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Comments

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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

gurps_npc Re:Climate damage is never irreversible (224 comments)

Or we set up a situation where we have another 'year without a summer', only this time on purpose. (i.e. artificially create a volcanic eruption). This allows the ice flows to reappear. After that super cold year, we go back to normal.

I am not saying this is a good idea, just that we could do it, reversing the problem.

5 minutes ago
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Climate Damage 'Irreversible' According Leaked Climate Report

gurps_npc Climate damage is never irreversible (224 comments)

They probably meant irreversible in a reasonable amount of time.

But I absolutely assure you it is possible to undue all damage- if we are willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money to do it.

Now, biological extinctions may be unpreventable, but we can always turn the clock back on climate change.

2 hours ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

gurps_npc Illegal (174 comments)

If their contracts are reasonably well written, I bet they are guilty of at least a misdemeanor.

yesterday
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

gurps_npc Re:Short term (460 comments)

Not quite. About 3% of Americans have motorcycle licenses. You don't get one to go places, you do it because it is fun.

I predict that in 20 years, about 3% of Americans will have a 'manual drive' license, allowing them to drive cars that are not robot controlled.

These people will in all probability be VERY skilled, as they will likely take their driving very seriously.

yesterday
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Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

gurps_npc Geoengineering wars to come (126 comments)

Warmer nations, particularly smaller island nations furiously trying to create global cooling, while an alliance of Canada, Russia, Scandinavia and the newly created United Federation of Antarctica desperately trying to keep it nice and toasty.

yesterday
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

gurps_npc Not surprising (460 comments)

California is playing it safe. It will take a while for us to trust the software enough to remove the steering wheel.

In fact, it would not surprise at all if the brake itself is NEVER removed. I can easily foresee a situation where these vehicles are used to transport unwilling people, or simply undergo a malfunction and the occupant will always want the ability to stop the device.

But I can see the steering wheel and accelerator going away completely - don't want to let untrained people having the ability to make things worse.

yesterday
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Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

gurps_npc Will this let Facebook take over the world? (61 comments)

A couple of weeks ago, I tried to submit a request here on Slashdot on information about an App that does this. (Got only one comment). While I don't particularly like Facebook, this is great news.

Answer: The answer to all questions posted in a headline, is of course "NO!"

2 days ago
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Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

gurps_npc Re:Thank you Medical Science (75 comments)

You can use the word miracle the way you want to. For me, and a whole bunch of other people, this is exactly what we mean by the word miracle.

See "Miracle drug", also the "miracle of birth", and a bunch of other people.

The rest of your arguments are similarly focused on one peculiar and particular point of view.

2 days ago
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Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

gurps_npc Re:Sweet. (75 comments)

Actually, that's exactly how they do kidney transplants. They don't bother cutting out your failed kidney - that would just lead to more bleeding and possible complications.

So instead they just give you a third kidney that hopefully works a lot better than the two original ones that failed.

2 days ago
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Whole Organ Grown In Animal For First Time

gurps_npc Thank you Medical Science (75 comments)

Things like this is why I despise all the quacks that vilify the medical profession.

Homeopathy does not cure people, doctors do.

Anti-Vaxers don't end Autism, doctors will.

And some day soon, we will be able to grow replacement Thalmuses, hopefully with kidneys, livers, hearts and lungs soon to follow.

God bless real doctors, for they deliver miracles onto us.

2 days ago
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Securing the US Electrical Grid

gurps_npc Re:Cyber is easy, EMP is possible (115 comments)

Oh, one more thing, some people told me that 'hacking' does not have to happen over the internet. That is true, but at the heart that is just another version of sabotage - when you stop people from physically accessing the plant, you also stop the non-internet based hacking.

2 days ago
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Securing the US Electrical Grid

gurps_npc Cyber is easy, EMP is possible (115 comments)

Cyber is easy - simply no direct connect to the internet. Anything less is effectively nothing. Anything more is not needed.

If you have data that you absolutely positively must have accessible via the internet, set up a dial and point an internet connected camera at the dial.

EMP pulse is not hard - we know the basics of shielding.

