re is better than Perl's regular expressions; and Python RPy directly integrates R.

Thanks (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462937)

I've never used Python, though I did read this article from R-bloggers [r-bloggers.com] yesterday that made me think I should probably start learning it.

I used Perl mostly because it's what I grew up with, though I rarely do that kind of coding anymore.

Re:What a poor commentary (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462681)

Canada is up to something

The only thing Canada is up to is their long planned invasion of the US, with the Great Canuck Hordes swooping down on their battle moose. Instead of the nuclear option, they'll deploy their strategic reserve of maple syrup (pleasantly warmed of course). If you think that's a joke, recall the Great Molasses Flood [wikipedia.org] .

P.S. They'll also try to convince us that that crap they serve is bacon.

Perl? Why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45461789)

Here [wordpress.com] is the original article with a little more technical detail. To those interested (like me) what was Perl doing there, it was just a single line script with regex. The rest is R.

Re:Perl? Why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45461977)

From TFA:

print "$_\n" for @match = $txt =~ m/(?:(?:AU|BN|CA|CL|JP|MX|MY|NZ|PE|SG|US|VN)[0-9]*\/)+(?:AU|BN|CA|CL|JP|MX|MY|NZ|PE|SG|US|VN)[0-9]*/g;
It’s ugly, but it seems to get the job done.

I agree, it's Perl^Wugly. But Python wouldn't be much better. At least we can remove the redundancy in the regex:

countries="(?:AU|BN|CA|CL|JP|MX|MY|NZ|PE|SG|US|VN)[0-9]*"
print "\n".join(re.findall("(?:{0}/)+{0}".format(countries), txt))

Re:Perl? Why? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462225)

what was Perl doing there, it was just a single line script with regex

Perl = Pathologically Eclectic 'R' Lister.

Re:Perl? Why? (3, Interesting)

biodata (1981610) | about 9 months ago | (#45462469)

Why would you use something other than perl for parsing text? This is what perl was designed for and it's most likely faster than anything else scripted. I'm sure you could write a text parser in any language you happen to like, but if you have the skills then perl is the correct tool for this job.

Re:Perl? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462545)

The Python version two posts above seems much nicer. Perl is a patchwork of bad choices. And no, the regex handling is not worth the overall brain damage.

Re:Perl? Why? (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 9 months ago | (#45462691)

You have to ask yourself though, is it better to have a nicer looking code or faster execution for a one line regex parser? Perl will always win the performance comparison by a large margin, even if the syntax offends your sense of aesthetics.

Re:Perl? Why? (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#45462831)

This is hilarious bullshit. Perl is slow, clunky, buggy, and idiotic in many ways. I've had perl scripts that started with 'exit 1;' take several seconds to run: the whole file gets compiled at once; Python incrementally compiles, with a fast syntax check first. Perl and Python both compile to bytecode, not JIT; any feature slow in Python (regex etc) is a legitimate concern, but can be handled by rewriting the back-end library.

"Perl is faster because it was made for this" is stupid. "Perl is faster because nobody has bothered to optimize the relevant code in Python/Ruby/Mono/etc" is sensible, and time sensitive: eventually somebody will bother to do that.

Re:Perl? Why? (1)

biodata (1981610) | about 9 months ago | (#45462945)

Interesting opinions there. I'd be more interested if you came back with actual stats of the execution time of the two pieces of code supplied above, against a large text data set.

Re:Perl? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462991)

So what you're saying is that we should run our code in the future in order to take advantage of the great advantages of python.

Re:Perl? Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462791)

Awk is often faster than perl. Especially in cases where pipes are used on multi-core systems, due to parallelism. That is even without converting it to C by using awka.

What Awk cannot do is get you bonus points on the resume buzzword bingo.

So wait, who am I supposed to praise and revile? (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 9 months ago | (#45461801)

I thought I was always supposed to praise Canada over the US ... yet they lead us in "sole country" proposals, supposedly an awful, cowboyish thing ... ugh, my Slashdot head must asplode!

Re:So wait, who am I supposed to praise and revile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45461905)

Make up your own damn mind!

Re:So wait, who am I supposed to praise and revile (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 9 months ago | (#45462093)

If you take a simplistic view then US would rather the countries who have Chagas as a major medical problem either die or impoverish themselves for US created treatment. I'd revile the US for that alone.

