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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.

Comment: Re:One other thing (Score 1) 159

by Suffering Bastard (#46122987) Attached to: Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

I want to acknowledge your admission of conscience, as that takes real courage, beyond whether we were to agree or not. Thanks for that.

Truthfully, despite my participation in protests, rallies, marches, etc., and speaking to friends and family about the certain doom we were headed toward with the vengeful reaction to 9/11, I wouldn't say I received as much flak as I was simply ignored and dismissed. Now not so much, but I also don't speak as loudly since, well, I don't have to.

Comment: Re:Here's what's funny about all of this (Score 2) 159

by Suffering Bastard (#46121195) Attached to: Canadian Spy Agency Snooped Travelers With Airport Wi-Fi

What's really, really funny is that on /., we are all pro-privacy, pro-dismantling of the security apparatus. But none of us ever stop to consider if we'd change our tune, if one of our family or loved ones was suddenly, inexplicably killed in a horrible way--and then discover that said death could have been easily prevented if only X and Y agencies had bothered to share their information.

Hard for me to see any humor here. Sounds like a rather tragic state of affairs.

A problem with your argument is that it assumes that the current security apparatuses would have prevented 9/11, and there's no way to know that. It doesn't seem like the NSA is at all concerned with stopping "terrorism," they're more hell bent on spying for their own power initiatives. Are we really any more secure now than we were in 2000? I'd submit not. And if, after proclaiming the actions of the NSA and national security legislation as crimes against the American people, an attack occurred on American soil that killed innocent Americans, I would not back down but fortify my arguments against fear and vengeance as motivation for public security policy.

Knowing what we know now, can any of us truly say that we'd face 300 million people..."I know we could have easily prevented this tragedy, but we're not going to put in place the fixes that would prevent a future tragedy like this because we believe the outcome would be worse than the disease."

I would, and did, advocate actual fixes, not the sham of security theater we have today.

This is human nature. There is no answer, there is only the cycle.

No. Human nature evolves. Each cycle we get a little better, even if barely perceptibly. Defeatist attitudes only hold us all back.

Comment: Dang iz cold (Score 4, Interesting) 684

by Suffering Bastard (#45879005) Attached to: Polar Vortex Sends Life-Threatening Freeze To US

I have the good fortune to live on Lake Michigan in Chicago, where there are beautiful mists rising off the lake as the waves smash into the ice piles extending off the shore, splashing on them, adding layer on layer of ice. Truly a fascinating sight.

This is the kind of winter I recall as a kid, blizzard of '78 being one vivid example. Snow piled up to the roof of our garage! It got so heavy that come Spring the snow melted to reveal the yard fences all bent out of shape. But the past several winters have been so mild, barely freezing at all the past two, that today there's almost a sense of a return to normalcy.

In "get off my lawn" mode, all this weather reporting drama is just silly -- when I was younger winter was like this on a regular basis. We were heartier for it too. I had grizzly chest hairs by age six.

Your fault -- core dumped