Sabotage and weather are however not easily defensible. No matter what we do, we can't provide complete protection, but we can do pretty well.

2 days ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

gurps_npc Re:False idea of the genius (441 comments)

I didn't say you can do shit if you are stupid. I said you can do shit without being a Genius. Merely being average intelligence is often enough if you are lucky, hardworking and get the timing right..

The prime example of this is Donalt Trump. The man was incredibly lucky - born to a huge wealth. He is by no means a genius - most of the business ventures he has participated in had severe financial issues, bankruptcy being just one of the many problems he has had to face.

But he had worked hard and got some good timing. As a direct result, he is successful. But he is by no definition of the word a genius. P.S. The people that win the lottery do so with luck. So luck alone will bring success, if you have enough of it. But attempting to depend on it is stupid.

2 days ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

gurps_npc Re:False idea of the genius (441 comments)

You have a good point. But perfect timing, luck and hard work will not make a common idea work. Mainly because the common idea will be had by a genius long before the common man gets the idea.

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

gurps_npc other relationship (175 comments)

This smacks of a 3rd factor that causes both faster internet and higher grades. It could be wealth, politics, or simply smarter people move to places with higher internet speeds.

5 days ago
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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

gurps_npc Re:FCC should laugh at him (338 comments)

The Republicans can not win a Presidential election over the next 3 years. It's not about their politics, it's about their core philosophy. They did it to themselves.

Over the past 10 years they decided to make themselves a rural party sustained in large part by gerrymandering.

By doing this, they have created a situation where the majority of their congressmen are elected in 'no lose districts'. They can't lose the general election. As such, the primary became all important - and only the republicans could vote there. This pushed their core political philosophy FAR to the right of where most Americans are.

Eventually they realized their problem and started rejecting their most extreme people, the Tea Party. But they still lean right even within their own party - it is the only way for a Republican to win a primary and they don't care about the general elections in the majority of their districts.

Simultaneously, the Democrats were moving to the center. Hillary Clinton and President Obama are both far more conservative than the majority of democrats.

What happens in the Senate and the House can only make it worse for the Republicans in the Presidential election. If they lose, then the Democrats gain power. If they win the Senate and the House, they will just be embolden again and make the same mistakes they made in 2008 and 20012.

The Republicans Congressmen are so coddled by the gerrymandering that they simply have no idea of how badly they anger the majority of Americans. The Senators and Governors don't have this problem, but are seriously are outnumbered by the Congressmen insisting on appealing to the base.

5 days ago
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Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

gurps_npc False idea of the genius (441 comments)

Look, I've met geniuses before. They are not the key to business success.

Lots of geniuses FAIL. They fail spectacularly.

To be truly successful, you need to be a genius and be lucky.

I don't care how smart you are, you need the luck - if for no other reason than being born in the right country, not having a debilitating disease, and not having family that desperately needs your help. Because sometimes good luck is simply not having bad luck.

But that's beside the point. Lots of genius just had the wrong timing. There was this guy - a real genius. he came up with a great idea to help kids tie their shoes. But someone else came out with Velcro shoes that year. If he had his idea one year earlier, he would have made a couple of million and the Velcro guy would end up selling the idea to the Kid's Shoe King, instead of becoming the Kid's Shoe King.

Genius is not that rare, and the difference between the best and the second best guy is for all purposes irrelevant. Other things matter more than creativity and intelligence.

Timing, luck, and hard work matter just as much as genius.

5 days ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

gurps_npc Real crime (456 comments)

Real crime was making a crappy, movie theater copy instead of a DVD ripped version.

5 days ago
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FCC Warned Not To Take Actions a Republican-Led FCC Would Dislike

gurps_npc FCC should laugh at him (338 comments)

And simply say "For us to be concerned about a Republican FCC, we would need to believe that it is possible for a Republican to win a presidential election. Given the current climate, that won't happen in your lifetime, Senator"

5 days ago
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New Research Suggests Cancer May Be an Intrinsic Property of Cells

gurps_npc Re:No duh. (185 comments)

You could have tried to disagree with me without insulting me. But that would have you to try and show me how I was wrong. Lets try this again, using wikipedia.

Evolution (From wikipedia): Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

Cancer (also from evolution): a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.

Now use your brain. Abnormal = change from inherited characteristics, cell growth = biological population, and the only way cells invade and spread is via successive generations.

That's just from wikipedia. Here is a more direct explanation.

Cancer is nothing more than than a mutation in normal cells, that allow them to reproduce far more and faster than the other cells around them, to the detriment of the original host.

Evolution is the process where mutations allow normal living things to reproduce far more and faster than their competitors (i.e. the other cells around them.).

Cancer is just evolution occurring to our individual cells, to the detriment of us. If you can't see that, you need to retake biology classes.

5 days ago

Submissions

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Secret App poorly designed

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  2 days ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The app "Secret" is supposed to let you tell your friends secrets, without them ever knowing it was your secret. Basically, you sign up, connect at least 6 friends, and post a secret. Your secret does not get sent to people unless they have at least 7 friends that have posted secrets and then it does not identify which friend posted which secret.

This has an obvious problem that a child could figure out. Your "friend" (and I use this term loosely) could sign up themselves and also create six other fake accounts, all posting six fake secrets, and only connect to one real person — you. If your friend does this, then they know that any secret they don't post comes from you.

The real silly thing, is that anyone slightly intelligent could have solved this problem, simply by having the app send secrets to two levels out, not one. That is, my secret is told to both my friend and my friend's friends. That way, even if you only have one 'real' friend', you don't know who the secret came from."

Link to Original Source
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New way for Spys to listen in on us

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about three weeks ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Sound is just vibrating air. When it hits glass, it vibrates the glass and it is well established that a laser aimed at the glass can detect those vibrations and computers can turn it back into sound. Now, we don't need the glass or the laser. Researchers at MIT, Microsoft and Adobe have shown that by analyzing a video that contains something vibrating — say a bag of chips — a computer program can work figure out what noise caused those vibrations, even to the point of reconstructing speech."
Link to Original Source
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Is there an app that ignores stupid headlines

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a month ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "You know the ones I mean "This one trick...", "You won't believe...", ANY headline that asks a question (and you know the answer is 'no' because it always is), anything headline that tells you to 'never' do something, any headline that describes someone that invented something using a family word (dad, mother, son, etc.)

Yes, we know that humans are attracted to these headlines and pay attention to them.

Similarly, we pay attention when someone yells "FIRE" in our face. That doesn't mean it is ever appropriate to do so.

If we can't outlaw the idiots using this 'one genius trick — that I never believe', is there an addon that blocks these crap-lines from google news and other aggregators?"
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FBI concerned about criminals using driverless cars

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a month and a half ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "As per the Guardian, The FBI is concerned about dirverless cars. It discussed such issues as letting criminals shoot while the car drives (silly in my opinion, apparently they haven't heard of "partners" or considered requiring such cars have a police controlled "slow down" command), the use of such vehicles as guided bullet, (safeties again should stop this), and loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school, etc."
Link to Original Source
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Untrackable cellphone?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "We all know how easy it is for the NSA to bug and track your cellphone.

Does anyone sell a cellphone with:

1) Hard wired bright light that always comes on when the cellphone has power.

2) With a physical power on/off that connects and disconnects the battery?"
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US miltiary base in Ukraine?

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 5 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "There is a petition to ask the Ukraine to lease land near Crimea to the US as a naval/air base.
Assuming it gets created, If this happens, it would be an ideal location for electronic espionage. No longer would the US have to send submarines secretly off the coast of Russia, we could have them openly sitting within yards of Russian controlled waters."

Link to Original Source
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Best Idea for a Universal Translator (FreeSpeech tm)

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about 6 months ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "An Indian company developed an all picture based software to help speech impaired (autistic, mute, etc.) children communicate fully formed ideas. Then he developed translator engines to convert the all picture based system into English — and other verbal languages. The interesting part is that his system consists of 2-dimensional pictures, not 1-dimensional sound. This makes it much simpler and intuitive grammatically and therefore be much simpler to translate into any language. It is just as easy to convert his pictures into English as it is to convert it into Chinese, Arabic, Swahili, whatever. It gets rid of most of the problems that plague Google and similar computer based translation programs. Note the solution is one way, from his pictures to all other languages, because other languages do not have the exactness offered by the 2-dimensional advantage of his software (FreeSpeech)

In effect, he has created a far superior core translation engine for a Universal Translator. Their web site includes a link to his TED talk."

