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Comment: Re:Seems to be OK all around then (Score 1) 606

by Whorhay (#49547333) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

There is no doubt that those disease have caused a lot of death, but they still don't seriously threaten our society. Just like the terrorists could attack and kill as many people as they did on 9/11 on a quarterly basis and it wouldn't seriously threaten our society. The threat to society is obviously a bogus argument as our society has already weathered that threat and grown very quickly before we developed vaccines. I'm vaccinated, and my family is all vaccinated. I have sympathy for people who can't be vaccinated and so are at greater risk. But I won't force other people to under go vaccination because it is morally bankrupt in my view. I support a woman's right to abortion and a person's right to assisted suicide for much the same reason.

Do you have an angle regarding how this is a threat to society, that doesn't revolve around an emotional plea like "think of the children"?

Comment: Re:weinstein? in pakistan?? (Score 1) 332

by Whorhay (#49540101) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

Probably because if you accept the status quo of racism and just avoid those places it does nothing to fix the racism problem. You might as well ask why all the black people didn't up and leave the USA after the civil war. If we want to change peoples racist attitudes and stereo types you have to make it personal. They need to see that their fears and hatreds are unreasonable as frequently as possible. Going to a country where a significantly large part of the population has an unreasonable hatred for you with the purpose of rendering humanitarian aid is a pretty good way to do that. Whether or not it is a wise decision for your personal well being is a very valid question. But often times the people who do this kind of work value the work they are trying to accomplish more than their own well being, at least before they are actually put into mortal danger. Then again most people's ideals and motivations become very maleable once they are under immenent threat of death.

Comment: Re:Seems to be OK all around then (Score 1) 606

by Whorhay (#49539705) Attached to: Bill To Require Vaccination of Children Advances In California

An unvaccinated person is not a threat to society. Such a person represents a non-malicous possible danger to a very small percentage of the population. We didn't have vaccines for most of our nations history and those diseases never posed more than a passing threat to our society. Sure it sucks when people who can't or weren't vaccinated die from some disease that should have died out by now, but in my opinion it smacks of a "think of the children" argument and isn't worth forcing people into medical treatments they don't want. If we're going to go down that road we should spend our resources on stuff that will likely be more effective, like forced blood, bone marrow, and tissue donations.

Comment: Re:Not just about terrorism (Score 2) 201

by Whorhay (#49531065) Attached to: McConnell Introduces Bill To Extend NSA Surveillance

The problem is that it isn't necessarily politicians that are abusing this system. It is the agencies manned largely by bureaucrats with a few appointies leading them. Changing the political leadership will do little to stop all of this unless that leader ship change happens encompasses both houses and the presidency, and has a strong will to end the abuses.

You can actually look to the DEA situation right now as an example of how troublesome the long term bureaucrats can be. The current head of the DEA is being forced to retire because she wouldn't give up on trying to enforce Federal pot laws in states that have legalized it. It might take awhile to find a replacement and get them in place, and even then there will probably still be a significant portion of that agency that will continue to push enforcement of those laws even though the President is telling them to cut it out.

Comment: Re:Erm.. Why a computer? (Score 1) 342

by Whorhay (#49480609) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

Two ways that I can think of off the bat:
1. Rigged dice
2. Dice roller using slight of hand

For rigged dice it should be simple enough to roll the dice a few times before hand to verify that they work properly. Use a single pair of dice, one representing 10's the other 1's, roll both together once for each number in the lottery. I suppose you could use an electric magnet with rigged dice to get them to roll how you want but I'm not sure you could do anything other than cause the same number to be rolled each time, which would be blatantly obvious as cheating.

For a non-random person, and yes I realize that picking a random person is just as error prone as anything else, you could get your own ringer. The trouble then is what could that ringer accomplish? Are their people that can actually roll dice consistently enough to roll the numbers they want? Barring that possibility they could use slight of hand to substitute rigged dice for each roll. The problem with slight of hand is that it only looks magical and convincing when you aren't looking for it. Pick people wearing short sleeves and keep multiple cameras trained on them at all times and you've ruled out that threat entirely.

For me the biggest reason to go with something simple like dice is that the ways to cheat it are pretty obvious and easily detectable if you are looking, corrupting it would require multiple people to be involved in the cheating. The output from a computer for random numbers in such a system is far easier to cheat because it is so complex that most people involved may not even know what they are looking for and it only requires a single person that is passably sly to pull it off.

Comment: Re: What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 700

by Whorhay (#49480237) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

I can't speak for Buddhism, but in the LDS (Mormon) faith the stated reason for not discussing such sacred (secret) things outside of a Temple and/or with someone who doesn't have a current Temple Recommend (official documented approval for participating in aforementioned sacred ceremonies), is that if they end up mocking them then they could bring down the wrath of god on themselves. There is no implication that I've ever heard that it is up to the church or members to act on behalf of god and his wrath, but I wouldn't doubt that someone might think that or take that upon themselves.

Having participated in modern ceremonies I can attest to them being entirely benign and unsurprising. I've heard salacious rumors before about what happens in temples but the most intimate things get is holding hands. I have heard that there used to be multiple blood oaths as part of the ceremonies in regards to maintaining the sacred (secret) nature of those ceremonies, but apparently that was phased out some decades ago and I've only ever heard it mentioned once, so haven't substantiated it at all.

