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Comment: Re:Returning start-up drop outs? (Score 1) 163

by MobyTurbo (#44626447) Attached to: Big MOOC On Campus: Georgia Tech's $6,600 MS In CS

Pretty much, the quality of everything from the +5 posts to the troll posts used to be a lot higher a decade ago. Now, even the trolls lack imagination and much of the "insightful" posting is just parroting whatever group think is en vogue at the moment.

Someone who's nearly the millionth user, number 940851, shouldn't be commenting on the "good old days". (Neither should I, but I'm not doing that. :) )

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 376

by MobyTurbo (#43887039) Attached to: Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas?
Throwing away my mod points for this. George W. Bush started offering subsidized mobile phones to poor people because it's actually more expensive to give them a land-line. (Prepaid phone service is also priced cheaper than a land-line, something poor people get when they don't qualify for a free phone.) Also, would you rather have people who need to apply for work, and need emergency services, have no phone at all? I suspect the way that it keeps poor people from being unable to apply for jobs at all pays for itself program-wise. (A third of all welfare recipients get off of welfare within 3 years time, would you rather they be unable to apply for jobs because they can't afford a phone?)

Comment: Re:Windows has no future (Score 1) 347

This reminds me of what people said about the PS3's exotic cell processor and what it would do to gaming. The problem with that rosy view of Sony's CPU prowress on their consoles is one thing: It doesn't have an upgradable GPU. PCs have an upgradable GPU, which means that despite having a worse bus for multicore (not nearly as bad as you say by the way), all of that multicore CPU oomph doesn't matter when you have a much more up to date GPU on the PC. When gaming, GPUs, and a power supply to drive them (which is why they have to be custom-built desktops most of the time), are what matters. Not the multi-core CPUs that are in both consoles and PCs, at least, not beyond a certain point of diminishing returns. Right now, a PS4 is very nice by the way, because its GPU is just under the top tier of GPUs. In another year or two, that'll no longer be the case, and in another 5 years, well, even a mobile ARM GPU might be ready to outperform it. (Which is why this is often called the "final console generation".)

Comment: Re:Right (Score 1) 207

by MobyTurbo (#42424313) Attached to: How ISPs Collude To Offer Poor Service

This will happen as likely as the Democrats actually passing a formal balanced budget. I wish American business was as much about the customer as it is about the bottom line. You know, you can do both.

I hate to get partisan, I didn't even vote all Democrat last election, but the only two Presidents with a post-war balanced budget (actually a surplus) were Bill Clinton and Lyndon Bains Johnson, both Democrats. Today's Republicans, on the other hand, have manged to convince everyone, essentially with corperatist propaganda, that the best way to balance the budget is to cut taxes on the wealthy (i.e. bring less money into the government), and not touch a dime of the Department of Defences' money (the majority of Federal government spending), and then somehow cutting the remaining welfare (less than 10% of the budget) without causing riots or starvation will somehow balance the budget rather than a sound fisical approach. They've been trotting out this "cut taxes on billionaires and it'll bring in more revenue" farce since the "Laffer curve" in the late 70s, using largely discredited models of supply-side economics dating back from the late 1920s. (In other words, the type of economics that leads to worldwide depressions.) Then people wonder why the government seems like it's going to fall like a house of cards financially, and take the rest of the country with it.

I'm not particularly happy with Obama either, mind you, he's quite incompetent at dealing with the mess that Congress hands him, a necessary part of the job of any President, and is really George W. Bush II (with different rhetoric to confuse the peoons) in terms of his actual policies. I should also note that I'm not a liberal or conservative, just someone who's responsible who's tired of seeing our elected officials act like spoiled children on the corporate and special interest doles.

Comment: Re:"three kids under 9" = Wii / Wii U (Score 1) 267

by MobyTurbo (#42076543) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Console For the Kids This Holiday?
I think, if I recall correctly, that Xbox no longer requires Xbox Gold to use Netflix. It also displays it in 720p (optionally scaled up to 1080p) rather than in standard def like a Wii. That having been said, lots of other media sources on the Xbox still require the "gold tax", as does multiplayer gaming. Every now and then you can get Xbox Live prepaid 12 or 13 month cards on sale though, sometimes for less than the usual $49 yearly rate. Also, this "Black Friday" at Target, you can get for $10 a 3 month Xbox Live card, which is fairly good if you don't want to wait, maybe they'd allow you to get multiple cards at that price too, which is much lower than the usual price for 3 month cards.

(Whatever you do, don't buy Xbox Live from Microsoft directly, they not only charge you more, they make it very difficult to unsubscribe. It's better to get a prepaid card for this, so MS can't rip you off. :-) )

Comment: Re:Turf Wars ... limo vs cabs (Score 1) 264

by MobyTurbo (#41278207) Attached to: NYC Taxi Commission Nixes Cab-Hailing Apps

There's a reason that the police and Taxi & Limosine Commision conducts sting operations to make sure that drivers are following the law. The main ones being: you can't charge handicapped passengers more, you can't kick someone out for wanting to go to a hospital, you can't discriminate based on race, and you can't refuse service based on destination.

