* Posts by Trevor_Pott

5217 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search

Trevor_Pott
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Re: The first thing I do with a new browser installation

Systemd is coming for you...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Cue panic

"You know, they might have improved it since 1998."

They got worse. Now they use Bing.

I see a rash of sysadmin suicides about to occur. Bleary-eyed sysadmins hauled out of bed at "why is this even a time that exists" in the morning will be asked to work on some server for which only RDP is working. Desperate to get a patch, they'll immediately open IE to download Firefox. After swatting away a dozen irritating things trying to convince you to use IE, realizing they have to change some irritating setting before they can download and run the Firefox installer and then getting to run they'll finally launch a proper browser.

They get hte browser open, punch in the error code only to realize that the search has gone through Bing, and Bing can't find anything on Microsoft's own web properties worth a damn. Despairing at the futility of life, they will kill themselves with a shredded Mighty Mouse, because it seems more logical cramming Microsoft's craptastrophe upon people who quite clearly were trying to get away from the insanity in the first place.

Moral of the story: friends don't let friends Bing. And only enemies for life make Bing the default on anything.

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'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Clarification Please @AC

"Same reason Americans should know the difference between MP and PM."

Um...they don't? Most of them don't even know what a prime minister is. Why the hell should we waste our time on their worthless nation when they can't be assed to make the effort for the rest of the world? I'm rather sick of the presumption that rest of the world will - or should - know shitty litlte esoteric tings about the US. Their little politislang for branding the interchangable corruption globules that run that shite-hole is a great example.

CA means Canada, not California. Georgia is a country, not a state. Etc and so forth. We can have this converation again when US citizens reading technology websites are expected to know Canadian political slang, or recognize Azerbaijani cities and tier 2 political divisions from context. Then we're talking about a level playing feild in which I feel it's okay to expect the rest of the world to "just get" Americanisms.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go learn the subtle differences between Oblasts, Okrugs, Krais, Republics, Federal Cities and the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in Russia. Far more interesting, and I don't loathe their government quite as much as I loathe the United Citizens of MoneySpeech.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Clarification Please @AC

Why should we learn American political acronyms? Fuck America!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Still..

Whereas I don't trust the NSA (or the censor-happy Brits or Aussies, for that matter) any more than the Russians, Iranians or Chinese. Why should we trust your government? Because you say so? You're nobody!

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Fake antivirus scams: It's a $120m business – and alleged ringleaders have just been frozen

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Now let's clean up download sites.

It isn't my site. Belongs to a tall skinny bloke who's pretty much the nicest man you'll ever meet. Not only is the software amazing, the fellow himself his as excellent as his product.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: But the outcome won't stop the crims

Incorrect. The company will be shut down, its asset seized. if it is deemed a criminal endeavor then anything they haven't managed to effectively launder and hide will be pursued by the cops. They will use civil forfeiture laws to seize every stitch of property that the people in question have in the USA, down to the clothes off their backs.

But they won't be going to jail. That would be piercing the corporate veil. Muchos big nono, especially in a red state, and doubly especially now that money = speech and judges are elected in that country.

So the individuals in question will be stripped of everything they own in the USA. But if they had 12 brain cells to rub together, they have a fuckpile of the stuff offshore. Without a criminal record, they can basically move to Costa Rica, transfer enough of the money out of their Caymans (or Russian) accounts to live well and retire.

Whatever's left they can use to remotely fund another, similar scheme with the "lessons learned" from this one, and pay extra special attention to how they launder their money.

The chances of these guys going to jail in the USA are pretty damned close to zero.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Coen Dijkgraaf

"Or, let's say, confiscate the proceeds of the swindle and put the perpetrators in prison for a long, long time."

Piercing the corporate veil. In Florida. Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Finally!

"Linux has no registry"

Systemd/Linux distributions do.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Now let's clean up download sites.

Ninite is the only software I recommend 100% without hesitation and to which I will openly admit to being a completely unashamed and unreserved fanboy.

I am normally viciously against brand tribalism. But we all get one. Ninite is my one.

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Hmm.

