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Why We Have So Much "Duh" Science

jth4242 No sarcasm I'm afraid (299 comments)

The scientist need to be able to delude himself into believing it's still science. That's why it can't happen overnight to an entire school or branch of science, but it can happen over centuries to once respectable faculties and it can happen pretty much overnight to those faculties which are newly created.

Yes, it's insulting, but yes, it's as necessary as Monty Python was necessary to the Catholic Church.

*If* the climatologists are self-decepted clerics, they *need* to be called that. It's important that one doesn't call them mistaken or imprecise as that would obfuscate the magnitute of the problem.

As for the OP, I go with sarcasm, although it wouldn't have been sarcasm had I wrote it myself. If it's not sarcasm, I second it.

more than 3 years ago
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Scientists Take Charles Darwin On the Road

jth4242 Re:Please please, PLEASE! Come to Texas all 50 tim (170 comments)

That's preposterous. There is no distinction between science and knowledge, between a scientific theory and a question, between a scientific school and an opinion whatsoever (except perhaps in scope). All of them are, in the sense that they are expressed by individuals, subjective. All of them can match objective reality or not. Whether you claim that there is a God at home or in a school makes no difference as to whether it is true or not and moral or not.

That's exactly why the anti-ID crowd has it wrong. They say: It's ok to lie to your kids at home, just say it's not science. It means that science is outside the realm of truth (ie honesty), thereby destroying the very foundation it rests on.

A lie is a lie and a myth is a myth, you don't need the word "science" to see that.

more than 3 years ago
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The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS

jth4242 What's wrong with fundamentalism? (187 comments)

Your second example is my favourite and yes, the human mind is capable of answering any question about reality, even though of course it will only answer a finite number of them in a finite timespan. A false/true question that can't have false as answer has true as an answer, that's Aristotle's law of the excluded third. We know that for thousands of years. Sometimes it's discovered that the question wasn't a false/true question to begin with, as it turned out for the continuum hypothesis. But usually the statement to the contrary is either a thinly veiled attempt of telling me that I'm insane, or a meaningless triviality decoupled from the origianl question's intent. And ususally it's both.

You are very right in giving this as an example of fundamentalism, as that's exactly what's wrong with the world: There's nothing wrong with Islam, it's extremism. There's nothing wrong with communism, it's just the extremists. There's a lot to capitalism, but some people's stance is just too extreme.

And you know why? "All property is bad" isn't good for you: You want to keep yours. "All property is good" isn't good for you: You want to steal theirs.

So you are wise: You are above all those rigorous ideas and principles and see that everything is relative, there are always many things to consider, two sides of the coin. You are sophisticated, educated, much unlike those simple-minded fundamentalists for which there's only good and evil.

But know that a member of a robber gang is evil *even if* he moves within the ideological center of the gang's irrational superstitions.

more than 3 years ago
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The FSF's Campaign Against the Nintendo 3DS

jth4242 Re:Negative campaigns (187 comments)

The voice of Stallman's church has to get shriller to keep his herd of gnus together. Competition is fierce in the world of irrational sects, and especially these days, where people are getting more and more disillusioned with ideologues of any creed, are not looking good for the professional activist. The FSF also faces the problem that a lot of the late innovation came from greedy egomaniacs rather than grass-roots do-gooders a little bit too obviously. To put it differently, what has Stallman got to offer against Jobs but more frantic screaming?

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Re:I see this as Giving Up (730 comments)

That's very insightful. I don't think I ever realized that connection.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Re:Unemployment Disaster (730 comments)

I pick #1. They can find a new job.

You pick #1. You can't find a new job.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Misunderstanding (730 comments)

You misunderstood Lord Nachos good intentions I'm afraind.

What he actually meant to say, but struggled to do so clearly while not compromising the civility we all cherish, is that you please give him money lest he might be forced to steal your car and that this is surely in your own best interest.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Social Credit and Heinlein (730 comments)

If you think of "the government" as some outside thing, that does seem pretty unreasonable. If you think of it more as "society" or the "community" then it doesn't necessarily seem so unreasonable.

I think of "government" as "society", which again makes me think of people like you.

I skimmed the article a bit: Here's a taste: Votes are public to "encourage responsibility", parties are abolished and replaced by a "union of electors", because else the government would be ruled by "international financiers". The secret ballot is "Jewish".

See Karl Marx' "On The Jewish Question" for a more popular analysis on what the Jews have to do with this.

One interesting system that Heinlein mentioned [...]

The same Heinlein who devised a society in which only those who serve in the military have a right to vote?

Interesting. Can anyone enlighten me whether he was a Commie before he turned fascist or the other way round?

Of course I have no idea how to structure something like this in light of real human behaviour, greed, and the rewards of cheating any system we try to put into place.

I'm sure you know full well, it's been widely known and tried, see 1984 for a rough sketch.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Disposable income (730 comments)

"disposable income"

Some people just have money to dispose, right? Family A "needs" their money without cutting into their ability "to live". Unlike Family B.

This is because you "need" a car, a tv set, holiday, education and whatever else is fashionable. If you want something less fashionable (an own company for example, for which you might need savings), fat chance: You don't "need" that. Destroying this dream of yours doesn't cut into your "standard of living", because that term is coined by people who would never share such a dream.

KermodeBear and I don't look down on Family A, SleazyRidr, like you want to make it look in order to undermine our credibility. We look down on you.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Taxpayer? (730 comments)

Are you sure you are in a free market?

Because in Europe, a great many people think they pay taxes although they are actually receiving them.

