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Project Orca: How an IT Disaster Destroyed Republicans' Get-Out-The-Vote Effort

Bob-taro Re:Serves them right (578 comments)

It reminds me of an interesting passage from "That Hideous Strength". I loved it, but it's by C.S.Lewis and is not-at-all-subtly Christian, which I'm sure would offend a lot of slashdot readers.

“But I don’t see how one’s going to start a newspaper stunt without being political. Is it Left or Right papers that are going to print all this rot?”

“Both, honey, both,” said Miss Hardcastle. “Don’t you understand anything? Isn’t it absolutely essential to keep a fierce Left and a fierce Right, both on their toes and terrified of the other? That’s how things get done. Any opposition to the N.I.C.E. is represented as a Left racket in the Right papers and a Right racket in the Left papers. If it’s properly done, you get each side outbidding the other in support of us–to refute the enemy slanders. Of course we’re non-political. The real power always is.”

“I don’t believe you can do that,” said Mark. “Not with the papers that are read by educated people.”

“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader that can be gulled. All our difficulty comes from the others. When did you meet a workman who believes in the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair Flats. He is our problem. We need to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They are all right already. They’ll believe anything.”

I often think about especially that last bit when reading slashdot. Of course, later on in the story it says "Miss Hardcastle apparently overestimated the resistance of the working class to propaganda." (or something to that effect).

about 2 years ago

Dr. Richard Dawkins On Education, 'Innocence of Muslims,' and Rep. Paul Broun

Bob-taro Re:Religions are philosophies (862 comments)

I have to disagree. Those labels change from family to family and even person to person depending on their personal beliefs, their church, sect and priest/pastor/rabbi ..... Unless you are talking about absolute fundamentalists. The truth is a person's religion gives you a possible look into a person's values but it will not be accurate enough to rely on.

To say that a religious label doesn't necessarily tell you much about a person is a far cry from calling it "the most arbitrary label by which people divide themselves". Assuming that by "most arbitrary", Dawkins means "least reasonable", I have to ask what other labels people use to divide themselves and how they compare in "arbitrary-ness". Is it more reasonable to label people by skin color or ethnicity? Or even nationality? As an American Christian, I *might* reasonably expect to have more values in common with, say, a French Christian than an American atheist.

about 2 years ago

Dr. Richard Dawkins On Education, 'Innocence of Muslims,' and Rep. Paul Broun

Bob-taro Re:Dawkin's is a piss poor social scientist (862 comments)

He should stick to something he KNOWS about - like biology.

His other claims are largely bias - uninformed by fact or context.

There were protests about the film in Libya. How does his "theocracy" argument even apply to a country that was a secular state - more like Cuba? Iran, with a religious institution at the head of government, saw no such unrest.

Dawkins is a bigot. He unfortunately uses his impressive scientific and academic credentials to bolster the audience for his bigotry, and conflate the domains of his expertise to support his prejudice.

I don't know if I'd go as far as saying he's a bigot, but I think you make some valid points. Dawkins has made a name for himself by attacking religion, so he isn't likely to stop. I tend to agree with you, though. Anything "bad" done by religious people is presented as evidence of religion being bad in general - whether or not non-religious people do the same thing (e.g. rioting). But of course anything "good" done by religious people doesn't count in favor of religion unless NO secular person would have done the same thing.

about 2 years ago

Dying Star Weaves a Trillion-Mile-Wide Spiral In the Sky

Bob-taro Re:older than itself (46 comments)

I presumed that it meant that they will fade away for hundreds of billions of years (into the future).

I see, it was just me then. Thanks.

about 2 years ago

Dying Star Weaves a Trillion-Mile-Wide Spiral In the Sky

Bob-taro older than itself (46 comments)


... Others fade away slowly over hundreds of billions of years, longer than the cosmos has been around.

Is it just me or does that not make sense?

about 2 years ago

Earthquakes Correlated With Texan Fracking Sites

Bob-taro Re:Oh - FRACKING (259 comments)

Well, how strong is the correlation? FTA:

Frohlich analyzed 67 earthquakes recorded between November 2009 and September 2011 in a 43.5-mile (70 kilometers) grid covering northern Texas' Barnett Shale formation. He found that all 24 of the earthquakes with the most reliably located epicenters originated within 2 miles (3.2 km) of one or more injection wells for wastewater disposal.

So, how much of the 43 mile grid is within 2 miles of an injection well? If it's near 36%(24/67) this proves nothing, right?

Do earthquakes cause frakking? I don't know, maybe "imminent earthquake sites" are likely to be good frakking sites.

about 2 years ago

The Explosive Growth of 3D Printing

Bob-taro Re:Guns (213 comments)

Pity that there is now a bunch of lunatics trying to make printable guns. The world will not be a better place when everyone and their dog can download and print their own guns.

Are you implying you'd have to be a lunatic to want to make a gun?

about 2 years ago

Is the Can Worse Than the Soda?

Bob-taro Re:We already know soda drinkers are fat (388 comments)

Everyone on /. already knows correlation != causation. People that drink 2L bottles of soda on a regular basis are going to high higher BPA and higher obesity.

