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Comment A true blessing (Score 1) 424

So, they decided to ignore the bullshit you imposed on the series halfway through? Thank goodness, that means we're getting back to the real Star Wars.

It's well-documented that you were just making it up as you went along in the original trilogy.

It wasn't until you made the prequels that you had this whole "generational soap opera" "vision" driving the thing, and the result was decidedly inferior. They're tossing away that "saga" nonsense you imposed post-hoc in favor of something that pleases the fans? That's perfect. That's the only way we're ever going to get anything actually true to the actual original vision of Star Wars.

Comment Re:150 years ago... (Score 1) 378

And if on that basis one wanted to say, "We won't colonize even to Mars in the next hundred years", I'd nod along and accept that as a reasonable conclusion.

But if you think it's reasonable to say "never beyond Mars" based on that reasoning, you're a fucking idiot. Nobody could predict 2015 from 1015 (much less from, say, when the pyramids were being built); anyone who thinks he can predict 3015 (much less 5015) from 2015 is the sort that should be immediately dismissed as a fool.

Screw adventurousness or industry; it's just about the folly of drawing absolute conclusions from vastly insufficient data. We don't have physics for, literally, 95% of the universe (you know, all that "dark matter" and "dark energy"), and we certainly don't have any "psychohistory" that can predict human culture a thousand years ahead even if we posit no breakthroughs in physics at all and assume that there will be no genetic engineering that changes basic human psychology.

If you're predicting humanity will be wiped out by global warming or rogue AI or something before we colonize Mars, that's one thing. But "Getting beyond Mars (with humans) is impossible . . . culturally forever" is too stupid for goddamn words.

Comment Re:150 years ago... (Score 1, Interesting) 378

I think even Dr. Friedman wouldn't argue that his thesis necessarily stays valid after some combinations of multiple breakthroughs, be it in physics, AI / neurobiology, cheap energy, physiology...

I grant it's a tradition around here to not actually read the articles, but he says, specifically, "Getting beyond Mars (with humans) is impossibleâ"not just physically for the foreseeable future but also culturally forever." So he's discounting all your physical science breakthroughs on the grounds that human culture will never, ever exploit them.

Which is why Dr. Friedman is, in very technical language, "a goddamn fucking senile idiot".

Comment Re:Science! (Score 3, Funny) 737

You seem to think that condemning humanity to extinction isn't a form of "oppression".

Sure I do. Which is why every single member and employee of every single environmentalist group that's opposed nuclear power since the 1979 National Academy of Science report on the greenhouse effect belongs in prison, for their complicity in preventing the replacement of coal power with nuclear, thus blocking the reduction in the use of fossil fuels necessary to prevent human extinction.

Comment WRONG (Score 5, Informative) 286

The linked article is unfortunately abbreviated and incomplete, and as a result, the conclusions being drawn are wrong.

First off, the Society itself is still an independent non-profit. It just no longer has 100% ownership of the magazine. The effect on the Society is that it will have more money to give to scientists (while 21st Century Fox will have no say in how that money is handed out).

Second, they did not sell a controlling interest; the Society explicitly retains 50% of the Board of Directors for the magazine. The "73%" is Fox's share of profits, not control.

Comment Re: Hate speech (Score 1) 728

Actually, it has everything to do with free speech. Here in the US, it is absolutely legal for me to say, for example:

"Those pig-fucking ape-brained Germans should be exterminated, each and every one. Everyone should find the nearest Germans, burn them out of their homes and shoot them down as they flee, men, women and children alike. And in the future, little children should be taught in school to celebrate the wholly righteous total genocide of the German people."

Because, you see, in the US I actually have freedom of speech.

Facebook policy, of course, bans such a statement just like it bans bare breasts, but US law doesn't require the censorship of either.

Comment Re:Caps Lock used to power a huge lever. (Score 5, Informative) 698

It was reverted because, as computers started systematically replacing the typewriter in businesses (instead of being a specialist machine, like terminals), secretary-typists and the typists in corporate typing pools complained about the location of the Caps Lock key not being where they were used to it. Keyboards for computers intended for general business use accordingly swapped over, since the people who typed the most and had the strongest opinions on keyboards in the early 1980s wanted it that way.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 2) 216

Have you ever been annoyed by users of *nix systems that are less popular than Linux? Then have no fear; Wayland is an effort to kill off those platforms.

You see, first you reduce X on Linux to the sort of second-class status that it has on OS X. So then people switch their development for Linux to Wayland. So then they stop maintaining an X version of their app (even if the toolkit they're using supports both X and Wayland), since it costs them resources for such a tiny fragment of people. Then, since nobody's developing for X, the toolkits themselves drop support for X. And then all those people using *BSD or Solaris are up shit creek without a paddle. And then the makers of Linux server distros, who are the ones who have to compete with *BSD and Solaris profit.

Oh, sure, they can't come out and say openly that the purpose of Wayland is to destroy the competition. So they'll talk about all sorts of technical advantages. But then ask yourself, if the goal was simply to create a modernized/simplified/higher-performance/whatever GUI system, why deliberately choose to make it dependent on the Linux kernel, instead of developing such a system for all *nix systems?

Comment Re:dupe dupe dupe... (Score 1) 496

Of course, that's why it's at least theoretically a useful interview question. The North Pole answer takes just enough cognitive work to reach that upon arriving at it you can feel clever and stop. So the question filters for the people who don't stop.

(The major problem with it is that it's a reasonably famous such question; I remember reading it and learning the existence of the infinite number of South Pole answers in grade school.)

Comment Re:And blocked in court in 3, 2, 1 . . . (Score 1) 234

First, under the test used in both the majority and concurring opinions in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League, the enacted legislation must have specifically named municipal entities in order to affect them; general wording (such as "any entity") doesn't work, and no executive action can change that.

Second, Federal law supersedes state law precisely insofar as the Federal government is allowed to legislate in the area at all, and the majority opinion in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League says Federal law can't make states allow their own municipalities to sell Internet.

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.