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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

GospelHead821 Re:Some people... (457 comments)

You're a monster, Zorg.

about 2 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

GospelHead821 Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Somebody asked a question that I interpreted as "What is the internal logic of your faith?" I fully understand why the broader Slashdot community disagrees with my decision to have a faith at all. My days of arguing on the internet over THAT matter are long past. If the responses to this conversation are any indication, however, this will probably be the last time I respond *ahem* in good faith even to matters of narrower scope.

about 6 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

GospelHead821 Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Love and obedience are components of a relationship. I love and obey my wife. She loves and obeys me. That is not to say that we give capricious, mean-spirited orders and expect each other to obey. That wouldn't be loving. Rather, as a partnership, we each make decisions with the best for both of us in mind and enacting one another's will is an expression of trust, respect, and faithfulness.

Regarding the notion of damnation, it is not an extrinsic, arbitrary punishment. It is an intrinsic punishment. If you choose separation from God, then you shouldn't be disappointed when he honours your choice. You might then say, why couldn't he elect to send you to a paradise-like place where he is not present? To the best of my understanding, that is oxymoronic. The suffering of damnation is not that hell is physically uncomfortable (although it might or might not be). It is the knowledge of eternal separation from God. A paradise-like place without God would nonetheless be hellish.

about 6 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

GospelHead821 Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

I've struggled with that dilemma before and after some study, I found a solution that both satisfied the dilemma and was consistent with my understanding of scripture. God desires our love and obedience but it must be sincere. God does not desire robotic servants or prisoners. Consequently, it must be an individual's choice to obey or not and God must not impede that choice. The tree represented a free and unimpeded choice for Adam and Eve: obedience (and relationship) with God or disobedience (and separation) from God.

As a Christian, I perceive a harmonious relationship with God as a valuable incentive to obey. Nonetheless, the temptation to disobey remains present. As we see in human marriages, for instance, it isn't sufficient to make the choice to commit once but then fail to act on that commitment throughout life. Just as marriage does not automatically fortify a pair of lovers always to act on the vows they've taken, nor does the choice to have a relationship with God automatically fortify the human party always to act on the commitment. (It is the Christian belief that God is ever faithful in his commitment to humanity. You may disagree but I wanted to clarify that I did not perceive the divine party in the relationship as requiring any fortification.)

about 6 months ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

GospelHead821 Re:Did Fluke request this? (653 comments)

It can't be that way, especially when you consider something like import/export compliance. If you sampled a population of smart laypeople, I don't you'd get a reasonable consensus regarding what import/export law should be, let alone what it is. If ignorance is an excuse, then you create incentive for willful ignorance - deliberate failure to research so one can't be held liable for noncompliance.

about 7 months ago
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$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

GospelHead821 Re:Did Fluke request this? (653 comments)

Unfortunately for Sparkfun, ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for breaking it. I work for one of those large companies with deep pockets and lawyers, so I have the good fortune of having been trained somewhat on this stuff. The government takes import and export matters very seriously and considers it the responsibility of the parties involved to conduct due diligence screening to ensure compliance.

about 7 months ago
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Prisoners 'could serve 1,000 year sentence in eight hours'

GospelHead821 Straight out of Star Trek (10 comments)

I'm pretty sure this happened to Miles O'Brien on an episode of Deep Space Nine. He was subjected to a simulation of a life sentence in prison.

about 7 months ago
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Amazon Gets Blow-Back Over Plan To Sell Kindles At Small Bookshops

GospelHead821 Re:I must be missing something (176 comments)

I think the one other feature of paper that they can sell, along with paper's quality as a medium for pictures, is the attractiveness of paper itself. Do good market research, determine what books people have an emotional attachment to, and sell those books in premium-priced, durable, beautiful, hardback editions. Don't try to compete with ebooks on cheap content delivery. People still buy vinyl records, designer clothes, luxury cars, and fancy hand soaps. People will pay a premium for a special version of something that they love.

about a year ago
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Amazon Gets Blow-Back Over Plan To Sell Kindles At Small Bookshops

GospelHead821 Re:May as well get SOME money (176 comments)

I'm not sure about book stores, per se, but I think that printed books have a long life ahead of them. I imagine that they're analogous to vinyl records. I've already begun moving the bulk of my paperback collection to ePub but some titles are worthy of better treatment and get upgraded to a hardback. I'll pay a premium for an elegant copy of a book that I love.

about a year ago
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Telegraph Contributor Says Coding Is For Exceptionally Dull Weirdos

GospelHead821 Re:brace yourself (453 comments)

My hunch is that the drive to force more kids to learn programming is a facet of a bigger issue. There's a two-faced problem in the state of college education. One, the supply of college educated people is probably too high. Two, the quality of high-school educated students entering college (or the workforce) is too low. Both devalue the end result of a college education. This initiative to teach more computer programming to high school students is, I think, a recognition that we need to expect more of high school graduates. A program that makes high school graduates marginally more employable and which builds a stronger foundation for a meaningful, rather than remedial, college education, is probably a good thing. On the other hand, I think that policy-makers are still trying to plug holes in a leaky dam rather than devoting serious thought and resources to building better dams.

about a year ago
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Myst Was Supposed To Change the Face of Gaming. What Is Its Legacy?

GospelHead821 Re:The graphics were simply brilliant (374 comments)

One of the things that I found most delightful about Myst - and continue to marvel at - is that the core of the gameplay had nothing to do with killing things. I find Minecraft increasingly appealing because the emphasis is more on building and exploring. Myst really gave the impression of a bigger world around you and used the literary technique of "show, don't tell" to exhibit it. I guess I can admit to being a little bit jaded. There are quite a few "show, don't tell" elements hidden in a game like Guild Wars 2. On the other hand, they're more like Easter eggs than serious components of the narrative or the gameplay. In Myst, if you weren't paying attention, you weren't proceeding. How many games dare that nowadays? Not that it would matter. Today, if you aren't paying attention, just consult the wiki. In fact, just consult the wiki in advance, so you'll know what to prepare for.

1 year,25 days
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Ask Slashdot: What If We Don't Run Out of Oil?

GospelHead821 Re:We Wish (663 comments)

You're already at 5:Insightful, so there's no need to mod you up. Instead, I'd just like to thank you. You raised some points that I hadn't considered before, which I appreciate. Furthermore, I rarely see such thorough, thoughtful writing on Slashdot.

about a year and a half ago
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Grocery Delivery Lowers Carbon Dioxide Emissions Over Individual Trips

GospelHead821 Re:America-centric much? (417 comments)

It's the "looping it through" that's the problem. I currently use a U-lock which is somewhat restrictive in terms of what I can attach the bike to. That's if there's even something suitable nearby. I think somebody would look askance if I locked my bike up to the sign that says "No Parking, Fire Lane"

about a year and a half ago
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Grocery Delivery Lowers Carbon Dioxide Emissions Over Individual Trips

GospelHead821 Re:America-centric much? (417 comments)

I've considered this option for myself but I haven't yet invested in the trailer. In your experience, how easy are they to lock up with the bicycle? Biking to the grocery store with my wife but then requiring one of us to wait outside to guard the bikes is workable but not the best. We had the same problem when we walked to the store towing a little red wagon. I ended up pulling it around the store instead of using a grocery cart because there was no good place to leave it outside. (That sounds great except the thing was really noisy on its hard-rubber tires.)

about a year and a half ago
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Set Your Watches For the End of Windows XP

GospelHead821 Re:Who calls MS for support? (712 comments)

I didn't pick Sally. It's just the one that I hear most often. I came up with Sigma at the spur of the moment when a client misunderstood my Sierra. In retrospect, it probably wasn't the best choice. If I were interested in changing again, I'd probably change to Silver, a word that is notorious for having no rhyme.

about a year and a half ago
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Set Your Watches For the End of Windows XP

GospelHead821 Re:Who calls MS for support? (712 comments)

When talking with folks who aren't consistent users of the NATO phonetic alphabet, I have to find a substitute for S. Many people hear the SEE at the beginning of Sierra and write down a C. I've taken to using Sigma but the one I hear most frequently from people who don't know the NATO phonetic alphabet is Sally. I sure wish people would learn any "real" phonetic alphabet and use it consistently. I had a client reading off a model to me the other day and for some letters, he used more than one word. Usually, that's not too much of a problem. B-as-in-baker, B-as-in-Bob I can handle. E-as-in-Edward, E-as-in-eye I can't handle (especially since "I" was a valid character for that code in the model.)

about a year and a half ago
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On handedness: I am ...

GospelHead821 Re:Mixed-handedness (260 comments)

It's funny that you should mention playing table tennis left-handed. I tried learning to do that in college. I was one of the stronger players in my social circle, playing right-handed but I wanted to be able to switch. Unfortunately, the weaker players in the circle got offended that I was "handicapping" myself by playing left-handed against them, so I had to quit. (The difference between my right-handed and left-handed play was great enough that it was hard for me to actually learn playing that way against stronger players.)

about a year and a half ago
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Has Lego Sold Out?

GospelHead821 Re:Buy plain bricks.... (425 comments)

I don't know about kits but you can definitely still buy Lego by the tub. There's a big Lego store at the Mall of America near where I live. They sell lots of licensed kits but there's lots there for freeform building. A few shelves are dedicated to tubs of plain bricks as well as some utility sets. Last Christmas we bought for my cousin a box of nothing but wheels and windscreens. They also have an entire wall they call "Pick-a-Brick" where you can fill up a cup with any assortment of bricks that you please. We're giving him a cup of those this year to provide him with some of the pieces that tend to get overlooked in the boxed sets.

about 2 years ago
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UK Government Mandates the Teaching of Evolution As Scientific Fact

GospelHead821 Re:20-50-100 years from now (783 comments)

It isn't precisely the same thing but it is a variant of an accusation sometimes leveled against people professing faith: that because they believe in something without a rational explanation, they cannot be relied upon to think rationally about anything. On more than one occasion, I have had somebody tell me that because I profess a belief in God that I shouldn't be trusted to work as an engineer.

about 2 years ago
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iPad Mini Could Retail For $250, Delete iPad 2

GospelHead821 Re:It's been a cyclic fad. (211 comments)

Ahh. I must concede those two points. Not that I meant for my anecdote to serve as an irrefutable counterargument, of course. Just adding my perspective to the conversation. On that subject, though, I like to think that one of the ways in which geeks can serve their communities is by promoting geek-like enthusiasm for creativity and exploration in the people around them. Too often, we lament how unimaginative our neighbours are. I believe that it's worthwhile to encourage them, though.

about 2 years ago

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