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Comments

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I expect to retire ...

flaming error Re:Frist pots (323 comments)

> what the fuck has it all been for?
Look at the actual distribution of wealth, and you'll see exactly what they (and we) have been working for.

5 days ago
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Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

flaming error Re:Militia, then vs now (1614 comments)

> Please go read the Federal Papers

"Federal Papers"?

Do you mean the 85 chaper "The Federalist"? Or its contemporary Anti-Federalist papers (the ones that argued for a Bill of Rights)?

Either way that's a lot of reading. Could you narrow it down a bit? Like point us to the chapter which explains "the original intent of the 2nd Amendment"?

about a week ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

flaming error Re:The Chinese could pull this off (342 comments)

If people were willing to finance some planetary climate engineering experiment, one would think they'd also be willing to try the more conservative course of exacerbating the problem no further.

about a week ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

flaming error Re:What if we overcorrect? (342 comments)

Or perhaps one day, in some far remote future, we'll come up with a phonetic language and dedicate our minds to ideas instead of esoteric rules about apostrophes.

about two weeks ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

flaming error Re:What if we overcorrect? (342 comments)

"You can go out in the woods, build a cabin, and live without electricity or indoor plumbing."

Maybe we could. Let's think about it.

We'd probably have to buy the woods we wanted to build in. We' might need a building permit for the cabin, followed by an inspection. We'd need a permit for a well. We'd probably need to register our firearms, buy a fishing license and hunting license and tags. We might need a business license if we plan to sell those crops, plus all the government oversight selling food would bring.

So, yeah, maybe it's possible. It doesn't really seem like most people could afford it, and it doesn't seem like most people could comply with all the rules of the various agencies and jurisdictions that could be involved.

I think the reality is that lifestyle of 200 years ago is gone. Whatever semblance might remain is costly and wrapped in red tape.

about two weeks ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

flaming error Re:The Chinese could pull this off (342 comments)

Stockholder banks get a guaranteed 6% dividend.

about two weeks ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

flaming error Re:The Chinese could pull this off (342 comments)

How did you get from here:
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modigliani%E2%80%93Miller_theorem)

The basic theorem states that, under a certain market price process (the classical random walk), in the absence of taxes, bankruptcy costs, agency costs, and asymmetric information, and in an efficient market, the value of a firm is unaffected by how that firm is financed.[1] It does not matter if the firm's capital is raised by issuing stock or selling debt. It does not matter what the firm's dividend policy is.

to here?
"The Modigliani-Miller theorem of finance shows that how you finance a good idea doesn't matter."

about two weeks ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

flaming error Re:The Chinese could pull this off (342 comments)

"The Fed gives the government zero cost borrowing"

If only that were true. The Federal Reserve is a cabal of privately held banks that charge interest.

about two weeks ago
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GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

flaming error Re:Hero ? (236 comments)

Engineers have bosses. Sometimes in a complicated situation where there are no good answers, engineers do what their bosses say.

about two weeks ago
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Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

flaming error Re:Level of public funding ? (292 comments)

"He is ...a very controversial figure in science journalism (in a good way)"

Good why? Does he have a gift for explaining new scientific discoveries to laypeople? Does he somehow further the state of the art?

Sounds to me like what he does for a living is tell people that scientific progress is ending. I see no compelling evidence from him supporting that point, and I see nothing good coming from pushing that idea.

Many Americans don't even accept evolution or global warming yet. Pretending that where we are is the furthest we'll ever get is not constructive and not correct.

If this is all he's got, I wouldn't even call him a science journalist. He's more like an op-ed columnist/author.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

flaming error Re:Outrage fatigue (230 comments)

If it wasn't a surprise, shouldn't Ukraine have been ready to arrest the hooligans that they instead allowed to steal Crimea?

about two weeks ago
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Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

flaming error Re:Not going to work... (408 comments)

A while back I was prescribed an anti-depressant. The doctor said he didn't know if it would work for me. He said it wasn't even well understood *how* it worked.

That confused me because presumably whatever was in the pill was added for a reason, but clearly there's a lot of trial and error. And clearly there are extremely nasty side effects from many drugs.

So many pharmaceuticals' effectiveness may be overrated, as may be their safety. I'm not sure some medicinal plants are necessarily less effective or less safe.

Presumably chemicals in our drugs are often extracted from nature. why wouldn't the same chemicals in their natural form have the same potential to work? For example, willow bark has salicin (from whence aspirin came), and has been used medicinally since the time of Hippocrates.

The idea of treating the whole person instead of just the symptom is a growing concern in western medicine. This has always been the defining characteristic of homeopathy's holistic approach.

So many homeopathic treatments are almost certainly bunk, but throwing out all homeopathy may be short sighted, just as throwing out all of western medicine would be.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

flaming error Re:Outrage fatigue (230 comments)

AlanObject says:

the same approach that I would have taken given their mission statement

What "mission statement"? This?

Collect (including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;

GP is right. They can't process and analyze as much data as they collect, so they don't produce useful intelligence.

They want to collect everything then go through it later when a need arises

That's forensics, not intelligence.

So NSA is on a track where they are sound technically, but way off legally and ethically.

Just curious - if they are way off ethically and morally, why would you take that same approach?

about two weeks ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

flaming error Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

I am a Mormon atheist who preaches living for this life instead of for an imagined next life.

May I please be the most annoying person in the great shit hole taxonomy of your mind?

about two weeks ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

flaming error Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Nope.

Atheism: I'm not playing your stupid game.

about two weeks ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

flaming error Re:Knowledge (1037 comments)

Only religious people claim that the lack of religion is itself a religion.

"Faith" is a belief. By what bizarre mental gymnastics do people claim those without belief have faith?

about two weeks ago
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Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

flaming error Re:This is a REALLY bad idea (328 comments)

Since the law has not yet been drafted, it's kinda hard to say what it's like. But it appears to be the intent to make it a criminal act to upload revenge porn to a website, and to expose the website to some liability for uploaded content.

So I'd say it's more like suing a website for your ex uploading embarrassing pictures of you.

about three weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

flaming error Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

You seem to have the impression I conceded defeat, and that I was challenging you to next beat someone else.

My point was only that I am an anonymous layman, and if you managed to defeat me in a debate it would prove nothing. This isn't a frivolous political argument at a donut shop.

If the science is wrong prove it on scientific turf. Show NASA where they got their physics wrong, teach NOAA how the climate really works, show the field biologists where all the specimens they couldn't find are hiding.

You haven't disproven a thing. All you've discredited with your lie ("Greenhouse gas theory... has been thoroughly discredited"), esoteric microquibble (" the experimental apparatus..."), and innuendo of bias ("Fourier's conclusions about his friend's experiments") is yourself.

about three weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

flaming error Re:Don't bother. (509 comments)

" I can keep shooting you down all day"
Perhaps you could. Shoot down Stephen Hawking and Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I'll join your team.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Which Star Trek vs Star Wars fight would you pay most to see?

flaming error flaming error writes  |  1 year,6 days

flaming error (1041742) writes "Which Star Trek vs Star Wars fight would you pay most to see?

Jean-Luc vs Obi-Wan
Worf vs Chewie
Kirk vs Solo
Tasha Yar vs Princess Leia
Spock vs Skywalker
Data vs C3PO"
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Could software engineers fix America?

flaming error flaming error writes  |  more than 2 years ago

flaming error (1041742) writes "Could software engineers fix America's federal government?

Software engineers are strong in skills that others may lack. They know, for example, that design choices are imperfect trade-offs, that a cost/benefit analysis must analyze both the costs *and* the benefits. They know that the best design is generally the simplest design that meets the requirements, that lines of code *deleted* are more helpful than lines of code added.

What if legislators were all software engineers? I would like to think they would go back to the original spec, the Preamble, and the original design, the Constitution — and delete nearly everything since. Every legislative bill ever written that strayed from the legislature's enumerated powers would be deleted, every extra-constitutional federal bureaucracy shuttered.

The federal government would no longer be an ATM machine. Programs we loathe would be scrapped, programs we love would be scrapped, programs we've invested in or have come to depend on would all be scrapped, if they are outside the scope of the core design (which can evolve, but only under properly approved Engineering Change Orders).

