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Official Kanji Count Increasing Due To Electronics

amplt1337 Re:Computer rendering required? (284 comments)

Don't get me wrong, it's a major pain to memorize thousands of characters. But in the language the system is native to (Chinese), it's not as bad as all that. Chinese characters do encode a lot of phonetic information -- it's just suggestive rather than definitive. On the other hand, they encode a *lot* more information about meaning/sense (and even etymology in some cases) than words written in a purely phonetic system.

In Japanese, well, it was probably a misguided decision to import that particular foreign writing system, but you go to literacy with the tools you have, not the tools you wish you had. Unless you're Korea, and then you independently invent the world's most brilliantly designed alphabet... and *still* use some Chinese characters anyway.

more than 4 years ago
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Official Kanji Count Increasing Due To Electronics

amplt1337 Re:Computer rendering required? (284 comments)

is having your language based on a character set that requires computer rendering for most people to be able to communicate clearly somewhat asinine?

It would be... if it were actually true.
Kanji aren't some mystical thing that can never be written or recognized by hand. The official list of what kids are required to learn in high school just left out some characters because they were supposed to be "too hard". (Protip: they aren't. It's not some extraordinary superhuman feat to remember how to draw twenty little lines.) The electronics mean they can stop whining about it a bit.

No disrespect to those that practice the art of cartography

...I believe you may mean "calligraphy" here, as map-making doesn't seem at all relevant to the rest of your comment.

more than 4 years ago
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J. P. Barlow — Internet Has Broken the Political System

amplt1337 Re:Broken? More like fixed. (773 comments)

Historically, this has been done via re-distributive taxation: subsidizing federally "friendly" states with funds taxed from the "unfriendly" ones.

This is factually untrue. The more pro-Federal government, liberal/"blue" states tend to pay more in federal taxes than they receive in federal funds; anti-government, "red" states receive more federal money than they pay in taxes. See e.g. here; I'm not immediately finding more recent figures, however.

more than 4 years ago
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J. P. Barlow — Internet Has Broken the Political System

amplt1337 Re:Broken? More like fixed. (773 comments)

If we have to do that as a private business, what makes government any different?

The fact that it's a government.
See the "Paradox of Thrift" and here generally.

I don't agree with all the bailouts that have been done lately, but there are two points here. First, these bailouts are necessary because the markets were insufficiently regulated. They got out of control, and as a result burned not only the bad people, but the good ones too. The bailing-out of Wall Street was (at some level) necessary, even if it was horrifically poorly structured, because otherwise the further spread of the collapse would have crushed your business, just like everyone else's. Google "counterparty risk" sometime.

We can't run a government based exactly on the Constitution for the same reason we can't build all computers off the model of a 1965 IBM mainframe spec -- government, as a technology, has evolved way beyond where it was 250 years ago. And mostly for the better (though manifestly not for the perfect).

more than 4 years ago
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J. P. Barlow — Internet Has Broken the Political System

amplt1337 Re:Broken? More like fixed. (773 comments)

Constitutionally? Not really, or at least not until about fifty years ago.

more than 4 years ago
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J. P. Barlow — Internet Has Broken the Political System

amplt1337 Re:Broken? More like fixed. (773 comments)

Each state is a reasonable size for local government

Somebody hasn't looked at a map lately.
State sizes and borders are primarily determined by historical artifact. They are in no sense of self-governable size. Even some Eastern states, like New York, have population disparities that make them almost ungovernable.

