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Is Climate Change the New Evolution?

olderphart Re:Isn't that anti-science? (1055 comments)

What makes it possible to extract energy from food is the extreme unlikelihood of finding something easily oxidized and lots of oxygen in the same place. Enthalpy. Gibbs free energy. Not potential energy. Potential energy is when you drop a can on your foot.

Not that actual, you know, thermodynamics, belongs anywhere near an AGW discussion.

more than 2 years ago
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Do Online Educational Badges Threaten Conventional Education Models?

olderphart Re:violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, (294 comments)

As a result of the 1971 SCOTUS decision http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griggs_v._Duke_Power_Co it's extremely dangerous to an employer to use perceived aptitude in hiring decisions. The gap has been filled by wasting 4+ years out of the life of all kinds of people (with no interest in learning per se) who need a certificate of aptitude that is immune to discrimination lawsuits. The badges are designed to serve the same need. Let competition roll!

more than 2 years ago
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Belarus Bans Use of Foreign Websites

olderphart Re:Tea Party wants that here (361 comments)

I see that protectionism is something you are against, as am I. Hail fellow, well met!

Do you agree with me that no moral case can be made for further impoverishing workers in poor countries to further enrich incredibly rich (by world standards) US union members?

It's not that I don't get the politics of protectionism, I just have this little conscience problem when I consider the big picture.

more than 2 years ago
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What Do We Do When the Internet Mob Is Wrong?

olderphart Re:Question (361 comments)

Obviously because my Latin-fu is weak!

more than 2 years ago
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What Do We Do When the Internet Mob Is Wrong?

olderphart Re:Nurturing accuracy (361 comments)

Over a period of decades, a brand can cultivate a reputation for fairness and accuracy, and thereby develop a very valuable property. But proud brands fall on hard times, and wind up in the hands of MBAs who know how to mine the residual value as they (as a direct result) become completely worthless. HP, anyone?

In the end caveat emptor rules. That said, the formal study of rhetoric as a branch of logic is very helpful in diagnosing the quality of arguments. And anyone who disagrees with me is a big fat (ad hominem) meanie, and I'll punch (ad baculam) them right in the lip if they don't shut up. And I hope you'll forgive my (appeal to sympathy) if I indulge in a completely worthless (argumentum ad verecundiam) display of obsolete erudition tokens in hopes of bolstering my argument...

Honestly though, "I see what you did there" is a much funner reaction to bafflegab than "hunh?". As someone once more or less said, you can't be ignorant and free. Keep your powder dry, I hear there're Sophists at large...

more than 2 years ago
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What Do We Do When the Internet Mob Is Wrong?

olderphart Re:Nurturing accuracy (361 comments)

Reality is what doesn't go away if you don't believe in it, but we s/are/have been/ rich enough to base our decisions on moonbeams and pixie dust, for a while. And the end of that while is hard upon us. I predict valuing truth over truthiness will be more common post-Reckoning.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

olderphart Re:One dimension is not enough... (639 comments)

Strict social rules don't cause careless conception. Prohibition creates, renders profitable, and intentionally[1] perpetuates criminality. Addiction? A personal choice.

So I think you're arguing a false parallel there.

[1] Biggest contributor to anti-weed forces in California? Prison guards' union. I couldn't make up stuff this evil, honest.

more than 2 years ago
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What Do We Do When the Internet Mob Is Wrong?

olderphart Re:Nurturing accuracy (361 comments)

Well, there used to be this thing call "journalism". See, first you make up a story that Advances The Narrative, then you create evidence for it (in a font that wasn't invented at the time it was supposed to happen), and then you're Dan Rather. Truthiness rules!