"Normally if I plug something random into my home router if I leave stuff defaulted, then it's stupidly configured, but only accessible to me, in my house."

IPv6 wishes to solve this for you.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Panspermia OR mystic sky Daddy

Panspermia comes in two forms:

1) Life here started out there (true panspermia)

2) Life here started because things out there delivered to earth the relevant complex chemistry during or after the late heavy bombardment (pesudo-panspermia)

The first is unknowable until we explore a lot more.

The second is highly likely, given the formation of the moon, and the damage done to the surface during the late heavy bombardment.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the history of the earth:

1) Earth accretes from the protoplanetary disk, accumulating all sorts of yummy elements.

2) Earth is whacked by Theia, a body roughly the size of mars. This completely liqufies the mantle. Heavy elements sink to the core. Silicates rise. Lots of stuff gets thrown into orbit, but not much of the really interesting stuff (like Uranium, gold, etc), because that was too heavy, and sunk to the core of the Eath.

3) The Earth resolidifies (mostly), trapping virtually all volatiles in a silicon, iron and magnesium matrix.

4) Massive volcanism is accompanied by continued bombardment from space. Carbon dioxide and methane are vented from the young planet en masse.

5) The bombardment seeds a young earth with Nitrogen, Hydrogen and more complex chemicals based upon them. (Ammonia, water, etc.) Enough falls to form the early oceans. Very little land is above sea level.

6) The planet continues cooling. Plate tectonics starts. Life arises.

7) Early carbon dioxide metabolism begins. Most oxygen absorbed by oceans, rocks.

8) The oxygen catastrophe occurs.

9) Multicellular life arises.

Panspermia here is of the "pesudo-pansermia" variety: the volatiles necessary to make things go were delivered to a young earth by comets after the big whack. Considering that fits with standard accretion theory, I don't see your beef.

It doesn't mean that the goo which became us congealed "out there" as opposed to "here". But it does mean that it's somewhat unlikely that all the chemical processes required to make every single chemical required for life arose on Earth itself.

Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. The various chemicals required for life all have different formation requirements. A protoplanetary disk is huge. The idea that some of these molecules formed elsewhere in the system and then found their way here after the big whack is pretty logical. I'm sure that some of the chemicals required to make it all go did form on Earth as a result of volcanism after the big whack. I'm equally sure that we needed the late heavy bombardment to seed Earth with things like nitrogen and hydrogen or we simply wouldn't be here to have this debate in the first place.

So please, do some research into "pesudo-panspermia" or "soft panspermia". It is not the same as "all life floated in from elsewhere", but it is a great metric fuck of a lot more likely than "all life started here".

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Panspermia OR mystic sky Daddy

Where, exactly, do you think Earth got it's C, H, O and N? Hmm?

The organic molecules came from the comets. After Theia whacked into a young Earth, there weren't exactly a hell of a lot of volatiles on the surface to play with.

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Trevor_Pott
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Look, life existed before there were bacteria. In fact, life existed before the development of the cell wall. Consider, for example, L-Form bacteria, which exist without a cell wall just fine, thanks.

A modern bacterium is the result of at least three billion years of evolution. They did not spring into existence fully formed. They were not "designed". Each organelle, each protein used, everything got there through billions of years of trial and error.

Life is nothing more than self replicating chemicals. There's nothing special about it. Viruses are a great example of the border between "alive" and "not alive". They're little more than chemicals that interact with their environment (typically a host cell) to create more of those chemicals.

Some viruses have protein sheaths similar to a cellular membrane. Most don't. What really separates viruses from actual life is that viruses don't have a metabolic process of their own. They are - for lack of a better term - their own catalysts for reproduction, but they need to hijack the metabolic processes of a living organism in order to reproduce.

However the basic metabolic processes underpinning life itself have been shown to occur outside of a host cell in the lab. They are not hard. They don't require anything particularly special in terms of geochemistry.

We know now that you don't require anything "uncommon" for the basic pre-life metabolic pathways to form spontaneously. From there, you throw some Deep Time at it and voila: life. The most successful reactions will continue.

Eventually, these metabolic processes were enveloped in lipid membranes. Most likely very similar to viral sheathing. Those metabolic reactions protected by a lipid membrane were more successful than others. Those metabolic reactions that could regenerate their own lipid membrane were more successful than those which relied on accreting their membrane from the environment.

At this point, you're off to the races. A protective lipid membrane along with a self-perpetuating metabolic process? Sounds like life to me! From there, additional organelles developed. The lipid membrane evolved in complexity to become a full blown cell wall. The precursors to RNA invaded the protocells and the ability to store information on metabolic catalysts evolved.

Now, what's truly remarkable is that life probably successfully evolved on our planet more than once. This can be seen in that some of today's organelles we can't explain as being the result simply of metabolic evolution; they are probably degraded endosymbiotes. (I am sure you are familiar with the history of the mitochondria, so I'll skip the concept of endosymbiotes for now.)

These degraded endosymbiote organelles don't show evidence of having ever had their own RNA, but do show evidence of having had different metabolic chemistry than the originator cells from which our branch of life sprang. In essence, life started in more than one place, but one type of life was more successful inside the cell membrane of another type of life.

Again, here viruses can be instructional. There are several viruses we believe do not share a common ancestor with precursor viruses. They, in effect, are their own branch of pesudo-life. They spontaneously came into being through the chemical interactions of their environment and it turns out that when exposed to a cell they could hijack it's metabolic processes and perpetuate.

So yes, there are a lot of amino acids. There are a lot of proteins. But they are not all essential for life; only for life as we know it today. Life that's been through billions of years of evolution to accrete complexity and adjust to new environments.

The Earth was not a class-M planet to start. There was no oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. Life created that. Primordial earth was a very different place than it is today, and only the smallest fraction of the organisms alive on Earth today would be able to live on the Earth that first birthed the forms of life that would ultimately populate our planet.

Yet you point to a modern bacterium and attempt to say that anywhere life is to arise every single amino acid and protein must be capable of spontaneously self organizing all at the same time?

You do not understand the first thing about the evolution of life. Not the very first thing.

The chemical requirements for the development of metabolism and accretion of a lipid membrane are not abnormal in the universe. Increasingly, we are seeing that the presence of relevant amino acids and other precursor chemicals is not abnormal either.

Given the sheer age of the universe and the sheer number of places both these common environments and common chemicals interact, I do not remotely understand why you would believe that it is statistically likely that Earth is the only place life ever arose.

Even if life is only capable of arising on one in several hundred trillion rocky bodies and it takes an average of 2 billion years after the formation of a stellar system for basic cells to arise, we're still talking about hundreds of billions of bodies across the universe on which life arose. And there is no reason whatsoever to think that the circumstances for life to arise are so unique that they would only occur on one in every several hundred trillion rocky bodies. The chemistry is just too simple.

But hey, believe life is somehow "special" if you want. You'll be wrong, and I'll understand statistics.

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Trevor_Pott
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The REAL question, I suppose, is: "is humanity the current pinnacle of 'life' in this universe?"

No, that's a separate question entirely. There's simply no way to know the answer to that one unless we can observe all points in the universe simultaneously. That question is one that may well be forever beyond our capacity to answer.

But the answer to the question of "is there life out there that isn't Terran" is "so likely to be yes that the possibility of the answer being no is indistinguishable from zero".

As for "being forever alone", you presume that we'll never go faster than light. I don't. Every time man thought he had firmly reached a frontier of natural laws past which no technology could enable further science, someone with fewer biases came along and enabled us to smash those barriers.

We don't have good theories on FTL yet. IMHO, that's likely because we're stuck in a mindset that doesn't allow us to think beyond our own scientific biases.

By all rights, virtually everything we hold up as "truth" today in science will eventually be proven wrong...or at least incomplete. Newton giving way to the quantum world, etc. That's sort of what the march of science does. So...Terran life may well not be doomed to be alone forever.

Whether or not we encounter other life at least as developed as we are is another story. And what - oh what - will we do if we run across life that is so far advanced over us that they look at us as we look at ants? Wouldn't that be a blow to our collective ego?

Science!

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Panspermia

God of the gaps arguments! Yay! Religious types are so predictable.

Remember, just because science can't prove that our universe is the result of a brane extrusion today doesn't mean we won't have that taped in the future. Meanwhile, your "god" is - and remains - nothing but an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance, constantly retreating in the face of new new knowledge.

Niel deGrasse Tyson on "god of the gaps". Enjoy.

Tides go in, tides go out! Religious types are aught but clockwork ignorance.

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Trevor_Pott
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Disagree all you want, it won't change the facts. All the precursor chemicals required for life exist bloody everywhere. There are any number of simple ways that life can start, and any number of ways it can continue through to the point that the remarkable things happen, like the development of cell walls and eventually multicellular life.

Hell, for all we know new life is springing up every day from scratch all over this planet, but it ends up being out competed by the stuff that's been around for 4.6 billion years and never makes it to the point of "acquiring cell walls".

Life isn't special. It's just a bunch of chemical interactions. You're just a sack of chemicals that interact in a fairly mundane fashion.

There is nothing special about Earth, about Sol, about our stellar system, about the comets that seeded life here...none of it. Our inability to detect (currently) life on other worlds has no bearing whatsoever on it's existence, or lack thereof.

The probability of life arising on another world is down to one simple question: "how rare are Earth-like planets?" The answer to that is quite blatantly "not very". And we get more and more confirmation that Earth isn't special with each passing year. The less special our planet is the more likely it is that life arose somewhere else in addition to here.

Given the overwhelming number of galaxies, the number of stellar systems per galaxy the number of planets per stellar system...the chances that Earth is the only place in the entire multiverse where the exact conditions existed to give rise to life are basically zero. Not exactly zero, but so close to zero as to not be worth consideration.

The chances that life only exists on Earth are pretty much the same as the chances that the exact deity of your neighborhood church is real. Oh, it's possible, I guess...but so vanishingly small a possibility as to not be worth consideration.

Every test we can run says that the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe. And a lot of very smart people have tried very hard to put that to the test. With the laws of physics being the same all over the universe, the sheer amount of stuff in this universe pretty much guarantees that the exact same confluence of chemical events will have occurred more than once, and life will have arisen.

Did it ever develop cell walls? No idea. Did it ever become multicellular? No clue. Did it evolve into something unrecognizably different? Probably. But I would bet my life, and lives of everyone on this mudball that we are not alone. The statistical probability that the same chemical events that led to life only occurred once are just that low.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Panspermia

Why are humans so important? Maybe we'll seed another planet with microbes before we expire, and their descendants will solve the mysteries of the universe. Maybe humans will evolve a second time, on another world, and know us only by large circular devices we've left scattered about the galaxy that offer instantaneous transportation between worlds.

Maybe a lot of things.

But I remain firm in my belief that the answers will be found out through the methodical and logical exploration of reality rather than bleating plaintively at the night's sky, asking the shadows to grant us dominion over others.

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Trevor_Pott
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"you have to accept that it is 'possible' life is limited to Earth"

Yes, but it's really, really unlikely. Statistically indistinguishable from zero.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Panspermia

"the real question still remains unanswered"

For now. Science will find the answer, eventually. Though likely not within our lifetimes. The evidence is pretty damn conclusive, however, that the answer is not "god".

Though please, do try using the god of the gaps argument. I'll just have NDT destroy you over and over in my mind. :)

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SMS pwnage on MEELLIONS of flawed SIM cards, popular 4G modems

Trevor_Pott
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Well, shit. That's a lot of work replacing things in the field. :(

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Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table

Trevor_Pott
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Re: This is bad

I'm not your friend, chum

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EMC daddy Tucci: YES, there has been too much internal 'friction'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Acquisition is EMC's mojo

The problem isn't "spin off" or "don't spin off" (unless you're an activist shareholder looking to liquidate the company.) The problem is "shit or get off the pot".

