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  • Mar 11th, 2017 @ 6:34am

    (untitled comment)

    All this to-and-fro about how to force the ideal comment system into existence - so sad. It seems to me that many don't realize having to put up with trolls, idiots, sockpuppets and all the rest is the intrinsic reverse of the medal that has freedom of speech on its other side. Not that any private entity hosting a forum is obliged to observe that, obviously - but with that concept having been deemed worthy of being declared a human right a bunch of times and all that, one would think we all would want see it upheld (and even enforced) a lot more than we actually seem to.

    The thing is, regardless of what means one conceives of to discard some part of a discussion, all one will get is a discourse tuned to the specific likes and dislikes of the specific person, system or algorithm employed - paying with lost opportunity to have an idea challenged, in a potentially relevant manner regardless of the tone the challenge is delivered in*, for the convenience of not having to hear what one would prefer not to. It's paring speech down to the specific likes and dislikes of the one gate-keeping entity, human or automated, and as such it's a failure by design, with no exceptions, because a single entity's criteria for what is positive and what is negative could never - and absolutely should never - be substituted for the individual judgement of each participant. Not even the "hive mind" is a suitable entity for such a task, unless one's ambitions in life amount to, putting it bluntly, being a sheep.

    To be perfectly clear: yes, that means having to trawl through the arbitrary (but generally large) percentage of lesser discourse not really worth reading and all the requisite unsavory bits yourself - the whole point is that only you are qualified to decide which part is that.

    Except of course what most of us would really prefer are echo chambers full of yes-men considering they make you feel good about yourself, do not require the non-negligible effort of constructing a valid argument - or potentially changing one's own views which is something basically nobody ever is willing to do - and they definitely save you the almost certain frustration of being verbally abused to hell and back. Then again, we do live in a delusional world these days where we think we can magically have all the good bits of most everything without having to put up with any of the unpleasant ones. From the entitled commoner so sure that anything bad happening to them must be _someone's_ fault who needs to be promptly sued, all the way up to our benevolent masters apparently so sure that encryption can be both secure and backdoored - this seems to be happening on every level. So I suppose "yay for our benign censors who will deliver us from anybody we don't like" it has to be - and like it or not, even the system described above is nothing but one further step in that direction...

    *No, I'm no fan of verbal abuse. But there's a time for calling an idiot by its name, and I will absolutely not accept that manner detracts from the validity of the argument put forward, assuming it had any in the first place. Admittedly it's a somewhat contrived parallel, but I do think a certain mr. Torvalds seems to agree at least to some extent.

  • Jun 10th, 2016 @ 12:57pm

    (untitled comment)

    FUCK THEM. Also, there's OpenStreetMap.

  • Jun 10th, 2016 @ 12:54pm

    As an ex-communist-block resident...

    ...we used to dream about America as a bastion of freedom and All That Is Good. Well, that was then. There's no amount of money you could possibly pay me to convince me to move from my miserable post-communist hellhole to "the land of the free". NO THANKS.

  • May 4th, 2016 @ 9:33am

    (untitled comment)

    Well, that's one way to look at it. Another one might be that since times immemorial every single ruler with any power worth a damn chose to follow the policy "I don't care what I said, do anything that pisses me off and I'll make sure you'll regret it!"

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 9:09am

    Utterly disgraceful

    Only goes to confirm that anybody, absolutely anybody with any power sooner or later ends up abusing it - even the maker of a "secure" phone itself. That backdoor should NEVER have been there in the first place. If a device is supposed to be impenetrable for everyone except its owner then THAT INCLUDES YOU TOO, APPLE! WHY DO THOSE IN POWER _ALWAYS_ CONSIDER IT SELF-EVIDENT THAT _THEY_ ARE OF COURSE ABOVE THE RULES?!?

  • Jan 21st, 2016 @ 10:29am

    (untitled comment)

    "We are still engaged in the most successful business model in the history of media" - Exactly. "Still". For now.

