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Comment Re:Let's face it... (Score 1) 260

original sin is basically what causes entropy to exist.

Since I have never heard of this link between entropy and sin, I doubt if many fundamentalists are going to be aware of it either, if they even know what entropy is.

The Original Sin is the Fall of Man which introduced death and decay into the world. Romans 5:12-21. It's a fairly central dogma in Christianity; and especially in fundamentalist Christianity.

Comment Re:Scientific Laws (Score 1) 260

theories do not ever become "Laws" any more. It doesn't fit well with the way Science is conducted.

I'd put it the other way around. All science does is Laws. The underlying assumption of science is that it's playing with universal truths, universal rules. Hydrogen is hydrogen; whether it's in hydrocarbons, in water, in hydrogen gas, in the heart of the sun, or in the first atoms in the universe.

Natural philosophy was traditionally based around more limited observational rules. You had a rule for calculating the eclipses of the moon. Another for the orbits of Jupiter and maybe Saturn. Whole books for the behaviour of objects, when falling, rolling, or being thrown. None of them connected to any of the others.

When the first universal theories started to be devised, they emphasised that they were touching on old-school philosophy: The idea of fundamental "Laws" of the whole universe. "Laws" from which the local rules could all be derived. It must have been heady stuff.

Now it's all universal. Hence there's no reason to mark some theories out as special from the others. Hence the "theory of relativity" is still called theory, even though it's more universal than Newton's "Laws", and even though it's about as empirically verified as any theory gets.

Evolution is the currently accepted scientific theory of speciation

Again, that's probably backwards. Various theories, like Darwin's natural and sexual selection, explain the observation of evolution. Evolution isn't a theory, it's the phenomenon being theorised about. In the way that Newton's Laws (and now general relativity) were the theories that explain what we observe about gravity.

Comment Re: Idiocy. (Score 1) 394

Read what I wrote again.

I was a customer not an employee. I was paying the training company for the training and certification I needed for accreditation. (And I most certainly will be finding another company next time it comes due.)

The staff couldn't do their job because of the failure of their IT dept to do their job.

As a result, we (the clients) had to use our own computers, and in doing so we discovered that we had full network access (often more than the staff had) because the IT dept failed to do their jobs and secure the network properly. Meanwhile, the company lost reputation and lost business because of the actions (and inactions) of those IT dept employees. From what I heard, they lost a major contract due to this kind of bullshit, and had to close down an entire regional centre.

And I'm sure that the same incompetent IT dept probably patted themselves on the back and told stories about idiot end lusers, just as you do. Congratulated themselves on fighting the good fight against the lusers.

I mean, you couldn't even listen to a user enough to understand that I was not employee, but a paying client. You were already so far up your own ass, so ready with your excuses "if you don't like it, go find another job", that you couldn't even read the words.

Comment Re: Idiocy. (Score 1) 394

Ah, so unless it's a dev or engineer ("one of us"), all the people who complain about not being able to do their jobs because of shitty IT policies and lazy/crazy IT people must all be lying.

For eg,
I was doing a cert update (accounting) through a trainer, their IT dept at head office had the training machines boot from a saved state. Which is fair enough: training machines. Except that they'd left all the autoupdates turned on, and it looked like they hadn't updated that saved state for over two years. So each time you turned on a machine, it started trying to update every piece of software for an hour or so. And half the updates failed (anything except the core OS) because they were set to require admin-level confirmation to confirm the final install, which, of course, no-one had.

Meanwhile, for the entirety of the six month course, the IT dept refused to install the corporate accounting package that we were there to train on... You know, the actual function of the company. The site manager (and apparently her boss) couldn't get the IT dept to install the (already purchased) software, nor explain why they were refusing. So we students (and half the staff) just used our laptops...

And funnily enough, the actual office network (not just the training network) was so poorly secured you could just plug in any random laptop to any random ethernet port and get access without so much as a login. Near the end of my six months there, one weekend they set up a wi-fi network in the office, without telling anyone in the office, including a guest account for students (judging by the SSID - "Student (Guest)"), but didn't give passwords to anyone who actually worked there.