Re:So wait, who am I supposed to praise and revile (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 9 months ago | (#45462137)

I thought I was always supposed to praise Canada over the US ... yet they lead us in "sole country" proposals, supposedly an awful, cowboyish thing ... ugh, my Slashdot head must asplode!

Narrator:"... And thus cascadingstylesheet did realise that garnering his opinion from the surmisings of others was folly, and set about remedying his ways by sourcing evidence himself and forming opinion based upon fact, not conjecture."

I used to think Canada was quite European... (2)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45461827)

...until I actually got to know it. While the political rhetoric is more even-handed and they do have a proper health service, the country is all about big business, just like the US.

Re:I used to think Canada was quite European... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45461865)

I'll prefer Canada over the US any day... I got shocked during my first trip there after having spent a few weeks in the US.... They are actually friendly up there and none of that fake bullshit that's down in the US...

Just got to laugh about one of the Canadian border-guards comments.. "They are a bit crazy about their so called security down there" :)

Re:I used to think Canada was quite European... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45463177)

That's funny, every time I go through Calgary for work I get the same "They took are jerbs" attitude from the same low paid security guards that you'd expect out of the deep south. Maybe you're just not a great judge of sincerity.

I would also note that the average Canadian has just as poor taste in beer as the average American. (Although I'd say the same about pretty much every country I've ever visited. No matter how great they claim their beer is it's still the cheapest, most awful shit that sells the most, it's just a question of how bad it is.)

Re:I used to think Canada was quite European... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462235)

Err...you *do* realise that Europe is all about big business as well, right? It just happens to have a less insane way of going about it because it has so many players to please.

Re:I used to think Canada was quite European... (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 9 months ago | (#45462501)

Having traveled in both France and Quebec, I am amazed at how American Quebec is. They strive to save their French heritage, but it little resembles actual French culture. The two groups have been separated too long. Many of their French customs are as French as US ones are English.

Re:I used to think Canada was quite European... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 9 months ago | (#45463381)

Meanwhile France's French is using more and more English words peppered throughout, or worse, "englishified" words (a word with -ing slapped to it). It's quite weird considering how the French don't particularly like the English.

How you can know everything about nothing ? (0, Troll)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 9 months ago | (#45461901)

Really I laughed my ass off at this.

Think about the conclusion "The U.S. and Japan are relatively isolated and will have trouble shaping the document the way they want"

Of the countries mentioned which have the largest economies, and the greatest leverage on trade issues ? I'll give you a hint, it's not NZ.

What this poli-sci person did is looked at a convocation of sheep and found out they don't like the wolves policies.

Re:How you can know everything about nothing ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45461985)

Living in one of the sheep countries, I'm quite worried. I don't actually see anything really to gain from this negotiation, but lots to lose. Our copyright law already was changed 10+ years ago with some obvious US input (DMCA stuff). And it was not for the better.

What do we get out of this? Access to the US market? It's not certain the USA will be able to keep buying everything. You're already living off credit and printing money (and exporting inflation to the rest of the world via the petrodollar - so you buy but you're buying a fair bit with printed dollars!).

Author here (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462629)

That specific line was actually written by the editor, not by me. I would not agree that the US and Japan (mostly the US, though) will have trouble shaping the document the way they want. In fact, the US has shaped the document to its preferences to a large degree already.

But, it is more complex than simply the US getting what it wants. The US can't force anyone to sign this agreement. There have to be benefits in other areas for these countries to trade away IP issues. Unfortunately we don't have texts from the other chapters, so we don't really know what these might be. Also, the fact that there is a draft article on traditional knowledge indicates that some of the parties are pushing back with their own preferences (though I think that particular article has zero chance of making it into an agreement).

Re:How you can know everything about nothing ? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#45462649)

Um, part the reason Japan and the US have such large economies is because of those "sheep".

Wolves aren't worth shit if the sheep have fucked off elsewhere (Europe, China) and left them to starve.

All those countries you call sheep have largely very healthy economies whilst Japan and the US are burdened with debt. Japan and the US need this sort of agreement to help their economies grow so that they can service their debts. The "sheep" are just fighting for a growing economy to boost their standards of living, the "wolves" are fighting for their very survival - i.e. avoiding bankruptcy. Guess which is more important?

Horrible news website (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462059)

It looks like a bunch of images and headlines exploded al over that web page.
Maybe they just don't support firefox?
I had overlapping images, overlapping headlines.
That stupid scroll bar on the side was overlapping with the text.
This is why I never rtfa.

Re:Horrible news website (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45462165)

I didn't know what you were talking about until I disabled ad-block for the page. Yeesh. Most of those "headlines" are ads.

Re:Horrible news website (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462713)

That happens to me occasionally with Firefox and the Washington Post. If I refresh the page, it usually fixes itself.

How unsurprising (5, Interesting)

vikingpower (768921) | about 9 months ago | (#45462081)

The US is being gently pushed ( nudged ) into a beginning of rrelevance. Has already been going on for a couple of years: computer technology, aerospace tech, politics. NSA scandal accelerated it. The sun is going down over US America.

Re:How unsurprising (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 9 months ago | (#45462143)

The US is being gently pushed ( nudged ) into a beginning of irrelevance

I'd consider it more the US government trying to do whatever it can for the 0.1% of the country that pays for the majority of political campaigning, and screw the other 99.9% of us. And whether the US government becomes irrelevant or not, as long as the corporate overlords are happy, the politicians will be kept comfortable.

In the words of Number Two: "But you, like an idiot, want to take over the world. And you don't realize there is no world anymore! It's only corporations!"

Re:How unsurprising (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45463179)

In the words of Number Two: "But you, like an idiot, want to take over the world. And you don't realize there is no world anymore! It's only corporations!"

On the bright side it's nice to have a Starbucks coffee bar in World Domination Headquarters. They even have cream for the cat.

Re:How unsurprising (3, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45462147)

Although it helps, you don't have to stop running to lose your position in a race; The others can simply speed up. When both factors are at work the rate of decline accelerates.

You can trace much of the change in position of USA and others via the amount of essential economies and state resources are privatized, and thus funding promised to them and thus the private interest in influencing politics (deregulation) increased. For instance: Solid Rocket Booster designs have had funding lobbied for based on the merit of bringing and keeping jobs in certain congressman's local economy instead of on the pros / cons of the various designs themselves. The same sort of thing ran amok in Chile in the 70's. [youtube.com]

When progress is averse to profit you get stagnation in a private industry -- Like ISPs in the USA: Instead of spending on infrastructure to provide a better service they can simply charge more for less (oversell bandwidth) to make more money. Bits have never been cheaper to distribute and yet their cost doesn't reflect this.

The sun sets not upon one country, but around the world at different times. If we're not careful our country could be next.

Re:How unsurprising (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462807)

For instance: Solid Rocket Booster designs have had funding lobbied for based on the merit of bringing and keeping jobs in certain congressman's local economy instead of on the pros / cons of the various designs themselves.

Surely that didn't happen during the heyday of the military-industrial complex in the 50's and 60's - an era when our economy was growing hand over fist. I don't like pork, but it's hardly the biggest of our problems.

Re:How unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462229)

Or alternately - the lack of objections from the us and japan imply that the agreement is fundamentally skewed in their favor,
and the objections come in inverse proportion from those who stand to lose the most freedom in exchange for the most money...

Re:How unsurprising (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 9 months ago | (#45462335)

Fundamentally skewed or it indicates that they drafted the original proposal for the treaty. The original proposal was heavily skewed towards the US-Japan in a fashion that it was known that the other countries would object. The lack of oppositions from the US-Japan is probably also indicative of them giving up certain parts of the proposal for other concessions from the remaining parties. The big thing to look at would be exactly what they're opposing.

Re:How unsurprising (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#45462515)

The US is being gently pushed into a beginning of rrelevance.

If the US is so irrelevant, why is the geek so obsessed over its cultural exports and IP?

Re:How unsurprising (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 9 months ago | (#45462587)

Having trouble with the word "beginning", fatso?

Re:How unsurprising (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45463213)

I presume that "fatso" is meant ironically from someone who posts as Hognoxious (the hog part being ironic, not the noxious part).

Re:How unsurprising (5, Interesting)

Sabriel (134364) | about 9 months ago | (#45463001)

It might not stay gentle. Do you remember the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire?

Oh, wait, yeah, that was a while back. Here, some reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_the_Western_Roman_Empire [wikipedia.org]

Hmm, that's a tad indigestible, I need a car analogy. No, a gorilla analogy!

