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Comment: Re:The biggest risk to the pyramids is Islam (Score 1) 246

by Crosshair84 (#47859003) Attached to: Egypt's Oldest Pyramid Is Being Destroyed By Its Own Restoration Team
You mean like the 100+ million dead due to Marxist Atheism in the 20th century? No god, no life after death, if we have to slaughter tens of millions of dissidents to achieve the Socialist paradise, why shouldn't we? It's for the common good. If they rebel and are at my door, I put a pistol in my mouth and get away scot free for what I have done. We all have to die sometime, it ultimately makes no difference if it's tomorrow or a century from now if Atheism is true.

Saying you want to get rid of religion is as absurd and inane as saying you want to get rid of numbers. "Religion" is just a fancy name for "worldview" and EVERYONE has one in some form or the other, you HAVE to if you expect to survive. In order to function in this world, every person has to put together some interpretation of the world around them so they can think on a higher level than that of a dog. Some worldviews believe the universe is fundamentally chaotic, some believe it is orderly, some believe reality is real, some believe it is an illusion, some are atheistic, some theist, some pantheistic. Atheism is just as much a worldview as Christianity, Islam, Roman Paganism, etc, etc, etc.

And I would be happy to accept having the best historical copies of each locked in a bunker somewhere for historians to study except we have seen where that leads, the Catholic church.

At this point in my life, seeing someone so proudly wear their ignorance on their sleeve just brings a smile to my face.

For the first 300 years of Christianity, the authorities did everything they could to wipe out Christianity. For those first 300 years the church had no authority to go after any heretical writings in any way other than strongly worded letters and had no idea who had copies and where they were. The Gospels and Letters were copied independently and sometimes haphazardly by inexperienced amateur copyists. Thankfully, in the last ~100 years there have been over 20,000 early manuscripts found and with so many copies it is trivial to find where all the errors are, most of which are simple spelling and word order changes. Almost the entire new testament has been reconstructed from fragments from before 300 AD. Other more complete manuscripts which agree with these earlier fragments have been dated to the fourth and fifth centuries. Had the Church done any editing it would have shown up as discrepancies in the pre-300 AD manuscripts. Critics for years accused the church of editing the Old Testament to fit the life of Jesus. The Dead Sea Scrolls put down that theory decades ago and likewise with the early manuscript evidence.

Even in cases where there WAS editing of non-scriptural texts, like with Josephus's mention of Jesus in "Antiquities of the Jews" where "he was believed to be Christ" was edited into "he was Christ", we STILL have managed to find copies in Arabic and Syriac that have the original text intact. The critics for years claimed that the Josephus mention of Jesus was an outright forgery, others claimed that it was original, but was clearly edited with a pro-Christian spin since Josephus never converted to Christianity. Textual criticism has clearly put the passage as "original, but edited" thanks to the hard work of countless researchers. Those wanting to do the same, but to the detriment of Christianity have tried for literally centuries, but continue to come up empty handed.

20th century Textual Criticism has the New Testament figured out to 99.9% accuracy. Any errors or ambiguities that remain have no theological significance. There's more errors to be found in many English translations than there exist between the original Greek and the Greek that was written 2000 years ago. Even more errors are caused by ignorance of 1st century Jewish and Roman culture, which is not always intentional given that most records from that time have not survived. Pontius Pilate, a high ranking official in the Roman government virtually disappears from the historical record without Josephus and the New Testament texts, that much has been lost from the 1st century. We are at the mercy of whatever has survived, often by accident. Technological masterpieces like the Antikythera Mechanism were accidentally lost for milenia until someone found the remains of one in a shipwreck. Apply the standards that critics apply to the New Testament texts to other texts from antiquity and you will find you are left with nothing whatsoever.

Not expecting to convince you, just pointing out what Twisted Sister said years ago, "If that's your best, your best won't do." You might concern some people who treat church as little more than a social club, but that's about it. As someone who genuinely investigated the pros and cons of Christianity and other worldviews, you're chucking peanuts at a battleship. People have managed to stump me before and I've gone and looked around and found possible and acceptable answers to their objection, but you're nowhere close. It's getting to the point I can just copy/paste responses I've used elsewhere.

Comment: Re:Mod parent UP please (Score 1) 727

by Crosshair84 (#47752265) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'
As long as Microsoft prices server licenses stupidly, Torvalds and company are gonna be able to get away with their amateur hour politics.

Like you, I don't care if it's Linux, BSD, or whatever else come around. I, like every other mainstream user, just wants the dammed thing to work when I hit the power button like I expect my car to work when I turn the key.

Perhaps the best thing that could happen is for MS to get competitive on the server side and Torvalds and company find server companies are no longer willing to put up with their crap. Who knows, perhaps something comes out of left field; IBM, with the bad rep of the 80s forgotten, sinks some money into BSD and gets a foothold in the desktop market? Crazier things have happened.