  • Jan 16th, 2016 @ 11:08am

    (untitled comment)

    Well, those who know how could probably knock one of these up for ~$30 (sans mahogany box) or much less but hey - perks of the trade I suppose...

  • Jan 14th, 2016 @ 9:18am

    Meh...

    They were dead to me ever since the Napster thing, they stay dead to me after this - nothing changed. Except the channel, whenever I hear them on the radio, immediately, no exceptions. They say excuses are like asses - everyone has one. Metalliwho...?

  • Jan 8th, 2016 @ 8:57am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm a bit puzzled - once you shred something with a proper wiping tool such as mentioned, how exactly do you prove WHAT was there before? It can't be illegal to just install / uninstall a wiping tool, can it?!?

  • Jan 4th, 2016 @ 9:35am

    Re:

    Wait, you mean you _don't_ put all your daily thoughts neatly in order side by side every evening then pick which one to keep and which one to throw away, according to what the voices are telling you?!?

  • Dec 23rd, 2015 @ 1:29pm

    Disgraceful

    Remember kids, it's only called robbery if you do it, otherwise it's perfectly legal. I'll leave you with a quote from Shakespeare: "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark"...

  • Dec 23rd, 2015 @ 5:45am

    Uhhhh, about that...

    "Gravity"... "realistic"... facepalm - facepalm - facepalm...

  • Dec 21st, 2015 @ 4:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    There is one other "entertainment sector" that is also well and truly embracing crowd-funding: free-to-view webcomics. By now pretty much everyone with any audience to speak of is on Patreon trying to make a buck and some of them even make a rather nice living off it, each month, while the comic gets updated regularly and stays free for anyone else to view.

    Personally, I see that as the only acceptable future for all creative work - interested parties should make sure the creator gets to do his thing, and the result should be free to share (and guess what reality already proves wrong those saying nobody would then bother to contribute). People with an actual job have to keep working every day if they want to keep eating - neither musicians, writers nor any other artist should expect a lifelong rent for something they once did - and their "estate" even less so!

  • Dec 19th, 2015 @ 5:56am

    (untitled comment)

    So if telling your readers how much you value comments while you shut down comments isn't the very definition of Doublethink, then what is...? Orwell, did you REALLY need to give them ideas?!?

  • Dec 16th, 2015 @ 1:13pm

    (untitled comment)

    In completely unrelated news, the good ole' "just kill the #$@%#$^%ing messenger" mentality is still alive and well...

  • Dec 16th, 2015 @ 10:36am

    (untitled comment)

    Somewhere along that narrative I stopped cheering for the argument defending the use of crypto, and started to get seriously concerned for the fate of anyone who might disagree with anything those in power might prefer to keep under a rug. I wonder how long will it take until things get so bad that people will find the very idea of dissent preposterously unthinkable...

  • Dec 10th, 2015 @ 10:43am

    Re: Warning:

    Exactly. I do care about this sort of thing, but there's a line in the sand and all my personal details in exchange for the privilege to fill out a poll of questionable honesty is on the other side of that line. Sorry, that's a non-starter.

  • Dec 9th, 2015 @ 2:41pm

    Hell no...

    An excellent reason to check the [x]no [x]no [x]No [x]NO [x] NO!!! [x]HELL NO YOU FUCKERS!!! boxes on your "would you like to share some tracking / diagnostics info with us?" questionnaire if there ever was one. Denying or admitting a car-related event is -== MY ==- choice, not my car's, full stop.

  • Dec 8th, 2015 @ 10:18am

    Okay, new proposal:

    How about mandating that anyone wishing to discuss cryptography in a legislative context MUST first complete a "stop the tide by shouting at it" exercise...?

  • Nov 14th, 2015 @ 5:17am

    I can assure you...

    ...tipping is quite alive and well in Europe - at least in Eastern Europe it certainly is. And not as an exceptional reward either - it's simply expected by both parties to occur, you're simply more generous if you are pleased...

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