Imagine a tribe of gorillas. Let's call the biggest, strongest, most heavily-armed gorilla "Sam". Luckily enough for the tribe, Sam was actually a fairly nice guy - so long as you purchased his stuff or at least used his bananas to purchase stuff, and didn't draw attention to his tendencies to vanity and his insistence on being in charge - and it really helped that he kept the more aggressive males in check (every so often one'd get nasty where Sam could see it, or even challenge him, and everybody else'd get a reminder of why nobody fought Sam).

When the second-biggest gorilla, a tyrant and almost as big as Sam, collapsed from steroid abuse, things were really starting to look up.

But as time passed, the other gorillas noticed Sam was changing. Now some folk go doddery and forgetful, but Sam, he kept poking through the tribe's stuff, peeking in on them all the time. It was like he'd spent so long keeping a lookout for what his old nemesis did, he couldn't stop doing it. And he started to care less and less about whether the other gorillas complained when he rode roughshod over someone. He even started hassling his own young, creating lots of rules about where they could go, what they could take with them, what they should report back to him, and his punishments got harder too.

Trouble is, it's not just Sam's young and his friends in the tribe that have noticed. Some of those aggressive gorillas, both the older ones who kept their heads down while Sam was in his prime and the younger ones who don't remember how bad it was before Sam became the tribe's silverback, they've noticed too. They've noticed the changes, and they've noticed he's having trouble holding his bananas.

Can you guess what they'll try to do if, some day, Sam can't hold his bananas anymore?

Re:How unsurprising (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45463235)

Do you remember the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire?

Not personally, no, but I have read about it. One of the things I read is that it took centuries. Perhaps in a few hundred years my descendants in North America will live like characters from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".

Re:How unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45463233)

I'm glad someone found your unsupported comment insightful. Congratulations on spotting the decline of the US that, by some accounts, started in the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s, and 40s, I for one have witnessed the overwhelming victory of the Soviets, oil barons, and Japanese and I am cowered.

Re:How unsurprising (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45463405)

The US is being gently pushed ( nudged ) into a beginning of rrelevance. Has already been going on for a couple of years: computer technology, aerospace tech, politics.

To the extent we're being pushed into irrelevance it's mostly by shooting ourselves in the foot. Historically decline of great powers has been more because of rent-seeking by domestic special interests, rather than by external causes. For example, the big landholders in the Roman Empire were exempted from taxes. Similarly for the aristocracy in pre-revolutionary France.

Special interests with excessive (and often corrupt) influence in the US? "Intellectual property" interests? Check. Finance? Check. Medical-industrial-insurance complex? Check. We're doing pretty good.

As for China's prominence, predictions are hard to make, especially about the future. I remember the 80's when everybody thought Japan would take over the world. Time will tell.

Define negotiation (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 months ago | (#45462139)

A negotiation is possible only when both parties can benefit.

Re:Define negotiation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462185)

Your point being?

Re:Define negotiation (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462837)

Additionally, what exactly are these parties? "The US" is way too vague, given that we're not entirely monolithic.

We need more decentralization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462181)

moaaaaaaaar

There's a reason ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462183)

And the reason is because the US is once again asking for a one-sided treaty which exalts their stuff, and tries to make the rest of the world subject to their demands.

Fuck you America. Fuck you.

Re:There's a reason ... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462819)

Good one! Now I've got one for you, two geeks walk into a bar ...

cool really (1)

hdpornz (3437577) | about 9 months ago | (#45462187)

cool really

'Free Trade Agreement' (5, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 9 months ago | (#45462203)

Can we drop the nonsense that TPP is a 'free trade agreement?' A free trade agreement would be very simple. Don't bomb us or torture our citizens, and you can trade freely with us. TPP undermines free trade by forcing countries into even further support of anti-capitalism legal monopolies as a condition for not restricting trade.

Re:'Free Trade Agreement' (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 9 months ago | (#45462305)

Free trade agreements are complex because you are dealing with nations with different laws. The classical examples are the cost of labour or agricultural subsidies, which may give industry in one nation a distinct advantage and result in the destruction of industry in another nation Another example, and one that has popped up a lot lately, has been the protection of service industries that are public in one nation and private in another (like health care).

Now you could write a simple free trade agreement if you wanted, but very few people want that. Very few people want that because it would be a race to the bottom.

Re:'Free Trade Agreement' (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 9 months ago | (#45462459)

If you want to have a complex system of protectionism trade agreement, you can have one of those. Just don't call it a free trade agreement if the reasons for restricting trade go far beyond direct physical harm upon citizens.

