top Man Who Tangled With
The Oatmeal Ordered To Pay $46k
This is an incredibly shortsighted view, and I find it alarming that it has been modded up.
there is little to no room for being "just"
... The Supreme Court "Justices", in particular, like to imagine themselves as "calling balls and strikes", regardless of whether the resulting judgment matches anybody's notion of justice.
The reason they have to do follow the law without imposing their arbitrary whims on the people that come before them, is that the law is BY DESIGN written by people who have to stand for reelection after they pass the laws (yes, there's the issue of whether our representatives actually represent us, and whether outside factors such as big money unduly influence elections, but it's not particularly relevant to the principle that's being questioned here).
There is one dimension of justice in everybody following the same law, but only one of many.
The idea of laws applying equally to everyone is a HUGE DEAL. It's the practical application of the whole "all men are created equal" thing.
Judges following their own notion of "just," and disregarding the law in cases where they felt it was unjust, would cause a lot of decisions that you would certainly find horrendous. As it is, judges face very little accountability. The supreme court justices are appointed "in good behavior," which is usually interpreted as "lifetime appointment, with the option to impeach them if they start acting completely horrible." So there's a very good reason why their job descriptions leave very little wiggle room to do whatever they feel like. Yes, the supreme court frequently makes decisions that I find appalling, but at least they have to back it up based on law and precedent. In the system you're yearning for, they wouldn't even have to do that, if they felt that "justice" (whatever they felt like that meant that day) demanded it.
I would propose that the next time a "Justice" declares himself to be "calling balls and strikes", that we rename his title to "Umpire", as "justice" is orthogonal to his self-defined description.
Call them "Umpire" if you want, but under your proposed system, we'd have another title for them - monarch.
I can't believe I have to spell this out, since it's high-school-civics-level stuff about a year and a half ago
top Judge To Newspaper - Reveal Name of Commenter
If the government wanted me to treat it as a civic duty and not something to get out of, they would pay me enough to live on. $40/day (in my state at least) for two weeks or more is something to go out of one's way to avoid if you're living paycheck to paycheck.
top Free Speech For Computers?
Rights come with responsibilities. If corporations can have the same rights as humans, they need the same responsibilities. This isn't just about the rights of people to freely assemble. It's also about protecting the rights of individuals. As James Madison wrote in Federalist no. 10, we cannot protect our freedoms unless we limit the power of factions.
When a human commits wrongdoing, they go to jail. When a corporation commits wrongdoing, they get a bailout. Until I see a corporation go to jail like a human, I don't want to hear about how they deserve free speech like a human.
top Australian R18+ Rating For Games? Not Yet; NSW Refuses To Vote
It's no better here in the states. Here we have "secret holds," whereby a single senator can prevent a bill from being voted upon by anonymously witholding consent, thereby preventing the unanimous consent needed to bring the bill to the floor of the chamber. While in theory this was designed to allow legislators to have time to study a bill that directly affects his or her constituency, in practice it just allows one asshat to obstruct indefinitely. Thankfully the practice has been weakened in the current congress (replaced by the good ol' fashioned filibuster, which shows no sign of going anywhere anytime soon). More info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secret_hold But hey, at least it looks like democracy if you squint from a distance.
top Have We Reached Maximum Sustainable Population Size?
The main obvious difference between Freemont and Bangladesh in terms of sustainability is not solely population density, but also how much each consumes.
If everyone consumed like Americans, we'd need six Earths.
top Go For It On Fourth Down? Ask Coach Watson
Having seen how AI has affected the world of chess, I don't think it would be as clear-cut as this. Different top-level chess engines can have diverse overall playing styles and wildly different evaluations of any given position.
top Man Served Restraining Order Via Facebook
Facebook claims to take users' privacy "very seriously"
Ahahaha. Aha. Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.