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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

Mr. Slippery Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (191 comments)

Capitalism (private ownership and operation of property) in a free market system (system free of government intervention)

There is no such thing as private property without government intervention. "Property" in any sense more than what a nomadic human could carry with them, is a government creation. To "own" something means exactly and only to be able to call on government force to obtain or maintain control of that thing, or to be free from the usual government sanctions for such use of force. Land ownership is rooted in government-issues pieces of paper. Every physical good ultimately comes out of the land. So-called "intellectual property" is entirely made up by the state.

Property is not a right, it is a human invention that at best we can use protect rights -- or at worst can use to protect the power of a ruling class. Capitalism is a system where the state the notion of uses property to preserve the power of a small artistocatic owning class.

Anything that reduces individual freedoms is less moral than anything that increases individual freedoms.

And capitalism reduces individual freedoms, and is thus immoral. QED.

2 days ago
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HTML5: It's Already Everywhere, Even In Mobile

Mr. Slippery Re:40em column widths (131 comments)

So how should a web site provide a good reading experience the majority, who apparently are "so fucking retarded as to maximize [their] browser window" even on a 1920px-wide screen?

Gee, if only there were a way to suggest (but not mandate) that the browser render a piece of text in a certain manner. A "style", if you will. The specification of such a "style" might include a maximum width. Well, I guess no such thing could ever exist, so in order to format that text the server will need to send a whole pile of executable code.

2 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Mr. Slippery Re:Why isn't then the price exploding ? (322 comments)

I am willing to bet that there is some non-free-market shenanigan going on here.

If the price of cocoa was exploding, then people would plant them...When reality does not follow the course your ideology says it should, sometimes it's not the result of fraud. Sometimes it means your ideology is bunk.

Otherwise as cocoa goes missing the producer would get better price, and more people would plant them..

Saith TFA, "The problem is, for one, a supply issue. Dry weather in West Africa (specifically in the Ivory Coast and Ghana, where more than 70 percent of the world's cocoa is produced) has greatly decreased production in the region. A nasty fungal disease known as frosty pod hasn't helped either. The International Cocoa Organization estimates it has wiped out between 30 percent and 40 percent of global coca production. Because of all this, cocoa farming has proven a particularly tough business, and many farmers have shifted to more profitable crops, like corn, as a result....For these reasons, cocoa prices have climbed by more than 60 percent since 2012, when people started eating more chocolate than the world could produce."

4 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Mr. Slippery Re:Trader Joe's Could Help (322 comments)

This [Trader Joe's The Dark Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Bar] is the one to avoid.

Yes, please avoid that dark chocolate. More for those of us with refined taste buds who like the taste of chocolate above the taste of sugar.

4 days ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

Mr. Slippery Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (322 comments)

One, it's amazing the things some people would rather have than money.

Money is pretty useless. You can't eat it or shelter yourself from rain with it. I'd rather have almost anything than money. The relevant question is, between two things (including potential future things) I can have rather than money, which do I prefer?

4 days ago
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Former Police Officer Indicted For Teaching How To Pass a Polygraph Test

Mr. Slippery Re:First Post (328 comments)

Sure you can. "Officer, those aren't my drugs". Ever heard of someone being prosecuted for saying this?

Saith the wik, "Making false statements (18 U.S.C. Â 1001) is the common name for the United States federal crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in "any matter within the jurisdiction" of the federal government of the United States, even by mere denial.[1] A number of notable people have been convicted under the section, including Martha Stewart,[2] Rod Blagojevich,[3] Scooter Libby,[4] Bernard Madoff,[5] and Jeffrey Skilling.[6]"

5 days ago
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R. A. Montgomery, Creator of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Books, Dead At 78

Mr. Slippery Re:A programming book with the same format (80 comments)

I've got one or two of those TutorText books tucked away from my dad's collection when he was studying programming ("data processing", as they called it back then) in the late 60s.

