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Comment Re:Let's face it... (Score 2) 260

The existence of life, particularly very simple kinds of life, is not remotely incompatible with the bible. The existence of advanced *intelligent* life, however, may be.

Your statement that the Bible is not contradicted by extra-terrestrial life is true. The Bible only says God created life. It doesn't specify all the places where he might have put it, and it never says he didn't put it on other planets (in fact it is completely silent on the topic). Considering the Bible says he created the entire universe, finding bacteria on Mars would not contradict anything.

In fact, famous atheist turned Christian apologist CS Lewis, known for both his famous theological works such as "Mere Christianity" and his fantastic fiction works, such as the Chronicles of Narnia, also wrote a science fiction trilogy beginning with the book "Out of the Silent Planet". In that series, life exists not just on Earth, but also on Mars and Venus. It's actually a pretty good read, although his description of Mars can at times be unrecognizable because he wrote the book before we sent probes there and got detailed pictures, so the terrain he describes is not accurate. The point, however, is that great Christian thinkers have not necessarily had any problem imagining life on other worlds, and have not necessarily considered even intelligent extra-terrestrial life to be in conflict with the Bible. In that series, both the inhabitants of Mars and Venus were equal to man (in fact, they were above man in many ways, because they chose not to sin; only Adam on Earth led life on his planet into sin according to the story).

And just a side note: I keep seeing people here claiming Christians can't be intellectuals, or that being intellectual is incompatible with Christianity. That's simply not true.

  1. Lewis was a professor at Oxford and later chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge. He was probably smarter than most people posting on this board.
  2. His friend JRR Tolkien (yes, the Lord of the Rings Tolkien) who led him to Christianity, was a professor and fellow at Oxford.
  3. There were plenty of Christian scientists too, from Calculus and Newtonian physics pioneer Isaac Newton, to physicist Werner Heisenberg, to father of rocketry Werner Von Braun.

And Max Planck (yes, the father of Quantum Theory and the person the Planck length is named after) actually said this: "No matter where and how far we look, nowhere do we find contradiction between religion and science"-there is "complete concordance." Raymond J. Seeger, "Planck, Physicist" in The Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, 37 (December 1985): 232-233 (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1985/JASA12-85Seeger2.html; viewed 26 September 2005)

So before you troll on Internet message boards about how stupid Christians are compared to scientists, you might want to check the beliefs of those scientists you adore. It appears quite a number of them apparently hadn't gotten the memo that you can't be a great scientist if you are "backwards" enough to believe in Christianity, and not knowing Christianity and science had been declared by Internet trolls to be irreconcilable, they went ahead and believed in Christ while making some of the biggest scientific leaps in history. Lol.

Comment Are we sure our probes didn't bring life to Mars? (Score 2) 260

Even at that, considering how much material Earth and Mars have exchanged over billions of years, it wouldn't even really be that amazing for single cell life to be on Mars, especially if it has a common origin with life on Earth. If we proved beyond doubt that it had an independent origin, THAT would be big.

Let's put aside the long timelines and asteroid impacts and focus on more recent exchanges. We keep sending probes to Mars, and I don't think we sterilize them before we send them. I know space is a harsh place, but bacteria on Earth live in some exceedingly harsh environments. Is there any way to guarantee that nothing survived the journey, and that any life that may be on Mars wasn't in fact brought over by us in the first place?

And if we found bacteria there, how would we prove whether it is native or our own? We haven't even discovered all forms of higher life on Earth, let alone created a database of every bacterial strain. Could a "new" bacteria we find there actually be a less common form native to Earth that we've never catalogued, that managed to survive a probe ride and thrive over there? I keep expecting scientists to announce they've found bacterial life over there, only to eventually realize far later that it's actually Earth life.

Comment Re: Go Bucks! (Score 1) 190

There doesnt need to be more unwanted children in the adoption files than there is.

You just say that to make yourself feel better about the rampant killing of children that goes on in our society. The actual fact is that most adoption agencies have a two year average wait time. There are more loving families looking to adopt than there are children to match them with. Even if that weren't the case, it's still just as wrong, and sick, to murder a child, but it's especially pathetic to claim they are "unwanted" and that you are doing them a favor by killing them.

By the way, I hope you didn't type that inane post on an iPhone or iPad, because if everyone followed your wicked ideas, Steve Jobs would have been aborted, not raised in a loving home, and there would be no such thing as Apple Computer. Just think about that when you claim an adopted baby is unwanted and will be nothing more than a welfare leach. And even if they don't invent Apple Computer, their life is still just as valuable and they have a right to live it out as they wish.

And yes, I will say it: if you are not ready to have kids then you'd better either be willing to abstain, or lovingly raise any child you have/put it up for adoption. They should not pay the price for your lack of self control and your bad decisions.

Comment Re: Skill and TCL in Design Automation (Score 1) 429

Please pardon the really bad autocorrect above. That's what I get for posting this with a mobile device. I was trying to say a lot of languages owe a big debt to TCL. Also in the case of PowerShell, its design philosophy of the same. In PowerShell, almost everything is a command (cmdlet), but they are compiled as and interface with a different underlying language (C#). That way you can script really easily with PowerShell at a high level, but the underlying code is much more robust and fast. And that was basically the TCL philosophy, albeit with C. TCL was the glue language you scripted with, but C was the language that did all the work, and did it fast.

Comment Re: Skill and TCL in Design Automation (Score 1) 429

TCL is a really important language with a lot of other languages with big debt to. It is not used as much anymore, but languages like PowerShell borrowed really heavily from it. PowerShell basic philosophy is that pretty much everything is a command line, and they all interface to an underlying, more robust language. In the case of PowerShell that is C#, but in the case of TCL that was C. TCL was designed to be a glue language, something you could easily script against but that could call underlying more performant native code. It still gets used for that today, in a great example of it is the f5 load balancing platform. TCL is the language of iRules, and you can write scripts against it that are calling native C functions and can modify any piece of code on the network at wire speed. F5 networking gear is extremely advanced, and you will find it in the heart of most large corporate networks. And it is still TCL that plays arguably one of the most important roles in that equipment. And don't forget about TK, which was the graphics platform that combined with TCL helped it to really take off. It still is one of the easier ways to make up a GUI. PS - there are now plenty of typical developer rumblings to replace TCL on f5 equipment with JavaScript, but here's hoping that never happens. TCL is much better suited to what it does, and the last thing we need is mission critical equipment that is constantly changing JavaScript frameworks every other week.

Comment Re:Don't worry! (Score 2) 319

"Don't worry, it's cyclical."

In this case, I think it actually is cyclical. When the current cycle of forcing consumers to pay for 50 channels they don't want for each one that they do want ends, then there will be a new cycle of cable TV subscription increases.

This isn't the death of pay TV, it's just the death of forcing people to pay for TV content they don't want. Let me buy just my top five favorite channels for $5-10 a month, and I'll sign up in a heartbeat. Until then, the cord remains clipped.

Comment But Republicans are for market forces... (Score 0) 319

Expect the Republicans to stop this as soon as they can.

Actually, Republicans have always been for market forces. There are no market forces here, what with monopolies everywhere. If Republicans had any power this would already be gone, and you'd have multiple cable lines going into your home with multiple companies competing for your dollar.

The current system reeks of monopolies, crony "capitalism" and other anti-capitalist ideas, which is usually the domain of the Democrats and left leaning Republicans. Why should anyone be prohibited by law from running wires to my property? It's my property. Why should anyone get to tell me which company I must use, or get to tell me how many wires I can have on my land? That's clearly an anti-capitalist position. But it is a classically Democrat position, because they don't mind government controlled monopolies and they love to keep copper mining and other manufacturing as low as possible to protect the environment.

Comment Re:Expect the Republicans to stop this... (Score 1, Offtopic) 319

It's f*cking amazing that a site full of IT geeks can't understand separation of powers or a default rule of deny all.

That's an excellent point. You would think the 10th amendment would make it clear (as if it isn't already clear just from reading the main document) that the constitution is a whitelist of the few things the federal government MAY do, not a blacklist of the few things it can't. IT geeks ought to be able to tell the difference between a whitelist and a blacklist, but apparently not.

