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Comments

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Gates Warns of Software Replacing People; Greenspan Says H-1Bs Fix Inequity

irenaeous Re:Greenspan's right (516 comments)

I wish he were more consistent then. H1-B's have restricted rights and are used to force wages downward. A true acolyte of Rand would oppose those restrictions and remove all barriers to immigration.

about 5 months ago
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Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

irenaeous Re:It's not a debate (593 comments)

I can assure you that Ham doesn't understand evolutionary biology, nor does he understand how science works. Ham and his ilk are not willing to follow the evidence where it leads, and to change his position as a result. He knows the conclusion he wants to come to, and works backwards from there.

I think you are right, but bobbied is right too. Ham knows his own arguments and how to present them in a way that may sound good and deceive the uninformed. He has lots of experience and practice doing it. Complicated truths are often hard to defend in a short space of time allowed for in a debate, but simplistic attacks that may require involved responses are easy to make. Ken Ham's bat-sh-t crazy ideas won't necessarily preclude him from coming off better looking in the debate.

about 7 months ago
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Galileo: Right On the Solar System, Wrong On Ice

irenaeous Surprising threads (206 comments)

I have posted here as a Christian, gotten some support and some flaming from internet atheists on the site, though not much because I try to be a good slashdot citizen with most of my posts having nothing to do with religion per se. So, I am surprised by the relative balance here and think that most of the posters have been too easy on the Catholic Church and the Pope -- the opposite of what I usually see. Galileo may have been an asshole in some respects and provoked the reaction against him. I don't think it is uncommon in true Geniuses of his type to behave this way. But now a days we do not try our resident Geniuses before a kangaroo court of law or inquisition and force them to plead guilty of crimes that shouldn't be crimes and that they didn't do anyway, recant under the threat of torture, burn their work and publicly condemn them in every university, then sentence them to life imprisonment. (This sentence was commuted to permanent house arrest after the trial.)

1 year,22 days
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What Keeps You On (or Off) Windows in 2013?

irenaeous Re:because desktop linux is a toy and novelty (1215 comments)

As I am sure you know, Android is built on top of Linux. I have one Android phone, but haven't used it as a desktop OS at all. Do you know if it is relatively simple to add free or open source software to the few Android desktop devices now available? It seems to me that so long an Android is not locked down for desktop users that we would gain much that we look for in Linux. Also, I keep seeing more and more business applications migrating to a web-centric OS neutral model using servers that are Linux based.

about a year ago
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Android Malware "Obad" Called Most Sophisticated Yet

irenaeous Re:So who lied? (117 comments)

Not lied to ... it used to be safer simply because widely distributed consumer Linux based devices (and hence malware targeted at those devices) didn't exists a few years ago. With the current changes in the market we will now see a flood of Android and Linux based malware.

about a year ago
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97% of Climate Science Papers Agree Global Warming Is Man-made

irenaeous Re:Appeal to belief (1105 comments)

It seems to me that you have labeled this as a fallacy known as "appeal to belief" incorrectly. The 97% are not just anybody, but are papers from peer reviewed journals. These are authorities. The argument in this case is an appeal to authority, but it is not a fallacious appeal because in this case, the ones claiming to be authorities in fact are so qualified.

The study is just another case in point demonstrating the strong consensus among climate scientists that AGW is real.

about a year ago
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Scientists Clone Human Embryos To Make Stem Cells

irenaeous Re:A cloned embryo is... (92 comments)

You are quite right. I have always regarded myself as pro-life because I believe that an unborn human with an operating brain and beating heart is a human being and has an inherit right to life. But I parted ways with much of the pro-life community on defining the start of life at conception. My problem is how can we regard a zygote prior to forming a blastocyst as a individual human life when life is so fungible at that stage. I mean, we can split the zygote and get more than one individual in the form of identical twins or triplets. Or two zygotes and become fused and form one individual who is a chimera. The logic of regarding zygotes as humans has other pitfalls as well. Since 50% of zygotes fail to implant, then the very act of having a child implicitly involves the slaughter of just as many other humans as are produced by having a child. Does this make all natural birth parents murderers? And now that we know, are they all now premeditated murderers?

about a year ago
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Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

irenaeous Re:I don't think that this is race related (1078 comments)

Are you serious?

had she opted to put this in a glass bottle and screw the metal cap back on like a real deviant some people could have been hurt, that hurls glass out at a pretty good clip and could easily slice some people up. She's a terrorist.

I remember doing similar ridiculous experiments with the "science club" during Junior High. I was an irresponsible jerk, but not a "terrorist". It was a different era so nothing happened to me. This girl was just goofing around in an otherwise very good way -- no intent to harm anyone and no one was harmed. She should get a figurative slap on the hand and move on. The school and the police are being ridiculous.

about a year ago
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Should California Have Banned Checking Smartphone Maps While Driving?

irenaeous Re:Bad Ruling (433 comments)

I can't see how this is correct. My understanding is that the court has leeway to use legislative intent to deal with cases that are either ambiguous or where it does not adequately address a particular area. The original California legislation (section 23123) was passed in 2007. The first iPhone was released in June of that year. The timing alone shows that use of GPA navigation was not addressed in the original legislation (let alone adequately addressed). It also seems that the core regulation in the law, "A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless that telephone is specifically designed and configured to allow hands-free listening and talking, and is used in that manner while driving" is ambiguous (unclear in-exact) when being applied to an activity that involves neither listening nor talking. Also, the examination of judicial intent does include a look at judicial history which seems to me would include amendments to the original law like section 23123.5. If the legislature had intended to ban activities other than traditional phone use, then amending the statute would have been superfluous.

So, no I don't buy that what you say applies in this case.

about a year and a half ago
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Interviews: James Randi Answers Your Questions

irenaeous Re:Martin Gardner (217 comments)

Thank you. I understand your feeling. People are diverse. Atheists are no different. While some can be friendly and civil to religious believers or theists (like Teller of Penn and Teller), others can be extremely nasty and intolerant. It sounds to me like you have had some discussions looking at arguments from both sides only to have one side slapped down with insults and ad-hominem that made you feel put down even though you are trying to be objective, open minded and agnostic and not taking the theist side at all. It is all too common, and Christians/ theists are guilty of it too. Randi's link is enlightening and reflects a lot of this tension within skepticism where it is clear for the comments that some skeptics believe that a full skeptic does have to be an atheist. But I am still happy to hear Randi's response which is more on the tolerant side of the matter. It is notable to me that he focuses his skepticism most on targets that are of the most benefit to people.

about a year and a half ago
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Interviews: James Randi Answers Your Questions

irenaeous Martin Gardner (217 comments)

I asked the question regarding whether a Christian could be a skeptic. I called Martin Gardner a "self-described liberal Christian" which I tried to correct in a comment to my original post. He was a theist and was raised as a Christian, but my thinking of him as a liberal Christian was based on a misreading of one of his books where he appealed to "Liberal Christians" or "Philosophical Theists" using both terms. So I confounded them. On further reading it seems clear to me that he rejected religious traditions including Christianity while retaining as stance as a philosophical theist. Randi's answer was both accurate and charitable. He is a great man.

about a year and a half ago
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The U.S. minimum wage should be

irenaeous Re:Fixed (1106 comments)

I will back you up with links to a couple articles at The Economic Policy Institute.

The first is a bit dated, but is a fairly complete analysis of all of the related questions and disputes: The impact of the minimum wage.

The other is recent and addresses the affects of raising the minimum wage in the current environment: How raising the federal minimum wage would help working families and give the economy a boost.

about a year and a half ago
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How Many Text Messages Do You Send a Day?

irenaeous Re:Automated status reports (217 comments)

No, but he does grow hair on his palms.

about a year and a half ago
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Interviews: Ask James Randi About Investigating the Truth

irenaeous Re:Can a Christian or theist be a skeptic? (386 comments)

I am replying to my own post with a correction.

I said, based on some recollection, I think from the book, Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries", that Martin Gardner was a self-professed liberal Christian. But I can't find the reference, so I figure I am wrong on that. My understanding is that he was brought up in a somewhat fundamentalist Methodist home. Perhaps he did have a liberal Christian phase, but I have no evidence for it.

But I did find this from an online interview:

My wife Charlotte and I were a mixed marriage, by the way. She was Jewish, but we were both philosophical theists. When we got married, I wanted to affiliate with a reformed synagogue, but Charlotte refused because she had no beliefs in traditionalJudaism, any more than I have in Christianity. She countered by saying that we could join a Methodist Church, since my background was Methodist. I refused. So we didn’t go to any church, but we profess a kind of philosophical theism which enables me to admire many religious writers like Chesterton.

