Is anyone else looking at this and thinking, "this is what the endgame looks like"?
As in, the reason all of these leaks are coming out now is because the powers that be are sufficiently entrenched and secure that they don't really think that having this information come out will accomplish anything that can stop them now...
...not to mention making such a huge mess of the Presidency that we ended up electing George W. Bush as a backlash against Clinton's stupid antics. (Remember Bush's campaign promise to restore dignity to the White House?)
And then he managed to screw things up so badly that we elected Barack Obama in the backlash against Bush's stupid antics. How's that working out for us?
I shudder to think what we're going to end up with when the backlash against 8 years of the Obama administration's blundering comes to a head...
And each time it's debated, this issue comes up, with some in Congress seeking to carve out "new media," always using the same bogus rationale, arguing that if "bloggers" get shield law protection, then it means anyone can refuse to give up information on anyone else, by claiming to be a blogger.
This is hyperbolic and untrue.
As we've pointed out, there's a simple way to solve that problem: just make the shield law cover acts of journalism rather than target journalists.
I don't really see much of a difference. Now you've just shifted the problem from the rather nebulous issue of "how do you define a journalist?" to "how do you define an act of journalism?" The same "bogus rationale" objection still applies, just with a different excuse people would use.
Trivial that is, if all the highway wasn't already in place and currently in heavy use.
Just for the sake of discussion, let's hypothetically remove the "bloated government" and all its contracts from the picture. In their absence, how would you trivially implement a system like this? You have one absolute constraint you are required to work under: no causing massive gridlock.
Probably because of an obvious defect: Solar panels are made of glass. Roads need to be made of substances that are much more durable, much less hazardous to tires when broken, and much less smooth, (for traction,) particularly when wet.
What do men consider the most valuable of talents? One mentioned artistic ability, as you so keenly guessed. Another chose great intellect. The final chose the talent to invent, the ability to design and create marvelous devices. Aesthetic genius, invention, acumen, creativity. Noble ideals indeed. Most men would pick one of those, if given a choice, and name them the greatest of talents. What beautiful liars we are. In this, as in all things, our actions give us away.
If an artist creates a work of powerful beauty - using new and innovative techniques - she will be lauded as a master, and will launch a new movement in aesthetics. Yet what if another, working independently with that exact same level of skill, were to make the same accomplishments the very next month? Would she find similar acclaim? No. She’d be called derivative.
Intellect. If a great thinker develops a new theory of mathematics, science, or philosophy, we will name him wise. We will sit at his feet and learn, and will record his name in history for thousands upon thousands to revere. But what if another man determines the same theory on his own, then delays in publishing his results by a mere week? Will he be remembered for his greatness? No. He will be forgotten.
Invention. A woman builds a new design of great worth - some fabrial or feat of engineering. She will be known as an innovator. But if someone with the same talent creates the same design a year later - not realizing it has already been crafted - will she be rewarded for her creativity? No. She’ll be called a copier and a forger.
And so, in the end, what must we determine? Is it the intellect of a genius that we revere? If it were their artistry, the beauty of their mind, would we not laud it regardless of whether we’d seen their product before? But we don’t. Given two weeks of artistic majesty, otherwise weighted equally, we will give greater acclaim to the one who did it first. It doesn’t matter what you create. It matters what you create before anyone else. So it’s not the beauty itself we admire. It’s not the force of intellect. It’s not invention, aesthetics, or capacity itself. The greatest talent that we think a man can have? Seems to me that it must be nothing more than novelty.
Oh, every now and then he stumbles over something that accidentally happens to be a good idea, but that's not a reflection of his innate intelligence: it's just plain dumb luck.
I think it's not quite that simple. He really has done an admirable job of bringing some very real, very serious problems to people's attention. The problem is that he then goes and proposes a bunch of horrible, insane "solutions" that would make things worse... and people listen. A lot of people don't seem to understand that being able to correctly diagnose a problem is much, much easier than being able to correctly figure out what to do about it.
Before going into politics, Ron Paul used to be a doctor, but apparently he was in the wrong sub-field of medicine. If he'd been an oncologist, he would understand this principle.
A person's views on abortion don't tend to affect the way they run a business, unless they're in a related industry. But Objectivism is a full moral code, with particular emphasis on the way business should be run, so it's very relevant to the discussion.
I was talking about credibility, not the validity of a business model. Simply because something's a "philosophical viewpoint" does not necessarily mean it's just as good as any other philosophical viewpoint, and in the case of this particular philosophy it's about as close to pure evil as you can get.
I've been reading Techdirt for a long time now, and I really enjoy most of the articles, but you have a *massive* problem with not being able to admit when you're wrong. (See also: the Facebook IPO.) Uber has been thoroughly discredited ever since it came out that the company is 1) run by an Objectivist who 2) engaged in massive, illegal price gouging in the Sandy flooding and then 3) tried to use ridiculous Objectivist rhetoric to paint a smiley face over the whole thing and make it look like what he was doing was good for everyone involved, when five seconds of critical thinking tears the entire argument to shreds.
Can we *please* stop talking about poor, persecuted Uber on here already? It just makes you look bad.
