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Overly Familiar Sci-Fi

abbamouse Re: Diversity is good, especially in SciFi (367 comments)

Part of David Gerrold's War Against the Chtorr series portrays pedophilia as something understandable given the context -- from the perspective of our protagonist. He changes his mind, but molests his boys and others along the way. (Can't remember which book does this -- it's been more than 20 years since I last read the series).

about two weeks ago

Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

abbamouse It's democracy, stupid. (619 comments)

Sigh. We've known for a long time that in autocratic regimes of any type, levels of interpersonal trust are lowered. After all, your neighbor might be an informer, and the state itself is a liar and propagandist. Similarly, low levels of social trust correlate with all sorts of antisocial behavior, from cheating and intolerance to distrust of democracy itself. So all this experiment really proves is something we already know: living a long time under an oppressive regime generates distrust which legitimizes cheating and so forth. Capitalism and "socialism" have little to do with it.

about 5 months ago

Open Ministry Crowdsources Laws In Finland

abbamouse Sellout to special interests (181 comments)

Sounds like a recipe for special interest groups to dominate politics. The same is true of initiative measures in the United States -- they are largely used by well-funded narrow interest groups to advance their agendas at the expense of the public. Indeed, the whole point of the signature requirements is to keep one person (of modest means) from making a difference. As Olson predicted, these schemes lead to the victory of highly committed, well-organized, resource-rich minority positions over the larger but diffuse interests of the public,

more than 2 years ago

Steve Jobs Dead At 56

abbamouse Re:He got a little over two years out of that live (1613 comments)

1. By putting himself on ALL the lists, he gained an advantage over others.
2. There were almost certainly people below him whose lives could have been extended by many more years by that liver.

Most people would do the same, but it's still wrong. It's like shoving someone out of the way to get on the remaining lifeboat. Except that in the analogy, your odds of living given the boat are much less than theirs -- and you know this.

more than 3 years ago

Opera Founder Jon S. von Tetzchner Resigns

abbamouse Re:Sad news (222 comments)

In fairness to the parent, Opera used to require payment. Then they gave you the choice to download a free but ad-supported client. There could still be some cruft from that edition hanging around in the current code.

more than 3 years ago

An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy

abbamouse Re:excuse me, mr. idiot (504 comments)

if you had seen french revolutionaries in 1789, you would want to spray them with insecticide. it was a total stampede of barbarians. but then, in 2-3 years' time, it has become the very thing that awarded your sorry ass with the modern social guidelines about human rights, civil conduct we know today. ...and in one more year the Great Terror began. Indeed, we can thank the revolutionaries for introducing the word "terrorism" to our modern vocabulary.

more than 5 years ago

An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy

abbamouse Re:saying. "Fast forward to the 21st century" (504 comments)

That means that prices will simply be raised until many consumers simply cannot afford it (arguments like the original articles claims about economies of scale simply indicate lack of economic understanding; less piracy would mean _higher_ price, monopoly pricing limits are completely driven by customer dropoff, economies of scale apply to competitively enforced pricing).

Yup. The claims that piracy results in higher prices are generally false. It results in lower prices for any given piece of software. Its real negative consequence is the result of the lower prices -- some niche software becomes uneconomical to develop since it cannot be sold for a price that will recoup development costs. So we get cheaper mass-market games and a dearth of niche games because of pirates (it seems that no game is too obscure to be pirated). The funny thing is that those who complain about the homogenization of culture by the RIAA may actually be contributing to it by making it unprofitable to sell lesser-known artists (or pieces of software) at any price.

One last comment: There might be a price rise in some areas, where two pieces of software compete against one another. If both are pirated, the duopoly might collapse into a monopoly, with concomitant higher pricing. In theory, a new entrant might emerge -- but it may be that everyone knows duopoly pricing is unprofitable given the competition from pirates.

more than 5 years ago

Student Faces Suspension For Spamming Profs

abbamouse Re:I read her entire email (516 comments)

Interesting. My interpretation was that she found a way to send an email through the university faculty listserv despite having no authorization to do so. It seems that if she actually had simply compiled email addresses by hand she would be OK. As the official said, it's about process, not content. Of course, TFA is terribly vague about these things.

about 6 years ago


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