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Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

DarenN Re:A victim of Poe's Law. (726 comments)

I'm guessing you have never read any of Heinlein's papers - and if you read the book Starship Troopers I suggest you read it again. Along with all of his work not tagged as "Young Adult". You might not agree with him but he was writing stuff that was unthinkable at the time.

Military participation was not the the road. It was _one_ road. Other forms of service existed and anyone could start as it was a legal requirement. There was, in the book, no war when Rico joined. The key was danger in service, and the war started while he was still in service. His father was a successful business owner was adamantly against Rico joining the military.

Heinlein also discussed a female only government in other writings (his conclusion was something along the lines of "it can't be worse than the mostly males ones, and it might be better") and in Stranger in a Strange Land manages to break every single social taboo of the day. In the Moon is a Harsh Mistress he describes what stable poly relationships would look like and how living in a hostile environment with a scarcity of females enforced social order.

He also gave a KGB officer a lecture on why communism was bad while in Russia in 1960 when the U2 spyplane was shot down, translated by his wife (who had learned Russian from tapes over 2 years at home).

Basically, you got what you wanted to out of the book, but I would suggest that you didn't get the actual book.

about 5 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:Tax Avoidance (292 comments)

Your smug assertion that I expect to live off other's taxes despite knowing nothing about me aside, let me respond.

You trimmed the first quote. I didn't say that Apple isn't paying you dividends, I said they're not paying it out of that cash pile (which they are not). Their EPS and their dividend is respectable enough without it so they don't need to.

Your basis is irrelevant to the general point I was making (and I still bet that things did look better at ~$700 per share)! The point I'm trying to make is that the size of that the cash pile is giving no value to shareholders. If Apple increased their dividend by 100% by bringing back some of their billions and paying taxes on them, how is that losing stockholder value? The truth is, no stockholder value is diluted and any stockholder who took a case would lose.

That money is not being used and cannot be used without taking the tax penalty. Expansion and investment in infrastructure comes out of the budget before taxes are assessed (and in many cases can be offset against the tax bill anyway), so it does not hinder either of these. You could argue that it's underpinning the share price but I strongly disagree - Apple's performace as a company is what affects the share price and Apple's amazing performance continues which i'm sure delights you as an Apple shareholder.

On to your point number 2. Whether you hate your government or not (and the state of political discourse in the US at the moment is deeply saddening), surely you must see that govenment investment in infrastructure and education is important? Personally, I pay all my taxes and while it doesn't delight me I make sure they are paid because I believe that the benefits are worth it. That goes double for every company - their employees were educated by the state, they travel on infrastructure built by the state and they are largely safer than they have ever been before from crime due to society agreeing to give the state powers to punish criminals. They can trade internationally within a structure that enables exactly this, and ship their goods, both manufactured and virtual, on infrastructure that largely comes from investment encouraged by or flat out made by their governments. They are standing on the shoulders of all those invested in this beforehand by contributing by way of taxes. Why shouldn't the companies that have benefited from this long-term investment contribute back when they are successful?

about 6 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:Tax Avoidance (292 comments)

No, I'm not high. If they bring that money anywhere they have to pay taxes on it. This is not used for funding expansions - that comes out of another budget (and all gets written off as investment against revenue anyway). This is money sitting in a pile that they don't really have a use for right now in a tax haven.

Traditionally a proprtion of this would be re-invested in the business (it's not because a) they don't need to and b) it's cheaper for them to borrow money using their cash pile as security than it is to use it for tax reasons), used to buy back stock, or distributed as dividends. Apple is paying dividends, but that cash pile is not actually doing anything.

The cash pile is making some large investors nervous because historically companies with big cash piles end up wasting them.

about 6 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:Tax everywhere (292 comments)

That's not correct, the company has to be tax-resident somewhere. So of course they are tax resident somewhere there is a 0% tax rate (Bermuda, in this case).

about 6 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:job killing regulations (292 comments)

Except Apple employs thousands of people in Ireland - it's not a shell company.

about 6 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:Tax Avoidance (292 comments)

Except that's wrong.

The money is not in Ireland, or in the EU. It's in the carribean somewhere. The company has it's HQ in Ireland but is tax resident somewhere else, so it only pays tax on revenue it makes in Ireland. For the US it's an Irish company, and the money that never comes back to the US isn't taxed either so they are piling it up somewhere. But, like Google, they cannot actually use that - they're all holding out for the next tax amnesty.