But no, I guess we were just trying to install a pirated, malware laced version of solitaire.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 698

The structure of the sentence doesn't specify militia membership as a pre-condition for keeping and bearing arms. It merely implies that a well regulated militia requires arms, that militias are composed of citizens and thus grants citizens the right to bear arms, implying that they thereby would be able to join together into a militia if they so chose.

I've always felt it works better if you flip that around, the "militia" part is a sort-of apology for not disarming the government. "Unfortunately, the ability of the government to command a militia is necessary to security, so the people must have the ability to defend themselves against abuses by that militia." "Government" in this case doesn't have to mean Federal, just a militias don't have to be national.

It makes less sense that people are armed in order to allow the government to call them up, since the government already has that power under Article 1; and indeed there were early laws requiring able-bodied free men to own a suitable weapon to join the militia.

In fact, the entire original BoR works better, IMO, when read as giving people the ability to plot against the government.

Freedom of the press, the literal printing press, in order to print pamphlets of grievances, in order to recruit. Freedom of religion, because churches were historically used recruit; and as havens to plot against tyrants, and thus control of churches a way to suppress such plots.

Arms. Obviously.

Absence of military intimidation of potential supporters. (A common tactic in the day. If there's unrest in the area, the govt houses troops on the land or even in the homes of sympathisers, consume their food, etc. As well as the less savoury aspects of having random soldiers set up in your home.)

The ability to hide documents, either at home or while travelling. To carry messages between conspirators, etc.

The right not to be compelled to testify against your fellow rebels. Nor to be held without charge or warrant. Or have your property arbitrarily seized. Etc. And to prevent jury-shopping by continually re-charging you even after you are acquitted.

Not to be held for an unlimited time, nor be prevented from being able to conduct a defence.

To have a jury of peers, not govt appointed judges, nor ring-ins brought in from loyalist areas.

Bail can't be used to get around the Sixth. Nor minor offences used to justify a major punishment.

And no cheating by sneaking laws into the gaps between the literal wording.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 698

The real question is, Would our troops accept the government telling them to mount an offensive against the populace?

Judging by the police, sure.

Provided you first dehumanise the enemy in some way...

the radically pro-government types (Occupy *, et al),

...And there you are. See? Easy. You're already well on your way to turning on your own countrymen.

Comment Re: Idiocy. (Score 2) 394

You need something installed, put in a ticket with a justification. You don't need War and Peace, just a blurb on how the software relates to your job.
If you can't do that, you don't need it and most certainly do not need to be able software at will.

Wow. That sounds great. But... how do you reconcile that with an IT dept (in the story) that apparently doesn't know how to install a text editor in Linux?

I mean, forget running Windows-only shit in a VM, a fucking text editor. In Linux.

(Or a place I used to do training, which locked training machines (Windows) to a saved state... but with all the autoupdates left on. Every time you booted up the training machines, they started trying to install hundreds of updates for every single piece of software. Which half would fail to install after downloading anyway because you needed admin privileges to confirm the install. (And as near as I could tell, the saved state hadn't been updated in at least two years.) Same (off-site) IT dept wouldn't install a widely used accounting package onto the training computers (the thing we were meant to be training on), with no explanation given. At least six months while I was there, the site manager (and her boss) couldn't get the IT dept to either install the already purchased software, or at least give them some idea of why they were refusing. We all just used our laptops. Funnily enough, the actual office network (not the training network) was so poorly locked down, you could plug in any random laptop to any random ethernet port and get access without so much as a login. One weekend, they set up a wi-fi network in the office, without telling anyone in the office, including a guest account for students (judging by the SSID - "Student (Guest)"), but didn't give passwords to anyone who actually worked there.)

