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Comment Re:Liberals (Score 1) 585

http://www.abc.net.au/news/201... -- Cardiff rejected the student petition to uninvite Greer from giving a guest lecture. Dawkins supports letting her speak, and he's no conservative.

a) it didn't actually happen; Greer has pulled out because, at 76, she's "too old" to face protesters according to http://www.newstatesman.com/po...

b) she wouldn't have been "banned from campus", but her one guest lecture would have been canceled

c) it's not like all liberals, or leftists, agree -- sweeping generalizations are unfounded

d) this is not about squashing free speech, the way Freedom of Speech (at the federal level) is meant: nobody's preventing these people from having their opinions, but they are asking not to have tax dollars (publicly-funded schools) or tuition money spent on giving them a platform to spew what some people *see* not just as "wrong" but outright "hateful" speech (rightly or wrongly). the logic is that a school only invites so many guests, it has to be selective, there's value and judgment applied, so the school's reputation is attached to what the speaker actually says (and may be seen as reflecting something about the student body), it's not the same as letting them rant on any old street-corner.

Comment Re:SETI (Score 1) 10

Over interplanetary distances, isn't there an issue with adjusting the orientation of the laser to track the movements of the receiver? Measurement error being what it is, N-body problems complicating things, and with a lag determined by C, would it become necessary to setup a relay network, where each component is responsible for readjusting itself in a timely fashion? Each node would need a power source, emit waste heat, occasionally thrust to reposition itself... Beyond that, laser beams in a vacuum still diverge over long distances, bleeding some EM away from the intended target. Would such a relay network be detectable?

Comment Re:Earth not a globe, where are they going?? (Score 1) 120

See HBO's From the Earth to the Moon, episode 12, discussing how the TV camera on the rover was remotely-controlled from earth (operators trying to manually account for command delay, resulting in some missed liftoff footage on some missions.)
The rover had its own high-gain antenna for direct communication with Earth, including transmitting TV footage while the rover was stopped (audio only while moving, using low-gain antenna.)

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 510

My reading of the link you posted above is that they dropped the mail-fraud and contempt charges stemming from him continuing to file legal documents warning of "dispute" over the properties the government seized (to make the properties undesirable to potential buyers and thus screw the taxpayers) during his prosecution, wherein he and his wife *were* found guilty of (quite a few counts of) structuring, tax evasion, etc. As far as I can tell, the original charges have not been dropped.

Did the government prosecute them for appearing to purposefully avoid reporting on large withdrawals so they could further hide not paying taxes on the wages paid to their employees (argued to be independent contractors, but there are reasons you can't just claim that when the IRS comes knocking)? Or for being a creationist telling the truth, because the government's just a pawn of atheist, evolutionist, neo-Nazis? You decide.

Did the government prosecute him for filing Notice of Pending Suit from prison, after the case seizing his properties had concluded, as a form of harassment, trying to prevent the government from doing what the jury of peers agreed they could do, thus the contempt charge? Or were they charging him with mail fraud because filing Lis Pendens in court is a form of freedom of speech the government just cannot allow, because it might allow creationist truth to get out? You decide.

Comment Re:tag, but don't hide! (Score 1) 225

You'd be wrong to think I disagree with you. It cuts both ways, and that's okay!

Going further, I'd like to know what hoaxes other people are being exposed to, so I have some clue before they start spouting fecal matter at the watercooler. Rather than suppress the hoax, I'd rather publicize it (preferably alongside proof.)

Comment tag, but don't hide! (Score 4, Insightful) 225

I'd rather that people who would normally see such a hoax article in their feed, always go ahead and see it -- with the disclaimer attached. They're likely to see it elsewhere anyway, why not use the opportunity to inform them that it's likely false? Instead, they get to see a story on Fox, then open their Facebook feed, and see nothing about it ... now not only are they not told it's false, it even looks like a liberal conspiracy to cover-up the truth! So very helpful.

Comment Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

Children belong to the State.

The converse is hardly better, though. Plenty of parents argue, in the same vein as States' Rights, that their kids are essentially their property to dispose of as they wish: to teach what they wish, to discipline as they wish, and so forth. I'm a parent, and yes, I have that instinct to kill anyone who comes between me and my kid -- but a little humility goes a long way. We're not born knowing how to parent, and many aren't even raised to know how to parent, not having any good role-models. It leaves a lot of parents with a very "well, I survived it, so can you" attitude that is unhealthy. Having a system by which our peers can intervene, either to show us how we're doing our kids a disservice, or to rescue our kids from us when we lose our minds, isn't a bad idea.

