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Comments

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Scribd Switches To HTML5

zappepcs Re:Not Really HTML5... (177 comments)

I'll settle for unruly code if it deprecates and banishes flash... hands down

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Accelerator Data Skewed Toward Elderly

zappepcs Re:Here's a question (776 comments)

This is an absolutely valid point. The software seems to not detect this aberrant input signal behavior. A lesson for software coders everywhere: validate your inputs, restrict your outputs... where it is possible to do so. In this case it might be possible to actually manually create these inputs, so a second sensor system should be implemented in tandem to verify this command, and simply ignore the one that shows 'odd' data. Maybe NASA will find this. Who knows. I do know that this is a huge problem for many systems, not just cars. It would not take much to get a microwave oven to detect some dangerous situations and shut down, still, we don't see such as generally available.

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Accelerator Data Skewed Toward Elderly

zappepcs Re:Here's a question (776 comments)

I prefer to posit that the young canine will have some carnal knowledge on the morning after.

more than 4 years ago
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Toyota Accelerator Data Skewed Toward Elderly

zappepcs Here's a question (776 comments)

If the vehicle has that much computer controlled functionality, why doesn't the black box tell which pedals were pressed at the time of impact and for the moments before impact? The black box system is arguably an invasion of privacy, but in this case it would go a long way toward fixing the problem(s) and perhaps saving lives.

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Launches, FCC Teardown Leaked

zappepcs Re:3...2...1... Wake up! (617 comments)

Dude, you can wear shit on your head and call it a fucking hat for all anyone cares, just don't expect to be popular. Likewise, don't think you can take it to the local cleaners and get it cleaned for $2.49. You're going to have to buy special shit-hat cleaner, and probably a special shit-hat drying stand. But hey, you have personal choice.

I wasn't being snide, simply pointing out that there are issues with iShit that everyone seems more than happy to overlook. Just because you personally think the coolaid tastes good doesn't mean that it has no poison in it.

Go ahead, celebrate their success and your personal choice to use them, but also be honest an admit that what they've done is not all good for the entire market; that what Apple has done is not pushing the boundaries of anything but their own profit margins. There are a few things they have not done:

Participated in promulgating open standards
Created devices that use and promote open standards
Paid all their licensing fees (apparently)
Created technology that improves the markets they participate in (to argue you must show that without Apple that technology would never have happened)

Both Apple and Microsoft fail in many of the same ways when it comes to innovation and improving the market. None of this is snide anti-fanboi rhetoric, it's simple observation. If you try hard, perhaps get some help, you might be able to do this too.

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Launches, FCC Teardown Leaked

zappepcs Re:3...2...1... Wake up! (617 comments)

I alwyas find it "interesting" when people credit Apple for inventing stuff. They successfully packaged current tech with overpriced proprietary lock-in service. That may technically be innovative but I will argue that its not good for all the market and adding DRM to anything is definitely in the evil category. So go ahead, celebrate the marketing success but see the damage they've done for what it really is. Your same thinking can be applied to Microsoft. Neither are ultimately good for the consumer at large.

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Launches, FCC Teardown Leaked

zappepcs Re:3...2...1... Wake up! (617 comments)

Actually, NO. I was quite happy with a generic 2GB MP3 player made by many different manufacturers. Some of them came with decent features, tactile controls, and did other things like voice record etc. They did not come with lock-in, suited my needs, and the cost was somewhere around... oh $12.00 USD. I could afford to put 3 of them in my brief case if I wanted. All I needed was a USB port and some headphones. No hacking required, no big price tag, no lock-in. Just music from a small device with headphones. There are and were many such devices. I strongly suspect that people who go gaga about iCrap will only be happy in death if they get a designer cancer.

more than 4 years ago
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iPad Launches, FCC Teardown Leaked

zappepcs Re:3...2...1... Wake up! (617 comments)

Whoa there Nelly. Once you remove the coolness factor from it, It's not just an MP3 player, it's a proprietary lock-in MP3 player that costs way more than it needs to. The iPad will be the same. The cool factor is nothing short of sales magic. The first time I saw an iPhone, I thought to myself that it's clever and works fairly well. Then I tried to make a phone call. Ooops. Then I looked at the music capabilities... another ooops. Every time the device added lock-in or required that I jump through hoops to use it with Linux, it's coolness factor dropped by at least half. In the end it doesn't do enough to make it worth the extra cost.

The iPad will be the same, or at least has started out with all the same flashing lights and bragging. Maybe in 6 months when normal people get a look at one they will see it as the same 'magical' do-nothing-special device that the iPod and iPhone turned out to be. If there is any lock-in or I'm required to jump through hoops to use one with my home network, then Apple can keep them. All of them. I'm not likely to buy a hammer that requires I buy special gloves from the same company to use it, or restricts which nails I can use it to hit. You can go gaga all you want about how cool it is but if you do I'm taking you off the Christmas party invite list.

more than 4 years ago
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The Struggle To Keep Java Relevant

zappepcs Re:Just let it die (667 comments)

I agree with this. Oracle will have to do some serious sucking up to the world to convince anyone they are not out to destroy everything that MS licensing was unable to touch. I'm not saying that Oracle sucks, just that their business model is not really where the world has been migrating to lately. For more or less all the reasons that MS products are not looking so good these days to many people, Oracle products (including the products they buy) will also not look good. There is reason to think this looks like a sinking ship taking on ballast weights.... IMO

more than 4 years ago
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Federal Appeals Court Says Sex Offender's Computer Ban Unfair

zappepcs Re:Eh? (478 comments)

You are not correct. Any animal has the ability to modify its behavior and override instinct/desires when it is suitably expedient to do so. My dog may bark at you when you walk past my fence, but he will not do so when he knows I'm watching. This is much the same as *most* criminals - they do not commit crimes if they know someone who will get them punished is watching.

Molesting children is corrosive to society, as adjudged by the majority. Killing them does not ensure this trait is bred out of the community as it is not shown to be an inherited trait. The appropriate thing to do is treat the problem responsibly. You do realize that you're suggesting we shoot priests in the head with a gun, right?

I'm not sure how well that will go down, but I might buy one of the tee shirts that will be sold afterwards.

more than 4 years ago
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Standards Expert — "Microsoft Fails the Standards Test"

zappepcs Re:Alex Brown gets heart broken (177 comments)

So, here's a new motto up for grabs: Don't be evil... unless you can pay the MS licensing fees?

more than 4 years ago
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Stalker Jailed For Planting Child Porn On a PC

zappepcs Re:Moral of the story. . . (368 comments)

Not only that, but you could do it with a virus which is very picky about which computers it makes such changes to. Indeed, you could have a virus out in the wild today that is just waiting to find its way to your hard drive where it will find your name or some other piece of information before it begins doing what it was programmed to do. Since the virus is essentially a static file (non aggressive) on all other computers, the chance it would get wiped by antivirus software is much less.

more than 4 years ago
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New Litigation Targets 20,000 BitTorrent-Using Downloaders

zappepcs Re:Good thing (949 comments)

I look forward to the day that people are forced to stop downloading/pirating music and videos. It would be awesome to see the look on legislators faces when they are told: look, no increase in profits. Told you so, there was no loss in profits to begin with. Now, undo all that crap that you did to protect a dying industry that doesn't even know it's own customer base well enough to stay in business. If you don't undo it, I'm going to get all my pirate friends to spend their efforts on getting you unelected rather than on worrying about downloading things. See, on the one hand you get a nice summer vacation from the entertainment industry and on the other hand, you lose your job. You pick.

more than 4 years ago
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US District Judge Rules Gene Patents Invalid

zappepcs Re:Monsanto (263 comments)

Yes, and Monsanto employees and representatives should attempt to avoid walking on the target range of farmers accused of innocent infringement, though I think it would improve the world if they couldn't help themselves but to sit on target ranges more often. Our very own former Vice President set a precedent for the accidental shooting of people in hunting parties and on target ranges. In case the FBI is listening, I'm not advocating that people shoot at Monsanto employees and lawyers. Indeed, I think those people should shoot themselves and save us the misery they cause. I just think it would be more convenient if more farmers had their own shooting ranges.

more than 4 years ago
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Warner Brothers Hiring Undercover Anti-Pirates

zappepcs Re:My only question is... (443 comments)

And of course, the other end of the story, interns that end up with large medical bills, difficulty seeing out of both eyes, and other maladies the befall those who snitch for a living. I'm sure they've figured out how to make such snitching legal, but they are headed down the path of the 'war on drugs' that most of the USA has engaged in. To my knowledge, it has done nothing to stem the drug problem or the flow of drugs. It has on the other hand improved the technology that drug dealers use, in an ever spiraling war of attrition. Apparently this wasteful 'war on drugs' (life, money, resources) has not even been good as an example of what NOT to do. It's frustrating to see. Yeah, I know it's not quite the same thing, but close enough. The courts didn't help, so naturally the next step is to hire spies and snitches. What could possibly go wrong?

more than 4 years ago
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Will Your Next Touchscreen Be Touchless?

zappepcs Re:Why do researchers (121 comments)

Tactile feedback does not sell new technology. What's more, waving your hands about in front of the screen is absolutely certain to be less confusing to your average computer user than a keyboard and mouse, which are more or less clearly labeled. We already have trouble with locating the 'any' key. There is no telling what kind of issues this technology might bring.

Tech support: ok, ma'am, slow down, just tell me what happened and we'll get this problem sorted out.
Customer: Well, I was reading email when my sister phoned. We were talking away when the next thing I know, the screen on my computer was all jumbled up with funny letters, and now I can't find any of my emails. They're all GONE.
Tech support: Ms Bonneti, do you and your sister talk with your hands?
Customer: What does that have to do with anything?

click.....

more than 4 years ago
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The Economics of Perfect Software

zappepcs Re:Oh Please (201 comments)

It was just supposed to "look good" to go with the story, but I guess having a bug was just as good :-)

more than 4 years ago
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The Technology Behind Formula 1 Racing

zappepcs Re:there are laws, too (175 comments)

Yes, changing the law is one solution. 55 mph speed limits worked well. IMO it's much more realistic to force efficiency on users by using the law to make manufacturers make it easier to be efficient. Technology in the vehicles will do that, and is doing that already. The better our technology, the better our efficiency. I would like to see electric vehicle racing as a way to drive that technology further and faster.

more than 4 years ago
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The Technology Behind Formula 1 Racing

zappepcs Re:Great! Now we can call it something else! (175 comments)

Why should technology not be in the sport of motor racing? It's technology that will push our passenger vehicles from 30-ish mpg to much more than that. Sure other vehicles can do more now, but lets take that ever popular SUV of USA. How do we get it making 75 mpg? Technology. The things that motor sports racing have done in the past have trickled down to passenger vehicles. If you want a damned flying car, it's going to need some technology! I say up with car geek competitions! Up in the air damnit!

more than 4 years ago
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The Economics of Perfect Software

zappepcs Re:Oh Please (201 comments)

You are describing the resources vs number and type of bugs. With enough resources, both problems would be addressed: if $file.size > 32Gb then err_msg and return. In this case, global replace is probably more work to fix. Still, it comes down to resources and the squeaky wheel syndrome.

Lets not ignore or forget that in many commercial situations, the propensity for Marketing and Sales groups to describe the problems opposite of how I did. That is to say they will promise the hard fix before the easy one to get the sale. This in turn negatively affects the resources vs. problems algebra.

3(-2x + 1) = -6x - 7 looks good on paper so far... Sure, global replace is easy says the salesman, the dev teams are working on it already.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Data Mining for Terrorists, Doesn't Really Work!

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

zappepcs (820751) writes "The most extensive government report to date on whether terrorists can be identified through data mining has yielded an important conclusion: It doesn't really work. A report scheduled to be released on Tuesday by the National Research Council, which has been years in the making, concludes that automated identification of terrorists through data mining or any other mechanism "is neither feasible as an objective nor desirable as a goal of technology development efforts." Inevitable false positives will result in "ordinary, law-abiding citizens and businesses" being incorrectly flagged as suspects. The whopping 352-page report, called "Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists," amounts to at least a partial repudiation of the Defense Department's controversial data-mining program called Total Information Awareness, which was limited by Congress in 2003. Full story here http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10059987-38.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20"
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zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

zappepcs writes "The Washington Post is running a story about the U.S. Terrorist database and how there are so many errors from its use. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic le/2007/03/24/AR2007032400944.html

" Terror Database Has Quadrupled In Four Years
U.S. Watch Lists Are Drawn From Massive Clearinghouse

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page A01

Each day, thousands of pieces of intelligence information from around the world — field reports, captured documents, news from foreign allies and sometimes idle gossip — arrive in a computer-filled office in McLean, where analysts feed them into the nation's central list of terrorists and terrorism suspects.

Called TIDE, for Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, the list is a storehouse for data about individuals that the intelligence community believes might harm the United States. It is the wellspring for watch lists distributed to airlines, law enforcement, border posts and U.S. consulates, created to close one of the key intelligence gaps revealed after Sept. 11, 2001: the failure of federal agencies to share what they knew about al-Qaeda operatives. "

The question is 'How do slashdot users keep such data straight. If its a database and somewhere in it is two records; both for people named John D. Elvinhaus, who both lived in or near Denver at the same time, one who works at 7-11, one works at a security company.

