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Comment Re:Holy flamebait batman! (Score 1) 904

Just brainstorming here, no way am I suggesting this is well-considered commentary.

Perhaps some form of distribution of necessity goods without the exchange of money would resolve some of the "unfairness" complaints about UBI.

Rent vouchers, water, basic groceries in some limited amount, some quantity of kWh of electric power, health care, public transport, basic utilities...

If these were free of financial cost to the consumer, the need for monetary income could be drastically reduced.


Comment Re:Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

Christians: "Hate the sin, love the sinner."
Muslims: "Kill all the gays!"

Liberals: "As you can see, all religions are equally bad!"

Anonymous Coward: "Categorize humans into a small number of buckets and then I will tell you what all of them think, so that you can ignore them because they don't agree with you. Unless you are one of 'them'."

Comment Re:Omar Saddiqui Mateen? (Score 1) 1718

Christians may think that homosexuality is a sin, but they are not raping, shooting, throwing in acid, or hanging gay people.

Oh yes they are. (Just a few examples there.)

OK, I can't verify how many of the people who have attacked an LGBT person lately is a Christian - or claims to be - but many of the most egregious attacks are carried out by people who claim to be "fighting evil" in the name of their religious beliefs, and in the "West" most of those were not Muslims.

No "hangings" that I can think of off hand, though being left tied to a fence might qualify. Throwing acid... hmmm, maybe not, but throwing boiling water, check. Shooting? Numerous. Raping? Numerous. Beating to death, check. Stabbing, yes. Firebombing, yep. I can remember from my childhood people talking of taking baseball bats to the park to beat up fags, and I didn't even know any Muslims then.

So, it's really no surprise that the other poster might have some of that history pop into mind.

Personally, my first thoughts were, "Oh God, not another" without any assumptions about who did it or why. I think most of us can agree that the reasons homicidally crazy people do homicidal things is hard to understand, and I'd go further to state that you can't take the things such a person says as truth in any simple sense.

Many will latch onto individual statements or bits of information as "proof" of their own pet hatreds or prejudices, or fuel for their own ambitions, but simplistic reasoning is usually false and will lead you to bad decisions.

I would recommend that people calling themselves Christians and inciting or carrying out violence would be well served to actually read the teachings of Christ and pay attention. I don't feel qualified to make recommendations to followers of other religious traditions, but I can hope for some good non-violent teaching there as well.

Comment Re:Yes, it should be illegal. (Score 1) 380

I probably shouldn't bother... but:

The passwords have no value in themselves, no more so than the key to your house has significant value in itself. In order to demonstrate this principle, here is a password I no longer use:

Good luck buying lunch with that.

The things protected by passwords and keys may or may not have financial value, whether intrinsic or created by agreements. Additionally, "financial value" is not the only form of value.

So, point taken, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Coward, but I think I'll stand by my assertions, incomplete though they be.

Comment Re:Yes, it should be illegal. (Score 5, Insightful) 380

Assigning costs ... to the free and total dissemination of information

How about assigning costs to the creation of the information?
How about assigning costs to the editing?
How about assigning costs to the creation of artwork in the books?

Each of these activities has costs, but whether the expenditure creates value is a different question. I can hire someone to move rocks from one side of my yard to the other, and then back again, incurring cost, with no value created whatsoever.

I have great affinity and sympathy for those who work to create works of technology (such as myself) or artistic works such as literature (my spouse and other relatives), but the mathematical reality is that information itself, if infinitely and cheaply reproducible and transportable, is without intrinsic financial value, and can only be effectively sold for non-trivial prices when artificially controlled by regulation.

I continue to be fascinated at this tug of war between one the one side the financial interests of creators and historically profitable distributors who no longer add any value, and on the other side the benefit to society of having easy, cheap access to information, each of which has value. In the end, there's no "right and wrong" here other than that which is agreed upon via government and other forms of negotiation.

And before "stealing" gets tossed out there, if you still have the thing which was "stolen", it wasn't stolen. It was copied. There's a difference. The argument about lost profits has more basis, but has been grossly exaggerated in many cases, and only exists due to the aforementioned agreements, not due to any inherent physical reality.

Comment Re:Who the fuck cares (Score 1) 795

I think there are different ways of looking at the issue, and it's interesting to observe.

I can, for example, see an argument that one of these dichotomies is between seeing humans as part of the natural global ecosystem, as opposed to something "outside" or "different from" the natural system.

If we assume the first, then whatever we do and whatever the consequences, it's just nature doing its thing. I think that's a valid point of view, albeit fatalistic and probably leading (naturally) to the eventual extinction of our species.

If we assume the second, that in some way we are "not natural" (perhaps because we can choose our group behaviors consciously, to some extent), then our actions and the consequences become a moral question and perhaps an existential challenge, and we should judge our choices accordingly. While there are obvious arguments against these premises and assumptions, I do think it offers at least a hope of long term survival if we can find a way to direct our group behaviors toward consequences favorable to our continued existence, leaving aside the aesthetic argument of keeping things that we like instead of destroying them.

It might be argued that killing off other species at a rate unprecedented outside of major calamity is not proven to be detrimental to our own survival, but I think that misses the point that even if we don't exterminate ourselves, we'd probably be better off and happier if we didn't befoul our own nest over-much.

Comment Why school? (Score 1) 143

Where in the world did we get this insane notion that education should be totally or even primarily outsourced to someone else in a building down the road a ways?

School in its various incarnations is a useful tool, but children learn *everywhere*, all the time. So do adults, if they are paying attention.

How about we focus our efforts on using the best available tools for the right jobs, and stop expecting "somebody else" to do all the hard parts?

Raising kids "right" starts before they're even conceived, and involves a lifelong commitment to seeing that your offspring get the very best you can provide in the way of teaching, providing, leading, guiding, and also getting the heck out of their way sometimes.

So, every kid, regardless of what happens for the minority of time spent in an institution of public forced indoctrination, gets a unique individual learning experience, whether you like it or not, and whether you planned it or mandated it or not. Sometimes it's a good one, far too often it's a neglectful one.

If you plan for schools to raise your kid, you're doing it wrong.

Comment Re:Personalised (Score 1) 143

Far out, man.

Funny thing, through an individually tailored program of public school, tutoring, home schooling, online schooling, school-sponsored extra-curriculars, non-school-sponsored extra-curriculars, community organization participation, church going, scouting, going to college, family time spent learning and interacting, travel, educational shows, and spending time with friends just goofing off, my kids have all learned how to read, write, do math, sing, play sports, play musical instruments, act, create art, lead groups, program computers, provide health care, pick a spouse and get married, have babies and take good care of them, earn a living, drive cars safely, vote their conscience, be productive and creative members of society, ... ...AND respect people who are different from themselves and give them the space to find their own happiness.

Weird, huh?

Comment Re:Best way to stop these criminals (Score 1) 133

I remember a time when /. was mostly filled with mentally stable people.

That's funny, I don't.

There have always been a nice minority of saner folks, but madness has been par for the course as long as I've been around. Don't let them get to you, just gesture with your shotgun at the "off my lawn" notice.

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