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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2012
     (10574.121)
    @apefist, seems bleak


    @REL: I'm gonna say just about everything from Tetris to Myst to Bioshock. Even the increased social-networking capabilities of phones could lead people to play more digital Scrabble and chess, which is a-okay by me.
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      CommentAuthorFrowardd
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2012
     (10574.122)
    I'm still really annoyed at these Evil Space Badgers. If we could just put aside our differences to nuke those fuckers out of the solar system, maybe one day we could get to mars. But sigh, it's not meant to be.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2012 edited
     (10574.123)
    A couple of things a better future should have because they exist now but most of us don't benefit from them:

    1. Electronic wallets. Most people either have or know about transit cards - you preload them with money then wave them past a sensor to pay bus or train fares. In Hong Kong, where the first such system was invented, fast pood places, convenience stores and many other businesses accept them for payment. It's more secure than cash because you can log on to a website and cancel your card and transfer the balance if the card is lost or stolen, you can set it so it has an auto-top-up so you never run short of change. It helps businesses because they dont have to handle as much cash.

    The reason we don't all have this is pretty simple: the banks hate this system becaude it cuts out a large chunk of their transaction processing income and ATM fees. Twenty-odd years after these systems have been around they've kinda, sorta gotten on the bandwagon with Visa Paywave.

    2. Drug decriminalization: Portugal seems to have developed a model that works. Possession of virtually all drugs including Heroin, cocaine and PCP for personal use is not a felony (and the amounts that qualify as "personal use" are pretty generous.)

    IIRC, the first time you're found in possession you get a warning notice; the second time within six months you get a small fine; third time within the same six month period you get mandatory rehab.

    The result has been reduction in drug use and an even bigger reduction in overdoses and in AIDS and Hep infection rates.
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2012 edited
     (10574.124)
    *Performs necromantic kuji-in to resurrect a moribund thread*

    @kosmo

    I have been put off commenting here for while due to the brusque response to my last post... but I did have a couple of things I wanted to mention about both your points (which I feel are both valid and worthy of further discussion):

    1. I have a contactless payment system on my present bank debit card, but the system is supported in so few places that i've usually stuck it in the machine and typed in my pin before I've even noticed I could've just waved it at a sensor. Certainly it is here now but I think its opne of those things that is waiting for its time.
    One thing does concern me though is that as demonstrated by the researchers that cracked the RFID chip in passports (I forget which countries' passports), these things may not be 100% secure (but then it's hardly as if there is zero card-fraud through other methods at present). Perhaps faraday-cage wallets will become more commonplace too..


    2. Since the 'War on Drugs' is so profitable (and probably provides political over for some more dubious dealings withing the US's sphere of influence), as much as I think it'd be better for the world's population, I cannot see that kind of Portuguese liberalisation occuring in too many places. Which is a shame because as you rightly state it appears that it is working as intended.
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2012
     (10574.125)
    #Afrofuturism

    I am seriously no expert in this field, but having listened to this programme by Lauren Buekes on BBC WS, I am fascinated by the wasy in which traditional culture is being fused with technology in places like Ghana, with their Sakawa Boys:

    From a vice article about them:

    Taking a page from cyberpunk, traditional West African Juju priests adapted their services to the needs of the information age and started leading down-on-their-luck internet scammers through strange and costly rituals designed to increase their powers of persuasion and make their emails irresistible to greedy Americans. And so “Sakawa” was born...

    ...Sakawa has its own tunes, clothing brands, Sakawasploitation flicks, and even a metastatic backlash from Christian preachers and the press. When we were in Accra over the summer it was impossible to walk more than ten feet without seeing the word Sakawa in blood-red Misfits letters on a poster or tabloid, often accompanied by bone-chilling horrors of the photoshopped variety.
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2012
     (10574.126)
    On the Portuguese drugs liberalization, I'm sure a lot of countries would adopt it if they played their politics like ours did. In a country where the decriminalization of abortion and the recent same sex marriage were subject of discussions for endless weeks, it was surprising seeing this law into action without much fuzz from the public opinion. I think it was a combination of low profile chances in the law that disable the public opinion and, when the results started to show up, arguments couldn't be made against it.
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      CommentAuthorsneak046
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2012
     (10574.127)
    ^^ hmm, sounds awfully like Evidence Based Policy. I approve..
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeJun 22nd 2012
     (10574.128)
    Was that another "brusque" directed towards me? It's hard to tell, since nobody really responded to your last post.