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Comment: Anecdotes aren't statistics (Score 5, Insightful) 453

by PapaSmurphy (#45490973) Attached to: Imagining the Post-Antibiotic Future

So, your anecdote is that you've never had your life save by antibiotics. So what? Are you suggesting that the scientists are saying that 100% of the population will die without antibiotics? No, they are saying that many more people will die without them than with them. This seems self-evident to me, but apparently people like you are more difficult to convince. You do seem easily convinced by anecdotes, however, so, I'll see your anecdote with a couple of my own.

When he was about 5, my son was running on the deck and tripped. As he slid along the desk, a very then (willow) tree branch got shoved up into his leg about 4 inches or so. I pulled out as much as a could, but a good inch or so of tree branch broke off and got left behind. Our choices were to treat the infection and let his body gradually dispose of the foreign substance or cut his leg open and remove the branch. Either way, without antibiotics he would have been quite unlikely to survive.

As a child my mother got strep throat. Her family could not easily afford a doctor and so that waited to see if she would just get better. Instead, it developed into scarlet fever. She had to spend a year of her childhood confined inside and on heavy antibiotics or she would have died.

I myself have had numerous infections: strep throat (many times, mostly as a child), bronchitis, etc. At least one of these would have been fatal without antibiotics.

So, by these anecdotes, three of every four people will die without antibiotics, right? Wrong. Anecdotes aren't statistics, so stop trying to marginalize real issues with "well it's never happened to me" bullshit, OK? We are all very impressed that you've lived 50 years and never needed antibiotics except for preventative purposes, but you are not the norm.

Comment: Re:Mixed feelings. (Score 5, Interesting) 383

by PapaSmurphy (#42276273) Attached to: Ban On Loud TV Commercials Takes Effect Today

Your only choice as a consumer is to just turn off TVs.

Which, BTW, is an excellent choice.

Yep, it sure is! It works in all similar situations too.

Don't regulate spam. If people don't want spam, they can just turn off their internet.

Don't regulate traffic speed. If people don't want car wrecks, they can just turn not drive anywhere.

Don't regulate yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater. If people don't want to be stampeded to death, they can just not go out in public.

See, this works for everything doesn't it.

Comment: Re:Patent != intention (Score 2) 478

by PapaSmurphy (#41880275) Attached to: Will Microsoft Dis-Kinect Freeloading TV Viewers?

Look, we all agree that technology is neutral, right? For example, DRM has been *used* for lots of obnoxious purposes (including limiting fair-use rights), but the basic technology of DRM is neither good nor bad - it just is. The same principle applies here.

Actually, I had a college professor who pounded this quote into my brain: "Technology is neither good nor evil, nor is it neutral." The point being that it's not the technology itself that is good or evil, it's how the technology is used. In the case of DRM, the preponderance of usage has been for evil, so I am generally opposed to it. This technology looks to be headed the same way.

Comment: Re:Microsoft cares about privacy (Score 2) 558

by PapaSmurphy (#41548879) Attached to: Advertisers Blast Microsoft Over IE Default Privacy Settings

AND, there can never be a law to make it a crime, as microsoft actions have made DNT not a true indicator of a users preference.

What? I don't understand this comment. You seem to be saying that if I check a "DNT checkbox" it indicates that I prefer not to be tracked. However, you also seem to imply that if I choose not to uncheck the "DNT checkbox" it does not indict my preference. Isn't it my preference either way? I either check it or decide not to uncheck it, they are equivalent actions.

What I think you are complaining about is that user's are lazy and many will not change the default. Therefore, many more users of IE 10 will have DNT enabled than users of other browsers. I believe this will be true. However, the excuse that this means it's not the user's preference is just that: an excuse. The truth is that advertisers were looking for any reason to ignore this flag, and Microsoft has given then an opportunity. That doesn't mean that Microsoft is removing my ability to express the preference that I want to be tracked, however, regardless of how the advertisers are spinning it.

Comment: Re:Media (Score 1) 236

by PapaSmurphy (#32513376) Attached to: Violent Video Games Only Affect Some People

When I have kids, I will use the ratings system as a suggestion on what to purchase for them, the same as I would do for movies or any other media.

This makes a lot of sense, until you have kids (over 4 years old).

<rant>
That's when you realize that this system is pretty stupid as well. This movie is rated R, so I won't let my 10 year old watch it. That game is (what is the ESRB rating?) <something>-13, so my kids won't play it until they are 13, right? Oh, but you said "suggestion" because obviously the rating doesn't take into account my concerns or my child. Only, with the rating as they are right now I've got nothing else. These rating are worthless! My 10 year old can totally handle violence (although she doesn't generally like it) except violence against kids, or death. She is old enough to know that sexual innuendos exist, and they are gross to her even if she doesn't understand them. She knows that adults have sex, but doesn't like to see them kissing on the screen. What does a "R" or "PG-13" or any simple rating tell me that's worthwhile to me? Nothing, because my kid is not simple.

The people who have this right are Netflix. They have a "Iffy for 12+" and I can click it to see why! And usually, I decide it's OK for my 10 year old. Or "OK for 10" and I find that it's not OK for my ten year old. It's great. For those who don't want to parent, they give a clear simplification. For those who do want to parent, they give details so we can make up our own damn mind.
</rant>

Wow, I didn't realize I was so frustrated by the rating systems. Back on topic, that's what we need for games. My 7 year old can play violent games (Halo 2, for example) without problem. He has a friend that is a great kid, but after playing violent games he acts out. He hits his sister, or yells at his parents. They found that eliminating violent games reduced these behavior problems. So, tell me about the game, don't tell me that only 13 year old kids can play it, because some of them will get amped up by the violence. I hope studies like this lead to more "information" and less "judgment" in the ratings of games/movies (and we need ratings, 'cause I don't have time to play/watch everything!).

Comment: Re:Not So Bad (Score 2, Interesting) 277

by Hurricane78 (#29491203) Attached to: COBOL Celebrates 50 Years

I disagree with the assumption that it's "just as easy". In some languages, it's definitely easier to write bad code. PHP is such an example. C/C++ is another one. In PHP it comes with the retardedness of the language. In C/C++ it comes with the freedom.

A good example for a language that has certain things in place to prevent bad coding, is Haskell. Type problems in running code are (except for the external input reader) simply impossible.

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