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Court Orders Uber To Shut Down In Spain

TranquilVoid Re:Unlicensed taxi broker (280 comments)

However, it is their bodies and their right to do whatever they please, and I will defend that to my grave.

The question is why is freedom so important, what's the goal? It seems to me that the U.S. was founded by oppressed people, so the solution to their oppression was to increase freedom in particular areas. Now, freedom has been deified and has become the goal in itself, whereas the purpose of most rules governing a society is more pragmatic - to improve that society in some way.

about a week ago
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Interviews: Adora Svitak Answers Your Questions

TranquilVoid Re:Where are your ancestors from? (107 comments)

Score 2 Flamebait, congratulations :)

I interpret "Where are you from?" as "What is your cultural and ethnic background, because I believe all ways of living are valid and I'm interested in your story."

To be ageist, reading her answers made me think that, however precocious you may be, there are some things that can only be learnt with life experience. Most of the answers, while highly articulate, read like they're straight out of a book called How To Be Perfectly Politically Correct. There's very little nuance or original insight.

about two weeks ago
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Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Considering US Presidential Run

TranquilVoid Re:Can Iowa handle a circus that large? (433 comments)

We still have the same degree of far leftists and far rightists that we've always had. What we have is different proportions, but that doesn't actually change what the left and right are.

Perhaps not in academic political science, but if you have 0.01% communists, and everyone else grouped around fascism and libertarianism, you can bet that practical political discourse will apply "left" and "right" to the 99.99%.

about three weeks ago
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Rooftop Solar Could Reach Price Parity In the US By 2016

TranquilVoid Re:They WILL FIght Back (516 comments)

Incidentally, it fails from an economics standpoint... That wind farm produced the staggering total of ten permanent jobs.

That's actually a success from an economic standpoint as it indicates efficiency*. You wouldn't say the farming industry was more economically successful if implemented a new procedure that required twice as many people to produce the same output.

* Ignoring your point about the relative power produced of wind vs coal as that's incidental to your reasoning.

about a month ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

TranquilVoid Re:Horribly sexist ! (642 comments)

Perhaps you are exaggerating to make a point but that's a very polarised view. Society (us) places quite stringent roles on both men and women in how they relate within their sex and with the other sex. While I'd agree that the roles have changed more for women, they have clearly changed for men too (think being present at birth or being the primary carer). Similarly, a quick survey of your local CBD, nightlife area or Facebook shows that women have hardly escaped the pressure to present themselves as suitable for breeding, and you have overstated how far we are from the 50s ideal.

about a month ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

TranquilVoid Re:More detailed ratings are a good thing (642 comments)

Good point on European history. Americans are less trusting in general. They distrust their democratic government and even each other (see guns). Possibly this is justified (NSA/murder rates) and possibly it is self-fulfilling. Personally I think a society where the citizens can trust each other is healthier.

That aside, there are cultural differences, where Americans value independence and idealism more than Europeans, and a lack of trust is simply an outworking of that (it doesn't mean maximising trust is the goal). The USA also has a much larger and geographically/ethnically diverse population which makes valuing independence over conformity more of a necessity.

about a month ago
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MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate

TranquilVoid Re:The Fix: Buy good Chocolate! (323 comments)

So they can improve the quality of their dessert --- sometimes significantly -- without as much added price as you'd normally think since the chocolate is diluted by so many other ingredients.

To a degree, but the dilution also works against this, depending on how trained your palette is. When baked in a cake I find very little difference between Lindt, Valrhona, some Italian couverture I bought whose name escapes me, and even Cadbury. It's like chefs saying there is no such thing as cooking wine - true mostly if your life's work is focusing on subtle flavour differences.

For ganache and handmake chocolates, however, it makes a lot more sense. I intend to try Callebaut next, $50/kg for Valrhona is breaking me :)

about a month ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

TranquilVoid Re:Most people don't object to public breast feedi (350 comments)

It's all about context. Nursing a child is not a sexual act. Stop trying to sexualize it, you freak.

If this were true then mothers would have no problems with men staring at them while nursing. Breasts are sexual in Western cultures in the vast majority of situations in which they are exposed, and the mind doesn't immediately ignore that context.

Breastfeeding in public is one of those strange issues that causes a lot of argument but doesn't seem to actually bother many people. It's natural to feel slightly uncomfortable around it, so you politely don't stare, and mothers try to be as discreet as possible.

about a month ago
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Australian Courts Will Be Able To See Your Browsing History

TranquilVoid Re:Sadly, not surprising. (182 comments)

As of the 1st of September this year, Australian's in the state of Victoria have lost the right to protest.

I don't support them but that's not a fair summary of the laws. They have made it illegal for protesters to threaten violence or create blockades. One example would be abortion protesters creating a barrier around a clinic, but this law is mostly aimed at unions who can physically stop 'scabs' entering a workplace with implied, and sometimes actual, violence.

about a month and a half ago
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We Are All Confident Idiots

TranquilVoid Re:You forgot half the effect... (306 comments)

Firstly, it's an impressively mature outlook to think of yourself as fortunate for being intelligent rather than being angry at the majority for being 'idiots'.

