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Comment Re:Don't use Facebook (Score 1) 97

There are ways to publish such videos without such insane restrictions.

Of course, but that is hardly the issue here. They are trying to promote important health awareness information as widely as possible, and facebook is, regrettably, popular. It is a real shame that unenlightened prudishness shall stand in the way of such a noble purpose. And as the saying goes, all things are pure to the innocent; or in other words, the more prudish you are, the more you have to be ashamed of, clearly.

Comment Re:Who would buy a smart TV? (Score 1) 58

What kind of people buy these 'smart TVs' and why? For Internet? Doesn't almost everybody have a PC or tablet nowadays anyway?

Well, I can understand the appeal in some ways - as I understand it, smart tvs are sort of like giant tablet computers; you can get them with Android, I believe, so I imagine it might have a certain appeal if you are an Android developer. I'm not sure I'd want one myself, unless it was seriously hackable.

Comment Re:Why would anyone want to associate with BBC? (Score 1) 40

They haven't been sufficiently grovelling towards the current crop of Tories in power.

Not to mention that to a certain segment of humanity, the Tories themselves are a bunch of bleeding-heart socialists. It isn't possible to reason with that kind of people, but on the other hand, it is important that those of us who are not as unhinged, stand up and speak out against the nut-cases.

Comment Re:Bribe? (Score 1) 120

Dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one's favour by a gift of money or other inducement.

Oxford English Dictionary

I may at some point make the effort to look up the quotes - they seem somewhat abridged (in my experience, entries in OED are longer and more nuanced) , but leave that for now. However, even if they are accurately quoted, this definition still covers situations that most people would agree are not about bribery: a defence lawyer acting for a criminal that he knows is guilty, an advertiser trying to persuade you to buy crap you don't need etc. There are lots of examples like that.

Comment Re:And yet (Score 1) 409

...Democracy will never work. ... When you see left wing democratic socialists, they think they have a right (by majority vote) ...

So, it doesn't work because you can't always have it your way? In a democracy, that is the way it is supposed to be - sometimes your side wins, sometimes the other side wins. It sort of evens out in the end.

Those people who think Government is the only solution to the problems government creates, are creating a beast that will eventually eat them up. They are just too ignorant and haven't learned from history.

And yet it seems to work quite well in Scandinavia and in fact much of the rest of Europe too. Not perfectly, but reasoably well - we can certainly live with it. It makes me wonder why you can't?

Comment Good luck with that (Score 2) 227

There are at least two major weaknesses in this idea:

1) Looking around in the business landscape, it seems clear that 'we' (especially managers) have little understanding of what makes a good leader. ATM the trend is that you have to be the "Alpha Male", hence leadership courses that include white water rafting and other supposedly, very 'male' passtimes. This may impress the sales teams, but I doubt the engineers are in awe over it.

2) Even if we knew what personality traits make a good leader, it is far from clear that there is a simple - or even any - connection between your DNA toolkit and your personality. So far, we seem to have some trouble finding a well defined set of genes for things like skin colour or height, and things like personality are vastly more complex than a simple, physical trait. Plus, of course, we have very limited knowledge (in fact, next to none) about how brain structure maps to personality traits.

So far, we have only just begun to scrape the surface of the genome, the epi-genome and the structure of the nervous system. We are still in the phase where, the more we discover, the more we come to realise how hopelessly inadequate our current understanding still is. It is not impossible that we will understand these areas well, but it will take a while; we will probably be well-established on Mars and beyond long before that day. Going to Mars is, after all, only rocket science.

Comment Re:Bribe? (Score 1) 120

Here's what I get, and it looks fine to me...
"persuade (someone) to act in one's favor, typically illegally or dishonestly, by a gift of money or other inducement."

Since we are mincing words, give us the whole dictionary entry + the reference to which dictionary. Your definition here seems to match paying a defence lawyer as well - after all, they will often end up defending somebody, knowing they deserve the full weight of the law, so I think this definition is far too wide.

Comment Re:And yet (Score 3, Insightful) 409

...If you're going intelligently elect a leader,...

Don't you think that train has left the station a long time ago? When the media and a far too loud crowd dominate everything the way they have done, increasingly, since the days of Bill Clinton, at least, intelligent discourse doesn't stand a chance. I rather suspect that is the intention - these people do not want democracy to work, because their extremist agenda will never win in a fair and honest, democratic contest.

Comment Re:Quantity vs Quality... (Score 1) 97

Before you can have quarity you must learn to say quarity.

Yes, I know... *sigh* - it is such a tired old joke that Chinese can't distinguish 'l' and 'r'; it is also incorrect - it is the Japanese, which is a very different cup of tea, liguistically speaking. Chinese uses both the 'l' and the 'r' sound (see for example, and they have no trouble with those sounds in other languages.

The explanation for why the Japanese have trouble distinguishing the two sounds has someting to do with the fact that the 'l' sounds is absent from the language (not an expert, but see Apparently, when children are quite young, they form a large number of connections in the brain, far more than they are going to use, and the ones that are not kept active by use, are then pruned as the child matures; so Japanese children can distinguish 'r' from 'l' (as well as a lot of other things), but later they lose that ability because it is never used. In English the sound of 'l' is quite close to 'r', so to a Japanese ear, 'l' is simply perceived as 'r'.

Comment Re:Well, duh. (Score 2) 75

To be able to learn something about the physical world from someone who's been dead for 150 years is somewhat revelatory.

Well, look at some the names that are prominent in science, especially mathematics:

Euclid, ~2000 years ago, the father of, well, Euclidean geometry
Isaac Newton, ~400 years ago, prominent contributor to classical mechanics and differential calculus
Gauss, ~350 years ago, major contributor to just about anything, not least differential geometry

In fact, most of the mathematics and physics you study as an undergraduate at university is at least 100 years old (apart from linear algebra, which is surprisingly young); the only major revolutions since then were general relativity and quantum mechanics, and that is close to a century ago now. What we have been doing since can be described as gap-filling, by comparison. Very important gap-filling, with immense value to all areas of modern life, but the next revolution in science is not going to come until we find a way to unify GR and QM.

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