The 10th amendment says: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There it is folks, they just declared a whitelist. If it isn't explicitly delegated to the federal government by the constitution, then the feds can't do it. I wish we could build a nice, special legislative firewall through which all congressional laws must flow, with the Constitution serving as the ACL. The congressional record would probably look like the logs on a primary Internet firewall: 10 million spurious packets (or outright attacks, because yes, some of these laws are attacks on our rights) blocked for every legitimate packet that gets through.

Comment Re:Expect the Republicans to stop this... (Score 2) 319

In my state, we've been forced to buy auto liability insurance since, well...forever.

If you choose to own and operate a motor vehicle, there are certain laws you have to follow, including carrying enough insurance to cover the damage you may do to someone should you make a mistake. But you do have a choice in the matter, because you don't have to own and operate a motor vehicle. If you walk, ride a bike, take mass transit, ride with uber, etc, you are not forced to buy any products... you had to opt in to that set of laws by choosing to buy and drive a car.

The huge difference here, the thing that is truly unprecedented, is that every living American is now forced to buy a product. There's no opt out. There's no choice. If you breathe, you must buy. This is oppressive, this is different, and it only has happened under a Democrat, Obama. If you want to go live off the grid on a homestead somewhere and be a subsistence farmer living and dying in your own when your time comes, tough beans for you. If you want to be an Amish person, live in your community and not make use of any modern medicine, tough beans for you. If you don't want to pay for modern insurance just because you want to take your chances and save some money (which I think is stupid, but freedom should allow people to do it), then tough beans for you. Obama still makes you buy his product.

This is yet another example proving that Liberals and liberty have nothing in common.

Comment Re:What exactly is a SDN, anyway? (Score 1) 105

How far are we away from this now? Most switches anymore seem like specialist PCs with a zillion NICs that boot some variant of linux or bsd and allow for pretty exotic topologies as it is, limited only by the interconnect hardware they have.

And that's just the switches. Have a look at a really advanced network device, like the F5 Big-IP load balancer. That loads Linux plus a proprietary real time OS called TMOS, is a full proxy for most common traffic types like TCP, and as a full proxy it can intercept and edit anything that comes through it. And if you don't like the gazillion options it gives you, you can write iRules in the TCL language and apply them to any listener. The iRule is basically just a TCL program, and it can edit the packets and their payload in any way you want as they come through. And all these BigIPs can be remotely controlled by BigIQ, which is F5s centralized controller.

So in theory, if you compromised the F5 you already had pretty much the same kind of control over traffic the blackhat people are highlighting. But, not everything in your network would run through an F5. I think the big difference today is that everything DOES run through a switch somewhere.

Comment Re:nature will breed it out (Score 1) 950

Don't be absurd. There's no evidence that it's inherited, and he's arguing that it is a result of events in the person's life. It's entirely nurture.

I don't know if it's entirely nurture, but I do think that's a big part of it. My wife and I are Millennials, and when we grew up all these technologies like the Internet and video games were coming in and I don't think anyone thought too much about it. I know I've played a lot of video games in my time and wasted absolutely copious hours online, though I don't look at porn both for the sake of my wife and because I'm a Christian and it isn't right. But Internet and video games seem to be enough to cause problems even without porn... I'd actually wondered if they weren't rewiring my brain several years ago as I began to notice how hard a time I had putting down my smart phone and just being able to sit quietly without technology in my hand.

My wife and I have three children, and we've realized phones, iPads, etc have become so ubiquitous they're interfering with our ability to spend time with our kids and raise them well. It's just way too easy to grab one of those and not talk at the dinner table, or to completely numb out in the evenings. We are lucky that we are old enough to remember a time before the technology when we were different, because we can see that changes have happened and we've realized we don't like the changes. We're actually turning things off as a result. We've deactivated our facebook accounts, the iPad stays pretty much just at work where I use it only to read work related research materials, and my wife is going back to a flip phone with no real Internet browser (and I may follow her shortly). Oh, and my giant flight simulator hookup is up for sale too. Our oldest child will be six this summer, and I'm just hoping we haven't lost too much time, and that the rewiring can work the other way.

