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Of the options below, I'd most like to learn more ...

mahmud Re:Philosophy is fundamental (515 comments)

But you proved GP's point yourself, didn't you? A brain (neural net, probabilistic Markov chain transmogrifier/compressor, or any other term you prefer) used to process and compress "stupid" Markov chains doesn't qualify as a provably stupid entity no more. Ergo, philosophers are still asking wrong questions!

more than 4 years ago

Russian Whistleblower Cop On YouTube

mahmud Re:I sympathize, but to an extent... (176 comments)

Pragmatically speaking, even under arguably unjust government someone needs to take care of the public law and order. Wouldn't you prefer those people taking care of the safety of the streets to be of high moral stance and have some integrity, even if the state power itself is unjust? And no matter what some rosy-eyed idealists think, living under over-controlling government beats living in anarchy any day.

I will not even go into the whole topic of Russia some of the oppressive government policies may be mirroring the sentiments of the population at large, many of whom are nostalgic for Soviet past.

Anyway, these are real people living there, with real needs, and this cop addresses the issues that normal, middle class people care about and therefore deserves massive respect and kudos, both for speaking up, as well as jeopardizing his safety and career for doing so.

more than 4 years ago

Russian Whistleblower Cop On YouTube

mahmud Re:I sympathize, but to an extent... (176 comments)

It's hard to sympathize with someone when their job description includes conducting laws made by an oppressive government regime.

Are you in your right mind? The guy works in the narcotics squad, how the hell is that "conducting laws made by and oppressive government"? It's not like he is running around arresting journalists and dissidents!

more than 4 years ago

Japan Plans $21B Space Power Plant

mahmud Re:Over $71k per household? (550 comments)

What you say is SOOO true. People who live and breathe new technology are the ones who develop new technology (scientists and hi-tech R&D crowd). Everybody else focuses on toys and/or status symbols.

about 5 years ago

Nokia Leaks Phone With Full GNU/Linux Distribution

mahmud Re:Overage fees (621 comments)

Imagine the overage fees when you exceed the 5 GB per month cap that the network imposes on your server's Internet connection.

Imagine living in a country with competitive telecom market where most GSM/3G providers don't have network traffic cap and flat-rate data plans cost peanuts! (hint: these places actually exist, and I live in one of them)

more than 5 years ago

NASA's New Telescope Finds Exoplanet Atmosphere

mahmud Re:Hot Jupiter, yawn (124 comments)

Sorry, but you are an idiot. The fact that we need more sustainable sources of fuels doesn't mean we should stop all research that is not "practical" here and now.

In fact, science is cheap, comparing to the lumps of money we waste on:

  • Wars
  • Unhealthy habits
  • Retarded causes like creationism
  • etc

more than 5 years ago

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial?

mahmud Re:Squids (803 comments)

What are you saying? Discovering a "mere" fungus on another celestial body would be outright revolutionary, of course provided that the fungus hasn't been brought by the investigating probe from Earth. In fact, finding an extraterrestrial bacteria or plant (or their analogues) would probably be one of the most important discoveries humanity has _ever_ made! Not to mention that it would be exciting to see what sort of biochemistry it would have, its reproductive mechanisms, etc. The jump from no-life to life is conceptually much larger than the gap between various lifeforms.

more than 5 years ago

How Do You Greet an Extraterrestrial?

mahmud Re:There can be different kinds of intelligence (803 comments)

And note that simply having been around longer doesn't denote higher intelligence- 21st century technology knocks Ancient Greek tech into a cocked hat, but I'm not about to claim that we're all far more intelligent than Socrates, Aristotle and Plato.

Once we get implants and augmented intelligence to play around with, the average Joe will easily outsmart Plato & Co, not to mention the potential DNA modifications that will likely be used to produce "faster" brains, with better analytical capabilities, thus making people "wiser" overall.

If aliens have had millions of years to perfect themselves, it's not hard to imagine them leaving their early forms behind, and having merged with space itself.

Humanity is still very young, and 8000+ years of semi-known history is but an instant.

more than 5 years ago

Obama's Proposed Space Weapon Ban

mahmud Re:Childish (550 comments)

I am sorry, but how is their technological disadvantage temporary? So far no totalitarian system has managed to gain a long term advantage over the "free world". Some exmples:

  • Nazis slaughtered and exhiled a lion's share of their scientists, thus limiting their own growth potential
  • Soviets never reached even the 90% of the total technical capability of the West, and even that made their empire go bankrupt during 1980s

In order for the countries of the Middle East to reach the Western levels of technology they would need to offer Western levels of education. Good education would encourage progressively larger degree of independent thought, subversive to the very values the current incarnation of fundamentalists hold so dear. I am talking especially about sciences such as physics and biology, which happen to have direct military applicability.

To make the long story short, in order for the Muslim world to overtake the West, they will have to liberalize, and once they liberalize they are unlikely to see our culture as abhorrent.

more than 5 years ago

Resurrecting the Mighty Mammoth, Cheaply

mahmud Re:$10,000,000, eh? (322 comments)

Who in the hell would want to neuter an animal worth US$10M?!?

Whoever owns the animal, in order to protect his investment by preventing unauthorized copies!

more than 5 years ago

Russia To Study Martian Moons Once Again

mahmud Re:Bread and circuses, minus the bread (119 comments)

I'm not one of those killjoys who think you have to completely solve all human ills before launching anything into space, but it's a big mystery how Russia can come up with money for space, and yet can't seem to raise the standard of living enough to stop its demographic implosion and high rates of unemployment and deadly alcoholism.

Because if you actually studied Economics instead of minority languages, you would understand that Russia is already overspending on its social programmes. Giving money to the poor is the best way to fuel the inflation. Plus 65M$ is a drop in a bucket compared to the current Russian currency reserves.

I am not one of those killjoys who think that poor people shouldn't be helped at all and that the markets should completely take over the welfare functions but it's a big mystery how some people fail to see the big picture even though they routinely travel through the country and are exposed to the economic processes taking care there.

more than 6 years ago


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