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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

CRCulver Re:Marooned in Realtime (217 comments)

The human race was not the only race in that book. The spacefarer woman encountered other planets whose civilizations had disappeared (eventually meeting the last centaur). It was with that subplot that the idea of a race holding its ground instead of expanding outward was explored.

2 days ago
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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

CRCulver Re:Marooned in Realtime (217 comments)

While the disappearance of humanity remained a mystery for the whole novel, Vinge ascribed this fate to another, alien species.

2 days ago
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Tor Blacklisting Exit Nodes Vulnerable To Heartbleed

CRCulver Re:So much for Net Neutrality. (56 comments)

Russia has just admitted that it really did move members of its armed forces into Crimea prior to the annexation. How do you think they managed that without people catching on?

Could you cite this please? It was my understanding that the "little green men" were simply Russian servicemen already stationed there because the peninsula has long served mainly as a large military installation that Russia leased from Ukraine. These servicemen just put on new uniforms without insignia and drove off their bases to seize the surrounding area. I'd be interested in any publication you might point to that claimed that the "little green men" were secretly moved there from Russia proper. (And even if they were, considering the normal flow of personnel between Russia and Russia's base on the peninsula, it probably could have been kept low-key regardless of the actions of a Snowden.)

2 days ago
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Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

CRCulver Re:People getting wierd about liquid water (217 comments)

Because the future of humanity depends on getting off of this rock eventually.

Using a phrase like "the future of humanity" suggests that humanity as it currently exists has a future. As technology progresses and the merging of man and machine becomes a possibility, who knows that future inhabitants of this planet will want or need. In his novel Marooned in Realtime , which deals with a technological singularity, Vernor Vinge speculated that an advanced race might decide to just burrow deep underground and live in a virtual reality there instead of expanding out into the cosmos. Sure, you could argue that billions of years from now civilization would be threatened by the sun expanding into a red giant, but that's hardly a case for the need for human beings to get off Earth now or anytime soon.

2 days ago
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Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

CRCulver Re:Kim Philby II (386 comments)

If he were a whistleblower, we would have seen revelations in the press, not a document dump to the public.

The "document dump" to the public wasn't from Snowden, it was from Greenwald and Poitras. Like a number of whistleblowers who Americans have come to praise in respect, Snowden gave these documents to journalists and asked them to redact them before release to the public. If you have any issues with how that played out, Greenwald, Poitras and other news figures involved are the ones to blame.

Not to mention a lack of taking several hard drives full of data to the Russians

Rumours circulate that most if not all of the hard drives that Snowden had with him upon his flight to Hong Kong were decoys.

2 days ago
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

CRCulver Re:Kids are Retarded, News at 11 (352 comments)

Hesiod never said that and that same quotation has been ascribed to many people. Failing to check a citation and perpetuating a spurious quotation is little different from lying.

2 days ago
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

CRCulver 13 years ago, eh? (266 comments)

That would be 2001. I had a PDA (Pocket PC) at that time that was internet-capable. However, when wi-fi was not yet widespread, the only way you could get on the internet with the thing was a complicated modem setup, plugging a cable into an extension card. Getting data over a mobile phone link still involved the horribly primitive technology WAP. So, a fat lot of good your portable device did you. The smartphone and the tablet could not really take off until wi-fi and cheap 3G did.

2 days ago
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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

CRCulver Re:Revolt? (797 comments)

Keep belittling the power of people, forget about Rosa Parks and many others who through civil disobedience have change this country for better.

Rosa Parks was not a "spontaneous uprising". While in American schools her story tends to be misportrayed as a case of a solitary dissident (an issue fascinatingly explored in educator Herbert Kohl's Should We Burn Babar? ), in reality she was active in the local NAACP and her and her fellow civil rights aspirants had been waiting for the perfect moment to further their cause.

Rosa Parks is an example of dramatic social change coming from committed, organized groups and not spontaneous outbursts of individual discontent.

3 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

CRCulver Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

Which is of course regulated by law, for German the Duden holds the currently recognized words and their correct spellings as well as meanings in common use.

I take it you weren't around in the 1990s during the last major German spelling reform, when a number of German-language institutions announced that they would not be following the new rules in their publications?

5 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

CRCulver Re:Can the writings be read? To make you laugh/cry (431 comments)

As a linguist, I am very familiar with Truss's book, and I can assure you that it is not taken seriously as scholarship. As prescriptive pleading, sure, it's a classic, but it offers no support for the claim that loosening of orthographical standards seriously impedes human communication (or one's thought process, going back to the OP).

5 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

CRCulver Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

Sorry, that should read "Human language naturally contains some level of ambiguity, it is simply unavoidable. However, this does not typically lead to mutual unintelligibility."

5 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

CRCulver Re:German teaching methods (431 comments)

it may now be safe to start teaching how to read fraktur / black letter type again or the German speaking nations will miss out entirely on the original books and literature pre 1930 or so.

