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Comment: Re:I prefer to browse real bookstores (Score 1) 83

by Your.Master (#46744273) Attached to: Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

I preferred the large Canadian bookstores.

Small bookstores typically just don't have the selection, and American big bookstores seemed...standoffish? It can be really hard to describe just in what way it was less pleasant. Part of it is a structure that encourages you to read lengthy passages in the store back home that I haven't seen in a larger bookstore in the US. I fully admit I haven't travelled the length and breadth of either country; I'm just going with the places I've been.

I go to Amazon for something that I knew I wanted ahead of time, which is relatively rare but if I accidentally start reading an unfinished book series it will happen and Amazon tends to be clearly the best option. And with the stores I like closing down, I now go to Amazon also because it's the best available.

The "World's Biggest Bookstore" (that's a name, not a description) in Toronto, as seen on the movie Short Circuit 2, just recently closed and that is probably the thing that will shift me over to using Amazon near-exclusively.

Although interestingly a lot of the long tail books aren't directly available from Amazon itself, but are available on Amazon.com via its partner re-seller programs, some of which are also big warehouses but some seem like smaller businesses that are just supplementing their incomes. Usually these are out-of-print books with "used - like new" tags as I try to complete things that I read as a kid from the school library, which was incomplete either because they didn't buy the full series, or they did buy it and a kid wrecked one, or the series wasn't completed ~15 years ago when I would have read them.

Comment: Re:If you make this a proof of God... (Score 1) 589

He's referring to sentient creatures. Sentient, I believe, should be understood to mean approximately human-like levels of intelligence and communication. It is reasonable to suppose such creatures will generate similar phenomena as humans -- abstract syntactic language, superstitions, science, etc.. Provided they don't go extinct first, anyway.

Comment: Re:offtopic? Seriously? (Score 2) 381

by Your.Master (#46722557) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

The story is about the odds of being murdered, and your first sentence was on topic.

The rest was deliriously offtopic. Hence the appropriate moderation, "offtopic". If you don't want to be modded offtopic, then your post should be substantially on topic.

To your on-topic point: I couldn't find a source to quantify your statistic in a short time, though I did find sources which explained that women are way less likely to murder non-family members than men are; and given that women are *way* more likely to have a male spouse than men are, it should not be unexpected that women murder more men than women.

I mean really, why would we expect it to be equal? Spousal murder is a thing, and gay relationships are rare disproportionate to statistically random pairings, therefore one might expect a greater number of cross-sex murders. Really the surprising fact is therefore that men kill more men than women (which I know I've heard elsewhere as well).

Comment: Re:what that leaves out (Score 2) 381

by Your.Master (#46722477) Attached to: UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

about half of the perpetrators and victims of homicide are young African American males, completely out of proportion to their prevalence population; that's what accounts for most of the difference between US and other Western murder rates.

That can't be true because looking at other "Western" nations (I looked at the Western Europe category, most of Northern Europe category, most of Southern Europe category, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) have about a quarter of the murder rates of the US fairly consistently over the 13 years indicated. In 2012, Canada, Finland, & Belgium are are closer to 1/3, but some are doing better than 1/5. And that was tied for the best year in the US. To be fair, that was a particularly good year for Finland and Belgium, but average for some of the other countries.

Meanwhile, black poulation is 13%, or slightly more than 1/8th the country, so the remaining one half the population of the US has to be attenuated by 7/8. So removing the black people entirely, the US still has ~225% the murder rate of these other countries.

Comment: Re:Constitutional Court (Score 1) 141

I think you're asking the wrong question. Why wouldn't you use the Supreme Court? They're the body that's ultimately in charge of deciding whether it's constitutional or not. What's bizarre is choosing to use a third-party lawyer arbitrarily. Just so that you can say you didn't use the Supreme Court?

The US has determined the their constitution forbids federal courts from issuing advisory opinions. Some states do the same as Canada though with their state supreme courts.

Comment: Re:IDLE defaults to Guido's standard: 4 spaces (Score 1) 226

by Your.Master (#46690597) Attached to: Should Microsoft Give Kids Programmable Versions of Office?

These half-functional 'features' makes people believe that somehow it's acceptable to indent with spaces instead of tabs.

No, people already believed that.

I assert that tab, inasmuch as it is an ASCII character, was always a bad idea. In a word processor, indentation functionality should be achieved the same way as any other indenting. In a fixed format like source code, it's completely redundant with spaces. Yes, there are scenarios where you can use tabs, but that could also justify specialized control characters to represent underline, italics, bold, and text colouration, which could all also be interesting presentation elements in source code and other text-stream applications. Instead we parse out compounds like [b] etc. Or more generally, you could have control characters that natively held styles. Generally we instead let your text editor apply styling to your source code using some minimal knowledge of your language's syntax.

I feel similarly about RTL control characters and Ideographic Variation Sequences, but at least in those cases I understand and accept the backward-compatibility problems they were designed to solve. Fortunately, I've never heard somebody demand they be supported in source code, and they aren't in your typical ASCII set -- you have to go to Unicode. Tabs are a bad idea that people only think are a good idea because they are expressible in ASCII.

Comment: Re:Turtles? (Score 1) 469

by Your.Master (#46674009) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

As far as I can gather, he wasn't opposed to abiogenesis so much as abiogenesis on Earth.

He figured the odds against abiogenesis on some other class of places which might be:

a) possibly more abiogenesis-friendly
b) far, far, far more numerous than the number of Earth-alikes

Multiplied by the odds of panspermia were much more pro-life. To the point where he figured space viruses could even account for modern epidemics.

Comment: Re:And yet they supported Obama (Score 1) 562

by Your.Master (#46673803) Attached to: Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

special interest groups screaming about oppression at every opportunity even when none exists.

None exists? Are you paying attention?

everyone has the same equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

I've been saying this a lot lately, but this is exactly like saying that women had the same right to vote 100 years ago as men: one vote per penis.

Im sorry if a small minority is affected by this but the sad truth is life isnt fair.

One person being affected -- Eich -- is an even smaller minority affected by this. Why should life be fairer for him than for the gay?

its not as if we are locking up the gays and killing them, everyone is free to live the life they want

Actually gays do face physical violence, but I agree Eich didn't do it. If Eich was doing it, we'd be arresting him and sentencing him to life imprisonment. Instead, there were demands that he step down. Why are you the only one who gets to blow things out of proportion?

If we really want to treat people equal we would do away with marriage as a government contract in its entirety

I agree. But the current state of affairs is worse. This is similar to the fact that I oppose laws that specifically exclude the mentally disabled from the death penalty, because I oppose the death penalty.

Comment: Re:Two Games (Score 1) 167

by Your.Master (#46673359) Attached to: A Rock Paper Scissors Brainteaser

You've come up with a fair answer, but the flaw in your reasoning is that the RPS game is less independent of the coin toss game.

In particular, the coin toss game makes scissors an obvious loss. No solution that includes scissors can possibly be optimal, because scissors loses at minimum 50% of the time.

Redistribute your scissors over to rock and work it out on a calculator; you'll see an improvement in outcomes.

"If John Madden steps outside on February 2, looks down, and doesn't see his feet, we'll have 6 more weeks of Pro football." -- Chuck Newcombe

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