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One Year Since Assange Took Refuge in Ecuadorian Embassy

Benfea Obama makes a sham of democracy (541 comments)

Assange exposed wrongdoing by democratic governments. Bush and Obama responded by brazenly persecuting him for having done so. This is the way we expect countries like North Korea or Cuba to behave, but a democracy? Seriously?

about a year ago
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KWin Maintainer: Fanboys and Trolls Are the Cancer Killing Free Software

Benfea Yep. Did we forget the Enlightenment era so soon? (406 comments)

Censoring is not just wrong morally because it hampers our freedom. Censoring also lends undeserved credibility to crackpot viewpoints, because people automatically assume "Ah ha! There must be something to what that guy is saying if the powers that be are trying to suppress his point of view!"

This moron is not succeeding in suppressing viewpoints that offend him, he's making the problem worse. If someone is offering a bad idea, then let him or her argue it out in public where everyone can see/hear. If it's a bad idea, it'll become apparent eventually.

about a year ago
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KWin Maintainer: Fanboys and Trolls Are the Cancer Killing Free Software

Benfea Exactly (406 comments)

Liberals complained about this during the Bush administration, and continued complaining about it during the Obama administration. There's a very good reason the NSA whistleblower went to a prominent liberal blogger instead of FOX News with his story: because that blogger spent years harping on this very issue while FOX News was jumping up and down about ridiculous made-up stories about Obama's birth certificate.

Rightists were the ones who flip-flopped on these issues. The government spying on us was the greatest thing in the world when Bush was in office, and now that a Democrat is in office, suddenly they decided it's something terrible. They think we won't notice that they completely reversed their positions on this issue if they accuse us of being the ones to change positions. Either they really are so stupid that they don't remember calling us traitors for complaining about this during the Bush administration, or they think we're stupid enough to fall for their dishonest debating tactic. I'm not entirely certain which is worse.

about a year ago
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Why You Shouldn't Design Games Through Analytics

Benfea Condemning evidence-based decisions is stupid (134 comments)

The problem is not analytics. The problem is that the analytics are applied exclusively to what will sell more games, and not to what makes better games. Obviously, they have to devote some or perhaps even most to selling more games, but they should devote at least some time and effort into making better games.

Decisions made in the absence of evidence will almost never be better than evidence-based decisions. That's why when you get sick you go to a doctor instead of a shaman.

about a year and a half ago
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Secession Petitions Flood White House Website

Benfea You, sir, are insensitive (1163 comments)

I for one hope those redneck douchebags secede again. I for one will support their secession movement in any way that I can.

about a year and a half ago
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Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns

Benfea What's even more perverse... (533 comments)

...is that if you want to reduce prostitution, the most effective thing is to stop going after the prostitutes and start going after the customers.

about 2 years ago
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Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns

Benfea This is the wrong approach. (533 comments)

If you want to combat prostitution, Sweden showed the most effective way. Stop prosecuting prostitutes altogether (in most cases they are the victims) and go after the Johns aggressively. After you have convictions for the Johns, then publish their names.

about 2 years ago
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Einstein Letter Critical of Religion To Be Auctioned On EBay

Benfea He was critical of anyone who... (414 comments)

...believed in a "personal god", which includes but is not limited to Christianity.

about 2 years ago
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Einstein Letter Critical of Religion To Be Auctioned On EBay

Benfea Textual analysis (414 comments)

Evidence of alterations come from textual analysis. For example, some of the alterations use phrases that were in use much later than the stories were supposedly written down.

about 2 years ago
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Small Telescopes Make Big Discoveries

Benfea The point isn't finding better sites (37 comments)

People have been talking off and on about how to bring science to poorer nations that necessarily deal with very small budgets. This is more about helping people in those poorer nations (giving smart kids in those nations something to strive for) than about making science better, although it does help with science advocacy among the global population.

about 2 years ago
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World of Warcraft Character Becomes Campaign Issue

Benfea Orcs in this world are not "evil" (381 comments)

I'm going to assume that you are making assumptions based on other fantasy novels and games, but in the World of Warcraft, orcs are not inherently evil. Some of them are good, some of them are bad, just like any other mortal race on Azeroth. [TONGUEINCHEEK]Gnomes on the other hand, clearly are evil in the World of Warcraft universe.[/TONGUEINCHEEK]

about 2 years ago
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Torvalds Uses Profanity To Lambaste Romney Remarks

Benfea You're engaging in psychological projection (1223 comments)

Just because you like and dislike people based solely on their party designation, it does not follow that everyone else must be doing the same thing. Believe it or not, there are perfectly legitimate reasons to dislike Romney, hard though that may be for you to fathom.

If I may return to the topic of the original post, this doesn't exactly mean very much. Torvalds seems to launch expletive-laden diatribes in every direction. Sometimes his tirades are right on the money and sometimes they miss the mark by a very wide margin. The simple fact that Torvalds directed a bunch of expletives at Romney doesn't tell you a thing about Romney himself.

about 2 years ago
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LHC Discovers New Particle That Looks Like the Higgs Boson

Benfea Not really. (396 comments)

If the Higgs field is "disturbingly like" the luminiferous aether theory, then so are electromagnetic fields. :p

about 2 years ago
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Insects As Weapons

Benfea Sticking your head in the sand doesn't help (160 comments)

90% of scientists from the relevant field as well as 90% of all scientists agree with anthropogenic climate change. In the world of science, this is what we call a "scientific consensus" and it's a pretty overwhelming one at that. If man is indeed affecting the climate, then at the very least we can reduce the things we are doing that affect it.

I can never get over just how fervent the climate change denialist religion is. On one side of the argument, we have 90% of all scientists, representing every conceivable nationality, set of political views, economic status, and funding source. On the other side of the argument, we have a small group of "scientists" from a single political ideology from a narrow range of customers all of whom draw their paychecks from oil companies, coal companies, and/or right wing think tanks. The most prominent, most published, most cited member of this group is someone either so incompetent he literally doesn't know degrees from radians, or is a staggeringly deceitful fraudster.

http://crookedtimber.org/2004/08/25/mckitrick-mucks-it-up/

Based on work of this quality, millions of conservolibertarians have concluded that 90% of the scientists in the world are participating in a vast and incredibly complex conspiracy to... what? Make American rightists feel bad? Conservolibertarians never seem to be very clear on the goals of this massive and complex international supposed-conspiracy.

Ah well. Once someone adopts a religious view, they will cling to it no matter what evidence is presented to them.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Blocks FSF Donation Website As a 'Gambling Site'

Benfea Hyperbole? Maybe. (301 comments)

But the reason this has traction is that Microsoft has a long history of doing sleazy things to undermine those it considers competition. I do think Microsoft has improved in this regard and finally understands how it hurts their public perception when they do underhanded things to competitors, but the public still remembers how Microsoft used to be, and you can't really blame people for jumping to these particular conclusions. If Microsoft hasn't done so many things like this in the past, then stories like this wouldn't gain traction without firmer evidence to back it up.

more than 2 years ago
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Microsoft Blocks FSF Donation Website As a 'Gambling Site'

Benfea Stop. Stop. Stop. (301 comments)

Look, I'm a liberal, and I found this to be funny. He was pretending to be from Microsoft and was pretending to be a FOX News zombie, and in that character he listed off a bunch of phrases that any conservolibertarian might want to block for fear that any site using such a phrase might also contain information contrary to the usual right wing propaganda. I do not believe the author's intent was to offer any actual commentary on any of the phrases nor was there any intent in trivializing any of the issues associated with those phrases. It was simply a list of phrases likely to make a right wingnut fearful and/or angry.

The target of this humor was Microsoft and to a lesser extent conservolibertarians. I do not think any slight to the severity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was intended.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Bad Jobs (or No Jobs) Happen To Good Workers

Benfea Agreed. (1201 comments)

There certainly are women like that, but I don't understand how anyone could assume that all women are like that.

more than 2 years ago

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