Kids belong to themselves, we're just along for the ride, for a while.

Comment Re:Look at Java/Postgresql (Score 2) 264

Firebird is also cross-platform, extremely safe and reliable, and would also be a good fit for someone with MSSQL experience.

Firebird (was: Interbase) has a significant following in the standalone-app world (because you can deploy an app backed by a full Firebird instance as a DLL, rather than a separate server process, and later switch to the service when you want networked clients) and in the thick-client world (because Interbase was bundled with Borland Builder/Delphi).

Comment Re:I don't even... (Score 2) 323

Unconditional Parenting would ask this: is your goal to get the child in the carseat at all costs (and not be delayed yourself), or to understand why your child is screaming, hitting, and/or running away? Which is more important to you, and why?

This is what I mean by "convenience" -- when we focus on getting what we want (child in carseat, no delay) and we debate what "works" (talking or spanking). And then we're surprised when kids try to manipulate us, trying out various tactics to see what "works" to get what they want out of us...

It's not like we haven't had melt-downs! But underneath all that blubbery mess, there are nearly always actionable reasons: hunger, lack of sleep, injury, bad experience, seemingly-irrational fears, miscommunication, expectation of alternate plans, unvoiced desires... and getting down to those, and addressing them (even if it's by just getting it out in the open, so you can be clear about why that's just NOT going to happen today) helps a lot -- not just in the moment, but every day after.
If my child is putting herself or others in immediate danger, I feel restraint is appropriate. But the goal is to get by long enough to then get to the meat of the matter. If there's an emergency, and I have to throw her in the car against her objections, well, I may very well have to do exactly that, and then discuss and work through it as soon as possible. But when she knows that -- in general -- she'll be listened to, and her desires and objections matter and will be fairly considered, it makes those emergencies a lot more palatable.

Comment Re:Mind blown (Score 1) 323


Your ability to have sex clearly prepared you for the task of raising the most intellectually complex life-form on the planet.
All you needed to know was passed down to you from your parents, who themselves obviously did a perfect job, as exemplified by your very existence.
Nobody else could possibly have a statistically clearly picture of how to raise kids, derived from thousands or millions of experiences, than you and your sole anecdotal self. Yet your child is so unique, so special, that you'll have to blaze your own trail, just for him!
We've survived this long, doing things the way we always have, why should we ever change? Let's not listen to the people trying to explain why, they can't possibly have a point.
Laws just enshrine what we already do, why should we ever decide something's bad and criminalize it? Won't that hurt someone's feelings?!
How you raise your kids, who are of course your property, will never affect the community, so how dare they politely cough and suggest you might want to consider maybe possibly thinking of alternate discipline techniques? Let's just go ahead and call them clueless wankers! (Muesli's not all that tasty, and sandals aren't all that comfortable, but I don't see the appeal as an insult.)
Why would anyone ever even bother suggesting an alternate approach that's inconvenient to you? Preposterous! Waste of time! Unless they have a solution that meets your strict laziness requirements, it's not even worth discussing, much less researching!

Knee-jerk, much?

Comment Re:I don't even... (Score 2) 323

Alfie Kohn, in Unconditional Parenting, argues that focusing on behaviors is insufficient. You can teach a child that if he gets caught doing X, he'll get a spanking, consistently -- and he may avoid getting caught, yes, but this doesn't address the underlying intentions. Kohn isn't opposed to natural consequences (touch fire, get burned) but kids catch on when you punish coming-home-late with taking away desserts, or whatever. Yes, it's a consequence, but only by your decree, which breeds resentment. He describes this as "doing to" rather than "working with". He's a parent, I'm a parent, I watch plenty of other parents, and I see a tendency to treat the symptom rather than the cause, to punish kids for being inconvenient rather than teaching them to be consciously considerate. I see these kids get punished (and rewarded!) all the time, yet develop no empathy.

I catch flak from the older generation, that sees me as "giving in" to my child if I so much as ask her (let alone discuss!) what she wants or why she did what she did, or insist she get a turn instead of letting grown-ups drone on forever. I'm sure it looks like a lack of discipline, to their eyes. It's not what they were taught, no, but unlike their generation, I've felt no need for time-outs or spankings to make my child "behave". She's a high-energy child, not naturally "easy", but my goal isn't to have a picture-perfect, authority-revering doll. I want her to think and care about others, and she does. It all flows from there.

Someone, somewhere, might find the book interesting. I wouldn't suggest not reading it.

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.