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Comment Re:Yes! (Score 1) 237 237

I fear it's something ingrained in humanity, so long as we have the capacity to imagine, it seems possible to become deluded in this particular way given the right conditions.

I think it starts with the idea that one knows best usually combined with a ridiculously oversimplified model of how things work.

Comment Re:Ooh Oopsie (Score 1) 221 221

Do Slashdot users still need to be taught to "hold their beliefs up to experimentation"? And do they need to be taught this by a reality TV show?

My concern with pop skeptics is that they don't believe in holding their beliefs up to experimentation, and instead decide what is "woo" based upon their feelings.

Comment Re:There's Very Few Things (Score 1) 78 78

Yeah so? Doesn't mean you can't be ALSO predicting a die off. It's not a false dilemma.

Why would I be predicting that? To claim that die-offs are necessary for prosperity is in my view a non sequitur, another sort of fallacy.

China is wealthier and better off than before. Doesn't mean there wasn't a whole lot of dying off on its way here.

Correlation doesn't imply causation. And really, die offs are associated in Chinese history with chaotic periods which don't have prosperity.

Exactly, and I'm saying you have pointed out how there are many people right here on slashdot who show all the signs of walking right into those screw ups, making things a lot worse before they could get better.

That's a lot of vague talk. What are "many people"? What are "screw ups"? And what is "better" versus "lot worse"?

Comment The argument is "leaky" at best too (Score 3, Informative) 46 46

Pathogens don't "learn". They evolve, ok. They adapt, ok. But they aren't sentient. They are not thinking. And especially they aren't thinking "hey, if they vaccinate, they won't die anyway, at least not as fast, so let's get more deadly!" This isn't the fucking Pandemic flash game for crying out loud!

There is no interest of killing a host for a parasite. It's an side effect. Unintended, and actually harmful for the parasite in the long run. Just like poisoning the seas is harmful for us. We ain't some comic book villain who does it for ... well, for being evil. We do it 'cause it cuts costs. The oil spill is only the side effect, not the reason we do it.

So yes, they COULD get more deadly because we don't die as fast and a more deadly mutated strain would kill itself off with the host if there was no vaccination. But that is hardly an argument against vaccination. It only means that at worst we're with vaccination where we are now without. AT WORST. If, and only if, the pathogens mutate in such a way that they get more deadly. Which is neither in their interest nor anything they would (evolutionary) strive for.

What's the benefit for a pathogen to be more deadly? Killing the host is actually bad for it, since that ends spreading (with this host at least).

Comment Re:I'll wait until (Score 2) 221 221

Until Mythbusters confirms it, I'll just say it's Plausible.

Mythbusters' pop skepticism is the very definition of junk science.

If you're waiting for confirmation from Penn Jillette or some other aging magician or Skeptical Inquirer, you missed out on a successful career as an economist.

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 1) 491 491

Well, why are we punishing people who earn money through hard work? Why is sweat-of-the-brow taxed higher than rent?

As long as you have one rate set higher than the other, you can make that argument either way. Why not set a single flat rate on all kinds of income? Isn't it only fair?

Comment Re:Kickstarter forever (Score 1) 71 71

I've never heard of either Razer

Razer is one of the biggest manufacturers of specialty gaming hardware for PCs, including keyboards, controllers, mice, high-performance mousepads, and headsets.

They've been around since 1998 and have around 400 employees. Don't confuse them with a kickstarter campaign.

Comment Re:The feature I want in a monitor is ... (Score 1) 68 68

a little rumba that comes out and vacuums up the crumbs from my desk and keyboard.

Make it look like an official NHL hockey puck and I'm in for 2. Or, combine a miniature Roomba with a quadracopter so it could just hover over my desk and suck up the dirt. Wait though, I guess if it's hovering it's pushing air down and all that's gonna do is blow the dust everywhere and irritate my eyes and sinuses. OK, forget that last one. But a quadracopter that could vacuum up dust (if it was physically possible) would be cool as hell, and it would prevent my cat from trying to sit on my keyboard all the time because my cat hates those miniature quadracopters. I mean hates as in wants to kill them but is too scared to do anything but run under the furniture and hiss and growl.

Wait, what about a beer & wine cooler and a little arm that would serve me a fresh one or a refill? Innovation!

Or a little quadracopter that would freshen up my drink when it sensed the fluid level in my glass got below 20%.

There's got to be something I can do with a miniature quadracopter besides terrorize my cat.

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 1) 491 491

I'm fine with that, so long as said flat tax also extends to capital gains. We could even just take the present budget, measure the current taxation income, and work out a flat tax rate for personal+corporate+capital, and see what it'd need to be to maintain the same level of it. I'm pretty certain that the end result would end up way better for the 99%. Which is exactly why such a thing would never pass in DC.

Comment Re:Where in the US Constitution..... (Score 3, Interesting) 491 491

It has everything to do with the general well-being of the populace. "Life" is referenced a few times in the constitution.

You might want to be careful with that line of thinking. For example, forcing you to exercise would also measurably lengthen your life; do you want the government to be able to mandate such a thing?

Comment Re:Ironic (Score 1) 256 256

No respect for the American judicial system, you mean? That's quite different from society as a whole. I think if you ask random people whether they believe that the judicial system in question genuinely represents them, you might find that distinction to be quite visible.

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. -- John Naisbitt, Megatrends