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Comments

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Students From States With Faster Internet Tend To Have Higher Test Scores

Pfhorrest Re:Correlation is not causation (151 comments)

Correlation does not imply causation, but causation does imply correlation.

If A causes B, then A will also correlate with B. It's only the reverse that's false. (A correlating with B doesn't mean A causes B).

8 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Pfhorrest Re:Icarus Beware (504 comments)

You mean like a gigantic array of mirrors in concentric circles around a couple of 40 story towers?

If I were parachuting or hang gliding I'd avoid something that looked like that without even knowing anything about it.

2 days ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

Pfhorrest Re:It's not arrogance if... (261 comments)

Except that another place, even another comparable place, would now cost a lot more than $249,999 more than what he paid for his current place.

So if he wants to move to a different but comparable house in a different but comparably priced location, he has to lose a whole lot of money in the process. Meanwhile, people moving frequently to slightly more valuable places continuously over the time he's lived in this one place don't lose anything.

about two weeks ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Pfhorrest Re:Nerd Blackface (442 comments)

As the kids these days say, "This."

Early Sheldon was a character I really liked, for all the reasons E-Rock pointed out. Other characters had friction with him mostly just because he was an insufferable genius who was always technically correct and looked down on everyone else for not living up to his standards of perfection, and ordinary fallible people find that kind of person hard to get along with because it such a person uncompromisingly highlights their own foibles.

But over the years Sheldon has morphed into a socially retarded asshole -- not just someone who awkwardly doesn't understand how best to interact with other people, but someone who thinks he does and yet is constantly wrong and will never hear anyone who tries to tell him so. He is no longer an insufferable genius who is always technically correct. He is an insufferable idiot who arrogantly insists that he is correct even when he is clearly, blatantly not.

And when a person starts to run roughshod over other people because of their own wrongly self-assessed "superiority", it goes from harmless "shamelessly ability to like himself" to dangerous borderline sociopathy as the AC I'm replying to said.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

Pfhorrest Re:When will we... (266 comments)

Unless we want to coin the verb "to police-police", meaning second-order policing, rather than ordinary first order-policing. In which case police-police-police-police(n) police-police(v) police-police-police(n), as you said.

about three weeks ago
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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

Pfhorrest Re:When will we... (266 comments)

Oh, why did this take me so long to get.

Police-police-police(n) police(v) police-police(n) as police-police(n) police(v) police(n) and police(n) police(v) people.

about three weeks ago
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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

Pfhorrest Re:When will we... (266 comments)

Unless you've found a way to make "police" an adjective, I think you have one too many iterations of it there. Police(n) [whom] police(n) police(v) [in turn] police(v) [other] police(n).

The buffalo sentence in turn has eight, not five (or your six), iterations. Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison) [whom] Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison) buffalo(bully) [in turn] buffalo(bully) [other] Buffalo(NY) buffalo(bison).

about three weeks ago
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CIA Director Brennan Admits He Was Lying: CIA Really Did Spy On Congress

Pfhorrest Re:When will we... (266 comments)

How exactly is a massive government agency massively overstepping its already questionable legal bounds a result of "you wanted smaller government"? That sounds exactly like a prime example of bigger government and why someone might want a smaller one.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pfhorrest Interest is what breaks the free market (570 comments)

Interest, and the broader phenomenon of rent (interest is just rent on money), is the thing that breaks a free market and turns it into capitalism.

There would be no cause for forcible redistribution of wealth if only this mechanism by which wealth becomes concentrated was removed.

Without rent and interest, wealth would naturally redistribute from those with more to those with less, as those with more traded their excess capital for the labor of those with less; for what use is that excess if you're just sitting on it, not getting anything for it?

But when you can lend it out, and not only get it all back but more on top of that, and keep repeating that process, then you can spend that extra you get back to buy the labor of those with less than you, without ever losing any capital in the process. Capital becomes a free money machine, if you can charge usury on it (that is, charge for the mere use of it, without actually selling it).