The EMC federation is notorious for having spectacularly hostile internal politics within each of the companies, and viciously brutal inter-company politics as well. They do not act like a joined up federation of companies working towards a common set of goals. They are - to put it bluntly - the worst managed chaebol in history.

So either spin the companies off into their own affairs where they can compete openly and freely amongst eachother (and thus set about maximizing their own profits) or properly organize the chaebol so that there is no overlap.

Compete with one another or compliment one another. But this coopetition thing is hamstringing profits and market share alike.

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Trevor_Pott
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And where are all the angry commenters who so vociferously denied "friction" internal to the federation companies, or between them? "Oi, Trevor, yer daft" it was said. "You obviously have an axe to grind" I was told.

Harrumph!

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Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals

Trevor_Pott
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Any company with a US legal attack surface great than "nonexistent" simply cannot be trusted. Ever.

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DEATH TO AMERICA! China has your data centre covered

Trevor_Pott
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Chinese cloud vendors popping up like weeds too. Prefer Swiss, myself, but not a lot of choice once you've decided that American isn't acceptable.

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Don't like droopy results, NetApp? Develop server-side SAN

Trevor_Pott
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Meh. Buy Maxta. Marry it to Ontap. Wibble, wobble, pwn.

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What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Someone Else

I am a left libertarian by nature. I believe strongly in civil and individual rights, but also that A) humans aren't rational actors and B) a truly free market is a myth. As such, I believe in a balance between "things the state should be doing" and "things individuals should be doing".

In my view, things like "a social safety net" and "public health care, education and emergency services" are exactly the sort of thing the state should be doing. Taking care of public utilities and natural monopolies. And I agree 100% that if you pay into that system for your whole life that it should be available to you if you need it.

But it is a form of mandatory insurance. This is because people are not rational actors. There are always those who will choose not to have insurance to cover their health care, education, vehicle, etc...then demand that society "do something" when they are injured/need to be retrained/get their vehicle smashed up. History has proven over and over that this group of people will never make a rational decision and, to be blunt, there is no reason for society to pick up the tab just because they're cheap bastards.

By the same token, the state has no business telling us what we can and cannot do about the overwhelming majority of crap that it has land-grabbed over the past 75 years. Who you can and can't sleep with? What the fuck? That is no business of the state.

Similarly, what religion you delude yourself with (or don't), or which piece of shiny crap you buy is nothing the state should be poking it's nose into. The list goes on.

Randian bullshit is a religion, no different from any other. It is not grounded in fact. It is filled with nothing more than faith. The idea that "people are rational actors", for example, has been disproven over and over and over and over again. Yet Randians demand that we base all our economic and social policy off of this lie.

This is no different than trying to use the state to enforce any other religion on people.

A proper nation is one governed by evidence-based legislation. Not religion. And the job of a government is to serve it's people. All it's people. Not just the few, not the elite. Not just the lucky, or the privileged or those who make exactly the right series of choices at every juncture in life.

All it's people.

That means that we must give up some amount of control over our income in order to collectively provide for our society. There is decades of evidence that this produces wealthier, healtiher, more stable nations than anarchism or Randianism.

Now, if you want anarchism, go to Somalia. They do it right there. If you want pure Randianism, try Kansas. The Christian Science Monitor has a truly fantastic look at the results of it's governor's pure Tea Party Randian governance here.

Short version: Randianism is based on faith and provably doesn't work. So a rational libertarian will study the evidence, find the points of minimum government required to achieve an optimally stable and universally beneficial society and then push to see that society built. One that intrudes the least necessary on the life of the individual, but provides for the whole of society.

Nations have gotten very close to perfecting this balance without ruinous economic hardship for the state or the individual. So it isn't impossible. But it requires reliance on evidence and not faith.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Wrong.

Randian bullshit. You spout religion that isn't backed by evidence. Remove government and you get warlords. Have a minimalistic government and you get chaebols: essentially corporately. They are all thoroughly corrupt.

Anarcho-capitalism is the religion of sociopaths unable to feel compassion for others. Nothing more.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Wrong.

"That's how "crony capitalism" works."

Crony capitalism is the inevitable result of any form of capitalism. Capitalism has failed as surely as communism did...and for the exact same fucking reasons.