Lots of peoples have abandoned their publications of earlier eras to obscurity and don't think twice about it, sad as it may be for lovers of books. Ottoman Turkish is completely unintelligible to contemporary Turks, partially because the Arabic script in which it was written was swiftly disposed or and even most educated Turks can't be arsed to learn it and read their heritage. Geoffrey Lewis's The Turkish Language Reform: A Catastrophic Success is a pretty accessible presentation of this phenomenon.

Similarly, Latin-alphabet scripts were created for the minorities of Russia after the October Revolution, and there was an explosion of native-language reading and writing in the 1920s. However, Stalin came along and obliged all minorities to use a Cyrillic-based script, and no one makes an effort to read the Latin-script books that have survived today (athough most were pulped, as paper was scarce at the time of the switch).

Kazakhstan has long toyed with the notion of switching to the Latin alphabet, as Turkey, Turkmenistan, and the Tatar intelligentsia have done, but the prospect of the people being cut off from a century of Kazakh literature gives official circles pause.

5 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

CRCulver Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

Eventually if too many linguistic rules and word meanings are discarded, communication becomes essentially impossible as statements don't have the same meaning to both parties in the discussion.

You really need to read some Saussure, especially the principle of l'arbitraire du signe and the distinction between langue and parole. This science is a century old at this point, there's no excuse for an educated person not knowing it. Human language naturally contains some level of ambiguity, it is simply avoidable. However, this does not typically lead to multual intelligibility, and most of the human population handles diaglossia just fine.

Furthermore, this is a discussion about a writing system, not a language. Writing systems too have a great deal of ambiguity, starting from the ambiguity in the speech they represent and then going from there. Just think about how many different lexemes are represented in speech and writing as <set>, or how two different tense forms with two different pronunciations are represented as the single grapheme <read>. And yet, readers handle that just fine.

As an English speaker, your own language's history in writing should be enough to disabuse of the notion that divergent spellings are a threat to society. English spelling in the 18th century was not yet firmly established, and yet that era saw an explosion in popular literacy and scholarly publication.

5 days ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

CRCulver Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

People who are encouraged as kids to be sloppy about their writing tend to emerge from adolescence sloppy about their thinking too.

Can you cite this from a peer-reviewed publication, please? If this is really such a problem, surely you can back it up with scholarship.

5 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

CRCulver Re:Ability to design and write software... (578 comments)

We've tried "free trade" for the last thirty years, ask a 22 year old on their 500th resume submission how well that's worked out for us.

That 22 year-old might not hear you, because he'll be too busy staring at the screen of his smartphone, which he was able to afford because the Western companies developing the technology were able to outsource the manufacture to somewhere cheaper. Knocking down trade barriers does have its drawbacks, but it also allowed the explosion of cheap electronics that people today do not want to live without regardless of how hard the job search might be.

about a week ago
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The Graffiti Drone

CRCulver Re:Great, just what we need (126 comments)

Whoever said that never happens?

You told your fellows here to look at a Google image search where there were both murals painted as a result of some community-authorized project and others painted without permission. For you to now claim that you were advocating for authorized artworks is disingenuous.

about a week ago
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The Graffiti Drone

CRCulver Re:Great, just what we need (126 comments)

Even just restricting it to graffiti, cities do stupid things like declaring chalk is graffiti - even though it washes away with rain.

Even temporary vandalism can have an effect on property values and, assuming the broken window theory holds (which I myself am uncertain of), possibly crime rates. So, it makes sense to prosecute those creating images with chalk without the authorization of whoever owns or manages the surface they are covering.

about a week ago
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The Graffiti Drone

CRCulver Re:Great, just what we need (126 comments)

graffiti artists are the people responsible for those really cool murals; [google.com]

You know what's really cool? Getting the permission of the owner of a property (or local government) before practicing one's art. The painting can be as whizbang as one can imagine, but without that authorization from whoever owns or manages the wall, "cool" is not the word for it.

about a week ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

CRCulver Re:where is the controversy? (640 comments)

Hebrew is an Akkadian dialect, and comes from further east than the Canaanites.

Hebrew is in fact one of the Cannanite languages, which in turn is part of the Northwest Semitic branch of the Semitic family. Akkadian, on the other hand, belongs to a different branch of Semitic, namely East Semitic. See here for the subgrouping under Semitic, which has been the mainstream for many decades now.

about two weeks ago
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European Parliament Votes For Net Neutrality, Forbids Mobile Roaming Costs

CRCulver Re:Cynicism (148 comments)

The costs cancel each other out.

How do you know that? I think it is pretty obvious that, say, more customers from Orange Romania visit the territory of Orange France than vice-versa.

And this new legislation will change nothing of the way that operators are legally registered.

about two weeks ago

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