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Comment Re:Stop promoting your own articles StartsWithABan (Score 4, Informative) 105

That's why I skip the articles and just look for the information I'm interested in. Like, hmm, how will this ground-based atmosphere-ridden telescope compare to the Hubble Space Telescope?

From the FAQ on ... which is linked,

The GMT will leverage cutting-edge optics technology to combine seven giant mirrors to achieve 10 times the angular resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope in the infrared region of the spectrum.

When coupled with the GMT adaptive optics (AO) system they will produce images sharper than those from the Hubble or Webb Space Telescopes.

And it goes on to explain that the atmospheric turbulence 200 meters up can be measured with lasers, and the one of the mirrors is physically deformed to compensate for the measured distortions. Pretty neat.

Comment Re:How is the credibility of "prediction" (Score 1) 223

Obviously this article fails to take into account the tiniest of electrical engineers. If you're an engineer, and your body's aspect ratio is, say, 10 orders of magnitude smaller than the average, you've got job security like a mofo.

The best part about it is that because the regular engineers are so cheap now, you can buy a bunch of tiny ones and be ok with losing them around the office.

Comment Re:What are they thinking? (Score 1) 728

Ok, so then what's your definition of philosophy? Tell me specifically why you believe they are different.

If you're referring to the 'faith' aspects of some religions vs the 'scientific method' -- or 'rational argument' for philosophy, then you have a very specific definition of the word 'religion'. laxman was right in saying that my definition of religion is very broad, but to me, if you can lump Buddhism and other non-violent, seemingly rational, almost poetic religions into the same category, then both philosophy and science (in their many forms and interpretations) get very close to fitting the more general definition of religion.

Many (but certainly not all) atheists reject 'religion' as outright stupid -- whereas their own life practices are unique and superior. Sure, whatever. They're just making general claims about specific instances, and spouting off the same bullshit words that everybody everywhere at all times says when they don't agree.

Comment Re:What are they thinking? (Score 1) 728

Oh spare me. Calling science a religion (however slyly) just shows your ignorance. And then you go on to suggest we should somehow filter religions? Yes you can define God very broadly. Most people, especially ISIS, do not.

So are you one of those folks that thinks all religion is just a mass delusion? Please. The only difference between philosophy and religion is connotation.

And yes, ISIS has a specific -- and deluded -- viewpoint on reality. Nobody said otherwise.

Comment Re:What are they thinking? (Score 1) 728

Keep in mind that the constituents of ISIS are literally fanatics. They are so strongly attached to their religious ideologies that they are willing to blow themselves up just to kill a single civilian. There's very little real political strategy in killing civilians. Only tunnel vision.

That said, some of the commenters are arguing that this evidence that all religion is ill-suited for humankind. This is a naive thing to say. Irrational violence and religion are not mutually inclusive. Similarly, an omnipotent god with free will (i.e., the Christian god) and monotheism are also not mutually inclusive, Brahman from Hinduism being a good example of a non-anthropomorphized god. People often seem to place a very narrow definition on 'God' and on 'religion', calling themselves atheist or non-religious, while they themselves are faithfully ascribing supreme importance to their own moral pursuits, such as science.

So to me it's not a question of whether or not religion is worth keeping around, but rather which religions are worth keeping around, and how we can improve upon them.

In every myth, cosmology, origin story and/or religion, the singular existence of our reality reveals the essence of the idea of God, regardless of how you choose to define God.

Comment Re:Okay, So Why Should I Be Paranoid? (Score 5, Insightful) 373

What exactly is there to be worried about?

The main takeaway, to me at least, is that very personal information of yours is not as personal as you think it is anymore. Do your google searches indicate that you've been diagnosed with an STD? Do they infer that you're a frequent marijuana user? Do your posts reveal that you're paranoid about your lover cheating on you? Do they flag you for an NSA interesting persons list?

Your searches reveal information about your interests, and they are most definitely recorded in order to advertise to you. As we have learned with the OPM, or with Ashley Madison, or with one of the many other thousands of instances of data theft, much of your information is unprotected. It can be used to blackmail you, to out you as a minority or stereotype, and to reveal your (mildly or severely) illegal activities.

You may think that you're a moral person, but most people have character traits that give them shame.

Comment Re:With the best tech that we know of (Score 1) 365

The definition of "advanced civilization" they used was Kardashev III, which uses total power on the order of 4.E37 watts. You're talking about a civilization that uses much less power. It still could be incredibly advanced compared to us, using energy incredibly efficiently (there's limits to the efficiency, so I'd suspect we're talking over Kardashev II here), or it could be operating on some principle we're not going to find for another million years.

As I said, it's silly to assume that any truly advanced civilization could/would consume or generate that much power. 4 × 10^37 watts is equivalent to 4.5 × 10^20 kg / s. That would mean they consume three Jupiter masses per year... the mass TOTALLY gone... poof. To give some perspective, the sun doesn't even do that. The sun doesn't even do 1 trillionth of that in its total output/year. It would take that civilization 1000 years to eat up an entire star (and they've been doing it for how long again?). Welp, let's just head to the next closest star and consume that. Wait a minute, it's gonna take 1000 years to get there? We need more power though!!!

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