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Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

SuricouRaven Re:This won't stop until we are in chains (130 comments)

And about two days later new ones would step into their places. For every CEO, there is a vice CEO waiting in the wings. You think a multi-million-dollar company doesn't have contingency plans in case the boss gets hit by a bus?

5 hours ago
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Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

SuricouRaven Re:This won't stop until we are in chains (130 comments)

Because:
1. The state-sponsored force was a mess. Mismanaged, divided, and without command during a political crisis.
2. IS forces were composed largely of professionally trained soldiers - people who had been loyal to Saddam, and found themselves quickly expelled from their career as part of the process of destroying his power base after the US invasion.

And on top of that, they still havn't won. They havn't taken over all of Iraq, the older government is still around. All IS have manged to do is secure control of some territory.

5 hours ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

SuricouRaven Re:Good riddance. (407 comments)

It still is badly written. I've not read it, but I've skimmed through it, and the sex scenes... not good. The wording is awkward, it doesn't seem to flow right. I've seen far better writing in other works of erotica on the internet.

5 hours ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

SuricouRaven Re:Distasteful stuff, but should not be illegal (407 comments)

There seems to be a social need for certain bogymen. Some sub-group (Existance optional) which everyone else can be unified in their loathing of. Pedophiles today, but they are in the same niche once populated by communists, witches, jews and protestants (And in England, Catholics). There is to be no public sympathy for the accepted bogyman, no aim for rehabilitation - only a desire to see them punished and destroyed.

6 hours ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

SuricouRaven Dangerous precedent (407 comments)

We're also very good at moral panics and crusades. The US can only copy: We invented them.

6 hours ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

SuricouRaven Re:Moral Imperialism (407 comments)

As a person in the UK (As I imagine you are, from the username), I can confirm this. I've also first-hand experience working in a school, and can reveal that the standards for suspecting and reporting child abuse are so broad that almost every student would merit reporting to social services - to the extent that everyone ignores the formal standards. It's sufficiently vague that not only is failure to pay attention in class a sign of potential abuse, but paying too much attention to schoolwork is also a sign of abuse.

6 hours ago
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Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

SuricouRaven Re:Good riddance. (407 comments)

The law banning 'extreme pornography' has an exemption for BBFC classified materials - otherwise much of the output of Hollywood would be illegal to possess. They couldn't come up with a definition for extreme porn that wouldn't include at least a few big hollywood movies (Casino Royale was often cited as en example, as it came out around the same time), so that exemption was put in. I imagine there would be a similar exemption for material distributed by a recognised publisher.

6 hours ago
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Commerce Secretary: US Wants Multi-Stakeholder Process To Preserve Internet

SuricouRaven Re:We are fsk'd (57 comments)

The vote may be public - but it's also potentially quick. There's an easy political trick that can be used with treaties or laws alike: Speed. Write in secret, negotiate in secret, then rush through the vote as fast as you can. The PATRIOT act, for example, was introduced on October 23 - and passed by the house on the 24th. If the trick is executed properly, any opposition groups just don't have time to rally. By the time they are aware of what's going on, it's already too late.

Also, under the Supremacy Clause, treaties are given a legal weight equal to that of the constitution. It doesn't address what to do in the event of a conflict.

2 days ago
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Commerce Secretary: US Wants Multi-Stakeholder Process To Preserve Internet

SuricouRaven Re:We are fsk'd (57 comments)

It changes both ways, and that's just the bit we are aware of. Who knows what's going on behind the scenes. Remember ACTA? Negotiated in secret - the public only became aware of it via leaked documents, and this was a legal agreement with potentially more of an effect than an act of congress. Now TRIPS is being negotiated in exactly the same manner. The idea of conspiracies of politicians secretly running the country may sound like the stuff of conspiracy theories, but every now and then it's exactly what happens.

2 days ago
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Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

SuricouRaven Re:This won't stop until we are in chains (130 comments)

While I can see the temptation, it isn't going to work so well. That war was of states verses states, with access to military hardware on both sides. A revolution in the US today would consist of semi-organised armies of volunteers with rifles verses a government with long-range artillery, bomber aircraft, advanced intelligence-gathering equipment and much more powerful fully-automatic assault rifles. No contest. The best you could hope for would be a long insurgency, fighting dirty and adopting terrorist tactics of hiding in the civilian population and keeping identities secret, French Resistance style - but that's not enough to overthrow a government. The idea of a violent uprising isn't realistic.

A better proposal would be to shift the rules a bit through technology. A sufficient investment in new forms of communication technology could effectively undermine a lot of commercially-based power - it doesn't matter how strict the copyright laws are if they can't be enforced, and if all communications are encrypted and avoid passing through any bottlenecks where control can be exerted then it becomes much harder for government to monitor or control them. Mass-piracy, properly exercised, could cripple the entertainment-media industry. It just has to be made into something which is near-universally accepted by the public, easy enough for anyone to take part with less effort than buying from legitimate channels, and safe from any form of copyright enforcement.