5 days ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Mr. Slippery Re:The right to offend ... (827 comments)

The right to make rape threats is more important than the right to not receive rape threats? Are you sure?

Yes. American law is clear that the right to make death threats is more important than the right to not receive death threats, provided that those death threats are political speech and not "true threats" that explicitly call for or promise imminent lawless action. Rape threats are not as bad as death threats. (If you believe that rape is a fate worse than death, that rape survivors would be better off dead, please go shoot yourself in the head.) So if the right to make death threats is more important than the right to not receive death threats, clearly the right to make rape threats is more important than the right to not receive rape threats.

Is it socially acceptable to make death threats or rape threats? No. If you see people doing it, tell them they're being assholes and to cut it out. Mod them down. Ban them from your forum. Don't invite them to the party. But it's a big jump from there to have the state point guns at some immature asshole punk who blows his top in a flamewar and says "I'm gonna rape you to death!"

about two weeks ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Mr. Slippery Re:The right to offend ... (827 comments)

Just wait, there will be a flood of posts claiming that threads made over the internet, even if they contain your home address, are not "serious" and should be ignored.

How does including someone's home address make a threat more or less serious? Perhaps you are young and do not recall that not that long ago, Americans had delivered to the home annually a book that listed the addresses of most citizens of their city or town. Unless one takes extraordinary steps to hide, one's address is not private information.

My address has been on my resume on my website since the 1990s. Some random asshole posting "I'm going to kill that Tom Swiss for what he said on Slashdot!" wouldn't worry me any more or any less than some random asshole posting "I'm going to kill that Tom Swiss, who lives at 2119 Arlonne Drive in Catonsville, MD, 21228, for what he said on Slashdot!"

So how worried should I be over some random asshole posting a threat? Seems to me that the ratio of "I'm going to kill you!" posts to actual assaults is so low that I shouldn't worry. Over a quarter-century of flamewars (I was active on FidoNet BBSes starting around 1988) a few people have posted that they were going to kick my ass, none have ever showed up to do so.

If anyone is going to object "But you're a man, not a woman!", you need to keep in mind that as a man I am more likely, not less, to be a victim of violence.

about two weeks ago
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How To End Online Harassment

Mr. Slippery Re:The right to offend ... (827 comments)

Before asserting that death and rape threats are the result of online bigotry, at the very least one should examine who exactly is getting these threats. Hint: it's not just women and minorities; it happens to plenty of white males.

Indeed, while women are more likely to be sexually harassed, men are more likely to be harassed overall and more likely to be physically threatened on-line: "Overall, men are somewhat more likely than women to experience at least one of the elements of online harassment, 44% vs. 37%. In terms of specific experiences, men are more likely than women to encounter name-calling, embarrassment, and physical threats."

about two weeks ago
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GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

Mr. Slippery Re:How is their infringment? (268 comments)

None of which this tablet system falls under other since this isn't "downloadable computer software".

Any software that can be copied and installed over a network is "downloadable".Groupon's hardware product is a case for an iPad and I'll bet you their software is installed on those iPads over a network.

Groupon is applying for trademarks in a broad array of areas, such as "contact management software used to organize and retrieve customer contact information; electronic commerce and transaction application software that allows users to engage in electronic business transactions via a global computer network; printer software for operating printers and printing". GNOME links to the complete list here. It's a genuine problem.

about two weeks ago
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How Alibaba Turned November 11 Into the World's Biggest Online Shopping Day

Mr. Slippery Re:Good luck in Canada (115 comments)

There is no "war holiday" in the UK, just ceremonies on 11.11, and also the nearest Sunday. I agree that a holiday does not sound appropriate.

If there are annual commemoration rituals on a day, ipso facto it's a holiday, at least in American usage of that word. For example "Mother's Day" is a holiday, though no businesses shut down or anything. (See, e.g.,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother%27s_Day#Founding_.28US.29 ) Perhaps UK usage differs?

That issue is not raised in the UK ceremonies; it entirely about remembering the dead

It's meaningless to remember the dead without remembering why they died: a war between exploitative colonial powers to see who would get to fuck over which group of non-industrialized nations. We ought to honor the dead by working towards a world where people don't die and kill for the glory of the ruling class.

about two weeks ago
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Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet

Mr. Slippery cookie irony (231 comments)

When I pointed my browser at that story about net anonymity, michaelgeist.ca tried to set about 20 cookies in my browser. Kinda ironic, huh Ren? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

about two weeks ago
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Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

Mr. Slippery Re:Yes, but the real problem is being ignored. (461 comments)

The strip club doesn't care who dances as long as money comes in. At least with licensing you can have some sort of auditing.

If licensing is supposed to keep "underage" women from performing at these venues, then you have to send people out to check the licenses. And if you're going to do that, you can check other documents instead of a license. A license introduces nothing additional into the situation.

about two weeks ago
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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name

Mr. Slippery Re:No thank you (267 comments)

However, "Into Darkness" was actually pretty good.

If you don't mind movies that make absolutely no sense, sure. And now that that Trek-alt 'verse has a Starfleet that's corrupt to the core, interstellar transporters and thus no need for starships, and a fricking CURE FOR DEATH, it's hard to see how any sensible Trek movies can be made without jettisoning STID from continuity.

about two weeks ago
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The Other Side of Diversity In Tech

Mr. Slippery Re:The new progressive (441 comments)

For whatever reason, many more women than men are simply not interested in or pursuing careers such as software development. Newsflash: there are also very fewer female composers, sound engineers, mathematicians, physicists, and imbalance remains in many other highly technical fields. Why? I don't know

Well, gee, maybe we could ask them, and listen to the answers they give?

Maybe /. could even post a link to a woman giving such an answer.

Maybe you could read it before shooting your mouth off with "that's just the way it is, nobody knows why".

I happen to be a white male

And boy, aren't you doing the rest of us white guys proud. SMH.

about two weeks ago
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Ferguson No-Fly Zone Revealed As Anti-Media Tactic

Mr. Slippery Re:Political science (265 comments)

Okay, I'm open for suggestions at this point. Horses, maybe?

Citizens selected by lot. It worked in Athens.

about three weeks ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Mr. Slippery Re:Haleluja ... (669 comments)

if something can't exist that's unobservable; then the assumption must be made that our ability to observe the universe is absolute.

But our ability to observe the observable universe, over time, is absolute by definition. If we don't and never will have the ability to observe it, it's not part of the observable universe; if it's part of the observable universe, we have or will have the ability to observe it.

Any hypothetical "unobservable universe" -- again, over time, meaning not just "that which we currently cannot observe" but "that which we can never observe" -- is not meaningful, except perhaps as a philosophical amusement if your tastes run that way. Non-falsifiable hypotheses don't get us far.

(I am, of course, allowing for the usual sorts of indirect observation here.)

about three weeks ago
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Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Mr. Slippery Re:Haleluja ... (669 comments)

Intelligence is an interface-behavior not explained by physics. Consciousness cannot be an illusion, because having an illusion requires consciousness.

Please define "intelligence" and "consciousness" in the context of the observable universe. The only way I can see "intelligence" is to see an organism engage in complex problem-solving behavior, and the only way I can see "consciousness" is to see an organism respond to stimuli. Both of these are accounted for quite well by physicalism.

You basically claim that no observations can be made if an interface is present and all observations have to go though it.

I didn't say anything about an "interface".

I'll try to state it another way: I (using the word "I" for linguistic convenience and declining to open up a can of worms about the "self" at this time...) observe a physical, objective, world. For the sake of getting shit done, I assume such a world exists, that I'm not a brain in a vat or a butterfly dreaming I'm a man or the like, and that such world more-or-less corresponds to my observations; but we should not that this is an axiom and not a conclusion.

