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Comment Re: Well, that's embarrassing (Score 1) 606

I accept the possibility of what you're saying, however I think you're being pretty presumptuous about my internal state, given that you don't know me at all.

Since the early days of Islam, our senior scholars have held that unquestioning belief is not belief. Growing up in a multi-religious environment, I questioned whether or not my religion was the right one, or even if religion at all was valid, from an early age. I concluded from a fairly lengthy process, that Islam was the correct religion. I've conversed with scholars of most major religions on this, including ardent atheists. Ironically, atheists tend to be the least willing to challenge their assumptions, and simply rest on the old "religion is based on blind faith" cudgel. As far as Islam goes, nothing could be further from the truth, despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslims alive today are unaware of the deep epistemological framework that underpins the religion, and are unaware of the fact that we are instructed, not encouraged, to ask the question: "Am I sure that Islam is the correct religion?" Without considering this question and engaging in the research and reflection required to answer it, one's adherence to the faith is considered to be deficient.

Comment Re: Well, that's embarrassing (Score 1) 606

Yes, it would have. My acceptance of the religion as true rests on my ability to verify all of the facts contained in its doctrines. To date, none have contradicted anything scientifically verifiable, even though there have been many attempts such as the clowns who wrote this article.

Comment Fourth grade my fuzzy ass (Score 2) 389

Apparently this dummy, Olga Khazan (if that is indeed her real name) doesn't realize that there's a difference between "hating math" and not knowing any math beyond that taught in the 4th grade. Shit, I hated math, but I went through Calculus and Real Analysis. Then I married a mathematician so that I could get my partial differential equations solved via the bonds of matrimony. You know, whenever the need arises.

If you don't know basic algebra, you're not going to code for shit. It's like that Republican legislator from Arizona, Al Melvin, who believes that doing math with letters instead of numbers is a liberal conspiracy.

https://freethoughtblogs.com/p...

If you can't do that liberal math with letters instead of numbers, you can't code for shit.

Comment Re:The problem is people will comment on the bad. (Score 2) 139

I guess human nature varies. If I'm not 100% satisfied at a restaurant, I'll generally chalk it up to them having an off day. I might tell the proprietor, but I'm not gonna go rant on Yelp. If I have a really nice meal, I'll go give a good review. It's sort of the YMMV approach.

I'm generally not much for bad reviews, just as I very seldom mod any comments down. I'm a believer in the carrot over the stick.

Comment Re:Not bad in principle (Score 1) 139

Anger is a much more powerful motivator than being happy with something.

Speak for yourself. I'm much more motivated to leave positive reviews than negative ones.

And if someone is actually angry at a business for bad service or bad products, why shouldn't they be able to leave an angry review.

The way you overcome negative speech is with positive speech. So do the right thing and get good reviews.

All I'm saying is that there has to be a way to counterbalance human nature to give a somewhat fair and accurate picture.

Sure, you come up with a way to "counterbalance human nature" that doesn't favor people with the money to hire reputation managers.

These online fluffing services are going to do nothing but benefit those with money. They will absolutely, positively NOT give a fair and accurate picture of anything. They'll just allow people with resources to hide their misdeeds.

Comment Re:Not bad in principle (Score 5, Interesting) 139

Well, think of this example: you run a nice little restaurant in town. Along comes Yelp and Google reviews, so people can post reviews of your restaurant online. Some customers are just assholes, and you happen to get one who is completely unreasonable, says racist stuff to one of your staff, whatever. Anyway they go away angry and write a nasty and completely false review of your restaurant on Yelp.

One way you can deal with that is to make sure you have lots of positive reviews to drown out the nasty ones. And you get lots of positive reviews by doing positive things, like serving great food and having great service, not by hiring a bunch of people who have never been to your restaurant to write good reviews.

But you raise a good point.

Comment Re:Not bad in principle (Score 5, Insightful) 139

Yes. Quite a few of them actually. Reputation management is something we all do to some degree. I don't know how you would exist in a complex society without some amount of effort directed towards maintaining your reputation in the community.

Yes, but most of us do our "reputation management" by, you know, behaving properly rather than going around trying to erase any record of our misdeeds.

Reputation management, the way it's practiced by the "New Media Strategies" type of outfits, is basically organized lying.

Comment Re: Well, that's embarrassing (Score 1) 606

There are some problems with your Flavian theory.

There were certainly Christians in Rome by the time Tacitus was writing (probably the late 70's or 80s). Assigning blame to them may be more political than historical. Just a thought.

I'm not that heavily invested in whether or not Joseph Atwill's theories about Titus are true. I don't believe the historicity of the Christ really makes a difference to the value of Christian teachings. It's all a matter of faith, for those that have faith.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.

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