Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy
Your reading of Chapter 8 of The Republic is not very good.
Plato's argument follows by analogy from his tripartite division of the psyche (mind/soul) into eros (desire), thymos (will), and logos (reason). Keeping these parts of the soul in balance would allow one of live with arete (skill).
There are five forms of government put forward by Plato: aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and tyranny. Each is related to an imbalance of the republic, just as an individual's psyche might be imbalanced.
Timocracy is rule by those with honor (typically military), a trait linked to thymos. Oligarchy isn't rule by the elite per se, but rule by those with wealth (because wealth and honor are conflated in this society). Democracy is a kind of libertine state in which the excesses of eros are indulged. These forms of government emerge out of each other, as timocracy degenerates into oligarchy, which in turn degenerates into democracy, out of which a demagogic tyrant finally emerges to establish tyranny.
Aristocracy, the ideal form of government according to Plato, was one in which the wisest ruled. The wisest, of course, were philosopher-kings—people who had successfully balanced their psyches with logos directing their thymos and eros toward their long-term interests.
It's best not to read The Republic as a direct report on what Athenian democracy was really like. It was a philosophical analogy between the health of the individual's psyche and the health of the body politic.
But it's safe to say that Plato was not pro-democracy. I think one of the more devastating accounts of Plato's political theory is in Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies.
Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy
The whole idea that the word "democracy" is somehow bad is purely an American phenomenon.
It's not really an American phenomenon either. While there was some skepticism during the Cold War of groups labeling themselves as "democratic" or "for democracy," this was because it was the regular tactic of socialists. For example, Students for a Democratic Society was a well-known socialist front. And we still have countries like the Democratic People's Republic of Korea claiming the label 'democracy' in the name of socialism.
In Europe, democracy has not always been viewed as a good thing. It wasn't until quite recently that democracy was viewed as a good thing. Ever since classical writers like Thucydides and Plato, democracy has been viewed with suspicion, as a degenerate form of government. Their view remained dominant in Europe up until the Enlightenment started changing people's ideas.
But even Enlightenment philosophers were not really interested in democracy. Most were republican theorists, desiring limits on the arbitrary power of sovereigns, and, at most, mixed constitutions. Many, like Voltaire, were quite comfortable with "enlightened absolutism." In the Perpetual Peace Kant distinguished between the republic (the optimal form of government) and democracy (which he viewed as majoritarian tyranny). Jefferson and the Federalists, when designing and debating the U.S. Constitution, argued for a mixed republican government, including elements of monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy.
In the United States I think it may be more common to reassert the notion of republicanism as a way of arguing against the notion that every and any aspect of life can be put to a vote. For Kant (and the American 'Founding Fathers'), a republic is distinguished by representation, constitutionalism, and checked and divided powers. Having large spheres of private life, civil rights, and civil society protected from interference from the government are fundamental tenets of republicanism, and you probably will find them asserted more vociferously in the United States, which has a longer republican tradition than nearly every other European state with the possible exceptions of Switzerland and some of the Northern Italian states before the risorgimento.
Netgear CEO Says Jobs's Ego Will Bite Apple
The argument that's being missed or glossed over goes something like this: Apple's current iTunes store success depends heavily on it holding a commanding share of the market. As Android overtakes iOs in popularity, it will become less and less attractive for content providers to bend to Apple's demands. Why spend significant amounts of time developing your app to meet seemingly arbitrary requirements when there's a bigger platform that requires none of that? Why fork over a hefty share of your sales to Apple when you can sell for free in the bigger Android market next door?
This is a good point but misses out on a few things that differentiate the two markets. The iOS market is not just iPhone, but also includes iPad and iPod Touch. People often compare Android phones to iPhones, but this is a misleading picture of the size of the two markets for app developers.
Second, there seems to be a difference between the customers shopping in the Android markets versus those in the iOS markets. Specifically, the instance of piracy is higher in the Android market, and the willingness of customers to purchase non-free apps is lower. The Android market is based to a greater degree on free apps that are advertising-supported, rather than paid for up front.
