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Everything posted by Dak

  1. Hmm... can't find "hey what exactly did Ramanujan do in the field of conic sections?" in Google (except here), so not copy/paste...
  2. Umm... any idea what's going on here? Is PeterPeter a real person who's PC is infected, or just a particularly odd spambot? (IPs are the same in both cases)
  3. Lol, just British slang. To throw a wobbly: to throw a tantrum, to have a hissy-fit, to get your knickers in a twist. I'd assume it's because if you're having a tantrum and waving your arms about, you look wobbly? (not taking the piss, but i'm loving the idea that 'wobblies' are actual tangible things that you throw at riots ) Not what I was trying to do, but: Granted, but remember that France has already built them. After you've built them, you have to maintain them even when times are rough. Possibly especially when times are rough, otherwize you're left in a position whereby when people need social security the most, and are least to blame for their own problems, they're helped the least (after having payed for social security their whole lives). Also, with france presumably having a job-shortage, you don't really want to increase the working population by increasing the age of retirement...
  4. [edit] Just realised: the French are effectively demanding that the government carry on taxing them to pay for the oldun's retirement, so it's really not about them feeling that they're entitled: rather, they probably feel that the olduns have bought their entitlement by paying for the now-dead generation's retirement, and they want their chance to buy their entitlement by giving the olduns what they've payed for. also bear in mind that if France is like the UK then the (involuntary) national insurance is seperate from tax, so it's clear that the olduns have already payed for their state pension. If the did that privately, they could sue a company for rewriting their end of the contract. Also what Timo said: the French are famous for throwing wobblies. [/edit]
  5. it can be treated relatively well. A cure should be available at some point before it eradicates us completely. Maybe discreetly marking the infected, but Mr. Skeptic's point about not coming forward still applies to that... A better approach might just be to try and make the treatments available cheaper in places like Africa.
  6. Dak

    Bases in DNA

    There are 4 possible bases: C, T, G and A. There are 3 bases in a codon. possibilities are CCC, CCT, CCG, CCA, CTC, CTT... etc. that's 64 possible three-base combinations (codons). The maths to work that out is: (4 possibilities for first position) X (4 possibilities for second position) X (4 possibilities for last position) = 4 X 4 X 4 = 4^3. Is that what you were after?
  7. http://www.politics.co.uk/news/business-and-industry/tuc-wants-tax-loophole-changes-$485086.htm If they payed the tax that they should in the first place...
  8. iirc, don't hormones play a part: either male hormones causing cancer, or female hormones preventing it. This is why there's an increase in death-rate in females after the menopause (when their hormone levels become less different than males). might be remembering wrong...
  9. Dak

    We WON!

    whilst simultaneously seizing control of the (now more profitable) oil-plants. Hmm... I suspect some people will have profited enough to consider $2trillion a sound investment, especially as it wasn't actually their money. Hope if anyone is actually profiting that much, that they weren't the ones who made the decision to go to war...
  10. Or one of their 14-year-olds who look and act 20, if you want a more realistic way of controlling someone's actions into committing ' child molestation' (AoC is apparently 15 in sweden). No idea how reliable it is, but: http://www.ageofconsent.com/sweden.htm Or it could be a WikiLeaks supporter trying to make it appear as if the US gov' is playing Sneaky Buggers. Or he could have fiddled a kid. Or the US could be trying to associate paedophillia with 'leaks', in order to aid framing an upcoming argument about censorship in terms of 'think of the children'. Probably best to ignore the issue, tbh.
  11. I think the point isn't 'rationally/empirically prove everything' because that's not possible; rather, keep the number of assumptions to an absolute bear minimum necessary, and then rationally/empirically prove everything else (partially derived from these axioms). The axioms/postulates/whatever are somewhat indirectly proven to at least be workable, inasmuch as, by making these assumptions, the understanding of reality that we get is good enough to manipulate it (make helicopters fly, generate lasers, etc), so they must be onto something. Or if not, they're at least useful lies. Because the assumption that god exists, jesus was his messanger, etc, aren't neccesary, and also accepting them doesn't modify our understanding of reality in such a way that any other truths that are rationally/empirically derived from them allows us to demonstratedly manipulate reality any better. More short: believing in Jesus doesn't let us cure cancer, no matter how rational you are after assuming that axiom, therefore it's not even a useful lie.