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729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build

Trevor_Pott
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"Be nice to Richard"

Always. He's fucking fantastic people. Without qualification, I'd be there for him, brother from another mother style. Doesn't mean we won't disagree about things from time to time.

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Trevor_Pott
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Except...public cloud "doubters" never doubted this particular use case. Software was rewritten specifically to work with the public cloud, it is a definable, burstable workload, it runs as a batch (input workload, receive result, you don't need to be connected all day to it) and it has a definable cost.

That's completely different from taking a legacy "must be up 24/7" workload and tossing it into the public cloud. Especially one where the developer has no intention of (or can't, because they're out of business/lack skills/etc) rewriting the thing for the public cloud.

The public cloud is not "pay for what you use", it is "pay for what you provision". If you need to provision the workload to be available 24/7 then the public cloud is a terrible value for dollar. If you need to essentially run an HPC batch process, then it'll do you just fine.

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Researchers show off three-domain international SDN

Trevor_Pott
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Treehouse?

Someone has been reading Otherland...

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Net neutrality, Obama, FCC, Title II:Your ESSENTIAL guide to WTF is happening

Trevor_Pott
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Pint

This is the single most rational and well explained overview of this whole mess yet published. Have a pint on me, Kieren, and my sincere apologies for the public pantsing the Randian religious types will now attempt on you.

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EU battles over 'anti-terrorist' passenger records slurper law

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Overweening

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safford_Unified_School_District_v._Redding

^ What. The. Fuck. What the fucking fucking fuck. What the fucking fucks of almighty fuckety fucks.

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New Dell FX2 chassis mixes 'n' matches server innards

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Incorrect

Thanks for the info! I hope one day I might have the opportunity to toss it into my testlab and do a true shakedown review.

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TPP takes another tiny step forward

Trevor_Pott
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Both the Liberals and the NDP are committed to doing withdrawing from the TPP. While I don't believe that those in charge are exactly trustworthy, several of their minions (the ones who actually run things) are. My discussions with them directly have been remarkably productive.

I believe either party would be adequate to our requirements regarding the TPP. Though personally, I believe the Liberals have the more rational overall economic policy, so I'll be choosing them.

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Trevor_Pott
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The TPP has until Steven Harper and his conservative fuck brigade are removed from office next year. At that point the TPP negotiations will be cancelled by the winning government as Canada withdraws.

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FUTURE ROBOTS will EXTERMINATE UK jobs – study

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Here we go again.

And? Do you think I find it shocking that Tim Worstall believes that a minimum wage is a good thing? Right now, today you cannot replace everyone with robots. So you need to keep the populace this this side of revolt if you want to adequately exploit them enough to massively increase the wealth of the 1%.

There are pragmatic reasons for 1%ers to keep their cattle adequately fed: otherwise there will be no cattle for them to dine upon.

But the instant that the masses are no longer needed, I fully expect him to making the case for pushing the 99% into a fucking furnace so that they can be burned for fuel to power the robots that are now the "cattle" of the 1%.

He honestly believes in trickle down economics. That makes him not only wrong, but horribly, dangerously wrong. And the fact that he has repeatedly rationalized away the suffering of billions makes him a Bad Man, at least in my books.

But then, I don't envision myself as a 1%er. Not now, not ever. Maybe if I mentally associated myself with an elite that was better than "the muck that eats itself" down there at the bottom, I would be capable of such callous pomposity too.

Sorry mate, I'll stick with social democracy. Market economics have fucking failed us, just as outright communism has. And for the exact same reasons: inability to regulate disproportionate human greed. Cronyism is inevitable in any economic system. Corruption is inevitable in any economic system. So what matters is not how to make the rich richer, but how to root out corruption and end it.

That includes the corruption of the masses. Sometimes, there are realities we don't want to accept, but absolutely need to. Climate change, for example. Ozone depletion. Thalidomide, Asbestos, etc.

You don't simply let "market forces" handle these issues. You don't let grocers continue along using led-poisoned Chinese foods. You regulate. You police. You enforce the needs of the many on the corrupt and excessively greedy few.

