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Comment Re:Shift from offering products to exploiting user (Score 0) 154

You can trash the founding fathers of this country all you want, but they instituted a form of government that gave every plebe far more autonomy than ever existed in the past, even giving the plebes the ability to change it or abolish it if necessary.

No. The plebes were not allowed to vote under the Founders' system, only land-owners. And in order to be a land-owner you had to meet quite a few non-monetary requirements as well. They also set up an Electoral College due to logistical considerations (the fastest way to relay information was a courier on horseback) and also to insulate against the possibility of the masses voting in someone totally unqualified. Supposedly, the educated folk in the College would recognize, say, a proto-dictatorial populist strongman, more easily than the general electorate of landowners, and they would serve as a check over the election process. Part of the whole checks and balances thing.

The system wasn't perfect, and it still isn't. We need to keep what works and change what doesn't. Voting rights have been broadly expanded, because we recognized that is a good thing, and we set out to make it happen. Regarding the Electoral College - the logistical considerations are essentially gone in this information age. They have proven themselves ineffective as a sanity check on the election process by failing to take any action in 2016. Their votes have contradicted the will of the people in several recent elections. Add in an efficiency bonus for streamlining things, and I see zero reason to keep the Electoral College.

Comment Re:This is how it works (Score 1) 154

The focus with news tends to be on "current events", not so much "future events". Even then, things like nuclear science have gotten tons of bad press, although much of that was before the period they are looking at (mid-80s to mid-2010s). Or, if you look at more speculative media (sci-fi) you will see negative portrayals abound. Going way back to the 1800s. Frankenstein, H.G. Wells.

Comment Re:What's with this fixation? (Score 1) 328

I doubt a "small business accountant" would benefit much from learning Python. I have a hard time imagining a good chunk of their time is spent doing things that Python could automate (but Excel can't). What, specifically, does Python provide to a small business accountant that Excel doesn't?

Comment Re: Fast food (Score 0) 122

They can survive by trying to supplement the lost nutrients with vitamin pills and such. But they won't be in peak condition physically. The vegans I know all seem to have emotional problems as well. I don't know if that has been studied but I think it's probably due to a lack of monoamine (serotonin, dopamine, etc) precursors in non-meats.

Comment Re:They want to be a welfare state? (Score 2) 237

Are they? I was under the impression that China has recently (within the past year) denied permits for new coal plants and was getting on track otherwise to reduce coal-related pollution. Obviously it takes longer than that to ensure they are serious about it, but I don't see why they wouldn't be. Look at the pictures from Beijing - even the dumbest Chinese citizen can look out his window and tell it's gotten out of control. Additionally, the Paris agreement is starting to come into force just now. I say give China and others at least another 5 - 10 years to reduce emissions. By that time you will have a better idea of how serious they are about it. Not that the UK reducing emissions would "do zero" - it would actually do exactly what they need and can do - but I won't get into that now.

Comment Re:They want to be a welfare state? (Score 2) 237

I tried, believe me. I knew it was a futile endeavor because of the state I live in. I had never voted before, but recognized this as being not the usual election. I offered people rides to get to their polling stations. I talked to people about the deception going on. The conclusion I got at the end of this was utter despair. People are stupid. Our news comes from Facebook, our diplomacy is conducted in
Though some of the challenges in our era are unique, I see a lot of parallels between what's going on today and the unrest in the 60s. The forces at work are the same. A lot of the particular issues that have arisen are very similar. In the years following the 60s, we elected Reagan and Nixon, corporate greed continued to run unchecked, incomes fell, etc. But a lot of the bottom-up changes from that era - the idea the racism is bad, marijuana isn't so bad - did take hold. It's taken half a century and counting for marijuana reform to come to fruition. Our current political events notwithstanding, I'd argue that racism is generally viewed as a bad thing. So I don't see that the counterculture of the 60s totally failed. The stuff that comes from the ground up - from common sense, once people have been made aware of the issues - succeeded eventually. The top-down reforms failed.

The battle against Trumpism (for lack of a better word... I mean, I have paragraphs of better words, but this one is so concise...) is something that can be won, then. But this is a long-term game. The goal, after all, is the advancement of the human species and human society. That happens on the scale of generations, not election cycles. It's a sad fact that most people are inflexible, sheltered, narrow-minded, ignorant. The only way to fight these evils is by giving the next generation a better option. The best way to fight bad ideas is with good ideas. Eventually, good ideas will succeed - or we will meet a doom of our own making.
What heights can our species achieve? There is great potential there, but I don't think it can be realized without our collective efforts focused toward it. That means not just educating people on what's going on, but getting them to take action. We, at least for now, have a system where action is as easy as taking a couple hours every couple years to go vote. They probably spend at least that much time keeping up with the Kardashians already, so I think it's doable. Effective change can still be accomplished without taking up arms. Not that it will be easy - it will be a grueling, ground-up process that takes decades. The alternative is giving up, which scares me a lot more.

Comment Re: Hyland's teething tablets (Score 3, Informative) 309

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) works similarly to belladonna. It also has the bonus of being a regulated product, properly labeled, and with a known dosage. Iirc that's 12.5 mg for children's benadryl. How much belladonna is in the hyland product? It probably doesn't say on the box, but it seems like its enough to kill the kids, sometimes.

Comment Re: Brave new world (Score 1) 502

Everyone from your employer, to your friends, to the customs officials at the airport are asking for a Facebook account now. "I don't have one" is treated as deception. I think its important as a society that we resist this kind of invasive bullshit and try to save some shred of privacy that we still have control over. Staying silent means being complicit in the societal devolution. Its a civic duty, not a waste of time. You may have been thinking of farmville.

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