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Comment: Re:creationism/evolution (Score 1) 391

As there is only one truth, there can be only one meaning.

Bzzzt! You fail Lit 101. More so, since there are whole chunks of the Bible that are basically poetry and / or parables, which are forms that are practically designed to have multiple layers of meaning.

I agree with a lot of what you say, though. GP is making the silly leap from "With no study of culture, context or historical understandings, I can't think of any interpretation of this 5000-year-old near-eastern manuscript except a claim about the scientific origins of homo sapiens" to "therefore, other interpretations either don't exist / are illegitimate / cannot be discussed rationally based on historical data."

I completely understand why people get impatient / belligerent about young-earth creationists. Or religious people in general when their religion leads them to ignore or deny actual real-world data. But when a religious person is behaving sanely and making the excellent decision to view their chosen holy texts as being about life's purpose rather than a scientific textbook... I don't understand why some people then get belligerent and try to force the issue with "No! Clearly you don't understand your own holy texts, because they are a science textbook! And a very bad one, at that!"...

Comment: Re:WOW certainly isn't just casual game play (Score 1) 438

by Garse Janacek (#27701115) Attached to: Nintendo and the Decline of Hardcore Gaming

Eh... not really. It's only fairly recently that you could reliably walk into a store or surf to amazon and just buy one. And that's only possible because of the biggest console production runs in history. On average, the Wii is selling slightly less than the 360 and PS3 combined, though that varies from week to week with the game release schedule. That's a weird way to put it, though, "stores have more than they can sell," when all you mean is "stores are able to keep it in stock"...

(source for stats)

Comment: Re:How is this news? (Score 1) 169

by Garse Janacek (#27680915) Attached to: Kindle 2 Tear-Down Reveals Price of Components

Is it a surprise to any one that the manufacturing costs are not as much as retail?

Actually it's even worse than you're saying -- the analysis isn't about "manufacturing costs", it's about component costs (which is correctly described in the headline, and then incorrectly described immediately after in the summary). So, if you buy all the components, you've already spent half the cost before you start assembling them, testing them, shipping them, setting them up, packaging them, and shipping them again.

The confusion is somewhat understandable since even the article itself says different things in different places. But reporters love to take the otherwise interesting reports from iSuppli and sensationalize them by implying that popular electronics devices are 50% profit or more (they've done the same thing for iPods and such)... but ultimately it's just lazy reporting.

Comment: Re:As a "peer reviewer" myself (Score 1) 633

by Garse Janacek (#27640205) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

I feel obliged to tell you that you far overstress the "peer review" process as a way of assuring scientific accuracy. ... Peer review serves to ensure that the community believes the subject of the publication is considered novel enough and important enough in its eyes, and to prevent publication of obvious non-academic garbage.

And yet, global warming deniers still don't publish in peer-reviewed journals. I wonder which of those filtering constraints they fail to satisfy...

(I know, I know, it's TEH CONSPIRACY)...

Comment: Re:Temperature (Score 1) 633

by Garse Janacek (#27640149) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

If you can point me to anything suggesting that anyone, let alone Al Gore, is actually advocating "zero gross carbon output" rather than "zero net carbon output", I will be very surprised. I'm sure you can find some quote where someone, speaking loosely, omitted the "net" qualifier, even though that's far from implying that they must have meant "gross" instead. My impulse would be to say that concluding they meant it the way you're saying, without more explicit evidence, suggests that you're deliberately misinterpreting them. But your most recent reply seems so fervent and sincere in the assurance that that counterintuitive interpretation is the only possible one that you may sincerely think that other people are that stupid. In retrospect, I think I regret feeding the troll.

Comment: Re:Troll? Really? (Score 1) 445

by Garse Janacek (#27638839) Attached to: Why Republicans Won't Retake Silicon Valley

Actually I called them "the most far-out authoritarian strains of liberalism". I don't consider Berkeley people to be "to the left" of me in a meaningful sense, and I didn't say they were -- political leanings are not a single right vs. left dimension. What bothers me about Berkeley culture is its authoritarianism, not its "liberal" politics, such as they are. I didn't use "liberal" with negative connotations anywhere in my post. Someone who considers themselves very conservative might similarly identify as far- right and yet still refer to "an extreme example of the most insane, Randian strains of conservatism" without implying either that conservatism was bad per se or that Ayn Rand was truly representative of a "conservative" philosophy.

Comment: Re:Temperature (Score 1) 633

by Garse Janacek (#27637397) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

If you think I'm misrepresenting the meaning of "net carbon output", by all means elaborate. As it is, you seem to be trying to claim victory by fiat. Do you really think that when people talk about someone's net carbon output, they include carbon exhaled when breathing, but don't include carbon intake from eating? And that everyone somehow overlooked this massive absurdity, until you finally pointed out in a web forum that the emperor has no clothes?

Comment: Re:Temperature (Score 1) 633

by Garse Janacek (#27637199) Attached to: Antarctic Ice Is Growing, Not Melting Away, At Davis Station

He suggested that you reduce your carbon output to zero. Since this means no breathing or decaying, it calls for you to take a trip to a permanently frozen location with a plastic bag to suffocate yourself with.

A bunch of fish lived in a tank. There was a faucet just above the tank, and some of the fish liked to leave it on. Scientist fish warned that if this continued, eventually the tank would overflow. Skeptical fish mocked the scientists: "You want us to stop adding water to the tank? Well, I guess you just want us to stop peeing!" Everyone had a good laugh, and the faucet was left on.

No matter how much a fish pees, it will not fill up the fish tank. That only happens when outside water is added to the system. No matter how much you breathe or decay, it will not add carbon to the atmosphere. (Unless you've been drinking fossil fuels.) That only happens when outside carbon is added to the system, such as the carbon that is present in most of our energy sources.

Pretending to misunderstand the concept of carbon output so you can make fun of the other side is not a good way to resolve this argument. Actually misunderstanding the concept of carbon output means you should think carefully about why you're so confident that you understand the situation better than climatologists. You can decide which of those two you were doing in your comment.

Comment: Re:Troll? Really? (Score 1) 445

by Garse Janacek (#27620459) Attached to: Why Republicans Won't Retake Silicon Valley

No, Berkeley is not "one example of how liberal universities typically are", it's an extreme example of the most far-out authoritarian strains of liberalism. I identify as far left, and those people scare the crap out of me. You don't get to just point at Berkeley and say that proves everywhere else is even worse.

GGP was basically wrong. Most of the top schools are majority liberal, true. But there's far from a direct correlation between "more wealthy students" and "more liberal", and one of the cited examples, Harvard, seems very suspicious to me. Harvard undergrads are still majority liberal I'm sure, but there are very strong republican and libertarian subcultures there, more so than at a lot of top schools...

Comment: Re:It means the end of mom'n'pop e-commerce (Score 1) 784

by Garse Janacek (#27614519) Attached to: The End of Tax-Free Internet Shopping?

This sounds sketchy to me. A lot of the mom-and-pop online stores I've seen already use some big fancy payment handler like Paypal or some other backend. This kind of change would most likely just mean more business for those kind of financial backend companies. Not that I'm a huge fan of Paypal et al, but I'm skeptical that a small operation that really wants to be in full compliance will have trouble finding somebody to help them do that, just like they do now. (And really, I doubt the bulk of the enforcement will be against small-time shops anyway.)

Comment: Re:RIAA definition of "loss". (Score 1) 784

by Garse Janacek (#27614427) Attached to: The End of Tax-Free Internet Shopping?

This reminds me of the RIAA's definition of "lost revenue".

A spotty analogy at best. The RIAA's argument is "you downloaded that song for free when it should have been $1 -- we just lost $1." The sales tax argument is "You bought a $100 item, incurring $5 in sales tax which you never paid -- we just lost $5." The difference is that assuming that someone would have bought a $1 song if they had not downloaded it for free is silly, whereas it's much more likely that someone who bought a $100 item would still have bought it if it also included $5 of sales tax.

When you create a law where the only possibility of any compliance at all is people's innate honesty...

But that's not the only possibility for any compliance. That's the whole point of TFA. You can oppose this change if you want, but it doesn't make any sense to say "This law is unenforceable! Stop enforcing it!"

Comment: Re:Unfortunately I'm a Bit Skeptical (Score 1) 415

by Garse Janacek (#27613925) Attached to: Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

Indeed. One of my pet peeves in economic game theory is when subjects in behavioral "paradoxes" who fail to act in their selfish self interest are described as "irrational". In every example I've ever heard of, the behavior is not the best for the individual in the short term, but is better either for the individual or the community in the long term, and thus makes perfect rational sense if you incorporate "long term survival of the species" into the individual's utility function (experimenters often pretend that subjects' utility function "should" incorporate only the explicit rewards in the experiment itself).

Many of these paradoxes are still interesting and worthy of study, and you can call them "paradoxes" if you want, but they aren't at all irrational.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg

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