So Gardner was a philosophical theist, had no beliefs in Christianity.

If this question is selected to be sent, could our slashdot overlords please change "liberal Christian" to "philosophical theist"?

Thanks.

about a year and a half ago
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Interviews: Ask James Randi About Investigating the Truth

irenaeous Can a Christian or theist be a skeptic? (386 comments)

I ask this because I used to regard myself as a Christian skeptic. While I support what you do and much of the work of the skeptical movement, I now no longer make that claim because current skepticism seems joined at the hip with atheism. I am sure you know, one of the early leaders of the skeptic movement, Martin Gardner, was a theist and a self professed liberal Christian. Are people like Martin Gardner welcome in the movement today?

And, as a Christian I thank you for exposing the televangelist faith healing frauds.

about a year and a half ago
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BitTorrent Launches Dropbox Alternative

irenaeous Re:Seems like a bad idea. (96 comments)

I think that the summary created a red herring by using the phrase, "back-up". The article it links too only describes a way to "share and save documents" over the internet. The PC Mag article referenced by Spy Handler above only talked about synchronizing devices across multiple platforms. That is the real purpose for Dropbox -- I regard it as too expensive to use an a cloud storage or backup, though it does do that. Its main use is to allow users to share files across multiple devices. I am guessing that it would not have any kind of cloud storage component at all. So, regarding your points:

1. While random people might host temporarily mappable bits from your devices (as you would theirs), the actual files would not be reassembled or stored on other peoples machines, so random people would not have your file. If you got your file using BitTorrent Sync, you would be getting it from one of your other devices using bit torrent as the method of file transfer.

2. I agree that there is not a lot of risk having files in a Dropbox folder and available online, but the risk is not negligible. Will Dropbox someday fall into the hands of some PHB and MBAs who decide to make more money by sifting your data in order to serve up ads? Would you like to see ads based on your unsavory content popping up? Also, could any of such unsavory content (or copyrighted content) get turned over to over zealous government prosecutors? Also, could based storage may not always be secure -- Dropbox had its infamous failure a few years ago.

about a year and a half ago
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Senators Seek H-1B Cap That Can Reach 300,000

irenaeous Re:negatory, cut them back, hard (605 comments)

You are completely correct. But I hope you understand that the H-1B scam does not do this. H-1B workers are not immigrants. The H-1B program is badly abused to the determent of American workers. Slashdot has covered this before.

about a year and a half ago
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C Beats Java As Number One Language According To TIOBE Index

irenaeous Re:D still below top 20 (535 comments)

Yes. Just above RPG and well behind Logo at 29.

about a year and a half ago
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U.S. Election Day In Progress: What's Been Your Experience?

irenaeous Re:OH - Why always swinging? (821 comments)

This thread is dead I know and I have only now went back to see any replies. I have a couple critics, one which thinks what I said is ridiculous and the other said it was grossly inaccurate to the point of making their jaw drop. First, I want to give them their due. Yes, hillbillies are all over the state. There is an old joke that says that Akron is the capitol of West Virginia. And, it is true that I have over-generalized. The included article was intended to give more information to those who wanted more details.

However, I would suggest that the county map election results for Ohio have vindicated quite strongly that my generalization -- even if it is a bit too general -- is fundamentally accurate. 15 of the 88 counties in Ohio went for Obama. Of the 15, only four were in central or south Ohio. Three of those are the more urban cities of Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati -- but only the core cities. The other 11 are all bunched up along the northern border of the state next to Lake Erie.

You can see the map for yourself here.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Has Global Warming Stopped?

irenaeous irenaeous writes  |  more than 6 years ago

irenaeous writes "David Whitehouse, Former BBC News Online Science Editor and an author and astrophysics doctorate has written an article in Britain's The New Statesman magazine asking the question "Has global warming stopped?" In it he says, "that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 as well as every year since 2001. Global warming has, temporarily or permanently, ceased."

Is credible? Or is this just more Oil industry FUD?"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Why Mozilla is commited to Gecko as Webkit popularity grows

irenaeous irenaeous writes  |  about 6 years ago

ars technica has published this article, about Mozilla's continue use of the Gecko rendering engine instead of using Webkit" which was adopted by Apple and Google for use in the Safari and Chrome browsers.

I have been using Chrome on my work PC and find many of its features compelling, and wonder how soon we will see its best innovations in Firefox. Why is Gecko worth keeping if it is outdated and bloated?

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