You realize that extremes of anything - especially greed - are bad for everyone.

Worstall appears through all his writings to view humans as just slightly less than chattel. Their value to be determined by society as a monetary figure and if producing goods returns higher revenues than the cost of murdered people, then clearly this is perfectly acceptable social policy.

Worse, he's a dramatic short termist. He seems to have zero problem with corporations offloading costs onto society as externalities, from pollution to climate change, and well far worse.

I am not claiming that right now we need Bene Gesserit levels of multi-generational planning, but we absolutely do need to take into account the fact that short trermism has caused some massive problems, and that this is continuing to occur.

What's more, he seems to believe that if you can hoodwink the majority of people - or at least, the majority of people who can find enough voter ID to vote - into something that makes it okay. Ignore the past couple hundred years of research into group dynamics, psychological manipulation coercion leverage, decision exhaustion and more. Just brush it all under the rug.

The fact that large corporations and governments have the ability to functionally render us incapable of making rational decisions at will is to be ignored, just like the externalities of corporate excess.

Maybe you worship at the alter of the philosophy that social change should only occur if it economically benefits those in power, or that we should be content with having significantly less than those who work significantly less than we do.

I honestly and truly believe individuals who hew to that philosophy are incapable of human emotions like sympathy or empathy. I consider people incapable of sympathy or empathy to be bad people.

Unfortunately, you are unlikely to understand that. If you're anything like the rest of his milled acolytes you won't understand the concept of "shades of grey". You will see a world as "equality of opportunity" or "equality of outcome" and never be able to understand that there are points in between.

Most people, I think, would be satisfied with a rough approximation of both. If we all had more or less the same opportunities and social structures existed to ensure that we more or less ended up in the same place we'd be good. If you work harder you get more. But the gap between the hardest working and those who hardly work shouldn't be nearly so egregious as it is today.

What's more, "working hard" doesn't ensure that you end up on the top of the heap today. Nor does "making the right choices" regarding education, etc. Luck plays a huge part. Who you know, being in the right place at the right time, who your parents were. Where and when you were born.

We don't have social constructs today to level these advantages. Not remotely. We have people literally slaving away and dying young with broken bodies and lungs full of fuck-knows-what living in the same city as the 18th generation of dilettante fops who've never worked a day in their lives but have more money than the deities themselves.

In Worstall's world, that's okay, so long as that's what the market demands. Because he believes in trickle down economics, that pure market capitalism can win and all the other Randian fairy tales.

Well I don't. Rand is a modern day L. Ron Hubbard; founder of a religion, not sound economic policy. Buying into Randian bullshit is economics by faith. Not evidence. It's a profound failure to learn from human history. To take human motivations and behaviors into account and to accept the influence of existing power structures and how they will distort and thwart any attempt at a free market.

Rand's bullshit is even more utopian than Marx's.

Humans are not rational actors. They're barely adults most of the time. But those in power must be, because we have reached to critical crossroads in our evolution as a species.

1) We have the ability to produce all the basic necessities of life for everyone across the globe in a highly automated fashion that requires virtually zero human input. Arguments about "machines replacing our jobs won't affect society in the long haul, because it already happened during the industrial revolution and we're still here" are bullshit.

The industrial revolution automated the basic necessities of life. Now we're automating not merely things which are not necessities, we're so far down that road that we're automating leisure. That's a fundemental change. We absolutely do run the risk of running out of things for the humans to do that will add economic value, and within our lifetime.

2) We have the capability to radically alter the planet on a global scale. We are engaged right now in the largest geoengineering experiments in human history. To my knowledge only two of about 100 different examples have ever gone well. Yet we proceed to alter the planet's basic capacity to support human life at international scale without much in the way of regulation, oversight, or international cooperation. Short termist economic models that focus on the profit of the few and ignore the needs of the many are irrational in the face of not only the power we wield as a species, but the shocking callousness with which we wield it.

