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How Slums Can Save the Planet

genoese Re:Am I alone or (424 comments)

I'm going to tackle your discernment of "evil" and see if I can pinpoint it, because I had exactly the same feeling. Please forgive the distasteful imagery in the following, but I think you'll see what I'm trying to do.

It would seem as if the ultimate, unspoken ideal of the individual who wrote such stuff is the packaging of human meat "on the foot" as "efficiently" as possible, meaning maximum density with minimum overhead (i.e. energy and resource consumption, carbon production, etc). Clearly this is what it must be, once *the well-being and happiness* of those who live in such packing-house conditions (or lack thereof, rather) is not the primary consideration. It's almost as if humans are spoken of as a commodity, rather like chickens or other, perhaps herded, animals.

A point to ponder: why it is often the case that the same ones who won't eat meat or eggs from anything but free-range chickens because of the unspeakable cruelty of the non-free-range producers ( full disclosure -- I agree with that assessment -- it is cruelty ) think that this kind of thinking is OK for human beings, s long as it makes "Gaia" happy? You very likely would agree with me that such thinking is upside-down. I will not go into that now.

It is well and good to ponder over how 20+ billion individuals are supposed to share this planet, and indeed it is prudent to do so. But if these ideas are permitted to take root at the center of this pondering, the result can only be beyond horror, with the same old result -- the ones doing the 'central planning' somehow never seem to share the fate of those subjected to their plans. This simply cannot be permitted to happen. Such ideas must be refuted with vigor everywhere they crop up. Once a human being is seen as mere meat, Stalinist-Russia.Nazi-Germany.Maoist.China 2.0 is the inevitable result.

Historically the motivations for this are so that the very, very few can live the way they want. Consider comment http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1565742&cid=31304366. I think that captures it, and I believe that's what you're sensing.

Your assessment is correct. Perhaps I should limit that to saying only that I agree. It is evil.

Grace and peace

more than 4 years ago
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How To Get Out of Developer's Block?

genoese Step by step, inch by inch... (601 comments)

I, too, am sole developer on two huge projects. What you describe happens to me sometimes, too. I'm assuming that you're referring to those "stalls" that can last for days, and not simply battle fatigue.

I have found that the following things help me:

1. Pick out something very small and very simple to accomplish, and do it. Don't worry if it's not on the mainstream of the effort. What's important is to move forward. That relieves some of that horrible inner pressure that builds up when stuck for too long.

2. If that fails, try creating on or more small experiments for yourself, regarding things that you're curious about or things that have been particular troublespots. These can bring great joy and release the flow for you.

3. If these things fail, be productive doing something else altogether. Don't worry about wasting time, because you weren't moving forward anyway. This, too, can start a flow.

Remember, friend, that in a time of famine, a small harvest is better than none. Do not despise small accomplishments.

Peace---

more than 5 years ago
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Understanding Addiction-Based Game Design

genoese It's About Conscious Choice (308 comments)

We should have exhausted this question when cigarette companies were caught enhancing nicotine levels in their product, in order to increase addiction, which enhances profit.

Consumers must have the opportunity to make conscious choices and give informed consent when consuming anything known (or reasonably suspected) to be habit-forming. I have no desire to form a nanny state, but folks need to know what they're getting.

more than 5 years ago
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Drug Giant Pledges Cheap Medicine For World's Poor

genoese Black Market Opportunity (317 comments)

Human nature being what it is, this is an excellent opportunity for black market corruption -- drug company sells to developing country. Corrupt elements in developing country sell back to corrupt black marketeers who then resell in 'rich' countries to corrupt vendors for reduced prices and still make huge profits.
And still the people who need the drugs don't get them, but maybe some actually will, and that's a good thing.

more than 5 years ago
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Researchers Apply P2P Principles To Car Traffic

genoese Re:Yet another security risk (111 comments)

The scenario I saw play out is admittedly far-fetched but as a Slashdot reader, I've come upon shocking articles regarding our infrastructure here in the US being targeted by hackers from inside Russia and China. Here's one such example:

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article2409865.ece

Now let's do a bit of extrapolation:
1. widespread adoption by NYC & LA -c class municipalities
2. traffic signal control governed by this 'network'
3. Understanding of the architecture gets into the hands of even more virulent enemies.

These three steps are not unlikely should this technology prove to be effective and become popular.

Now consider this scenario.

It's a day with fairly good weather near the Holiday shopping season. Commercial activity is at it's peak, along with tourism. A physical attack is then initiated along the lines of a medium sized chemical or biological weapon, or perhaps bombing of a central municipal structure such as Grand Central Station in NYC. Coordinated with this attack is a simultaneous assault on the traffic control network. This attack makes it impossible to
a. escape the scene
b. get first-responders to the scene

Result: complete chaos and panic.

more than 5 years ago
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Researchers Apply P2P Principles To Car Traffic

genoese Yet another security risk (111 comments)

The increasing tendency to use this type of communication to support critical infrastructure is an open invitation to chaos and disaster induced by malicious hacking.

Consider for a moment all the past reports of external hacking on U.S. infrastructure and the chaos they created. Now imagine what would happen were this to be hacked after widespread adoption.

You all very well know that from the moment of its inception there will be concerted efforts to do just that.

No thanks.

Leave out the networking with private vehicles and it gets a bit better, but there's still a vulnerability.

Again, no thanks. It can't be made hacker-proof.

more than 5 years ago
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How US Schools' Culture Stifles Math Achievement

genoese End the glorification of stupidity (888 comments)

Let's start by setting an example and weaning ourselves off the addiction to stupid, pointless entertainment. Let's start paying attention to things that mean something. Let's refuse to care about passing fads. Let's honor teachers, and not just with mere money. Let's utterly cease reflecting back on our stoner days with pleasant nostalgia, but talk about them as wasted time. Let's stop overemphasizing how our children feel, and begin to address how they think. Let's establish the notion that it's a young adult's job to develop to their own full potential (no one else's), and the notion that it's the job of all the adults in their lives to support that effort fully and hold them accountable.

If enough people do this, the culture will either change for the better or become irrelevant.

more than 5 years ago

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