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Comments

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Protesters Blockade Microsoft's Seattle Headquarters Over Tax Breaks

jpapon Re: well... (246 comments)

Washington has no state payroll tax, sorry.

about two weeks ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

jpapon Re:What? (393 comments)

Of course the government creates wealth when it spends money on projects. Any spending creates wealth, it doesn't matter if it's a private company spending the money or the government. Either way, someone gets money and someone else gets a product. So where before you only had money, now you have money and some product (say, a rocket). Thus "creating wealth". Where did you get this idea that the government doesn't create wealth just like any other investor?

about a month ago
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Cringley: H-1B Visa Abuse Limits Wages and Steals US Jobs

jpapon Re:Probably true ... (795 comments)

Anything that gov't purports it wants to provide 'for free' to the poor ends up being unaffordable by the majority because government money and regulations create monopolies and push prices up by making end clients price insensitive and promotes the idea of entitlement not based on productivity.

Ahh yes, such as roads, water, power, gas, fire departments, police, primary education, &c...

about 2 years ago
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NetFlix Caught Stealing DivX Subtitles From Finnish Pirates

jpapon Re:but they will waste no time (284 comments)

It wouldn't be very smart to put your name and copyright on a file which is being disseminated with pirated material. Just sayin.

about 2 years ago
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Look-Alike Web Sites Hoodwink Republican Donors

jpapon Re:Here's another old scam for your examination (294 comments)

Freedom of speech doesn't extend to fraud, you idiot. What, you think that perjury isn't a crime either, because of "freedom of speech"?

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Ice Tea... (370 comments)

Oh, and let's not forget to mention the lunacy of white streets in places where it snows.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Ice Tea... (370 comments)

Concrete streets are not white. "White" in this case means a "highly reflective surface", which concrete is definitely not. The whole point of this silly idea was that the streets would have to reflect as much light as possible.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Ice Tea... (370 comments)

I think it's interesting to add Australia, Germany and France into that mix.

France is actually set to go below China in that mix, and Germany has been rapidly declining.

The Aussies, on the other hand, are being complete assholes.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Ice Tea... (370 comments)

The bitch is there are thing we can do WITHOUT using crap and trade that could make a difference, but because people like Al Gore, who just FYI has set himself up to be a a carbon billionaire [telegraph.co.uk], can't profit from it?

Al Gore is set up to become a "carbon billionaire" because he's investing heavily in green technology, which is benefiting from growth due to subsidies by countless governments. It has nothing to do with cap and trade.

If you want to argue against the government subsidizing green-tech companies, that's fine with me. I'll just say this though, I'd rather have the government investing in green-tech than military tech.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Its Happening (370 comments)

What do you mean it's a myth? Overpopulation is an observable phenomenon in almost every form of life, from yeast dying in their own alcohol to deer starving when they lack natural predators.

The only difference is that humanity has found ways using technology to push back the population ceiling (which is mainly determined by food production). Eventually, and this is a certainty, we will not be able to produce any more food on Earth.... or some massive storm and/or drought will cause widespread crop failure. This will result in starvation, and will be a natural check on the human population.

Saying the earth can only support so many of us is an absolute fact. Now, that number might be far, far larger than we currently believe, but that there is an absolute ceiling is without doubt. One absolute ceiling for the population of the earth would be the amount of energy arriving from the sun divided by the amount of energy consumed by a person. Of course, that would mean no energy was being used by anything else on the planet, so it is impossibly high, but it's just to prove a point.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Ice Tea... (370 comments)

Painting streets white is a terrible idea, can you imagine how difficult that would make it to drive on a sunny day? Ugh.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Ice Tea... (370 comments)

No no, you need to make sure he fossilizes. Just burying him will probably cause him to decompose.

about 2 years ago
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Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

jpapon Re:Wow. (370 comments)

I'd like to thank the parent too, I hadn't heard of this WRF idea. From what I gather, it certainly seems likely that the evolution of WRF prevents any significant production of new coal.

Contrary to what symbolset says though, I think that the impact of white-rot fungus was quite the opposite of "releasing untold billions of CO2 into the air". It seems much more likely that what happened is that, by preventing coal production through tree fossilization, it halted the massive sequestration of CO2 that was going on during the Carboniferous era. This led to an equilibrium, since the coal that had been produced wasn't going anywhere, and WRF was preventing new coal from being produced - most of the CO2 sequestered in new trees was being sent right back into the atmosphere via WRF.

In the past few hundred years though, with the advent of man burning coal, we could easily be upsetting the equilibrium. Humans are, after all, just another species that evolved. If the evolution of trees can lead to a massive decline in CO2 levels due to fossilization, and the evolution of WRF can lead to an equilibrium by preventing further fossilization, there's absolutely no reason to believe that the evolution of humans couldn't lead to a breaking of the equilibrium and a massive rise in CO2 levels.

about 2 years ago
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Hackers Dump Millions of Records From Banks, Politicians

jpapon Re:Great plan (310 comments)

To be honest, I see Romney as a Nixon, and Obama as a JFK who hasn't been assassinated. I don't know who you would vote for in that hypothetical election of 1964, but for me, the choice is clear.

I see Romney as someone who is in bed with corporate interests, and who will use the presidency to support the interests of himself and those of his own class. Romney may be a great guy, but then again, he supported the Vietnam war and bullied a gay student as young man. Obama smoked pot, headed a newspaper, and was a community organizer. That's not really a choice to me.

Not to mention, Romney is a Mormon. I respect his right to worship as he pleases, but the Mormon church is all sorts of crazy. If an atheist were running for President, they would be absolutely grilled over their not believing in god. I don't see anybody asking Romney about how he believes god sent messages to Joseph Smith on a bunch of stones, or that Indians were descendents of lost Israelites who god punished by changing their skin color. How is a non-belief in god any more news-worthy than the canon of Mormon beliefs?

Not that I think Romney is going to let the book of Mormon determine his policy. It just irks me that an atheist could never be President, but a Mormon could.

about 2 years ago
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Hackers Dump Millions of Records From Banks, Politicians

jpapon Re:Great plan (310 comments)

I can see you agree with me. The difference, however, is that the spending is not only going towards bombs (well at least not in lieu of social spending -- defense has it's ~20% piece too).

We do agree. Social spending could be more effective, there's no question about that. I think it's kind of false to include Social Security in the budget, since Social Security "spending" is really just giving back what we've promised people, and shouldn't really count as government spending since the spending is left to the populace, the government is just distributing the money.

That doesn't really matter. There's no question that the government could be using its budget more effectively. We should without a doubt model our programs on those of other countries that have success with them. Countries like Germany, or the Netherlands. I'm sure you agree with that.

The problem is that isn't what the Tea Party is generally asking for. Rational, centrist Republicans want that, but unfortunately the party has been co-opted by religious radicals who feel that preventing abortion and family planning funding is more important than creating a successful society.

The solution isn't getting rid of government, or changing government so that it matches ones personal Christian ideology - it is creating a better, more effective government. There are many ways to change the US government so that it fosters a more successful, healthy society. Neither way comes from the far-side of ideologies. The US shouldn't become purely Socialist or Communist, just as it shouldn't become a pure free-market. Both sides of the spectrum have their problems, and the only way to solve those problems is by compromising, and accepting the best of both ideologies.

I'll accept that some Republicans have been very reasonable about compromising, and trying to create a more effective government. People like Marco Rubio and Chris Christie I find actually fairly reasonable. I may not agree with all of their policies, but I find them to be rational politicians. They acknowledge that there is a role for government, and that government can be an effective force for positive change.

Now as for the choice between Obama and Romney, I realize that Romney is actually very centrist. He has been forced to take some more radical positions by the base of his party, but overall, I don't think Romney wants to actually do much of what he has been forced to say. I definitely believe that he wants to create a more efficient, streamlined government.

The thing is, Obama is also a centrist. None of Obama's policies have been radical, or anything more than slightly left of center. The choice is between a man who has a history of taking advantage of government to create profits for himself in the private sector, or a man who has been trying to compromise and make government better.

It is an easy choice for me. Obama worked as a community organizer trying to make his community better, while Romney was using the system to make himself richer. I don't think either one is a bad person for their decisions, but it seems clear which I'd rather have as my head of state. I assume you would rather have the opposite, and I can completely respect that.

I understand that you believe Romney will use his experience making corporations turn a profit to reform government and make it more efficient. Keep in mind though that Romney is very pro-establishment.

Romney helped promote protests FOR the Vietnam war. Do you really think that someone like that is going to change government for the better? Doesn't it seem more likely that the most he would do is - at best - preserve the status quo, and - at worst - reinforce the establishment and crony capitalism?

about 2 years ago
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Russia Wants a Hypersonic Bomber

jpapon Re:What for? (319 comments)

The point is that a hypersonic bomber is addressing a problem that doesn't exist. We already can destroy every country on the planet, without any difficulty. Our Ohio class submarines can send anybody and everybody back to the stone age, and nobody has any effective defense against it.

What sort of threat it a hypersonic bomber designed to counter? The answer is none. That threat has already been countered.

There's nothing wrong with developing hypersonic atmospheric aircraft with government funds. There's just no reason to develop them as weapons, other than American politics.

about 2 years ago
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Russia Wants a Hypersonic Bomber

jpapon Re:I see Conquest is a thing of the Past (319 comments)

There's no problem with costs. If you don't blow them up before they blow you up, there's a massive cost.

Obviously, there's smaller cost if you just don't fight in the first place, but that's almost always been the case. War hasn't been a profitable enterprise for nations for quite some time.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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The Highway to Hell: Misinformation Superhighway?

jpapon jpapon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jpapon (1877296) writes "Increasingly, I find that comment threads attached to articles of mainstream news outlets (and others) are being derailed by shills of one faction or another. Meaningful discourse is drowned out by a group of people who incessantly criticize, repeat a point of view, or worst of all, deliberately spread misinformation. Whether the process is performed consciously or subconsciously, older means of communication tend to give us some insight into the trustworthiness of a source. The Internet, on the other hand, gives us very little to work with when trying to determine if a poster is a protester being shot at, or rather a government shill posting propaganda.
This naturally leads to the question of what can we, as technologists, do to prevent this? Is it possible to retain the anonymity of the Internet while preventing large organizations from spreading propaganda? Or is the Internet doomed to become a vast wasteland of meaningless disinformation, where large organizations jockey for position in the race to control public opinion? Should we try to erect barriers against disinformation, or, as the principles of free speech seem to dictate, must we simply accept that even shills have a right to be heard?"

Journals

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Just a thought

jpapon jpapon writes  |  about 4 years ago

I find it both amusing and disturbing that those ideas stated the most emphatically are typically the most erroneous.

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