Comment: Re:I seem to remember... (Score 1) 275

by Crosshair84 (#47746585) Attached to: Dropbox Caught Between Warring Giants Amazon and Google

this is NO different than Walmart coming into an area and pricing products below cost to wipe out competition and then fucking the consumer when they are the only game in town

Which is why the net is full of documented examples of that happening........Oh wait, you can't because that's not what happens. Sure businesses get driven out because a competitor has lower prices, but you can't find substantive examples of them then raising their prices again. Because other businesses will simply move in again to compete.

The only time you could in theory have such a situation is if there are government regulations that make it difficult or impossible for smaller firms to start up and compete, which is what we have today in the banking industry.

I respect your insight into the world of computers, but your knowledge of economics is stuck quite firmly in the 19th century.

Comment: Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (Score 1) 268

by Crosshair84 (#47357765) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone
They weren't even using sniper rifles. They were using a rack-grade AR rifle with a red-dot. They could have had a break-action single shot and done the same.

Though to turn to the critical side, you've clearly never bought a firearm if you think a foreigner buying guns at gunshows and mail-order is simple. Most sellers at gunshows are dealers so they would have to fill out a 4473 and have a NICS check. Of the small fraction who are private sellers like myself, 90% of us are going to demand a drivers license to copy down your info. The quantity and quality of firearms they would be able to purchase would be extremely limited.

Buying guns by mail-order requires you to either have your own FFL or have them shipped to an FFL. So you'll have to write into the government to get your own FFL or fill out a 4473 to get one by mail order. So in reality the only guns they will have access to are black market guns.

Comment: Re:They're infringing my Second-Amendment drone ri (Score 4, Interesting) 268

by Crosshair84 (#47342875) Attached to: That Toy Is Now a Drone
Exactly. Imagine what they could do with everyday objects if they decided to do more than go for a body count and actually had the inclination to come over here. *cough* southern border *cough* Let me just throw out a few possibilities to make the point.

Caltrops. This several thousand year old weapon, first used against humans and horses, remains effective today against vehicles with pneumatic tires. You can make them out of darn near any piece of thin metal. Just have every member go around town once a month to every hardware/big-box store in town and buy a box of nails or screws for cash. Pickup a gallon of milk or something else and you'll blend right in with the millions of other people picking up odds and ends for home.

With a few basic tools and a welder a few guys can build caltrops assembly line style. Then just go out on the road just before rush hour when its dark or during ran so it's harder for the car behind to notice the bouncing spike thing coming from under your car and drop them one at a time through a hole in the floor. (Make sure you make sure they don't bounce into your own tires.) Home-rigged caltrops like these usually don't cause blowouts, but will case a slow leak that will deflate a tire. How many car and truck tires do you need to take out before you case a cluster of a traffic jam? Sure sounds lame, but what happens when your group does this once every month and there are 4 other cells in the area doing the same? In certain areas of the country this could bring commerce to a standstill.

High tension wooden power pole in middle of nowhere + Chainsaw. Don't really need to explain this one further except that power pole wood is hard on chainsaw chains. Sure just one cell doing this would just be a nuisance, a couple dozen driving around the country doing this will quickly overwhelm the repair crews. Just cutting one will usually result in the neighboring poles holding the wires up for the time being, allowing an escape and not letting people know exactly when you did the deed.

Supposedly Iran has sleeper cells in the US tasked with doing exactly this should the US attack Iran. No idea if it's true or not, but attacking infrastructure wouldn't exactly be a hard thing to do.

Comment: Re: Welcome to your new walled garden (Score 1) 225

by Crosshair84 (#47114661) Attached to: Google Starts Blocking Extensions Not In the Chrome Web Store
Yea, the DOJ's argument was BS as it could be used to sue Ford for including tires with every one of its cars, giving it a monopoly on the default tires on its cars. Can you imagine the stupidity of going car shopping with every vehicle up on blocks? Likewise with IE, like it or hate it, people want SOMETHING so that they can at least get moving, if for no more reason than to download another browser/get to the tire store.

Comment: Re: Not necessarily hate (Score 1) 1482

by Crosshair84 (#46666161) Attached to: OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights
Easy, the major twin identical twin studies done in the last couple decades show quite clearly that homosexuality is not inherently genetic.

Eight major studies of identical twins in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia during the last two decades all arrive at the same conclusion: gays were not born that way.

“At best genetics is a minor factor,” says Dr. Neil Whitehead, PhD. Whitehead worked for the New Zealand government as a scientific researcher for 24 years, then spent four years working for the United Nations and International Atomic Energy Agency. Most recently, he serves as a consultant to Japanese universities about the effects of radiation exposure. His PhD is in biochemistry and statistics.

