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'Reading Level' Filter Added To Google Search

metamechanical Re:What about keyword searches? (266 comments)

For Pete's sake, I've never understood why they didn't support some simple subset of regular expressions. Just "simple" stuff, like character classes and multipliers.

Also, while I don't mind being corrected on my spelling (being that, despite trying to be diligent, I certainly make mistakes), what the heck is up with google flatly refusing to search for my exact text? It was fine when you searched for 'x,' they asked "do you actually mean y?" But now, it takes me three searches before I figure out the magic phrasing that will actually do my search and not return "corrected" results.

about 4 years ago
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Tobacco Virus Could Boost Li Batteries

metamechanical Re:Scourge? (161 comments)

Balderdash! The key to preparing eggplant is the following two steps:

1) Slice the eggplant into ~ 1.5 cm - 2 cm slices. Salt one side of each slice. Reassemble eggplant, wrapping with cling wrap to hold it together. Let it rest for ~30 minutes until all the bitter juices leech out, and then wipe each slice dry.

2) Roast or grill eggplant for a couple minutes, until it looks like it has started cooking.

Then, do whatever you want with it.

Also, it helps to know that the eggplant has "male" and "female" fruit, and that the female fruit has a more bitter flavor.

about 4 years ago
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EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

metamechanical Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (267 comments)

I wasn't the [great]grandfather ;^)

Also, ironically, I don't own a gun (although I have no issues with them, per se). I just know that if everyone in my neighborhood did, I would never try to break into their houses (assuming I even had the intent to do so in the first place).

All suppression of a good does is force the creation of a black economy - ne'er-do-wells will still acquire the weapons if they were illegal. In a world where the gun hadn't been invented, I would be loathe to introduce one, but the cat's out of the bag, and if there are malicious individuals with them, I would prefer to be able to reduce their odds of using them against me.

about 4 years ago
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EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

metamechanical Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (267 comments)

Because the police aren't there to save you and your family from a robbery, they're there to file the paperwork after your robbery turns into a multiple homicide... :^(

about 4 years ago
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EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

metamechanical Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (267 comments)

...when in truth there are thousands of kinds, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with the two... and to construct such a contrived logically incoherent pile of crap as that quote above to justify to us that we should be content living as slaves under the moneyed classes is frankly ignorant and repulsive...

I completely agree with you. There is a wide continuum of possible governments. Upon rereading the quote, I believe Lewis was simply conjuring up a second image to act as a foil to the first. Nearly everyone can understand that living under a robber baron is bad, and if given a choice, would not do so. Thus, if a government of moral busybodies is worse, one should not want to live under that either.

thank you for creating in me a new strong dislike of cs lewis, for his logically flawed, bad intentioned thinking in that disgusting quote. what an asshole

That was never my intent, and I'm sorry if I've given you some insult. I merely aimed to state that you would be no happier living under an oppressive bureaucracy of my design than I would be in a "society [that is] regulated and secure". Is complete anarchy good? Certainly not, I agree with you, and would add that anarchy inevitably leads to despotism. As you said yourself, though, there are thousands of kinds of government; championing an overly powerful one because of a fear of your neighbor is not going to give you the results you believe it will.

about 4 years ago
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EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

metamechanical Re:and that's the problem with vigilante justice (267 comments)

i fear my fellow man far more than i fear my government

The catch is, your government is selected from amongst your fellow men, and frequently consists of the worst of them. The individual may be disorganized and chaotic, but a hierarchy is organized and directed at the whims of the most power hungry individuals. Do you fear uncertainty more than oppression?

