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Wikipedia's "Complicated" Relationship With Net Neutrality

erikkemperman Re:Waiving data charges is fine with net neutralit (130 comments)

Exactly. But they don't.

The problem is that what FB, Google are currently presenting as "aid" or "development" for underprivileged regions is 1) restricted to their own services and 2) likely to be shut down in the near future on their whim.

If they are serious about development, that's great, but it seems to me there are far less self-interested avenues for them to do so.

Meanwhile these zero-rate programs are just another attempt at re-defining The Internet to be what they have on offer, and probably end up getting in the way of more general availability of the web.

2 days ago
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How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

erikkemperman Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (72 comments)

Not sure I'd agree that nobody cares about policy. But "rightfully so"? Because different faces, or parties for that matter, tend to pursue similar policies? It seems to me that that is a good reason that people /should/ care... And try to improve on that sorry state of affairs.

Problem is that there is whole show about (relatively) minor differences of opinion and these are greatly exaggerated, creating the illusion of real choice. Whereas the various "faces" somehow wind up agreeing with one another on exactly those policies that the people they supposedly represent do not favour.

A two-party system is in practice much more like a single-party system (ie not democratic) than it is like multi-party systems where coalition and compromises are required to achieve majorities.

about two weeks ago
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Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

erikkemperman Re:uh, no? (340 comments)

He clearly suggested "Both sides are dishonest" and yet you somehow read that as pro-Russian. That says more about your bias than his, it seems to me.

I abhor Putin and have done for about as long as I've known about the bastard. Doesn't mean I'm blind to Nato's meddling in Ukraine, which cablegate (among other tidbits) proved was going on for years and cost billions.

I'm curious how US woul respond if Russia spent billions undermining a pro-US government in, say, Mexico and after they'd accomplish regime change in favour of hand picked anti-US government presumed to level harsh economic sanctions against the US for troop movements on their own soil, say Texas.

Because, until very recently, that is about the size of it from the Russian perspective.

Now of course, to the surprise of absolutely no one at all, Putin's domestic strongman persona leaves him little choice but to retroactively prove the accusers right.

about two weeks ago
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US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

erikkemperman Re:Oh yippie (123 comments)

Take a look at his comments.. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so consistently moderated -1. Personally I think he's on some kind of long term false-flag crusade to discredit conservatives. But, if you like this sort of thing, there are some real gems in there:

As for Jesus, I hope the Koch brothers will help bring Him to California, forcibly if necessary.

about a month and a half ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

erikkemperman Re:Does that mean they'll get to vote? (385 comments)

What you have just described is the sole and singular reason corporations were formed in the first place. That is to limit the risk to an investor to the amount of money they have put into it. ie the value of the stocks they hold.

No, limited liability is a rather newer invention than incorporation. Only by about a millennium and a half.

about a month and a half ago
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US Remains Top Country For Global Workers

erikkemperman Re:Well yeah (123 comments)

Wait, is this still about their refusal to support, much less join, the invasion of Iraq? Because they felt the reasons given were lies? Even though the U.S. threatened that when the time came for it spend Iraqi money on "reconstruction" they would exclusively source from fellow warmongers?

I'm not sure how you could've possibly missed this -- but it turned out they were right.

about a month and a half ago
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NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

erikkemperman Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (295 comments)

Having missed that story, it seems to center around a calculation of needed energy if the whole planet displayed circa-2010 American consumption within two decades. That is, as far as I can tell at a glance, without accounting for improved efficiency of power generation, storage, distribution, and use.

Setting aside the question of whether the rest of the planet actually aspires to US consumption patterns (which I think are widely perceived as unnecessarily wasteful) the submission you linked to says

Economists and energy experts shy away from issues of equity and morality, but climate change and environmental justice are inseparable: It's impossible to talk intelligently about climate without discussing how to distribute limited energy resources.

Which seems reasonable to me. Certainly such considerations do not in any way shape or form proscribe some kind of return to the bronze age.

But yes, in cases where the wants of a few are at odds with the needs of many, I would argue the latter should prevail. Especially if it turns out that the few are disproportionately responsible for causing the problem.

about 1 month ago
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NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

erikkemperman Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (295 comments)

Except that the "throw away Western civilization" is only ever thrown out there by the "do nothing" crowd as a caricature of progressive proposals. That said, there is ample precedence for the concept of you break it you pay for it, so some wealth redistribution is going to be a factor in most reasonable strategies.

about 1 month ago
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NASA Study: Ocean Abyss Has Not Warmed

erikkemperman Re:Everyone should just say "interesting" (295 comments)

I appreciate the effort, but it is pointless I'm afraid. I'm assuming that these folks actually mean well, in the sense that they genuinely believe that 97% of climate scientists are involved in some harebrained conspiracy ("green is the new red"). My point is that once that idea is firmly lodged into someone's mind, no amount of links to actual science is going to change their opinion. If anything, it'll just reaffirm it.

about 1 month ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

erikkemperman Re:Leader quotation bingo (264 comments)

I think you may have misunderstood my post -- probably I wasn't sufficiently clear. That the real reasons for these policies is a "desire for control" is precisely what I was suggesting.

about 2 months ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

erikkemperman Re:Leader quotation bingo (264 comments)

Ah, my bad, I had taken "that position" in your post to mean the position of the Crime Agency Boss mentioned in TFS, which is to say that security should trump freedom.

about 2 months ago
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Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

erikkemperman Re:Leader quotation bingo (264 comments)

Of course. But when people who have literally led governments or armed forces can still maintain that position, any appeal to blind trust by an authoritarian government must surely demand a healthy degree of scepticism.

On the other hand, people who've been actually in charge of government and military units know better than most why "blind trust" is the only kind they can appeal to. They know the real reasons for these measures, and why the public must not.

about 2 months ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

erikkemperman Re:I'm looking now (134 comments)

What lead to a change in the Iraqi government was that Maliki refused to allow US troops to stay permanently. Word is the successor comes pre-agreed on that issue.

Meanwhile IS is the enemy in Iraq but somehow we're not supposed to notice that they are our allies in Syria. Who would have thought that they might use the same weapons we gave them in A suddenly in B?

And since they are additionally quite heavily funded mostly from Saudi Arabia, which is basically the most brutal theocratic dictatorship on the planet, not to mention our favorite client state in the region, killing IS supply lines really should just be a matter of saying the word.

about 3 months ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

erikkemperman Re:No (264 comments)

Crap, hit submit prematurely by accident. I wanted to point out that the "first world" qualifier is not even necessary.

about 3 months ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

erikkemperman Re:No (264 comments)

Actually, the drug addicts are the low hanging fruit, and the war on drugs is precisely why the US has imprisoned a far higher percentage of its population than any other first world nation.

about 3 months ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

erikkemperman Re:Too much surplus (264 comments)

I think you will find most Muslims are not actually preoccupied with world domination. It is kind if like how the average American probably doesn't really support their government's foreign policy aimed at global hegemony, by any means, at any cost.

about 3 months ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

erikkemperman Re:Too much surplus (264 comments)

US Defense budgets and military personnel strength are in steep decline and will be for years to come due to sequestration and other cuts.

I assume you mean the 2013 cuts -- those have been matched, basically dollar for dollar, by increasing the "temporary" budget for Afghanistan. US military spending remains outrageous, at about the level of the rest of the world put together.

The US was attacked on 9/11 because of existing religious extremism and anti-Americanism, not the other way around, the US didn't cause it.

Fundamentalism is a part of it, yes, but would never amount to anything like what we've seen were it not for widespread anti-US sentiments stemming from more pragmatic reasons, such as US foreign policy for the last, oh, seven decades. 911 was a scandalous crime, no doubt about it, but to state that it is completely unrelated to your own actions is patently false.

It is baffling how you could get such simple questions so wrong. Substituting slogans for facts and thinking?

Coming from someone who apparently still believes the Iraq war had anything to do with 911 other than rhetoric, and somehow still manages to delude himself that anti-American sentiment somehow thrives in complete isolation of its international posturing -- yeah, baffling is what that is.

about 3 months ago
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Two Years of Data On What Military Equipment the Pentagon Gave To Local Police

erikkemperman Re:No (264 comments)

I think the point is that when the police are shooting people in great numbers -- I don't think the US has a peer in that dept -- then it might not be a great idea to give them even more destructive weaponry. Sure it would be "contingency" equipment when anyone asks, but sooner or later it'll be standard issue.

Remember those billions (!) of rounds of ammo that DHS bought?

In combination with the, shall we say, questionable record of accountability of police actions, tooling up to this extent seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

about 3 months ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

erikkemperman Re:So, such rules are bad for keeping people worki (327 comments)

Of course they are.

And how does anyone even pretend this is legal? They can just 'waive' laws for special people and leave them in place for us proles now?

This is not the American way. One law for everyone. If the law is wrong, repeal it, don't 'waive' it for your friends while the rest suffer.

Are you seriously surprised that Justice is not blind? She hasn't been for quite some time, as best I can tell, not to mention that someone rigged her scales.

"Two-tier justice", I think that's what they call it. The common practice of threatening outrageous sentences to pressure people into a plea bargain, which is to say be found guilty without a day in court -- but of course they only even attempt that when they estimate the cost of mounting a defense would prove problematic.

Actually it seems to me that now we ought to distinguish three- or even four-tier justice, accounting for cases such as this one where political considerations come into play and recently there have even been cases of corporations being found guilty of very serious offenses but deemed " to big to jail".

about 3 months ago
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China Bans iPad, MacBook Pro, Other Apple Products For Government Use

erikkemperman Re:"Isolating" by choosing open source? (115 comments)

Presumably they are choosing not to get screwed by NSA, through proxies such as Apple and MS. But otherwise I agree entirely.

I wish headlines such as

China seems to be on a mission to isolate itself from the world, at least in terms of technology.

Would more often be accompanied by its root cause, something along the lines of

America seems to be on a mission to antagonize the rest of the world, not least in terms of technology.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

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Statistical analysis of US politics: bedtime for democracy

erikkemperman erikkemperman writes  |  about 7 months ago

erikkemperman (252014) writes "Opinion pieces at BBC and the New Yorker, among many others, have discussed recent statistical analysis by Princeton and NorthWestern profs, leading them to report:

"In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."

The authors conclude that:

"Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."

I was not aware of this kind of statistical methods to exploring how politics functions in practice. So rather than just finding out just how obvious you think their results are, I would ask: Does their approach seem sensible? Has similar analysis been done for other nations?"
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Goatse.cx re-invented as mail provider

erikkemperman erikkemperman writes  |  about 2 years ago

erikkemperman (252014) writes "As reported by El Reg, you can now obtain your own @goatse.cs e-mail address. As the article says, "Want absolutely NO ONE to read your mail?". While I'm pretty sure few will miss that guy, does this in some weird way mark the end of an era?"

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