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Comment Re:Business (Score 1) 200

Pokemon Int'l shouldn't. They should enjoy the free publicity

The entire point of setting up Pokemon Company International was to monetize use of Pokemon imagery. The business model is a lot like Angry Birds: sure, there's a video game involved, but the big profits come from toys and apparel. Someone setting up a party with Pokemon imagery is exactly where PCI aims to generate profit. You don't want "free publicity" from a guy like that, you want payment of licensing fees.

Comment Re: Catch the rounded ones early (Score 1) 300

Construction, for example, if a much more fundamental skill, yet shop classes have mostly gone away. Being able to repair a dry wall, fix a broken cabinet or replace the compressor on an old fridge are much more important in your day to day life than being able to code a text editing tool.

I am not so sure about that. Those who rent (owning one's own home is not the norm in many countries, and even some parts of the US) might not be allowed to make such repairs even if they knew how to. And for many other repairs, it may well be that calling in a professional will prove cheaper than buying the tools and investing the time to do it on one's own. Professionals can take advantage of economy of scale, but ordinary people who have to deal with only one breakdown a year or less can't.

Comment Re:India needs a policy on bathing (Score 1, Offtopic) 114

Until you require your citizens to bathe at least once a week

Look, I would be the first person to criticize Indian standards of hygiene and make one of those "Fix your problems X before doing Y, India" posts: after traveling around India for half a year, and just before I was supposed to fly out, I ended up spending nearly a month in a Delhi hospital after either drinking bad water or eating food that wasn't prepared in a sanitary fashion. The country has a big problem with ensuring treated water, disposing of sewage, and washing hands well when serving food.

But where foreigners have no right to criticize Indians is bathing. Indians bathe regularly, and I've been impressed to see even the poorest of the poor using any public source of water they could to thoroughly scrub every morning. Indians know how much sweat and odor a tropical or sub-tropical climate could produce. It is often Westerners who are considered the unwashed there.

Comment Re:"a person's beliefs are personal." (Score 1) 235

You know, even if you oppose religion (or, conversely, atheism), considering it appropriate that people hide their particular beliefs when they are expressly asked about them seems to me a denial of the entire Western tradition. You cannot use the Socratic method to encourage critical thinking if you cannot draw out people's suppositions and then reveal weaknesses in them.

Comment Re:H4xx0ring (Score 2) 151

The 8-bit computers of the early to mid 80s are way simpler to understand and hack on for a kid than an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

If desired, a Raspberry Pi can be set up to dump the user right into an interpreted language. A child today can have the same experience as the early-mid 1980s plus a myriad of other ways to tinker, ranging from a variety of scripted languages to compiled code and even poking hardware values (all of which are well-documented on the Pi).

And while a compiler or whatever might have seemed baffling to you as a child back then, that is probably only because in a pre-internet era there was so little information available from which to learn. Kids today can easily get a click-by-click introduction to setting dev stuff up. Sure, they will initially be copying-and-pasting and cargo-culting functionality, but they can still quickly move forward.

Comment Re:H4xx0ring (Score 1) 151

Oh, come on, it's easier for young people today to get into the guts of computing than ever before. I remember as a child, the most I could do with my parent's Mac was play with Resedit or create little Forth programs that could hardly interface with the OS. All the cool stuff (C compilers, documentation) was extremely expensive. It was only in the 1990s that, thanks to the convergence of Free Software and x86, a person could get a serious dev environment for cheap. Kids these days can get a Raspberry Pi for cheap, install Linux, and immediately have access to all kinds of ways to tinker -- even quasi-professional documentation like O'Reilly books is free today thanks to torrents.

Comment Re:"a person's beliefs are personal." (Score 1) 235

No, not a syllogism, and if you know a term of logic like that, then you should probably also already be aware that argument from etymology is a fallacy. While the word "personal" is historically derived from the word "person", it has developed a new set of connotations, such as "something to be kept to oneself or disclosed only to confidants".