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. -- C.S. Lewis

about 4 years ago
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Palin E-Mail Snoop Gets Year In Prison

metamechanical Re:Punishment based on victim, not crime (417 comments)

If you have trivially-bypassed locks on your house, and someone "picks" them and walks in, are they still guilty in the United States of breaking and entering? As much as I hate to so heavily punish somebody for a harmless prank, adding "on a computer" to a crime shouldn't change it dramatically. Harm was done, and traditional breaking and entering typically carries sentences greater than what he received.

more than 4 years ago
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Jammie Thomas Hit With $1.5 Million Verdict

metamechanical Re:The Jury is Out... (764 comments)

Stop giving them ideas!!

more than 4 years ago
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Time To Rethink the School Desk?

metamechanical Re:SURE! Why not?? (405 comments)

Don't get me wrong, I understand it, and am willing to part with money in order to help the school district handle more students, keep par with inflation (so they don't have to gut all the goodies and extras, which in the end are some of the few truly valuable parts of the institutions), and all that good stuff, but I am still waiting for the study that links higher school district budgets with more educated students. I wouldn't be upset if they could justify it. But they don't bother!

Schools seem to be one of those few industries where they can mandate steep price hikes practically overnight in order for you to get... the same damned thing. The only other one that springs to mind is telcos.

more than 4 years ago
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Time To Rethink the School Desk?

metamechanical SURE! Why not?? (405 comments)

My school district just declared that their budget is going to increase by 40% over the next 4 years, to over $180 million! Why not throw some of these in there too?? They already announced those numbers so they can let us know that unless we pass gargantuan levies over the next three years, they'll be $70 million in the hole by then - why not throw in some incredibly expensive chairs, too?

more than 4 years ago
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Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'

metamechanical Re:Yay! (841 comments)

The conservative base is about all we have protecting our freedom at this point.

Of course it's protecting them.

It can't sell them to corporations if they're damaged!

</sarcasm>

more than 4 years ago
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Pirate Parties Plan To Shoot Site Into Orbit

metamechanical Re:Outer Space Treaty (301 comments)

I have these schematics for a giant wooden badger.

torrent link please.

more than 4 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

metamechanical Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

I don't frequently take the time to feed the trolls, but It's better than what I'm working on right now, and you were rather rude, so...

Most people don't understand or intuit infinity.

Infinity is a great abstraction, and perhaps difficult for anyone but great minds such as yourself to truly grasp. For practical purposes, however, most people DO understand it to mean something to the effect of "bigger than the biggest number I can imagine."

In fact, the parent doesn't understand infinity, because with an infinite number of doors,, the probability that you picked the car is exactly zero, not "vanishingly small",

It's a turn of phrase. I was alluding to its zero-ness. Just in case your autism interferes with your comprehension in the future, sometimes when people write or speak, they use literary devices to add color to what they say. Best of luck with that.

and the odds are not "very, very high" but exactly 1 that you picked a goat to start with.

Once again, allusion. My post might be your first exposure to it, but I didn't invent it.

Stick with about 1000 doors - that usually delivers the intuition without confusing people!

Get real. People can't intuitively imagine one thousand doors any more than they can intuitively imagine infinite doors. Perhaps when I tell you to imagine 1000 doors, you can pull up a room with each of them labeled, clearly in view, but the majority of humans can't imagine more than 6 or 7 distinct things at once. A thousand, a million, infinite, it doesn't matter. They'll use the same machinery to picture it - "a huge number bigger than I can imagine."

more than 4 years ago
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Proving 0.999... Is Equal To 1

metamechanical Re:This is second place (1260 comments)

The Monty Hall problem and its delinquent cousin the Tuesday Boy problem are genuinely difficult because the answer is highly dependent on the way that the question is posed.

I would argue that the Monty Hall problem is difficult because people don't take into account the fact that the result is NOT path independent.

It would be much easier (I think) to understand intuitively if people realized that it was highly likely that they picked the wrong door to start. A more intuitive way of explaining the problem to somebody would be to increase the number of doors - to say, infinity. If there are infinity minus one closed doors with goats behind them, and a single door with a car behind it, the odds are obviously very high that you picked a goat. The probability that you picked the car is vanishingly small. Therefore, when the host opens every door except yours and one other, and they all reveal goats, the odds are very, very high that the other door hides a car, and yours hides a goat.