Comment Re: Good for greece (Score 5, Insightful) 1307

Germany will return to the DM, which all the sensible people in Europe will shift their savings and investments to, at which point the "new drachma", as the euro will be called then, won't be worth the paper it's printed on.

The vast majority of German exports are to Europe, and the majority of those to the Eurozone.

If Germany had a separate currency, it would appreciate relative to the rest of Europe. That would result in German exports being effectively becoming much more expensive. Similarly, with a drop in the value of the currencies (or joint currency) of the PIIGS countries, their own exports would suddenly become much more competitive and their wages much lower (without the pain of internal deflation).

That is the whole freakin' point of floating currencies. It allows effective inflation/deflation without internal real inflation/deflation, allowing the system to respond much more fluidly and rapidly. For example, German sovereign debts would have appreciated in cost (relative to other currencies), while Greek sovereign debts would depreciated sharply (relative to other currencies).

Switching to the Euro froze that, pushing all revaluations back internally, but the Eurozone failed to implement the internal corrective mechanisms that nations use (Federalised revenue and payment systems to compensate for regional downturns.)

Essentially, Germany has been gaining a huge advantage from the Euro. It prevents them pricing themselves out of the European markets via currency appreciation, while simultaneously not having to pay for failed regions within Europe. All the advantages of Euro-Federalisation with none of the costs to Germany that true Federalised economies like the US have.

Even better, Germans can play this bullshit "holier than thou" game when the system finally collapses in on itself.

Comment Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 623

I oppose same sex marriage because:

A) It reinforces heteronormative conventions in a way which is harmful to the broader queer/trans community, and even to the acceptance of alternative hetero lifestyles. Instead of helping us move away from insistence on (and assumption of) conventions like marriage, nuclear families, and the cookie-cutter heteronormative lifestyle, gay-marriage reinforces it. It reinforces the idea that pre-marriage relationships are judged by whether they are moving towards marriage. Marriage by whether its moving towards having a family. Career, marriage, family, church, little-league... Look at how most gays are represented on TV shows, they are always excessively heteronormal suburban couples. Their lifestyle is otherwise identical to hetero couples (probably even more vanilla that the central family), their issues are always mundane hetero issues (like trying to adopt kids, or buy a home), with only a token issue of "gaining acceptance" thrown in for flavour.

(Indeed, in my opinion, the religious nutters should be on the front-lines of supporting gay-marriage. It reinforces their narrow views on acceptable lifestyle.)

B) When legislators and institutions had to deal with the issue of gay couples without marriage, they tended to also look a multiple potential alternative forms of relationships, and across a whole array of social/legal institutions. And that helps people who aren't just simple gay couples, but who deal with the same issues in employment/taxation/pension/inheritance/custody/medical/etc. But when legislators can just say, "Okay, this subsection of non-heteros will be made honorary heteros for legal purposes", suddenly that allows them to ignore the same issues that affect other types of relationships (including couples who don't marry. "My partner and I have a lot of trouble with the way laws/regs are written" can be dismissed with "Well, you have the choice to get married. If you refused to do that, you only have yourselves to blame if it causes problems.") Gay marriage hides a lot of these bigger issues under the rug.

[Note, this includes issues that affect mundane heteros. Issues like estrangement (where your legal partner isn't the person you currently live with), single parents, serial relationships, mixed families, surrogacy rights, non-parent custody rights, etc etc etc. Gay marriage allows legislators, employers, institutions, to go back to pretending that people get married early and once, have identical family structures, and live together until one of them dies.]

C) It peels away the largest and most hetero-acceptable portion of the GLBTTI community: gay couples. Therefore vastly reduce the visibility and power of the queer community, reducing any future progress on issues that matter to non-heteros and alternative lifestyle heteros. The mundane heteros could identify with simple gay couples, with jobs and homes and otherwise identical lives to their own. That served as a "ice-breaker" to gain broad support for social reforms. Without that common element, and with gay couples encouraged to adopt more and more heteronormative lifestyles, it reduces the ability to the rest of the community to pursue social reforms and address social repression.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.