Even if the number of Android users is higher than the number of iOS users, the actual market for paid apps may still be much smaller, due to the difference in customers that the two platforms attract. Unless these differences even out, iOS may still be a more attractive program for developers.
Should Dolphins Be Treated As Non-Human Persons?
"Person" is some being that has a personality.
Vincent: Want some bacon?
Jules: No man, I don't eat pork.
Vincent: Are you Jewish?
Jules: Nah, I ain't Jewish, I just don't dig on swine, that's all.
Vincent: Why not?
Jules: Pigs are filthy animals. I don't eat filthy animals.
Vincent: Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherfucker. Pigs sleep and root in shit. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
Jules: I don't eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charming motherfuckin' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?
Apple Creating Cloud-Based Mac?
I believe Steve Jobs referred to Macs using a car metaphor (must be a Slashdot regular). He said that Macs (or PCs more broadly) were like trucks. Most people won't need that amount of utility/capability (they drive cars), but a certain chunk of us will (we drive F-150s). Macs/PCs will still be around to serve that market, even if it shrinks in comparison with tablets (iCrap as you so eloquently put it).
If I had to guess that the ratio toward which Mac vs. iCrap would converge, I would guess that it would reflect the 90-9-1 rule. Probably 10% will want a full featured PC of varying power, while the other 90% will be happy with something that gives them access to the net/media and performs their daily tasks (email, basic text editing, MyTwitFace, music).
Is Reading Spouse's E-Mail a Crime?
just because you're in a relationship
Well, they weren't "just in a relationship." They were married, with all the legal and moral implications of that institution. Comments like parent's are a signal of the extent to which marriage as a social institution has been de-institutionalized. A married couple was legally perceived to be one 'legal person.' That conceit has been challenged an undermined progressively to the point where we get absurd cases such as the above where a cheating wife can sue her (second) husband out of spite/vengeance for having discovered her betrayal of the marriage oath.
Social conservatives rage at the imminent acceptance of gay marriage when in reality they should be ringing the tocsins over the unmourned death of the entire institution of marriage.
Gentlemen Prefer Androids, Ladies iOS
I am now back in love with Symbian^3
You love Symbian because you're from the Third World.
Moscow Has Eyes On WikiLeaks, Too
All this outcry has done little except prove the exceedingly dubious moral fibre of very powerful elected political figures the world over.
Please, that had been proven long ago.
What this actually proves is that if you set up an organization that acts like a foreign intelligence agency, other intelligence agencies will start to treat you like one.
US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle
The strategies/tactics of Napoleon and the writings of Jomini are more or less required material for officers. Given the amount of innovation they introduced it's not surprising that the terms they invented are still used. While the French are naturally the butt of jokes given their pathetic showings since Napoleon, I suspect most officers have a reverence for Napoleon that goes beyond contemporary political squabbling.
Sciencey Heroes For Young Children?
I was given Surely You're Joking... as a graduation gift (by my Spanish teacher, oddly enough) after finishing the 8th grade. This book is a life-changer. It teaches you how human and fun a public figure can be, especially in a field as ostensibly esoteric and abstract as theoretical physics. Playing jokes at Los Alamos while building the nuclear bomb, playing bongos in a samba band, taking up nude portraiture, learning how to pick up women in bars--the stories are enough to convince anyone that being a scientist isn't going to be boring.
Apple Announces iLife '11, FaceTime Mac, Lion, Mac App Store, MacBook Air
Apple does too: go to the "Apple Menu > Mac OS X Software..." which takes you to http://www.apple.com/downloads/
AFAIK that's been there since the very earliest releases of OS X. The Mac App Store seems to be more or less an upgrade to this webpage.
Apple Announces iLife '11, FaceTime Mac, Lion, Mac App Store, MacBook Air
You forgot to include:
- Handle the update mechanism You don't have to worry about building update checking into your apps and nagging your users into automatically checking for and installing updates. The App Store will check and notify the users. This is probably a win for the whole ecosystem, since it will improve security and reduce the amount of things developers have to worry about
- Handle the installation process No more worrying about setting up an installer (using the OS X one or using a third-party installer), or using a .dmg and instructing users to drag the app to the Applications folder. In the video, the app downloaded and installed itself with no unzipping, disk mounting, or installer. Makes it super simple for both the developer and the user.
