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Comment: Re:There's belief, there's facts and there's polit (Score 2) 709

by Suffering Bastard (#47393673) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

Ignorance is a choice, just like belief. The real problem is to get people to reject ignorance. The difficulty in that is that ignorance, like belief, is easy. Rejecting ignorance requires effort. That is why there are so many people who choose ignorance and belief over reason and fact.

Interesting belief you have there.

I believe that belief is inherent to the human mind, necessary for operation in the world. I see belief in two general categories: rigid and fluid. When rigid, a belief is maintained even in the face of evidence to its contrary. When fluid, a belief can change in nuance and substance based on life experience and information.

We all have beliefs and operate from biases that do not agree with others. I see this as natural and as it should be. Each person is their own subjective lens on reality, and no one person nor committee can determine what objective reality ultimately is. Once we think we have it, something comes along and blows away our vaunted conceptions. Life will never fully give away its secrets, we will always be left guessing. To me that's the beauty of the mystery. What we each make of it is our own journey, and we should not try too hard to fit our personal beliefs to any consensus.

+ - New sensors will scoop up 'big data' on Chicago

Submitted by Graculus
Graculus (3653645) writes "From the Chicago Tribune — Chicago plans to install sensors in light poles to observe air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation, and wind. The sensors will also count people by observing cell phone traffic. The curled metal fixtures set to go up on a handful of Michigan Avenue light poles later this summer may look like delicate pieces of sculpture, but researchers say they'll provide a big step forward in the way Chicago understands itself by observing the city's people and surroundings. Some experts caution that efforts like the one launching here to collect data from people and their surroundings pose concerns of a Big Brother intrusion into personal privacy. In particular, sensors collecting cell phone data make privacy proponents nervous. But computer scientist Charlie Catlett said the planners have taken precautions to design their sensors to observe mobile devices and count contact with the signal rather than record the digital address of every device."

Comment: Re:Left brain vs. right brain leadership (Score 1) 209

by Suffering Bastard (#47241997) Attached to: How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

What the GP may have meant to say, or have said better, is that Jobs had an incredible form of intuition, seeming to know from a long distance what was going to work and what wasn't, even when that meant doing something totally different from what would have seemed normal or sensible. That can't be written off as coming just from experience. Who the hell knew 20 years ago that Apple could possibly end up where it's at today? Jobs had something inexplicable (call it 'genius' or 'vision' or whatever) that most corporate execs lack.

As for creativity, I dunno, I think Jobs was pretty creative in his reformulation of Apple and its product line. Not that he was totally original in product ideas, and not to excuse his deplorable behavior as a human, but he certainly did "think outside the box." (I dare not say "think different")

Comment: Snowden / Putin (Score 0, Redundant) 168

Snowden has exercised great courage and fortitude throughout this process. I think it's fair to say that most of us here cannot imagine how we'd hold up under the conditions he's living with. It would seem reasonable to assume that Putin has thought long and hard about how to use Snowden as a political pawn. He basically has Snowden by the (rather large) balls and could theoretically leverage that any way he chooses.

So to see that all that's happened so far is that Snowden has "lobbed a softball," asking a semantically consistent and valid, if politically weak, question for Putin to prop himself up a little is to me fairly remarkable. Why not force Snowden to ask more questions and fawn over Putin's greatness? You know, say things like "I am so impressed with the upholding of law and order in Russia. Putin is truly a great statesman." Does Snowden hold some card(s) that keeps Putin somewhat at bay?

Moreover, Putin must have read this latest article by Snowden, and Snowden would be expecting that. He's free enough -- or courageous enough -- to continue to speak his mind.

Like the way Snowden (okay, the press) has handled the release of information against the NSA, I'm highly impressed with his skillful handling of what must be a very difficult situation. He has shown heroism for his actions in service to his country, while showing brilliance in surviving his circumstances. My hat -- heck all my hats -- are off to him.

Comment: Death is natural (Score 4, Interesting) 334

by Suffering Bastard (#46500161) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

I find it the essence of emotional immaturity to fear death so much we need to somehow eradicate it or even just call it "wrong." Death is quite right and quite natural. We'd do much better getting to know death as a good thing, as the natural term limit to our personal administrations, so that we can get out there and live...fully!

I believe the most powerful thing you can do is make death your friend. Let it advise you, guide you, make you stronger. It takes work, maybe most of a lifetime, but I believe it's well worth it, and certainly a much more sensible approach than railing against the bars of your emotional crib, screaming over not having enough.

Comment: Re:Astrology (Score 1) 326

Ergo, the limits of human understanding must equate to the limits of possibilities for the Universe. Trust external data before trusting your own direct experience. Subscribe fully to consensus rationality. While I warrant these to be useful perspectives when wanting to remain safe in a human constructed world, I find that exploring truth with the courage to look outside consensus points of view is far more interesting and enriching.

Comment: Re:Astrology (Score 1) 326

The effect of the precession of the equinoxes is well known by astrologers. Mr. Nye shows his complete ignorance of astrology by thinking that this is news to any of us. Another example of a biased point of view completely lacking in understanding of the subject.

The tropical zodiac is based not on the constellations themselves but on the signs that surround the Earth, 360 degrees subdivided 30 degrees per sign, starting at 0 degrees at the Spring Equinox. In Babylonian times that happened to coincide with the constellation of Aries. For the sake of consistency we have kept the same sign names, but no astrologer thinks that signs and constellations are the same thing.

Perhaps Mr. Nye should consider reading the first chapter of a good astrology book before he pretends to know what he's talking about.

Comment: Re:Astrology (Score 1) 326

This throws into question your reading of my post with any neutrality at all. You've made up your mind, I can't convince you (nor would I try). Spend some time with the system in an objective way and it doesn't take long to see the correlations. I'm not saying I know how it works, and astrology is by no means perfect or 100% consistent, but it works consistently enough, and enough people are helped by it, sometimes in demonstrable ways that conventional therapies do not achieve, that it's worth keeping an open mind about. But I don't suspect that will mean much to you.

Comment: Astrology (Score 1) 326

At the risk of receiving flames of /. hellfire, I'll admit that I am a professional astrologer. Any astrologer that actually understands the art knows that it's not a science in the conventional definition of the term. It is something between science and art, as it contains elements of both. Observation and correlation play a major part, then so does the harmonization of conceptual understandings, since it is impossible to empirically verify every possible combination of planet, sign, house. The number of variables is too great.

Astrology is not a hard predictive tool either. The astrological symbols indicate tendencies and potentials, but free will is the factor that determines how those potentials manifest. In my own practice I veer away from prediction and instead focus on the astrological chart as a symbolic reflection of the conditioning of the psyche of the person I'm working with. Synchronistic reflection is the key term here -- the planets do not influence us in any direct physical sense. Thus, 'scientific' is not the right term for astrology, but it's not completely not-science either.

Side note: I came into astrology quite skeptical, but found it interesting enough to study. Over time, through my own experience of seeing it validated again and again, I've come to understand the principles that make it work. And in the right hands and mind, it does work, quite surprisingly well. Again, direct experience is the arbiter here, nothing to do with blind faith or illusory thinking.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley