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US Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition

J_Omega Re:not that different today (630 comments)

at which point in the story were drugs legalized?

more than 4 years ago
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The Grown-Up Video Game

J_Omega Of course the game is rigged (152 comments)

Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you--if you don't play, you can't win.
- Robert Heinlein

more than 4 years ago
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Dune Remake Could Mean 3D Sandworms

J_Omega Told before? (589 comments)

I like the idea of exploring the rise and fall of a messiah and how his life and teachings become twisted by his followers. I'm sure this sort of tale has been told before but Dune is the first time I encountered it.

The oldest version of this story that I know of is in a book called the "New Testament." The tale is STILL being twisted by its adherents, 2000 years after its 1st edition. FWIW, I still prefer the Dune stories, though I can't say I am much of a follower there either.

more than 4 years ago
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Tesla Motors To Suspend Roadster Production

J_Omega Re:DoE loan (401 comments)

disagree/agree. If successful, more Americans start using electric to power their cars -- Today, it probably WOULD come from COAL.

more than 4 years ago
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Aboriginal Folklore Leads To Meteorite Crater

J_Omega "us" = the human race (233 comments)

I'm guessing that is what the parent meant.

There really is not much GENETIC difference between all of those tribes of people.

From what I understand (citation needed,) homo-sapiens grew out of a very small breeding population - only several hundred individuals - while still on the plains of Africa. The exodus ~70k years ago did cause certain physical traits to come into dominance or fade for the various tribes, but the genetics didn't really change that much over those 70k years. It seems that today's chimpanzees are *much* more genetically diverse than today's humans are. (Chimps all look the same to me, but I am a known specie-ist.)

Point being - "us" is Berber, Inuit, Norwegian, Ainu, Zulu, /.-er, etc. We are VERY CLOSE to being identical to each other - individually AND collectively.

more than 4 years ago
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Why Do So Many Terrorists Have Engineering Degrees

J_Omega Re:"Playing Nice" is Not Considered a Virtue (736 comments)

I hate to say the following for two reasons. 1) it is a stereotype of my own design, and 2) I am an engineer.

Engineers are ALWAYS right. ALWAYS. Even when (especially when?) something is clearly opinion based.

Ask a non-eng what their favorite color is, you get a simple answer.
Ask an eng the same, you get an answer PLUS reasons why it is superior to other colors.


As I said, I am an engineer. It was only after I noticed behavior like this in other engs that I noticed it in myself as well.
I don't like having that trait (flaw?) and have had to make a conscious effort to be less judgmental. (Yet remaining critical.)

So, yeah, as RobotRunAmok pointed out - engs tend to think/say "Right is right - AND I'M RIGHT" even when it isn't a correct/incorrect discussion, sometimes when they are clearly incorrect (they defend what they've said, clearly wrong.)

Also, and again this is something that I've caught myself doing, is that these personality types can and do play the Devil's Advocate rather well - up to a point. There is a difference between seeing the other side of a discussion and being contrarian for the sake of "being right."

The above may not be worded all that well, but I need my morning coffee. Besides, it hardly matters if you disagree with me, since I KNOW that I am correct.

more than 4 years ago
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New Theory of Gravity Decouples Space & Time

J_Omega Not faith - belief (575 comments)

Faith is belief in something for which there is no proof or even strong evidence. Faith is generally applied only to spirituality, and it should be so according to the definition. For example, I don't need faith to believe that the Yankees won the World Series this year - there IS evidence for that. I do believe that they won BECAUSE of the evidence.

You do NOT need faith to believe that the universe is anything. Ordered, structured, causal, etc. A good scientist believes these things because there is evidence of order, causality, etc.

To not have faith is to not believe in something for which there is no evidence.

One does not need faith to look forward to the future doing something chaotic because of the belief (through prior observation) that those kind of things (earth turning into a carnivore butterfly) just does not happen.

Science and faith are NOT intrinsically linked. Science and belief ARE. Science and faith are two completely separate things.

about 5 years ago
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Modded UX490 UMPC Shows Off Years of Community Development

J_Omega The 7-vista-XP point (75 comments)

The point behind installing all of those OSes is to see if it can. Seriously.

If a system can run those, well then running linux is a non-issue.
(since it runs on just about any hardware.)

about 5 years ago
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Vatican Debates Possibility of Alien Life

J_Omega Re:Keep It Simple (721 comments)

Can any of us imagine a Holy book being delivered two thousand years ago that babbled about relativity, the Higg"s Boson or multi dimensional universes?

I can. True, no one would have a clue as to what it meant at the time, but if the bible stated (as YouTube user FA quipped:)
"Verily, I say unto thee, that thine energy is as thine mass times the speed of light multiplied unto itself."
... well, I'd find THAT pretty impressive.

I'd much rather that Moses (or Aaron, whatever,) gave us the "Book of Circles" which contained 3.14159....... out to one million places. Or e. Or Newtonian physics. ANYTHING of that sort, that had nothing prior like it yet could be later shown to be (close enough to) correct and pragmatically useful would instill some faith in me.

about 5 years ago
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Vatican Debates Possibility of Alien Life

J_Omega Re:The problem with religion (721 comments)

A biblical reference to the "four corners of the earth" doesn't mean that the earth literally has four corners (i.e. it's flat). A biblical reference to God making man in his own image doesn't mean that the god they worship literally looks like we do.

Generally, yes it does - see the previous issues with Gaileo, Darwin, etc. Literal interpretation is THE biggest issue for religious thought. When you start to question "holy" scripture (7 days, four corners, Adam/Eve in god's image, flood, etc.,) you open the possibility that the OTHER stuff might also not be literal.

Well, what stuff is that and who gets to decide? Perhaps "son of god" and "saviour of all mankind" isn't literal anymore. Nor is "god's kindom" or "hell" or ...

(which I'm fine with. I think it all to be spiritual snake-oil.)

about 5 years ago
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NASA, European Space Agency Want To Go To Mars

J_Omega Re:China/Japan/russia (129 comments)

Sometimes serious scientific ventures are ALSO cock swinging contests.

about 5 years ago
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NASA Reproduces a Building Block of Life In the Lab

J_Omega Re:Ah, Uracil! (264 comments)

It seems that evolution is, in fact, a fact.
Much like: the sky is blue, the sun gives off light/heat, gravity keeps us planted to the earth.

The theory of evolution - the process by which evolution occurs - is a theory.
(much like we have theories for how gravity works.)

That evolution occurs is factual - we've seen it happen both naturally and in the lab.
The exact processes that cause it are somewhat (but not very) debatable.

about 5 years ago
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Did Chicago Lose Olympic Bid Due To US Passport Control?

J_Omega It is worth it (1040 comments)

disclaimer: I'm in and from the States.

It sounds like you would like to do a lot of things here in the U.S. Each of those activities could take days, if not weeks. I would guess that the hassle you might receive entering (a few hours delay? LESS than the flight over) would be worth it for the experiences available to you once here. The cities, the diversity of people, the scenery (Niagra / Grand Canyon / etc.,) are all really amazing and quite accessible.

Yes, border crossing into the U.S., especially by air, can be "harrowing" sometimes - but the experiences can be very rewarding. Reconsider putting a trip over-the-pond back onto your to-do list.

more than 5 years ago
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G20 Protesters Blasted By "Sound Cannon"

J_Omega Huh? (630 comments)

As a conscientious observer from Pittsburgh, all I can ask is:

WHAT? SPEAK UP!

Also, Why are my ears ringing, and my nose bleeding?

more than 5 years ago
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Researcher Dies After Studying Plague Bacteria

J_Omega Re:Oh good (143 comments)

Thank you for the Halloween costume idea!

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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The Methane Timebomb

J_Omega J_Omega writes  |  more than 6 years ago

J_Omega (709711) writes "Arctic scientists discover new global warming threat as melting permafrost releases millions of tons of a gas 20 times more damaging than carbon dioxide. ... The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists.

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-the-methane-time-bomb-938932.html

If so, this is really, really, REALLY bad news."
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Linux to be installed in every Russian school

J_Omega J_Omega writes  |  more than 7 years ago

J_Omega (709711) writes "According to the Russian IT site CNews, Linux is slated to be installed in every Russian school by 2009. The article makes it appear that it will be going by the (unimaginative and nationalist) name "Russian OS." As stated in the article: "The main aim of the given work is to reduce dependence on foreign commercial software and provide education institutions with the possibility to choose whether to pay for commercial items or to use the software, provided by the government." Initial testing installations are supposed to begin next year in select districts. Is 2008/09 the year of Linux on the (Russian) desktop?"
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