Anyways in order to obtain a Temple Recommend you need to have declared your status as a full tithe payer to two seperate authority figures. That declaration is just part of the interview process and I've never heard of anyone being called out for being dishonest in that regard. A Full Tithe is 10% of your increase, which leaves a good bit of ambiguity for defining what your incease is. Of course if you don't have an increase, don't make/earn/receive any money, then you don't have a tithe to pay. So obtaining a Temple Recommend could be perceived as having a price tag in dollars of anywhere from $0 to $ billions.

Comment: Re:What? Why discriminate? (Score 1) 700

by Whorhay (#49479081) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

Charity deductions are kind of hard to use as a casual tax dodge. are at least make little to no sense to use in that way. People who run mega churches are dedicating much of their working life to doing it and I don't disagree that they should be prosecuted when appropriate. For the normal tax payer though donating to charity isn't saving you any money because it's a deduction not a credit. That means that you simply don't owe any income tax on the dollars donated to charity. That is very different from a credit which is essentially income tax that you don't have to pay, and in some cases can receive cash back for if it excedes your tax bill. You still have to pay social security, medicare and whatever taxes on charitable donations.

Comment: Re:A first: We should follow Germany's lead (Score 1) 700

by Whorhay (#49478601) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

The issue isn't so much about whether it is a religion. The whole point of the tax exempt status is to advantage groups that are beneficial to society. Now I realize that there are very valid arguements for pretty much all religions being harmful to society and so not warranting tax exempt status. In the case of Hubards get rich quick scheme though it is more obvious that it is not beneficial to society at large. The same is likely also true for the West Boro Baptist Church which appears to be more about a family of lawyers trolling for cases where they can sue for infringements against their rights.

Comment: Re:We have already figured most of this out. (Score 1) 363

by Whorhay (#49473941) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Grain fed meat is pretty much an artifact of our affluence and over production of corn. If I had to go to subsistence farming I sure wouldn't be wasting time producing grain for livestock. Pasturing and hay would have to suffice, and even then I'd probably skip the really large livestock that are less efficient and more labor intensive. Go with chickens, sheep, goats, and maybe pigs. You could possibly do fish in an aquaponics system if you've got a way to keep their water warm enough through the winter, and a way to keep them fed.

Comment: Re:We have already figured most of this out. (Score 1) 363

by Whorhay (#49473869) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

There is some really neat stuff you can do with fish in tanks and growing vegetables and such in the water. I believe it's called aquaponics, a mix of hydroponics and fish where the fish provide the amonia for bacteria to breakdown into nitrogen for the plants. You have to feed the fish but they can usually be fed duckweed or something else that is easily produced in very large quantities in what amounts to wading pools. The only water that leaves the system is whatever evaporates and is part of the harvested vegetable or meat.

Comment: Re:Erm.. Why a computer? (Score 1) 342

by Whorhay (#49472387) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

That does seem to be very random, although not actually perfectly random as you noted with a miniscule variance. I'm not trying to claim that using new dice with different people rolling the dice will be more random, it could quite possibly be less random. My main points though are:

Would rolling dice be sufficiently random such that guessing the most likely numbers is impractical?

Would rolling dice be an easier system to corrupt, as apparently happened in this case?

Comment: Re:Olde-timey carbon fuel (Score 1) 363

by Whorhay (#49470585) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

Last I heard we weren't anywhere close to running out of coal, there is literally mountains of the stuff still around and relatively easily available. And more than a thousand years ago people were producing coke from coal, so it shouldn't be an issue. Steel and iron production would probably happen on a smaller scale but you'd have huge quantities of it still sitting around waiting to be recycled. Landfills would be great sources of harder to find resources like copper. The one thing that I can think of that could be problematic would be making plastics in a world with less available oil.

Comment: Re:because Millenials are attentionwhores? (Score 1) 131

by Whorhay (#49442199) Attached to: Why Some Developers Are Live-Streaming Their Coding Sessions

I think it's more a function of them having access to those tools and being about to act out on all those fantasies and wishes. I knew lots of people growing up that would have loved to have access to this stuff to do the same. Most of them don't, even now that the tools are available to them. I suspect that it has more to do with them having matured and getting a better view of the reality surrounding them.

Most of these kids streaming and whatever will eventually give up on it when they realize it's not getting them anywhere. Some of them with stick with it just because they find they honestly enjoy it as a hobby even if it ends up being a net financial loss. And some select few will manage to make a career of it. We'll likely continue to see this happen as younger generations try to emulate the successes that they've seen come before them. Just look at how many people turn out for those televised talent show auditions. I'll bet they have hundres or thousands of applications to every act that they actually even put before the judges, let alone show on air for 15 seconds or less.

Honestly I could care less what those people are doing for the most part, or even that they are doing it and possibly making a living. It doesn't affect me by and large, I watch a couple youtubers because their stuff entertains me. I could just as easily watch some TV, read a book, or practice my own incredibly bad singing or something. If someone wants to put themselves out there for everyone to critique and fawn over that's their deal and it's no skin off my back.

You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford