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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

albacrankie Re:Before the Big Bang (429 comments)

I didn't intend to bring religion into it. I just wonder whether there are things of which we must remain forever ignorant. The "god" reference was a sarcastic stab at those who are not comfortable with ignorance. We seem bound to concepts such as "before" and "already existed" and find it difficult to shed the concept of time in our understanding of cause and effect. But this always leads to endless turtles. "created from nothing" is a convenient answer, and it may well be true. But I'm not sure how we would ever know.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

albacrankie Re:Before the Big Bang (429 comments)

"before the big bang"

What do you mean by "before"? Don't we have to face the possibility that there may be certain properties of existence that are impossible for us to even ask about, never mind understand. Perhaps the only choice is God or ignorance. The only certainty is that I don't know.

about three weeks ago
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Lost Sense of Smell Is a Strong Predictor of Death Within 5 Years

albacrankie Re:Well Duh? (139 comments)

"I take it you are unfamiliar with concepts like "bacon", "flowers" and "coffee" then?"

Any reason you left out napalm?

about 2 months ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

albacrankie Re:This isn't about units (942 comments)

"UKIP is definitely the Tea party of the Conservative Party in the UK"

But much funnier.

about 2 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

albacrankie Re:Look at the geography (494 comments)

People in Newcastle, Carlisle and parts of Lancashire might disagree about the benefits, but I agree with your general point. And rather than simply waiting to be charged, I hope Scotland will take a more active approach. For example, rail improvements from Scotland to the north of England might be something that Scotland would propose and be willing to fork up the lion's share of the cash for. But it would resolve to money, and who perceives most benefit. These things can usually be thrashed out round a table.

about 2 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

albacrankie Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (494 comments)

For me, it's not about whether they guarantee my enemy's destruction, but whether they increase or lessen my own chance of destruction. Under the cold war, while uncomfortable, I believe they probably reduced the level of warfare. And I still think that three superpowers having such weapons may be a good thing. But for the life of me, I can't think of any circumstances in which the UK would actually fire one of these things independently of the USA or what a possible target might be.

about 2 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

albacrankie Re:This isn't scaremongering. (494 comments)

But, but, all those resources make us an obvious target for evil countries who would like to exploit us. Aren't we much safer to share those resources with a friendly and mature country in return for their protection, guidance and economic skills? Especially a country that has the clout to negotiate on our behalf with those devious Europeans.

about 2 months ago
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Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

albacrankie Re:at least the nuclear weapons will be gone (494 comments)

Could you explain how the Trident missiles help to defend me or my family? I prefer not to pay for them because I see them as pretty much fucking useless.

On the other hand, we frequently get low flying military aircraft over our house, on training runs. These don't come cheap either, but I see them as a useful thing to have and am quite happy to pay my share for them.

about 2 months ago
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Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

albacrankie Golf logic (937 comments)

Is it strange if you base your beliefs on rational foundations, but base your actions on other concepts? I don't believe in god because I see no evidence. I sometimes play golf, which makes no rational sense, but I enjoy it. I'm not sure what values I apply to either of these things.

about 2 months ago
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

albacrankie Re:Mt. Miyajima? (151 comments)

Are you sure it wasn't you that was smoking at the time?

Perhaps you mean Sakurajima?

about 4 months ago
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Scotland Could Become Home To Britain's First Spaceport

albacrankie This is Stage 2 (151 comments)

Scotland started its space exploration work in the 19th century.The first rocket (see link) encountered some technical difficulties, but we expect to get those sorted out soon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

about 4 months ago
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NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology Is Scientific

albacrankie Re:Still a problem, but not as bad. (326 comments)

"I don't know of any remedy for superstition."

The just have to be taught not to walk on the cracks.

about 9 months ago
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South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards

albacrankie No big deal (665 comments)

At my secondary school in the UK (between 1966 and 1972), not once was evolution taught in my science classes. In science, we measured, weighed, cut, burned, exploded, dissolved, attached weights, electrocuted, and stuff like that. Understanding evolution is not that important in most areas of science. The only time it was taught was in the Religious Education class by a Church Of Scotland minister. He explained it simply and in a way that made sense. It somehow seemed more relevant in that class, which covered 'big' topics such as existence, consciousness, morality, war, etc. I don't recall him saying that not everyone believed the theory of natural selection, but then again, he probably didn't tell us that not all Buddhists believe in reincarnation.

I don't think we got taught much about "theories" of gravity in science either. We learned that it causes falling objects to accelerate at 9.81 m/s/s, and that it causes a mass to have weight. We even verified those things. (Oh, experiments! How great you are!) But no one explained whether it was caused by magic magnets or gravity fairies or anything like that.

about 10 months ago
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25% of Charter Schools Owe Their Soul To the Walmart Store

albacrankie Re:Love the quotes (233 comments)

Thanks for that. A genuinely intelligent comment.

about 10 months ago
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New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

albacrankie Re:I believe it (1010 comments)

"Agnostic is just a word created by the religious..."

"agnostic" is a word created by T.H. Huxley to describe his position that he was quite certain he didn't know the answers to questions concerning existence, while others seemed quite certain they did. He described agnosticism as a principle and not a creed or belief. He applied it to everything, not just the matter of the existence of God.

"This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty."

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?

albacrankie Let's face it, we start to smell at 50 (629 comments)

I'm 58, and already my kids won't come into my office. My wife comes in occasionally, but she's in her fifties too, so she doesn't notice so much. We shouldn't pretend about this. Why do you think senior managers are given their own offices with windows?

So what are the options? Working remotely for sure. And having some embarrassing pics or info on your employer is pretty useful if you want to be known as someone who is too important to be fired. Knowing how to make stuff work and fix stuff tends to help. A sprinkling of craplang such as agile, scrum, burndown charts, etc, sometimes helps.

1 year,7 hours
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Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

albacrankie it was as if the system was attacking itself... (516 comments)

"It's out of control, Captain," said the chief engineer. "The parameters are going to blow if we don't do something soon."

The Crank continued to sit quietly, surveying the panicked faces in front of him. The tears from a young secretary in the corner, the one who had only joined the group to bring hope to millions of elderly people, confirmed his view that this was no place for the sentimental. Slowly, peoples' eyes started to look his way. What were they hoping for? Some magic fix? Some weird incantation that he would type into a terminal and that would take everything back to that stable comfort of two hours ago?

Eventually he got to his feet and looked around the walls of the room that were stacked high with electronic systems. "Any ideas?" asked the Captain.

"Nothing that I think you will like," replied the Crank.

To be continued..

about a year ago
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Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?

albacrankie Re:God of the Gaps (1293 comments)

I'm not sure it's right to equate religion and superstition. Religion implies belief in various supernatural behaviors. Superstition is often much more simple and generally harmless. For example, those of us who wear our wifes' underwear while writing regular expressions only do so because it worked before. If it stops working, we will think again, and consider whether we were wrong in the first place, or whether the failure was due to a recent change in color or material of the said garments.

about a year ago

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