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Soviet Image Editing Tool From 1987

trurl7 Re:Stalin was having people edited out for years.. (146 comments)

It's actually quite easy to think of a better citation. The Gulag Archipelago is a work of fiction; Solzhenitsyn has in later life admitted that, especially in regards to the overall numbers, he had made things up. This is not denying reality of what the Soviet regime was up to in those years - simply that you don't want to use the Gulag Archipelago as your primary historical citation.

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

trurl7 Re:With all lack of respect... (1153 comments)

Thanks, happens I have, perhaps they didn't take as well as I'd hoped :)

Also, you derived your answer based on an axiom: that learning needs to be justified. My argument was similarly axiomatic, but based on the opposite assumption. Axioms only need to be justified in terms of their usefulness as a starting point in developing a theory. As I appear to have arrived at a conclusion conformant with observations, I'd say my choice of axiom was ok. :)

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

trurl7 Re:With all lack of respect... (1153 comments)

I completely concur with your criticism of modern USian culture; however, I'd like to point out that America is hardly what one would consider "educated". We have a profound culture of ignorance, which is fueled by religious superstition. I am not surprised at its psychological and physical manifestations.

I believe, however, that the above does not contradict my original point, that the generally higher level of education contributes, in the aggregate, to societal happiness. Consider: how much more unhappy America will become once the majority has lost the ability to read beyond the 3rd grade level?

As to your other point, about compulsive education, I'll be delighted to find a better model, truly; school should not be a camp where one stews for 12 years. And yes, even in the relatively more educated countries kids still don't want to learn, it is, as you point out, human nature. But the opposite does not bear contemplation - indulging these attitudes. Again, I submit that American culture does exactly that by finding every conceivable "disability" to excuse poor scholastic performance. In short, compulsory education is suboptimal, but preferable to its utterly ignorant counterpart.

more than 3 years ago
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How Much Math Do We Really Need?

trurl7 With all lack of respect... (1153 comments)

...for the emeritus professor, but he did not become "emeritus" early enough.

And did he seriously use "taxpayer dollars" as an argument? Is he trolling for local office or something? The entire debate over the usefulness of any form of learning is ultimately predicated over the false assumption that this learning needs to be justified. An educated nation is one that is more productive, more aware, and ultimately happier than its massively illiterate counterparts, irrespective of the moaning of certain truck drivers, soccer moms and ex-professors over enforced learning. I've yet to observe many happy, illiterate nations - in fact the only things they tend to excel at are genocidal warfare and mass starvation.

People, pay attention: no one cares about your objections to learning math; you don't like it, tough. You like your 9-5, do you? Somehow I don't hear you bitching and moaning how we should do away with work. Shove your ignorant objections and STOP getting in the way of those of us who can actually think, 'cause you know what? In the end, you'll be the sad marginalia in the history books emblematic of a "more ignorant age". The rest of us will be praised for advancing humanity.

So, again: stop getting in our way. You are not important. Neither are your opinions. Quit trolling from the pulpit. Btw, fundamentalist Christian ministers, you hearing me? That goes double for you.

more than 3 years ago
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UK Newspaper Websites To Become Nearly Invisible

trurl7 To paraphrase another Brit (454 comments)

From The Times to the Sunday Times, a paywall has descended on the British Isles.

more than 4 years ago
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Wikipedia Is Not Amused By Entry For xkcd-Coined Word

trurl7 Hair Trigger (553 comments)

I haven't followed the Decline and Fall of Wikipedia Editing Standards melodrama in close detail, but it seem that more and more agenda-pushing axe-grinders are dominating the editing process. To some extent, I think xkcd is culturally more significant than wikipedia - xkcd creates; wikipedia catalogues, and not quite impartially at that. It can be replaced, if not in immediate recognition, then certainly by any ambitious community builder (behold the glory of open source). I do hope Wikipedia's editors acquire at least enough humour and humility to recognize that their institution is not beyond, or above, a little gentle teasing before that turns into genuine vitriol-fueled outrage. Admittedly, it may already be too late.

more than 4 years ago
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US Says 4.3 Billion People Live With Bad IP Laws

trurl7 "Protection" (229 comments)

US says 4.3 Billion people live in countries not yet in IP thrall to US corporations

FTFY.

