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Comment Fallacy (Score 1) 214

Good article, BTW.

The fallacy could be a faulty generalization fallacy, specifically a hasty generalization. That is, given:

If A then Z.
If B then Z.
If C then Z.

A = X and (other things).
B = X and (other things).
C = X and (other things).

We faultily conclude, therefore, that for all D = X and (other things), the statement "D then Z" is true.

Comment Re:So how much? (Score 3, Interesting) 276

For want of a rad-hard chip, the board died.

For want of a board, the software couldn't cope.

For want of good software, the engine start failed.

For want of engine start, the probe died.

For want of a probe, the human race didn't detect the slimy aliens from Phobos and all perished in a hot and somewhat greasy fireball.

Comment Can the rare books collections be digitized? (Score 4, Interesting) 59

Three closely related questions about the rare books collections at the Library of Congress:

1. I know there is some kind of effort going on to digitize the rare books collections, but can it be sped up? There are many high-quality low-cost archival book scanners out there (such as the ones developed at

2. It gets really annoying to have to receive paper copies of books when copies are requested. Why not DVDs of high-quality images?

3. Why is there no outreach by the LoC to smaller, cheaper book scanning efforts? The Internet Archive,, and Decapod all come to mind.

Comment My data, my self (Score 1) 201

If I die before 2045, then the important data (financial, insurance, and so on) will be available to my next of kin by virtue of their being my legal next of kin. The ultimately unimportant data (slashdot, sourceforge, boingboing) will just float around, accumulating bit rot.

If I reach 2045, then most likely I will not die, and my data and my self will be one and the same :)

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce