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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

ComputersKai The United Nations (804 comments)

Isn't the U.N. also a sort of oligarchy? The only branch with actual considerable power is the Security Council, with its enforcement powers, but the permanent members can veto anything, and apparently are, well, permanently instated, giving them a fair portion of the power also.

2 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

ComputersKai Re:Are you kidding (804 comments)

Researchers from Princeton University and Northwestern University have concluded, after extensive analysis of 1,779 policy issues, that the U.S. is in fact an oligarchy and not a democracy.

This better not be the end of the "Great American Experiment, as they call it.
The only way citizens seem have any impact now is when corporations and elitists join them. Look at the anti-SOPA movement for an example.

2 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

ComputersKai Re:Are you kidding (804 comments)

The Civil War was related to slavery, but not exactly cause much by it. It was more of the southern states trying to favor "states' rights" over federal power, and the growing opposition against slavery in the north made the more stubborn southern states feel resentful of the federal government taking action. Basically, the southern states wanted a more decentralized government, without as much federal control, and the Civil War was the conflict that erupted from that.

the slavery thing was pretty much just a PR tool Lincoln used to solidify public opinion in the north.

Partially true. The Emancipation Proclamation in wording freed slaves, but it also discouraged Europeans from assisting the south as they would seem like they were promoting a morally wrong practice. Though the proclamation carried no actual power, slaves were able to rise up and flee to the north, depriving the South of its workforce. The majority of Southerners were not slave owners anyways; it was more the whims of a group of wealthy and greedy plantation owners, fearing for their income, that were more of the problem.

2 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

ComputersKai The Amedment Process (804 comments)

If my knowledge of the Constitution is accurate, you can also choose to persuade a certain number of stubborn states to help you ratify that.

2 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

ComputersKai Re:The U. S. of A. does not operate in this mode (804 comments)

Sadly, though we are technically a well-developed country, our people can sometimes be so ignorant about things politicians throw at them, such as the whole War on Terror. Now, we see people starting to have second thoughts about sending thousands of troops to a dragging war, but back during the day these citizens were clamoring at the yahoos in Washington in favor of going to beat up some terrorists.

2 days ago
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New Facebook Phone App Lets You Stalk Your Friends

ComputersKai Your so-called Facebook Friends (61 comments)

So every time you walk by that convenience store you get a message telling you "Your friend Wal-Mart" is currently nearby?

2 days ago
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Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

ComputersKai Re:Economic Threat (256 comments)

Well, in Mexico, gang wars often end up wrecking cities and turning residencies into unsafe battlegrounds between the government and the criminals. During the Chicago gangland era, the gang wars between Capone and his enemies also led to the so-called "St. Valentines Day massacre".

I think legalizing some aspects of pot-growing would be a much better idea, as there wouldn't be that much criminal incentive anymore.

2 days ago
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GoPro Project Claims Technology Is Making People Lose Empathy For Homeless

ComputersKai Re:perception (318 comments)

Tech doesn't necessarily dull people to the plight of less unfortunates, but it may distract from them. However, tech also makes such issues more prominent through media and the Internet.
Or it could be simply that people just think, when walking past a homeless person, that somebody else will give them the money, and everyone else happens to be thinking about the same thing, or thinking too much about their own troubles. But blaming tech isn't exactly the solution to the problem.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

ComputersKai Re:Useful Idiot (391 comments)

And isn't it the NSA's/CIA's job to help stop foreign gathering of intel? In that case, they should probably alert U.S. companies and citizens of vulnerabilities like the OpenSSL Heartbleed bug (which is probably mostly patched by now) rather than hide it for their own benefit.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

ComputersKai Re:Useful Idiot (391 comments)

What does "gone to Congress" mean? You mean like just walking in the front door and demanding speaking time during a joint session of both houses? (not gonna happen) Or do you mean he could have contacted a congressman, which would give him a fairly high chance of being arrested within hours for being a traitor? (or do you think contacting a congressman with information about the NSA's activities would somehow remain quiet for long?)