While a lot of people would say I'm pretty successful, as I've gotten a lot of promotions at work and make a good income and have an intact family, still I don't think I'm really reaching my potential as a Dad, husband, Christian, or even engineer because of all these distractions. So here's to turning it back off and partying like it's 1995 again, with an isolated, inconvenient to access desktop being the primary way to get online and discouraging access.

Comment Re:Suck it Millenials (Score 1) 407

Sorry to ruin it for you, but despite the fact that Gen X is generally confined between 1960 and 1980, your upbringing - technology wise - was exactly the one of a Gen Xer, and that struggle is exactly what makes the tech savvy X and Boomers have that extra insight in IT.

For what concerns IT, you can consider yourself a product of Generation X.

I don't think it's the same at all, unless you are confining yourself to a very high level statement where "the same" means "technology was immature enough that the average user had to have computer troubleshooting skills to get things to work". In that respect, yes, things were the same, and are quite different than the situation the new generation has with highly refined and simple technology.

But on a more specific level, due to the rapid progress of technology, Gen X and early Millennials were very different. When most Gen Xers I know were growing up in the 80s, they were all about the better and better baud modems, getting books of phone numbers and dialing into BBS's, soldering things together, dealing with computers that didn't have hard drives, and playing lots of textual MUD dungeons or basic Atari 2600 games, and browsing USENET and working on pure DOS or Unix systems.

By the time we got our first computer, which was Windows 3.1, the GUI was firmly entrenched, hard drives were in the machines, and no soldering was taking place, and many of the BBS's were gone or dying (I didn't even hear the word BBS until 20 years later when an older colleague mentioned it to me). My family's first computer even had a cassette loading CD-ROM. Our second computer, and the one I was old enough to most clearly remember, had a Pentium, a 56k modem (nothing slower was being sold by that point), a hard drive of over 1 GB, a normal CD-ROM drive, nice sound and video cards, and Windows 95 with Microsoft Office.

Of course even the Windows 95 machine was not particularly refined or bug free, so I learned many of the same troubleshooting methodologies as a Gen-Xer. But I used almost none of the same technology. None of my computers used floppy disks that were actually floppy, I never got on Usenet (my first Internet exposure was using Netscape Navigator to browse to Yahoo, probably around 1996), never used the Internet on anything less than a 56k modem, and we had broadband and Windows XP in highschool, where my friends and I worked with firewire connected camcorders and video editing software. And I have to admit, while I can hold my own with my older Gen-X friends at work when it comes to software troubleshooting, I have NONE of the hardware or electrical skills they had. I've never used a soldering iron in my life. So I really don't view my technology background as being the same as theirs, although luckily things were still buggy enough that it honed the same troubleshooting methedologies they had, at least on the software side.

Comment Re:Suck it Millenials (Score 1) 407

Self driving cars/trucks/farming equipment, robotic factories, etc., will reduce the need for a massive workforce, especially once we get closer to the singularity.

Lol, we aren't anywhere near "the singularity", despite the media hype. Back in the day "AI Research" at MIT consisted of getting computers to beat people at chess. This was accomplished by making better and better rules to allow the computer to make better moves in various situations. It wasn't real intelligence, but it made the computer "seem" intelligent.

Today, the big AI hurdles we are crossing are translating sounds to text, synthesizing natural speech, and being able to better contextualize spoken text so that computers can do better searches on data and discover more relevant results. All of those fields have made big strides, but they were done by writing better and better rules and using better and better statistics, not by any true "learning" or "intelligence". They are similar to the chess work done by MIT... they make computers seem intelligent and make them more useful, but they still don't think or have consciousness.

What we are heading towards is the USS Enterprise computer on Star Trek The Next Generation. It will be capable of understanding human speech and generally delivering what they want, but not capable of independent thought. True AI, true independent thought, is extremely hard and we haven't even scratched the surface. We have no idea how our brain works or how we think, let alone how to build applications that can think on their own. True AI (the singularity) will not just magically happen. Things don't happen by magic, least of all computer programming. It will not ever happen until we have enough understanding and design prowess to design and construct a thinking computer. Until then, we will have Siri/Enterprise computer like devices... they can translate speech to text, then compose Google searches, run by ever improving algorithms that deliver ever improving answers, but the leap to thought is not going to happen.

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