Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Re:Stay the hell out of my PRIVATE PROPERTY NY NAZ (Score 1) 157

Under a reasonable legal system I should be able to sue you for ruining my property value (and my air, for that matter). There's no need for a specific law for every possible annoyance. That way, the owner can make sure whatever he puts on his property won't annoy his neighbors. If he lets quiet, normal people stay, that should be fine. Now it's just a case of the government building a moat around the hotel business.

Comment Re:What happens if (Score 1) 149

What's legal and what isn't is arbitrary. Just look at copyright law terms. Protected classes exist because there was enough political pressure at some point to make them a "legally protected class." As we're all aware, the law isn't perfect. Even though I fall into the class of left-handed young male I don't feel it's wrong to charge me more for insurance and that would be true even if handedness were a protected class. People who discriminate unfairly only hurt themselves. People who discriminate based on empirical data should be able to do so, "legally protected class" or not.

Comment Re:Where to now? (Score 1) 314

I think it's a little disingenuous to use the US as an example of the free market, where, according to the heritage institute:

The regulatory burden continues to increase. Over 180 new major federal regulations have been imposed on business operations since early 2009 with estimated annual costs of nearly $80 billion. Labor regulations are not rigid, but other government policies, such as excessive occupational licensing, restrict growth in employment opportunities. Damaging monetary policies, tangled webs of corporate welfare, and various subsidies have bred economic distortions.

Regulations, taxes, and other government-imposed restrictions on businesses are all barriers to entry and create conditions that are perfect for the creation of a monopoly. When the government mandates that you serve rural areas to create an ISP (or in some cases bans it outright due to corporate capture) or that you use expensive proprietary electronic medical record systems for a private practice, it makes it very difficult to start a competing business. Mergers don't normally create monopolies. There are few true examples of national or international monopolies, despite the fact that governments foster them. If any firm in a free market attempts to take advantage of its market power, it will be obvious to others (there will be high profits) who may not be in the market that there is money to be made, thus prompting them to enter the market and undercut the monopolistic firm.

Comment Re:I'm having a really big antenna installed today (Score 1) 314

Somalia is just a collection of weak, ineffective governments on top of each other. It's not quite an anarchy, but it's interestingly done much better since the collapse of the government (as of 2009), suggesting that in markets where the free market has been able to enter, life has improved. It's not a great place to live by any standards but has done relatively well compared to its neighbors. Of course, it looks like people are trying to ruin it by strengthening the state.

On a side note, the government is not here to "protect you" from the wealthy. It's here to extract resources from you to stay in power. If pretending to be against the wealthy (while transferring money to them through lucrative contracts and favors) helps achieve that end, it will be done.

Comment Re:Kindergarten ? (Score 1) 228

Neglect for music and art has more to do with funding than any desire to cram more stuff in. There are schools where they can't even afford basic supplies like paper. How are they going to have instruments that students can use (as most can't afford a personal instrument) or art supplies such as canvas and paint if they can't afford even more basic supplies?

Where do you get the idea that "they can't even afford basic supplies like paper?" From the school board (who may have intentionally under-budgeted for visible items such as paper) and teachers who have a vested interest in making it sound like the schools are destitute? Throwing more money at the problem will not fix education.

Comment Re: AFAIK Porn is not illegal. (Score 1) 299

It's not all about what people vote for, though that is part of the problem: we keep voting for people who support a big government. However, part of the problem is the continued support SCOTUS gives to laws which are clearly unconstitutional. As Charles Black, an expert on constitutional law wrote on the New Deal:

the standard version of the story of the New Deal and the Court, though accurate in its way, displaces the emphasis. ... It concentrates on the difficulties; it almost forgets how the whole thing turned out. The upshot of the matter was (and this is what I like to emphasize) that after some twenty-four months of balking... the Supreme Court, without a single change in the law of its composition, or, indeed, in its actual manning, placed the affirmative stamp of legitimacy on the New Deal, and on the whole new conception of government in America.

When the supreme court makes a decision, it helps people shut about about things being unconstitutional

Of course, not everyone was satisfied. The Bonnie Prince Charlie of constitutionally commanded laissez-faire still stirs the hearts of a few zealots in the Highlands of choleric unreality. But there is no longer any significant or dangerous public doubt as to the constitutional power of Congress to deal as it does with the national economy. ... We had no means, other than the Supreme Court, for imparting legitimacy to the New Deal.

Leaving the government to dictate what the government can do is... counterproductive and leads to the same tyranny the constitution was meant to prevent.

Comment Re:Democracy Always Fails To Avoid Social Problems (Score 1) 93

Democracy has the same purpose every government structure has, keeping the majority from revolting while the elite remain elite and live off their labors.

Instead of divine right, we must now accept this because it's the "will of the people." As the libertarian political theorist and economist Rothbard put it,

The intellectual arguments used by the State throughout history to “engineer consent” by the public can be classified into two parts: (1) that rule by the existing government is inevitable, absolutely necessary, and far better than the indescribable evils that would ensue upon its downfall; and (2) that the State rulers are especially great, wise, and altruistic men—far greater, wiser, and better than their simple subjects. In former times, the latter argument took the form of rule by “divine right” or by the “divine ruler” himself, or by an “aristocracy” of men. In modern times, as we indicated earlier, this argument stresses not so much divine approval as rule by a wise guild of “scientific experts” especially endowed in knowledge of statesmanship and the arcane facts of the world. The increasing use of scientific jargon, especially in the social sciences, has permitted intellectuals to weave apologia for State rule which rival the ancient priestcraft in obscurantism. For example, a thief who presumed to justify his theft by saying that he was really helping his victims by his spending, thus giving retail trade a needed boost, would be hooted down without delay. But when this same theory is clothed in Keynesian mathematical equations and impressive references to the “multiplier effect,” it carries far more conviction with a bamboozled public.

The government merely takes from one group to give to another, usually benefiting the rulers:

State power, as we have seen, is the coercive and parasitic seizure of this production—a draining of the fruits of society for the benefit of nonproductive (actually antiproductive) rulers. While social power is over nature, State power is power over man.

Comment Re:BSD on the rise (Score 1) 132

The name might actually make a difference:

Psychologists have determined, for example, that shares in companies with easy-to-pronounce names do indeed significantly outperform those with hard-to-pronounce names. Other studies have shown that when presenting people with a factual statement, manipulations that make the statement easier to mentally process - even totally nonsubstantive changes like writing it in a cleaner font or making it rhyme or simply repeating it - can alter people’s judgment of the truth of the statement, along with their evaluation of the intelligence of the statement’s author and their confidence in their own judgments and abilities.

Slashdot Top Deals

Real Programmers don't eat quiche. They eat Twinkies and Szechwan food.