Comment Might still be a disappointment (Score 2) 55

Having read the original book (and would highly recommend it), I still expect to be disappointed by the film adaptation. The science in the film may be solid, and we can indeed be grateful for that, but there are other aspects of adapting a novel where Hollywood can make the result feel compromised. Think of all the tired old tropes they could throw in there, like slow-motion shots of characters at poignant times, an intrusive film score that tries to jerk the audience emotionally in a particular direction, or the acting itself where it's hard to suspend disbelief when it's Matt Damon up there and he's not known for smoothly entering into roles and going unrecognized as Matt Damon.

Comment Re: I liked the cartoon that read: (Score 1) 662

This is a fabrication and I refer you to the Jewish historian Bernard Lewis' account of the Jewish experience post-Spain.

Not a fabrication at all, and again, I wonder if you even try to read sources before you claim that someone else's statement is a fabrication. Read about the mellah, and that article even cites indirectly a publication by Bernard Lewis where he points out that Jewish life was not as rosy as some Muslims claim..

If by "decline" you mean "rose to greater wealth than in their home nations".

Again you are deliberately misquoting people here. I specifically said "demographic decline, and I was mainly speaking about Christians. The weath to which these minorities may have had access as they became a shrinking percentage of the population is irrelevant here.

...actively participated in government right up to national government level.

It doesn't matter how high they soared in administration. If they were forbidden from becoming head of state, then they still faced discrimination.

...provided independence including the legal right to govern their communities based on their own religious or cultural laws...

That's not enough for freedom of religion. They were denied the right to invite Muslims to their faith, and therefore they were treated well.

Comment Re: I liked the cartoon that read: (Score 4, Insightful) 662

[citation needed]. Also, this and this kinda ruins your "Muslims hate Jews" narrative.

Did you even read the Wikipedia article you linked to? It only proves the OP's point: "Like all non-Muslims, Jews ... faced other restrictions in clothing, horse riding, army service etc." (I found this informative, I thought that the horse-riding restriction was only imposed on refugee Jews in the Maghreb.)

And you completely skipped over the OP's mention that Christians were forbidden from ringing bells and the conversion of churches into mosques by force. That is awfully disingenous. If you sincerely want to defend Islam against critiques that may be unfair, then you still have to acknowledge and rebut all attacks. Remaining silent as you did here really only weakens your own cause.

Comment Re: I liked the cartoon that read: (Score 5, Informative) 662

When Muslims acted as a political bloc, the overwhelming majority of political interactions were positive.

Just because there wasn't outright slaughter does not make for positive interaction. Freedom of religion inherently involves being allowed to build new places of worship for one's religion or renovate older ones. It involves being allowed to invite others to one's faith and to display symbols of one's faith (like a cross on churches). These things were missing in Muslim-ruled states for most of the history of Islam.

Even those Jews from Spain were treated unfairly. They may have been accepted in Muslim countries, and they were certainly fleeing a horrid Reconquista, but in their new homelands they faced a new set of challenges such as being forced to live in districts set aside for them instead among the general population, being forbidden from riding a horse, and so on.

An honest and comprehensive reading of history simply does not support the proposition that Muslims are a sleeping mass of West-hating, xenophobic barbarians, waiting for the right moment to cleanse the world of infidels.

If you want to be taken seriously here, you need to stop deliberately misinterpeting those to whom you respond. I never said that Muslims are xenophobic or barbaric. And I would suspect that for the majority of Muslims in states with historically Christian and/or Jewish minorities, they tried to explain the discriminatory strictures placed on religious minorities away. Even today you can hear, "Oh, it's just to keep the peace", or "They can believe what they want as long as they don't seek to convert Muslims", or "They just need to pay this large tax because we won't let them serve in the army". I don't believe that most Muslims think very actively about eradicating the infidel. However, the end result for non-Muslim religions in the "Muslim world" was still the same: demographic decline, political disempowerment, and a whole host of laws that applied to them and not to Muslims.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.