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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Technical Advice For a (Fictional) Space Mission?

JordanL Re:Start here. (203 comments)

Those things, which are presented unequivocally as absolutes, are based on the understanding that we have more or less made all the fundamental physics discoveries our universe has to offer, which is a profoundly stupid and arrogant thing to believe.

more than 2 years ago
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Ballmer Slams Android As Cheap and Overcomplicated

JordanL Re:He does have some good points (645 comments)

He got modded down because he made it absurdly obvious that he is astroturfing.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

If that's true, a valuable part of your investigation should probably be how they interpret it as well, since it helps you understand the impact that such an example serves to that person.

Morals are almost entirely subjective. Ethics are the ones that we consider to be a social standard. :)

It's my opinion that figuring out if they are "being moral" can only be done within the context of a story, as a story encapsulates the morals of the culture or person who recorded the story. I do believe that a quite lively debate about if they are "being ethical" could be had however.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

And for the record, I'm not religious. So... yeah. Nice try though.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

No, I was not claiming other interpretations of the story were wrong, I was claiming that my interpretation was just AS valid, and that believing there are not multiple valid interpretations is wrong. The original post that I made was essentially to explain that the person I was replying to was completely wrong in asserting that his interpretation was the only valid one, and I did that in part by presenting another valid interpretation.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Unfortunately, my database needs are much too intense for a shared server. :) I peg my DB limits almost instantly.

I'll get it back up sometime soon.

My point was that, being a person who believes the characters to be fictional, you should be interpreting the story for yourself, or you should not care. Basically... why bother spending effort and time arguing about how ethical a fictional character is, instead of trying to find an interpretation of the story itself that makes sense to you?

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Re my sig: I wish I could get it back up... I was using an algorithmic approach (like Netflix) to recommending stories. Unfortunately people didn't donate, and now I had to take the server offline. It might be back up in about a month.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

You want evidence of an interpretation? Do you understand what an interpretation is?

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

All stories have value. This one particularly so because of its historical impact. I think you were trying to say that it has no net positive value, which is an opinion that you are free to hold. I suppose thinking people who disagree with you are stupid/crazy is also an opinion you are free to hold, but it's not very logical, reasonable, or productive.

Suggesting that it has no value is not only disingenuous, it is willfully ignorant. You cannot possibly believe that to be a true statement, other than by convincing yourself of its truth through decision. More than a billion people believe in that story. Most of them don't go around murdering people because the voice in the sky told them to. Clearly it has a value, and just because you do not see it does not mean it's there.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

And for the record, I am not religious. It's not "my God".

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

I don't give a damn about justifying anything in the story. What does interest me is what the sociological reasons for telling this story were, and what value it has in today's culture.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

I'm neither religious, not suggesting that it's the most accurate view. That you didn't understand that is sad.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Then this story served its function. You disagree at a core level with the historical and literal accuracy, so it has helped you further understand what the things are that you do believe in.

You have belief... in yourself, in your morals clearly. Stories like these are what let you test your beliefs against a backdrop, and discover what the limits of your belief are. You don't believe in the idea that any person should ever truly believe in the ethics of another person... or rather, that no one can provide you better ethics than yourself. That's a great thing to know about yourself. Religion is not necessary for that at all... but it can certainly be useful for it to some people.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

That is all that spirituality and religion are. Seeking definition for your own experiences.

The story of Abraham isn't one that I particularly care about when it comes to belief. I trust my experiences, when it comes to my own belief. I was illustrating what the context and social structures of the story are about, but none of that should be taken to mean I believe in the story itself.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Which creator, and which morality? There are thousands of branches.

Well, since we're specifically discussing the context of the Torah, I'd say the Jewish God in this case.

Funny thing, I seem to arrive at entirely different conclusions.

Then it appears that you can safely discard the historical or literal accuracy of the text for yourself.

Oh great, an armchair psychologist! I must admit it's a fun game to play, but you fail rather badly at it.

I'm not stressed, I'm having fun. I enjoy having arguments with people. Sometimes I try to convince the audience, but often all I'm looking for is a discussion with a specific person, and for getting things started sometimes just a few sentences suffice. Depending on how things go I may write in more detail on my opinions later.

My time's limited, so unfortunately I can't type a full treatise on morality in every comment.