And conversely, those who have to borrow from you, the same working poor whose labor you're buying, get to keep less of the product of their labor because they have to pay you that same little extra that you turn turn around and pay them with. The "free money" you get out of your free money machine is actually money out of their pockets; money that they would otherwise use to buy, rather than merely borrow, the things that they need.

In short, with rent and interest in existence, those with more wealth can perpetually extract labor from those with less wealth without ever losing anything in the process, perpetuating and even exacerbating the wealth gap between them.

While without rent and interest, that wealth gap would naturally close without any forceful intervention just by natural market forces.

about three weeks ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pfhorrest Medical services need total billing clarity (570 comments)

Even worse, there are sometimes even deceptive statements made about how much you will have to pay, and business arrangements you enter into without even knowing that the other party exists, much less that you're getting their services.

I didn't see a doctor for ten years because I couldn't afford insurance, and when I finally got covered through a decent job and went to get my first general checkup in my adult life, there was a big sign up front saying "ALL CO-PAYS DUE AT TIME OF VISIT". I figured that meant what it said: anything I owed, that was not getting billed to my insurance, was going to be billed to me before I left. When they let me walk out without paying anything, I figured that meant I must not have had a co-pay, which made sense to me as it was just a general physical exam, and a blood draw for some basic general-health lab tests (cholesterol, blood sugar, STDs, etc).

Then I got a bill in the mail a month later. Called and complained, why am I getting billed, didn't my insurance cover this, and THEN they tell me that that bill is for the remainder that's left after what my insurance paid (IOW my copay). I argued about the sign saying all co-pays were due at time of visit and they said... I don't even remember what now, exactly, but something to the extent that that's no excuse and I have to pay the bill. Not knowing what else to do, I did.

A month later I got a different bill for the blood tests, from a different company. I called and complained that I already got a bill for that visit and paid it and even that was unexpected and what the hell is with two different companies trying to collect for the same fucking service. They explained that they are the lab that my doctor sent the blood off to for the tests, and they they bill separately, and that paying my doctor for their service doesn't get me off the hook for the lab service. I had no knowledge that I was even buying services from this lab company: the only entity I interfaced with was my doctor, they hired the fucking lab, let them pay the lab and roll the cost into their bill, I figured. But no, and lab insisted I owed them money, and not knowing what to do, I paid up.

A year later, my second doctor's visit in my adult life, different doctor in a different town as I had since moved. They at least had the decency to say up front how their billing works (without me even asking), and that they will send me a bill for the copay after they process it through my insurance. And they don't do in-house blood draws and send out to a lab, they send you to the lab of your choice with orders for what tests to run. So that's better, much more clear. But the lab itself also has a "ALL CO-PAYS DUE AT TIME OF SERVICES" sign... and this time, they actually billed me at time of services! Awesome. So far, I was liking the medical establishments in this new town a lot better.

Until a month or two later I got a bill from the lab. When I called to complain that I already paid them at the time of services as their sign said, they told me then that that was only an estimated copay, and that after they put the bill through insurance, there was still a balance remaining on my copay, which is what that bill was for. Again, no idea on what grounds to dispute it, so I paid up... but ugh, what the hell

For emergency services where the patient may not have the time or awareness to evaluate the costs and benefits, I can understand you just do the service and bill later. But for a motherfucking general checkup and routine bloodwork? Jesus fucking christ, how can you not just say what it will cost up front and bill before I accept your services?

It's only one step removed from the homeless guy who washes your windows without your consent and then demands you owe him money. "Hey man you need some medical services?" "Yeah uh I guess how much?" "Can't tell you yet now turn your head and cough." "Uh... [cough]" "Aight you cool man, that'll be $100." "WTF no you didn't say it would be that much" "Too late you got the work now you pay the bill man... don't make me go get my collections posse to shake down yo ass, pay up sucka."

about three weeks ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Pfhorrest Re:All I want to know is (214 comments)

When you get your pilot's license. Moller International builds car-sized wingless VTOL craft already, and has for decades. It's even called the Skycar. It's just technically an aircraft, so, pilot's license and all...

about a month ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Pfhorrest Re:This kind of thing confuses me (214 comments)

Mach's Principle neatly explains why inertial mass and gravitational mass are the same: inertia is a product of the gravitational effects of the rest of the universe.

