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Johann Deneux
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I read first about this today in a local newspaper. I couldn't believe it, it looked like a very bad April 1st joke. Good that they reversed the decision, but I'm not buying the "oh sorry, we were naive about this" excuse.

Also, what the hell happened with media coverage. How could this get so little attention? The original announcement was in November!

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It's actually been out for a couple of weeks now, but just in case you missed it on twitter, here is a reminder.

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A pretty weird justification of the heavy death toll on the Palestinian side.

The author apparently wrote this article to explain why the Palestinian death count isn't part of the 8 things he thinks you should know about the conflict.

The relative death ratio is 192:1 (192 Palestinian deaths for 1 Israeli). According to the author, this can be explained because:

1) The Israeli defences are good enough to intercept most of the rockets

2) Palestinians lack missile-interception defences

3) The ratio would be worse if Israel weren't trying to avoid civilian deaths

4) The number of Palestinian deaths per day of conflict is decreasing, compared to earlier conflicts

The thing with the high Palestinian death count is that it casts doubt over the "Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties" claim, which nullifies argument 3. If Israel is trying to avoid civilian deaths, they are doing a poor job of it. An alternative could be to not retaliate. After all, argument 1 tells us there is little to fear from a lack of retaliation.

Argument 2 is pretty confusing. Is the author blaming Palestinians for their lack of anti-missile defences? Part of the reasons for the pro-Palestinian side is precisely the perception that Palestinians are defenceless against Israel aggression.

Regarding argument 4, I'm looking forward to the day armies can shoot at each other and never achieve a single kill. The complete lack of point in armed conflicts might then be a bit more obvious.

I understand the drive for retaliation, but that's exactly what's keeping both sides shooting at each other, with civilian victims on all sides as a result. Someone has to engage into peaceful action first.

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Western society is facing vital challenges, namely how to keep financing the social safety net in the presence of aging demographics and youth unemployment.

The answer could be simple: Productivity increases. I believe this can be achieved through automation, but it requires a fair redistribution of the benefits. Sadly, wages have pretty much stagnated since the 70s, when compared to productivity.

Why aren't our politicians talking about this?

EDIT: The gap between the rich and the poor is often mentioned, but I think that's the wrong discussion, because it's never clear the rich dont't "deserve" to be paid more. The case of the disparity between the evolution of productivity and wages is however a lot more clear about how unfair the situation is: Why shouldn't workers benefit from their hard work?

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Interesting bits and pieces from the article:

"Besides giving Chinese companies access to American technology, the information may have allowed the Chinese them [sic] to anticipate American regulators."

What was information about future plans by American regulators doing in SolarWorld's emails? Apparently, there are companies which are privy to American regulators' plans, and companies that aren't.

Another bit which I found a bit weird:
"The hacker Sun Kailing supposedly gained access to the company’s computers and stole technical and design specifications on pipes, pipe supports and pipe routing, enabling Chinese competitors to build world-class nuclear power plant without doing the research themselves"

Do we really want the Chinese to build sub-standard nuclear power-plants?

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Some stuttering issues probably due to the test server/client, other than that it looks promising.

Dear friends, I apologize for disabling shared endorsement. I hope you can forgive me.
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