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Debate Over Evolution Will Soon Be History, Says Leakey

Peter Trepan Re:God's experiment in free will (1226 comments)

Try to think of these stories as if they are written by your wife. It is not about what she says, but what she wants you to figure out yourself.

So you're saying we're doomed.

more than 2 years ago
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Statistical Analysis Raises Civil War Death Count By 20%

Peter Trepan Re:Either way (139 comments)

And there will always be those who do. My mother wrote a book on the civil war, and in the course of her research she found a diary of a Union soldier who quartered his soldiers on the farm of a guy who told them his theory about how the war existed to protect the interests of a wealthy few at the expense of ordinary people.

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Institute's Gloomy Prediction: 'Global Economic Collapse' By 2030

Peter Trepan Re:Again... (816 comments)

Gold has no more intrinsic value than the dollar. It's not expensive because we need it to survive or because it's a raw material for lots of products, but because everyone has agreed to assign it value, just like the dollar. If it has an advantage over the dollar, it's that you can't print more of it. But if anything that makes it a worse yardstick of the value of other things, because even without the downturn its value will tend to increase as the ratio of people to gold increases, making the relative price of everything else appear to go down.

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Institute's Gloomy Prediction: 'Global Economic Collapse' By 2030

Peter Trepan Re:Again... (816 comments)

My point is that the price of gold is not a constant. It changes, often dramatically, and if you graph what something costs when priced in gold, that's not enough information to tell you whether the price of that thing has gone down or the price of gold has gone up.

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Institute's Gloomy Prediction: 'Global Economic Collapse' By 2030

Peter Trepan Re:Again... (816 comments)

A two child per couple policy is actually more sustainable than a one child per couple policy. Because of its one child policy, China is about to run into a crisis where the elderly generation expects to be supported by a younger generation half its size.

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Institute's Gloomy Prediction: 'Global Economic Collapse' By 2030

Peter Trepan Re:Again... (816 comments)

Gold prices are inflated because people are using it to hedge against the downturn. A gold ingot will currently buy more of anything than it used to, not just oil.

more than 2 years ago
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Tennessee Passes Bill That Allows "Teaching the Controversy" of Evolution

Peter Trepan Re:The Bill (1108 comments)

(d) Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. (e) This section only protects the teaching of scientific information, and shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs or non-beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or non-religion

In a region where the majority does not believe in evolution, it seems like this bill would help, not harm, the teaching of evolution in the classroom.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Web Platform Would You Use?

Peter Trepan Re:PHP is great (519 comments)

...visual studio is the best ide ever developed.

By a mile. Visual Studio is indistinguishable from magic. I can't understand how the same company can produce both it and Internet Explorer.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Learning Dart Development?

Peter Trepan Re:Discourage (107 comments)

I have a bachelor's degree in art. I worked first as a graphic designer, then a web designer, then a web developer with increasingly complex responsibilities. It took me about ten years to get from print design to proper web development, but it's possible.

I second a previous poster's recommendation that you (the OP) learn ASP.NET. In my area, there are whole recruitment companies that do nothing but place ASP.NET developers, and demand for them outpaces supply. Microsoft has created a very successful ecosystem for creating new developers, and you should definitely get on that train.

More reluctantly, I suggest you consider working for a "sweatshop" software consultancy at some point. The harder it is for a shop to attract experienced talent, the more likely it is that they'll gamble on inexperienced talent. Also, since their business model is based on hours billed, they're more likely to throw you into something that's outside your experience, trusting that if you go far wrong it can always be cleaned up by the handful of senior developers they have on hand, and they'll still get paid.

more than 2 years ago
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The 147 Corporations Controlling Most of the Global Economy

Peter Trepan Re:Global Oligarchy? (572 comments)

Credit unions. Co-ops. Employee-owned corporations. Social institutions that ensure value is traded between people who actually produce goods and services personally. Maybe the best instances of this are yet to be invented.

In any case, it seems like a good idea to try out some solutions besides trying to get a government to regulate on our behalf when that government is assumed to be compromised.

about 3 years ago
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NATO Report Threatens To 'Persecute' Anonymous

Peter Trepan Re:Good luck with that (388 comments)

I am Spartacus!

See, he is Spartacus. Could you get your boot off my head now?

more than 3 years ago
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Coffee Wards Off Cancer

Peter Trepan Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. (286 comments)

Three times is enemy action. Coffee has so many widely reported health benefits, it makes me wonder if some coffee growers association has discovered that it's killing people.

more than 3 years ago
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Big Brother Friends Facebook

Peter Trepan Alabama for everyone else? (82 comments)

Could someone explain the "it's-like-alabama-for-everyone-else dept." tagline?

Yes, I know my state sucks in a lot of ways, but I have a bad feeling I didn't get the memo about how it's sucked lately.

more than 3 years ago
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The Continued Censorship of Huckleberry Finn

Peter Trepan Wait, you've got them all wrong. (1073 comments)

There's no N-word connection here. Fox News is merely pointing out that Obama is, by birth, a member of a frightening and poorly understood culture* with a historical reason to bear a grudge against the typical Fox viewer*, and that as a member of that culture, he might use his office to empower his people* at the typical Fox viewer's expense.

* [wink, wink]

more than 3 years ago
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Journal Article On Precognition Sparks Outrage

Peter Trepan Concur. (319 comments)

It's a compelling model that addresses a lot of tricky questions very neatly.

For instance, if you combine this with many-worlds theory, you can eliminate the paradox of free will - that is, when I make a decision, what internal process prompted me to make that decision? And what prompted that? And so on.

If you think of the universe as a static object that at every instant in time (or "the fourth dimension," if you prefer) branches off into multiple possible realities, then you can think of yourself as having made every possible decision, but being able to remember only one, because the state of your brain in this particular branch of the decision tree is only consistent with one past.

It works the same way as the anthropic principle. Why is the universe perfect for supporting life? Because if it wasn't, you wouldn't have asked. Why did I make that particular decision? Because you're thinking about the decision from the perspective of a universe in which that particular decision was made. This also explains why consciousness appears to have a special place in quantum collapse. It's really an illusion, and there is no "collapse" - you have just chosen a particular viewpoint that is only consistent with one specific observation.

Problem is, this hypothesis may be nondisprovable.

more than 3 years ago
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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed

Peter Trepan Re:Oh brother (1352 comments)

They don't profess Obama was born elsewhere - they just leave it as a "question".

They get even more subtle than that. When Pew Research revealed 18% of Americans believed Obama was Muslim, most networks quoted the article verbatim. The local Fox News anchor, however, opened with this: "Do you believe our president is Muslim? If so, there are a lot of people who agree with you."

more than 3 years ago
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TIME Names Mark Zuckerberg Person of Year

Peter Trepan Re:Julian Assange (317 comments)

It should have been Assange, but Time magazine caved to government pressure! Now we attack! Our forces will go to the newsstands and look at Time magazine thousands of times per second, until there are no photons left for anyone else!

more than 3 years ago
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Man Sues Rockstar Saying GTA:SA Is Based On His Life

Peter Trepan QBert (124 comments)

Since I spend a lot of time jumping on step pyramids and being chased by snakes, I was going to bring the same lawsuit against the makers of QBert.

more than 3 years ago
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Pentagon Papers Ellsberg Supports Wikileaks

Peter Trepan Re:I can't believe anyone is surprised (464 comments)

If our government wants to protect its diplomatic efforts, then DON'T ACCRUE the risk in the first place. Then you don't have to fear the leaks.

I think putting this fear in the hearts of the powerful is the point of, and value of, Wikileaks. Regardless of whether they've broken a world-changing story so far, they've produced a chilling effect on corruption.

more than 3 years ago

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