Actually, that might be a good test - is there a stronger correlation between obesity and cans than 2L bottles?

about 2 years ago

Science Wins Over Creationism In South Korea

Bob-taro "Science wins over creationism" (302 comments)

And that's about as far as most posters read, I'll bet, before posting their "look how stupid religious people are" rants. Creationists are not all stupid. You might think they're wrong, but people can be very intelligent and wrong at the same time. Archaeopteryx and eohippus are oft cited examples of evolution, but there is some doubt today about their accuracy. Heck, the scientists COMPLIED with half of the request. The eohippus to horse scenario is inaccurate and should be removed! However, they let the Archaeopteryx stand even though it might not really represent a transition between dinosaurs and birds. "Science wins"? Maybe Korean educators should be embarrassed that creationists had to point out the scientific flaws in their textbooks. BTW, my kids' science textbooks had the same examples.

about 2 years ago

Function of 80% of the Human Genome Charted

Bob-taro Re:Most of it is control code (112 comments)

Just happened to hear an NPR interview on the way back to the office. The researcher described most of the 80% as regulating the expression of the protein codes. Brace yourself Slashdot: he called it the 'operating system'.

So, can we run Linux?

about 2 years ago

'Wiki Weapon Project' Wants Your 3D-Printable Guns

Bob-taro Re:Strong enough plastics? (570 comments)

A lathe might work for a pistol, but for any rifle that uses a modern cartridge with modern powders, a lathe isn't going to cut it.

Is that a pun?

about 2 years ago

'Wiki Weapon Project' Wants Your 3D-Printable Guns

Bob-taro Re:Strong enough plastics? You miss the point. (570 comments)

Think about it, we are going from tech geeks and designers wanting these, to gun fans, which there are a lot of. Also, the venn diagram of the two groups isn't close to overlapping, so the tech is going to spread, and fast.

Where do you live that these groups don't overlap much?

My thoughts exactly. What tech geek doesn't like to blow stuff up and shoot things?

about 2 years ago

July Heat Set U.S. Record

Bob-taro Re:Choose, denialists (422 comments)

Nice. Conversely:

Choose, believers: Either a cold winter disproves AGW or this doesn't prove it. CHOOSE

I've heard the similarly inconsistent arguments from both sides of the debate.

more than 2 years ago

Nukes Are "The Only Peacekeeping Weapons the World Has Ever Known," Says Waltz

Bob-taro Re:education stopped war (707 comments)

before WW2 most people could barely read or not read at all and the only job they could get was working on a farm. serving in the military and getting some war booty was more exciting. back in those days graduating high school was a major achievement.

now in the first world the vast majority of people know how to read, have a high school education and a lot have higher education degrees. why would these people want to join the army, crawl through the mud and be shot at or blown up? for minimum wage salary?

this chart indicates literacy hasn't changed that much in the 1900s, and this article suggests it's gotten worse among military applicants. The statistics are based on people who were not allowed to enlist due to lack of basic reading skills. You need to read a lot of notices, manuals, written orders, etc in the military. Believe it or not, some people (I believe most) join because they want to *serve*, not because it's the best they can do financially.

I am not a veteran, but I know many and I respect them and it bothers me when they are characterized as being stupid or greedy, when in my experience they are intelligent and generous.

more than 2 years ago

A New Record For Scientific Retractions?

Bob-taro Re:study shows 99% people believe the word "scienc (84 comments)

Except Americans. Unless it matches their beliefs in religon, politics, nature and economics.

Given the context of this discussion, is it necessarily a bad thing not to automatically accept as fact anything called "science"?

more than 2 years ago

Fundamentalist Schools Using "Nessie" To Disprove Evolution

Bob-taro Re:They are even dumber than they seem. (936 comments)

The scientific perspective truly is that there was no god involved in creation. At all. You can explain everything plausibly without a God figure, and in fact it makes a lot more sense.

That's the crux of it right there - where is the burden of proof? To the atheist, it's obviously up to God to prove himself. If they can come up with plausible theories that don't involve God, then God doesn't exist. To the believer, it's obvious that the atheist has to disprove God, not just come up with a plausible alternative. In my experience, most people in both groups think they've won the argument and can't understand why the other side is so stupid.

more than 2 years ago

Fundamentalist Schools Using "Nessie" To Disprove Evolution

Bob-taro Re:Didn't RTFA (936 comments)

If dinosaurs were still alive, this still wouldn't disprove the theory of evolution. News at 11.

And what the heck is the article about, please?

The article is in the Scotland Herald, so I assume it's about how some crazy Americans believe in their Nessie. Of course, no true Scotsman would doubt Nessie's existence.

more than 2 years ago

David Lowery On the Ethics of Music Piracy

Bob-taro Re:for artists? (713 comments)

You're basically arguing that everyone elses rights should be subservient to the those of the creative classes and that's simply contradictory to the notion of equality under the law.

Anyone can create and copyright their creation. Where's the inequality?

more than 2 years ago

Young Listeners Opt For Streaming Over Owning

Bob-taro Re:Bandwidth costs, offline access ... (390 comments)

Seriously, the moaning form Slashdot commenters seems a bit disingenuous considering most of us pretty much ignore copyright and pirate whatever we want, if we cannot conveniently get it through a legitimate source. Piracy is not going anywhere, so I really do not see what all the fuss is about. Hollywood and Nashville can work up a sweat about it all they want, they are still 10 steps behind the pirates, and are more of joke than any real threat.

So you're saying ownership will be replaced by pwnership?

more than 2 years ago


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