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Twice now I've been stuck during a power failure with just a few minutes of battery in my UPS, and when I try to shutdown Windows, it goes into its "installing updates" thing. There's no way around it, and of course losing power during this is probably the most dangerous thing imaginable. Luckily, I escaped with my life on both occasions.

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When I use to dual boot windows I never updated and always "restarted" by just holding the power button down (stupid, yes I know, but it's the only way to reboot it as fast as I'm used to when booted into Linux). Never installed updates and it always worked fine, until I wanted to install updates, then everything broke. I assume this was just caused by waiting too long between updates. My solution was to delete the windows partition and just use a VM.

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Let's not get started on having to buy dog licenses every year in most of the country.

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the default is that you are allowed to travel

I disagree with that interpretation. In fact, there is no default as such. You are required to demonstrate your identity in order to show that you're not one of those people. So you can't just fall into the default condition.

So 1.5 x10^-4 percent of Americans are limited by it.

Abridging the rights of a small number is still abridging rights. The philosophy of the USA, as demonstrated in the Bill of Rights, is supposed to be that minorities, even individuals, have their rights protected from the tyranny of the majority.

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Perhaps it's a small thing, but I remember as a young boy, probably in the early 70s and the Cold War, my mother telling me about the USSR. I specifically recall her saying "over there you need to have papers to travel, so we couldn't just go visit your grandparents like we're doing today".

For whatever reason, that stuck with me for 40-odd years, so the differences today really do resonate with me.

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I agree there is a superficial similarity, but it seems strange to focus on that little detail.

What prevented people in the USSR from visiting their family wasn't the requirement of ID per se. It was the fact that the government could confiscate all your documents and basically turn you into an unperson.

In my country, which had a recentish authoritarian past, the Constitution (we made a new one when we changed the form of government) says that everyone has a right to an identity, and nobody can take that away from you.

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It's been many years since I read it, but I seem to recall that in the full director's cut version (or whatever they call the not-well-edited version that came out second), the conclusion of the book involved a package in a basket on the handlebars of a bike?

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Is "proving your identity" different in any meaningful way from "having an ID"?

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I imagine if you were ever on TV or in the newspaper/a magazine with your picture in it, you can just carry the newspaper around with you everywhere and show them that picture.

I think someone like Barack Obama or Al Pacino can easily "prove their identity".

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I guess it depends what point you're trying to make. There's a big debate in several states around voting and whether it should require proof of identity and whether that's specifically an ID or something else.

I personally think there's a difference between "you must have one of these specific documents to travel" vs "you must be an identifiable person to travel"

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In Anglo-American common law, your identity is basically whatever it is you call yourself, provided that you are not doing so with intent to defraud or otherwise facilitate unlawful activities. Most U.S. states still recognize a common law name change or assumed name.

If James McGill uses the name "Saul Goodman" openly and notoriously in the course of his business, he could reasonably use either name, or both, to identify himself. It is literally just that simple. Your name is whatever you use as your name. If you are a corporation, you may need to file a "doing business as" document with the state business registration authority, but natural persons can merely start introducing themselves with the new name. I could start calling myself "Master President Jack Redbull Walks-Away-From-Explosions Cartman the 42nd", in addition to my birth name and my HN handle, and lo, that would be my name.

As such, the "proof" would be as simple as solemnizing an affidavit that you are not using the name for any malicious purpose.

Requiring an ID--or more specifically, a state-issued ID--is much more burdensome. The state, you see, has a selfish interest in being able to link all of the names a person may have, such that it is easier to enforce its laws upon that person.

I could not go to the state's ID-issuing agency and get an ID card featuring the name "Master President Jack Redbull Walks-Away-From-Explosions Cartman the 42nd". The bureaucrat on site would rather tiresomely insist upon knowing the boring old name that my parents gave to me, and adamantly maintain that the state will officially recognize only one name at a time, that requires a form to be filled out and authorized by a probate judge, and the new name wouldn't fit on the card anyway, and would have to be abbreviated to "[Mr.] Master P. Cartman, 42nd".

This common law tradition allows a person to use an assumed name or pseudonym for travel, without the expectation that the traveler be authorized in any way. But the state (apparently) has an interest in tracking the whereabouts of criminals and those who appear to have criminal intent. So it institutes ID requirements to slide around the common law right of people to avoid name-based tracking regimes.

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and the new name wouldn't fit on the card anyway

You wouldn't believe the trouble I've had to go through as a result of the State of New Jersey not being able to accommodate the length of the rather common name "Christopher".

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Agreed. For me, it seems that on a page by page basis, the writing was phenomenal - he can verbally paint a picture in a way that no one else can. But the whole Baroque Cycle seemed to lack any actual plot, as far as I could tell. I mean, stuff happened, but it wasn't stuff in the course of resolving some central tension to the story, so you had no idea what direction you were traveling in. And I just couldn't go another thousand or two pages aimlessly.

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it dragged down land values and contributed little tax income to the city compared to the ~40 or so houses that are now replacing it.

While those 40 homes lead to greater tax revenue, the amount of expense they demand is even greater.

Anywhere I've lived, even sky-high property tax NJ, the property tax coming from a single home is rather less than the town is paying to educate a single child. So unless the average child density in that development is much less than 1 (say, 0.75 children per house), despite the town collecting more taxes, they'll be spending much more on schools, and it'll be a net loss. And that's before we consider the cost of other services at all...

