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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 463 463

its stealing either way

Okay, seriously: no, it is not. Copyright infringement is not theft. "Piracy," in the sense you're using the word, is not theft. And anyone who says it is has shown that they have nothing meaningful to say on the subject.

That would be a straw man. The grandparent didn't claim it was theft. He claimed it was stealing. I checked a couple of online dictionaries, and they all contain something like this:

to appropriate (ideas, credit, words, etc.) without right or acknowledgment.

Clearly, the grandparent feel someone is appropriating words or music without right.

You are completely right about the missing apostrophe; however, that rule is so unintuitive that I'll forgive anyone for giving it a miss :)

Personally, I am no fan of the current copyright situation, but that is a separate matter.

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 1) 484 484

No. True is simply a value we assign to a fact. The only constraint is that it is logically consistent with the remaining true facts.

Objectivity and fact are synonyms. Something that is objective has a truth value that is irrespective of anyone's perceptions or beliefs. A for absolute scale, it depends on what is being discussed-- if it is "existence", the scale is "exists" or "does not exist". Some things have scale with more shades inbetween.

Obviously, because such "facts" as you call them, comes from our (presumably) shared experience of the world. We call them facts because we can measure them, or deduct them from something we can measure. Of course, "facts" might change, either because our world changes, because our measurements changes, or because our deduction techniques changes. E.g, some times ago a number of religious beliefs (say, Jesus's revival) were considered facts, but today we know it not to be so.

But you are saying that evil is defined on a relative, subjective scale, and denying that there is any higher authority to which one could appeal for such an objective scale.

Of course. Doing otherwise would be insane.

The problem remains that you cannot call your own personal beliefs "true" while asserting that they are subjective. Either they are true, or they are not, and truth is NOT subjective.

You got it backwards. We do not instinctively know something is evil because the act is evil; rather an act is evil because we instinctively find it evil.

You can argue that that means that what is evil changes over time, and indeed, this is the case. E.g, the old testament has a lot of stories where one of the many gods therein ordered "his" people to do mass murder and genocides. Such an act might not have been considered evil then, but it certainly is now. I don't know why that bothers people.

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 1) 484 484

The witch is violated. No one sane can call that act anything but evil, given what we know today.

The only thing that makes earthquakes "not evil" is that no one can prevent them. If you are in a position where you cost-free can prevent and earth-quake, not doing so is certainly evil. And an omnipotent and omniscient god is by definition an entity which could do so.

Whether an event is evil depends on the viewers in question. E.g, I find censoring evil, but not everyone do so. This extends to groups in the obvious manner.

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 1) 484 484

Certainly you can, it is just a matter of definition. Say, trying to scare small kiddies with hell if they don't believe is "true evil" in my book.

And here is the grave error in your argument. True is a word that implies an objectivity;

No. True is simply a value we assign to a fact. The only constraint is that it is logically consistent with the remaining true facts.

objectivity requires an absolute scale.

It doesn't matter since your argument has already collapsed, but which objectivity do you mean here? The philosophical reaction to rationalism, or perhaps scientific objectivity?

But you are saying that evil is defined on a relative, subjective scale, and denying that there is any higher authority to which one could appeal for such an objective scale.

Of course. Doing otherwise would be insane.

Care to clarify how this all works out?

That should be obvious, at least on an instinctive level. Almost every human have a instinct that tells them what is evil and what is not. Note that it doesn't matter for the argument what the exact definition is: As long as evil exists, god (as omnipresent,omnipotent,good) is logically impossible.

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 2) 484 484

It took me three lines to spot your first grave mistake in an argument. "Under atheism, one cannot really have true evil". Certainly you can, it is just a matter of definition. Say, trying to scare small kiddies with hell if they don't believe is "true evil" in my book. So is torturing alleged heretics, burning witches and a number of other acts. All those acts are more than plentiful evil enough to support the "you cannot have such events in the world, .together with an good, omnipotent and omniscient god".

Besides which, "evil" in this argument doesn't really need to be evil, just obviously bad for humans. Earthquakes, tsunamis and even ice storms comes under that heading.

Destroying the arguments of religious types is easy as stealing candy from children, but more fun and less objectionable :)

Comment Re:Bah! (Score 1) 695 695

But to add, I do not believe it is politically possible to create enough consensus in the world to do anything effective about it

Certainly not so long as corporations and other deep-pocketed entities believe that they'll make enough money prolonging the problem to ride out the results.

For my money, I think we are simply seeing the tragedy of the commons in gigantic scale. Everyone wants to emit "just a little more", and it adds up really fast.

Comment Re:Bah! (Score 3, Informative) 695 695

You are mistaken. Simple physics (Beer-Lamberts Law, if you want to check on wikipedia) predict some of the warming, and the rest can be roughly inferred by a rather simplistic model. The complicated models are either to get more details or, more commonly, to try to model how exactly the earth will move towards a new steady state. After all, we are in for 100's of years of slow changes even if we suddenly stop all CO2-emition tomorrow.

Of course, in principle, we might be seeing something else that just happens to fit. Or Santa Claus might actually exists, and so on. But when you have a set of data, and a explanation based on solid physics which has convincingly predicted 30 years or more of data since its original publication, I think we can move to the "I know" phase. Just like "I know" there is no Santa Claus --- not absolutely, but beyond reasonable doubt.

Comment Re:Bah! (Score 0) 695 695

We know it is humans because the observed warming fits with the warming expected from the extra CO2 emission we humans have generated lately.

We should do something about it because it is cheaper than dealing with the changes themselves.

But to add, I do not believe it is politically possible to create enough consensus in the world to do anything effective about it, which leaves either luck (technology happens to save us) or dealing with the consequences. On the bright side, climate change is unlikely to wipe out the human race.

Comment Re:Shouldn't Apples count? (Score 1) 487 487

I understand how it works, I use btrfs for fun to make disposable chroots, which is useful (though LVM would give me nearly identical results). Besides moving, there is also the hardlink problem... hardlinks cannot cross fs boundaries. Important for e.g. backups and git repositories.

Not having to worry about the pool is cool, and certainly a step up from LVM, but IMHO not nearly compelling enough, especially considering that btrfs is on the way to fix that feature.

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

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