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  • Aug 14th, 2015 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or, the most likely result is that everyone would look around, notice that there isn't actually a fire, and tell the idiot to shut the hell up and watch the movie.

    Seriously, people double check even after hearing actual gunshots to see what's going on, do you honestly believe anyone is going to jump up and run out of a theater in blind panic just because one person claimed there was a fire that no one can see or hear?

    The biggest myth in the "fire in a crowded theater" piece isn't the law, it's that apparently people think everyone else instantly reacts to baseless exclamations of danger in sufficient levels to cause injury to others. Yeah, right.

  • Jul 31st, 2015 @ 1:08pm


    The group that released the videos, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) has never, as far as I can find, had a member charged with or implicated in violence against abortion providers. There was one murder associated with a different anti-abortion group (Operation Rescue) where the murderer got information from that group and the group's leader was indicted with a conspiracy to damage an abortion clinic. And by "associated" I mean "shared a legal defense team" and general political stance. That's sort of like saying Aasif Mandvi is associated with ISIL because both are Muslim and believe in Allah.

    I wonder if people would be having the same reaction if someone snuck a camera into a slaughterhouse. For example, previously the Supreme Court has ruled that you can't prohibit videos of animal cruelty except in very specific circumstances, and not to hide evidence of that cruelty. What if someone released information about government abuse of human rights?

    Be careful what you wish for. Even if you are for abortion that doesn't mean you should ignore any evidence of wrongdoing. I personally am a huge fan of Elon Musk, but if someone released a video of him kicking puppies for sport, I wouldn't disregard it just because I think he's awesome.

    I'm not saying the videos are accurate or even representative of Planned Parenthood...I think more investigation needs to happen first. But I do believe there needs to be investigation.

  • Jul 17th, 2015 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How about evidence from computers that are wide open

    Yet is still better than Linux.

  • Jul 16th, 2015 @ 11:41am


    This strongly applies to our understanding of economics as well. Any time an economic theory begins with the assumption that humans will act purely in a rational, self-interested manner you may safely assume the any experimental results from said theory will result in near-random events.

    After all, according to some leading economists, economic bubbles don't exist. This is why people don't take justice or economics seriously...when you come from a fundamentally flawed assumption how can your conclusions be accurate?

  • Jul 15th, 2015 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re: Consider this

    Definitely sarcasm. Kill switches in our own gear would never be accepted by the military for exactly that reason. Hell, our gear breaks down all the time without built-in failure mechanisms.

    You want to know how you deal with the enemy using your gear against you? First, take care of your shit, and don't leave it unguarded, so they can't get much of it in the first place. Second, if they do get it, kill them.

    Lots of people believe that the U.S. military is the strongest in the world because of our technology, but while it helps, that's not really the primary reason we win wars. Our military is strongest because of two things; training and number of troops. The best gear in the world with someone who isn't trained properly and doesn't have the resource support structure will be overcome by someone with moderate gear that has better training and/or more people.

    I know the military is unpopular with a lot of people on this problem, you can have your own opinion. But the U.S. military is not respected around the world purely because of our toys; there is real training and skill behind our forces.

    It's really too bad we keep getting used for stupid crap that we shouldn't be doing. We're very effective at winning wars and moderately effective at pointless policing actions. The fact that our mission is political BS isn't really the fault of the military.

  • Jul 15th, 2015 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: The debate they're avoiding

    That has already been proposed by the chief of police of Houston, Texas. Seriously.

    And if that isn't evidence it's an awful idea, I don't know what is!

  • Jul 15th, 2015 @ 11:42am

    Re: The debate they're avoiding

    I have an even simpler idea...why not require all U.S. citizens to install cameras that record every room in their home and around their property at all times? The video is stored in secure, government facilities and will only be accessed with a warrant or for national anti-terrorism efforts.

    Think about all the benefits; you don't even need a phone to find where the bad guys are. If someone breaks into your house, there is now video evidence. Domestic violence? Video evidence. And it will only be used to protect you!

    How could anyone possibly object? If you have an issue, you must have something to hide!

  • Jul 13th, 2015 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Is It Property, Or Isn’t It? -- But policing is EVERYONE's responsibility.

    So, wait, are you saying neighborhoods are legally obligated to have guards stationed around your property and prevent trespassers? Odd, I've never seen that before.

    Sure, if someone trespasses on your property you can call the police to help out, but if the police just happen to see someone on your property they probably aren't going to do anything. How do they know that person is unauthorized? Heck, it could be your buddy coming by.

    Also, the majority of people will naturally accept that being beaten and robbed is a negative thing and has a moral response. Most copyright infringement is literally as "bad" as jaywalking, and in the vast majority of cases is completely victimless. The only people who truly believe copyright infringement is wrong are those who have been convinced it's wrong by swindlers trying to pin creator's woes on someone other than themselves.

    Sorry if I'm not feeling pangs of sympathy for imaginary slights. Without modern copyright law people wouldn't even notice copyright infringement; you always notice getting beaten and robbed, regardless of the law. It's not a reasonable compromise, it's a paid-for racket that keeps rich men rich and benefits nobody but them.