Identical twins have the same genes or DNA. They are nurtured in equal prenatal conditions. If homosexuality is caused by genetics or prenatal conditions and one twin is gay, the co-twin should also be gay.

“Because they have identical DNA, it ought to be 100%,” Dr. Whitehead notes. But the studies reveal something else. “If an identical twin has same-sex attraction the chances the co-twin has it are only about 11% for men and 14% for women.”

Because identical twins are always genetically identical, homosexuality cannot be genetically dictated. “No-one is born gay,” he notes. “The predominant things that create homosexuality in one identical twin and not in the other have to be post-birth factors.”

Dr. Whitehead believes same-sex attraction (SSA) is caused by “non-shared factors,” things happening to one twin but not the other, or a personal response to an event by one of the twins and not the other.

For example, one twin might have exposure to pornography or sexual abuse, but not the other. One twin may interpret and respond to their family or classroom environment differently than the other. “These individual and idiosyncratic responses to random events and to common environmental factors predominate,” he says.

The first very large, reliable study of identical twins was conducted in Australia in 1991, followed by a large U.S. study about 1997. Then Australia and the U.S. conducted more twin studies in 2000, followed by several studies in Scandinavia, according to Dr. Whitehead.

“Twin registers are the foundation of modern twin studies. They are now very large, and exist in many countries. A gigantic European twin register with a projected 600,000 members is being organized, but one of the largest in use is in Australia, with more than 25,000 twins on the books.”

I suppose I'm going to be called all sorts of nasty names for pointing this easily searchable fact out.

The "Born that way" myth started because gays wanted to compare themselves to Blacks. If they conceded that homosexuality was not innate and a self-destructive behavioral choice (Given the horrific levels of disease in the gay community.) on the same level of smokers and alcoholics, the whole gay rights movement falls apart.

Just like smokers and alcoholics, you can find plenty of former homosexuals if you go looking for them. Most stay silent, lest they suffer the same fate as others who go up against the LGBT lobby

Robert Oscar Lopez is just one name I can throw. A former homosexual who was raised by his mother and her lesbian partner who is against gay marriage. They gay lobby nearly got him fired for simply telling his life experience and how children should be raised by a mom and a dad. Check out his blog at http://englishmanif.blogspot.c...

Comment: Re:Gold has value in a working economy (Score 1) 249

by Crosshair84 (#46197677) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades

The Jews in that scenario didn't have to spend fortunes of gold to escape or eat because gold had suddenly lost value. They had to spend those fortunes because BRIBING PEOPLE IS EXPENSIVE. It is especially expensive when you have to do it on the spot and only have one chance to offer the bribe.

Picture the scenario, A family of Jews in Nazi Germany is trying to make it to Switzerland. They have their old Jewish ID papers with them, but purchased fake non-Jew IDs so as to be able to travel. They arrive at the last checkpoint before getting to the Swiss border. The guard takes the fathers fake ID and looks it over. Soon the father can tell by the guards body language that he has spotted the ID being fake. The father asks if everything is OK? The guard doesn't answer, the father is sure that the fakes have been spotted. The checkpoint is an open area with people coming and going. Everything he and the guard does might be under observation. The father reaches into his pocket and conceals a sizable gold coin in his hand. He takes his wife's fake ID and puts the gold coin inside of it, and hands it to the guard. Setting down the Fathers ID, the guard opens the Wife's ID and sees the coin. The guard looks at the father for a moment before palming the coin and putting it in his pocket, then hands the families IDs back and apologizes for the delay before letting them through.

Such a scenario is NOT the place where you nickel and dime. The father has no idea what the guards price is, but he has to make an offer high enough to convince even the most devoted Nazi to look the other way and do it in a way that doesn't get spotted.

Comment: Re:Gold has value in a working economy (Score 1) 249

by Crosshair84 (#46197413) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades
"Within their society they'd use reputation-based credit"

This only works in a society the size of a large family. Even Indian tribes used money in the forms of shells, rare feathers, and other items their society deemed valuable.

Using gasoline as a medium of exchange is a non-starter for practical reasons, I shouldn't need to spell them out. Not to mention what happens when you meet a caravan of traveling merchants whose vehicles are all diesel powered and who have plenty of fuel already? Even if one gallong of fuel was worth an ounce of gold, the gold would still win out.

Comment: Re:Gold has value in a working economy (Score 1) 249

by Crosshair84 (#46197341) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades
So you're saying the bitcoins are better, despite admitting you have no idea if that is true.

Selling gold is stupid easy. You can either use it for direct exchange or take it to a coin dealer and sell it. A reputable dealer will sell at a 2-5% markup and buy at or slightly below spot price. If the dealer steals your gold you know exactly who to send the cops after, your bitcoins get stolen and you'll be lucky to know what country the person who stole them is in.

