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Court Rejects Fox's Attempt to Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish's Hopper

stdarg Re:Can't use duck test and rational argument (67 comments)

You're contradicting yourself.. if you're saying whoever rents or leases it is responsible, then if you're renting an antenna from Aereo, you are the one using the equipment and its use falls under your responsibilities and rights.

about a week ago
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Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

stdarg Re:Ridiculous! (590 comments)

In fact, when he was first introduced, it was as a normal human finding Thor's hammer in a cave and turning into Thor. There already have been "what if?" stories exploring the scenario where his wife/girlfriend found the hammer instead. Storm has wielded Mjolnier on several occasions and turned into Thor. An alien has turned into Thor.

The big difference between now and then is that the movies including Thor have brought a lot more attention to the issue. I didn't even know Thor was a comic book character before the movies. If a comic that appeals to a small percentage of the public plays with ideas like that, good for them. But when it's exposed to more people who don't know the background, and frankly don't care much about the comic book version compared to the "real" (mythological) thing, it's a different situation entirely.

Did it take anything away? To a lot of people, it most certainly did add something. There was nothing stupid about making him black.

No, because like I said, that's a minor character. And Idris Elba is awesome anyway...

I feel like we're getting to the heart of the matter here. You associate black with "otherness". Let me guess: you are white? And male? Do you associate female also with "otherness"?

Black would be a strong visual indication of otherness in the entirely white pantheon of gods (umm, except Heimdall) that are in the movie. They already made Loki unnaturally pale and gave him black hair. He is SUPPOSED to be different. I mean you saw the movie right?

I'm not sure why you suddenly started talking about me personally. I mean I know why.. you're trying to say I'm an uncultured, provincial, naive racist. And that's stupid.

And no, women and blacks don't represent "otherness" to me personally.

But having Loki be black would bring a lot of interesting issues to the forefront of his character. He was taken out of his society and raised by the white gods in Asgard. He's distrusted by his peers and his "father" (authority figure). There's a whole lot of "but look at what we've given to you, why are you betraying us!" in the movie that ignores his true history as a hostage. They should have had Idris Elba play Loki and leave Heimdall as another generic Nordic white guy.

I guess you don't see that stuff and you think you're awesome for being more color blind than me or something... whatever makes you feel better.

Do you realize that there are people like you who are black and/or female?

Wow, really, there are black people??? Like, in real life??? And women?? Now I know you're joking!

Jeeze, get over yourself bud.

That to them, there's nothing "other" about black or female?

The role of a good movie is not to make people feel included. When I watched "The Wire" (took this example because of Idris Elba) I wasn't thinking "Gee, I would like this so much more if they made the criminals a multicultural rainbow so that it's not so stereotypical... there should be a Chinese sidekick who knows kung-fu, a couple thuggish and irredeemable white guys (ooo make one of them Italian), a tough but funny Hispanic chick, a few black thugs who secretly have hearts of gold, and a hidden mastermind who is white because we all know minorities are only criminals when they're duped into it by a nefarious smart white guy... oh that would be awesome!" No, that would make it completely retarded like so many bad 80s "urban" crime movies.

The people chosen to portray characters in a movie are more than their acting skills. They are also, like it or not, all the baggage and preconceived notions the audience brings with it. Sometimes that gets in the way of the character, other times it actually adds to it and lets them represent the character in a way that would be impossible for others.

about a week ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

stdarg Re:More Like Subsidized (533 comments)

Then do explain: how does a libertarian government not become the current one? I mean, outside of being fully staffed by libertarians, who all adhere to the same notions of government, property, and morality?

It's just like any political party in a democracy, you hope that people see the positive aspects of what you're doing and continue to support you.

I can create a central government in my house that has overreaching power in areas that... well, pick whatever you want.

