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Comment: Re:You aren't the audience (Score 2) 73

by Nidi62 (#49495223) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

Replace "science" with "football" in your assertion of what people should do, and explain why your rendering of what's important is objectively better, beyond being better for massaging your own ego.

Sure. I played football from elementary school all the way through college. My wife knows nothing about the sport but I want her to watch it with me. I don't start talking about different offensive formations like pistol, shotgun, spread, or when to use a 4-3 instead of a 3-4 defense. I start with basics, give her a rough idea of who everyone is and what they do so she can follow along while I can pay more attention to the "tactics" of the game. I fail to see how this is a bad thing (or "massaging my ego"-nice ad hominen by the way), and is precisely how you go about bringing in people that are completely unfamiliar with a topic. If you tailor a tv show about science to the people with a Master's degree or higher level of understanding then you miss out on a lot of people.

Comment: You aren't the audience (Score 5, Insightful) 73

by Nidi62 (#49493991) Attached to: StarTalk TV Show With Neil DeGrasse Tyson Starts Monday

I have a big interest in physics and cosmology, etc, and generally fall asleep listening to some lecture or talk of some sort, be it Feynman or Susskind or what have you.


Quit mixing pop culture and science, it dumbs it down and makes people I respected once look like

These kinds of shows aren't for people who fall asleep every night listening to lectures. These kinds of shows are for the people who think Taylor Swift is the greatest singer/songwriter of all time, or can name everyone in the newest season of Dancing with the Stars but can't name the top people in government. The idea is to get people who aren't normally interested in science to at least think about it, to develop a rudimentary understanding of how science works (scientific theory, how scientists think, etc) and why the world around them is the way it is. Even a simplistic understadning is better than no understanding at all.

Comment: Re:Turkey (Score 2) 245

by Nidi62 (#49471265) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

Ahemm.. extermination of the American BIson... anybody? By the 1860s numerous US military figures advocated the extermination of the bison as a method to subjugate the American Aboriginals. General Philip Sheridan even stepped before Congress to plead for permissions to slaughter the bison herds to starve Native Americans into submission.

Was the blockade of the South during the Civil War an attempt at Genocide? How about blockading Germany during WWI/WWII? That's not an example of genocide, that's trying to defeat an enemy by targeting their ability to wage war (can't fight without food). As I said, it was more a low intensity guerrilla war than it was a genocide.

Comment: Re:Just curious (Score 1) 245

by Nidi62 (#49470935) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

The crusades were a response to 400 years of enslavement and wholesale slaughter by Muslims.

The Crusades were an attempt by a European noble class that was declining in wealth and power to find a way for their population to target their frustrations on an outside threat rather than enslavers/rulers and claim more land for themselves. When Christians would sack a town they would usually slaughter all inhabitants-man, woman, child, Christian, Muslim, or Jew (easier to loot from the dead). Muslims usually let Christians and Jews live-they might pressure them to convert or force them to pay a tax, but they still got to live.

Comment: Re:Turkey (Score 1) 245

by Nidi62 (#49470613) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

The aim of the US western expansion wasn't to kill all traces of Native American peoples and culture, it was to gain control of their land.

That was the aim, yes. And if you think that the missing millions of native americans just went away or decided to go peacefully/be assimilated/willingly handed over territory for whiskey and rifles and smallpox laced blankets......I don't know what you're smoking but man it's probably laced with some potent embalming fluid.

I didn't say they didn't kill a lot of people. The definition of a genocide is the systemic and premeditated eradication of a people based upon ethnicity/religion/other intrinsic characteristics. But it is not to just take over their land-that's simply war.

Comment: Re:Turkey (Score 2, Insightful) 245

by Nidi62 (#49470127) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

Soon the Pope will be saying the US genocided the Native Americans.

