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Comments

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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

ultranova Re:Sigh... (490 comments)

Ironically enough, my source for this idea was Walter Wink's "Powers" series, which is about taking a close look at the Bible and what it has to say about power (hence the name) and social institutions, and how these can be regarded as living things in their own right. And even more ironically, that idea meshes quite well with Dawkin's ideas about cultural memes being analogous to genetics.

7 hours ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

ultranova Re:Sigh... (490 comments)

War has been avoided many times.

So it has. Humans are, after all, also living creatures with their own agendas, such as survival. But every time war is avoided, how is that treated? Like we had won a terrible fight against a great enemy?

Or simply read what you wrote. Yes, war has ben avoided. You could replace "war" with "the Great Cthulhu" or "Slenderman" in that sentence and it would make just as much sense. War is not just an unfortunate failure of diplomacy. It's more, a pattern of behaviours inherited from our ancestors that are always there, suggesting a particular response to any perceived situation. And that pattern has been activated once again, and is guiding people's responses towards WWIII.

8 hours ago
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Invasion of Ukraine Continues As Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Sabre Rattling

ultranova Re:Sigh... (490 comments)

It won't be the end of humanity... There's no chance that this will ever develop to that scale.

War is an archetypal situation. Once the possibility of one starting develops, it has "suction": people react to the archetype, and that threatens to overwhem rational thought. The archetype was worshipped as a divinity in many cultures precisely because war behaves as if it was a living thing seeking to devour people - or, in this case, the entire world.

So yes, there's every chance this will develop into World War III: Last Dance.

9 hours ago
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Kernel Developer Dmitry Monakhov Arrested For Protesting Ukraine Invasion

ultranova Re:Which Invasion? (186 comments)

A good cyberwarfare department could easily post lots of fake satellite imagery to google from multiple sources.

A good cyberwarfare department does what it's told. Gaining foreign hostility is likely one of Putin's goals in all this, because he can use the resulting siege mentality to concentrate more power in his hands. For that matter, economic sanctions work in his favour too, since they get Russians used to lower standard of living which gets blamed on West, thus allowing Putin to move economic resources to military.

11 hours ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

ultranova Re:Slow on the take (406 comments)

For shame, really, because its attached historical lessons are desperately needed these days.

Don't worry, we're about to get re-educated on the matter. And this time there isn't any "free world" left to come to the rescue, just Stalin - er, Putin.

yesterday
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The Passenger Pigeon: A Century of Extinction

ultranova Re:Ecosystem (108 comments)

If the Passenger Pigeon has been extinct for this long, it's safe to say that ecosystems have adjusted to their demise. Let's not see what the consequences of re-introducing them are.

AFAIK there wasn't any dramatic changes when the PP went extinct, so whatever function they had, some other species took over - in engineering terms, the ecosystem switched to using Backup Pigeon System. If so, then re-introducing Passenger Pigeon is analogous to getting primary system back online, which is a good thing both because it re-introduces a layer of redundancy, as well as allows the ecosystem to return to the balance its species have evolved into (and haven't have time to evolve out of), thus giving much-needed stress reduction on a system already facing enough challenges.

yesterday
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

ultranova Re:How do you "decide not to press charges"? (445 comments)

And since that person is apparently now dead, how can they just somehow arbitrarily decide that charges should be dropped?

Because dead men tell no tales. Which rises a question of what incentive does any officer have to ensure that the merely wounded survive? Delay calling help a little and there won't be any confusion over conflicting testimonies.

2 days ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

ultranova Re:yet if we did it (445 comments)

Ultimately he is the only one who can determine if the environment is safe for him to operate that computer and drive. He failed. It cost a life. He needs to pay a price for that.

Alternatively, we could decide that the blame resides partially - probably mostly - on the police department and current social climate as a whole. After all, the latter has all but declared police to be above law or even the very concept of accountability, while the former certainly took advantage of it. People planted into a poisonous cultural atmosphere cannot help but internalize and treat it as a baseline for what's "normal", and can individually only decide whether they're better or worse than that. And assigning all the blame on that individual lets the system that spawned them off the hook, thus ensuring the same thing will happen again, and again, and again.

2 days ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

ultranova Re:yet if we did it (445 comments)

we're generally more willing to believe a tragedy was accidental and not the result of systemic problems between the police and a particular community when it was accidental and not the result of systemic problems between the police and a particular community.

The problem is, this death was a result of systemic problems between the police and society at large, specifically the police thinking - correctly, it appears - that they're above the law.

This also goes to show why you should not tolerate such problems even when you are currently not affected: eventually they'll grow to the point where even you aren't safe.

2 days ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

ultranova Re:I can't believe we're afraid of these assholes (517 comments)

Given the evidence, it's difficult to believe that ideological atheism won't lead to irrationality and bloodshed just as quickly and easily as any religion.

That's because every religion is an ideology and every ideology a religion.

2 days ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

ultranova Re:The key bit (517 comments)

It's pretty fucked up when the US may actually side and assist Iran in stomping out ISIS. It truly is an act of choosing the lesser evil???