So yes, I call our Randian economics as little more than the religion of true sociopaths. I call for evidence based legislation at all levels. When rationalizations for doing something can work equally well when you substitute "god" with "the market" you shouldn't be in a position to have influence over anyone.

Ever.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Human jobs replaced by Robots

The purpose of hte 99% is to be burned as fuel to keep the robots running.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Here we go again.

go and read a few Tim Worstall articles

Why would I voluntarily waste my time reading about how the 1% are never wrong and, ethically, the 99% should be happy with being rendered into glue?

You go on, pretend you'll be a 1%er one day. I'll stand with the many, not the few.

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Quark: I want you to try something for me. Take a sip of this.

Elim Garak: What is it?

Quark: A human drink. It's called root beer.

Elim Garak: [unwilling] Uh, I don't know...

Quark: Come on, aren't you just a little bit curious?

[Garak sighs, takes a sip and gags]

Quark: What do you think?

Elim Garak: It's *vile*!

Quark: I know. It's so bubbly, and cloying, and *happy*.

Elim Garak: Just like the Federation.

Quark: But you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to *like* it.

Elim Garak: It's insidious!

Quark: *Just* like the Federation.

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Trevor_Pott
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Pure ethics

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one.

The needs of the few (or the one) outweigh the desires of the many.

The desires of the many outweigh the desires of the few (or the one).

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Twitter turns to women's group to sort out its cyberbullying issues

Trevor_Pott
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Funny how it's always considered okay to behave in a prejudiced fashion against whites, males and very especially white males, but attempting to treat everyone as equal is somehow evil.

Where is the justice in telling me I must pay for the sins of other people's forefathers? Hmm? If you want me to judge you based on who you are, with no regard to skin colour, gender, etc...I demand that you also judge me with no regard to my skin colour, gender, etc.

What? That's a problem for you? Too hard? Get bent.

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Shove over, 2FA: Authentication upstart pushes quirky login tech

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Security for boring people then

Let me get this straight... You do something "out of your norm", and your phone says nothis is reported to your every allied government so that they can investigate...

T,FTFY

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Lunacy

Imagine, for a moment, that a device existed that could access the full spectrum of human knowledge and relay that using vocal communication. Sort of like a quite friend who's really good at pub quizzes.

Imagine the device is backed by an ethical company who understand security well enough that the device is secure, both from hackers, and the NSA. Imagine you could trust the company not to transmit irrelevant conversation - anything not beginning with the word Echo, or whatever name you've ascribed to it - and that you could trust them not to mine that information to use it against you... or indeed use it for anything at all other than this explicit service.

Taking all that into account, I'd buy one. I'm just not going to buy one from any of the current crop of corporates, and from that they should draw their own conclusions.

You're naive. Dangerously so. No matter how ethical the company is, if they have any American legal attack surface whatsoever then they will be forced to give the keys to the kingdom over the NSA. Even to rewrite their application, if need be.

No company with an American legal attack surface can be trusted ever again.

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Re: Lunacy

"Good luck putting the entire breadth of human knowledge on your local hard drive."

why do I need the breadth of human knowledge just to play an MP3 on my NAS?

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OpenStack's success depends on IBM and HP's tech queens

Trevor_Pott
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Re: NASA is right.

Clearly you're an American.

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Trevor_Pott
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"Similarly, I don't see Microsoft as wholly hostile to the wider market."

Then you haven't been paying attention.

Microsoft is "mobile first, cloud first". This means "give us your subscription money". No, you can't own things. No you can't extract maximum value for dollar. No, small businesses can't be profitable. The bully will beat you up by the bike racks unless you hand over your lunch money today, tomorrow and every day, forever.

But if you pay real attention, it's not just the end customer Microsoft is hostile do. It may be "mobile first, cloud first", but it's "customers last, partners last, developers last and staff last". Everyone that isn't forking over a subscription is an unperson. This is Microsoft.

And in an age where hardware will gleefully give you ten solid years of service life, and for 80% of businesses there is absolutely no reason to upgrade every two or three years, that absolutely is "hostile to the wider market".

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Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Still playing favourites

Only the top 1% ever matter. Don't you follow American politics?

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