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Comment: Re:Jesus (Score 4, Interesting) 102

And you know this how?

On a serious note, I'm not even a particularly religious person, but there's not a single human society in existence (or even historically documented) that didn't develop religion of some sort. To me that would suggest that there's some long-term survival advantage.

Further, there are still boundaries to what science knows and always will be. The WHY questions, as opposed to the HOWs. As a mechanism of cultural psychology, I don't see a problem with religion attempting to give people a method to approach those questions.

Of course, as a postmodern western American, I find that religion that becomes pre- and proscriptive is oppressive and frankly obnoxious. But to throw out the baby with the bathwater by flat-out criticizing faith is overstepping pretty far.

Comment: be a good "new" employee (Score 2) 543

- try to learn whatever they're willing to teach
- if it "seems" dumb, tedious, or backwards: don't immediately assume you know better. Instead, assume that you don't have all the information (because likely you DON'T: someone else has very likely tried whatever you're going to suggest many, many times).
- At the end of the day, this is a simple transaction: they are PAYING YOU MONEY to DO something. Odds are, that "something" isn't "check your instagram account" or play "words with friends". Just fix it in your head that you have nothing better to do elsewhere at all, and try to internalize (or pretend) that you really give a shit about how well your task is done.
- you're not a precious snowflake.

Don't be anything like in this video: (Millenials in the Workplace)

Comment: Why WOULDN'T you? (Score 5, Interesting) 81

Seriously, if someone is running around breaking windows (pun intended) in your neighborhood, they're outed in the local crime report.
If they did it to 1.5 million homes, I'd bloody well expect that yes, they should be identified.

I personally wouldn't object to having them branded, either.
Or, if you're more Adam Smithy, just suspend their ability to file civil lawsuits allowing people to do whatever they want to them that doesn't actually rise to criminal activity.

Comment: Re:We Are Aleady in a Space Race (Score 1) 272

Just to be clear:

"... in a little less than ten years from now, they will have caught up with where the US was around almost two decades ago..."
should be
"... in a little less than ten years from now, they will have caught up with where the US was around almost FIVE decades ago..."

Not that that makes it better.

Comment: Re:it's not "slow and calculated torture" (Score 2) 742

by argStyopa (#49767725) Attached to: Greece Is Running Out of Money, Cannot Make June IMF Repayment

The ROOT cause, as you imply, was Europtimism.
The PanEurope folks were willing to accept any tissue-paper rationalization or flimsy camouflage to encourage more countries to join in their giant Kum-Bay-Yah fest of the EU.

You CANNOT simply 'bolt' the Drachma and the Lira (sometimes exchanging at 000s to the dollar) to the D-Mark (@2 to the dollar) and assume they're all going to behave like the Dmark. That's ridiculous, if you understand WHY the drachma and the lira were valued so low: a history of unstable government, fiscal irresponsibility, and dangerous levels of debt (considering the former two). As long as states maintained their own spending policies, none of these things were going to 'magically change' once Greeks and Italians now had to sit in meetings with Germans and British. Fiscal prudence doesn't 'rub off'.

Comment: Death is immanent, if not imminent (Score 5, Interesting) 96

by argStyopa (#49759459) Attached to: Death In the Browser Tab

On the other hand, in pre-modern eras (as well, sadly, for much of the 3rd-4th-world today) death was everywhere.
Most people lived/worked on farms, where animals were killed more or less in front of you, for you to eat that night, or later. Every family lost children, with medieval death rates for 2 yr olds reaching 50%, mostly to drowning. The slightest injury could easily (and more or less quickly) be lethal through infection, while waves of typhus and other communicable diseases were almost a constant fear.

I think what the author meant to say is that our little niche of modernity when we were safe from most random environmental deaths, yet insulated and never actually confronted by death, may have ended.

Comment: Yes, and? (Score 1) 396

Of COURSE they're studying the consequences of a potential Brexit; believe me, the fact that there will likely be a referendum on it means the chance is greater than zero and thus EVERY responsible financial entity is doing the same.
And chattering that they are who they are, it would be almost criminally negligent if they weren't studying it closely.

In the same sense the U.S. army had, because unless they're busy with an active war (and even then), their job as a government agency is very specifically to consider and plan for any conceivable future.

Of course the troubling bit is the incompetence of mailing this to the news agencies, unless that was deliberate, which itself doesn't seem that unreasonable/incomprehensible, now that I think of it (except if it actually costs the minister a job he'd have preferred to keep).

Comment: Not so sure (Score 1) 236

by argStyopa (#49752613) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

It's very trendy to say "When it comes to risk assessment, there's one type that humans are notoriously bad at: the very low-frequency but high-consequence risks and rewards" but I'm not so sure that's true?

These kind of talks seemingly always look at risk/reward calculations as symmetric, which they very abundantly aren't.

The fact is that people are extraordinarily conservative when it comes to the rare-risk, high-cost cases, but rather daring when it comes to rare-but-high-reward cases because, well, we're alive and we'd rather stay that way. A 0.000001% chance that you and everyone dies *should* be regarded far more seriously than a similar chance you win a big pile of cash because one of those situations you survive either way.

Nota Bene: I don't play the lottery; well, I did play it ONCE, recognizing that my odds of winning were the highest possible with that one play, and only decrease from there.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors