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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

kogut Re:A senior administration official LIED?!?!?! (266 comments)

"NOTHING has happened to Clapper for committing PERJURY."

You mean he hasn't been charged with suspected perjury yet. He hasn't officially committed perjury until due process has taken place.

about 4 months ago
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Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

kogut Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (342 comments)

I just wanted to get mad at you. I can't stand fatous, pre-emptive commands like, "Don't get mad at me."

Troll accomplished. Carry on.

about 4 months ago
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Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

kogut Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (342 comments)

>Don't get mad at me. I didn't do anything one way or the other.

Yes, you did. You made a variety of assumptions that you expect everyone to accept.

The pure libertarian argument against NPR has nothing to do with "taking sides," but with the principle of state-funded media period.

about 4 months ago
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Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

kogut Re:DOE is bad. Good for Congress (342 comments)

The DOE had another mandate when it was created.

about 4 months ago
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Activist Group Sues US Border Agency Over New, Vast Intelligence System

kogut Re:No Decent Solution (83 comments)

"I wonder just how much the price of groceries would jump if illegal farm labor was shut down. And the absolute bottom line is that reproduction as well as immigration degrades the quality of life for all of us."

Those two sentences are contradictory. Because low-cost consumer staples are certainly included a part of the quality of life that the U.S. enjoys. In terms of economic benefit to effectively the entire population. And there are also indirect benefits in having large economic sectors (agriculture being one) remaining competitive in global markets - that almost certainly provides economic beneifts beyond just the low-wage illegal jobs. (e.g. there's a whole chain of empoyment from domestic agriculture - finance, construction, transportation, research, etc.)

about 4 months ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

kogut Re:Christmas is coming early this year (702 comments)

"Only time will tell."

Maybe not. Because when you effectively deter a very low-probability event, you may not ever "know" you've deterred it.

This is why the TSA has a difficult PR task. We spend billions on them, and as far as we can tell they do nothing except annoy us.

But maybe they detered the great Shoe Bomb Epidemic of 2010? Who knows.

about 5 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

kogut Re:Gee Catholic judges (1330 comments)

Blue Cross, implemented for public school teachers as an employment perk, existed before WWII. Just saying that someone had the idea before your "bright boy."

about 5 months ago
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US Court Dings Gov't For Using Seized Data Beyond Scope of Warrant

kogut Re:How would this stop the NSA? (63 comments)

>But the government is taking any wiggle room they can find and just ignoring the law, court orders and the constitution The courts are part of the government. Just saying. People increasingly use the term "the government" as some sort of vague, hand-waving pejorative term when referring to some aspect of governance they don't like. Which is kind of sad. In this case we're seeing an example of natural tension between executive power and statutory limitation on that power, as interpreted by the courts. And the court limited the power, in this instance, in no uncertain terms.

about 5 months ago
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UN to Debate Use of Fully Autonomous Weapons, New Report Released

kogut Re:With restrictions (180 comments)

> The automated system can identify targets, track them, pursue them, prioritize targets, do basically everything but pull the trigger, but it has to request permission >to fire from a human operator I believe the Phalanx CIWS has a mode where it'll basically go to town on anything in the air that doesn't have IFF. The response time required is too short for human operator confirmation. I believe the AEGIS defense system has similar capabilities, though maybe more human operator oversight on that one. I'm not sure.

about 7 months ago
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Maine Senator Wants Independent Study of TSA's Body Scanners

kogut Re:Are we missing the point? (335 comments)

. Doesn't human dignity require that we treat travellers as people and not the same way that we treat convicts?

Of course. But use of hyberbole doesn't help. Convicts are treated very, very differently than people going through airport security. There are any number of prison documentaries you can view if you don't believe me.

2. Don't these security measures do more harm than good by forcing people to accept a microcosm of "police state" for no discernable benefit?

"Microcosm" is more like it. Yes, a cost-benefit analysis taking into account both monetary and social cost would be valuable. But not easy. The security procedures are a deterrent against rare, catastrophic events, and it's very difficult to prove the effectiveness of a deterrent. Through some combination of intelligence, security, and incompetence, we haven't seen another 9/11, which is good. Where do we draw the line that indicates the reasonable combination of security vs. risk is? I'm not sure. I'm ambivalent on whether these scanners are "overreach." But, then again, I'm a technocrat. I wouldn't mind getting rid of 90% of TSA personnel altogether and having a fully automated line you could just walk through at normal speed, with no waiting (unless you trigger something, in which case a glass cylinder descends around you, and you're whisked off to Stage 2.

more than 2 years ago
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The Rise of Developeronomics

kogut Re:10x Engineer (253 comments)

>I know I could run at 300 lines of C a day Someone call security. We have a mid-level manager masquerading as a coder. I've never met a competent coder who considers lines-of-code/day to be an even remotely useful metric of productivity. Coders who eat through requirements like a shark through chum with tight, transparent patterns...those are the good ones.

more than 2 years ago
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4.74 Degrees of Separation on Facebook

kogut Another Bad Claim (216 comments)

From the linked article: "Somewhat surprisingly, even for individuals aged 60, the distribution of their friends’ ages is sharply peaked at exactly 60." Really bad explanation of the accompanying graph. The distribution for people aged 60 is wildly different than the distribution for age 20. And it's unsurprising that people have friends of the same age.

about 3 years ago
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'Arrested Development' Comes Exclusively To Netflix

kogut Cult? (201 comments)

Can a 4-year-long series with established talent be considered "cult?"

about 3 years ago
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Commercial Space: Spirit of Apollo Or Spirit of Solyndra?

kogut Re:Considering the source... (157 comments)

Fair enough. But there is no market for deep space travel (I don't think celebrity passengers is a viable long-term business plan), therefore there is no way that the market will pay for it. There is just really no point in sending people into extra-orbital space other than research without much tangible return-on-investment. If the only goal is to make "monumental, iconic achievements" then I don't see much happening without heavy, heavy government subsidy. And you're just arguing for new, different subsidy in place of tired, old subsidy.

about 3 years ago
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Commercial Space: Spirit of Apollo Or Spirit of Solyndra?

kogut Re:Considering the source... (157 comments)

>except that NASA has pretty definitively proven over a period of decades that it's too bureaucratic, too sclerotic, and too much organized as a patronage/jobs >organization to do anything big in manned space flight. Your criticisms may be valid, but you're conclusion is absurd. The state-sponsored behemoths of the USA, Russia, and China are the *only* organizations that have definitely proven it can do big things in manned space flight. I don't count flying a rocket-powered plane really high as being "big things." Name the only organization to have sent a man on an extra-orbital space flight.

about 3 years ago

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