Now, reduce that to 3 doors. The same logic applies.

more than 4 years ago
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'Back To the Mac' Media Event On October 20th

metamechanical Re:I welcome our OS IX overlords (349 comments)

I think you forgot long cat.

From everything I learned in school, long cat is long.

more than 4 years ago
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Firefighters Let House Burn Because Owner Didn't Pay Fee

metamechanical Re:This is why Libertarians are morally bankrupt (2058 comments)

Please, for the love of math, stop this.

I'm not going to pull a no-true-Scotsman and say that there aren't people like you described that bill themselves as Libertarian, but at the same time most of us don't fit your mold, so please stop accusing us. It's as empty as if someone slandered socialists, claiming that they would starve to death without the government to hold their spoon. It's disingenuous and insulting, and does nothing to open up productive discourse, but does a lot to prevent it.

Libertarians are in favor of individualism and individual responsibility. Only the most shortsighted and foolish people are in favor of letting a stranger's life be destroyed because they made a hardheaded decision.

The Libertarian response to this is to wonder why they were letting their grandson recklessly burn garbage.

The Libertarian response to this is to expect people to be responsible enough to pay their fire department fees.

The Libertarian response to this is to expect the firefighters to prevent externalities by putting the fire out, and sending the fools who caused it the bill.

It is NOT the Libertarian response to this to herald it as a victory of the free market, or some such nonsense.

If someone in earnest represents Libertarian philosophy to you as "fuck you, I've got mine," that person probably has an ulterior motive, and is using the word Libertarian to mask their true intent. Some of us might take it pretty far, but at it's core, Libertarianism derives its logic from the Non-Aggression Principle. I think a quick reading would find that it takes a twisted interpretation to come to the conclusion that Libertarians encourage the destitution of people that make simple mistakes.

TL;DR: Please, can't we just be rational about these things, instead of just flatly slandering each other?

more than 4 years ago
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100/1 Odds On 'First Contact' Within a Year

metamechanical Re:It's a good tip... (309 comments)

... that some bookies figured that by giving great odds on an impossible events, idiots would flock to give them money.

I feel at times like this that English may be short a word. Now, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment, but pedants like to flock to statements like this and say things like, "anything is possible!" On the flip side though, a word like improbable simply doesn't properly convey the true odds of this happening (not that anyone can guess the TRUE odds, but, really, first contact? pshaw).

I don't have the largest possible vocabulary out there, so there may already be such a word, but I like portmanteaus, so might I propose improbsible?

more than 4 years ago
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Security Concerns Paramount After Early Reviews of Diaspora Code

metamechanical Re:Good thing it's free... (206 comments)

That's a fantastic point. I should have been more specific - what I meant was the only reason security concerns and bugs are being found out in a pre-alpha is that it is open. It is exceedingly rare that a closed piece of software releases up a pre-alpha for general review (and hence, you wouldn't have ever even known about them). In more mature released closed software, though, you're right that my point holds no water.

more than 4 years ago
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Security Concerns Paramount After Early Reviews of Diaspora Code

metamechanical Re:Good thing it's free... (206 comments)

Biases and accusations of bias run rampant on slashdot. So yes, I was trying to avoid just that. I've followed them mostly because I found their way of getting funding novel, and have been curious how it would pan out in the end.

more than 4 years ago
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Security Concerns Paramount After Early Reviews of Diaspora Code

metamechanical Good thing it's free... (206 comments)

Okay, I have no horse in this race, as I only have a passing interest in online social networks (enough to read the article, but not enough to join one), so I am not very passionate about this news in one way or another, but...

Isn't that why it's called pre-Alpha software?? I mean, bugs happen. In open architectures, you fix them. If this were a closed software project, you wouldn't even know about them. If there were endemic, critical flaws inherent in their underlying assumptions going into this project, then that would be news, but "oversold Alpha software contains bugs!!!" is hardly worth noting. Being free software, many eyes will ensure that the Beta version is better, presumably.

more than 4 years ago

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