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Just a quick question to everybody: there is another thread going on where somebody asks for a combat section in the forum. Should we direct them over here?

An issue everyone who uses Second Life should feel strongly about. Here’s a super quick and effective way to support net neutrality. 1. On a computer or tablet (but not your phone) go to: www.f

Actually, prokster, I'm a Samaritan, and whilst our mission statement is still that fewer people die by suicide, if someone calls us, and has decided on that course, and doesn't change their mind, the

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5 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Finland has the highest rate of suicide in Europe.

Not even close. From WHO suicide rate data for 2015...

Finland's 14.2/100K is only slightly higher than Europe as whole (11.9/100K).

Of the 45 European nations listed in the WHO suicide rate report, Finland is #13. Greece, which is a li'l left of Finland, is 3.3. The US suicide rate (12.6/100K) is higher than Europe's.

Suicide is a complex subject. Assigning causality to political ideology is a fool's errand. But, if you want to go down that road...

How about homicides, from the UNODC report? (per 100K)
Finland: 1.6
US: 4.88

Infant mortality? (per 1K)
Finland: 2.5
US: 5.8

Happiness index?  (of 155 measured countries)
Finland: #5 @ 7.469
US #14 @ 6.993

Part of the happiness measure is "freedom to make life choices". If you rank that...
Finland: #7 @ 0.618
US:  #42 @ 0.506

I'm fascinated by that metric. I don't think most people have thought deeply about what "freedom of choice" really is. I have, and I still don't completely grasp the nuances, but Finland's superiority in this regard doesn't surprise me. Our inferiority on that metric also doesn't surprise me. Being free and feeling free are not the same thing.

Regarding net neutrality, read this (it's a long read, but gets at material I've not seen discussed elsewhere)...

http://www.zdnet.com/article/fcc-revisited-net-neutrality-changes-are-misleading-and-not-benign-says-gewirtz/

You don't like certain kinds of governance, but you also don't like certain kinds of business. Facebook and Google already have control over the dissemination of information that rivals the largest of governments. Carriers wield similar clout over the pipes, and have government sanctioned regional monopolies with half of Americans having access to zero or one provider of broadband service (as of 2016 or so). If you read the article I linked, you'll see that carriers are pulling promises not to block/throttle/gate content even before the eraser shavings have been brushed off the regulations.

As neither a socialist nor a capitalist, I don't want corporations buying out governments and I don't want governments grabbing control of corporations. There's a balance in there somewhere. Repeal of net neutrality isn't the balance I want.

18 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I do hope those advocating for it will have the intellectual decency to come back and admit it.

The intellectual indecency you suspect is all about you might not actually be there. Perception is a tricky thing.

5 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I have the measure of your (Pixeblumb's) morality

Just like you have the measure of Finland's suicide rate vs. Europe overall?

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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3 hours ago, Lada Charlton said:

I hate socialism and communism

I think I can live with you hating me and my native and quite socialistic country. ;)

But since you also say you hate fallacies, you need to be a bit careful with labelling. I have to point out that there has never ever been a functioning communist regime anywhere in the world (except possibly in Czechoslovakia for a few months in the summer of 1968). It's hard to hate something that doesn't actually exist. Oh, I know there have been lots of regimes that have called themselves communist but none of them have showed much respect for the actual theories of Marx and Engels. Most of the time the word has just been abused as an excuse for dictators to dictate. A few have honestly tried to create communist societies but they have all failed msierably. For good reasons too - real communism is both incredibly complex and incredibly naive at the same time - it's never going to work.

Anyways, this isn't really a question about political ideologies. As Gadget Portal pointed out, this is about consumer protection and perhaps even more about small business protection. I'm not American and realistically there's not much chance other nations are going to pick up on this trend so I suppose it is none of my business. But USA is moving very fast back towards the pre antitrust laws cartel economy nowadays and this is one rather big step in that direction. I have to wonder, is that really what you want?

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I always start to laugh when the words 'Human Rights' roll across my consciousness.

You get born - no choice, you got a right to die - no choice when or how.  Just the same as 'Bovine Rights' and 'Viral Rights'.  Everything else is just power and politics.

If you got the power, then you can decide what the politics is.  If you ain't, then the only rights you got are the ones those with power give you.

In a democracy the people en-mass have some power, but those rights are only there as long as the consensus agrees to them - usually only as long as the consensus of the armed forces agree.  Even in so-called representative democracies (not People's Democracies :)) you only get the right to vote for candidates, and they are all brown-nosers for someone with real power.

I'm just grateful for free-ish* speech, and don't expect any 'Human Rights'.  It's poignant for me, my ggggranddaddy was Tsarist diplomat when the Revolution broke out in 1918, being a British citizen now is a result of he being in Paris with his family - interesting who has more 'Human Rights' today, me or my ethnic relatives back in Mother Russia.

I would like Net Neutrality, what power I have I will extend to support it, but not being an American I don't have any.