I guess there's always a Greater Satan.

2 days ago
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Grand Ayatollah Says High Speed Internet Is "Against Moral Standards"

ultranova Re:If the Grand Ayatollah's against it.... (517 comments)

Religion isn't always right... they don't teach facts, they teach opinions.

This is unlikely to have much to do with either, and more with Ayatollah wishing to stay "Grand": a gatekeeper of Heaven who dictates to ignorant masses in the name of God. That doesn't really work if the masses aren't ignorant, and even more so if they get used to debating.

In other words, power corrupts. It should really be regarded like super-heroin: no matter your initial purposes for getting it, you will be addicted and unwilling to put it down, until keeping it and getting more is all that really matters to you anymore. Which explains why the world is so dysfunctional: every society is led by junkies.

2 days ago
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The Apache Software Foundation Now Accepting BitCoin For Donations

ultranova Re:For fuck's sake (67 comments)

Stop spelling it "BitCoin", it's "Bitcoin", as in common grammar rules where you don't put a cApITal in the middle of a word.

That so, TeknoHog?

2 days ago
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States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

ultranova Re:I disagree (215 comments)

After marijuana I can put the pain aside; it's still there, but I become able to ignore it by making an effort.

Tha'ts a mild psychedelic effect. It lets you see your mind as a set of subsystems rather than a whole. Actual hallucinogens like LSD have similar but far stronger effect, which is why they're potentially very useful in treating things like addictions - but of course that's impossible thanks to the War on Drugs, ironically enough.

It's also almost certainly the real reason for WoD: an outbreak of self-awareness could shatter the chains of delusion which keep people in their place beneath the booths of the Powers That Be. What would happen to our society and it's "elite" if people stopped fighting each other to become millionaires and instead banded together to ensure a decent standard of living for all?

2 days ago
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States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

ultranova Re:Up is down and hot is cold... (215 comments)

I don't see a positive future for the US. Either the middle class will continue to get fucked until everybody is at the poverty level (except the uber-wealthy) or there will be a civil war.

Relax, the way things are going we seem headed for World War III long before that.

2 days ago
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States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

ultranova Re:Congressional Pharmaceutical Complex (215 comments)

Alcohol, being the most dangerous of those ready intoxicants, has the property of having a somewhat tested method of measuring whether your system is effected.

Not really. While acute alcohol intoxication is easy to test, the lingering effects are not. Hangover persists even after all ethanol has been burned up, as do the effects of lack of (restful) sleep, not to mention possible withdrawal effects. And of course depression and outright illness which result from heavy use don't exactly make you a safer driver, nor does lowered constitution due to being too hungover to practice, etc.

2 days ago
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Scientists Found the Origin of the Ebola Outbreak

ultranova Re:Dangerous virus (82 comments)

Of all people, experts of the disease take precautions to avoid catching it themselves, when they do, its not a good sign.

Maybe. Then again, where I work it's the new guys who follow safety guidelines religiously, while those who have been there for a while can't be bothered because, after all, nothing's happened this far so it must be safe.

Experts are humans, and humans are notoriously bad at keeping their guard up with familiar things.

3 days ago
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Anti-Ebola Drug ZMapp Makes Clean Sweep: 18 of 18 Monkeys Survive Infection

ultranova Re:Good news everybody (89 comments)

Drugs like this are what meddle in the affairs of intelligent parasites trying to shape and control populations.

Virii are not the least bit intelligent by any reasonable definition. And Ebola doesn't seem to be causing any evolutionary pressure except for a resistance to itself.

However, it seems this epidemic has exposed the lingering traces of Social Darwinism exemplified by your post, as well as - once again - demonstrated how they could be a fatal weakness if allowed to remain operative.

3 days ago
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This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

ultranova Re:simcity 4 is best simcity (103 comments)

The region mechanic was a completely game-able loophole. It needed quite a bit of work, TBH.

The region mechanic was always an attempt to limit the size of the simulation. The individual citizes in SC4 are too small, presumably because the machines of the day couldn't handle bigger ones. So a real improvement would be redoing the game as a 64-bit only version and discarding the region system.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Finnish HIV vaccine testing to begin

ultranova ultranova writes  |  about 8 months ago

ultranova (717540) writes "FIT Biotech, based on Tampere, Finland, has developed a vaccine it claims will cut the cost of HIV treatment to 1/10th of its current price and might eliminate the virus entirely. The vaccine is based on genetic engineering and will enter clinical human trials next year."
Link to Original Source
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Firefox 4 released

ultranova ultranova writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ultranova (717540) writes "Firefox 4 has been released. However, 100% CPU usage bug seems to be back (and severe enough that I was forced to downgrade back to 3.6 after half an hour or so), and the new interface is just different enough to be annoying; for example, "Open in new tab" and "Open in new window" menu items have been swapped around for no apparent reason.

In short, I recommend you don't upgrade at this time."

Link to Original Source

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