He may not necessarily get tried for treason if he revealed secrets to Congress, but simply sending a letter to Congress means that the NSA may be able to intercept it before it even gets onto their desks. Plus, with all the letters that are sent to senators and representatives, there will be a likely chance that he will probably get another canned response from his recipient, with his letter being filed away into some obscure waiting pile somewhere.

Monitoring foreign nationals isn't unconstitutional, and is what we should want our government to do: it's why have the CIA and NSA and so on to begin with. (Sorry Merkel, but monitoring Europeans is fine too, including their elected officials. We're friends now, but haven't always been, and might not forever be.)

Technically, yes, but even if it is for our benefit, it isn't necessarily going to help our diplomatic relationships very much, even with allies. Resentful friends can be even more dangerous than resentful enemies.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

ComputersKai Re:Useful Idiot (391 comments)

If you look at the history of whistleblowers, many end up getting tried for espionage and treason by the country whose secrets they leaked, no matter how noble the cause. Just look at the guy who revealed the abuses at Guantanamo; the U.S. government didn't exactly welcome him with open arms.

2 days ago
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Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr Released

ComputersKai Re:Code names (173 comments)

Ubuntu
Y U No update faster?

Well, time to upgrade from 12.04. Anyways, thanks for the new LTS release!

2 days ago
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The Comcast/TWC Merger Is About Controlling Information

ComputersKai Re:No (107 comments)

I dearly hope that this isn't another example of history repeating itself.
The Sherman Anti-Trust Act

3 days ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

ComputersKai Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

With the Internet, anyone can now view encyclopedias of knowledge and scholarly articles with relatively ease.
Beliefs that Christian fundamentalist would formerly be able to instill into their followers without much educated opposition can now be contested with freely available works on opposing views, with one such example being the whole overrated "Evolution vs. Creation" quarrel.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

ComputersKai Re:Medical doctor (733 comments)

Well first you have to build the arrow :)
Technically every human can be considered an engineer

about a week ago
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NSA Allegedly Exploited Heartbleed

ComputersKai But the NSA continues on (149 comments)

The thing is, while there is much outrage, not much is being done about those violations either. Just like in 1984, instead of choosing to fight for their rights, the masses instead chose to make the best of things. This is a disappointing path we are taking in our growth as a nation.

about a week ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

ComputersKai Can I just say something? (856 comments)

No shit.

about a week ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

ComputersKai Re:There is no time for gaming (245 comments)

I am ready to rebuild Civilization, and engage in Total War, to prevent any impending Doom.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

ComputersKai Re:Medical doctor (733 comments)

While they waste their time hunting with primitive bows and arrows, the engineer sits back drinking beer and reading tech articles from scavenged magazines. His traps yield him plenty for meat, and any thieves or raiders are snared into pits.
However, reproduction and the continued survival of the human race may prove troublesome a problem for the engineer to solve. I'm pretty sure they don't teach you about dating in STEM preparation courses in high school.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

ComputersKai Re:Computer science majors are useful (733 comments)

If we didn't have engineers, we would still be farming the soil, struggling to make ends meet instead of having surplus like we have today (in more developed countries at least). Hard to say, but we may also need politicians, albeit good ones, as leaders. Doctors with an understanding of modern human anatomy and bodily functions working with herbalists can improvise on cures.Scientists help improve the technology. Service professions can help maintain the sanitation and quality of living in a colony. Engineers, construction workers, architects, can design buildings, and soldiers, good ones at least, can help defends, maintain morale, and help hunt. All of these occupations depend on each other. Musicians and performers, while not as useful, can do a lot to maintain morale.

Things get problematic when people start arguing though; the last thing we need is for people to think of themselves first, old grudges, or certain groups to think of themselves first. Sadly, if there was an apocalyptic scenario, likely humans will find reasons to fight each other, loot resources, and turn away people in need of help. In fact, I wonder how many "preppers" would be willing to save some fellow survivors, rather than immediately pulling out the old shotgun/crossbow and robbing them of their food.

about a week ago

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