Moreover, modern governments' main function is to ensure the steady and effective progress of the economy. (That's a descriptive statement, not a prescriptive one). Without individual currencies, states could not accomplish this goal effectively (see Greece), but you couldn't have a much more minarchist central government while still avoiding disastrous panics, such as were commonplace before the New Deal and the regulatory regime put in place at that time. (Our recent troubles are largely due to the fact that the government is too small in its regulatory actions). But, if states actually had their own currencies, the Union would probably cease to function; even the Founders knew that (though they were writing the Constitution at the very dawn of the birth of modern economics).

more than 4 years ago
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Blizzard vs. Glider Battle Resumes Next Week

amplt1337 Re:Blizzard is not completely guilty (384 comments)

You've still got a bunch of bits on a DVD. The fact they aren't good for much shouldn't mean you don't own them.

more than 4 years ago
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Blizzard vs. Glider Battle Resumes Next Week

amplt1337 Re:I like living in the future. (384 comments)

Yeah, you probably also wouldn't have imagined you'd spend solid months of your life clicking buttons as though it were a job from the oppressed workers in Metropolis, either...

more than 4 years ago
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Guess My Speed and Give Me a Ticket, In Ohio

amplt1337 Re:Old News (636 comments)

Also, let's not lose sight of a key issue here:
If it looks like you're doing twice the speed limit, odds are pretty good you were speeding. Speaking as someone with a general mistrust of authority and who has been investigated for a serious crime under false pretences, I am perfectly content for police to enforce just laws against people who violate them.

more than 4 years ago
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Guess My Speed and Give Me a Ticket, In Ohio

amplt1337 Re:GPS (636 comments)

My guess is it falls under the category of "attempting not to get disbarred for offering advice in a jurisdiction where he is not licensed to practice" or some such.

Also, remember, if he's *your* attorney from the Internet, and you lose your case, it hurts his win-loss record, and then he might not make the All-Star Litigation this year.

more than 4 years ago
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PA Appeals Court Weighs Punishment For Students' Online Parodies

amplt1337 Re:The lesson for today (319 comments)

I think at the point they were brazenly calling their principals pedophiles, they've kind of lost the race for the "bravery and honesty" part of things...

more than 4 years ago
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Police Officers Seek Right Not To Be Recorded

amplt1337 Re:Let Them (1123 comments)

I'm confused. Are you endorsing this?

In a democratic system, the people in whom trust is placed, ultimately, are intended to be the citizens. Not the cops, not the congresscritters, not the president, not the corporations, but the collective will of the population, who should be informed of the effectiveness of the people carrying out its will, and exercise recall power over them.

Or in other words, we should trust the cops because we've got our eyes on them. I don't subscribe to this faith-based government...

more than 4 years ago
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Mars500 Mission Begins

amplt1337 Re:Pure theater (235 comments)

Regarding importing oil from Titan:
While we are set to run out of oil here pretty fast, it would be a really colossally [pun averted] bad idea to bring a huge source of hydrocarbons here and burn it. We're liable enough to kill ourselves off burning our own hydrocarbons, let alone a whole new space-rock of them.

more than 4 years ago
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Mars500 Mission Begins

amplt1337 Re:Pure theater (235 comments)

Nah. If they did that, they'd have to admit that such things constitute psychological torture.

more than 4 years ago
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Mars500 Mission Begins

amplt1337 Re:Don't we already have these? (235 comments)

Nah, it usually takes the elderly far, far longer than 20 minutes for their children to get back to them.

more than 4 years ago
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HTML5 vs. Flash — the Case For Flash

amplt1337 Re:Misses the point (510 comments)

Don't we say the same thing about desktop Linux vs. Windows?

The difference being it's easier for these two to co-exist, but really, I don't think we'll see a mass extinction in the near future.

more than 4 years ago
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Son of CueCat? Purdue Professor Embeds Hyperlinks

amplt1337 Re:Fail (94 comments)

Bad ideas never die. They just go dormant for ten years, then emerge from the ground like mindless locusts.

We also call the phenomenon "Everything old is new again."

more than 4 years ago
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When the US Government Built Ultra-Safe Cars

amplt1337 Re:Godwin (520 comments)

Unnecessary replies?

This is /., are there any other kind?

more than 4 years ago
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What Scientists Really Think About Religion

amplt1337 Well Duh (4 comments)

Here's the thing everybody seems to lose track of -- it's usually religion attacking science, not the other way around.

