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Stephen Colbert: Super Reagan

bmacs27 says...

Right, because every comparison to Hitler is meant as a rigorous historical analysis, and comparing turning off the TV to Abu Ghraib isn't hyperbolic at all. Good thing you've got so much perspective.

Stephen Colbert: Super Reagan

bmacs27 says...

Are you being pedantic for any good reason? Hyperbole can be useful. The fact is, we don't fully know the extent of atrocities committed by American Empire. As you know, history is written by the victors. What little we do know suggests we could be the worst global offenders over the last 30 years. We imprison our citizens at a higher rate than any other nation. We engage in more wars, and have clandestine involvement in still more (estimates vary, but on the high end the figures are staggering). We provide the means of oppression to brutal despots to retain trade advantages. We manipulate the global economy, potentially starving millions, just to collect on our loans. We rationalize the torture of our enemies. We treat sovereignty like a worry for lesser nations. We shred our own constitution, while suggesting it as a blueprint for others to follow. I mean... what do you want? A fucking bar chart? These aren't trading cards. You can't just flip over your ballot to look at their moral batting average.

ChaosEngine said:

@cosmovitelli, I'm still not seeing any hard facts from you. Yes, those are all awful things, but you are alleging that these people are demonstrably worse than Hitler (systematically killed at least 6 million Jews, arguably responsible for the largest conflict the world has ever seen), Stalin (murdered, tortured and deported .... well, no-one knows, but estimates range from 3 to 60 million) and Genghis Khan (killed a sizeable percentage of the worlds population at the time).

Also, you are aggregating the acts of every US president since Truman vs the acts of 3 individuals.

That's an extraordinary claim, and I think you need to provide some facts and figures to back it up.


bmacs27 says...

This, I think, is the primary function of the video. The bigger picture is that cell phones are moving rapidly in the wrong direction. Even user replaceable batteries are less commonplace. The only way to stop this trend is to apply market pressure. That is, show them that they will lose sales to a more modular/reusable/upgradable competitor. If the video convinces one device manufacturer to push just a little bit in that direction I'd consider it a win.

direpickle said:

All of the entrenched companies are already pushing out the standardized modular storage that we used to have (SDHC). Why would they suddenly swing the other direction?

Can You Trust Your Eyes?

bmacs27 says...

I think he chose his wording a little poorly. The purpose of perception is to estimate physical properties of the environment. It's just not meant to estimate the exact intensities and so forth. For example, in the Adelson checkerboard illusion, you are reporting your perception of the surface reflectances irrespective of illuminant. That's a perfectly sensible environmental property to estimate. It just isn't a direct mapping to the image falling on your retina.

Australian Prime Minister Humiliates Pastor

Canadian Drive-by: Good Guy Motorcycle Rider

bmacs27 says...

I live in Texas (as 'Merica as 'Merica gets). There was a vet with a rascal that had a dead battery. Dude weighed around 400 pounds. I pushed that son of a gun half a mile to a grocery store where he could plug in. Meanwhile in Canada some Inuit was called a harpoon chucker.

Ann Coulter Sounds Like Moron, Tries to Save Face

NSA Data Used by IRS For Tax Fraud

bmacs27 says...

Privacy and freedom are orthogonal. Privacy both grants freedom and takes it away. You're talking like there is a clear path for a centrist to take on this matter. My thought experiment was meant to expose a hypocrisy in too commonly held ideals. "Information should be free!" is often taken to mean that we should be able to access whatever information we want. On the other hand, "big brother" is a pejorative describing dystopian violations of individual privacy that reasonable people holding the former position often use.

We can't have it both ways. Either we get to know what people are up to (e.g. terrorists, banks, lobbyists, politicians, government agencies, etc) while coping with oversight of our own activities. Or we lock down all the information and cope with the inevitable cheat avoiding detection.

You can play the game of trying to break it down case by case, but the fact is surveillance can't really be implemented piecemeal. Once you decide to collect the information, you sort of get what you get.

newtboy said:

I prefer a world not governed with either/or questions and ideas consistently involving only extreme ends of the spectrum, but rather one where reasoned compromise and rational forethought rule the day.
Sadly I seem to be a minority.
If I must choose one over the other, I would always choose the choice that offers more freedom, and I realize that freedom is dangerous.

NSA Data Used by IRS For Tax Fraud

bmacs27 says...

Thought experiment: Would you prefer a world in which privacy was still paramount, or a world in which there was no privacy whatsoever? That is, either your emails aren't read, but it's very easy to cloak clandestine activity. Or would you prefer the latter, in which even your neighbor can read your emails at the click of a button, but you can read Barack Obama's. Discuss.

You shall not pass! - Trolling ram and biker!

Dr Apologizes for Being SO WRONG About Medical Marijuana

bmacs27 says...

That was my take. It was a nonsense exchange.

eric3579 said:

I'm glad Gupta has come around on his position regarding medical marijuana, and I will be tuning in on Sunday to watch "weed". However what was up with that "debate" ? Gupta thought that medical marijuana was a legitimate medicine and should not be a schedule one drug, and Howard seemed to agree with him. Howards angle was all about not legalizing it for recreational use which wasn't even part of the discussion. They seemed to be talking about two totally different things, or did I miss something?

Statism's Assembly Line

Juggalos--how the fuck to they work?

Jon Stewart's 19 Tough Questions for Libertarians!

bmacs27 says...

Let's do that. The one point of agreement I have with this guy is we need to declutter the conversation. Entities like money, governments, corporations etc don't exist. There is only the fact of our material circumstances.

One point I found somewhat hypocritical was his take on policymakers. He says we should blame them when he openly admits they are all bought. In my mind, this is effectively voluntary purchase of the initiation of force. If nobody paid, politicians would have nothing to sell. Inevitably all force is initiated by the highest bidder. Wealth itself is power, and power wouldn't be so named if it didn't imply force.

As you've already pointed out in another thread everything we see, all of our material circumstances, were originally appropriated by conquest (the initiation of force). Thus, initial material circumstances were not morally obtained. Since material wealth begets a trade advantage this initial windfall is likely to entrench your power. For this reason all material gains are suspect.

For these reasons I view wealth itself as immoral. There is a reason Robin Hood has such high standing, and it is not because he robs from the state and gives to the private sector. It's not because he doesn't initiate force. It's because he redistributes ill-gotten gains by whatever means necessary.

Pacifism is selfish.

blankfist said:

*promote the great points this video makes! Let's discuss those points instead of whether or not some guy on the internet pays his taxes.

97-year-old Grandpa Creates Art with MS Paint

bmacs27 says...

This is probably not the case. He wants to be able to "see the boxes." Rather, as a typographer he would have to have been a master of stippling. It's not so much that his "vision is blurry" any more so than your peripheral vision is blurry. It's just that he only has peripheral vision to work with. You can still see these details with enough zoom, which is what the computer affords him. I suppose he could also do it with traditional optics (e.g. a jeweler's loop), but that would probably make the actual painting part pretty awkward.

vaire2ube said:

the reason he is so good at this? his vision is blurry so he sees a smoother image you too, could put some glasses on and try this without a computer or with... interesting

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Beggar's Canyon