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Comment: Re:what conflict? (Score 1) 440

This:

Research should be considered on its merit.

is not being naive because of the very sentence that follows it:

The assumption should be made that there are vested interests on both sides of any controversial scientific issue and the source of funding should not be considered as a data point in evaluating the legitimacy of research

Comment: Going my own way (Score 1) 165

by fyngyrz (#49156963) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

As far as I'm concerned, if it's orbiting a star, and it itself isn't another star, and it's got, or had, enough mass such that it pulled whatever it is made of into a spheroid, it's a planet. If it's orbiting another planet and the center of the orbit is within the other body, it's a moon, spheroid or not. If the center of the orbit is in space, they're both planets. If there isn't enough mass to pull the thing into a spheroid, and it's not orbiting a planet, then it is either an asteroid (primarily rocky) or a comet (primarily gassy/icy.) If it's pulled itself into a spheroid and is floating out away from any star, it's still a planet, but it is a rogue. We can have a moon orbiting another moon and so on, but that doesn't make the first one into a planet.

If an object is manufactured and not meant to navigate to arbitrary destinations under its own power, but only resides in orbit about something or sits in free space, if it can host humans, it is a space station. If it cannot host humans, and it's in orbit, it is a satellite. If it is in free space, it is a platform. If it can travel under its own power to arbitrary destinations, arbitrarily change orbits and so on, it is a spacecraft. Station keeping effectors do not count, and being able to carry humans doesn't make a difference.

If the object is, or ever was, host to a natural fusion reaction due to the usual culprits, it's a star. Live, dead or otherwise.

I could go on for quite a while, but most likely, no one cares anyway. :) The important thing is *I* know what to think when I learn about something "out there." And Pluto? Pluto is definitely a planet.

If someone convinces me that these ideas are inconsistent, I'll do my best to fix 'em so they aren't.

Comment: Argh (Score 1) 100

by fyngyrz (#49155701) Attached to: Google Reverses Stance, Allows Porn On Blogger After Backlash

Here is what is so frustrating about all this.

Consensual sex is good. Consensual sex is fine. Consensual sex is entertaining.

The "bad' things about consensual sex, mostly including distributing media recording it -- disease, "moral" backlash, reputation damage, difference from how the external objector thinks it should be performed, perceived "offense", blatant rationalizations about agency magically not being present for the most ridiculous, transparent and obviously invalid reasons -- all of this stuff comes from outside sex. They are not sex. All of these things are things a sane person needs to defend against in both the prophylactic and immediate senses. These factors are all pernicious to immediate attacks on normality and goodness -- on sex itself -- and as such, they can be dangerous as hell.

The *one* inherent, sex-centric risk that affects just a few of the many forms of sex is that of unwanted pregnancy. Because yes, that's actually part of those (again, few) aspects of sex. And, just like the external threats, it can be defended against, so it's not a good reason to not have sex even of that kind, and of course it never was a good reason to avoid the myriad types and expressions of sex that cannot result in pregnancy.

Into this environment come the bewildered. Google's corporate overlords, like most who have gained power, seek to impose their view of what's "ok" on everyone else. In the context of this step back from the brink, Google is still way, way above the depths in terms of the violence, coercion and repression the government, religions, various corporations and the general public have established, but we have been witness to the urge growing within the Google power structure. Of course it is wonderful to see it set back somewhat, but we would be extremely gullible if we thought this was certain to be the end of it. This is a very well-trodden path.

Into this environment come the masses (but I repeat myself.) Just a few days ago, an episode of The Walking Dead aired that had the Intertubes quite upset due to content.

Now, this particular work of fiction, you have to understand, has showcased, in graphic detail, human cannibalism; murder of many stripes; suicide; extreme torture; extreme bondage; non-consensual amputation; and of course "zombies" in glorious anatomical and decaying detail. Exploding heads, severed body parts, the thrusting of limbs inside the dead, painting one's self in zombie gore, the most generous splashing of body parts and fluids in every direction and every variety you could possibly imagine (unless you think they actually missed something, and in which case, if you let the producers know, I'd bet money it shows up within a few episodes.) In play have been tanks, explosives, booby traps, fire, bacterial assault, knives, guns, imprisonment, baseball bats, swords, fingernails, martial arts... None of this so much as raises an eyebrow with the viewing public, who think it's all delightful entertainment.

So good grief, what could the content possibly be that actually got the viewers weirded out enough to speak up and get feisty? Only this: Two gay fellows sharing a kiss. Not even a particularly passionate kiss, but more of a "wow, so glad you made it through that alive" kiss.

We -- the few truly sane, the only way to honestly characterize it -- watch this kind of governmental, corporate, religious and individual pathology from outside, and I have to tell all of you, any hope that human society will ever come to its senses is extinguished in a manner I can only liken to a tidal wave rolling over a single guttering candle.

There's nothing for it. Society is sick, sick, sick. And dangerous. You all be careful out there.

Comment: hmm (Score 1) 298

by superwiz (#49155307) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.
If a technological change in our way of life can release the carbon, then why does everyone insist that there is not technological change which can reduce the carbon? And I don't mean stop the release through alternative energy sources. I mean reduce. Mind you, I am not accepting or denying the premise of AGW. I am asking a different question.

Even bytes get lonely for a little bit.

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