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Comment: Re:Tip of the iceberg (Score 1) 596

by Will.Woodhull (#48261029) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

Ah! Good, you do know how to qualify your statements. I like the way you have backed off from declaring that parallel evolution is impossible, and now say it is extremely unlikely. Good for you. Now learn to say it the correct way the first time.

There are always alternative hypotheses that may be true. Any theory is never more than a best guess, that could be wrong. If you are totally sure about something, you are not doing science, you are doing belief.

Healthy belief systems are valuable and need at least as much pruning and nurturing as scientific theories. But do not conflate the two: they are different.

Comment: Re:Tip of the iceberg (Score 0) 596

by Will.Woodhull (#48260695) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

There is nothing so absurd as the phrase "science denier". So sorry my earlier post rattled your cage. Go back to sleep, comfortable in your belief in Science and that everything proposed as a theory must be true, because everybody-- except the real scientists-- say it is.

Comment: Re:Only YEC denies it (Score 1) 596

by Will.Woodhull (#48260533) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

I'll grant that the Pope is stepping away from the old doctrine that the Creator was like some guy in a toy shop putting together the Universe like a kid with a giant set of Legos putting together something a little bit complex. That's a big step. It begins the process of healing the rift between the Catholic churches (and all the Protestant and evangelical spin-offs) and the Gnostics and other panentheists (with their understanding that Deity might reside within the Creation, rather than there being some kind of barrier between us lowly earthern creatures and the heavenly beings).

But the Big Bang of science is not understood as something that happened separately from some heavenly realm that exists independent of it. The Big Bang states that the Universe gave birth to itself, and by implication gave birth to any gods or other form of Deity that may be around today. It is going to take a great many more steps before the Roman Catholic Church will be able to accept that premise. And it will have to apologize for persecuting a lot of the heretics it has created, starting with the Gnostics, on its way to that acceptance. However there is nothing in the teachings of Jesus or in that covenant that conflicts with a Big Bang approach to spirituality. The understanding of Jesus would shift a little-- Big Bang Christianity would necessarily become more tolerant for one thing-- but it is not unreasonable to think that institutions, including religions, should evolve along with the rest of the Universe.

Comment: Re:Tip of the iceberg (Score 0) 596

by Will.Woodhull (#48260157) Attached to: Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right

The Bible explains nothing in nature and no amount of re-interpreting changes that fact.

Except of course the book of Ezekiel and Erich von Daniken.

Not saying the Pope should begin the beatification process for von Daniken. But von Daniken was right in recognizing that the limitations of the language and mental maps of the bible's writers needs to be taken into account when trying to process biblical books within a contemporary frame of thought.

Plus, von Daniken was the first to describe a quadcopter. That's got to be worth something.

If only the Time Lords had imposed a ban against visiting the Middle East during the biblical period, there would be a lot fewer miracles for us to fret over. Blame all this Creationism hoohahrah on Doctor Who.

Comment: Re:Bennett on e-commerce (Score 1) 275

by Will.Woodhull (#48232153) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

The success that MS attained in the server market was pretty much entirely due to their closed ecosystem and the need for any institution whose secretaries were using Windows to use MS servers as well. In short, MS was able to leverage its GUI interface in a way that limited any of its customers from using a non-MS server OS.

In contrast to this, in areas where the Windows interface had no influence (think web page servers and HTTP protocol), Linux distros emerged quickly as the front runners, and are clearly the dominate force by any measure other than sales dollars.

MS' revenues going from $25b to $60b under Ballmer was mostly due to the stranglehold monopolistic closed ecosystem that Gates built, before he gave Microsoft as a plaything to Ballmer, his buddy.

Comment: Re:Bennett on e-commerce (Score 1) 275

by Will.Woodhull (#48229151) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

True enough, MS was profitable under Ballmer.

But more to the point, all that profit came from positive inertia of business decisions made before Ballmer became the Lord High Mukkimuck of the Evil Empire. It is hard to identify any strategy that the potty-mouthed, chair-throwing, murder-threatening monkey dancer initiated that was successful on its own merits. Very hard. The guy was given the reins of the most potent fire breathing profit-making dragon that ever stomped through the free marketplace and he rode it down until it was on its knees, out of steam, exuding only smoke and no more fire. He never fed the beast, nor did he steer it toward new lands to conquer. Nothing Ballmer initiated contributed a significant percentage to MS' profits.

Coming back to the point of this TFA, I don't see where a failed CEO's opinion of Amazon's business model has much value.

Comment: Re:The US tech industry (Score 1) 275

by Will.Woodhull (#48229061) Attached to: Ballmer Says Amazon Isn't a "Real Business"

.

Trouble is that Ballmer is just a dicksplat dickhead tosser with a gob that is itching to be filled with concrete along with very fetching matching wellies :-) ..

.

Really?

I thought he was the potty-mouthed, chair-throwing, murder-threatening monkey dancer.

Oh wait... I guess those two descriptions are not mutually exclusive...

.

.

Comment: Re:in favor of "space suits" (Score 1) 367

by Will.Woodhull (#48221047) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

The makeshift ebola suits currently in use are epic fail. Persons highly trained in their use have come down with ebola. Probably because the protocols for getting in and out of the suits are so difficult that the protocols themselves are broken, they simply do not work.

Paul Allen-- bless him!-- has just donated $100 million to the ebola effort. But more significantly, he is spearheading the development of a medevac system that will handle medical personnel in Africa who may have been exposed to ebola.

What we need is someone of Paul Allen's stature to design and deploy an effective ebola suit. This would probably be a spacesuit that would protect its occupant from an environment so hostile to life that any ebola on its surface would not survive. It would be used in conjunction with that hostile environment. For example, a suit that would allow a health worker to stand in a bonfire for 15 minutes, or walk through a deadly chemical fog chamber. It needs to be built and used in such a way that getting into and out of it can be done easily, while assuring that any ebola virus on its surface is 100% destroyed.

There is no government agency or institution that could take this on. This is on the scale of a Manhattan Project-- except much worse since we don't have years to do the work. We need something useable in months. So we need someone with the resources and know-how to develop this new technology on a fast track. Burt Rutan. Bill Gates. Maybe Warren Buffett. Someone of that caliber.

I hope someone is stepping up to take this on. Developing an effective ebola suit would be a magnificent legacy. It would put one in company with medical greats like Pasteur, Lister, Fleming, and Salk.

Comment: Re:my thoughts (Score 1) 367

by Will.Woodhull (#48220455) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Parent post has done an excellent job of summarizing the WHO and CDC statements about the ebola risk. Let me now take this to the next step and put it into terms that are more commonly used on slashdot, the streets, and just about everywhere else in the real world:

If there is no one around you who has ebola, then you are not at risk of being infected. If there is someone around you who has ebola, then you should wear a space suit. If within the last couple of hours no one with ebola has been on the subway platform or the elevator or the taxi, or has handled the coins you are getting as change for your Starbucks frappacino, then you don't have to worry about getting infected.

So it all comes down to simply making sure that you know the status and history of every person and object you come into contact with. Not such a big deal, eh?

Comment: Re:Bennett Haselton on the Ebola outbreak (Score 3, Insightful) 367

by Will.Woodhull (#48220225) Attached to: NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

So we are now living in a Lewis Carroll world: "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true."

If indeed there was no risk to anyone until the good doctor decided he was beginning to show symptoms, then why is so much money (and other, more valuable than money, resources) being used to trace down all who might have had contact with him? It would seem that the authorities are not as confident about the risks of transmission during the silent incubation period as they would want the public to believe.

Comment: Re:Oooh ... formally promised ... (Score 1) 167

by Will.Woodhull (#48215671) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

Wait. You're trusting investors and stockholders... to ensure that the company sticks to their profitibility-limiting "benefit corp" goals?

Yes, that seems to be the case.

...investors and stockholders, whose primary goal is to make money...

No, that qualifying phrase does not fit. Investors and stockholders whose primary goal is to make money should be doing something else than involving themselves in a benefit corporation. They also shouldn't be putting a lot of money into Friends Of Trees, endowments of the arts, historical preservation societies, etc.

Benefit corporations are not a part of capitalism. They are not free market entities. Like the FOSS movement that has provided you with the benefits of Linux (which runs the servers of most of the websites you visit), benefit corporations are part of the emerging post-capitalist gift economy.

But I fear that now I may have given some of my readers headaches by jamming into their heads a couple of concepts that are too big for their skulls to contain.

Comment: Re:Oooh ... formally promised ... (Score 1) 167

by Will.Woodhull (#48215585) Attached to: Ello Formally Promises To Remain Ad-Free, Raises $5.5M

That might be a concern. But I am not addressing that.

Your original comment neglected to mention one pertinent fact: that there is a form of monitoring and control of benefit corporations. My earlier comment only addressed that deficiency.

Whether benefit corporations could actually work as intended is an entirely different issue. I don't have an answer to that. Neither do you. There are not enough data available yet to make any kind of reasoned judgment.

But that does not excuse the deliberate withholding of information just so you can make noise for your opinion. This is slashdot. It is not yet a backroom of Fox News. A modest suggestion: when attempting to push your point of view, find someone else to emulate rather than Rush Limbaugh.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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