That's a bit of a stretch. The aim of the US western expansion wasn't to kill all traces of Native American peoples and culture, it was to gain control of their land. While there certainly were numerous instances of massacres, they seemed to be more due to individual ignorance, prejudice, or misunderstanding than any systemic attempt to wipe out all Indians. Not even considering all the treaties and reservations set up (the quality-or lack thereof-of the land provided on the reservations can again I think be attributed mostly to apathy or ignorance as opposed to outright malice), the numerous attempts at integrating and Westernizing Native Americans shows a (misguided perhaps) desire to help them and make them become "Americans". In reality, the Western expansion was in effect a protracted, low-intensity guerrilla war, and there are plenty of cases of these types of conflicts to show that they very often lead to instances of overreactions of force, excessive non-combatant casualties, and mass killings.

Comment: Re:Every time there is a better weapon... (Score 1) 91

by Nidi62 (#49465035) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave

Extending on your line of thought, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was morally justified because the collateral deaths of the innocents in those cities caused the Japanese to surrender to the Allies, thus ending the war and limiting further casualties. My grandfather supported those bombings using the same line of thinking. I'm not so sure it was, though.

The Japanese were training school children and the elderly to go down and defend possible landing beaches with spears. The Japanese military tried to stage a coup to depose the Emperor and any in the pro-peace faction before the bombs. The Japanese military elite was willing to watch the whole country burn and every last Japanese citizen killed all so they wouldn't have the shame of having to surrender. They were necessary.

Comment: Re:Human In The Loop Abort (Score 2) 91

by Nidi62 (#49464443) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave

(It's also the only weapon system I ever worked on, and it caused me great conflict. Though the intended use had merit, the possible unintended uses made me very uncomfortable. No, I can't be more specific.)

Shouldn't every weapon have a moral conflict inherent in it's use? Whether it is wondering for a fraction of a second if you should pull the trigger of a rifle(am I aiming at a target or a civilian), or deliberating for a week on whether or not to launch a strike on a compound (good intel, collateral damage, etc), there should always be a period of reflection and wondering if the weapon needs to be employed. The act of taking a life is not a decision to be taken lightly, and if when killing becomes second nature or even enjoyable you run the risk of having a very severe problem.

Comment: Re:Jesus. (Score 1) 626

Glad they didnt do stuff like this 15 years ago. I remember back in high school using Word to access the locked out C: drive of computers and me and my friends would save SNES emulators there and play SNES games during class. We were in a Magnet program so they probably wouldn't have done much to us if caught, but if we had done that now and gotten caught we would all probably have been arrested.

Comment: Re:3D printed guns are no different to any other g (Score 1) 244

by Nidi62 (#49446415) Attached to: 3D Printed Guns Might Lead To Law Changes In Australia

Few home workshops, and few home gun smiths, can make a reliable extended magazine or rile action from scratch, they'd require extensive training in precision machining. But now people like Cody Wilson are publishing designs to make exactly such mechanisms for AR-15 equivalent assault rifles

You can mail order 80% finished lower receivers for AR-15s. To finish them is not very difficult, little more than "punch holes here" and "shave off this much metal here". This is the "firearm" portion of the gun. The rest of the gun (trigger mechanism, upper receiver, furniture) are all legally mail order as well with no background check.

Comment: Re:Saddam (Score 1) 71

by Nidi62 (#49440691) Attached to: French TV Network TV5Monde Targeted In 'Pro-ISIS' Cyberattack

This is the shit that Saddam Hussein was stamping down.

The Middle East has never been at peace and never will. I wish we'd stop meddling and let them solve their own problems their own way and if we don't like it, well tough shit.

The problem is there is such a history of animosity (and long memories) in the Middle East that the only way a group can maintain peace in a state is by brutally clamping down on other religious/ethnic groups. So, when the ruling group is removed from power (by force/election/death of monarch or dictator/etc) and another group gains power, they are thinking "hell yeah, it's our turn, time to get even!". Unfortunately this cycle won't stop until they get sick of the bloodshed and try to work together. But "peace" bought through oppression like Saddam or Assad or Gaddhafi is only a temporary stopgap pushing the problems down the road, and the peace of a dictator is worse than open conflict because it just increases the pressure even more, so when things blow up they blow up bigger.

Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line