Phenomenon in this world, including the fascinating behavior of a certain ape species, seem to occur in patterns we can call "supervenience" and/or "reductionism" (where the same phenomenon can be looked at at different depths), and "causality" (where phenomenon follow each other in time sequence). It seems they could all in principle be explained as the complex dance of particles and fields acting over time.

I also observe a mental, subjective, internal world. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say in the act of perceiving the external world and in perceiving memories, the existence of perception is implied.

This perception is part of the given, and it is singular and indivisible -- atomic, in a word. (In the philosophical sense, not the chemical sense!) As it cannot be divided, trying to investigate it by reductionist means goes nowhere. As it is singular and there are no other objects of its type to interact with it, causality is meaningless. This perception "just is". I perceive (or at least, something perceives, darn the metaphysical assumption coded into our grammatical conventions!) therefore perception exists. Perception is not part of the external, observable world, and so seeking some explanation for it out there is not meaningful.

Is there perception that is similar to but divided from that which is given as "my" experience? The question has no possible answer. If there was such perception, by its nature I would be unable to know it, since it is divided from the perception that I have (or that is "me", if you like).

Sure, as a practical and ethical matter, I make the assumption that there is such perception and that it is associated with at least some of the humans and other organisms I see "out there". It seems a bad thing when suffering comes into "my" perception and a good thing when pleasure comes into it; if there might be other perceptions it would be consistent to regard the suffering that comes into them as bad. Not knowing, I adopt a precautionary attitude.

But fundamentally, it's unknowable and unobservable. And trying to create an explanation within observable reality for something that can never be observed is inherently a fallacy, a metaphysical confusion.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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CentOS back on track

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "Following up on the previous story about CentOS: according to the CentOS web site, "The CentOS Development team had a routine meeting today with Lance Davis in attendance. During the meeting a majority of issues were resolved immediately and a working agreement was reached with deadlines for remaining unresolved issues. There should be no impact to any CentOS users going forward. The CentOS project is now in control of the CentOS.org and CentOS.info domains and owns all trademarks, materials, and artwork in the CentOS distributions.""
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How we used to vote

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  about 6 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "Think hanging chads, illegal purges of the voter rolls, and insecure voting machines were bad? The New Yorker gives a look at how we used to vote back in the good old days: "A man carrying a musket rushed at him. Another threw a brick, knocking him off his feet. George Kyle picked himself up and ran. He never did cast his vote. Nor did his brother, who died of his wounds. The Democratic candidate for Congress, William Harrison, lost to the American Party's Henry Winter Davis. Three months later, when the House of Representatives convened hearings into the election, whose result Harrison contested, Davis's victory was upheld on the ground that any 'man of ordinary courage' could have made his way to the polls." Now I feel like a wuss for complaining about the lack of a voter-verified paper trail."
Link to Original Source
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Gandalf is the new Number Two

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "According to Variety , "AMC and ITV will remake Patrick McGoohan's cult TV show `The Prisoner' as a six-part mini with Ian McKellen as Number Two and Jim Caviezel as Number Six." There's been talk about remake of The Prisoner for a long time, we'll see if this gets further than past efforts; certainly Sir McKellen's attachment to the project is a reason to hope it won't completely blow chunks."
Link to Original Source
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WSU LUG Nerds to auction themselves to women

Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Mr. Slippery writes "Associated Press reports that Washington State University's LUG is planning to hold a "nerd auction". According to LUG president Ben Ford,"You can buy a nerd and he'll fix your computer, help you with stats homework, or if you're really adventurous, take you to dinner!" To promote the LUG (and comp sci in general) to women, the plan is that a handful of LUG members will get makeovers from a sorority. "The girls get to have their way with them and we'll document each makeover. We'll make a snazzy video and show it over dinner. After the dinner, we'll auction off the now studly nerds.""
Link to Original Source

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