Snark aside, the rules of the Old Journalism worked moderately well when they were followed. I think our current chaotic information pool will improve in quality as honest brokers of info bundling and verification services emerge and thus develop a reputation. Which will make them powerful, and interesting targets for corruption... Big wheel keeps on turnin'.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

olderphart Re:One dimension is not enough... (639 comments)

There was once a complex and imperfect web of social arrangements with the purpose and effect of making sure most children grew up with both their parents. This has now been revealed to be a phallocentric plot, and now most children are no longer subjected to this exploitation. This battle has been lost; the other socio-sexual issues are just a mopping up operation.

As a result I no longer have the option of avoiding paying for children by not making any - the State cuckolds me every time it takes my money to feed somebody else's by-blows.

As for drugs - why send users through rehab or lock them up? Absent prohibition, enough dope to keep you in a chemical simulation of happiness costs just pennies a day. If you can keep yourself alive while stoned, fine. If not, fine. Not my problem, dude.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

olderphart Re:One dimension is not enough... (639 comments)

OK, we won't regulate sexual behavior... and we won't require anyone to pay taxes to raise someone else's carelessly conceived children. We won't regulate drugs... and we won't require anyone to pay taxes to send their users through rehab. See where I'm going with this?
Externalities don't apply just to corporate behavior. Foolish recklessness followed by demanding bailouts doesn't just happen with banks. And I care about my kids a whole lot more than I do about yours.

more than 2 years ago
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In the simplistic left/right divide, I'd call myself

olderphart Re:One dimension is not enough... (639 comments)

The problem with socially liberal, which I read as "Live any way you like, I don't care. It's a glorious experiment, go for it!" is that modulo the inability to later say "Seems that didn't work out, sucks to be you." it's fundamentally incompatible with fiscal conservatism. I'm reminded of the good/fast/cheap triad.

I'm not sure what to do with secularist in this flight of fancy. Is that a religion where your feelings comprise the summum bonum?

more than 2 years ago
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China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

olderphart Re:"Education" has its limits (463 comments)

Your point on competition is well taken. It's unconscionable that our people should have to compete with, as you term them, "disposable" small brown people. So which do you favor? Genocide or Empire?

more than 2 years ago
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China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

olderphart We have a winnah! Self-exploding idiot division. (463 comments)

Inconceivably? Not only doesn't that word mean what you think it means, neither do rather a lot of the other words you're using.

When you set out to grind the Philistine to dust beneath the shiny wheels of your half-apprehended vocabulary, it helps to be absolutely correct in your usage; to sound, as it were, more like a Buckley and less like a self-educated cellblock Socrates.

Brittain, Bardeen & Schockley would be really pissed to hear themselves called engineers. (Did you know Schockley was a nasty racist in his spare time? Fact.)

I'll give you this much, you've got that self-esteem thing licked all to hell and gone!

more than 2 years ago
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China To Cancel College Majors That Don't Pay

olderphart Re:Not really (463 comments)

Stupid old people advocating policies that not only don't favor them as a class but might even hurt them as a class. Whatever can they be thinking of?

Maybe Stewart, Colbert, and (now with extra class!) Jimmy Fallon can explain it all to us poor senile fools, your grandparents.

more than 2 years ago
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LHC Research May Help Explain the Universe's Matter/Antimatter Imbalance

olderphart OMG humility! (113 comments)

Props, you sound like someone worth listening to. What are you doing here?

more than 2 years ago
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UN Bigwig: The Web Should Have Been Patented and Licensed

olderphart Greed is not a positive good (411 comments)

However, in harness with competition, it beats command and control all to hell, without piling up hundreds of millions of corpses.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: CS Grads Taking IT Jobs?

olderphart Re:CS is part of IT (520 comments)

On my planet, some dude wrote a book called "The Wealth of Nations" a couple hundred years back, and since then "losing jobs to India" has sounded kind of tardulent. Learn how to compete.

about 3 years ago
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Mr. President, There Is No (US) Engineer Shortage

olderphart Re:more software engineers (580 comments)

Recently got hired after 6 weeks of unemployment at a 20% raise from my previous gig. I'm 63. I sent out 3 resumes.

about 3 years ago

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