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Comment: Re:He, Him, His (Score 1) 71

by Prune (#48201995) Attached to: Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas?
I can't tell if you're just name dropping, but Conrad isn't exactly known for his character development. His character's dialogues, especially, are often the subject of criticism. Conrad's strengths lie elsewhere, much of that being the artistic, and specifically, impressionist approach to being a novelist (consistent with his own claims in the preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus). For a contemporaneous author of the same caliber who excels in bringing to life elaborate characters and delves into their psyches in a way complementary to Conrad, I look to Henry James.

Comment: Mod parent up (Score 3, Interesting) 155

by Prune (#48089491) Attached to: Europol Predicts First Online Murder By End of This Year
Ah, a deliciously nerdy reference to the famous IRC quote, one of the top-rated ones on the quote database:

<Zybl0re> get up
<Zybl0re> get on up
<Zybl0re>get up
<Zybl0re>get on up
<phxl|paper>and DANCE
* nmp3bot dances :D-<
* nmp3bot dances :D|-<
* nmp3bot dances :D/-<
<[SA]HatfulOfHollow>i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

Comment: Sapphire (crystal) is NOT a glass (amorphous (Score 1) 171

by Prune (#48080379) Attached to: Apple Sapphire Glass Supplier GT Advanced Files For Bankruptcy
Idiotic summary. Sapphire is a crystal, which by definition is the opposite of an amorphous substance such as a glass. Note that the press release from GT doesn't use the word "glass" even once--it would be like an appliance company calling their refrigerator an oven. They're both appliances, after all, right? (I'm pre-empting the "sapphire and glass are both usually transparent solids, right?" here.)

Comment: Re:Fermion that is its own antiparticle (Score 3, Insightful) 99

by Prune (#48056699) Attached to: Physicists Observe the Majorana Fermion, Which Is Its Own Antiparticle
So what matters here is what's interesting to you? How autistic can you get? There's nothing boring or yawn-worthy about a quasi-particle; all you've done is shown that physics is just not your thing. Unlike the GP post, which is high quality and got moderated appropriately, all you've done is take a dump in this discussion. Good job.

Comment: Re:"they've been ordered to stay at home" ?! (Score 1) 258

False dichotomy. I'm not ranting, but you can't think logically. It's not a choice between restricting freedom and spreading the disease. One can move about without doing the latter--and while the risk is higher, it is doable. Spreading the disease requires at the very least proximity--which one can take steps to avoid while being ambulant--and for many diseases, direct contact is required. It's perfectly acceptable to have such actions restricted while one is a carrier, as they directly infringe on others' rights (indeed, unwanted contact is illegal anyways)**. But just being able to move about does not directly cause spread of the disease, and thus a restriction on that is unjustified, as there is only a modest increase in the chance of spreading the infection.

**To elaborate further, one can count as unwanted contact that would have been unwanted had the other party known that the subject is infectious, which takes care of a situation where the other party otherwise allows the subject to get close to them because they were not notified of the subject's infectious status.

Comment: "they've been ordered to stay at home" ?! (Score 1, Interesting) 258

So the government can force house arrest upon you against your will even though you've committed no crime? Land of the free, my ass. It's quite ironic that the average slashdot poster, who rushes to criticize government overreach and trampling of freedoms in the name of safety (how many times has Franklin's "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety..." been quoted here?--countless!) sees nothing wrong with this example OF THE VERY SAME FUCKING THING! Talk about hypocrisy! I'm sure I'll get BS replies about thresholds etc. from people that forget that fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of mobility, are supposedly inviolable.

Comment: No. (Score 1) 549

by Prune (#48041613) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity
I'm all for colonization of other worlds in order to hedge our bets for humanity's survival, but given results showing deleterious health effects when one is not subject to Earth gravity for a prolonged period, it would be silly to try to colonize Mars and its feebler-than-Earth gravity until genetic engineering can assure good health for the colonists. Good luck having this wrinkle ironed out in a century--and that's something I'd be willing to long bet on.

There is reason to be greatly pessimistic in regards to space exploration, because the general tendency has become for us to turn towards inner space, not outer--a phenomenon driven by information technology and the continued encroachment of the virtual into the daily lives of most. It's far cheaper (effort, energy, and resources--not merely finance), and the eternal human drive for short term rewards and maximal convenience at minimum cost pretty much guarantees eventually the physical world will be relegated in status to the minimum necessary to survive "for the time being", while most of a mind's time is spent in the virtual. Little attention will be paid by the vast majority to long-term continuation of humanity--far less than even today, when this concern is already so impoverished.

I'll note here that Asimov's greatest novel (albeit one not among his most famous works), The End of Eternity, has direct bearing upon this issue, and is more relevant now than it was at the time it came out back in the 1950s.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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