I know you're being funny, but that's completely wrong. In your own house you can't impose taxes on guests, put people in your basement jail, raise an army, build a nuclear power plant, kill people who break your laws, etc. You have some special rights within your own house but they pale next to the government's rights *everywhere*. Including your house. That said, there are plenty of aspects of life where you should have the freedom to do what you please in your own house without government interference.

The reason that Somalia and Sudan are important is because they show what happens when a central government is unable to enforce its laws.

I'll go one step further than that and add that it shows what happens when too much of your population has certain harmful mentalities. In Somalia and Sudan's case it's extremist Islam which has wide ranging impacts on many areas of life. It could also be welfare, extreme social conservatism, communism, etc. If too many people in your society are violent, or lazy, or stupid, or selfish, or a host of other things... then no system of government is going to turn that into a highly functional country.

As you pointed out, another type of government replaces it - automatically. Maybe not in the same territory, but as you said, it always starts somewhere in the territory of the old government, because the old government doesn't care, doesn't have the resources to care, or can't enforce the fact that it cares. In the case of Somalia and Sudan, it's a combination of all three.

Yes and I agree with you completely, even a libertarian minded government needs to be strong enough that it can maintain the writ of the state. You won't find many libertarians who disagree with that.. the question is how strong is it necessary to be? And that depends largely on what I said before, what qualities your society has. Every society is different.

If libertarians would be really so keen to cast off the shackles of the old government, those places are great to start from scratch. I mean, resource wise it stinks, but at least there's so much chaos that you can quickly create your own state according to your own rules, and you'll be much more likely to be able to enforce your own ideals than anywhere else.

That's a terrible idea. Why would you want to start a new nation in a resource poor area with overtly hostile neighbors? I mean seriously, that sounds like the founding of Israel. They have survived thus far but it's been with enormous international help, especially at the beginning. Ignoring whether you support Israel or not, consider how many times their Muslim neighbors instigated wars against them. Israel was given massive amounts of military and civilian aid by America and Europe, otherwise they would have been wiped out.

I mean come on.. you can put down the pretense that you're serious about Somalia and Sudan being libertarian wet dreams. It's a dumb idea, and you know it, and the only reason people say it is for the shock factor. I know you don't really think it's a good idea so I honestly don't know why you put in so much effort just now to rationalize it.

Since you're quite anti-libertarian, I'm sure you know quite a bit about it, and you've heard of things like the "free state project" which are much, much better ideas than moving to Somalia. And you know that...

about a week ago
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Russia Prepares For Internet War Over Malaysian Jet

stdarg Re:To whoever did this (503 comments)

It's probably not up the guy who is responsible. It was one of the leaders, and it went something like this..

You really fucked up. You are going to be punished, maybe put to death. But we cannot let your mistake become fodder for the enemies of our noble struggle so we're going to take care of you quietly.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

stdarg Re:More Like Subsidized (533 comments)

The problem is that libertarians always try to make the distinction that they're not anarchists and that they're not like the current government

No that's wrong, libertarians are "like" the current government, just smaller.

1 requires taxes, an organization to collect it, laws on what is taxed, lawmakers to write those laws, courts to enforce those laws, lawyers to argue court cases, law enforcement officers to enforce court decisions, and it's suddenly government all the way down. We're right back to where we were before.

Yes, that's the libertarian platform. The difference is in how large the government is and what its responsibilities are, not fundamental changes like eliminating lawmakers... honestly that's a ridiculous notion.

There are two types of libertarians. Those who think that government should be tiny, with everyone being some glorious self-sufficient pioneer in the new world. Those are the ones who should be hanging out in Somalia and Sudan, but don't, because those places a shit holes of failed states.

You hear that argument so much, and it's just so silly. It shows such ignorance of Somalia and Sudan, as well as ignorance of libertarianism.

Libertarians demand strong property rights and protection of those rights. They demand a small government that has limited rights and responsibilities.

Somalia and Sudan both have central governments with overreaching power in the areas they control based on Islamic law that any libertarian would find abhorrent. Furthermore, there are a number of competing governments disputing territory within each country, also seeking to impose Islamic law (but, you know, the "true" Islamic law).