Secondly, success within a species as social as humans depends on a lot more than individual intelligence (tests are typically very individual). A lot of success comes from relational ability and if you are below average in this then it can hamper the use of your intellectual abilities. Compounding this, low relational ability doesn't seem correlated with a low need for relationships. Another factor is that the majority will create structures than benefit average people and, if you are exceptionally intelligent or dumb, will not be able to make full use of them.

about a month and a half ago
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Solving the Mystery of Declining Female CS Enrollment

TranquilVoid Re:Boys are naturally curious... (608 comments)

There may be some innate difference, but no innate difference is going to make a 4 year old declare that girls can't do physics.

I agree, but it's more subtle than that. Children are in hyper-learning mode, and they are constantly on the lookout for what to do and what not to do. You might say they have an innate desire to figure out their 'role', to use a sociological term. Combine this with the fact that all animals quickly distinguish between male and female and you can see how children amplify any inherent gender differences.

Children also tend to have incomplete information, so they may see one physicist depicted who happens to be male. Part of this unbalanced information comes from the home, where parents usually fall into distinct roles.

about 1 month ago
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Ubuntu 14.10 Released With Ambitious Name, But Small Changes

TranquilVoid Re:Anyone else not bother with the interm releases (110 comments)

However LTS releases periodically update the kernel, I assume for the same driver (as well as security) reasons, or is this different? The main drawback I see with LTS is that many application packages remain old, so you miss out on new features to LibreOffice etc.

about 2 months ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

TranquilVoid Re:Incompetent Administration (Thanks GWB) (425 comments)

However, I really think if we were going to invade, then yes we should have taken the country and made is US territory.

I disagree. When it works democracy does so because it gives people with different voices a say in the system, alleviating the need to solve differences with violence. You may contend that the Iraqi people are not currently suited to democracy, but for the US to autocratically rule Iraq it would be forced to do so with an even more brutal hand than Saddam Hussein, since you've not only ruled out democracy but must rule as complete outsiders devoid of ethnic glue. Doing so would be for the US to lose a piece of its soul.

about 2 months ago
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Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

TranquilVoid Re:April Fools? (137 comments)

That was my initial reaction but then Tetris' total lack of plot

I'm tipping Michael Bay to direct.

about 3 months ago
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US Strikes ISIL Targets In Syria

TranquilVoid Re:DAESH, not ISIL (478 comments)

Exactly. Applying the "No True Scotsman" fallacy is fallacious itself, as being Scottish has a strict definition of being a registered citizen in the internationally-recognised country of Scotland. Most people applying this to ISIL want self-identification as the test of Islamicism, but that makes any discussion on the role of Islam in their behaviour meaningless.

about 3 months ago
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South Australia Hits 33% Renewal Energy Target 6 Years Early

TranquilVoid Re:They need to get their shit together (169 comments)

Well wind farms are an eyesore, and tend to be more distributed than coal mines. Same with solar, I recall a posting of a group of German houses all with panels. From the comment I gathered it was meant to show how pretty it was, but to me it looked horrible. Sure, panels are shiny when new, but after ten years, when the novelty of the technology has worn off, they will be seen as industrial looking - they won't age rustically like shingles or tiles.

Of course in Australia it would be much better to do mass solar rather than vote-buying subsidies for rooftop systems. There's certainly a lack of political will (otherwise called democracy) and we're not going to see any environmental leadership from the current government.

I wouldn't single out SA, since WA, QLD and Tasmania are all the butt of jokes about being backward (NT and Canberra are ignored). So interestingly, the more populous NSW and Victoria are making the jokes, much like city dwellers always mock townfolk.

about 3 months ago
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Quickflix Wants Netflix To Drop Australian VPN Users

TranquilVoid Re:International Copyright (172 comments)

Licensing is the direct cause, but greed is the reason there were exclusivity agreements to begin with.

I disagree. Networks seek exclusivity agreements to reduce risk, it's standard business practice for large companies. Without there's a chance their investment will be suddenly worthless as another network shows the same content, so they pay a premium for certainty.

Of course everything in capitalism is greed in some sense, even the salary you as a worker can ask for from your employee. There's a fine line between standard market practices and profiteering.

about 3 months ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

TranquilVoid Re:Most taxes are legalized theft (324 comments)

It's the government that grants itself permission to take away my property.

The counter-argument would be that property is defined by the government, i.e. society as a whole, not the individual. You may consider the piece of land you sleep on to be yours in some intrinsic way, but there is plenty of debate on whether property is an inalienable right, if such rights exist.

about 3 months ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

TranquilVoid Re: illogical captain (937 comments)

Actually it is quite natural because, for religious people, moral meaning relies on the eternity of their metaphysical beings. Philosophically meaning is about affect. If object A has precisely no affect on object B, then for object B, A is meaningless. If all we are is a chance, temporal assembly of atoms and, no matter what our actions, the end result of the universe is extinction, then morals are indeed meaningless.

Certainly ethical behaviour has non-religious sources, mostly from a (short term) species survival point of view, but this is different from the absolute sense with which most people consider morality.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Smartwatch Apps Could You See Yourself Using?

TranquilVoid Re:Consider owner !=user (471 comments)

or swinging an axe

I've lost count of the number of times I've been in mid-swing, got a call, and had to waste a valuable split second while the head fell before answering.

But interesting post.

about 3 months ago

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