 

* Can't say nothing about lots of subjects on these forums, for instance.

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Let's be clear about this. Nobody has a right, human or otherwise, to access the internet. It's as black and white as that, and there are no shades of grey in between.

The reality of the internet is that it consists of hardware that is owned by people. Mostly it is owned by individuals like us. That's our computers. When they are connected, they are part of the internet. But what makes it a network (the internet) are cables and connection points (ISPs), and those are owned by companies that are in it for profit. The internet cannot work without them. They are what make it a network. None of us have a right to use their equipment, unless they give us that right. It is definitely not a 'human right'.

We do have a human right to set up our own networks that use our own cables and connection points. If we did that, nobody would have a right to connect to it unless we allowed it. In exactly the same way, nobody has a right to connect to other people's cables and connection points - the internet.

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1 hour ago, Phil Deakins said:

Let's be clear about this. Nobody has a right, human or otherwise, to access the internet.

Norwegians do. ;)

The Norwegian government regards internet access as so essential it is covered by social security. It saves them a lot of money actually because every now and then they have to contact a person and if that person doesn't have internet, they have to resort to paperwork and snail mail and such and that's expensive. Besides, an economy won't work very well unless people have a way to pay their bills. How are you going to do that without internet?

 

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4 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

Let's be clear about this. Nobody has a right, human or otherwise, to access the internet. It's as black and white as that, and there are no shades of grey in between.

The reality of the internet is that it consists of hardware that is owned by people. Mostly it is owned by individuals like us. That's our computers. When they are connected, they are part of the internet. But what makes it a network (the internet) are cables and connection points (ISPs), and those are owned by companies that are in it for profit. The internet cannot work without them. They are what make it a network. None of us have a right to use their equipment, unless they give us that right. It is definitely not a 'human right'.

We do have a human right to set up our own networks that use our own cables and connection points. If we did that, nobody would have a right to connect to it unless we allowed it. In exactly the same way, nobody has a right to connect to other people's cables and connection points - the internet.

Why? Did the sky split open and a booming voice declare, "Thou shalt set up thine own networks?"

All rights are granted by society. Think you have the "right" to life? Tell that to a tiger, or a virus.

Edited by Theresa Tennyson
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1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

Why? Did the sky split open and a booming voice declare, "Thou shalt set up thine own networks?"

All rights are granted by society. Think you have the "right" to life? Tell that to a tiger, or a virus.

There are natural rights that are not bestowed by any group of people on the individual. These rights can only be taken away, they cannot be given.

As for the tiger, I have the right not to be eaten assuming  I can get away from it or kill it.

This right also carries over to my dealings with my fellow man, because if I'm confronted by a human animal. I have that same natural right to flee, or defend myself, if necessary to the point of killing that human animal.

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6 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

The reality of the internet is that it consists of hardware that is owned by people. Mostly it is owned by individuals like us. That's our computers. When they are connected, they are part of the internet. But what makes it a network (the internet) are cables and connection points (ISPs), and those are owned by companies that are in it for profit. The internet cannot work without them. They are what make it a network. None of us have a right to use their equipment, unless they give us that right. It is definitely not a 'human right'.

 

No, what makes it the internet is a shared set of protocols, procedures and addresses that are universal and discoverable. Most of those were developed at government agencies and controlled by nonprofit groups. Without them? Good luck being found and heard.

(I, on the other hand, still have an AOL account from before there was what we think of as the "internet." Nyah.)

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5 minutes ago, BilliJo Aldrin said:

There are natural rights that are not bestowed by any group of people on the individual. These rights can only be taken away, they cannot be given.

As for the tiger, I have the right not to be eaten assuming  I can get away from it or kill it.

This right also carries over to my dealings with my fellow man, because if I'm confronted by a human animal. I have that same natural right to flee, or defend myself, if necessary to the point of killing that human animal.

Those aren't rights, they're abilities. Your "right not to be eaten" by the tiger is entirely dependent on your skills versus the tiger's skills. If the tiger has mad tiger skillz its "right" to eat you overrides your "right" not to be eaten, making that "right" meaningless.

 

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32 minutes ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

Those aren't rights, they're abilities. Your "right not to be eaten" by the tiger is entirely dependent on your skills versus the tiger's skills. If the tiger has mad tiger skillz its "right" to eat you overrides your "right" not to be eaten, making that "right" meaningless.

 

 I wrote: "As for the tiger, I have the right not to be eaten assuming  I can get away from it or kill it".

I believe that's what you referred to as "mad tiger skills". Thank you for confirming what  I already said.

Rights are a construct to enable humans to live in groups. They do not extend beyond the human species.

I have no right not  to be killed by any non-human creature, but on the flip side, no non human creature has a right not to be killed by me.

I believe its called the law of the jungle.

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3 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Norwegians do. ;)

The Norwegian government regards internet access as so essential it is covered by social security. It saves them a lot of money actually because every now and then they have to contact a person and if that person doesn't have internet, they have to resort to paperwork and snail mail and such and that's expensive. Besides, an economy won't work very well unless people have a way to pay their bills. How are you going to do that without internet?