Comment: Re:Gold has value in a working economy (Score 2) 249

by Crosshair84 (#46197263) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades
No we won't. Physics itself dictates that gold is scarce. While stars can forge lots of elements, the current evidence points to them being unable to forge heavy elements like gold. The best theory/evidence to date is that gold is created when two neutron stars collide. Even then, odd numbered elements tend to not be created in quantity vs even numbered elements. Mining gold will ALWAYS involve mining and processing tons of ore and always be incredibly expensive.

Comment: Re:Magic the Gathering Online Exchange (Score 3, Informative) 249

by Crosshair84 (#46197175) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades
"there is far far far less bitcoin than there is gold, and there always will be far far far less bitcoin than there is gold. Limited to 21million coins."

Total quantity in existence is completely irrelevant. People could create a currency backed completely by by copper if they wanted to. Copper historically WAS used as money for very low value transactions where dividing silver or gold was not practical. Being rare is not the be-all-end-all of currencies, it's an advantage, but not required. It is an advantage in that the resulting physical coins carry significant purchasing power.

Money has 7 characteristics and the more characteristics something has, the better it will serve as money.

(1) It must be durable, which is why we don’t use wheat or corn or rice.
(2) It must be divisible, which is why we don’t use art work.
(3) It must be convenient, which is why we don’t use lead.
(4) It must be consistent, which is why we don’t use real estate.
(5) It must possess value in itself, which is why we don’t use paper. (The US dollar was originally backed by gold, which is the reason people accepted it in the first place.)
(6) It must be limited in the quantity that is available, which is why we don’t use aluminum or iron.
(7) It should have a long history of acceptance, which is why we don’t use molybdenum or rhodium.
Bitcoin fails 1, 3, 5, and 7.

It is not durable in a practical sense because it relies on a global P2P network to work. Governments have taken their countries off the internet before. How do you spend your bitcoins during civil unrest when you can't access the network? It is also vulnerable to a 51% attack, which is well within the technological capabilities of many governments.

It is not convenient because it relies on both parties having setup a bitcoin wallet and having an internet connection. If I want to buy a used car for 3 ounces of gold, all I have to do is hand the seller the gold and they can verify firsthand that it is real and then I get the title to the car. I've gone to estate sales where there was no cellular or other data service and was not aware of this beforehand. Someone trying to buy via Bitcoin would be SOL, people using gold, silver, or paper money would go on with business as usual.

It does not posses value onto itself. Lets say that one day, nobody wanted to use gold as money, perhaps everyone decided to use Platinum instead. Would your gold's value drop to zero? No, because gold has uses beyond being money, especially today with its many industrial uses. If people stop using bitcoin as money, the values goes immediately to zero.

Bitcoin does not have a long history behind it at all while gold has a record that spans almost all of human history. 5,000 years of use and gold has never gone to zero. I have cans of SPAM that are older than bitcoin. (and still edible too) Once it earns a reputation that lasts a few decades, perhaps it will gain more widespread acceptance, but it might as well be a .com stock at this point, perhaps it will survive, perhaps it won't.

Comment: Re:Magic the Gathering Online Exchange (Score 1) 249

by Crosshair84 (#46196971) Attached to: Bitcoin Plunges After Mt. Gox Exchange Halts Trades
Platinum is harder to verify. Toiuchstones have been detecting counterfeit gold for millennia while similar basic technology does not exist for Platimum as far as I am aware of. Both gold and silver have a distinct sound when struck or dropped onto a table that simply can't be counterfeited in a way that produces a coin that will look real. I don't know if the same applies to Platimum

But of course with precious metal money, all three can coexist.

Comment: Re:Warranty Shouldn't Matter (Score 2) 359

by Crosshair84 (#46009301) Attached to: GPUs Dropping Dead In 2011 MacBook Pro Models
Don't get me started on that "Green" solder. That stuff causes so many failures it isn't even funny. The old box camera CCTV security cameras that were made before "green"solder was used would often last over a decade. There are some B&W cameras at one facility still in service that have manufacture dates on them from 1993 when the facility first opened, 20 years of trouble free operation. Only reason I was in the housing for those cameras was to clean the lenses and re-focus.

The newer stuff? Some specimens last as little as two years, 4-5 seems to be the average. Bust one apart and guess what you find? Just like you said, broken solder joints or tin whiskers.

Yea, lead paint in kids toys is a bad idea, but guess what politicians who mandated lead-free solder? Sometimes lead is used in things for VERY GOOD REASONS. In this case, using leaded solder effectively solves the tin whisker problem in most use cases. Any environmental savings by using lead-free solder is more than offset by the decreased lifespan of equipment.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350