For illustration, consider the infamous spinning bucket thought experiment:

When you view it from the reference frame of the rest of the universe, the reason why the water in the bucket initially stays put instead of spinning with the bucket, and then presses against the edges of the bucket once friction starts it moving, is inertia.

When you view if from the reference frame of the bucket itself, around which the rest of the universe is spinning, the reason why the water starts spinning, and then presses against the sides of the bucket when friction slows it down, is because the gravity of the rest of the universe is dragging the water's reference frame around with it.

about a month ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

Pfhorrest Re:We've observed and created antiparticles (214 comments)

I think you meant neutrinos where you wrote neutrons. Neutrons most certainly do interact electromagnetically.

about a month ago
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Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Pfhorrest Re:But scarcity! (390 comments)

My city is actually shrinking in size and we still have well-maintained and even upgraded roads compared to when I was younger and the city was slightly bigger.

about a month ago
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On 4th of July:

Pfhorrest Re:Options A. through D. (340 comments)

Or here it is in plainer math. He said that the $10k he makes on 4th of July is 10% of his total income. That means that:

10 = 10% x TOTAL

Solve for TOTAL:

10 = 0.10 x TOTAL

10 ÷ 0.10 = TOTAL

10 ÷ 1/10 = TOTAL

10 x 10 = TOTAL

100 = TOTAL

about a month and a half ago
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On 4th of July:

Pfhorrest Re:Options A. through D. (340 comments)

Seriously?

Let's say I do a thing some number of times a day.

I tell you I did ten of that thing just before breakfast, and that that was 10% of the number that I did all day.

How many did I do in the entire day?

about a month and a half ago
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On 4th of July:

Pfhorrest Re:Options A. through D. (340 comments)

You're the moron, or at least illiterate. They said that on one day, the 4th of July, they make $10k, and that that's 10% of their annual income. That means that their total annual income must be $100k, because $10k is 10% of $100k. That leaves $90k to be made over the course of the rest of the year, about $7.5k per month, which is plenty to keep the lights on and rent paid until the next 4th of July.

about a month and a half ago
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On 4th of July:

Pfhorrest Re:Options A. through D. (340 comments)

On the $100K/yr income implied by a 10K day being 10% of their annual income? Oh, it must be soooo hard, making four times the median wage...

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

Pfhorrest Re:hahaha! (932 comments)

I think what you want is a pro-market, anti-capitalism party. Capitalism doesn't just mean free markets; it means those with more capital can exploit those with less. If you want a competitive, non-monopolistic or -oligopolistic, genuinely free market, you need to get rid of capitalism; that is to say, you need to protect the smallest players in the market from being held down and exploited by the bigger players. You need to make sure that all gains are made and all advantaged held through the continued production of genuine value, not just by rent-seeking and choice-limiting behaviors.

I agree that the left thinks that's impossible to do without forced wealth redistribution, but most of the right does too; and having some party backing that angle, and investigating and addressing the myriad ways that capitalists make the market less free, would be great.

about 2 months ago
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Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

Pfhorrest How to guard a Turing test against stupid judges (309 comments)

Have a bunch of human judges and some instances of the bot in question all participating in a chat together, or randomly paired together for a while and then re-paired, so that humans are judging humans as well as bots, and have no idea which is which.

If a human is frequently judged as a bot by other humans, that human's judgements are de-weighted, because apparently they're too stupid to be distinguished themselves from an AI, so why should we trust their ability to distinguish other humans from AIs.

Although, I wonder if exceptionally intelligent humans with perfect spelling and grammar, a wide range of knowledge, and high typing speed, might be mis-judged as AIs too, for being "too good". Some hunt-and-pecker who can't tell their/they're/there apart might see someone who gives an intelligent response in complete, grammatically-correct sentences in half a minute as inhuman.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Teacher laid off for telling the truth about Santa

Pfhorrest Pfhorrest writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Pfhorrest writes "The Times Online reports:

A supply teacher has been told not to return to one primary school after she told a class of seven-year-olds that Santa Claus did not exist.