Because we can now share information pretty easily, Airbnb's detailed review system and communication process take away most of the "risk" that necessitated a health and safety law.
Not at all. It just takes the exact same system (protect incumbents from competition at the expense of newcomers that may actually be better) and moves the enforcement from a formal, accountable, legal process to an informal, unaccountable extralegal process. For example:
Just as an example, in my own search for a place to stay, I went through about half a dozen different apartments that were available, and looked over the pictures and carefully read the reviews. I immediately discounted the cheapest one, because multiple reviews mentioned that the apartment had not been cleaned prior to them showing up. Information and the sharing of information made that place undesirable just like that. No laws needed.
So the people who have been around for long enough to garner several good reviews end up rising to the top.
If you're new, you don't have any reviews, meaning that no one is going to want to choose to stay at your place when there are more attractive places with lots of good reviews competing with you.
And once people start understanding how important reviews are to getting business, managing reviews starts becoming an important part of the business model. Then you get people writing fake reviews of their own place, (or fake *bad* reviews of the competition,) and people starting to take steps to coerce the sorts of reviews they want out of their customers. (See: the case of that one dentist suing people who wrote bad reviews.)
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The problem with footage and eyewitnesses is that the account they can provide almost invariably starts in Act 2. They see the police interacting with someone in some way; what they don't see is why.
The classic case is Rodney King, another "footage of police beating" incident. The guy with the camera didn't see the high-speed chase that the severely intoxicated King led the police on, endangering the lives of himself, his passengers, the police, and innocent civilians. It also didn't show him behaving in bizarre ways and making comments that led the officers on the scene to believe he was under the influence of not only alcohol but PCP as well.
All it showed was the arrest, and subsequent beating after King resisted arrest, and that's all that got broadcast on TV. When an impartial jury considered all the facts, they found the officers not guilty. But they had already been convicted by the media in the court of public opinion, and it touched off a riot.
Recorded evidence (audio and video) can have a very powerful emotional impact, and when used irresponsibly it can cause serious problems. (See also: the 911 call in the Trayvon Martin case that the reporter edited to manufacture the appearance of racism where none existed.)
With the way people keep pulling stupid crap like this, it's not hard to understand why even good police don't like being taped. If I was a cop I wouldn't like it either, and not because I wanted to avoid responsibility, but because there's plenty of precedent to worry about that video being used irresponsibly and undermining the public safety that I had taken an oath to protect!
The closer to the truth, the better the lie, and the truth itself, when it can be used, is the best lie.
- Isaac Asimov
No, since the United States never legally entered into ACTA in the first place. It was illegally signed by President Obama under false pretenses, but to be valid the Constitution requires that it be ratified by Congress. That never happened.
In the interest of fairness, Prenda did not say something that ridiculous. They did not say "because Judge Wright's order came from a state where gay marriage is recognized, it can't be honored in Georgia, where it is not."
What they said was that "because Judge Wright's order came from a different state than here in Georgia, which happens to hold to some very legal precedents than Georgia does, (and here's a list of several important ones, such as gay marriage,) it should not be honored here."
That argument is a whole lot less ridiculous, and actually makes sense. It's wrong, as Mike pointed out, due to it being based on matters of federal, not state, law, but it's not crazy.
Really, these guys manage to screw things up enough on their own, frequently venturing into "truth is stranger than fiction" territory. We really don't need to invent fictitious screwups for them.
I wonder if this Author's Guild representative has ever heard of Brandon Sanderson.
In between writing and publishing some highly innovative novels that have made him one of the biggest names in modern Fantasy, and finishing up The Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan's death, Brandon teaches writing at BYU, which I don't think anyone would equate with Berkeley on the political spectrum.
He pushes strongly for digital innovation in books, personally making sure that all of his novels are available electronically and in audio-book formats as soon as possible, preferably at the same time as the print launch. (Though he's been known to get some push-back from Harriet, Robert Jordan's editor, on the The Wheel of Time books. Apparently she's a bit of a Luddite, unfortunately.) In fact, when a friend of mine found out I was going to meet him at a book-signing tour, she asked me to specifically thank him for his efforts in this, because she's blind and it's pretty much the only way she can enjoy literature.
Did I miss something? When did the ACLU become a useful group going after actual problems? Last I heard, they were just a bunch of scuzzy bullies using the force of the court system to ram a mangled-beyond-recognition personal interpretation of the Establishment Clause down everyone's throat, much like the fine folks at the MPAA like to do with their personal interpretations of copyright law.
For example, always-connected DRM that introduces a functional dependency on a remote server for the game to operate is DRM, but is not "hacking" by any definition -- nobody is directing the operation of your computer except you.
I wouldn't say that. Just look at the most recent example of always-connected DRM: the new SimCity. It does not "introduce a functional dependency;" it actively breaks the whole system. It has been shown by a few modders that no real "functional dependency" exists; the game is perfectly capable of playing with no internet connection.
The only thing that the DRM does is take control of the system away from you by making you unable to run the program without complying with requirements that do nothing except satisfy the DRM. This is holding your game, that you paid for with your own money, hostage. This is an act of hacking, period.