4 days ago
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Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

SuricouRaven Re:The one area where patents have reasonable term (130 comments)

It needs both approaches together. Sometimes research needs the sort of massive funding only commercial interests can provide. Other times there wouldn't be any profit it in (Disease too rare, treatment too cheap) and you need non-profit work from academia, charity or government. Neither is right in all circumstances.

4 days ago
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Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

SuricouRaven Re:freedoms f----d (130 comments)

Patents in pharmacuticals work well.

Their application to software has been a disaster. They are granted so readily and for things so obvious, it's now become a common practice for companies to collect as huge a portfolio of crap-patents as possible just so they can win a legal battle by attrition, then cross-license with sufficiently powerful rivals so they can avoid suing each other into oblivion. It's reached the point where it's impossible to write anything more complicated than Hello, World without potentially infringing a patent somewhere.

Patent reform is needed. Raising costs wouldn't work, as it just disadvantages small companies and individuals. Tougher approval processes would go a long way though, and courts should have more power to penalize patent holders if the patent is later found in court to be obvious, trivial or based on prior art which the patent holder should have been aware of.

4 days ago
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Trans-Pacific Partnership May Endanger World Health, Newly Leaked Chapter Shows

SuricouRaven Re:Cui bono? (130 comments)

No need. It's been so heavily mythologised, only historians seem to know what it was actually about. Lots of people have somehow come to believe it was a big protest against whatever they dislike.

This is especially amusing in the case of the Tea Party, who took their name from it and believe it to be a protest against high taxation. Taxes were involved - but the key change in tax law that started it was a tax exemption. The British passed a tax on tea, but granted an exemption to the politically well-connected East India Company. This allowed them to undercut independent (And especially colonial) shipping companies on price and drive them out of business. The tax itself wasn't the issue, it was the obvious manner in which a British company had used their lobbying influence to get laws passed to their own advantage at the expense of rivals without such influence. The protester's cause had more in common with Operation Wall Street than the Tea Party movement.

4 days ago
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Warner Brothers Announces 10 New DC Comics Movies

SuricouRaven Re:Last studio on the bandwagon... (186 comments)

Bicycle Repair Man.
Just-Us League.

You could trawl the indy comics for ideas, plenty of really obscure publishers who'd sell the rights for fifty bucks and a shot at fame.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

SuricouRaven Re:You're making a baby, not a D&D character! (363 comments)

Charisma without wisdom is especially dangerous. It leads to people who are consistently wrong, but manage to convince others they are right. That's how you end up with a Jenny McCarthy - someone who can spout easily-disproven falsehoods on a topic upon which they have no qualifications, and still be believed by a large number of people.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

SuricouRaven Re:What could possibly go wrong? (363 comments)

Ask any smart person: The stupid people are a lot happier.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

SuricouRaven Re:intelligence wont matter (363 comments)

I'd ask my sister, the qualified environmental scientist, except she is busy washing her uniform after another day cleaning out the cages at a pet-care company. There is just no work to be had in that field.

My own career dead-ended at Helldesk, but that's largely due to my lack of ambition. The only way up from here is into management, a place I have absolutely no desire to be, and I'm not willing to leave my current hard-obtained job because of convenient transport and a good team of co-workers. Even if it doesn't actually pay enough to live off of.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

SuricouRaven Re:Changing the system? (363 comments)

Yes, but not by much. You let it divide for a while, then pull one cell out to sequence - by that point it's got enough cells that the loss of one makes no difference, it heals perfectly. This is already an established procedure used for parents who have a serious genetic condition and wish to ensure that it isn't passed on. It's only a little more complicated than IVF - and it really is just IVF with one extra step.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

SuricouRaven Re:Alpha children wear grey (363 comments)

BNW achieved an interesting thing: It described a dystopia which actually functioned very well. Minimal crime, no unemployment, high standard of living, a happy population with a high amount of free time for recreation, and a minimum of coercion. Actually seemed like rather a pleasant place to live. It took a contrast with a 'savage' to highlight the oppressive aspects, and even then those were shown to be only oppressive by our own standards - to one raised in the culture, our objections would seem silly. I can certainly envision worse futures.

4 days ago
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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

SuricouRaven Re:Science fiction has solutions for this (363 comments)

With current selective pressure, Marching Morons does seem inevitable given enough time. But humans are a very slow species to evolve - twenty year or so reproductive cycle, very large population. Chances are circumstances will change before natural selection can have any major effect.

4 days ago

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