    First you'd have to prove some actual benefits to me for copyright before I'll buy your "compromise" is anything close to reasonable.

  • Jul 10th, 2015 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Out of the frying pan, into the fire(but now with self-righteous satisfaction as you roast)

    In what economic theory is this true? "Hollywood Accounting Theory?"

    Because actual economic theories would disagree, as would the law itself. And even if piracy were somehow considered stealing in economics, terminology alone would not miraculously change reality.

  • Jul 10th, 2015 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Is that a 3D pie chart?

    It would be more misleading if all the actual percentages weren't listed on the chart. A 2D pie chart would give virtually the same conclusion based on the numbers presented.

    I'd be fairly shocked if someone thought: "Man, I was convinced that the 45.6% going to labels was bad, but then I realized it was a 3D pie chart and that the 45.6% actually looked closer to 46.7% compared to the rest, so my conclusion is now totally different!"

    Yeah, right.

  • Jul 10th, 2015 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And when I choose not to buy something at all, $0 goes to the artist. So are you saying that someone who chooses not to purchase a good is stealing?

    Because the uncomfortable fact is that money is only lost if the person would otherwise have purchased the product. Since actual evidence implies that those who pirate the most also purchase the most, the most logical conclusion is that, if anything, not pirating is stealing, not the other way around, because those who don't pirate spend less on content!

    It's not an uncomfortable fact for anyone who understands basic economics. Ever heard of "advertising?" People generally don't pay for ads, they're given out for free, and companies spend billions producing them specifically to give them out for free. If $0 is going to the person creating the ad, why are they spending so much money creating them?

    Oh, right, because ads make money by promoting a scarce good while utilizing a non-scarce good. This is literally Marketing 101. Yet copyright has managed to break this economic fact by trying to convert infinite goods into scarce goods, and then everyone seems to be shocked when people don't follow the rules.

    People have been trying to regulate the economy forever, and the most common result is that the people that can influence the regulations get rich at the expense of everyone who can't. That's because economic principles simply don't care about laws other than how those laws try and bend them out of shape.

    The sad part is that regulation is necessary for a thriving economy. Once the regulation becomes "beneficial" rather than punitive, however, it tends to shift money to those who are on the benefit side rather than punish those abusing the natural imbalances of the economic system.

    And, surprise surprise, that's exactly what we're seeing.

  • Jul 10th, 2015 @ 1:58pm

    (untitled comment)

    Huh, the first thing I thought was "glad Russia has all those super-effective gun control laws!"

    Maybe if she actually knew how to handle a gun she'd still be alive. Also, who gives someone a loaded, racked pistol for a picture shoot?

    Guns don't kill people. Ignorant morons that use guns without learning basic safety rules kill people*.

    * Before the anti-gun nuts get started, psychos will kill people regardless, as Russia's high murder rate even without guns shows.

  • Jul 10th, 2015 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Mythological Trey & Matt History...

    From the very Wikipedia article you quoted:

    Brian Graden, Fox network executive and mutual friend, commissioned Parker and Stone to create a second short film as a video Christmas card...Graden sent copies of the video to several of his friends, and from there it was copied and distributed, including on the internet, where it became one of the first viral videos...As Jesus vs. Santa became more popular, Parker and Stone began talks of developing the short into a television series.
    So, um, they circulated their short to a guy who put it online and it became one of the first viral videos, and they decided to make it into a show because of its popularity. Saying that free internet circulation of their initial short was responsible for their success is absolutely a true statement, and nowhere does it say that such circulation was unauthorized as it was done by the very person they willingly gave it to. Why is it so difficult to read Wikipedia?

    And you're right, it's their work, and they can do what they want with it. It's only going to reduce their overall viewership, end up making them less money, and increase piracy rates.

    Or are you so naïve you believe that putting the episodes on Hulu Plus is going to make a bit of difference?

  • Jul 8th, 2015 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re:

    It shocks me that I can find out pretty much exactly how many people died from heart disease, cancer, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, suicide, etc., but I can't find out how many individuals were killed in gun homicide by police in their official duties.

  • Jul 6th, 2015 @ 1:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    Seriously, though, without copyright to get rid of this obvious theft, how could EA justify continuing to make Mass Effect games? Obviously this free board game will negatively affect their completely different video game sales when people realize they can just download the board game and not have to play the video game!

    That's the logic here, right?

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 8:08pm

    Re: This case has taught me

    That's because programmers seem to use the word "API" as a synonym with "SDK" a lot. The two are superficially SDK is a specific implementation of an API for use by other developers...but the API is essentially what you'd be left with if you deleted all the code from the SDK and left comments and variable declarations behind.

    Or maybe I don't understand it, and if my understanding is flawed, please let me know. But to use a code example, this is something you'd see in a (really crappy) SDK:

    addtwoints(int x, int y)
    // Add x and y to return an integer
    int z;
    z = x + y;
    return z;

    And this is the API for the same function:
    addtwoints(int x, int y)
    // Add x and y to return an integer

    Sure, they both look like code. But anyone with even a shred of programming knowledge knows that second one doesn't actually do anything. They are also probably offended at my horrid example and are confused as to what crazy combination of syntax I'm using (it's been a while since I've touched anything based on the C language, sorry).