Now it's a great talking point to say "overlapping disputed territories = no real government = libertarian paradise" but it's completely wrong, and you know it, because you yourself pointed out above that as soon as you get a group with the self-appointed moral right to apply violence, collect taxes, issue laws, enforce laws, etc... you have a government. So saying there's no government or "a" (there's more than one) "weak" (each one is very strong and overreaching) government in Sudan and Somalia is simply incorrect.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

stdarg Re:More Like Subsidized (533 comments)

It sounds like you're talking more about anarchists than libertarians. What makes you think libertarians are against having a national standing army for defense, which would include the "warlords" you're speculating about?

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

stdarg Re:More Like Subsidized (533 comments)

What makes you think libertarians don't want clean water? That's just ignorant.

Here's one example of a libertarian response: http://www.ruwart.com/environ2...

Basically it involves having private property rights to water, and suing people who damage your property.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

stdarg Re:Double standards (533 comments)

There is a difference between accepting the idea that others might disagree with you and acting to support those you disagree with to the detriment of your own principles and interests.

I guess it's a foreign concept to you that some people hold principles higher than self-interest. As an example, some people would rather not accept food stamps, even if they qualify, because they believe it's wrong or that the qualification level is too easy (they feel they don't really need it, even though they qualify).

Or to take a personal example, I don't support the individual mandate in Obamacare even though it doesn't affect me, and in theory helps me by expanding the pool of risk for health insurance. Why? Because I'm an idiot? Because I don't realize that it benefits me in some ways? No, because I value the principles of freedom higher than the small benefit of imposing this law on unwilling people.

So it's ok for conservatives to not be open to liberal ideas but it's not ok for liberals to be cool with conservative ideas? Nice double standard you have there.

That's not a double standard, that's holding each group accountable to their own espoused beliefs.

What you're unable (or unwilling) to see is that having a goal of "diversity and inclusion" is difficult for precisely the reasons you're bringing up and may end up being self-defeating. What you really want is "diversity and inclusion that I like and approve of" which is what most people do anyway.

about two weeks ago
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Rand Paul and Silicon Valley's Shifting Political Climate

stdarg Re:Rand Paul's a plagiarizing misogynistic racist (533 comments)

I think this here sums up libertarianism nicely, as well as how anyone who isn't a true believer can expect to be treated should they ever win. Most might not be so blunt about it, but it's the idea behind all the sweet words about liberty.
[...]
And it's interesting to note that this is pretty much exactly what Nazis themselves, or hard-line communists, or really any totalitarians spouted.

You're doing the exact same thing.

about two weeks ago
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Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

stdarg Re:Ridiculous! (590 comments)

Appropriating mythological characters is fine and dandy, but making fundamental changes to them that don't serve a greater purpose to the audience is not.

To take a non-mythological example, I've enjoyed the change from "John Watson" to "Joan Watson" in Elementary (the John Watson associated with Sherlock Holmes, in case you aren't familiar with it). Why? Because in the original Sherlock stories there has always been a kind of weird relationship between Sherlock and John. Changing John to a female character presents those relationships in a different light, just as it would if the characters were gay. So that's interesting.

But if they took John Watson and said, okay, not only is he now a woman, but he's a scuba instructor instead of a doctor, she's never been to war, and she's actually smarter than Sherlock, and oh she's not interested in solving crimes or documenting or anything, it's now become a cooking show... well you can see how fundamental identity changes *can at least hypothetically* change the character so much that it's worthless crap (unless the cooking show is actually good, and then it should be thought of as a new thing with new characters).

To take another example, in the Thor movie, making Heimdall black was stupid. That added nothing.. though since he was a minor character it wasn't a big deal. Hypothetically, if they had made Loki black to make his "otherness" more obvious, that could have been interesting on many levels so it would be a worthwhile change to explore.

So what does changing Thor into a woman bring to the table?