Link to Original Source
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Looking for a good holster.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  1 year,14 days

gurps_npc (621217) writes "I have seen several technology holsters. There are a lot of good ones for cell phones, but I am looking for something larger — for a tablet (Nook/Kindle/Nexus/Ipad).

There is however a direct trade off between discrete and carrying capacity. Anyone found an ideal balance?

I would love to hear from people with direct experience. Do you look like the worst kind of geek hipster wearing it? Any feature I should look for?

I found one from a company called techslinger, but it looks a bit too geeky for me, (double sided makes it really stand out)."

Link to Original Source
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Cancer Ray terrorist plot foiled

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "Two radical pro-Israel terrorists were caught in upstate NY when they tried to solicit money from various honorable Jewish organizations to build a truck based x-ray machine. They intended to drive the truck around and then turn on the x-ray machine, focusing on enemies of Israel.

But the Jewish organizations they tried to solicit money from refused to participate. Instead they called the FBI, who promptly set up a sting.

They caught and arrested the terrorists before the machine was in working order."

Link to Original Source
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Nanocoating finally lives up to it's promise

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gurps_npc writes "A company called UltraTech has created a new nano-coating. They sell you two chemicals, which you spray on (in the right order) practically anything. Once you do this, as the attached vidoe shows, water considers the coated area to be something akin to a rabid lion infected with AIDS. It literally can not get wet — and that includes all water based liquids. Mud? No problem. Water based paint? Flees like a coward. The coating lasts about a year indoors (half that time outdoors). Note, you can buy it from amazonsupply.com — though ti costs about $500 for a gallon of the stuff."
Link to Original Source
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Replace teachers with computers? Or just add them!

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  about a year ago

gurps_npc writes "Recently there was a poorly designed study that claimed computers don't help teaching. Here with the opposite point of view is Sugata Mitra's TED talk. He went to a tiny village in India, put a computer there with software — in English even though they did not speak or read English — about DNA replication. When he came back months later they said "We don't understand anything — except that mistakes in DNA replication cause diseases."

At heart, his argument is that the old style of teaching derives from Victorian England's need for bureaucrats so it creates minimally competent people that know how to read, write, and do math in their head. He wants to update our teaching methods with more creative and technological solutions."

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Company planning on mining asteroids, public announcement at 10:30 PDT

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Th Bad Astronomer wrote today about a press conference happening at 10:30 AM Pacific time. He thinks the company Planetary Resources is going to announce at that they will be mining asteroids. They have the money (James Cameron, Google), the science (Ex-NASA people,including engineers and astronauts). The first step would be setting up depots. That is mine the stuff and keep the materials in space for delivery in space. It is far cheaper to go get water from an asteroid and give it to a space station than it is to lift it out of Earth's gravity well."
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Florida thinks their students are too stupid to know the right answers.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 2 years ago

gurps_npc writes "Robert Krampf, who runs the web site "The Happy Scientist" recently wrote in his blog about problems with Florida's Science FCAT. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is an attempt to measure how smart the students are. Where other states have teachers cheating to help students, Florida decided to grade correct answers as wrong.

Mr. Krampf, examined the state's science answers and found several that clearly listed right answers as wrong. One question had 3 out of 4 answers that were scientifically true. So he wrote to Florida's Department of Education' Test Development center.

They admitted he was right about the answers, but said that they don't expect 5th graders to realize they were right. For this reason they marked them wrong. As such, they were not changing the tests.

Note, they wouldn't let him examine real tests, just the practice tests given out. So we have no idea if FCAT is simply to lazy to provide good practice questions, or too stupid to be allowed to test our children."