    Again, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that's what an API is.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re:

    That's what I was thinking. Mine are $10 with the military discount. Plus about $50 for the babysitter. And then gas money, and possibly the overpriced food.

    And all that money gets me an experience worse than my living room with a 127" projector and surround sound. At least at home I can sit in pajamas on my comfy couch, pause if I need to go to the bathroom, rewind if I missed something, and I don't have to drive anywhere.

    Pretty much the only reason I ever go to theaters is to watch a movie that just came out, and even that is happening less and less.

  • Jun 29th, 2015 @ 12:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    You know what? I hereby copyright the five paragraph essay. Here is the code:

    establish basic premise
    establish three primary discussion points
    define topic sentence
    paragraph one
    describe supporting point one
    describe any opposing viewpoints
    rebut opposing viewpoints
    paragraph two
    describe supporting point two
    describe any opposing viewpoints
    rebut opposing viewpoints
    paragraph three
    describe supporting point three
    describe any opposing viewpoints
    rebut opposing viewpoints
    restate thesis and how supporting points prove main argument
    wrap up argument and counter-arguments
    conclusion sentence

    Anyone using this format on a computer now owes me royalties for its use. If you need me I'll be on a college tour...high schools are for next year. Be back later with yacht.

  • Jun 26th, 2015 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: About time...

    Correct, secession was caused by slavery. The Civil War, however, was caused by secession. So saying that the Civil War was caused by slavery is provably false.

    Why does that distinction matter? If it was slavery->secession->war isn't that the same as slavery->war? No, because the war wouldn't have started without the secession (or at least there's no evidence it would have). If the South had ignored Lincoln's election and continued on there would not have been a Civil War. If the North had simply allowed the secession there would not have been a Civil War. The secession was the key; the fact that it was caused by slavery does not make slavery the driving force behind the conflict (also, slavery was not the sole factor that led to secession, as there were also nationalist, political, religious, and expansionist factors; slavery was just the biggest contributing factor).

    It may seem like a minor point, but when you have legal slaves in the North up to 1865, it seems that the "the North hated slavery and the South loved it, so they fought" argument falls apart pretty quickly. It also requires ignoring a huge amount of historical accounts, including quotes from Lincoln himself.

    Granted, the Civil War wasn't fought over states' rights either. But the majority of contemporary historians agree that the spark of the Civil War was the secession of the Southern states and the creation of the Confederacy, regardless of why those states chose to go that route.

  • Jun 26th, 2015 @ 7:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you believe that, I doubt we're going to get anywhere.

    My position is based on the work of contemporary historians, but hey, you're free to believe whatever you want. The South seceded because they wanted to preserve slavery; this is absolutely true. The war, however, was fought to end the secession, not to end slavery. If it were fought to end slavery, then slavery would have ended in the Union in 1861, when the war started and there wasn't a political reason to preserve it, rather than in 1865, when it actually ended.

    So yes, slavery was certainly the primary factor leading to the civil war (along with conflicts over westward expansion) because that's the factor that led the south to secede, but Lincoln didn't start a war because the South had slaves, he started it because they quit the club. It was a war over control; the South wanted to control human beings, and wanted to keep their "traditional values" (no matter how sick those values), and the North wanted control over the "Union" and was willing to kill to preserve their power. Everyone has an ideology they use as an excuse, but it's naïve to think America fought against itself for anything other than power, plain and simple.

    The North didn't have to fight; they could have abandoned the Southern states, let them secede, and gone on with their day. Everyone acts like it was inevitable, that the South forced the North to act. Bull. They could have let it go, and after a few years and a few inventions, plus a lot of education, slavery most likely would have died off in the South like it had been doing everywhere else in the civilized world. Instead, we fought a bloody war that has people divided over it 150 years later.

    I'm not really defending the South. They could have avoided the war too by not freaking out when Lincoln became president, especially when he had said multiple times during his campaign that he didn't intend to end slavery. "Lost Cause" proponents tend to forget that the South didn't have to seceded...they chose to. But there's two sides to any fight and this was not a "good vs. evil" conflict as much as we'd like to villainize the Confederacy today.

    Keep in mind that this is not about making private citizens or businesses do anything, it's about whether the flag should fly over a government building. I don't see that as a free speech issue.

    But that's the conflict. It's a state building, and if the elected leaders of the state are following the intent of those they represent, that's exactly what a republic is designed to do. It's when the minority dictates what the majority can do that the basic principle of democracy breaks down. If you don't like it, move there and vote against the leaders who put up that flag. Otherwise, that's their business.

    Sure, the majority isn't always right. But I trust the majority to generally follow the values of the people more than special interest groups with their own agendas. Sure, I like some of those agendas, but I don't like others, and I'd rather my vote actually mean something rather than be a "well, you voted, but this small group of people is going to override you because they say you're wrong."

    Be careful what you wish for, because the interest groups' designs may align with you today, but when they don't (*cough* TPP *cough*), and you wonder why the government is ignoring the will of the people, well, now you know. It's because they know what's in your "best interest," your opinion be damned.

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