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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

bluegutang Re:Hamas Is 100 Percent of the Problem (815 comments)

How do you distinguish a "terror tunnel" from the many tunnels used to smuggle food, clothing, potable water, and basic construction materials?

A smuggling tunnel connects one Palestinian area with another Palestinian area. A terror tunnel connects a Palestinian area with an Israeli civilian population center.


In France, Most Comments on Gaza Conflict Yanked From Mainstream News Sites

bluegutang Come on. (502 comments)

Did anyone actually expect to read a single interesting comment on this article?
As opposed to hundreds of angry people pushing either one political view or the other?

3 days ago

Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

bluegutang Re:But was it really unethical ? (613 comments)

Consequentialist logic can lead to very non-consequentialist-like conclusions in practice. For example, one might suggest that lying is unethical in most situations (due to the consequences) and ethical in a few situations. While in theory one could choose to lie or not based on the situation, it may be unrealistic for a person of average human psychology to consistently make that choice correctly. If so, then an ethical person would do well to cultivate a visceral aversion to lying, which will lead them to behave ethically most of the time while perhaps missing a few personal opportunities. Such a person would be unwilling (emotionally speaking) to lie even about a silly die roll in an experiment.

about a week ago

Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

bluegutang Re:Wrong Control Variable? (613 comments)

Maybe the connection goes in the opposite direction - societies where crime is more accepted turn out to be less successful, and less rich, in the long run.

about a week ago

Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect

bluegutang Re:What if... (57 comments)

That's why TV shows have laugh tracks.

Oh yeah, and slashdot comments are definitely funnier when they have been modded to +5 Funny.

about two weeks ago

FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

bluegutang Re:don't drive with nobody in it? (435 comments)

You could take a bus to the grocery store and send your 12 bags home in a cargo vehicle while you take a bus back, or a 1-person car, etc.

For that matter, why go to the grocery store at all? You could order everything online and have it delivered via an unmanned vehicle. Groceries, electronics, pizzas, home repair supplies - all of these market sectors would be dramatically altered. You could buy individual items online - shipping would be much cheaper since the "last mile" is unmanned. You could set up a recurring weekly or monthly grocery order, eliminating the time spent on grocery shopping trips. And pizza deliveries would become much cheaper and somewhat faster, since the dominant cost of the deliverer would be removed. Clothing stores would probably still exist, so that people can try clothes on. And restaurants would definitely remain. But a high percentage of our retail stores could be eliminated, saving us countless time spent on errands, and opening up lots of land to redevelopment.

about two weeks ago

Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

bluegutang My ex-wife (238 comments)

I think her soul is made out of this material.

about two weeks ago

A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

bluegutang What is the motivation? (379 comments)

I don't know why Israel would try to exaggerate the success of Iron Dome. I think that the opposite is true - the less successful the system is, the more sympathy people will have for Israelis under bombardment.

about three weeks ago

DHS Mistakenly Releases 840 Pages of Critical Infrastructure Documents

bluegutang Does anyone get the impression.. (50 comments)

that nothing can be kept secret anymore? Whatever you want not to be exposed, whether diplomatic communications or technical documents or "intellectual property", will eventually reach the internet either by whistle-blowing or human error? And once it reaches the internet, if anyone cares about it then it will be perpetuated forever?

There are advantages to such a situation, of course, but also disadvantages.

about three weeks ago

Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

bluegutang Re:Well, sort of. (109 comments)

Interesting story: I once took a plug-in alarm clock to Europe. My first day there, I used it with a plug adapter. I overslept the next morning, and soon realized that the clock was running slow by several hours per day! Apparently its entire timing mechanism was based on the 60Hz of the grid, and where I was the frequency was 50Hz, so the clock ran slow by exactly that proportion.

about a month ago

What's Your STEM Degree Worth?

bluegutang Re:Biased source? (148 comments)

Who's supposed to do research that affects researchers, if not researchers?

about a month ago

San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

bluegutang Re:They hate our freedom (404 comments)

The space is not "public" once it is rented to the current occupant of the spot! And lingering may be inefficient, but so is circling the block for half an hour looking for a spot.