For now, I can't think of anything interesting that comes up as a result of Thor being a woman. So to me this was a stupid change.

about two weeks ago
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Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

stdarg Re: Ridiculous! (590 comments)

Why would some random person, alien, frog (based on other comments), etc who wields Mjolnir suddenly be called Thor? That's just... dumb. It's insulting to the reader not only because of the rewriting of the character's mythological basis, but because it's just incredibly stupid and doesn't match the common situation where when you pick up an object that belongs to someone else and you don't become that person.

Basing a character on Thor and having him eat a shawarma and live in the US in modern times is a different ballgame and I think you know that, so that part of your argument doesn't make sense. You can make up a story while still respecting the cultural basis of your character.

Oh well, this is probably part of the reason that comic book movies are so much better than comics themselves. I doubt they'd pull this kind of stunt in a movie with major characters.

Big ugly chick: Hi I'm Thor! Because I have that hammer thing.
Fat guy: Hi I'm Superman! Because I found his tights.
Another guy: Hi I'm Wonder Woman! Because I'm wearing Wonder Woman's bracelets and Wonder "Woman" is just a title really.
And together we are... the box office bomb!

Could make a good parody I guess.

about two weeks ago
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Court Rejects Fox's Attempt to Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish's Hopper

stdarg Re:Study first, then appeal (67 comments)

True, it's silly that cable companies have to pay rebroadcast fees either. The content is available free to the subscriber, it shouldn't matter which middle men are involved. I would, however, distinguish between middle men who edit the broadcast (such as cable companies inserting their own commercials into a show, or even minor things like adding an overlay) versus those who simply retransmit it (even including things like transcoding or changing mediums).

about two weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

stdarg Re:It's here already? (162 comments)

That's a good point but you're not considering that what people do within a society may be different than what they do pre-society. When we were all living in a jungle, perhaps the selfish need for communal protection outweighed other selfish drives. When society is established, one of the benefits is more privacy (property ownership, no trespassing, etc... the legal system keeping others away from you with little effort on your part) which lets you indulge your darker drives.

My point is that societies can change over time and what started as a good society could become a colonial, slave-holding, child-murdering (when the children are "other") society at some point, while still being large and advanced relative to others.

about two weeks ago
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Court Rejects Fox's Attempt to Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish's Hopper

stdarg Re:Study first, then appeal (67 comments)

Aereo lost at the Supreme Court, there's nowhere else to appeal. They could change their business model/technology slightly, re-open, and wait to get sued again though.

about two weeks ago
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Court Rejects Fox's Attempt to Use Aereo Ruling Against Dish's Hopper

stdarg Re:Can't use duck test and rational argument (67 comments)

If Aereo set up the same antenna, the same DVR, the same transcoding hardware, but they came out to your house and did it on your property, then I would think it's pretty clearly legal. Even if they charged you for it. Because of that, I don't think it's the money that makes it legally problematic. It's just an idiotic opinion by the Supreme Court. They happen from time to time. Their insistence that this only applies to Aereo and not the underlying technology implies that they understand the technology is fine, they just don't like Aereo for doing it for some reason.

about two weeks ago
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The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

stdarg Re:It's here already? (162 comments)

I don't think that makes it meaningless, but you have to be careful in applying it to yourself versus judging others. If "me" is relative then it allows you to apply the standard to others and say whether they are a good person even if they don't benefit (or harm) you. You can say the people behind the holocaust were bad, because they did not care about their close neighbors, friends, relatives, etc.

While I agree with GP on that respect, I disagree that large societies are evidence that people are good. Even in a large society, most people don't interact directly with the majority of that society. Your neighbor could be one of those people who kidnaps children and keeps them in a dungeon for 12 years (amazing how many stories like that have come out in the last few years) and you wouldn't know. Thought experiment: what if everybody in your neighborhood except you did that? Everybody in your city? It would appear the same as now, but pretty obviously it's not a "good" society.

about three weeks ago
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Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

stdarg Re:Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (415 comments)

Fencing means you receive stolen property for resale. Generally you buy it from a criminal and sell it to the public and profit off the low price you paid to the criminal.

