No, the world doesn't. Consumer OS' need Delay Tolerant Protocol support and Mars One needs to put a giant data server with gigantic solar panels near one of the Martian poles. Anyone with a TV satellite dish and a decent amplifier would be able to put what they wanted there. There's no ISP, no third-party network, no cables that could be cut or tapped, no raidable office, no power switch, no DNS entry to block, no search engine entry to remove.
There is also no way consumers would pay for it. This is one case where you do get what you pay for. Although there are more than enough concerned Internet users to actually put a human-less data centre of useful size on Mars, complete with fault tolerance and hot standby capabilities, so close to absolutely none of you would fork over real money to achieve it that it could never happen.
(How close is close? Fewer than a million is close to zero. Fewer than a hundred million, you could do it if a few were very rich. But since a dead server is equal to no server, anything less than enough to get this working is close to zero.)
Despite everything said in recent months, all the evidence from security experts suggests social engineering is the number one weakness. Network and host security are closing the gap, sure, but unless you plan to go EAL7 - which you can do with a general-purpose OS if you've money to burn - there is nothing that can be trusted.
Nothing? An early backdoor for AT&T Unix was built into the compiler, but it could just as easily have been in any library the compiler used. Auditing the Linux kernel would be bad enough, auditing GCC, glibc and all the maths libraries used by the optimizer? Even with an army of testers and coders, you'd be dead of old age before securing that lot against accidental and deliberate exploits that may arise in code other than that tested.
(By an army, I mean 100,000 dedicated, skilled people would be capable of getting a specific Linux kernel watertight after about 1.5 years on the first go. Each iteration would take less, such that the series would be convergent, but you'd always lag by several months. With the compiler and libraries, the interactions are too severe and there's too much code. You could never get it watertight and the series would diverge because complexity would increase exponentially but verification would be linear.)
I would love to see a company on that scale set up for the sole purpose of finding and fixing Linux bugs. I would also love next week's lottery numbers, a girlfriend, a cuddly toy, a chip fabrication plant and something that can make proper tea. (Cue Bruce Forsyth)
Realistically, I have to limit myself to visions of provably secure kernel components, with the rest of the kernel, and the rest of the OS, being either insecure or half-inched from OpenBSD.
I dunno, Mars is looking very nice about now.
Where you put the data doesn't matter. SSL can be regarded as broken and BGP4+ definitely is, meaning you lose everything in transit. Nobody needs to access the data silos.
(I'm not just thinking spy guys - broken is broken, so this includes competitors, patent trolls, lobbyists, home grown terror groups, the PTA, your next door neighbour...)
Nonono. We need a law that allows website owners to fine idiots who PWS (post whilst stupid) or PUIC (post under influence of conspiracies). Slashdot will become immensely rich overnight, will be able to rehire CmdrTaco, and will lose the useless third who we can ship off to another world via the B Ark.
The Swiss could be dwarves, they certainly have Mirrormere (lake Geneva) and the LHC has been accused of being Moria in the past.
We can definitely rule out the Svart Alfar (dark elves in Norse legend) as that part of the world definitely lacks ugly. Dragons, perhaps - the Swiss are a tough vain at times and have been known to hoard. The mountains are suspiciously mountainy. On the other hand, the chocolateers there are amongst the finest in the world. Dragons can't eat chocolates, as they're related to dogs.
Ok, Dwarves it is.
Tunnels and Trolls is an RPG, not a Slashdot posting policy. Go back to bestgore, where you belong.
Your argument would be plausible if what one experiences after death were the -sole- line of evidence for theism.
My argument would be plausible? Dude, I'm saying that you can't use observation X as evidence to support your explanation of observation X. If I a scientist said, "The reagents react together to produce a jelly. I hypothesize that angels are creating the jelly. The jelly is produced, therefore the angels hypothesis is supported," We'd all say he was nuts. And I wasn't arguing that it was the *sole* argument for theism. I was addressing just that one because it's a particularly bad argument.
Fulfilled prophetic claims are another.
How does one keep score on fulfilled prophetic claims? Like, how does, say, the Bible stack up against Nostradamus or the Koran?