  12. Hehe, too many pronouns being chucked around the place ambiguously. ParanoiA's "inconvenient information" refers to accurate reports about the war, not the list of names. He's saying if the gov' reported that inconvenient info, then WL's wouldn't have to; and he's right, that's entirely my point. My "not doing it" refers to not performing a managed release of the details of the war themselves (sans ONLY information that would put field-agents at risk). I.e., if anyone dies as a result of this leak it's not WL's fault for doing a bad job, it's the gov's fault for not doing it themselves, thus necessitating a less-well-equipped 3rd party leaking it. And yes, under the assumption that it's the gov's responsibility to be as honest as possible with its population about what they're paying to be done on their behalf for their benifit within their 'democratic' country. Otoh, WL is obliged, imo, to at least try to minimize unnecessary harm. Assange claims to have tried to identify informants and withhold those reports for now, but it seems he maybe didn't do a perfect job (like the gov' could probably have done, if they'd released the data). Certainly, if the gov' was releasing this data and WL leaked it again but less well redacted and without adding anything of any particular importance into the public's reach, thus putting lives at risk for no reason, then I'd think Assange was a pillock. (btw, does anyone else think it's bad practice for the US military reports to have informants names on them in the first place? Sure, there needs to be some record of who the informants are somewhere, but why log it all in the centralized, potentially leakable database?) yes and yes on your last two points, btw. Well, not always = good, I agree. I guess in this case we'll, to some degree, have to wait to see what new revelations we get about the war vs. how many Afghani informants/US troops die.
  13. Then, really, whether or not it's against the decision of American society is completely irrelevant? I didn't mean 'continue this war', I meant 'continue waging war as you currently are' (should've been clearer, sorry). If the 'atrocities' are really that bad... well, you should know about them is all I'm really saying. Because maybe, in this war or the next, you'll be more careful. Or maybe not. Or maybe you won't even wage the next war. Or maybe you will. But at least, if it's really all that bad, you won't continue as-is due to ignorance induced by your government not telling you what's going on out there. You'll continue because you're incredibly huge dicks. Or because, even knowing exactly what's happening, you still feel it's neccesary. Or you'll continue more-or-less as-is, but a bit more carefully. Or whatever, at least your decision will be informed. Included with this leak is the allegation that your government toned-down (and outright lied) about the nastier aspects of this war. If that's true, then you inherently haven't yet made an informed democratic decision. You've made an ill-informed decision. This leak could be part of changing that. This is the part that I feel is worth a slight (mitigated) risk to informers lives; this is the bit that I'd blame the US government for not doing themselves; this is the bit where, compared to the hundreds of thousands of (avoidable?) Afghan civilian deaths, I'm disinclined to instead focus on a few hundred potential US troop/informers' lives. I don't follow? Assange didn't give us the choice of not receiving names? He says they looked through and removed informers, but seems to have possibly missed a few. Is that what you're reffering to? WL isn't trying to inform those in charge, so 'WL should let the intelligence services do it' doesn't make sense.
  14. Well, there's the argument that an uninformed decision made by anyone (including society) is an invalid decision, which would necessitate a degree of openess. Also, you're looking at this from an American perspective, dispite the fact that you're trying to persuade an English person that what an Australian told all that us the Americans are doing to Afghans is wrong. Why should I, Assuange, WL, the Afghans, or the majority of the world prioritize what the American society alledgedly want, as revealed through a system that is called valid by it's supporters? iow, if a few US soldiers and Afghan informers die as a result of this leak, but it also results in the US population putting pressure on the US gov' to make the Army take greater care and thus saves hundreds of Afghan lives, then how is the leak unjustified (remembering that most people aren't American)? Espescially as the US gov' has an easy way out of this happening in future, which is to keep the US population as well-informed as it can, resulting in no accidental 'dangerous' leaks plus a more scrutinized US army, which would save many lives as far as i can tell. that's not 'handling the release', that's 'not releasing' No, because you Americans should know what you're doing so that you can make an informed, democratic decision as to whether to continue or not. Next war you guys consider having, atrocities and losses in this war will be deciding factor. It might help you guys make an appropriate decision, rather than stumbling along in a government-induced state of ignorance. If data about abortion, health care, or illegal immigration was released, then I'd be ok with that. If the gov tried to push doctors towards suggesting abortions for poor people 'cos that was cheaper than giving child benifit, or if there was an advertizing campaign trying to promote abortions amongst blacks to try to keep their numbers down, or if a hospital had an official, but hush-hush, policy of trying to persuade people to get abortions because abortions are a more profitable operation than child-birth, and someone leaked that, then great! Their reasons for leaking (anti-abortion) are irrelevent tbh. If the actual names of people who had gotten abortions was released, i'd be a bit iffy about that. If a few names make it out, then i'd probably feel that was justified in order to get the problem out in the open. To the white house? I was talking about to the public. The US gov' spin the Afghan war to the people, espescially to the Afghans. WL isn't trying to inform the white house.
  15. Look at what I was replying to: I was acting under the assumption that any names being left in was a mistake. If, with the gov' not releasing this data, someone else leaks it and does the best they can to protect people on the front line and accidentally leave some names in, and they die, I'd place the blame on the gov' for not doing it themselves and still say WL was justified in leaking the document. I'll admit that if nothing was done and people die, then that'd be dickish; but: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/politics/international_politics/afghan+leak+wikileaks+julian+assange+tells+all/3723392 Nothing? But we only have three choices here: either no-one can look at these documents, or everyone can look at these documents, or someone can look at these documents and release only those bits that they think are in our best interest to know, whilst holding back the rest. I'd actually prefer that the governments of the world released only the relevent bits (pretty much for the reasons you've given), but as they're not, I guess someone has to (unless we're going to accept just not knowing), and... well, why not him? As long as the gov' refuse to be open, it's got to be someone outside of government. Who would you prefer? Then, whoops, he made a mistake. Again, the US government should have handled the release of this information to avoid that happening. I guess what i'm saying is a perfectly safe public-release > an unsafe public release > no public release. JA isn't capable of making a perfectly safe release? then he should make an unsafe release, until someone better qualified can take over *coff* the government *coff* (emphasis mine) really??? You think secret (government?) organizations are objective and without a political agenda? Their political agenda will be to present the Afghan war favorably, especially within Afghan'. You can't trust them to report the bad stuff. Example: they didn't report the bad stuff.
  16. See, this is what I meant when I said maybe we should actually wait to see whether anyone actually dies before condemning him. We don't know that anyone's at risk, and we don't know whether Assuage does or doesn't. Again, I think this falls under "if the government want it done safely, then the government should do it". Otherwize, we're left with no-one doing it and us not knowing what's going on. tbh, I think that to agree with you i'd either have to accept that the government safely being more open isn't an option (which I don't), or that if the government don't want to be open then we have to just accept that, and no-one should force transparency upon them (which I also don't accept). Basically, I'm happy to see this done over and over again until our governments learn that it's going to get out anyway so they may as well release it themselves, even if some people die in the process.
  17. If the government is honest, then they can afford to be open (after a delay, and with some redactions, obviously). What is this glaring mistake? The alleged dangerous data that the leak presumably contains? from WL: So... they obviously checked through well-enough to find some 15,000 documents that aren't suitable for release right now. Why assume that they made a mistake?
  18. OK, let me explain better, and slightly change my stance: Some people say that WikiLeaks has put informants at risk. Assuage basically says he hasn't, because they checked the leak first. Why don't we wait until either an informant dies, or someone provides an example of one of the reports that actually reveals an informant, before we judge him? If neither of them happen, then I guess Assuage was right. Also: if there is genuine risk to informants, then you still have to counterbalance the risk to informants due to the leak against the risk to local civilians inherent in unscrutinized wars. Unscrutinized war is what the US (UK, et al) want, and what WikiLeaks wants to avoid by leaking these documents; "some informants might die therefore it's bad" would only neccesarily be true if the alternative -- not leaking, and keeping the war unscrutinized -- was without any inherent risk to innocent lives, which is not the case. You're left having to weigh the pros/cons of leaking vs. not leaking. Finally, bear in mind that the US government could always adopt a policy that, as soon as this information became 'stale' (no longer of strategic use to the enemy), it would be censored to the bear minimum required to protect lives and then publically released. That would most effectively allow public scrutiny of the war whilst protecting sources. If the government aren't going to allow the population 'on who's behalf they work' to scrutinize their actions, thus 'forcing' a 3rd party to leak the information, then they have to accept some of the blame for any ineffective redacting that occurs.
