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Comment: Re:If true. If. (Score 1) 155

such as the massive & ongoing civil rights violations/infringements that most people agree are wrong, regardless of what political stripe they self-identify as.

But I think that's wrong.

You and I may not agree with this, but I think that MOST people are quite happy to trade-away their civil liberties for the illusion of security. Particularly those who are convinced that since they "do nothing wrong", they have nothing to fear from such violations.

It's a very sad commentary on our democratic peers, but unfortunately, factual, and consistent with pretty much everything else that's gone on since 9/11, (and more-or-less, since the McCarthy era - with regard to "communists").

We're not going to unite in this country. Period. It's like Morpheus said, in The Matrix: "Most people are not ready to be unplugged from the system, and will fight to protect it." Cliche, but true.

Comment: Re:The Hobbit didn't take the material seriously (Score 2) 152

by jafac (#47563593) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

What's funny, is that I remember for DECADES, fans bemoaned the lack of a good LOTR/Hobbit adaptation, because the special effects weren't good enough. We had the Ralph Bakshi atrocity, then the Rankin-Bass embarrassment. (and for the hipsters, the little-known black-and-white Russian adaptation). Then. . . Nothing. No studio was going to invest their good money into such a farce. Then Peter Jackson came along, with some contacts who had a CGI technique that could maybe make human actors look like Hobbits - then, we finally got LOTR.

And there was great rejoicing among the FANS. But if you really want to look at LOTR with a critical eye, step back and take a look at it, and yeah, it was pretty stretched-out (and at the same time, weirdly had the feeling of being tightly compressed; like months of road-travel and hiking crammed into a 30-minute TV episode compressed.) (I hike. And I don't know how you make a long hike "interesting" to a cinema audience. But that experience, of long day-after-day exposure to nature, that absolute breathless awestruck feeling when you behold the spectacle of pristine wilderness, the deafening silence, the overwhelming feeling of "letting-go" of your personal safety in the face of insects, weather, predators, rough terrain, homesickness, isolation, struggle, confusion, physical exhaustion, was all very deftly conveyed in Tolkein's prose, and totally absent from the movies). But, overall, still better than the Bakshi version of the movie.

Hobbit takes that to the next extreme. I think it's obvious that the Studio wasn't going to fund Hobbit unless they could milk it to the same profitable extent that LOTR was milked. Only, it's like 1/10th the literary material to work with. I think it's also apparent that the creative team had a difficult time making that requirement work. My guess is that everybody was all geared up to accept this new whizbang 48 fps 3d technology, and that they were hoping that this would make these movies so visually engaging that the audience wouldn't care about the pacing and story and plot problems. I think that they almost certainly fell into the groupthink trap, and bought into their own bullshit, and somehow, anybody who had any nagging doubts was just never in a position to say; "fuck, this is awful, we need to back up and fix this shit." because, by that time, it was probably too late, and the only impact of speaking-up would be to end one's career in the industry. I've been on projects like that. I know that feel.

Comment: Re:The Future's So Bright (Score 1) 415

by jafac (#47411795) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

The only bad programmers I've ever encountered, are programmers that are inconsiderate.
Those who do not consider that the purpose of a computing language is to communicate with other developers, not just the computer. That's really the main common-factor I've found among "bad programmers". It's a skill, that can be learned, but it's an emotional skill. Some people can be very intelligent, brilliant even, and still not want to learn that one crucial skill.

Comment: Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (Score 1) 385

WE don't lack the will.

We lack the power.

The ones with the power lack the will (or desire) - because their power depends on control of generation of energy through resources they control; namely fossil fuels. They're not going to give up that power while they have it. Not voluntarily.

Comment: Re:I see a problem here... (Score 1) 380

by jafac (#47338037) Attached to: New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

The reason why it's so cheap:
We all pay a shitload of taxes to fund wars to conquer lands where we're extracting the stuff.
We don't pay for destroyed habitats, and climate change (yet) from waste, spills, and other pollution. (basically, we're borrowing from the future generations who will suffer directly from these problems).

When compared, as an energy source, with something like solar pv, factoring these hidden costs in, gasoline is astronomically expensive.

May the bluebird of happiness twiddle your bits.

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