Willing martyrdom of contemporaries is another.
The fact that people believe in something hard enough to die for it also isn't really very strong evidence that it's true. Are we saying that Islam is getting more plausible by the day?
I will say this--if a religion says that you experience X when you die and X looks nothing like the near death experiences people report, that's good evidence that the religion in question is not true. But failing to reject a hypothesis when the hypothesis was written to explain the observation is not exactly a big win. As they say, you can kill sheep with witchcraft if you also feed them arsenic.
1) Prediction of what people will experience when they nearly die.
2) People nearly die and experience it. Prediction validated!
The problem is that people have been dying and nearly dying for, like, a really long time. That means that "what happens when you nearly die" is not so much a prediction of the future as an observation of the past and present. So it's more likely that it went like this:
1) Person nearly dies and experiences trippy things.
2) Person describes trippy things and creates mythology around them or incorporates them into popular mythology.
3) Later people nearly die and experience similar trippy things. Therefore, mythology in (2) is validated!
In that sense, it's no different from:
1) We observe that the sun crosses the sky daily.
2) We tell a story about Helios and his chariot crossing the sky daily.
3) Everybody observes the phenomenon of the sun crossing the sky daily. Everybody! All subjects in the study saw it! Prediction validated! Helios is real!
Not so much. I don't discount that people experience very similar things during near death experiences any more than I discount their observations of the sun crossing the sky. I just dispute the conclusions that can be drawn from it.
The point is that there's nothing particularly daring or insightful about what Dawkins et al. are doing.
I'm not sure that the adjectives most of us were applying were "daring" or "insightful" so much as "correct."
Which brings us right back to the inescapable conclusion that Dawkins et al. are the oppressors, not the oppressed. You're not allowed to believe what you want to believe, even if you're not hurting anyone else.
You have a very interesting definition of "oppression" and "allowed." You say Dawkins is an oppressor. I don't think so. Does the fact that your statement contradicts my belief make you my oppressor? Am I not allowed to believe that Dawkins is not an oppressor now that you've said it? I'm pretty sure this whole thing was just you stating your opinion in a public forum, but if I'm missing something about the power dynamic here, please let me know.
Yes, and it is for you too. If someone makes a claim that unobservable unicorns exist, I have to take it on faith that they do not, in fact, exist.
That definition of "faith" seems to be so diluted that there is almost no reason to keep the word around, at least for the purposes of this debate. To take it to mean, "lack of 100% certainty" is fine in the general case, but I see it here being used as a cudgel to knock down all ideas as being equally likely. It usually goes something like this:
Person A: A million years ago, I created Jupiter and all of its moons out of pudding.
Person B: I suppose anything is possible, but I'm not going to take that on faith. It sound crazy. I need some evidence.
Person A: Well, you take it on faith that your wife and children aren't being eaten and regurgitated by goblins every night without your knowledge. Why can't you take my thing on faith too?
I think that Russell had it pretty dead on when he said, "When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others." The claim, "Well, you empiricists take stuff on faith too!" is pretty weak tea when your definition of "faith" is "100% certainty minus epsilon."
Peer-reviewed, supporting in its evidence a rather restricted subset of religion's whose after-death predictions are what is experienced.
After-death "predictions" or observations of what near death experiences are like which are then later turned into religious stories? It's like saying that Helios is real because the Greeks predicted that he would ride his chariot across the sky--a prediction supported by the fact that the sun traverses our sky daily.
Of course, rational argument isn't going to lever anyone out of religious beliefs, so maybe this kind of jazz is what is needed to break religion's stranglehold on public policy.
I think that this is more important than a lot of people realize. A big part of it is seeing that a critical mass of people are willing to publicly say that they don't believe this stuff. The reports of a "rise" in atheism probably reflect a small number of "converts" and a very large number of people who have never believed in gods but who have kept their heads down because that's what the culture requires.
Imagine a society that throws virgins and infidels into a volcano. Then imagine that nobody in that society actually belives it does any good, but everybody stays quiet because they think they're the only ones and that saying something is a good way to get tossed into the volcano. In that case, I'm happy for anybody who expands the range of acceptable opinion, no matter how they do it.