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Comment: What I am going to buy (Score 1) 299

I am about to buy an external audio device. To my knowledge, this is the best device you can get for a similar amount of money... you can spend a lot more money to get something about as good, or spend less money and get something worse.

The device is called an O2 amplifier plus ODAC. It was designed by someone who went by the name of "NwAvGuy".

http://spectrum.ieee.org/geek-life/profiles/nwavguy-the-audio-genius-who-vanished

The O2 is a really clean analog amplifier, and is actually open source hardware. You can get the parts list, order the parts yourself, solder everything together, and have your own O2. You can pair it with any DAC, but NwAvGuy also designed a DAC called the ODAC. He(?) said that he would have liked to make the DAC open source as well, but it wasn't practical.

I will buy mine from a company called JDS Labs. They sell a single nice integrated device with O2 and ODAC in one enclosure.

http://www.jdslabs.com/products/48/o2-odac-combo/

There are audiophiles who sneer at the O2 because it doesn't cost enough. At my previous job I spent hours listening to music on an O2 with Sennheiser 650 headphones, and I want to be able to listen to music with that level of quality again. I am willing to spend my own money to do it.

I thought about buying a really nice DAC but I always hesitated to spend the money because it can be hard to figure out what is worth the extra money, and what is just extra expense. I am friends with a world-class audio geek, and he agrees that this is a good quality audio device. If you want top quality and you are spending your own money, get or make an O2.

Comment: Re:Global warming is only the start (Score 0) 261

Oil a'int fossil in origin. The Russians know that, and have capitalized magnificently on technologies that exploit this. This is actually the REAL story behind the Donetsk basin.

False scarcity is a wealth creator and a method of social control. UAE will be destroyed not by petrochemical scarcity, but by its comparative plenitude.

Comment: Re:Life on Mars? (Score 1, Interesting) 261

No one will EVER live in a permanent space colony. Sorry.

This fantasy was promoted in an age where achieving terrestrial dominance through orbital trajectory of warheads was under intense and competitive development. It did its job.

Rockwell rode on the tail-end of this era, for the final boondoggle of the US Shuttle Program, in the 1970's. You won't see anything like that again.

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 1) 213

There is still an instrument for guiding one's evaluation of claims and conundrums: Cui Bono?

In matters of human affairs, it is generally less erring than application of Occam's razor.

"Someone" is interested in getting you to think that the biggest potential for catastrophe, in your daily life and for your way of living, is impending Muslim ideological violence. They wish you to believe an absurdity.

What group or party benefits from this? Why have they chosen this from other possible alternatives? What other possible real threats and risks are diverted from attention by this condition?

Those are the basic questions for the truly inquisitive, not those merely questioning from a habit of personality.

Comment: Re:Probable cause (Score 2) 213

OK. To de-escalate, and in the interest of trying an educational dialogue, I will attempt to clarify what appears to be an assumption in the posting to which I responded.

You mention "taqiyya" as a point of doctrine, or an approved mode for action, by those who profess a "witnessing" of Islam ("tashud").

This is in most was incorrect. Certainly, it is misleading, as a generalization. Al-Taqiyya is usually translated as "dissimulation". There are numerous arguments about the permissibility of this specific shading of deceit or "lying" in the history of Islamic discourse. The most common, and widely known usage was for Shi'ite partisans of 'Ali and his descendants, immediately in the time of their political schism. This was during the lifetimes of the original 3 Imams. The purpose thereof was defensive - used to deflect persecution or compulsion by "Sunni" adherents.

It is important to note this: In the first few centuries, Shi'a were a political distinction for legitimate leadership of the 'Ummah or community. Doctrinally there was not a separate school of theology or jurisprudence. Thusly, the term "Sunni" as a contrasting group is often a more modern anachronism when applied to the period - up to about the time of Jaffar Al-Siddiq, or so... "Shi'a" of that time - and indeed probably today - consider themselves to be following in the "Sunnah" of the prophet.

All of this aside, dissimulation is a means to defensively avoid harm and persecution, without giving up or rejecting articles of belief. This is true of Shi'a or of Sunni jurisprudence. There is no corresponding school of thinking that has authorized Al-Taqiyya for means of "deception" versus "dissimulation" in pursuing acts of war or other hostility.

There is in fact another term "Al-Makr" for "deception" that relates to concealment of intention. There are a number of debates about the use of this term in the Q'ran, as applied to God. Most of that discussion is quasi-theological for political ends and beyond the scope of discussion here. Let us only say that the message of the book is roughly "Those who try to trick God, have in the end only tricked themselves - for God is master over all things, including their trickery." Parse as you will.

Let us conclude that Al-Makr, as a doctrine to promote the faith, is haram.

To suggest that the existence of Al-Taqiyya provides a doctrinal basis under which one may make generalized assumptions about the threatening character of any Muslim believer is ignorant or provocative, at the least.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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