Children at Blackshaw Lane Primary School in Oldham were talking about Christmas when the teacher came out with the news.

Father Christmas was not responsible for delivering their presents on Christmas Eve, the pupils were taught. The teacher, who had been drafted in for just the day, has now been told not to come back.

Parents complained to the school after their children returned home to recount what they had learnt in lessons that day.

With all the contention about teaching religion (or the lack thereof) in schools these days, what do you all think about similar issues regarding more frivolous popular folklore like Santa Claus here? Should a school be able to fire a teacher for telling the truth about something all adults accepts as mere myth?"
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Eternal - Beyond Infinity Lies Destiny

Pfhorrest Pfhorrest writes  |  more than 5 years ago The Xeventh Project is proud to present a Marathon scenario nearly twelve years in the making: Eternal X.

The longest-running Marathon scenario project in history, Eternal began production in 1996 upon the release of Marathon Infinity. Eventually run into the ground and then dormant for many years, it was resurrected in 2004 just in time for a "penultimate" release on Marathon's 10th anniversary, which received over ten thousand downloads. For the past several years since then, a crack team of some of the Marathon community's most skilled artists, musicians, and cartographers has been busy putting the final polish on this ancient project; and now, at long last, Eternal X is complete.

Featuring 52 huge levels, hundreds of new high-resolution textures, over a dozen tracks of original music, a wholly revamed user interface, all new weapons, and several new creatures and characters, alongside the complete cast from the original trilogy and numerous familiar locations, Eternal is one of the largest and most ambitious Marathon scenario projects ever undertaken.

The story of Eternal begins nearly one hundred years after Marathon Infinity, on the S'pht moon K'lia, hanging in orbit over a desolate and ruined Earth. Clearly all is not well with this future, and once again you are the last hope for mankind. The people of this time say that nobody really won in the war with the Pfhor; but now, thanks to recovered Jjaro technology, a plan has been devised to make things right. Paired with another sort of hybrid creature, the former Battleroid known as Hathor, you have been selected to venture back across time, one hundred and eleven years in the past to the U.E.S.C. Marathon. There, you and Hathor are to set in motion a plan that will alter the course of history and bring true victory to mankind. But things don't always go according to plan, and what begins as a mission to right history turns into an epic pursuit which spans not only the stars but also the centuries.

The scenario is available in both a Full Edition, complete with high-resolution graphics and an original soundtrack, and a Lite Edition, which is more amenable to older computers and slower connections. Both the Full Edition and Lite Edition are compatible with all currently supported platforms of Aleph One, including Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

To download Eternal X, please visit <http://eternal.bungie.org/>.

-Forrest Cameranesi
Director of the Xeventh Project


ABOUT MARATHON:
Marathon was a landmark first-person shooter created by Bungie Studios, creators of the acclaimed Halo franchise. Originally released on the Macintosh in 1994, Marathon introduced many new features and concepts to the genre including dual-weilded and dual-function weapons; versatile multiplayer modes such as King of the Hill, Kill the Man with the Ball, and cooperative play; friendly NPCs; and a deep and intricate storyline. The sequel, Marathon 2: Durandal, was released in 1995, improving on the engine technologies and greatly expanding the scope of the story. In 1996, Marathon 2 was ported to Windows 95, and the Marathon Infinity package was released for Macintosh, including a new scenario using a modified Marathon 2 engine, and most importantly, the tools used to build it, Forge and Anvil. In the year 2000, Bungie released the source code to the Marathon 2 engine, and the Marathon Open Source project began, resulting in the new Marathon engine called Aleph One. Finally, in 2005, Bungie authorized free redistribution of the entire Marathon trilogy and all related files. This means that the entire trilogy can now be legally obtained for free and played on nearly any computer. To download the original Marathon trilogy, please visit <http://source.bungie.org/get/>.

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