What are the correct ways to keep these records straight, unconfused, not marked as duplicates, or in this case, confusing both as terrorists when only one of them has some unbelievably small link to some terrorist activity? What can the government do to avoid this issue?"

Journals

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Thoughts on thinking.... circular much?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

On an earlier post, tqft (619476) kindly left an informative reply. That and some random articles on strong AI have had me thinking. It's Sunday, the coffee is hot, and I feel like jotting down a few thoughts.

A summarization of some other's thinking goes kind of like this: The mind is too complex to be implemented in silicon or by digital computers. Digital computers are deterministic, and thus could not be used to implement strong AI or intelligence.

That all sounds good, if you lived 500 years ago IMO, but when you consider information like that passed on by tqft (link above) you have to think more about it.

Yes, a simplistic linear program cannot imitate intelligence. Even a complex multi-threaded linear program cannot do so. This is easy enough to agree to. If it was not true we'd already have Strong AI among us.

What I see is that seemingly every day another discovery is made about the human brain, human physiology, and the body in general. Recently there was a discovery about a new enzyme in the human and rat brains. Yes, that changes how we need to study the brain with regard to genetically managed functions. We as a race have mapped various areas of the brain that are involved with specified functions. If you think of not a single computer but a group of them working in concert, each has only a small number of 'tasks' to work on. I don't mean try imitating the human mind on an IBM super computer but on a huge cluster of them.

Why so much HPC power? Simple: we are only now finding out the many ways in which neurons pass information and form data sets. Think of how we remember things, associate things, process information, process geophysical location, and many other things that most of us take for granted since it has been part of our lives since day one. Each of those processes needs to be managed, to be parsed and fed to various other processes. Nothing linear about it.

We know that memories act on each of us. The smell of burning weed will cause each of us to have a different memory brought immediately to mind. Why? It's not something we are programmed to do, so where does it come from? It comes from our total previous experiences and what we personally have marked as important among them. This puts subjectivity in our minds rather than objectivity or programmed response.

Strong AI researchers should be working on imitating parts of the brain by function, not by form. Imitating 10 billion neurons is not going to do it, imitating the function of that group of neurons one function at a time is... IMO.

Vast amounts of information must be processed in different ways at the same time. A quick example is that of a person seeing a picture of a plastic duck, one of those pull toy things with wheels on it.

Even as you read that, you had things come to mind. What were they? Some of us who surf the less wholesome parts of the Internet will think of /b/. Others will think of many other things. It is personal experience, not programming alone that create our existence as different, unique, and that of an intelligent being.

Today's computers do not have the ready ability to store and process that volume of data. Even we humans cannot store all of the experiences of humanity, thus we have different reactions to any stimulus. Social functions help us to have the same memories and reference points. This is a problem for which there is relatively no simple ready answer. Memories.

Some who argue that getting the intelligence of a dog or cat into silicon is a good start, but that still has the problem of storing and processing memories. Even that seems a distant goal. Memory that last no longer than 'power down' just won't do it. Creating software that can put together memories even for simple things, like the experience of being in the living room and moving to the kitchen, and understanding what 'outside' means will be difficult without a functioning brain.

I think we need to work on putting supercomputers in very small spaces. Maybe the size of a USB memory stick so you can plug many of them into a system to work together.

Seems a long way off

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Math is important - and intriguing

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I've always wondered about things. What goes on in my head is far more strange than anything you are likely to find on the Internet most days. Things like how mammals came to have 5 digits for the most part. Yes, I know evolution explains it fairly simply but that does not explain how we almost all stuck with 5 digits and the body symmetry.

How math seems to evidence itself everywhere in nature. Perhaps it's just that math seems that way in explaining how nature is. I still wonder if there is a relationship here that has a cause elsewhere that we should be looking at.

Today I read an article about Moby Dick or rather, FTFA:

The following challenge was made by Michael Drosnin:

When my critics find a message about the assassination of a prime minister encrypted in Moby Dick, I'll believe them.
(Newsweek, Jun 9, 1997)

Note that English with the vowels included is far less flexible than Hebrew when it comes to making letters into words. Nevertheless, without further ado, we present our answer to Mr Drosnin's challenge.

Relate this to MD5 hash collisions - which now seem inevitable, if rare, and it feels like I'm seeing a pattern. We used to think a trillion dollars was a lot, no longer. Large numbers like PI seemed huge, but perhaps they should not be thought of like that anymore.

I am not a statistician by any means, and advanced math hurts my head for the most part. Hopefully someone out there will point to a URL that explains more. As we analyze nature further we find ways to make materials that mimic nature and coincidentally include more math in their structure. Other advances are based on nature and math that could revolutionize how we as a species live on this planet.

I'm not linking to any of the stories describing things I've mentioned - sorry.

I was thinking the other night about AI. We attempt to mimic the human mind mostly and I don't think it's a perfect example of the 'I' part. Seems we have 2 brains with large connectivity between them. We have 5 senses and can do approximately 7 things at once. So 1,2,3,5, and 7 seem to be important numbers. Fibonacci excelled at the stuff that makes my brain hurt so I'm not going to analyze this much right now, but can you see any similarity to his math and these seemingly important numbers I've mentioned? It could be pure coincidence. It might be something else.

Does anyone have any URLs that explain more of this? Something that might stop me feeling a bit like Neo? I'd like to understand more and explore it more.

Thanks for any help anyone can direct my way.

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Trust me....

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Stra(i)nger: So, what church do you go to?
Me: I don't.
Stra(i)nger: What church did you go to as a kid? Your parents?
Me: This is not a conversation I want to have with you.
Stra(i)nger: No, seriously, what church do you go to? You have gone to church, right?
Me: I tried... sigh... I go to the church of [insert my name here].
Stra(i)nger: What church is that? What kind of church is that?
Me: A church you've never heard of, and one that won't let you join easily.
Stra(i)nger: It's a christian church, right? You believe in god don't you?
Me: Trust me, there is no god.
Stra(i)nger: what? Why should I just trust you that there is no god, of course there is a god.
Me: Trust me, you might as well, you trusted some other puck you don't even know to reliably inform you that there is a god. At least you have met me.
Stra(i)nger: Not true, I know there is a god.
Me: How so? Did you talk to him in person? Did he revive you from the dead with his own two hands? Did he personally perform some miraculous suspension of the laws of the universe for you to witness?
Stra(i)nger: Well, not exactly, but I'm born again, and the bible tells us there is a god.
Me: You don't know the people that wrote the bible or why they did, nor the people who translated it or what their motivations were, or if they were honest people or not. "Born again" is just a figure of speech. I like to think I woke up from the dream you're having now, and now I *FEEL* reborn, or that I have a new life. I can even remember the moment it happened.
Stra(i)nger: Really? When was that?
Me: The instant that I realized I'm an atheist; that there is no god; and that you, like I was, are living in a fantasy world.