Alright, I won't challenge you on this. What you are displaying is emotional reaction to a fictional character that is causing you to interact negatively with real people. If that is not what you feel, then I suppose while you don't have time to write any treatise, you certainly seem to have time to be... selfish I suppose. Spreading negative emotion to other people because it amuses you when it is not an emotion you actually hold is quite... well, anti-social I suppose. Although this is Slashdot.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

I have provided you with the "post hoc" explanation... although I'm not sure how you could call it post hoc... what you're doing is just as "post hoc" as what the other side does. Decide it doesn't make sense for now, so it must have never made sense.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

If you suspend disbelief and take it to be fact that God caused plagues, why would you doubt the reason provided in the same text? That... confuses me. I don't see how any person that isn't the middle of psychosis could possibly decide it made sense to believe in the text of the plagues, but not in the reasoning for it only paragraphs away.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

Actually, if there is a Creator in the sense that's being talked about, "morality" is like a definition to it. The kind of God that exists in the Abraham story is so far above this particular reality that things exist because he defines them to exist. That literally every single thing about reality is a matter of will. That includes things like morality. The Bible actually implies that free will doesn't exist because it "moral", but because God essentially wanted an honest answer... that the reason people exist is literally to provide confirmation of his existence.

But in a way, the whole point is that you do that by existing. By being honest and earnest about what you believe for yourself, and seeking out what is true, and then making decisions about what you believe after, you confirm the existence of existence. That is, that from the point of view of the Abrahamic God, our existence is to serve him, and what he created us for was, essentially, for us to decide our own meaning. That's why it's important that you don't express false belief, in Christianity. Because it's much better to express what you believe and learn about what you believe than to choose a belief simply because others have. That message, among many others, has been lost to most people. But it's there in many places... the text in context expresses several times that you don't have to be perfect, you just have to keep honestly seeking out what is better. From the POV of God in the Bible, if you do that, literally the only place to end up is following him.

But, meh. You have some kind of fierce negative emotional reaction to a character in a story you do not believe. And you express that opinion to others, not to change their mind because you do not express it in a persuasive manner, but to temper your own emotional reaction and vent the stress it causes you. Such a reaction to a character in a story is unhealthy, so if you honestly do not believe in God, and yet you honestly have this kind of emotional reaction to this particular discussion, I would seek out some psychological or therapeutic help to find out if you have some stresses in your life that are causing recurring suffering. Or if you know causes of recurring suffering withing your life, do what you can to end them.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

JordanL Re:This just makes sense (1345 comments)

The story, which is a story of such age that it was told for (it claims) hundreds, perhaps even a thousand years before it was committed to the oldest text we have ever uncovered. And the story is about a person who hasn't just seen wondrous things, but has been informed that morality IS what this "voice" has said and done. Or rather, that the decisions based entirely on how you emotionally react do not define what morals are.

The message of the Abraham story is not what specific test was asked for, or even the manner in which it played out. The message of Abraham and Isaac is about learning that sometimes what you feel is right emotionally is actually wrong, and sometimes what feels wrong emotionally is right. The story of Abraham is less about "following orders" than it is the simple principal: you are human, and that means sometimes you are wrong; you must be prepared, in order to become a better person, that you are willing to question even your most tightly held feelings if you are given a good reason to.

From the perspective of the Bible, God is a very good reason. But in the absence of God, the message is the same, because in the absence of God the judgment of "evil" upon a mere character within a story is academic. Getting wrapped up in the academic discussion, in the absence of God, prevents you from understanding the parts of the story that ARE relevant to you.

Quite simply, from a purely sociological point of view, the story of Abraham represents a mechanism that some of our earliest ancestors used to convince people that accepting outside judgments of the realities we each individually lived in from our perspective was necessary to grow into better people. The story of Abraham is almost like a historical testament of a stage our species went through when we were unconsciously organizing our society to become more self-aware in order for each of its members to become more self-aware. It represents a snapshot of the sparks that make us different from Chimpanzees.

And that's just if there is no God. If God were to exist, of all the above would still be true, and then the story would have even more meaning, in that it would represent a message that no matter how things may seem, God will never direct us to do something that will cause "evil" or social taint, and so when things appear that way to us, we are misinterpreting things. You'll notice that God, in the story, was not trying to convince Abraham that murder was okay; He was showing Abraham that being compelled to do evil things was a way to know that we were moving away from his direction... that our sense of evil was a barometer to help us understand when we were probably doing something we weren't supposed to. One of the main points of the story is that Abraham's conscience was right all along. God didn't make him go through with it, just as he felt was wrong.

So you see, you are wrong. You are drawing conclusions about a story based upon how a bunch of people 3000ish years later have decided to apply it specifically to their situation. That defies all logic and scientific thought. It defies all reason. It is akin to someone refusing to read a book because the people long after had decided that the letter "f" lets them do bad things. Just because the lemmings are jumping over the cliff doesn't mean you need to start blaming the ground.

more than 2 years ago
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Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court

JordanL Re:What other products (1019 comments)

Well the disparity exists because of limitations in our resources. As for why wealth is the determinant of that? We, as a society, have been trained to accept that wealth represents value. That those are the same thing. Even people who "hate the rich" generally are describing a system where they want to redistribute wealth because they see it as being the same thing as value.

Wealth is not value, of course. I'm, in fact, writing an economics theory based on an inverse monetary theory that takes the difference of wealth and value as a premise. But, as we exist right now, the social infrastructure to determine this based on anything except wealth simply does not exist.

To put it simply, wealth is allowed to be the determinant of this because we have decided to allow it to be. You may have been convinced of it, or trained to accept it, but you have, and I have, and we all have.

The way for humanity to escape this isn't through revolution or some drastic, romantic sounding event such as that. Quite simply, people must wake up. And in order for them to wake up, someone must create an infrastructure that allows us to accurately assess which things are true and which things are not, then make decisions based on that.

The problems that money and wealth being used as a measure of value causes in our society cannot be easily fixed. There are no magic words to make it all go away, and there is not political or economic ideology that can be implemented by force to fix everything. Unless we fix the people that make up the system, fixing the system won't last long.

The sad truth is that people right now don't want the better society you are talking about. Perhaps for emotional, or false reasons; perhaps their minds could be changed; but right now, people en mass want the dysfunction that is at the core of all our problems. They may not like the particular problems, but the core dysfunction is desired. Until the people that compose our society give up the desire for that core dysfunction, all the Mises and Keynes and Marxes of the world can't save people from themselves.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Projects For Humanity: Applying Kickstarter Principals to Human Endevours

JordanL JordanL writes  |  more than 2 years ago

JordanL writes "This website has two purposes: (1) To create a list of huge projects which would challenge our entire species in their accomplishment, and the cost of these projects in United States Dollars. (2) To allow people to give mock pledges which illustrate how long it would take to fund any given project. This allows people to read through a project's description and say to themselves, "Sure, if humans were planning on doing this, I would give $10 per month to help make it happen.""
Link to Original Source
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Using Favorites Lists To Recommend Stories

JordanL JordanL writes  |  more than 3 years ago

JordanL writes "I had several friends who read fanfiction, geeky as they are, but expressed frustration in finding new stories. After hearing this from several sources, it seemed that a systematic approach to the problem fit best, and the result is FanfictionRecs.net. It backreferences favorites lists of fanfiction.net members to recommend stories. I'm interested in extending the idea to printed books, but am at a loss for where to seek comparable data. Does slashdot have any suggestions?"
Link to Original Source
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Ahmedinejad Tells UN 'US Responsible For Sept. 11'

JordanL JordanL writes  |  more than 3 years ago

JordanL writes "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad triggered a walkout of U.S. and other delegates when he suggested in a U.N. General Assembly speech Thursday that the United States government staged the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. President Barack Obama had sounded a conciliatory theme toward Iran in a General Assembly speech earlier in the day, saying major powers still want dialogue with Tehran over its nuclear program. "Second: that some segments orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order to save the Zionist regime," said President Ahmadinejad."
Link to Original Source
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N.Korea Cuts Ties With S.Korea With 'Wartime Law'

JordanL JordanL writes  |  more than 4 years ago

JordanL writes "The recent spat between South Korea and North Korea appears to be heating up as the DPRK announced that it was cutting diplomatic ties with South Korea following its attack on a South Korean Navy vessel that killed 46 sailors. The statement includes notes such as 'wartime law' and suspension of Red Cross activities."
Link to Original Source
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JordanL JordanL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

JordanL writes "I don't claim to be any sort of expert on the inner workings of the large variety of professions that video game development and sales includes, but I contend that it no longer takes an expert to make the assertion that I have come to recently: the video game industry as a whole is losing its soul, and while it may be able to end-over-end continue to raise profits, it will on the long term lose the respectability and clout that it deserves if they continue on their current course."
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JordanL JordanL writes  |  more than 7 years ago

JordanL writes "A Canadian customer bought a 61" DLP TV from Best Buy. After having one service call while it was still under manufacturer warranty, the man calls Best Buy to activate his PSP (Performance Service Plan), or extended warranty, over a degrading display. The events after are a lesson in consumer choice: do not buy big box items from Best Buy. Ever."

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