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Motorola Sues Apple

AkiraRoberts Re:Just great!! (176 comments)

The problem with this is we underestimate a) just how bad complete madness can be and b) how long it will take us to reach it. It feels as though we've been sliding towards madness for a good long time now, and I've given up on thinking that we've reached a point at which people will decide that things have gotten bad enough that they need a bit of changing.

more than 3 years ago
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Audio Analysis Brings New Revelations From Kent State Shooting

AkiraRoberts Re:Was this Hoover's rogue FBI? (289 comments)

I had no idea. Wow. That is a genuinely useful bit of obscure trivia.

more than 3 years ago
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Audio Analysis Brings New Revelations From Kent State Shooting

AkiraRoberts Re:Was this Hoover's rogue FBI? (289 comments)

I'm frankly not sure about the relation, really, but you should get some credit for linking that since a) Pete & Pete rocks and b) that is one of the catchiest (and lyrically incomprehensible) songs I've ever heard.

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking: No 'Theory of Everything'

AkiraRoberts Re:Oblig (465 comments)

Wait, wait. What about 87654?

about 4 years ago
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Hawking: No 'Theory of Everything'

AkiraRoberts Re:Oblig (465 comments)

45678

about 4 years ago
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Safety Commission To Rule On Safety of Rulers In Science Kits

AkiraRoberts Re:Knowledge ruled dangerous (446 comments)

Nice reference there. I hope that I'm not the only one who got it, just the only one pompous enough to need to inform everyone else that he did, in fact, get it.

about 4 years ago
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Safety Commission To Rule On Safety of Rulers In Science Kits

AkiraRoberts Re:Can't you simulate a chemistry set with softwar (446 comments)

I agree. Real explosions are fun. Real fire is fun. I still remember the day in 7th grade when we were finally allowed to use bunsen burners. It is in my top 10, despite losing an eyebrow. I think the danger of getting hurt or, in rare cases that probably involve doing something deeply stupid that might well disqualify you from the gene pool, killed are outweighed by just how a) fun and b) useful learning science can be.

And rulers? Rulers? Are you fucking kidding me?

about 4 years ago
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Scientists Cut Greenland Ice Loss Estimate By Half

AkiraRoberts Re:Great news! (414 comments)

The point is that I tend to view massive loss of life as a negative. Sure, killing off 99% of the world's population would, in the end, lead to a population that is "more fit." And yes, perhaps we need that sort of thing right now. And yes, the world, science and evolution care fuck all for my indvidual sensibilities. Be that as it may, I'd prefer to live in a time where 99% of humanity (and I have no illusions - I'll be in that 99%) wasn't experiencing natural selection in a very up close and personal fashion.

But from a completely detached and amoral (and not intending to use that word in a judgemental way) point of view, sure, you are totally correct.

about 4 years ago
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Scientists Cut Greenland Ice Loss Estimate By Half

AkiraRoberts Re:Great news! (414 comments)

is disruptive ... newsflash ... you believe in evolution, right ? Does "Adapt or die" sound familiar ? It's just as valid for civilizations as it is for people, mice and bacteria.

Well the issue is, if it's adapt or die, a pretty fucking huge number of people will end up dying. Yes, with the earth being warmer, perhaps the net amount of usable land would increase. But if said usable land is in a different location than the current usable land there might be a few, you know, issues in picking up the entire agricultural infrastructure of the world and relocating it. Especially when you take into account things like national borders which countries tend to be a little touchy about.

So yeah, sure, we'll adapt, it won't be the end of humanity. But the transition is going to suck.

about 4 years ago
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The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally

AkiraRoberts Re:Count me in (703 comments)

Good point. I am, apparently, stupid. Why on earth am I modded higher than you?

about 4 years ago
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The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally

AkiraRoberts Re:Count me in (703 comments)

Only this year? Seriously neat trick.

about 4 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

AkiraRoberts Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1328 comments)

Well organized religion tends to screw things up, to be sure. But then again, organized $InsertAnyGoodIdeaYouLike tends to screw things up.

Personally, while I find the moral/philosophical teachings most important, I also like a bit of abstraction too. That said, it's not really essential to my belief system and I'm happy to acknowledge that, objectively speaking, it's a little silly.

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

AkiraRoberts Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1328 comments)

Well no, it's not. You can have Buddhism with or without deities and it works fine either way. But some of Buddhism's claims, in re: the endless cycle of rebirth and suffering have a bit of a non-material feel to them, and veer a little more towards the religious side of things. And it does tend to assimilate whatever sort of deities happen to be around in the countries it ends up.

Of course, the thing about Buddhism is that it "works" even if you do away with all the supernaturalist elements - the Buddha's teachings about suffering etc., applied to a single lifetime, are quite useful (in my opinion, that is)

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

AkiraRoberts Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1328 comments)

I'm about to oversimplify again, but one response is the Mahayana Buddhist concept of the bodhisattva - an individual who becomes enlightened but holds back from going all the way with it until all sentient beings have been liberated.

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

AkiraRoberts Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1328 comments)

And I was being a pedantic one, sorry.

And also thinking that, shit, give someone a few million years to mull it over and maybe, assuming the Buddhists are right, the Christians might be able to say "well holy shit, I don't think this here Jesus guy is working for us, what with all the constantly being reborn and suffering and all." That might be optimistic.

more than 3 years ago
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Hawking Picks Physics Over God For Big Bang

AkiraRoberts Re:But what created the law of gravity? (1328 comments)

Just a minor quibble, but if it turns out the Buddhists are right, Christirans won't spend eternity being reborn and suffering - they only spend as long as it takes to figure out that the Buddhists were right and to get with the program. Unlike Christianity, Buddhism isn't one of those you get one chance, don't fuck it up kind of religions. (And yes, all of the above is just a huge fucking oversimplification - I am aware of that, but the point stands).

more than 3 years ago
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Neal Stephenson Unveils His Digital Novel Platform

AkiraRoberts Re:Not to say he's long winded or anything (157 comments)

The thing is, I don't mind all the long windedness. I personally think he's a good enough writer that he can be long winded and still be, by and large, entertaining. What I'm not super excited about is him being long winded in a non-text media. Does anybody remember that music video thing that accompanied (or prefaced, I don't recall which) Anathem? It was kind of a bit crap.

more than 4 years ago
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Neal Stephenson Unveils His Digital Novel Platform

AkiraRoberts Interesting idea, but we're redefining novel (157 comments)

Or perhaps we aren't. I'm still not sure how I feel about this. It is one thing to have a book with appendices and glossaries and indexes and illustrations. But this thing seems to be something else entirely and I don't know if I am really interested in this. I like open ended stories as much as the next wannabe post-modernist, but a novel that you subscribe to? Where you are interacting with other readers in a social media-esque way? Where the thing never really ends?

Still trying to decide how I feel. I suppose the thing is, while I like things that are unfinished, sprawling and messy (which is why I've never really given a damn about Stephenson's inability to write a coherent ending), I'm still attached to the notion of the messiness being constrained between the covers of a book, that I can close with a happy sigh and say, "Damn, that was good." That might be weirdly old fashioned. Stephenson may be getting at something here and, 100 years from now, this is what "novels" will look like. But I suspect that if that is the case, we may stop calling them novels.

more than 4 years ago
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Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe In Plane Crash

AkiraRoberts Re:GOOD RIDDENCE OL TEDDY BOY (512 comments)

b) may not have actively revelled in his own evil.

I hope you don't mean the "evil" that he was completely exonerated of.

He was railroaded for political gain, and that's it.

"Evil" was straight up hyperbole. I was never a fan of his politics. But the dude was human and I'm just not the sort of person who can jump up and down and say "Yippee is dead!"

more than 4 years ago
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Ted Stevens and Sean O'Keefe In Plane Crash

AkiraRoberts Re:GOOD RIDDENCE OL TEDDY BOY (512 comments)

Perhaps because, though he was a dipshit, he was a) human and b) may not have actively revelled in his own evil. So it seems kind of odd to be all happy that he's dead. Personally, I won't miss the guy, but I'm also not really going to say 'Good riddance.' Something about the latter is a little cold blooded for my tastes.

more than 4 years ago

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