... depending on the Stra(i)nger the conversation ends there or very shortly after. Sometimes with swearing at me and curses of damnation and such.

Some religious people are just not sane. They insist on talking about it, and then tell you that they are right and you are wrong. They will even damn you for thinking they are wrong.

And people want to know why atheists are getting vocal. Trust me, it's not because religious people left us alone and allowed us to participate in life without needing their consent; without having to listen to their lunatic rantings; without having to put up with them trying to subvert the government into a branch of the church.

Trust me..... or read this if you want to see what I'm talking about. This story is absolutely priceless. Here is more food for thought for you.

Proof of the existence of the Abrahamic god is nearly 2000 years old, and still not working. The evidence for disbelief in any god at all is growing every day. How much blood do you have to lose before you believe the people telling you that hitting yourself in the face with a baseball bat is not healthy? Apparently a lot of it if you believe that the blood is merely the imagination of the unbelievers. Mirror, mirror, on the wall.... who in the land is the sanest of them all?

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WTF does religion have to do with it?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I just found this site: http://charterforcompassion.com/

The video has people talking about religion, civility, and common sense morality. I say common sense morality because morality is derived from common sense, not religion.

They are talking about getting the world to realize that some moral teachings within religions are the same morality that is among us even without religion. That is to say that it is not borne of religion, but of common sense. The golden rule? Come on now. You do not have to be religious to see the common sense of that.

I'm thinking even Bonobo primates understand this. I won't steal your bananas if you don't steal mine. I won't hit you with a stick if you don't pick on those in my group. It's common sense. No religion required.

Lets think about this for a moment. Yes, there are somewhat militant defenders of atheism, the four horsemen and all that, but they are hardly a physical match for the millions of people who go out to 'witness' to others. They are undefeated warriors of logic in the public arena, but they cannot stop the indoctrination of young children. They cannot stop the spread of hatred that is xenophobia. While religions pretend to be compassionate, accepting, and loving, they seldom manage to be viewed that way. It does not take an atheist to judge them. All other sects judge them already. We have been trying to teach morality via religion for how long now? oh yeah, 2000+ years. It seems that the religious among us are the most intolerant. I think it's about time that we tried something different. This current plan is not and has not been working out very well.

Those Christians among us, ask yourself this: if your god is so loving and powerful, why are there still wars? If your message of love is so important and powerful, why are there still starving children in the world. Why is there still hate? Is your message failing? or is it your theistic beliefs that fail? Yes, of course, everyone has to believe in your god as strongly as you do before change will happen. Why can't we apply common sense to matters of man without bringing in some invisible alien to tell us what to do?

The religious among us want people to accept their beliefs so that the world will be just. I care not for religions, and I still want the world to be just. I want people to do what is fucking common sense.

If you Christians were sitting in front of a wall, bashing your head against it with blood running down your face, I'd try to help you. As things are now, you turn and tell me I'm wrong because I don't bash my head too. I'd be willing to let you bleed out on your own, but you keep coming to my house to invite me to come to your church and bash my head on a wall.

If you are reading this and are somehow offended, you have no reason to be. You didn't have to come here.

Is common sense and critical thinking a substitute for religion? NO. I say that because religion was forced on people, replacing the former. That is to say that real coke is not a substitute for a substitute coke. When you get the real thing, substitutes are not needed any longer. Religion was the substitute.

********** Update/addendum *************

There is a reason that atheists are becoming militant-like. That reason is simple: if atheists do not fight for their rights, they will be washed away in a great movement to create a christian country that destroys anything not in agreement with it.

A story about how American Atheists Inc. sued the state of Kentucky in state court over a 2002 law that stresses God's role in Kentucky's homeland security alongside the military, police agencies and health departments. The group claims the law violates both the state and U.S. constitutions.

Edwin F. Kagin, national legal director of Parsippany, New Jersey-based American Atheists Inc. says "It is one of the most egregiously and breathtakingly unconstitutional actions by a state legislature that I've ever seen."

Words like this are fantastic as they leave no doubt as to just how wrong this is. I won't quote all the evidence to support separation of church and state as many have already done this. What I want to do is bring to your attention this group, and their work to help atheists everywhere. Not only are they helping atheists, but they are helping Jews, Muslims, agnostics, Buddhists, GLBT groups, and basically anyone who is not accepted by the fundamentalist christian sects. Should the government of any state or all of them become dominated by christian views we are all in trouble. Our only hope then would be god himself, and we know how that will work out.... especially if you are adjudged to be in cahoots with the devil. I'm sure there is some precedence we can draw from the Spanish inquisition, or perhaps the witch trials in this country.

Of particular concern is a 2006 clause requiring the Office of Homeland Security to post a plaque that says the safety and security of the state "cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God" and to stress that fact through training and educational materials.

How in the hell is this NOT as bad as Jehovah's Witnesses knocking on your door and teaching you about their religion? Not only that, but can you show me a state who managed safety and security WITH the help of some almighty god? The Jew's (god's chosen people) never managed it. Currently they use nazi tactics to secure 'safety and security' of their state. Just ask the U.N.

The plaque, posted at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort, includes the Bible verse: "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."

Personally, I'd rather have a quote from Heinlein if we are going to put fiction quotes in public buildings, such as this one:

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

There are lots of other quotes too.

And here is a pretty good quote FTA:

"Kentucky isn't the only state dealing with religious issues, but Ed Buckner, president of American Atheists, said it's alone in officially enlisting God in homeland security. "I'm not aware of any other state or commonwealth that is attempting to dump their clear responsibility for protecting their citizens onto God or any other mythological creature," Buckner said.

Like I said, not even the Jews are trusting god to make it 'all okay' in their state.

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Global Warming - Myth? or Hysteria?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Disclosure: I am not a scientist. Hell, I'm not even a college graduate ... yet. I am however what I think of as a reasonable and thinking man. Please, if you are a climate scientist do speak up here. Even if you are a non-climate scientist, please speak up.

I have presented poorly my beliefs on global warming and climate change on several occasions in the past. I have finally found someone that seems to speak in accord with my understandings of the matter. Despite the fact that this has a particular Australian slant, the reasoning behind it applies to any country.

http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2008/451/the-futile-quest-for-climate-control

In this article Robert M. Carter addresses the politics and rumor that permeate almost every discussion of climate change, and of ALL discussions of global warming.

His is a reasoned voice of calm analysis, taking time to note the politics and history of the current 'out of control' debate. He does not delve into the science as I like to, but he does calmly discuss the politics of the discussion. When politics are in the way, science can make no progress as he notes:

The basic flaw that was incorporated into IPCC methodology from the beginning was the assumption that matters of science can be decided on authority or consensus; in fact, and as Galileo early showed, science as a method of investigating the world is the very antithesis of authority. A scientific truth is so not because the IPCC or an Academy of Science blesses it, or because most people believe it, but because it is formulated as a rigorous hypothesis that has survived testing by many different scientists.

emphasis is mine.

The big problem with self confessed experts on climate change that I have is this: If you can tell me when and why of global warming, why can't you tell me the when and why of global cooling? Surely if you understand the Earth's climate mechanism(s) you should be able to tell me both, and consequently why and how much carbon dioxide will affect that balance. (if we choose to call it a balance of warming and cooling)

Clearly, since we have not been able to disprove gravity, the law of gravity stands as has been stated... even if we suspect there are subtle differences between reality and that law due to new information. Clearly, many other scientific laws and theorems have withstood much criticism and testing, and they remain the best explanation that we have. I have yet to see anything that even intimates that it is as strong a proof of global warming as these other things have. That is to say, if there were inarguable proof in abundance about this global warming, we would not still be discussing it. Do you argue with coworkers about whether gravity exists or not? Whether the world is flat or not? We don't yet have that kind of proof, so I think that alarmist attitudes are unnecessary and cause discordant and counterproductive discussion and activities.

I have searched for some time now and have yet to find cogent argument for or against global warming. There is some for climate change, but it is incomplete and often hijacked by global warming alarmists for their own purposes. The ONLY critical thinking that I've seen to date is that of people like Robert M. Carter who advocates a more calm, scientific approach to determining exactly how the Earth's climate mechanisms work before deciding that we are in dire need of making drastic and exorbitantly expensive changes to save the planet. More specifically, he concludes in part with:

Natural climate change being an important human hazard, research funding for climate change issues should be maintained at a healthy level. But the focus of the spending needs to be shifted from its present overemphasis on "greenhouse" alarmism and computer modelling research to a balance of: (i) documentation and analysis of modern weather patterns (earth observing systems), and patterns of past climate change (stratigraphic study); and (ii) deepening our understanding of all mechanisms of climate change, not just radiation theory .

emphasis is again mine

Can anyone out there, who happens to have enough spare time to read this journal, explain to me why it is that we should vary from this conclusion and move directly to alarmist reactionary wasteful efforts to change something we have very little real understanding of? While you are explaining things, please also explain how and why what you think we must do today to save this planet from global warming will not cause greater harm in 10 years or some other future date.

Please feel free to agree or disagree, but if you wish to state your belief that global warming is man made or not, please provide some links or cogent argument as to why. I'd rather see something that takes me hours of reading to understand than someone simply telling me that I'm stupid because I don't want to buy into the alarmist ideals of CO2 obviously causing harm because of SUVs etc.

I truly want to understand the global climate mechanism(s), not just your argument of why we need to drive smaller cars or use nuclear power. I'm actively seeking help in understanding the Earth's climate mechanisms.

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zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Sometimes you see an opinion piece and it just seems to right to let it settle alone on a blog site. Below is such an opinion, and it is taken from http://frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=B93243EA-B390-4B86-BA89-DCAA36A66277

It is important to understand that only individuals should be afforded rights. Ideas, thoughts and religions should not be protected from criticism. There is no such thing as defamation of religion. To the degree that it is concocted, the rights of ideas and religions will stand in direct opposition to the rights and freedoms of humans. The right of free speech is, in part, designed to offend others. The Founding Fathers of the United States Constitution erected the First Amendment for the purpose of fostering cantankerous political speech. They believed that the way to counter offensive speech and bad ideas is to engage in more speech, espousing good ideas. In this case, however, it is the OIC that clearly has the bad ideas, and not the alleged defamers. Perhaps the reason the OIC seeks to prohibit free speech rather than to rebut it, is because it too knows that free speech works.

While the US Constitution does not apply to all people on this planet, this does a nice job of stating why the right of free speech SHOULD apply to all peoples.

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zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I don't really want to make any political comments per se' but I'd like to drop a few quotes down to think about. I don't think there is anything I can add that is more appropriate than what a few figures from our past have already said about politics. I think that NOW is the right time to reflect on the sage words of wise men from the past.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."
-- Mark Twain

"Sometimes we have to choose between what is right and what is easy.
--Albus Dumbledore"
-- J.K. Rowling

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."
-- Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
-- Robert Frost

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien

"Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it."
-- Mark Twain

"The major problem- one of the major problems, for there are several- one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of whom manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."
-- Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

"Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently and for the same reasons."
-- Robin Williams

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " -- George Orwell

"Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair." -- George Burns

"I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves."
-- Ronald Reagan

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top."
-- Edward Abbey

"You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn't that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena."
-- Jon Stewart

"A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?" -- George Washington

"One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government."
-- Ron Paul

"Under the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to hold states "accountable" for their education performance...In the free society envisioned by the founders, schools are held accountable to parents, not federal bureaucrats."
-- Ron Paul

"I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. ... These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death."
-- George Carlin

"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you. "
-- Pericles

"I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine. (12 May 1780)" -- John Adams

"Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury. " -- H.L. Mencken

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Consciousness In the Human Species

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I have to say, I just read something that nearly ruined a night of good beer drinking. It can be found at: http://www.proofofreincarnation.com/ If the link itself is not enough to warn you, let me: coughbullcoughshitcoughcoughfuckcough

However, one should ask the following question: Where did the results of atheistic science lead to? It seems that into a blind alley. Various theories exist within physics as the most prestigious science, being independent on each other. Some of them are contradictory from the point of view of classical logic or even one theory eliminates the other. Despite of this, each of them is considered to be valid, at least under strongly defined conditions.

First, science does not contradict. When a theory seems to contradict, it is merely indication that more works needs to be done to explain why this seems so. It is NOT a failure. It is simply reason to analyze more and study more to find why. The author continues on to almost prove that science is about reconciling known knowledge, even when it seems to contradict itself in places

The most visible example is the contradicton between two great theories of 20th century - the theory of relativity, which is mostly applied in macro-world and, the quantum mechanics, the manifestation of which becomes obvious at the extremely small values of physical quantities (micro-world, if we are talking about dimensions, but in general, the quantum phenomena can be observed in macro-world too, e.g. at the extremely small temperatures). The problem arises everywhere we are forced to apply both these theories under special conditions like in the world of particle physics or theory of black holes. Although it seems that the superstring theory is on the right way to comply with those two theories, looking in details it appears that satisfactory solution requires the modification of at least one of them - the most probably, the hottest candidate is the theory of relativity.

Okay, he's laid out some questions, basic high level analysis (someone else's obviously) but did nothing to persuade the reader that he is leading somewhere. Why exactly did the author mention all this? read on.

Thus I wanted to show the fact that different valid theories and systems exist, in spite of their contradiction in terms of classical logic. We should tolerate another systems and theories!

In all probability, boundaries of physics in terms it is known today are where begins the physics of consciousness. Let us mention namely Professor Jahn Robert, who is physicist and his affiliation is the research in the field of psychotronics (bio-communication).

Ahh, there we have it. Tolerance/acceptance of someone else's ideals simply because we do not yet have all the facts on the ideas we are working on. Yes, that makes sense. Right? Now, lets move on to allegory. If there is doubts in one science, it means that all other science fields have wiggle room to apply faith, or unsubstantiated beliefs.

The research of human counsciousness finds itself in a similary conflicting situation. As in theoretical physics we have here many different schools and philosophically based theories. While the one field discusses the doctrine of the free will of ego and the whole spectrum of schools of psychology based on the Freudian school and the classical philosophy, the other field deals with the conception of unconsiousness following the esotheric tradition of C.G.Jung, oriental philosophy (the hypnotic regress, holotropic breathing, transpersonal psychology) and biological mechanisms of personality.

There are also known arguments that genetics can provide us with all the answers to the philosophical questions.

The author then follows on with simple statement of belief, not anything scientifically factual, so you can dismiss any previous discussion of scientific value. Though, on this one topic, there may be wiggle room. Not because other science fields have some unsolved riddles, but because this particular scientific field is ... well, VERY open for interpretation.

He continues:

I disagree with this opinion and would like to emphasize the fact that genetics and unconsciousness are essentialy not oposing each other rather they are compatible like hardware (organism) and software (unconsiousness) naturally interacting and complimenting each other.

Consciousness as a subset of unconsciousness can not be defined by neurological processes only, which is a statment approved by many reputable experts in this field.

According to certain theories counsiousness is a link between idea and matter, from a point of view of quantum physics it is actually a kind of matter, and it is exceeds to the higher levels of the time space continuum.

Now, sit back tight in your seat. Here comes the kicker. I'm sure that I'll offend some, but meh.. this is MY journal. Here is a presumption with NO factual basis:

Few years ago I read a book "The Essence of Budhism" from already deceased theravadan Budhist monk Nyanasatta Thera (Martin Novosad) who lived his all life in a monastery in Sri Lanka. In this book he points out a fact that if we would approach the research of reincarnation with the same importance as given to the research in other fields of modern sience, the potential and credibility given to reincarnation would not be regarded so much as a "religion" but sientific fact.

If that part about reincarnation being science was not enough, he continues...

Of course it is natural that in order for Western science to accept the proof of reincarnation we have to base our project on the experimental and statistic methods native to this science.

Right back to the beginning of the argument? Without those 'native' investigative methods of validating a theory, it's not science. Uhmmmm Some Hindu's claim that the concept of zero was invented by their civilization. If so, kudos. Having had all this time, why has no-one yet applied 'real' science to it and proved reincarnation? Oh yeah, that's right, it can't be proved. Nobody comes back from the dead. The one person that claims to have done so isn't Hindu and doesn't believe in reincarnation. Go figure.

Okay, preliminaries out of the way, lets move on to why this perturbs me. First, consciousness is the one thing that confounds all religions. If it were not for our ability to ask existential questions, we'd not be having a philosophical discussion/argument at all. So there is the rub. When you are discussing the cause of your discussion, deep regression becomes an issue. Why do we think? Well, so far, what we know is that one school says 'god' made us that way. The other school says hey, evolution gave us this little twist of fate, a mutation that was very beneficial. Possible several such mutations. Walking upright and the thumb .. it turns out... are really fucking handy. So, here we are.. some tens of thousands of years ago... most believe in some sun god or similar. Eventually, this belief system 'evolves' into a good vs evil belief system, and that beats everything else available so spreads like wildfire across the globe (more or less). Turns out that the really strong and militant and warlike of our species really like this good/evil thing... That's something I'd change if I could.

Back on point. Now we have this thinking thing going on. Hmm how did that happen.. well, must have been god, right? Well, what does this god want us to do with life, what is our purpose? This is where man's new found creativity has shown its brightest. Long before scientific methods were discovered, men decided that the one who had the best story usually ended up with the most glory... writing and reading not needed. So, today we have a blogger who despite thousands of years of time to prove reincarnation is factual, decides that it only seems like 'religion' because nobody has devoted time to studying it.

Well, I'm here to do one of two things. My next post will be proof of the outcome. If there is any real god, Hindu or Abrahamic or any other.. .let them strike me dead right now, as I write this for doubting their existence. Let me not come back as anything, never mind something vile. Just obliterate me from existence. Go on? I'm waiting....... sigh

I guess you will have to endure a few more posts from me. You cannot prove a negative, so don't ask me to prove that reincarnation is not true. I can firmly and happily rely on the fact that wild claims need wild proof, and since there is no proof, I need not start worrying about becoming Hindu.

For some really nice quotes about religion and science and atheism, try this link: http://dailyatheistquote.com/list.aspx

Yes, I know that is an .asp site... sorry about that :-)

It was just pointed out to me that any idea can be good, might even save the human race from itself. The problem is that without proof, evidence, and repeatability it is ONLY an idea, and will eventually be shoved off to the realm of religion.

Flying cars and personal jet packs as well as reincarnation are cool ideas. Trouble is that of the three, only two have facts, evidence, and repeatability. Even if very few of us will ever experience first-hand the two that are real, they remain real. The third remains religion without proof. While there is not much in the way of flying cars right now, people are working on the problem, and it is one of engineering, not proving religion. Further note: the guy that used a jet pack to fly over the English Channel is a fucking hero. THAT was and will remain very cool, even if I never get to do anything like it. It's no longer just an idea.

For some further reading by people that seem much more educated than I:
http://www.thebigview.com/mind/

And, of course, let us not forget real wisdom: http://xkcd.com/386/

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Separation of Church and State

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

To prove that the USA has actual and real separation of church and state, the USA should take democracy to Israel. If that upsets you, read the subject line again. If it still upsets you I have only one piece of advice: pills are subtle but a bullet to the brain proves you are a real man. Don't leave this life with everyone thinking you're a girly-man.

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The Election

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I didn't really want to write about politics... it's just not a subject proper folk should talk about in public, and it tends to upset a lot of people. The trouble is that this election is upsetting me. It's not that there are the typical political shenanigans going on, it is that we are calling Americans names like terrorist, Islamic, and other names that on their own mean nothing, yet taken in context of the last eight years of complete disregard for the Constitution mean something. It makes me sad, very sad.

The religious among us and the ignorant have not missed an opportunity to decry who the bad guys is, or who we should believe the bad guy is. Despite all the negative and vile things said and done, very few are actually saying, "hey, look ,these are the real issues, lets see how these people line up on the issues." Instead what we are getting from the political parties and the MSM is stories about who the bad guys are.

I'm pretty tired of this bs, and it is bullshit. On the one hand, someone says "look how bad the other guy is, so you have to vote for me because there are only two choices" and on the other hand I'm thinking "who the fuck let you people out of the zoo?" Given a choice and unconditional indemnity, I'd execute them all. Of course, that's just anger at how this is turning out. Apparently American politics can't be completed with out most participants either looking like assholes or pretending the other guys are.

America and Americans are facing real issues. Issues of such import that history might actually show them as more important than either world war, or even the revolutionary war. Because of America's place in the world, the world is facing issues like it has not faced since WWII, and all we can do here in the "homeland" is argue about which of the two main candidates is the most evil. Holy fuck!!

We're not talking to each other about which is the 'best' candidate, we're arguing who is the most evil in order to get the vote out for people to choose the lesser of two evils. That is so wrong that words fail me on all but the best of occasions. There are christians praying that god sees the election through to a right decision. Gays hoping that christians are as fucked up as they sound. Finance people hoping for more handouts. Osama bin Laden is probably near death from laughing.

My dear grandmother used to say "if you have nothing good to say, keep your fucking mouth shut, asshole"... and I'd like to pass that on the the general populace tonight.

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I got a phone call today.....

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Well, to be fair, my wife got the phone call. She is from the balmy area known as the west coast of Canada. The call was from a cousin in that area to the north of New York. All the details of the phone call are not important... just one sentence: "Please, Please, for the love of god and all that is good, spend all your free time convincing family, friends, and neighbors to NOT vote for McCain/Palin... please please please, we beg you"

It was stated from the bottom of her cousin's heart. Deeply felt, as though fear had driven it out of their mouth. These are not Americans begging us, they are world citizens who have no influence over the choice of the two people that have more control over their lives than we like to give the Whitehouse credit for. The world is asking us to NOT elect McCain/Palin... not just this election, but ever!

I'm doing just that right now. See this page http://www.newsweek.com/id/160080/output/print

I grew up in that same denomination church. Trust me, we don't want her having access to nuclear codes and the world's largest military might.

Also see this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anxkrm9uEJk

While I normally expect Matt to be a bit more eloquent, but his concerns are the concerns that you and I should be thinking about very hard right now.

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Liberty? What's it to you, bub?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

"Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban ... At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals ... If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear,"

- George Orwell, from his proposed preface to "Animal Farm."

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WTF is wrong with Arizonans?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I'm sure there are good people in Arizona, as there are anywhere, but lately I find myself wondering what the hell is wrong with so many people in Arizona that they keep electing McCain to office.

Do they believe the lies? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&output=googleabout&btnG=Search+our+site&q=john%20mccain%20lies

or is there something in the water? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&output=googleabout&btnG=Search+our+site&q=water%20quality%20arizona.

I ask this because we all know they don't smoke weed or do drugs http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&output=googleabout&btnG=Search+our+site&q=drug%20use%20arizona

and of course Arizona is not full of angry criminals who don't give a damn http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/azcrime.htm.

So, can someone please explain how this senile man keeps getting re-elected?

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What does $5/gallon gas pay for?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

No, I'm not going to break down what oil companies say that the $5 is spent on. What I do want to comment on is this:

Ike destroys a number of oil platforms

"It's too early to say if it's close to Katrina- and Rita-type damage," Mr. Herbst said.

There are about 3,800 production platforms in the Gulf, including 717 with full-time staff aboard.

The MMS says Hurricane Katrina destroyed 44 platforms three years ago, and soon after, Hurricane Rita destroyed 64.

Full story at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/14/ike-destroys-number-gulf-oil-platforms/

I just want to say something here. If they are making net profits of upwards of $90,000/day in record profits, why can't they do something to protect their investments in infrastructure? A category 2 storm blows through that area of the country on a regular basis. Any company that make that stupid sick volume of profits could at least spend a little to make sure their processing plants won't be shut down every time the weather gets a bit nasty. Our government should fine them for NOT making their infrastructure more sound and secure. By the way, oil company profits are not just obscene, they are unimaginably obscene. Check http://okk2.com/wwip/countriesg.htm to see how many countries make less than any of the big oil companies. Yes, that is entire countries.

For more fun, try these:

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/02/high_oil.html
http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/1168.html

It's just something that I don't understand... WTF?

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+5 Insightful

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The most insightful comment I've seen in awhile was on Reddit today.

If I were Track Palin, I would be very very, very, afraid. If he is killed in "combat" with the "enemy", the Re-pubs will likely win this election... (self.politics) .... tcdoey

Now, there is a person that understands the current administration of the USA.

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Spend time on the computer much?

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The trick is not to complain artfully about the time I spend on the computer, but to make of yourself something that is much more interesting....
                                                                                                An Internet Widow's Spouse

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PERL and The Ten Commandments

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

PERL and the Ten Commandments

This is PERL *AND* The Ten Commandments, not the 10 commandments of PERL.

Disclaimer:
1 - There is a reason that I don't have a column in DDJ.
2 - I barely qualify as a PERL programmer, whether that is good or bad. I
can hear you .net programmers snickering - stop it!
3 - I am not affiliated with Mr Wall

Now, on to the codecis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex as that sounds
the most apprapo lead in. I don't care if you don't like Wikipedia.

I'm taking some base material from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

0 - I am the Lord your God
So sayeth Linus Torvalds, all hail his code!
What about PERL you ask? PERL gave us CPAN, there is need of nothing else.

1 - You shall have no other gods before me
I told you .net programmers to stop snickering... see? Just remember, it it's good enough
for the human genome project, it will handle your piddly little report. http://www.ddj.com/184410424

2 - You shall not make for yourself an idol
I know PERL is a kind of do-it-yourself language, but PERL gave us CPAN, use it!
Your library function list is not to be considered it's equal, infidel!

