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Comment Maybe cause and effect are reversed? (Score 3, Interesting) 176 176

Has anyone given a thought to the possibility that the Roman civilisation could get "so advanced" BECAUSE they had such violent entertainment, providing both an 'escape valve' / release mechanism for violent tendencies, as well as a demonstration of how bad things can get when violence is let loose rampant in society in general?
Think of American Football in comparison - fake / controlled violence of two teams head-butting a ball across a field for the sake of sport ... then extrapolate.
(And if you hold the position that American Football isn't violent, then why do players need more body armour than any in other team sport in existence?)
The abhorrence for violence is a rather newly developed cultural trait in western 'civilised' society and the way that question is being framed is a judgemental way of projecting that cultural value onto the ancient Romans:
"how could such an advanced culture have staged such bloody spectacles?"
It's a rather emotional way of asking, unless taken literally, when the answer is "by using slaves and wild animals and staging violent scenes in a controlled environment such as a theatre" - duh ...

Comment ARC - exactly about what you want to discuss (Score 1) 293 293

You may want to have a look at New Scientist magazine's digital futurology spin-off "ARC". They aim to publish 4 a year (2.1 was just released, 2013 saw 4 releases) and it's all about trying to look forward into the future. Short stories, SF restrospectives and non-fictional introspectives, all in a neat little bundle.

Comment Science or religion? It can't be both! (Score 4, Interesting) 775 775

So is creationism science, or is it religion?
I thought that creationists argued that their ideas were "scientific" or was that the intelligent designers?
Anyway, either it's a religion, the basis for the creationists' case here, and would therefore have no place in a proper education system to begin with,
or creationism is a science, giving it a place in the education system but allowing teacher to have & express a negative opinion about it.
This seems the kind of circular reasoning we've come to expect from creationists and intteligent design proponents, in yet another interesting new form.


After Learning Java Syntax, What Next? 293 293

Niris writes "I'm currently taking a course called Advanced Java Programming, which is using the text book Absolute Java, 4th edition, by Walter Savitch. As I work at night as a security guard in the middle of nowhere, I've had enough time to read through the entire course part of the book, finish all eleven chapter quizzes, and do all of the assignments within a month, so all that's left is a group assignment that won't be ready until late April. I'm trying to figure out what else to read that's Java related aside from the usual 'This is how to create a tree. This is recursion. This is how to implement an interface and make an anonymous object,' and wanted to see what Slashdotters have to suggest. So far I'm looking at reading Beginning Algorithms, by Simon Harris and James Ross."

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson