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I think it just speaks to the mindset of the Chinese government in general. The whole thing is built on centralized control, and they seem to hold the belief that they can "control" markets in the same way they control politics etc. I agree that it's odd and frankly stupid, but I don't consider it surprising.

I would love the opportunity to have my mind changed. It's already happened to me here on a topic after being around a few weeks. I can't remember the last time it happened on Reddit.

This is the idea I'm most comfortable with. I have no issue with a modest subscription fee or the like to keep the site independent and focused on its original goals. I really like the philosophy of this place, but whether it can maintain it through growth is an important test. This seems to me like the most sensible approach, and will encourage members with a stake in the community and values.

elliuss  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Does the government bestow liberties?

According to a specific Enlightenment-era doctrine, yes, rights are inherent, either originating from God or as the logical consequence of the "state of nature."

In reality, governments bestow rights. If you believe otherwise, ask yourself who defines which rights you inherited. Is it God? Which god? The Judeo-Christian god? The Greek gods? Or is it the writers? If so, is it Locke or Rousseau? What about Hobbes?

The problem with all of this talk about rights is that it's utterly meaningless without a political and legal framework to support it. You can go on and on about the rights of Central Africans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but they still live in a place where children are forcibly enslaved and used as soldiers.

Now there's something to be said for standing up to government action in our time and saying, "Hey, your power derives from us, and you better remember that." But that's because our system of government is (theoretically) founded on that principle. In societies where that's not the case, the discussion should entail whether they ought to change the foundation of their government rather than about a nebulous concept like fundamental human rights.

I feel like this was inevitable. My very amateurish reading of the strategy goes like this:

Tsipras: A referendum takes the heat off me. If the people vote no, I have an excuse for my creditors. If they vote yes, I have an excuse for my party.

Creditors: To hell with this, we're not even keeping them solvent long enough to decide. Let them see what it's like without our help.

Greek People: Please just feed us and provide basic bank services. Christ.

elliuss  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Automate the Boring Stuff with Python

Even though I'm finally getting into "true" programming, I can't emphasize enough how big the leap from "none" to "some" is. I began working at a bank with no computing experience and holy hell was it terrible. The amount of inefficiency was so severe that I decided I had to learn some VBA just to automate the worst wastes of time. After less than 2 months, I was writing small VBA programs that were halving the amount of time people spent on cleaning up data. It's incredible what even a tiny amount of automation can accomplish.

The Wire is an entirely different experience from most television and may not be what you're looking for. You describe some common tropes in TV. The Wire is more like a cross between a novel and a somewhat sad, but moving, human interest piece. It has cliffhangers in a sense, but not the sort of hooks that get thrown out by most series.

But really, it is the best show ever made. I found it to be more educational than most other works of art and a lot of my schoolwork. You have to put in some patience at times, but the payoff is incredible.

I think online voting would be great if we paired it with measures to facilitate anonymity and prevent fraud. One thing I'd like to see is a change in the notion of personal identifiers and information security. Social security numbers, for example, seem hopelessly outdated in the era of the data breach. But if I had a reasonably secure personal identifier and a reason to believe the process wasn't at great risk of being compromised, the convenience (and therefore the boost in turnout) would be immense.

I think it's less about one subreddit and more about the articulate expression of a feeling that has been gnawing at many of us for some time. I've loved Reddit for years, and before that I enjoyed smaller forums. They all had some problems, but generally provided a place for intelligent, unfiltered discussion.

It's the same thing I used to love about online gaming. The internet was like the Wild West and a Parisian cafe and an 18th century British coffee house rolled into one. The relative lack of regulation and standards along with minimal corporatization made it a wonderful place to expand your mind and engage with other human beings. But as days go by and larger sites suck up more and more of the user base, the Internet is starting to feel more like a shopping mall. Reddit felt like a holdover from the "old" days for a long time, but it (literally) got bought out, and it's starting to show. Some of the great posts now and then maintained the illusion that it was still a great community, a place where you could really interact and benefit from it. I guess what today's post did for me was shatter the illusion I'd sort of desperately been holding onto, the idea that I could get back that feeling from years ago.