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Comment: Re:I Don't See A Problem (Score 1) 182

by anagama (#49534505) Attached to: Chinese Scientists Claim To Have Genetically Modified Human Embryos

re soul.

What does that even mean really?

Why do people grieve when a loved one is rendered brain dead? If all that matters is that the cells are human, it makes no sense to grieve for a brain dead person. Under that paradigm, having thought, emotion, memory, intellect, etc. is simply not relevant because all nonthinking human cells are magically transformed into something uber-special.

In reality, the brain matters -- a lot -- and everyone knows this intrinsically. To apply a different standard to embryos is irrational and inconsistent. We don't have a funeral every time we get a haircut and millions of human cells get lopped off and tossed into landfills.

If there is a soul, our sorrow tells us it is in the brain.

Comment: Re:Kangaroo Court! (Score 1) 114

by anagama (#49507663) Attached to: DIA Polygraph Countermeasure Case Files Leaked

Oh come on -- that's baloney. The Feds can dream up any reason they want to go after people they don't like. The free book linked to in the summary gives advice to CIA/NSA/FBI test takers too, no different than what is being prosecuted. You seem to fail to understand that a tool of our tyranny is for the Feds to _say_ you have the right to X -- and then nail your ass for some seemingly irrelevant violation of A. The advantage of our massive criminal code base for tyranny, is that the Feds can take you down anytime they want if they don't like you and they don't care if they are sending you to PMITA prison for the reason they hate you, they just care to take you down.

Comment: Re:Kangaroo Court! (Score 2) 114

by anagama (#49505431) Attached to: DIA Polygraph Countermeasure Case Files Leaked

And what does freedom of speech have to do with trying to make sure an intelligence agency isn't hiring double agents?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is not a "yelling fire in a crowded theater" situation involving immediate clear harm. Rather, it's about freedom of the press in exposing polygraphy as a pseudoscience that is as valid as drowning women to find out if they are witches. The polygraphy book does this by showing exactly how polygraphy doesn't work.

The Government is using its substantial power to suppress this information contrary to the mandatory dictates of the First Amendment. When the US government ignores the Constitution, that is a far graver threat to America and its purported values than any terrorist or double agent could ever achieve, because it decouples the massive power the Feds have from any limitations at all -- it is in essence, the destruction of America from within.

Think about it like this: There is USA, the place, and America the vision as embodied by our Constitution. Given the US Federal Gov's all-out assault on the Bill of Rights, it's fair to say that _it_ is the greatest threat to the freedoms we as Americans are said to hold dear, in favor of protection of USA the place. It is of course a totally dubious assertion that the pseudoscience of polygraphy is even effective at protection of USA the place, but even if it was a valid technique, we should be asking if we want to have a Federal Government that is totally unrestrained in its exercise of power. If that is where we are heading, we should just acknowledge that post-constitutional USA is just another authoritarian dictatorship, and quit giving lip service to being a constitutional republic that values freedom and justice. It would save a lot of people a lot of prison time to know we are just another China, and to keep their mouths shut.

Comment: Re:Peak 3d printer (Score 1) 177

by anagama (#49497805) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

I keep going back and forth on whether to buy one, but I'm tending toward "no" -- a makerspace opened up near me and they have half a dozen different 3d printers but it usually seems that at most, two are ever working at the same time. Despite that, I recently needed an object printed, paid $50 for the membership fee for a month, then spent 13 hours babysitting a print. On the first try, it jumped 2mm on the X axis about 15 minutes into the print. Stopped, restarted, and after spending all day watching it, it jumped 2mm on X axis again with about 30 minutes left on 12 hour print job. Then I had to pay $15 for my scrap plastic.

I was pretty non-plussed, so I tried one of the online printers -- the type which use the very expensive powdered plastic machines -- my piece cost $65 which is pretty pricey, but they came out exactly like I expected. About 20 of those prints would buy a printer, and it is hard to resist that logic, except when I think back to spending an entire freakin day to get garbage and the fact that most of the printers at the makerspace are usually offline because a needed part is on order.

I'm not really sure what my ultimate decision will be, but the promise of consumer 3d printing seems to be more than it delivers at present.

Comment: Re:Lets use correct terminology. (Score 1) 177

by anagama (#49497521) Attached to: MakerBot Lays Off 20 Percent of Its Employees

Doesn't a layoff imply that you still have a job to come back to when business improves? As another poster mentioned, the question is not firing, but whether it was for "cause" or more to the point, whether it was for misconduct.

I see, I'm old enough to remember the older version of "layoff" -- in modern times, it just means fired not for reasons of misconduct.

Comment: Re:I thought we were trying to end sexism? (Score 1) 599

Not offended yet. I'm just a bit more curious because not only do I live far from the Bible Belt, I'm an atheist from a family where religion played little to no role, I've only rarely been in a synagogue or church, and those few visits were at minimum more than 25 years in the past. I, and those like me, are probably considered a source of the degradation.

Comment: Re:An Odd Bird (Score 1) 110

by anagama (#49472457) Attached to: First 26 Pages of Neal Stephenson's New Novel "Seveneves" Online

I'm an audiobook addict. Snow Crash and Diamond Age are awesome books read by two of the very best narrators around. I've listened to both multiple times.

Anathem isn't half as good as either of those, and I was initially put off by the reader, but for some inexplicable reason, it is also the book I've listened to the most -- six or seven times through at least. There is something slow and comfortable about the way that Anathem develops that I find highly comforting during periods where my life is in high anxiety mode.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27