I recently read a statement of a deluded German judge (who wants to sue Merkel over having said to be happy about the death of OBL), who stated his opinion "as a taxpayer". If even a judge can be so grotesquely mistaken about who's actually paying whom, it's understandable that most others are too.

And as a receiver of taxes, the alleged generosity begins to look rather hypocritical.

So, which one is it?

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Re:Well then, who does create jobs? (730 comments)

When did it become fashionable to display such a stunted view of politics by saying that "liberals/conservatives say X".

Since men began to think.

What you're complaining at is called a "concept", a word denoting (in this case) a group of people defined by a certain characteristic. While the definition can be debatable, the fact that there has to be a definition can not. To say "liberals/conservatives say X" means that the speaker doesn't hold those terms as devoid of meaning, whatever his intended meaning might be.

Of course it's not classical liberalism, since when does anyone think of that when they hear the term liberal? Certainly not liberals.

You, sir, are an idiot, but that's what it takes to get voted +5 Insightful as a confessed social and economic conservative at /.

more than 3 years ago
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Can Computers Be Used To Optimize the US Tax Code?

jth4242 Re:Well then, who does create jobs? (730 comments)

students are actually given a modest salary for studying and healthcare is provided by the state

Is that meant to be a good thing?

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Filter Bubbles

jth4242 Germany vs. US (408 comments)

You use the Tea Party as an example. Americans can't vote for the Tea Party. They have to vote for the Republicans.

In the US you vote for candidates, not parties. That's why you very often see people become senators, congressmen and even presidents who didn't have a long party afiiliation.

In Germany, political top positions are filled with people who have been a professional polititcian since their youth. Exceptions are very rare, I don't think it ever happened for the head of government (Kanzler). In Germany, you're serving a party, and are rewarded by the party with a paid position in the government once the party got elected. Apart from the "professionals", *all* top government functionaries are party affiliate, ie have a membership. That includes judges (county level upwards), state media, military (not sure actually), education and all sorts of other bureaucracts. These people don't have an ideology. They just know what's good for them.

Please don't quote constitutions or law to prove otherwise, these are irrelevant. It's the mentality, that counts, not the system.

In the US, there's a strong political polarisation that's reflected in congress. It might be much stronger than the reflection, but it is reflected.

In Germany, there is no such polarisation. CDU, SPD, FDP, the Greens are really the same ideology when compared to American diversity. There's "The Left" (yes, that's the name of a party) which is left of the rest, but not much. It's only real ideological difference is whether it's ok to have STASI functionaries in government offices, and they have a different opinion because so many of them have a history in the DDR. There's no point at all in voting.

I was raised there, I live there. It was the internet, google that enabled me to see the diversity of American thought. The gap between American pluralism and German conformism can hardly be exagerated.

more than 3 years ago
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BitCoin, the Most Dangerous Project Ever?

jth4242 Re:Say what? (858 comments)

You mean >>Are standard coins and notes "stoppable" "without end-user prosecution"?

The explanation is: When a private bank starts to give out coinage in order to establish a private currency, the state can stop it without prosecuting the end-user. It's sufficient to prosecute the bank.

If you're now wondering why the bank might want that or why the car might want to stop it, check out Austrian economics for further information.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Filter Bubbles

jth4242 Re:I'm bombarded.... (408 comments)

Note that this stands in stark contrast to the media in Europe, where party affiliation is usually blatantly obvious to all concerned.

No. European media is party-affiliated in the sense that cronies who belong to the party in power get positions in the government-fundend media. Here in Germany, all top functionaries of media (as well as judges, military and all other government bodies), have a party book (are members of a party).

But: That membership doesn't mean anything politically, there's isn't any "moat" between them. Whether the SPD or the CDU is chairing the ZDF is *totally irrelevant* to the ZDF's bias, except for the exceptional cases of a chairmen having slept with hookers or something like that.

This is because parties, at least in Germany, are nothing but a club of cronies with the mockery of an ideological base. (Note Merkel banning nuclear energy and Schröder liberalizing the labor market.)

It's very much the US were the game is still on, and presidents are representing a position distinguishable from their rivals.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Filter Bubbles

jth4242 Ridiculous (408 comments)

Yeah, before all those search engines I was confronted with all sorts of opinions. Socialist and capitalist, religiuous and atheist. I talked to Chinese as well as Americans and Africans, who came travelling by at my doorstep, and I had teachers with a plethora of different ideological viewpoints as well as many different foster parents each providing new perspectives.

Then came google and cut me off from all those viewpoints.

Typical TED.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Filter Bubbles

jth4242 Re:I'm bombarded.... (408 comments)

A couple of points:

Sure, in countries such as Germany, Italy and The Netherlands you see parties which are closer to their idiologic roots than in the US. But in the UK that's not the case:

What are you talking about?

The ideological difference between the republicans and the democrats in the US is *huge* compared to Germany, and it's getting larger and larger with the rise of the Tea Party. In Germany, you don't have to bother to vote: I really doesn't matter who wins.

more than 3 years ago
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The Rise of Filter Bubbles

jth4242 Default? (408 comments)

Default? I got a message box asking me which I want.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Admits Hiring PR Firm To Smear Google

jth4242 Re:Which is why education is important (172 comments)

This is why the dumbing-down of our educational system is so tragic.

I think it's fantastic.

As long as students are taught something, however irrelevant, no one complains.

But if it becomes plain and obvious for everyone to see that it's nothing but malice that sends students to schools were learning isn't even a goal anymore, time will come where there is an end to this farce.

more than 3 years ago

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