  19. If you want proof that Assuage has non-objective slants to his releases: he's repeatedly said in interviews that, as well as objectively releasing data, WikiLeaks also promises its sources that it will gain 'maximum exposure and political impact' for the leak; hence raw footage from a US helicopter-gun-ship's video being released and also an edited 'editorialized' piece entitled 'collateral murder' and framed with quotes from 1984, which was clearly not objective. I guess you could consider him to both be objectively releasing data -- edited only where neccesary, to protect lives (which he asked the whitehouse for help in doing, btw) -- whilst also pushing his (or his sources?) ideological views. To be fair, the fact that he also releases the unbiased source material puts him ahead of most other commentators, and you could always just ignore the WikiLeaks POV and either go directly to the source material, or to your news-vendor of choice (who, themselves, now have access to the data). I think that we should wait until someone actually dies before criticizing him: they may well not. As far as avoidable deaths goes, I think 'out of sight, out of mind' applies here: if this data remains secret, then not only do the government not have to tolerate scrutiny and maybe try a bit harder to avoid civilian deaths, but, to the extent that innocent deaths are kind of unavoidable in war, the less populations understand that the more willing they are to tolerate their countries waging war. Finally, psyops and 'perception management' are an admitted part of war, which is tantamount to the gov' saying "hey guys, we're going to lie to and manipulate you so we can invade another country, OK?". I really don't think that should be tolerated in this day and age, as it could lead to unjustified wars. A few deaths -- if they occour -- could probably be justified, tbh. And, seriously, if the US government is so sure it's right, it should release (redacted) versions of all this data itself. That would both achieve WikiLeaks purpose (allowing scrutiny of the government) and the US militaries (protecting sources). (Most US voters didn't vote Bush (or Obama, whichever you're talking about). So, not the will of the majority )
  20. umm... this has nothing to do with economics, this has to do with government invasion into our lives. e.g., they could always tax us, build our roads (socialist-style), and even regulate our driving and require us to get licences all without that level of invasiveness. e.g., in the UK, you are required to have a licence, but not to carry it whilst driving. I'm sure there's any number of ways you could have a verifiable license without it requiring storage on a national database, and you could probably get away without license plates too (or, at least, you should be able to get away without registered license plates). It just strikes me that if cars had only just been invented and we were told of the whole licence, photo-ID, high-visibility serial-numbers registered to a national database, etc, we'd not accept it as easily as we accept it now. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Yet, if you required photo-ID and a big licence number on your shirt to walk on the socialistic government-owned sidewalk, you'd get complaints (see for reference: face-reccy-tech and CCTV in the UK, which amounts to something similar, and the idea that even some residents of Arizona will be required to carry photo-ID). I mean, they could always stay at home, right?
  21. inspired by this thread: thinking about it, does anyone think that the gov's attitude towards cars is overly authoritarian? I mean, we have to register our cars (and ourselves) in a national database, drive around with a serial number on our car, and (in the US) we have to carry ID (drivers licence) and produce it on demand to the authroities! Try taking this attitude towards anything else and you'll get called overly-authoritarian and invasive, and people will start making references to 1984 and the nazi party and talking about how the gov' could abuse the databases, and the need to strike a balance between our government protecting us from ourselves and us being able to resist the gov' should it turn bad. However, even quite ardent anarchists happily accept compulsary-carry photo-ID, serial numbers and national databases when it comes to cars. why?
  22. I've seen the anti-drug propoganda in the US, and compared to in the UK it's somewhat shocking in it's blatant unrepresentativeness. Simple fact is that most people who do highly addictive drugs (such as cocaine and heroin) don't get addicted; same is even true of niquotine, with most people who have smoked not progressing onto full-blown niquotine addiction. Which isn't suprising (espescially with harder drugs like heroin and cocaine) as you have to do them pretty regularly in order to get addicted; and neither do they (mostly) steal to support their habit, nor get coked up/pissed and go around beating people up. it's a bit more complicated when you consider people with pre-existing mental problems that drugs 'cure', e.g. extreme anxiety and heroin, where 'addiction' can be effectively instantanious; but the take-home message there is 'dont do drugs if you've got mental problems'. hmm... for that matter, if the money from the 'war on drugs' is ploughed into psychiatric care, betcha anything that significantly less people would try to self-administer drugs in order to deal with their problems, and you'd have lots less addicts. Actually, whenever i've heard statistics, useage seems to be inversly proportional to the amount of legislation against doing it. i.e., legalization would probably result in a drop in usage. otoh that'd imply that more people drink in countries where it's illegal, and I doubt that's true... --------- illegalizing consentual crimes -- espescially drugs -- organizes crime. You want someone killed, or kidnapped, or a riot started, or agent provocaters, or something/someone smuggled into/out-of the country, or someone intimidated, etc etc etc (all entirely deniably), then organized crime can do that for you. Cynically, you could consider it a branch of the secret service tasked with being ready to excert power and influence on a local-level, which is why, i suspect, there's so much organized-crime-enabling legislature knocking around the place. Good luck getting the government to decriminalize the one thing that ensures that, wherever you go, there'll be self-financing organized crime gangs willing and able to do whatever you'll pay them to do.
  23. I don't get why everyone calls labour left: maybe i'm just misunderstanding the term, but they seem quite right-wing to me (much moreso than the conservatives, who're pretty right themselves). Bascule, iirc you asked how an unwritten constitution works? this is a good example: afaik, there're no laws that say this is how it's done, but, still, this is how it's done.
  24. Actually, if I could scientifically prove a correlation between morality and science, it still wouldn't follow that science could or should answer moral questions.
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