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Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 644

by SuricouRaven (#47930585) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Not much of a bomb, then.

China tolerates NK, but their alliance is strained. They seek regional stability, while NK is always sabre-rattling at the south and at the world in general, provoking naval skirmishes as a show of force and generally stiring up trouble. You're right, it isn't worth the trouble - the cost of peacekeeping would be huge, and there would be diplomatic trouble with South Korea too. But I've no doubt China has invasion plans drawn up, and if NK ever does something that starts a real war, China will be ready to put a stop to it. They just won't be the ones to shoot first.

Comment: Re:Actually against Islam (Score 1) 644

by SuricouRaven (#47929167) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Muhammad raised an army, besieged and captured Mecca and went on to take over much of the surrounding area. He wasn't some hippy street-peacher like Jesus - he was a prophet of action, not just words. Given his willingness to use military force to convert rival tribes to his new religion, he may well have been perfectly ok with beheading those who effectively served the enemy by spreading goodwill and thus sapping his side of the will to fight.

Comment: Re:Why math? (Score 2) 644

by SuricouRaven (#47929127) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

I suspect it might be a translation issue. But to know that we need the oppinion of someone who speaks whatever language the announcement was in, presumably Arabic. Banning math makes no sense, but it might be perhaps banning certain types of math, or preparing for a yet-to-be-finished Islamic Mathematics cirriculum that downplays the role of western mathematicians.

Languages can be tricky. Another Islamist group, widely (Though unofficially) called Boko Haram, literally translates as 'Counterfeits are prohibited' - but it actually means something closer to 'Western education is unislamic.' A translation that wouldn't be at all obvious unless you are familiar with the region's history, and knew that 'Boko' might mean counterfeit or fake, but could also be a contraction for 'ilimin boko' or 'fake education' - a phrase used to describe British schools created when the country was formerly part of the British Empire.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 1) 644

by SuricouRaven (#47928969) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Nice idea, but not practical. This isn't an old-fashioned war of country v country. They'll just discard uniforms and blend into the civilian population. Unless you can justify vast numbers of civilian casulties, it'd be impossible to kill them all, and require a continued and expensive presence just to keep them underground.

Comment: Re:they will defeat themselves (Score 2, Insightful) 644

by SuricouRaven (#47928935) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

They are playing a rather dangerous game. Remember that the US or Europe could squish them with ease, militarily - if we had to, it wouldn't be hard to nuke the whole region. There are only two reasons this isn't being done: It'd be expensive, and it's mean very large numbers of civilian deaths which would be politically problematic. This situation persists only because they aren't a major threat: The moment they actually become a danger to the continued existance of the US or any major European power they'd be crushed without regard to how much it costs or how many people would die. Remember that as recently as WWII even the allies - the 'good guys' - considered carpet-bombing cities to be perfectly justifiable. During the cold war the US has missiles poised to kill tens of millions at a moment's notice, if they ever needed to.

ISIS can only survive so long as they are powerful enough to dominate the region, but not powerful enough to invoke an unrestrained defensive action from the western powers. Like North Korea: The crazed dictator can brag all he wants about his military supremacy, but he doesn't have it, and that makes him too expensive to invade. if NK ever managed to actually detonate a nuclear bomb even China wouldn't hestitate to march in and take over. I think they'd be glad of the excuse, really.

Comment: Re:containment (Score 1) 296

by SuricouRaven (#47869373) Attached to: WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

Can anyone run calculations on this? I imagine it'll be welded shut, so you're looking at the helium having to escape through perhaps a 5mm-thick block of the most impermiable metal they can find. It may well be that it does leak, but only after long after the drive would be considered obsolete. You might not want to use them for archival storage, but how many production drives will still be in use after twenty years?

Comment: Re:Tragic technology failure ... (Score 1) 183

by SuricouRaven (#47865463) Attached to: In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

If you include non-heart things, though...

1. Fix the bloody retinas! They are back to front.
2. Why is regeneration limited to small-scale only? A lot of amputees are unhappy with this. The ability probably isn't there because there's no selective advantage in recovering from wounds which would have killed from blood loss anyway.
3. Everything that relates to aging.
4. The fat thing you said.
5. Instincts urging the consumption of calories vastly in excess to requirements.
6. The appendix. Begone!
7. Parts are not easily replaceable or interchangeable.
8. Poor spinal support.
9. Poor regeneration of vital nerves.
10. Cancer. Cancer sucks.

Comment: Re:Transhumanists - Stop it already (Score 1) 183

by SuricouRaven (#47864235) Attached to: In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

It doesn't become a victory for transhumanism until the artificial heats are sufficiently better than the natural ones that people make the upgrade for non-medical reasons (Superior athetic ability perhaps, or because the artificial hearts with three redundant pumping systems are more reliable than the natural ones). I can't see that happening for a long time.

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