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With a service, someone is performing something, not having something done to them

The idea that sex is having something done to you, as opposed to something you're doing for or with someone, strikes me as a rather old-fashioned and sexist attitude. I'd like to believe that my wife and I share something better than that.

Of course, there are a lot of personal values tied up in this question, so I don't think that either your opinion or mine necessarily prevails. That being the case, I think the best indicator is what each individual chooses to do of their own free will.

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Sex can certainly be done to someone, and comparing prostitution sex with marital sex is a bit disingenous. I imagine you don't pay your wife each time you two want to have sex, nor that she would have sex with you only if she had few other options left.

The problem with "what each individual chooses" and prostitution is that it's extremely difficult to get an accurate reading of what people truly want. There's lots of coercion, pressure, and outright threats. I think it's fair to say that given the opportunity, most people would not choose prostitution. It's very important to have a society where no one ever feels the need to become a prostitute.

The whole "consent" argument also tries to ignore the question of harm. If someone consents to be harmed, should we harm them? If a drug addict wants to keep drugging themselves, should we not do anything about it? I'm not outright saying that prostitution harms every prostituted person or not, just that this question should be considered, not elided with the "consent" argument.

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The implicit assumptions that ones' choice to have sex with strangers for money is coerced, wrong, constitutes self harm, and must be protected against are telling a story that denies the people who make that choice the very same autonomy such a statement pretends to protect against.

I'd say that is incorrect and based on incomplete understanding. I'd say it's a choice, made, no matter how incomprehensible, for money. Like other choices people make, eg choosing such and such career path, or such and such relationship, sometimes there's peer pressure. And because it's connected with orchestration by criminal enterprises, tainted by that association. However, when you come down to it, people could sell themselves before criminals wanted a cut. It works to consider how you might come to make that choice, and whether your assumptions about prostitutes are filtered through the landscape of what you perceive as your own possible choices.

So before I pronounce prostitutes as victims to fit a narrative of exploitation I've chosen (seductive also for it suggests my moral superiority that I would never make such a choice! :), maybe I'll remember it doesn't work to victimize the people I'm talking about by pretending they had no autonomy. Isn't that, the very same hypocrisy I'm trying to accuse others of? Using a person for a purpose? And when that person may have done the choosing, and I in my argument may be doing the using, haven't I neatly reversed the roles all by myself, and undermined the very argument I was making?

Tl;Dr - when you're talking about people you want to paint as victims it works to consider them as autonomous, choice making beings, to gain more accurate insight, even tho it's seductive to pretend that somehow you've more autonomy than they.

Stl;Dr - fantasising that prostitutes have no autonomy is trying to use them for an intellectual "dry sex", without paying, for the sake of argument without their consent! Definitely only for scoundrels!! :)

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I think it's fair to say that given the opportunity, most people would not choose prostitution.

Given the opportunity, most people would not choose to work.

That being said, from my neighbourhood, women who did chose prostitution could have done some other work instead. They picked prostitution because it was 1. easier and 2. it paid better.

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Being a stripper and being a hooker are different things, but I think there's a high degree of correlation.

I've known three strippers (for reasons unrelated to their careers), and I know for certain that in all cases their choice of profession was absolutely a personal choice. The cost/benefit opportunity was the best one open to them, and they took it.

Like I said, stripping isn't the same thing, and of course anecdote isn't the singular of data. But my experience personally, and what I hear second-hand elsewhere, makes it difficult for me to believe that violence and force are significant factors in that world. And to the extent that they are present, it seems more likely that they enter the picture precisely because it's an outlaw black market lifestyle, and if allowed in the light of day that aspect would likely disappear.

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I don't understand your point... at all. The relationship between a client and a prostitute is nothing like the relationship between a romantic couple. Do you really equate your relationship with your wife to that of a sex worker? Come on.

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We recently moved out of Hunterdon County, NJ - that's the part of the state near Bethlehem PA, where there are still trees. It's rural by NJ standards, with 5 acre zoning, etc. But that's perfect for deer - there's enough plantlife (including our own gardens) to feed them, but the houses are still close enough together that there's really nowhere safe to hunt.

The result is an explosion of deer, to the point where you can't walk across the front yard without being careful of stepping on their landmines. They're also a serious danger to motorists - my wife had three deer accidents inside of two years.

This article doesn't mention another effect on the environment that I've observed in NJ, and also at a cabin that we have in NY's Catskills - that is, the rise of coyotes and "coydog" hybrids. Although these predators are shy and rarely seen, you can frequently hear them yipping and howling.

One thing that impressed me about the rise of the coyotes was a few Christmases ago. On Christmas Eve, a deer that had apparently been struck by a car dragged itself to our front yard and died. Not wanting to wake up Christmas morning to that, I tied a rope around the body and dragged it way off into the woods. A week later, my wife was curious about what had become of it and we walked back to look. Just one week after being dumped there, the only sign there had been a deer at all was a spine attached to a pelvis, and a bunch of ribs. One week farther on, even those were gone.

So it looks to me like, while the rise of deer is damaging the plant ecology below it, it's also changing the predator ecology above as well.

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