America would no longer police the world. We would sustain no military presence within other countries' borders. Any war would require causus belli and be initiated and terminated by Congress, not by the military or its commander-in-chief.

The federal government would no longer regulate the citizens, nor track them, nor even necessarily know who they are. Births, deaths, marriages, crime, and taxes would be managed by the several states, who would each be obliged to respect the decisions of the others. Federal taxes would be paid exclusively by the states, and assessed proportional to their representation in Congress.

It would hurt us all. But it could result in a coherent product that really works.

At least it would compile."
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How old is the oldest computer you use regularly?

flaming error flaming error writes  |  about 4 years ago

flaming error (1041742) writes "How old is the oldest computer you use regularly?
a) 0-1 year
b) 1-3 years
c) 3-6 years
d) 6-10 years
e) older than 10 years
f) Which component, you insensitive clod"
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George Orwell Blogs from the Grave

flaming error flaming error writes  |  more than 5 years ago

flaming error writes "The Orwell Prize organization will, every day, starting tomorrow, post the entry George Orwell made in his personal Diary for the same day 70 years prior.

'When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page', wrote George Orwell, in his 1939 essay on Charles Dickens.

From 9th August 2008, you will be able to gather your own impression of Orwell's face from reading his most strongly individual piece of writing: his diaries. The Orwell Prize is delighted to announce that, to mark the 70th anniversary of the diaries, each diary entry will be published on this blog exactly seventy years after it was written, allowing you to follow Orwell's recuperation in Morocco, his return to the UK, and his opinions on the descent of Europe into war in real time. The diaries end in 1942, three years into the conflict.

I'm not sure what "real time" means here, but it looks to be a wonderful way to revisit some interesting times."

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flaming error flaming error writes  |  more than 7 years ago

flaming error (1041742) writes " According to the AP, a substitute teacher with apparently little knowledge of computers claims she used a classroom PC to send an email to her husband, went to the restroom, and returned to find a couple girls browsing a hairstyle site on the web. She sent them away, and later, during class, pornographic images started popping up on the PC. The school administration admits the PC was completely open, unpatched, and unprotected. But the prosecution didn't buy the idea of porn popping up all by itself, nor apparently, did the jury. She is now a convict, and facing jail time."

Journals

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Aquaduct Mobile Filtration Vehicle wins Innovate or Die

flaming error flaming error writes  |  more than 6 years ago Ideo, the originator of the mouse pointing device, has developed a pedal-powered trike to simultaneously transport and filter water. News article here. This idea could potentially benefit third-world areas with unclean water supplies (and bike paths to the river).

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Christian biologist fired for beliefs, suit says

flaming error flaming error writes  |  more than 6 years ago Reuters Article here.

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Christian biologist is suing the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, claiming he was fired for refusing to accept evolution, lawyers involved in the case said on Friday.

Nathaniel Abraham, an Indian national who describes himself as a "Bible-believing Christian," said in the suit filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Boston that he was fired in 2004 because he would not accept evolution as scientific fact.

I know how this guy feels. I belong to the Church of Divine Tech, which believes that software is really just ones and zeros that the Great Compiler in the Sky decrees. I want to submit all my software in machine code, which will be dictated to me by my Holy Coin of Flipping. But nobody hires me.

I need to sue somebody.

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"Scientists prepare to move Doomsday Clock forward"

flaming error flaming error writes  |  more than 7 years ago Reuters reports that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists says conditions are closer to doomsday than the used to be:

When it was created by the magazine's staff in 1947, it was initially set at seven minutes to midnight and has moved 17 times since then.

It was as close as two minutes to midnight in 1953 following U.S. and Soviet hydrogen bomb tests, and as far away as 17 minutes to midnight in 1991 after the superpowers reached agreement on a nuclear arms reductions.

Since this back-and-forth indicator doesn't seem to behave much like a clock, I'm not sure these guys are using the right model. I think I'd have chosen a thermometer.

Or maybe a 5 level color-coded indicator that's always yellow unless we're in a nuclear war.

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