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Flying Car - OK, boat, now available

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "In the Aero 2011 expo in Germany, they unveiled the FlyNano. Basically it looks like a jet ski with wings and a propeller. Hard wings (not para-foil), selling for about $36,000. The creator said that if you can fly a microlight, you can fly the FlyNano."
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How to make a living playing scratch lottery ticks

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "A great article from wired about lottery tickets. It's main focus is the fact that many of them can be beaten. That is, you can look at numbers printed on a scratch lottery ticket before removing the scratch off and figure out which ticket will win and which will lose. Yes, this article tells you how to do this. It also touches on organized crime and the psychology of the system."
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Google algorithm now punishes bad reviews.

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The New York Times recently published a story (warning, login needed) accusing an internet retailer of intentionally providing bad service. The theory was that every bad review generated increased their google score, placing them higher in the rankings. While a Google search for the company name resulted in the bad reviews, if you searched for a brand name, that company came up very high because of all the bad reviews. So people would search for brand name products and end up using the company with the worst reputation.

Google apparently took this to heart because as per PCworld article, they recently announced a new algorithm that will punish a store if they get too many bad reviews. Right now, the algorithm just punishes "an extremely poor user experience", but they say they will continue to work on the issue.

In the (paraphrased) words of Coots and Gillespie:

They are making a list, And checking it twice; gonna find out who's naughty and nice"

Link to Original Source
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Sony using 3D TV for split screen gaming

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The Kartel has an interesting article about a recent patent Sony filed. Basically they want to hack a 3d tv set up with 2 paris of 3d glasses. They want each seperate glass to display a seperate view (so instead of each pair of glasses having a left eye different from the right eye, one is set to see the "right eye" view to both eyes, while the other is set to show the "left eye view".

This way, two people can watch the same TV and see a different picture — peerfect for head to head racing games. Right now they just split the screen, but that has two problems. First, you can see your opponent's screen, and second, your own view is half the possible width. It is an interesting idea.."

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USSC ruled Business patents OK

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "While the court did affirm the lower courts decision that this particular business patent was not valid, it also ruled 5 v 4 that the lower court was wrong and that it IS possible to patent a business process, not just a machine.

Justice Kennedy said that while the "Machine or Transformation" question was important, it could not be th3e exclusive test. Specifically it said that processes and methods not tied to a machine may be patentable."

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GOP wants to hear from Americans - not New Yorkers

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "The Republican Party has set up a web site to hear your ideas. But whoops, they got bombarded by a bunch of Liberals, instead of the loyal conservatives they are so desperately hunting for. Worse, a simple review of the comments shows that a majority of the "lunatic" comments are from the few conservatives that signed up (I love the conservative guy that insists that his school teach children that dolphins are fish). So what do they do? They modify the registration process so that New Yorkers can't register. Try it. Log in, and give a NY zip code such as 10128. You will wait forever to get the confirmation email that completes the registration process. But if you give a Texan zip code (77001), you will get the confirmation email right away."
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Book Review of "59 Seconds"

gurps_npc gurps_npc writes  |  more than 4 years ago

gurps_npc (621217) writes "59 Seconds, by Richard Wiseman, is a different kind of self-help book. Most are full of hype and 'positive' thinking and short on science. His is the other way around, long on science with tons of footnotes, and short on hype. It is written by a psychologist/professor, not a marketer. As such, every single bit of his advice is backed by scientific studies.

Much (but not all) of his advice runs contrary to the typical self help book. Imagine yourself overcoming problems, not as an instant success. To get creative solutions, do it individually and get together after you write them down, no group brainstorming. He is not a total skeptical, as he does sometimes suggest rather strange advice (naming your children with the letter A or B to get them better school grades).

He goes through most of the standard self book types, including dating, career, interviews, relationships, and child raising. The title, "59 Seconds", refers to a comment by a friend of his that asked for advice in less than a minute. Most chapters start out de-bunking the standard self-help fare, and then quickly move on to his advice, backed up by studies. Then, at the end of each chapter he puts a short '59 second' summary, along with some exercises to help you follow up on the book.

While I don't think everything he says is true, he definitely offers a different perspective than most self help books. If you are interested in a skeptical perspective on how to do deal with life's little challenges, then this book is something you might enjoy. I found it to be a very good skeptic's self-help book."

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