GM Criticized Over Chevy Volt's Hybrid Similarities
The cold hard fact is that we had surplusses [sic] for years until the day Bush passed that tax cut.
The cold hard fact is that Clinton and the republican congress left us with a projected budget surplus. That's an awesome bipartisan accomplishment for a government that hadn't run a budget surplus in decades. But it wasn't an actual budget surplus. It was an all-things-being-equal-if-existing-trends-continue future budget surplus.
What that projection didn't take into account was the popping of the dot com bubble and the 9/11 attacks, neither of which were foreseen and both of which individually would have done serious damage to budgetary projections.
The bubble had already burst by the time Bush took office and passing those tax cuts was a foolhardy response, attempting to grow out of a downturn. 9/11 further tanked the economy and tax receipts.
The the cold hard fact is isn't "gee if Bush hadn't passed those tax cuts everything would be hunky dory." In fact, even with those tax receipts we'd still have a massive unprecedented deficit. It's that the budget projections were just that, projections, and they didn't anticipate either a bubble collapse or the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor.
Congress has been unwilling to stop the growth in federal spending, despite the fact that it has outstripped our tax receipts for decades now. Runaway spending is the long-term structural problem: taxes go up and down, but spending never goes down. A policy of regularly raising taxes to cover our collective bipartisan inability to say no to new spending, to say no to entitlement growth, and to say no to wars of choice is the 'Neverland' policy.
GM Criticized Over Chevy Volt's Hybrid Similarities
Low taxes are not responsible for the deficit. An inability to control spending is responsible for the deficit.
Anonymous Knocks Out Ministry of Sound Website
Wouldn't that be 50 Pence?
Linux May Need a Rewrite Beyond 48 Cores
I've seen Pudge post a number of times.
Unions Urging Actors Not To Work On Hobbit Movie
Sociologist known as David Harvey
Yes, if by 'sociologist' you mean unreconstructed Marxist. I took classes with one of his peers and have seen Harvey speak in person two or three times. Merely referring to him as a 'sociologist' is like calling Ayn Rand an 'economic thinker'--seriously misleading by omission.
Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites
Pro tip: Christians, Muslims, and Jews all have the same god.
Pro tip: there is no god.
The Moon Is Shrinking Like a Wrinkled Apple
Make sure to nuke it when it's a full moon, otherwise we might not get the whole thing.
US Senate Passes 'Libel Tourism' Bill
Neither major party in the US wants to censor the kind of thing this bill is about.
Yeah, if they couldn't libel each other, the two parties would have to start talking about facts, and that would pretty much be the end of the U.S. party system. This is a matter of survival!
802.11n Good Enough to Replace Ethernet for Enterprise
Presidential Candidates' Tech Records
James Madison on Intellectual Property
Camino 1.5 Released
The State of Mozilla as a Platform
A number of stories have recently surfaced asking where Mozilla is going as a platform and whether it risks being outflanked by proprietary rivals. Chris Messina, a former Flock developer and SpreadFirefox volunteer, posted a 50-minute vlog enumerating his concerns about Mozilla. His discussion centered around Mozilla 2 potentially missing the forest for the trees, becoming overly focused on the short-term successes that Firefox has enjoyed, while failing to outrun the proprietary flanking actions being undertaken by Adobe and Microsoft for the next generation internet technologies.
Richard McManus at Read/WriteWeb expands the discussion of Mozilla's direction. His central concern is the adoption of microformats and what that will mean for Mozilla's position. He comments that microformats are already a step in the direction that Messina is pointing toward--a web that remains open.
Mike Shaver, technology strategist for Mozilla, has posted his own discussion of Adobe and Microsoft's proprietary tools intended to close off the web--Apollo and Silverlight--and what this means for Mozilla, if anything.