They're using "protection" as in "protection racket" - say, that's a nice economy you've got there... 'be a shame if anything ... happened ... to it.

more than 4 years ago
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Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Review (Lucid Lynx)

trurl7 Re:My test... (567 comments)

There ain't no justice. Thanks, I'll have to try that trick.

more than 4 years ago
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Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Review (Lucid Lynx)

trurl7 My test... (567 comments)

...is pulseaudio. That abomination has been nothing but trouble on two separate machines (custom box and a recent Dell Latitude), and no amount of "try this fix/reinstall that/remove/purge" has helped. This is on several consecutive releases. If it's still broken in 10.04, I'm dumping Ubuntu and never looking back. The audio saga has made me seriously consider Red Hat/Fedora again.

more than 4 years ago
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Colleague Comes Forward To Defend Anthrax Suspect

trurl7 Re:Anthrax... (164 comments)

I agree. Douchebag moderation certainly appears* to be on the rise.

--
* yes, plural of anecdote is not data, blah, blah
 

more than 4 years ago
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Fate of Terry Childs Now In Jury's Hands

trurl7 Re:Please Read the History... (530 comments)

With all respect...it was intended as a joke. Clearly, people at 35 should not be having blood-pressure issues, as a norm. It references the perception espoused by some commentators that 35 is "too old" for IT, patent nonsense though that is. Really, it was just a follow up to the "think of the children".

more than 4 years ago
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Fate of Terry Childs Now In Jury's Hands

trurl7 Re:Please Read the History... (530 comments)

Ok... I gotta know. Why troll? Whoever modded this - I don't mind a genuine disagreement of opinion. But seriously - I entreated the readers to actually know the story. Yes, I'm new here. But why troll? Post anonymously if you have to, but please explain - why did you think I was trolling?

more than 4 years ago
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Fate of Terry Childs Now In Jury's Hands

trurl7 Please Read the History... (530 comments)

...before posting. The frenzy's already started. People - there's a long story here. Do not rely on this summary to tell you the details. Don't litter the thread with inane "he broke the law and should pay" comments. Your fellow non-readers in-spirit have done so on a minimum of twenty prior threads on this issue.

Please, please learn the backstory before commenting. Think of the children. Plus, some readers are getting on in years (35+). They can't handle the spiking blood pressure.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Backs Yahoo In Privacy Fight With DoJ

trurl7 Re:constitutional law professor (173 comments)

In the end, the reason he reversed himself was national security. He gave a response along the lines of "It wasn't the bill I would have wanted, but it needed to be passed, so..." The controversy at the heart of it was the class-action lawsuit immunity for telcos that participated in Bush's illegal wiretapping. Obama stated that he would support no bill that included such a provision. It is this stance that he reversed.

The "pro-bill" side argued, btw, that the revised bill MUST be passed, otherwise the terrorists win. However, they would refuse to support the bill if the immunity provisions were omitted. Basically, national security == telco immunity from prosecution.

more than 4 years ago
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Google Backs Yahoo In Privacy Fight With DoJ

trurl7 Re:constitutional law professor (173 comments)

That reversal is the reason I dislike Obama.
I'm glad people still remember that!

more than 4 years ago
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Innocent Until Predicted Guilty

trurl7 Re:Only useful when analyzing groups (430 comments)

I don't like the misleading/painfully naive thing, but otherwise you're on point. Both the insurance and justice systems DO operate this way. I was attempting to criticize IBM's software from the standpoint of what we claim to be the ideals. In the real world, obviously, the justice system will absolutely fucking love this crap.

more than 4 years ago
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Innocent Until Predicted Guilty

trurl7 Re:Only useful when analyzing groups (430 comments)

Your counterexample is not valid. With respect to insurance payouts, people are essentially fungible, in the sense that it doesn't matter (to the insurance company) whether they pay person A or person B for an operation whose statistical likelihood is 50%. Whereas with respect to punishment, sentencing, and treating a person like a criminal, people are very much NOT fungible.

more than 4 years ago

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