I don't think it really applies to child porn. It's possible that some child porn is fenced, but from stories I've read over the years most child porn is used to gain access to a child porn ring where it's traded with other child porn producers. Some of it leaks out, but not through selling... it's just posted on some forum or usenet or whatever. Your average child porn consumer is not paying for it certainly, and has no plans to resell it.

about three weeks ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

stdarg Re:Zediva all over again. (484 comments)

How is their business model obsolete? Producing desirable content and charging for it? The thing that's obsolete is providing free OTA transmission of this content, because the content costs more to produce than the networks recoup from advertising alone.

[...]

If Aereo becomes legal, a whole shitload of people (or, rather, their cable/telco/satellite provider) will do it and that business model (free OTA transmission) will indeed become obsolete very, very quickly.

It's obsolete in that the revenue stream the networks are depending on from cable is a result of people finding it inconvenient to access the content with their own antenna, and as a result of Aereo that's changing.

If you rent this stuff from someone else, it's tantamount to a cable company and thus that company is required to pay the licensing fee.

That's the key point, and it's where I disagree. (The retransmission stuff was a red herring, because retransmission is obviously okay to do in and of itself.)

A cable company exercises selection and control over the content they retransmit. For example, I know that my local Time Warner Cable antenna that picks up Fox, ABC, etc can also pick up MeTV and ION TV, because MY antenna picks up those channels and my antenna sucks.

But guess what, they don't offer MeTV and ION TV in their "local broadcast stations" package. And that's a huge difference between them an Aereo. Aereo offers dumb access to an antenna and whatever it receives. It's antenna rental. The cable company takes stewardship of the service and customizes it based on their own product offering. Perhaps they have a cable channel that shows old TV shows, so they don't want to offer MeTV on the cheap package. And that's their right... AS A CABLE COMPANY. Because they are in charge of the content.

Aereo is not.

This was also noted in the dissent, though without a specific example.

(from your other comment):

with the equipment rental and delivery system over the internet

And again, to me that means the court doesn't understand the technology. A point to point connection over the internet is still point to point. It's equivalent to a long wire from a single antenna to a single house (in Aereo's case). Perhaps Breyer says "Oh, a big network of cables, it's so similar to a cable company" but that's just wrong.

I'm sorry that this doesn't agree with how Slashdotters like to interpret the letter of the law, but that's precisely what the courts are there to do - consider intent, consider grey areas, draw arbitrary lines.

I agree with you, but courts occasionally make poor decisions and that's what I'm complaining about. I think this is a bad decision, you apparently don't. I can't fathom how Aereo is a cable company, you apparently see it plain as day. That's all... it doesn't mean I don't think courts should be allowed to interpret, if that's what you're implying. That's clearly their job.

Furthermore, when I first started complaining about this decision (on a CNN comment feed, not here) I was open to the idea that there was some deep principle in the decision that would make sense. There sometimes is, even with a decision I initially disagree about, because the Supreme Court judges are very smart and usually do a good job of distilling things down to fairly simple principles. Nobody was able to shed light on what I'm not seeing, they just keep regurgitating lines from the decision. Aereo is a cable company, so it's obvious! Well, except it's not. They took a BIG leap that is not intuitive at all. Nobody can bridge that gap and elaborate on their argument because it's a leap of faith. You either agree that Aereo is a cable company, or not. As Scalia noted in the dissent, it's a really stupid thing to just assert "it looks like a cable company so we'll regulate it like a cable company" without being able to justify WHY it looks like a cable company, because every future decision about a similar case will require the same act. There's no deeper principle they called upon. There's no TEST for it. There's no nuance. It's just.. "Hmm, does THIS one look like a cable company. Nah. Oh, does THIS one? Yep." That's idiotic. In this case they erred. It happens.

about a month ago

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