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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

irrational_design choice AND accountability (1039 comments)

Along with the right to make choices, we need to emphasize the obligation to take responsibility for the consequences of those choices. You can choose not to vaccinate, but the consequence is you can't send your child to public school (or ideally to any public location, such as the library, though that would be difficult to enforce; hmm, no library card without an immunization form?). If you are willing to accept that consequence then go ahead and choose not to vaccinate.

about a week ago
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Preferred Type of Game?

irrational_design Re:Modern board games (171 comments)

Some other euro board games that my family likes: Ticket to Ride (any version, though the Nordic one is fun at Christmas), Thurns and Taxis, Pandemic, and Stone Age.

about two weeks ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

irrational_design Maybe too late... (584 comments)

Last night my 17 year old daughter comes home and announces that she wants to learn to code. I'm astonished since I have been trying to get her interested in coding for years. I, of course, ask her why. She informs me in excited tones about the Google giving out stickers and bracelets and a website called Made with Code. But especially stickers and bracelets. It would never have occurred to me, but maybe giving out trinkets is a way to get girls interested in coding.

about two weeks ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

irrational_design 4 year old ninja (584 comments)

My 4 year old wants to be a ninja. Thank goodness social conditioning hasn't deterred him from that admirable career choice.

about two weeks ago
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Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

irrational_design Re:US Centric? (167 comments)

I knew which one was accurate because I experienced the events first hand and I knew that when I read the US papers on the one hand and foreign papers on the other hand, one aligned with what I knew to be true and the other didn't.

about two weeks ago
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Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

irrational_design Re:US Centric? (167 comments)

This was 20 years ago so I don't know if I could find specific news stories today, but I had been in the middle east and the things the US papers were reporting about the Palestinians were flat out lies. I was frankly astonished. Before this I was naive and believed that newspapers were reputable and reliable.

about two weeks ago
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Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

irrational_design US Centric? (167 comments)

I once spent six months in a foreign country. Upon returning home I was amazed to read major American newspapers and to see for myself how drastically what they were reporting was different than what was actually going on. I knew what I had experienced first hand, and I knew that what the American papers were reporting was flat out not true. (I still don't know what to make of this since it wasn't just one paper, but all the ones I looked at. I'm no conspiracy nut, but how does that happen?). However, the foreign news such as the BBC was reporting the news accurately. Since then I've not trusted anything reported by American papers, after all, if I know that they were mis-reporting something I knew about, how do I know the truth about things I don't know about first hand? I stick to foreign based news nowadays. Fortunately with the internet that is easy to do.

about two weeks ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

irrational_design Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

That's a foolish argument. I could name any number of crimes that affect .01% of people, but if mentioned most people would consider it worth the money to go after the perpetrators. There have already been accounts of people being killed by those stoned, I would therefore classify this as a real and worst crime.

about two weeks ago
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Breath Test For Pot Being Developed At WSU

irrational_design Re:is it really bad in the first place? (342 comments)

I've changed lanes thousands of times without losing control. Of course I've never tried changing lanes while stoned.

about two weeks ago
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Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

irrational_design Re:In spite of this and other similar phenomena... (140 comments)

Suspicion of religion by the common man has been traced to their lack of understanding of religion, and that they view religious statements as coming from just another authority figure, equal to a politician or scientist or any talking head nowadays.

about a month and a half ago
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Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

irrational_design Re:In spite of this and other similar phenomena... (140 comments)

This. I remember a story about a group of physicists working at a lab around the 1950s who were talking about particles that are too small for a human to see without access to specialized training and expensive equipment. A janitor came in and after hearing what they were talking about proceeded to inform them that he knew they were all liars. His reasoning was that you can't believe in anything that you can't touch, see, etc. Since these particles they were talking about could not be seen, they did not exist. Of course he could have exercised a bit of faith that the scientist were right, went to school to learn physics, then get a job at a lab that had access to the necessary equipment to find out for himself. Or he could have just believed in the authority of the scientists that they were honest and what they said they had experienced via their experiments was real and true. But, he chose the path of doubt and disbelief.

about a month and a half ago
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Robot Makes People Feel Like a Ghost Is Nearby

irrational_design Re:In spite of this and other similar phenomena... (140 comments)

I'm not sure I'm following. I assume you are using the term Dualist to refer to those who believe that people have both a body and a spirit (I've never heard this term used with this meaning. Is this something new, something you came up with, or something specific to a particular field of study?) The only thing I can come up with is you are saying something like the following: There is a certain subset of the entire human population who believes that people have both a body and a spirit, there is a certain subset of that group that believes the spirit continues living after death, there is a certain subset of that group that believes that ghosts are a manifestation of spirits of those who have separated from their bodies, therefore this finding will convince those people that they are wrong. If that is what you are saying, then won't their rebuttal be something like "It may be true that a certain percentage of ghost sightings are caused by something going on in the brain (internal rather than external), but this doesn't prove that all ghost sightings are internal constructs. Therefore, ghosts."?

about a month and a half ago
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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Crashes

irrational_design Re:True... but... (445 comments)

But the people who strap their butts to someone else's bomb aren't being forced to do so. Surely those who pay $200,000 to do this would be considered to be in control of their own fate. I think the Everest analogy is a good one. It is expensive to climb everest and has a high likelihood of resulting in death, but nobody is forced to do so.

about a month and a half ago
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Italian Supreme Court Bans the 'Microsoft Tax'

irrational_design Re:And so therefor it follows and I quote (353 comments)

I think every few years is a bit of a stretch. I have a mac from early 2008 that I upgraded to Yosemite (the version of OSX that came out recently) and it works great. This of course depends on your definition of "few". For myself, 6 years is more than a few.

about 2 months ago
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Preferred smartphone screen size?

irrational_design Re:Phones getting too big .. (258 comments)

I don't think this is true (for me). I read tons of books, played tons of games, edited a lot of documents on the 5. I've moved up to the 6 but I don't feel it really gives that much more room. For me you really have to move up to something like the nexus 7 before I see a lot of benefits from a larger screen.

about 2 months ago

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