That's the loophole being closed - it will no longer be possible to set up a company with its HQ in Ireland if it's not tax-resident there. It's about time, too.

about 6 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:Tax Avoidance (292 comments)

No, you don't. Apple isn't paying you dividends out of their massive cash pile so instead of real money, you have notional value that you may or may not recover if you ever sell the shares. It looks OK now, but I bet it looked better when the shares were ~$700 each.

about 6 months ago
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Irish Government May Close Apple's Biggest Tax Loophole

DarenN Re:Tax Avoidance (292 comments)

Except that that value is NOT GOING TO STOCKHOLDERS.

Apple is not paying any of those billions in dividends because they cannot reciprocate them to the US without paying tax and don't want to. So it might as well be magic faerie dust for all the value it's giving shareholders. This is directly affecting shareholder value in a negative manner but the shareholders are making money on trading at the moment so they don't give a shit. If the shares flatten out for a couple of years Apple will be sued by the instituional shareholders for not paying dividents, exactly as happened to Microsoft.

about 6 months ago
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The Smog To Fog Challenge: Settling the High-Speed Rail vs. Hyperloop Debate

DarenN Re:No. (333 comments)

In Japan, for instance, the Shinkansen between almost anywhere is significantly faster than driving (the exception would be for short hops inside a single city, which is not what the shinkansen is really for), and is cheaper, faster and more comfortable than air travel. So that's one strike. I haven't been on high speed rail in any of the other locations you mention but unlike you, I'm not willing to spout off about how my experience on regional trains/metros means that High Speed rail in different locations will never work ever.

about 8 months ago
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Royal Navy Deployed Laser Weapons During the Falklands War

DarenN Re:Yes, but... (139 comments)

The Islands don't belong to Argentina. There's no historical record supporting any interpretation that would have the Falklands part of Argentina, and I'm Irish (and hence would not generally be in favour of the British colonial holdings).

No-one lived there before, and British settlers have continuously inhabited the islands for two centuries. This is only an issue because the Argentinian Junta needed a PR coup to avoid collapse, and the British handed them a disaster, which sped up the collapse. It's a shame that the Argentinian people are being whipped up by their president over this non-issue, and for similar reasons that the Junta whipped them up - her government have made a mess out of the country and need a distraction.

about 8 months ago
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Queen's WWIII Speech Revealed

DarenN Re:Seriously? (147 comments)

One of the most interesting things to come out of the current round of declassification is that the Soviets were absolutely terrified of the Americans. They saw the US as extremely aggressve and paranoid, as well as unpredictable and believed totally that domestic political pressures could lead as far as a nuclear first strike.

about 9 months ago
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USPS Discriminates Against 'Atheist' Merchandise

DarenN Re:Sorry if I sound dumb (1121 comments)

Reply reformatted for readability. Sorry about that

atheism is not a religious position. It is an opinion about religion

I think you've just defined "religious position" in the second part of the quoted section. It is an opinion, perhaps even a position, on religion? But not a religious position? Not sure you've got your thinking cap on there.
If I were being more accurate above, then I should have written "The one you're thinking of is agnostic atheism". Or apathetic/pragmatic agnosticism, which is also wonderfully called Apatheism. I definitely overstepped in saying atheism can be described as a religion itself, but there are groups of atheists who are behaving very much like organised religions and as it is de-facto a religious position then the stretch doesn't look too far.

It also happens not to be a "belief" or "faith", it happens to stem from observation and by now has a solid scientific foundation.

Oh, my. From the point of view of the ~7billion theists it looks like faith. Not that that's going to hold much water if you're atheist, I admit!
Atheism has a very weak scientific foundation - in that it's the null hypothesis. And those who claim it is stronger than that are as self serving as that retard who "did calculations", presumably with a crayon up his nose, and gave an age for the earth from the Bible.

I direct you to Thomas H Huxley's words on agnosticism:

"Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle...Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable."

Some of the wisest words I've ever read.

1 year,15 days
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USPS Discriminates Against 'Atheist' Merchandise

DarenN Re:Sorry if I sound dumb (1121 comments)

As I said in response to another comment
If I were being more accurate above, then I should have written "The one you're thinking of is agnostic atheism". Or apathetic/pragmatic agnosticism, which is also wonderfully called Apatheism. I definitely overstepped in saying atheism can be described as a religion itself, but there are groups of atheists who are behaving very much like organised religions and as it is de-facto a religious position then the stretch doesn't look too far.

1 year,15 days
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USPS Discriminates Against 'Atheist' Merchandise

DarenN Re:Sorry if I sound dumb (1121 comments)

atheism is not a religious position. It is an opinion about religion

I think you've just defined "religious position" in the second part of the quoted section. It is an opinion, perhaps even a position, on religion? But not a religious position? Not sure you've got your thinking cap on there.