If efficiency is really the goal, then the city of SF should raise the fee for parking to a market rate. But I suspect that certain interest groups would oppose that...

about a month ago

Improperly Anonymized Logs Reveal Details of NYC Cab Trips

bluegutang Re:Prediction: de-anonymization considered "hackin (192 comments)

This is not a new phenomenon. And not an easy one to solve. From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck:

"I built [this house] with my hands. Straightened old nails to put the sheathing on. Rafters are wired to the stringers with baling wire. It's mine. I built it. You bump it down—I'll be in the window with a rifle. You even come too close and I'll pot you like a rabbit."

"It's not me. There's nothing I can do. I'll lose my job if I don't do it. And look—suppose you kill me? They'll just hang you, but long before you're hung there'll be
another guy on the tractor, and he'll bump the house down. You're not killing the right guy."

"That's so," the tenant said. "Who gave you orders? I'll go after him. He's the one to kill."

"You're wrong. He got his orders from the bank. The bank told him, 'Clear those people out or it's your job.'"

"Well, there's a president of the bank. There's a board of directors. I'll fill up the magazine of the rifle and go into the bank."

The driver said, "Fellow was telling me the bank gets orders from the East. The orders were, 'Make the land show profit or we'll close you up.'"

"But where does it stop? Who can we shoot? I don't aim to starve to death before I kill the man that's starving me."

"I don't know. Maybe there's nobody to shoot. Maybe the thing isn't men at all. Maybe like you said, the property's doing it. Anyway I told you my orders."

about a month ago

Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

bluegutang Re:Administrators (538 comments)

The online reference doesn't have to be Wikipedia. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is excellent, and there's no reason why other fields couldn't do the same thing.

about a month ago

2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

bluegutang Re:Good! (619 comments)

But frankly, US roads are in terrible condition compared to the average road in those other regions I mentioned. I'd be glad to pay more for fuel if we could get some decent roads out of it. Most of them here in the Midwest are horribly bumpy and uneven ... patches upon patches upon patches on roads that really should have been completely ripped up and relayed years ago.

That's inevitable when your development for the past 50 years has been sprawling subdivisions that require an order of magnitude more road construction than would a dense urban development. The US, particularly the Midwest, has built vast amounts of road mileage relative to the population, and there simply is not enough money available to keep them all in good repair.

about a month ago

The Nightmare On Connected Home Street

bluegutang It doesn't matter if we want a "connected home" (186 comments)

It doesn't matter if we WANT a "connected home". We are going to have it, like it or not. In a couple decades, it will be impossible to buy an appliance that isn't "connected'. Connectivity will cost less than whatever the marketing companies will pay to track our habits, and all devices will include connectivity by default. We likely won't even be able to buy unconnected devices, because economies of scale will not exist to make them affordable.

about a month and a half ago

Did Russia Trick Snowden Into Going To Moscow?

bluegutang On the other hand... (346 comments)

Snowden asserts that he brought no classified files with him when he left the US.

And Russian intelligence has good reasons for spreading a story like this, even if it's false. It makes Russia look smart and the US look stupid. And it will likely the US to abandon a variety of intelligence assets for fear that they are compromised.

I don't think we have any way of knowing who to believe.

about 2 months ago

Study: Stop Being So Cynical, You Could Give Yourself Dementia

bluegutang Re:There's a relationship... (153 comments)

How do we tell who is right in proper peer-reviewed fashion?

Well, my comment got modded up higher than yours... :)

about 2 months ago

Study: Stop Being So Cynical, You Could Give Yourself Dementia

bluegutang Re:There's a relationship... (153 comments)

I'd guess that cynical or distrustful people end up with lesser social connections to other people, a factor which has already been linked to dementia.

about 2 months ago


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