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Comment: "belief" (Score 2, Informative) 583

by LKM (#33571604) Attached to: The Advent of Religious Search Engines

The problem with your statement is that atheists use the word "belief" differently from how religious people use it when they talk about their religion. When a religious person say "I believe in God", they mean that they have absolute faith that their god exists. They know that their god exists.

When an Atheist says "I believe that there is no God", that person means "given the current evidence, I've come to the conclusion that it makes sense to live my life under the assumption that no god exists."

Atheists use "believe" in that sentence in the same way most people use it when they say something like "I believe it will rain tomorrow", not in the "absolute faith" kind of way.

And let's also note that atheism per se doesn't require that you believe that God doesn't exist. Atheism merely requires that you don't believe that a god exist. A lot of atheists are agnostics as well. In other words, the absolute absence of faith in a god is not the same as absolute faith in the absence of a god.

Comment: Your eyes don't change focus when playing 3D games (Score 1) 190

by LKM (#33486516) Attached to: The New Difficulties In Making a 3D Game

In 3D-WoW, the interface is closer to you than the game world, so if you're focusing on something in the world, your interface elements all split into 2. This is particularly weird when trying to click on things in the game world. If you focus on the creature or whatever, you have 2 mouse cursors. If you focus on the cursor, there are two creatures.

Are you entirely sure? This is something I haven't experienced while playing 3D games, and it strikes me as extremely strange, since your eyes don't actually change focus when you play 3D games. They always focus on the TV. Even though some things appear to be farther away than other things, they should all be in perfect focus.

To put differently, you have infinite focus when playing 3D games, unless the game itself decides to artificially put stuff out of focus, but in that case, changing the focus of your eyes wouldn't do anything either, since the game would determine to focus point.

Comment: Re:If you can turn it off (Score 1) 190

by LKM (#33486472) Attached to: The New Difficulties In Making a 3D Game

If you can turn the feature off, then it is a gimmic.

Not everybody can see 3D on these TVs, and some people get headaches from viewing 3D content. So there are good reasons for letting people turn it off.

Having actually played 3D games, I can tell you that it is not a gimmick. Especially for racing games, 3D helps you figure out where to drive to, and it helps you gauge distances.

Comment: Actually, I've changed my mind (Score 5, Interesting) 450

by LKM (#33338306) Attached to: Germany To Grant Privacy At the Workplace

There are studies.

The University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not.
(...)
"Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days' work, and as a result, increased productivity," he said.

Comment: Re:Their equipment, their choice. (Score 1) 450

by LKM (#33338300) Attached to: Germany To Grant Privacy At the Workplace

Yah, but for the 1 guy whose performance increases 10x after using Facebook, 100 other employees performance will decrease 2x.

You're merely making an assertion without offering any evidence. People have found ways for slacking off even before the Internet was invented. Instead of standing around the water cooler, they now use Facebook. Is making a comment on Facebook "better" or "worse" than chatting at the water cooler? I don't know, and without any evidence, none of us knows.

Comment: Libertarianism (Score 1) 450

by LKM (#33338282) Attached to: Germany To Grant Privacy At the Workplace

That would be like me saying I can't put a GPS on my car to keep tabs on where it goes when my son drives it.

You're making the Libertarian argument; in other words, you're describing your conviction that the government should not be able to legislate what a private company does to the things it owns. That's okay, but it's kind of a meaningless argument, since you're merely implying that everybody should follow your ideology, without giving reasons for why they should do so.

Obviously, not everybody subscribes to your ideology. So rather than arguing that we should all follow your ideology, why not discuss this law based on its merits or problems? Ideology aside, isn't it a good thing that the government has rules in place detailing what levels of privacy an employee can expect when using the employer's computer?

Comment: Re:capitalism again. (Score 3, Insightful) 414

by LKM (#33182266) Attached to: Genetically Modified Canola Spreads To Wild Plants

Rather, it's to ensure they do not exercise market power to the detriment of the consumer

Yeah. We sometimes forget what a nation is actually supposed to be: It's a bunch of people coming together to form an entity that can do things individual people can't do, for every person's benefit. We can't all build our own little streets, it makes more sense if we all pay a bit, and a larger entity builds a consistent system of streets for us. Likewise, we can't all enforce our own law, so we come together, come up with a law most people can agree with, and pay for a police who can enforce it.

Democratically elected governments are supposed to make our lives better.

Often, that goal aligns with a free market. We all tend to profit from free markets. But sometimes, it doesn't, and when it doesn't, we shouldn't assume that a free market is somehow a goal of its own; it's merely a tool to be used when it is in our best interest.

Comment: Re:capitalism again. (Score 1) 414

by LKM (#33182232) Attached to: Genetically Modified Canola Spreads To Wild Plants
But even if a farmer deliberately cross-bred the seeds (and clearly, not all farmers involved did this): Shouldn't he be allowed to do whatever he wants with the seeds he bought? If Monsanto doesn't want buyers of their seeds to cross-breed them, why don't they create a product that doesn't offer that feature? That feels kind of like jailbreaking an iPhone to me; Apple doesn't want me to do it and they won't offer support if I do it, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal for me to do it.

Comment: Re:This is not about the earth (Score 1) 323

by LKM (#33179172) Attached to: 100-Sq.-Mile Ice Island Breaks Off Greenland Glacier

It's important to determine with a reasonable degree of confidence that the current warming is caused by humans, rather than having some natural cause we have no control over.

I disagree. First of all, this has been done. Here's one example of the conclusion: "Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." (from the IPCC)

Second, it really doesn't matter when it comes to deciding whether we should fix the problem. The problem exists regardless of who the source of the problem is. The evidence is clear: We either fix it, or it's probable that the earth won't be able to sustain current human populations in the future. What the cause of the problem is is relevant when it comes to finding solutions. It's not relevant when it comes to deciding whether to do something about the problem

Comment: Re:Who are you refering to exactly? (Score 1) 323

by LKM (#33178892) Attached to: 100-Sq.-Mile Ice Island Breaks Off Greenland Glacier

Why is it, when this topic comes up, so many people that are on the side that says human centric global warming is a fact; tend to use the argument that anyone who does not agree with them is a right-wing gun toting SUV driving mentally crippled slack jawed idiot?

What, are you new to humanity? Humans have a natural tendency to turn everything into an us-vs-them thing, where the own group is seen as intelligent, and the other group is seen as evil. See also: politics, operating systems.

Having said that, there are some additional reasons why this happens with AGW. For example, science has pretty much come to a consensus a decade ago, so it's somewhat fair to assume that many of the people who hold out either suffer from cognitive dissonance (e.g. they drive an inefficient car and don't want to be feel bad for it, so they don't believe in AGW), or have monetary motives (e.g. they sell oil). Not all of them, obviously, but as a generalization, it doesn't seem overly unfair.

Comment: This is not about the earth (Score 5, Insightful) 323

by LKM (#33178852) Attached to: 100-Sq.-Mile Ice Island Breaks Off Greenland Glacier

Why do people always talk about whether the earth will survive, or whether it has survived something like this before? Who cares about this rock. Global warming won't kill the earth; it'll be here long after humanity has gone. It doesn't matter whether earth has gone through this before, because we're not trying to save the earth. We're trying to save us.

What matters is whether the current population of humans can survive a sudden, drastic temperature increase, not whether the earth can.

A bug in the code is worth two in the documentation.

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