If I were being more accurate above, then I should have written "The one you're thinking of is agnostic atheism". Or apathetic/pragmatic agnosticism, which is also wonderfully called Apatheism.

OK, I definitely overstepped in saying atheism can be described as a religion itself, but there are groups of atheists who are behaving very much like organised religions and as it is de-facto a religious position then the stretch doesn't look too far.

. It also happens not to be a "belief" or "faith", it happens to stem from observation and by now has a solid scientific foundation.

Oh, my. From the point of view of the ~7billion theists it looks like faith. Not that that's going to hold much water if you're atheist, I admit!

Atheism has a very weak scientific foundation - in that it's the null hypothesis. And those who claim it is stronger than that are as self serving as that retard who "did calculations", presumably with a crayon up his nose, and gave an age for the earth from the Bible.

I direct you to Thomas H Huxleys discussion on this:

"Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle...Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable."

Some of the wisest words I've ever read.

1 year,15 days
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Extended TeX: Past, Present, and Future

DarenN Re:TeX and LaTeX (300 comments)

My jaw drops at the sheer nonsense of:

Most "typesetting" these days is done in wiki languages with jsMath, or in simple WYSIWYG editors, using HTML as an intermediate format and PDF as output.

I take it you're a social media consultant, then?

1 year,15 days
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USPS Discriminates Against 'Atheist' Merchandise

DarenN Re:Sorry if I sound dumb (1121 comments)

Atheism is a religious position. It's not an organised religion, sure, but it can be described as religion.

The one you're thinking of is agnosticism.

1 year,27 days
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Shuttleworth On Ubuntu Community Drama

DarenN Re:True (302 comments)

I think that your "huge proportion of the userbase" is actually "loudest proportion of the userbase". Linux is used widely in industry and that dwarfs individual use. Most of the kernel is maintained by people working for commercial companies, furthering that company's agenda.

about a year ago
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US CEO Says French Workers Have Three-Hour Work Day

DarenN Re:It's The American Drean (1313 comments)

You are fixing a hard drive that is a device that only exists because of government research on a computing device that was largely invented by people working for governments to do things like break codes, posting on a network that was largely created because of government funding and will drive home on a road paid for by your taxes.

Infrastructure does not just magically appear. There is a reason that government investment in basic infrastructure and basic research happens, it's because it's for the common good. If you can't see that then your ship will never come in because you're patently an idiot.

about a year ago
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US CEO Says French Workers Have Three-Hour Work Day

DarenN Re:It's The American Drean (1313 comments)

No, the reason the US became so successful is WW I followed by WW II. The US profited mightily from this - the British bought huge amounts of materiél (albeit with IOUs that have only recently been paid off), the government gave heavy industry massive handouts to build up a military machine that largely didn't exist in 1939, the bulk of the Navy went down in Pearl Harbour so a crash building programme happened

The mainland was never attacked, so no damage was suffered and the average person in the US was unaffected by either of these wars except that they were guaranteed employment.

Pretty much everywhere else was flattened. The previous industral powerhouses were largely rubble, the previously richest countries were still rationing in the 1950's and while the US underwrote a lot of the rebuilding in Japan and Germany, the private sector in the states made a shitton of cash out of it.

I'm not claiming that the US planned any of this (because I'm not mental) but the two world wars competely wrecked their competitors and set the stage for their 60 years of prosperity (80 if you include WW I, where it started. Before that, Britian was the pre-eminent world power. After it, the US could dictate to it as to the size of it's fleet).

about a year ago
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Norwegian Study: Global Warming Less Severe Than Feared

DarenN Re:Surprise (468 comments)

Wait, you're dismissing it because it's from Norway? First of all, two of the institutes which are most associated with the theory of anthropogenic global warming are GISS, and UEA CRU. The first is in the US funded by the government, and you cannot tell me that the US administrations are all anti-oil greenies. The other is in the UK, which *gasp* is also an oil producer. Don't tar the Norwegians with your prejudices.

Second, read the damn paper. It doesn't say that there isn't warming. It doesn't claim that there's no anthropogenic effect. It merely attempts to explain something that's bothered the hell out of the CC research community for the last decade - why is it not still warming? Their conclusion is that the forcings in the model overestimated climate sensitivity so we have a bit more time before it's catastrophic (if you believe it will be).

So, this a paper which tries to explain something that is a known problem without actually challenging anything about the underlying theories. And you're attacking it because of your mental problems which see conspiracies everywhere? One of those shadows behind your door or maybe the monster under your bed should whisper the answer to this in your ear - who makes and runs all the green technolgies and generators that will replace the carbon spewing monstrosities we have today? You'd find some familair names and logos in there.

about a year ago

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