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Comment: No big deal (Score 2) 665

by albacrankie (#46224337) Attached to: South Carolina Education Committee Removes Evolution From Standards
At my secondary school in the UK (between 1966 and 1972), not once was evolution taught in my science classes. In science, we measured, weighed, cut, burned, exploded, dissolved, attached weights, electrocuted, and stuff like that. Understanding evolution is not that important in most areas of science. The only time it was taught was in the Religious Education class by a Church Of Scotland minister. He explained it simply and in a way that made sense. It somehow seemed more relevant in that class, which covered 'big' topics such as existence, consciousness, morality, war, etc. I don't recall him saying that not everyone believed the theory of natural selection, but then again, he probably didn't tell us that not all Buddhists believe in reincarnation.

I don't think we got taught much about "theories" of gravity in science either. We learned that it causes falling objects to accelerate at 9.81 m/s/s, and that it causes a mass to have weight. We even verified those things. (Oh, experiments! How great you are!) But no one explained whether it was caused by magic magnets or gravity fairies or anything like that.

Comment: Re:I believe it (Score 1) 1010

by albacrankie (#45827997) Attached to: New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution
"Agnostic is just a word created by the religious..."

"agnostic" is a word created by T.H. Huxley to describe his position that he was quite certain he didn't know the answers to questions concerning existence, while others seemed quite certain they did. He described agnosticism as a principle and not a creed or belief. He applied it to everything, not just the matter of the existence of God.

"This principle may be stated in various ways, but they all amount to this: that it is wrong for a man to say he is certain of the objective truth of a proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty."

Comment: Let's face it, we start to smell at 50 (Score 2) 629

by albacrankie (#45539577) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are We Older Experts Being Retired Too Early?
I'm 58, and already my kids won't come into my office. My wife comes in occasionally, but she's in her fifties too, so she doesn't notice so much. We shouldn't pretend about this. Why do you think senior managers are given their own offices with windows?

So what are the options? Working remotely for sure. And having some embarrassing pics or info on your employer is pretty useful if you want to be known as someone who is too important to be fired. Knowing how to make stuff work and fix stuff tends to help. A sprinkling of craplang such as agile, scrum, burndown charts, etc, sometimes helps.

Comment: it was as if the system was attacking itself... (Score 2) 516

by albacrankie (#45068491) Attached to: Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks
"It's out of control, Captain," said the chief engineer. "The parameters are going to blow if we don't do something soon."

The Crank continued to sit quietly, surveying the panicked faces in front of him. The tears from a young secretary in the corner, the one who had only joined the group to bring hope to millions of elderly people, confirmed his view that this was no place for the sentimental. Slowly, peoples' eyes started to look his way. What were they hoping for? Some magic fix? Some weird incantation that he would type into a terminal and that would take everything back to that stable comfort of two hours ago?

Eventually he got to his feet and looked around the walls of the room that were stacked high with electronic systems. "Any ideas?" asked the Captain.

"Nothing that I think you will like," replied the Crank.

To be continued..

Comment: Re:God of the Gaps (Score 1) 1293

by albacrankie (#44900757) Attached to: Why Are Some Hell-Bent On Teaching Intelligent Design?
I'm not sure it's right to equate religion and superstition. Religion implies belief in various supernatural behaviors. Superstition is often much more simple and generally harmless. For example, those of us who wear our wifes' underwear while writing regular expressions only do so because it worked before. If it stops working, we will think again, and consider whether we were wrong in the first place, or whether the failure was due to a recent change in color or material of the said garments.

Comment: You're concerned...? (Score 4, Funny) 164

by albacrankie (#44769327) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Creating New Online Accounts Reduce Privacy Risks?
I used to get ads featuring young ladies in skimpy underwear. Move on a few years, and now I get ads for 'mature' dating sites. These ads are extremely depressing. So much so that I suspect it's a euthanasian plot intended to make me top myself. It may succeed. And now you're suggesting I could fix things by changing my e-mail address. That may be even more depressing. Fuck it!!!!

Comment: And just maybe... (Score 2) 530

by albacrankie (#44699921) Attached to: How Human Psychology Holds Back Climate Change Action
...people are smart enough to look at a graph of temperatures over the last 100 years and see that things aren't that clear. And however many statistical methods are applied to that same data, perhaps people conclude that a lot still isn't known. Perhaps people's psychologies view taking 'significant' action against carbon emissions in a similar way to taking 'significant' action against Syria. In other words, we doubt whether the 'experts' know what the hell they are talking about.

"Success covers a multitude of blunders." -- George Bernard Shaw