Phil's ignorance extends well beyond Norway, and his understanding of how rights are afforded to citizens by governments is naive. The UN Human Rights Council took a step towards declaring internet access a human right a couple years ago...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Internet_access

Vint Cerf drew a distinction between civil and human rights that might be akin to Phil's, but people aren't buying it.

Canada's equivalent to the US FCC declared internet access a "fundamental right" last year...

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/12/22/historic-decision-canada-declares-internet-access-fundamental-right-all

US Senators recently questioned Tim Cook's stance on human rights after China pressured Apple to remove VPN apps from their App Store. It almost seems as if the senators are more concerned with free access to the internet in China than here at home. If there's any truth to that, you can be sure that following the money will reveal it.

Regarding what we do have a right to do, in the US, I do not have a basic right to establish my own network. I'd have to secure access rights to public land and negotiate access rights across any private property my network must traverse. Even large infrastructure companies find themselves limited by their inability to secure rights to access potential customers. Years ago, I consulted on a project by the City of Milwaukee to provide internet access citywide via a system of underground conduits that were installed over the last century in service of the city's traffic control system. The project was eventually scrapped because private carriers had negotiated contracts with the state of Wisconsin preventing the use of public facilities to support competition. Google's gigabit internet was out of the question for Milwaukee.

Many (most) countries strive to provide access to resources by direct funding or establishment of pubic access requirements in exchange for granting use of public resources to private companies. In the US, railroad and telephone/telegraph companies were given rights to cross public land in exchange for construction of lines in areas the companies deemed unprofitable. Because their services were deemed essential, price caps were put in place. In situations where that's not desirable or possible, access is directly funded from taxpayer dollars, as the US currently does by providing internet access in public libraries and schools.

I do not quibble with the idea that internet access should be considered a human right. It's not hard to imagine a future (or a present) in which the inability to access the internet places a serious limitation on one's freedom of speech. I do agree that, while we concern ourselves with obtaining the best internet access for the lowest price, we should not forget that people all over the world have a larger concern over obtaining water that won't kill them, if they can even make the trip to obtain it without being killed.

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3 minutes ago, BilliJo Aldrin said:

Rights are a construct to enable humans to live in groups. They do not extend beyond the human species.

I have no right not  to be killed by any non-human creature, but on the flip side, no non human creature has a right not to be killed by me.

I believe its called the law of the jungle.

So, just to check - you're saying that you were wrong and I was right, yes?

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43 minutes ago, BilliJo Aldrin said:

There are natural rights that are not bestowed by any group of people on the individual. These rights can only be taken away, they cannot be given.

As for the tiger, I have the right not to be eaten assuming  I can get away from it or kill it.

This right also carries over to my dealings with my fellow man, because if I'm confronted by a human animal. I have that same natural right to flee, or defend myself, if necessary to the point of killing that human animal.

The idea of "natural rights" is a human invention. Prior to our inventing it, there was no such idea. After our inventing it, there's still no such actual thing.

You do not have a right to avoid being eaten by a tiger. Whether you survive or not depends on your ability. Over the long haul, that's natural selection at work.

And I've no reason to think that natural selection will achieve the goals we've set for "natural rights".

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1 minute ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

The idea of "natural rights" is a human invention. Prior to our inventing it, there was no such idea. After our inventing it, there's still no such actual thing.

You do not have a right to avoid being eaten by a tiger. Whether you survive or not depends on your ability. Over the long haul, that's natural selection at work.

And I've no reason to think that natural selection will achieve the goals we've set for "natural rights".

I have the right to avoid being eaten, but I don't have the right not to be eaten.  

Big big difference between those two things

As for the tiger, I have the right not to be eaten IF  I can get away from it, or drive it off, or kill it. 

Even a mouse cornered by a cat will fight. 

 

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3 minutes ago, BilliJo Aldrin said:

I have the right to avoid being eaten, but I don't have the right not to be eaten.

...

The one and only natural right is this: You have the right to try. ;)

Theresa would call it the ability to try of course but it seems to me the argument she and BilliJo has right now is more about semantics than content.

Edited by ChinRey
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11 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

I think I will still  go with Jefferson’s conception of rights. 

I will too, so long as we remember what kind of thinking led to them. Jefferson's "natural rights" grew from his appreciation of "natural law". As our understanding of nature, and our place in it, increases over time, you'd expect the concept of "natural rights" to grow as well. There's disagreement over whether that should be so, as there is in almost anything else humans discuss.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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19 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Maybe not even that? What if free will is just a useful illusion?

Well what If? How would it matter? Do we stop voting because we don’t really choose our beliefs?

(i refer you again to kahneman’s  supremely enlightening Thinking Fast and Slow. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/books/review/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman-book-review.html )

Edited by Pamela Galli
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