3 - You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
Yes, this means you have to learn to pronounce Linus' name correctly!
So that you have a more clear understanding of this, read http://perl.about.com/od/gettingstartedwithperl/p/whatisperl.htm
Honestly, hearing someone yell "PERL damn you" in a status meeting would be fun... but, it's against the law.

4 - Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
This is a general law, applying to all programmers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabbath
As there is some question about when the Sabboth is, you pick a day, keep it always.

5 - Honor your father and mother
Now, when you write a subroutine, and feel it necessary for that subroutine to put something in the
log file, it must not complain about parameters passed to it from the parent. It's the law.

6 - You shall not murder
If you want your PERL code to die, that is your business, but it must not cause other programs to die, that is
unless your PERL code is monitoring running processes with some authority to stop them.

7 - You shall not commit adultery
This is a bit more tricky that it would first appear. If your code is going to use a system resource, it should check that the resource is free, and not simply trust some gossipy status flag from another process. Remember, the penalty for adultery is to be stoned to death:

sub adultery_simple
{
    my $adulterous_code = shift;

    die;
    die;
    die;
}

8 - You shall not steal
Ok, I hear your complaints. This does not mean that F/OSS code is against the law. It does mean
that you shall give proper attribution. always. period. Read your licenses, know them, obey them. always. http://www.opensource.org/licenses

9 - You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
Never ever let your code give false status. never. for any reason. If your code is called to get a directory listing on some distant machine, don't just make up a list of file names. That's not nice, don't do it.

10 - You shall not covet your neighbor's house
Yes, you .net programmers are stuck with Windows. Deal with it. Dual boot? Dual boot!! Sacriledge. Stone the infidels!

sub stone_infidels
{
    my $infidel = shift;
    if($joint){
        my $smile = TRUE;
        &pass_joint($infidel);
    }
    &proselytize_linux() if($smile);
    return $smile;
}

10.1 - You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
Brethren, this is a most important commandment. Apparently, this law has been said to also include your
neighbor's ass. I don't know if the two are the same, or they meant his wife's ass. In either case, they are not yours so you many not sit around desiring them to be yours. Translation: Pr0n is okay, stalking Hollywood starlets is not.

If your program/user has restricted access to a file, honor this, leave it alone, it is not yours, no matter how clever your code might be, you are commanded to leave it alone.

I understand that keeping the commandments is not always easy. So I give you these study group sites to help and assist you in keeping your programming life holy:

PERLdoc http://perldoc.perl.org/index-language.html
CPAN http://www.cpan.org/
O'Reilly http://search.oreilly.com/?q=PERL
PERL http://www.perl.org/ and http://www.perl.com/
Activestate http://www.activestate.com/Products/ActivePerl/ - for .net converts
More PERL http://use.perl.org/ and http://www.perlmonks.org/

You may also use Amazon to find PERL programming books to assist you in your daily PERL prayers.

And finally, a heart felt plea to http://www.ddj.com/swaine.htm Michael Swaine and Della Wyser.
If you find it in your soul to randomly pick someone from the universe to write utter jibberish in some
small part of your publication, well... I'm your man :) -three second John McCain smile

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Speaking of the wrath of a deity.....

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Yes, it would seem that the wrath of god is a recurring theme in life, history, and religion. A common theme across all of those three. You have to wonder about that, well I did anyway. I subscribed to the Atheism reddit, and despite what your feelings might be about Reddit in general, they do seem to have a nice aggregation of Atheism related stories. Here is one such story. For what it's worth, the blog author seems to write well, and state his opinion without too much partisanship. It's worth a read.

Full text: http://www.atheistrev.com/2008/02/god-wants-scorched-earth-warfare.html

FTFB:

Continuing on with this project to read the Christian bible cover to cover is becoming increasingly arduous. I find that I have to be in the right mood to read it, and that even then, it is slow going. My last post in this series dealt with Deuteronomy and Joshua. This one has me moving through Judges, Ruth, and 1 Samuel. Frankly, it also has me wondering how much more of this I can take.

and

In Judges, we also see yet another mention of the scorched earth sort of warfare utilized by god's chosen people. They kill every last one of their enemies, including their livestock, and burn their towns to the ground (Judges 20:41-48). But the atrocities do not stop here, for the conquering Israelites also kill the women and children, saving only the female virgins (Judges 21:10-11). After all, they need to capture wives. Surely the Christian god would not condone such practices! Actually, this god not only condones but commands these very war crimes. When the Israelites refuse to kill sheep and cattle which they might actually be able to use, they are severely punished (1 Samuel 15:7-34).

I particularly like how this author (vjack at Atheist Revolution) is reading the christian bible in view of how we would react to such things happening in the current world. It's not hard to imagine that our current morals are a much higher standard than those in the god paradigm. In fact, we would probably have tried him for war crimes and hung him long ago if god were actually real.

Cold dispassionate and scientific analysis of the religions (and their holy texts) based on the 'god of Abraham' can only lead to an understanding that they are organized insanity. It might not ever happen in my lifetime, but I look forward to the day when humankind is no longer plagued by these things. Citing Star Trek is probably cliche' but it works here. They did not worship any deity on the Enterprise, and despite the lack of religious guidance, James T. Kirk was a man of morals. He was the kind of leader and human that most religious folk wish they could be. Star Trek became hugely popular because the characters were of admirable quality, had morals, and in the face of adversity they behaved the way that good people should, they way christians believe they should, wish they could. Shame they have to keep believing in their imaginary friend.

If you bang your head every time you get into your car, you should eventually think about changing the way that you get into your car. Perhaps it's time we change how we live. Maybe this religion thing is really not so good for society as a whole?

In politics, following the money and finding out who is getting rich off of tax dollars is a damned good way to figure out where the graft and corruption is. Ever wonder what happens when you follow the money generated by organized religions? Think about that, and like the author of the blog I reference we should be worried that these people and their money believe in killing on massive scales when their compassionate deity says they are right... or rather when they say their deity says they are right. I think we should take away their ability to raise so much money and influence tax free. That's just me, but I think it would help curb the unbridled way in which they try to manipulate governments.

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god's wrath 1, science 1 - it's a half-time score

zappepcs zappepcs writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The title says all I'm feeling right now on this topic. It would be a shame for all those religious zealots to hear news of life on another planet AND find out that HIV (their all-powerful god's wrath on homosexuals) has been cured by science.

FTFA:

Scientists from the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology (GIVI) and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have identified a gene that may influence the production of antibodies that neutralize HIV. This new information will likely spur a new approach for making an HIV vaccine that elicits neutralizing antibodies. Neutralizing antibodies, once produced in the host, can attack and checkmate an infecting virus. The research was reported in the September 5 issue of Science.

The full article can be found at: http://www.physorg.com/news139757724.html

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