Re:'Free Trade Agreement' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462673)

[ The classical examples are the cost of labour or agricultural subsidies, which may give industry in one nation a distinct advantage and result in the destruction of industry in another nation]

Erm, "result in the destruction of industry in another nation?"

No.

[Now you could write a simple free trade agreement if you wanted, but very few people want that. Very few people want that because it would be a race to the bottom.]

A "race to the bottom?"

No.

In short, just because you claim something doesn't make it true. In fact, in your case, I suggest the exact opposite.

Re:'Free Trade Agreement' (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45462887)

"Free trade agreements" is a propaganda term. We have trade agreements, but they're not about "free trade".

The classical examples are the cost of labour or agricultural subsidies

Eliminate them or it's not a "free trade" agreement. Don't talk about "complexities" when you're merely distorting the issue.

You down with TPP? (1, Funny)

Pikoro (844299) | about 9 months ago | (#45462261)

Yah you know me!

Where are the other countries (2)

fritsd (924429) | about 9 months ago | (#45462263)

When I looked at the map, I saw the following countries were missing from the list (plus lots of Oceania countries): Russia, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Fiji, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala.

Isn't it odd that at least Russia, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Panama are excluded? I'd imagine they do lots of trade across the Pacific Ocean (for Panama I meant transport rather than production).

Perl and R are for losers (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45462265)

No one will take this news seriously unless it uses Python and Ruby, because choosing a trendy language is an important part of being one of the cool kids.

Why mention the languages at all? (0)

Lamps (2770487) | about 9 months ago | (#45462311)

It seems that mentioning certain functionalities or modules associated with particular languages used in the analysis, unless these features do not exist in other languages (and thus, are a topic worthy of discussion on their own right), trivializes the research itself.

Submitter/author here (2)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462643)

Well, to be honest, I wanted to get it posted to /., so I thought I'd highlight the fact that OSS made it possible.

wel... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about 9 months ago | (#45462385)

Just looking at the graphs, it appears Japan is approximately as isolated as the U.S.

The US creates more than the rest combined (1)

jfdavis668 (1414919) | about 9 months ago | (#45462553)

In my travels in Europe and Asia, I am amazed at how often I run across US products. Not manufactured, but copyrighted. Most movies are American. Most people use language specific versions of American websites. People Google things. The hang out on Facebook. Many of the items they used, though made elsewhere, were designed an copyrighted in the US. So yes, the copyright laws to protect these ideas would be lopsided.

New visualizations with D3 (4, Informative)

langelgjm (860756) | about 9 months ago | (#45462767)

Author of the article here. Michael Simeone from the University of Illinois asked for my data and code so that he could experiment with some D3 visualizations. He did a little bit last night, and I thought I'd share [illinois.edu] the results. [illinois.edu]

Normalization? (2)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 9 months ago | (#45463057)

Canada, with by far the most sole-country proposals, seems like it is up to something.

Doesn't the raw number of sole-country proposals seem like the wrong metric? It seems more sensible to divide the number of sole-country proposals by the total number of proposals for that country to see what fraction of its proposals have no support from other countries. From the next to last graph, it seems that Canada has both a lot of sole-country proposals and a lot of joint proposals. If the fraction of Canada's proposals that are sole proposals is not particularly high, the large number of Canadian sole-country proposals would just reflect them making a lot of proposals in general -- you might conclude that they are just putting more effort into getting the treaty right (in their opinion) than other countries. I only skimmed the article -- did I miss something?

Anyway, interesting analysis. Unfortunate that the Washington Post didn't make the graphs available in a format that is large enough to read the labels.

P.S. I'm not Canadian.

What The Holy Fuck? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45463281)

What the holy fuck is this about? I've never heard of "R" outside the alphabetical context.

So, I'm forced to read the article. It goes on and on about TPP and winds up proving that garbage in leads to garbage out.

But, the article doesn't mention Perl. It doesn't mention, let alone define, "R". WTF? Do I really have to Google every single character in every single summary now?

Presumably the submitter is a programmer or has interest in programming. Does he not know to DEFINE and DECLARE? WTHF?!

You're seriously starting to piss me off, Slashdot "editors"!

Re:What The Holy Fuck? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45463417)

Newsflash: geek website uses specialized geek terminology.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>