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Comment: Re:hmmm (Score 0) 137

by prisoner-of-enigma (#49138229) Attached to: 12-Billion-Solar-Mass Black Hole Discovered

People used to say the same thing about the "luminiferous aether," you know.

Personally, I think "dark matter" and "dark energy" don't really exist. Instead, I think there's something wrong with our understanding of the fundamental forces of the universe. Perhaps gravity doesn't behave with the inverse-square law across vast distances like we think. Perhaps there's a subtle force out there we've yet to discover that only acts over extreme distances. After all, quantum mechanics is only observable at extremely small scales, and a century ago nobody even suspected it existed. What's to say there's not something else that acts in an observable fashion only at galactic scales?

Comment: VPN is not useful for avoiding accountability (Score 1) 57

by karlandtanya (#49106487) Attached to: Iran Allows VPNs To Make Millions In Profit

Gov't locks down everything so the only way you can get to where you want to go is by VPN.
Pay for it and you say "Ha! I got around your firewall".
Govt supplies it for free and you say "WTF?! You're issuing internet licenses and spying on me!"

VPN's have useful purposes--getting past (some) firewalls, pretending you're somewhere you're not, protecting your privacy from a *casual* snoop.
As long as you don't *really* care about getting caught doing whatever it is you're doing, a VPN is just fine.
If what you're doing can get you put in the pokey for the next 20 years, you better find a different way to do it!

Don't assume the people running the VPN server have your interests in at heart and don't assume you know who they are (or aren't).
And you're helping pay for their operations!

BTW, I'm using a vpn right now for the second purpose--to pretend i'm in the UK.
For some reason, you can only get a website that sells certain bizzare chocolates (and bronze, glass, or silver items of the similar design) from within the UK. I showed it to my wife; she was NOT amused...

Comment: Re:Navel gazing? (Score 1) 21

by smitty_one_each (#49106219) Attached to: Might explain some of the behavior here
While falling short of a No True Scotsman, it's fair to say the KKK is hardly mainstream Christianity. The rejection of David Duke & ilk points to the fact the KKK or any other supremacist is almost a false flag operation, to the extent they fancy themselves Christian.
However, it's a useful discussion in the light of the question of Islam, and how you manage the unavoidable truth that, for any sufficiently large organization (sacred or profane), somebody is going to go off message somewhere.

Comment: Re:I wonder if Formby is the man (Score 1) 20

by smitty_one_each (#49106137) Attached to: "I'm used to an automatic"

doing nothing more than trying to be on the winning side

How myopic is that? I'm actually far more concerned about (a) individual development along the maturity curve and (b) wisdom transfer to the next generation.
Since you've rejected the concept of the Gospel, you may not grasp the point of Matthew 4:8.

Comment: Sorry, man (Score 1) 2

by smitty_one_each (#49106121) Attached to: We now live in a society...
You blow off the concept of absolute Truth; you opt for a purely materialistic analysis of life; you pour cynicism on all attempts to model anything above the pure carnivore level: you really can't be shocked when everything goes pear-shaped. And I mean "you" in the general, second-person sense here. I'm not offering any accusation against this Journal's owner.

Comment: Re:*golf clap* (Score 1) 26

by smitty_one_each (#49106079) Attached to: Nebbishes Yearning for Truth (NYT)

There is no concept of 'purpose' outside of man's brain.

Ah, so.
While I'm in agreement with you that there is no storage appliance anywhere in the universe where any state is kept to which you could point to as "purpose", that's not dispositive of the abstract concept of "purpose".
But the broader joke in play is here:

You are only reciting the things you were taught to believe as a child.

There is no concept of 'purpose' outside of man's brain.

You're not privy to all of the details of my life, which point to far more than rote recital of things I was taught.
But the bigger laugh still is that you're (a) claiming life is meaningless, yet (b) clearly affected by my rejection of your foolishness.
If my faith is a difference that makes no difference (as you appear to claim), then what difference does it make? Or are you just a recreational buzzkill?

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.