Sure, there are some high-profile atheists who happen to be scientists (e.g. Dawkins), but ultimately religion's threat to science is display of bloody teeth and claws. Science's threat to religion lies simply in disproving, without malice or particular attention, its concrete claims about the universe.

more than 4 years ago
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The Rise of Nanofoods

amplt1337 Re:"or is it just frightening Franken-food?" (369 comments)

New doesn't necessarily equal dangerous, but it also doesn't necessarily equal benign, either.

I just want to know what I'm buying, and that plenty of somebody elses have done guinea pig duty first.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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"Free" as in Cable?

amplt1337 amplt1337 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

amplt1337 (707922) writes "Debates about the profitability of "free" continue to rage, but at least one major media conglomerate — Viacom — is pushing forward with releasing paid-for content for free on the Internet, as reported in this NYT blog post. Of course, the prospect of free and easy full-length Daily Show episodes has caused some tension with cable providers, who pay a hefty premium for a heretofore-exclusive right to distribute the conglom's content (there are obvious parallels with the conflict between labels and musicians).

What strikes me as really interesting is that even an old, entrenched company like Viacom has enough vision to see the opportunity for increased profits through free distribution — provided they can control that distribution (see their YouTube lawsuit) and have discretion over just how free they go. And of course that there's an MSM outlet out there who gets this whole issue and is making it front-page (if blog) news. Of course, the NYT itself has had its own experience with expanding access to previously fee-based content..."

Link to Original Source
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Rick Astley, Democracy Rejected by Mets

amplt1337 amplt1337 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

amplt1337 writes "As per a number of sources, the New York Mets are looking for a new theme song for fans to sing along. As is only right, a good many Internet folk (many of them no doubt Mets fans) suggested the work of another underdog-becoming-popular, Rick Astley. Even though the song actually won, Mets management is committed to the virtues of corporate pop — and mainstream coverage is describing the whole Astley phenomenon as a "scam" run by "pranksters," since surely no one (and no real Mets fan) could actually like the song, natch. Speculations on the (de)merits of electronic voting and relevance of Boss Tweed quotes welcome."

Journals

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Inalienable Rights are Imaginary

amplt1337 amplt1337 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

There is no such thing as an inalienable right -- such a thing has no objective existence.

A (legal) right is an action which the government is legally unable to prohibit you from taking. It has a specific, grounded, legal reality.
"Inalienable rights" are alienated all the time (how inalienable is your right to free speech in Iran, or to own weapons in Britain?) What the statement "there is an inalienable right to freedom of speech" really means, is "I think all people everywhere should have a legal right to freedom of expression." I agree with you, of course, but I acknowledge that my opinion doesn't reflect an part of objective reality. It's a desire or goal.
As a result, naturally, the scope of those "inalienable rights" varies from person to person. For instance, I believe in an "inalienable right" (i.e., I believe everyone should have the legal right) to marry anyone and everyone one chooses, as long as all parties involved are competent to consent and actually do consent. Many people in America would not acknowledge an inalienable right to gay marriage or polygamy. That disagreement isn't a disagreement about the nature of reality that can be solved by pointing to some objective evidence; it's an opinion.

If "inalienable rights" were an objective property of the universe, it would not be possible to have culturally specific, substantially divergent views of what they are.

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amplt1337 amplt1337 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1340015&cid=29110463

Re: Jeff Cooper and the scout rifle. I'm sure it's a fine weapon -- it sounds like an excellent killing device, and there's times and places where an excellent killing device is what is needed.
But when you're talking about hitting a man-sized target from 450 meters, YOU ARE NO LONGER TALKING ABOUT SELF-DEFENSE. No legitimate self-defense tool has a scope. Property defense, perhaps; but part of living in a first-world country is that we accept that property defense is rightfully the jurisdiction of the law and its enforcers.

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