They need to do more of these sting operations, because I've been refused service countless times trying to get a cab from Manhattan to Brooklyn - even though I even live in a part of Brooklyn that's just across the river from Manhattan! On the other hand, I've never been refused service based on using a smartphone app to get a limo - I like the idea of taxis doing this, it means I won't almost always have to use car services to get to Brooklyn.

Comment: Re:Surely just any thinking at all would do it (Score 1) 1258

by MobyTurbo (#39827357) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

"Realistic" is, first and foremost, about being consistent with observable facts. Given that we have plenty of evidence of human settlements from before 5772 years ago - like, you know, numerous tools and even some buildings - as well as having a considerable fossil record that nicely outlines our evolution as a species - it sounds to me like " running around in our drawers for over 500,000 years" is a perfectly realistic claim.

I hate to cop-out, but reading a book on the subject of creation by an Orthodox Rabbi (some of whom, such as Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, are even accredited scientists.) might disabuse you of some of these notions. ;-) There really isn't enough space here to debunk these claims thoroughly, except to begin with the fact that they fly in the face of logic, as I noted.

Comment: Re:Surely just any thinking at all would do it (Score 1) 1258

by MobyTurbo (#39827185) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

So, simply put, the Jews know that the world was created in six literal days, and that all of humanity literally came from Adam and Eve?

Simply put, you're putting it too simply. That having been said, in a sense you're pretty close, yeah, as the commentaries don't actually deny the basic facts. That having been said, this isn't the only world that G-d created, in the Midrash, G-d "created and destroyed worlds". The Tiferes Yisroel on the Mishnah writes, that this explains phenomena such as dinosaur fossils. (He wrote this in the late 18th century CE, long before Darwin, incidentally.)

I'd actually posit that humanity beginning 5772 years ago is a lot more realistic than claiming that we were running around in our drawers for over 500,000 years (or a hundred times that of recorded history, to put it in perspective.) prior to discovering civilization with these big brains that are so obviously made for this.

Comment: Re:Surely just any thinking at all would do it (Score 1) 1258

by MobyTurbo (#39826585) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

True, but when it all comes down to it, one is still believing in a floating guy in space that made everything. It's a bit weird.

Actually, Orthodox Judaism insists that G-d is not corporal in any way, who, in the Maimonidean formulation, creates the universe via knowledge of himself. So, strictly speaking, belief in a floating guy in space is not what we believe in. The Rambam (Maimonidies) even brands any corporal attributes (except as scriptural allegory of course) a heresy, though the commentary of the Ra'avad disagrees about that.

Comment: Re:Surely just any thinking at all would do it (Score 1) 1258

by MobyTurbo (#39826483) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

Even orthodox Jews don't take all the stories in the bible as literal. They study them as lessons to learn. Devout religious belief is about much more than taking the religion's documents literally.

That's not true. Jews are required to know that the Tanach is historically true, although they recognize that the book's emphasis is on moral education and spiritual refinement. What Jews are not required to believe is that every midrash and aggadeta in the oral law is literally true.

Right, but you wouldn't describe Rashi's or Ramban's understanding of peshat, the plain meaning, to be identical to that of l'havdil elef havdolos, a fundamentalist xtian preacher - would you? Even the peshat is often viewed through the lens of the Oral Torah, its interpretation.

Comment: Re:Surely just any thinking at all would do it (Score 1) 1258

by MobyTurbo (#39826305) Attached to: Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief

Actually, Orthodox Jews are not total literalists (though the layer of peshat, the plain meaning, which is often quite different than the meaning people take from say the KJV, "still remains" as the Talmud says), but they are a form of inerrantist. Speaking as an Orthodox Jew myself.

This doesn't make much sense within the Protestant belief spectrum, especially in the US, but essentially we believe in an authoritative system of interpretation that can only be learned, and internalized, after much intensive study. So much for religiosity and analytical thought being at odds, I found Talmudic study much more difficult and challenging intellectually than my college courses actually.

Of course, there is also a faith component as well, and although it doesn't have the xtian "credo absurdum est" promoted as part of it's credo, if one studies mussar and chasidic works they are more on the "emotional side" and address those intutitive as opposed to analytical tendencies a bit more, albeit in a much more rationalistic framework than the authors of the study were probably addressing. (Mussar and Chabad Chassidus are both emotive and very systematic compared to the faith of other right-wing adherants.)

I often wonder if there was a reason why Mr. Spock of Star Trek was casted to be played by Leonard Nimoy, who's Jewish. (And even uses some Jewish religious symbology such as the Cohenic sign in the shape of the letter "shin" in the hand shape he uses "Live long and prosper") Of course, this is probably an irrational assumption as Kirk and Chekov were both Jewish actors as well, it probably was a Holywood conspiracy. ;-)

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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