Finally, concerning Mozilla missing the forest for the trees, Ben Goodger, lead Firefox developer, reports on a Mozilla Corp board member, Brendan Eich, essentially writing off the non-Firefox products offered by Mozilla. Goodger wonders whether it would be a better strategic move for non-Firefox developers to begin seeking greater autonomy from Mozilla Corp, a speculation that Mike Pinkerton, lead developer of Camino, caught flack for a couple months ago when he opened the possibility of dropping Gecko for WebKit.
Does Linux "Fail To Think Across Layers?"
Some Schools Ending Laptop Programs
Digg Users Revolt Over HD-DVD Key
Apple and Cisco Settle iPhone Dispute
Google Misspells Own Name on Valentine's Logo
Lucas: 'Empire' Was the Worst of the Trilogy
Spotlight Improvements In Leopard
The Death of Clippy
Germany Quits EU-Based Search Engine Project
The Quaero project, a French initiative to build a European rival to Google, has lost the backing of the German government. The search engine was announced in 2005 by Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder, but the German government under Merkel has decided that Quaero isn't worth the $1.3-2.6 billion commitment that development would require. Germany will instead focus on a smaller search engine project called Theseus. From the article:
According to one French participant, organizers disagreed over the fundamental design of Quaero, with French participants favoring a sophisticated search engine that could sift audio, video and other multimedia data, while German participants favored a next- generation text-based search engine.
Video Broadcast Sites Newest Threat to Our Children
The New York Times is breathlessly reporting on the rising danger facing our nation's children: video broadcast sites. Unlike video-upload sites, like the previous banes-of-our-children YouTube and Google Video, these new websites offer live video broadcasts and chats between their users. The kicker: these websites promise no monitoring by their staff for conduct or misbehavior. Will Stickam and PalTalk become the next MySpace, or will they finally succeed in destroying our cam-kids? From the article:
"The only thing you get from the combination of Web cams and young people are problems," said Parry Aftab, executive director of the child protection organization WiredSafety.org.
Wal-Mart Is Pushing Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
While we all know from reading the internet that Wal-Mart is irredeemably evil, a recent twist of events reveals that the world's largest retailers is going to make low-energy consuming compact fluorescent light bulbs a featured item. These energy-saving bulbs use 75% less electricity and produce 450 pounds fewer greenhouse gases. Currently only 6% of homes use them, but Wal-Mart's 200 million consumers may change that. From the article:
"The environment," Mr. Scott said, "is begging for the Wal-Mart business model."
Hydrogen Won't Save Our Economy
Physorg.com is featuring a story asserting that hydrogen is economically infeasible as a replacement for our current energy sources. The premise is that isolating and converting hydrogen into a usable energy source takes up a great deal of energy to begin with, and that subsequently that hydrogen fuel is only useful in about 25% of our economy. Apparently, the increasing scarcity of water is going to make hydrogen too costly and just as politicized as oil. From the article:
[Fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel's] overall energy analysis of a hydrogen economy demonstrates that high energy losses inevitably resulting from the laws of physics mean that a hydrogen economy will never make sense. The advantages of hydrogen praised by journalists (non-toxic, burns to water, abundance of hydrogen in the Universe, etc.) are misleading, because the production of hydrogen depends on the availability of energy and water, both of which are increasingly rare and may become political issues, as much as oil and natural gas are today."
The Math Behind PageRank
The Internet Weighs Less than Two Ounces
A back-of-the-envelope calculation by Russell Seitz indicates that the electrons constituting the flow of information on the internet weigh about 50 grams, or less than two ounces. Of course, this doesn't factor in the weight of the computers and physical networks themselves. From the article:
Forbes publisher and blogger Rich Karlgaard recently lamented his $1,200 monthly home utility bill. That's a lot of PG &E , but the yearly power bill for the global internet is just $3 per capita- a bargain even by third world standards. Yet looking at my ISP bill I'm not too happy - a dollar a day seems a trifle high when you reckon the weight of the penny's worth of electricity my computation consumes. My daily fix of electrons in motion costs me about half a billion dollars a pound.
Apple's Smart Phone Depends on OS X Tie-Ins