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Comment: Re:Bad Idea (Score 1) 171

by awrowe (#44968551) Attached to: BBC Thinking of Canceling <em>Sky At Night</em>

Fairly sure his lecture load is both light and limited to first years because a) he's busy with the ATLAS project at the LHC; b) a charismatic lecturer is a great way to keep first year students interested and committed to that difficult first year at uni and c) he spends a lot of time popularising science on shows like Wonders and whatever the current one is.

The guy does a decent job popularising science, but I don't think he would be the best person to take over Sky At Night. Chris Lintot and Lucie Green are doing a great job. Real scientists with real passion for their subject.

It doesn't always have to be a rock star. Sometimes the fact of their celebrity makes them slightly suspect - on the other hand, if I have a question about the sun, I can do some research, then ask Dr Lucie a question on Twitter and 90% of the time, she'll either answer it directly or point me towards a source for my answer. Try doing that with Cox or De Grasse-Tyson.

Comment: Re:Abolish the licence fee (Score 1) 171

by awrowe (#44968483) Attached to: BBC Thinking of Canceling <em>Sky At Night</em>
Let's take the evolution vs creationist argument as an example. Were the BBC to present a show about this topic, it would present creationist arguments as having equal validity as the science which supports evolution and would scrupulously give the creationist argument the same amount of time as the evolution argument. The BBC presents this as "unbiased reporting", which sadly it isn't. It's one of their flaws, unfortunately. I've used that argument as an example, there are plenty of others which are equally applicable.

Comment: Re:Fingers in ears (Score 1) 412

by awrowe (#42167059) Attached to: Grim Picture of Polar Ice-Sheet Loss

If you think this isn't going to affect you or your lifestyle in any manner, you are one of two things: 1) almost dead; 2) an idiot. I have a suspicion it is the latter, sadly.

It's already affecting you and your lifestyle. Food prices, petrol prices, "gosh its hot out of season, no wait, this is oddly cold". Open your eyes.

Comment: Re:So it's a Sci-Fi? (Score 5, Insightful) 179

by awrowe (#41840079) Attached to: Physicist Explains Cthulhu's "Non-Euclidean Geometry"

What I find fascinating is the propensity of supposedly intelligent people to judge the past using the morals of the present, without taking into account the prevailing culture of that period they are being so judgemental of.

Equally interesting and rather more worrying is the tendency to want to completely erase a person from history when it is discovered the person has a flaw.

So Lovecraft was a racist. So were many of his era, to the point where not holding those views was unusual at best. Does that really invalidate the literary merit of his work?

No person is defined by a single aspect of their personality, we are far too complex for that. If that were the case, people would not be able to learn and adjust to new viewpoints of any kind, much less moral viewpoints.

We do not change reality by changing the law, says your sig. It's true, we don't. We also don't change the past by denying it. And we can't change the future without learning from our past.

Finally - and this is intended to be thought provoking rather than insulting - how is your prejudice against people because of the views they hold any different from the prejudice against people because of the colour of their skin? You are placing them in a box labelled "arsehole", purely because of the views they hold, in spite of the fact that their racism was culturally normal and was only a single aspect of their humanity, much like a black man's skin. I'd be uncomfortable with that myself.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 1) 157

by awrowe (#41828571) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is TSA's PreCheck System Easy To Game?

You must be the least observant person in the country then, if you haven't noticed the relentless line of celebrity based scandals which are blown out of all proportion by every mainstream and traditional media outlet in the country.

As soon as something is past (or looks like becoming uncomfortable), hey look, there's another scandal, who are we going to play the blame game with this week?

Even this Jimmy Saville thing is ridiculous. Fair enough the guy seemed to be a monster, but why has it taken until he's a year or so dead before one of the more than 400 victims spoke loudly enough to be taken seriously? Perhaps it wasn't the right time to open that particular circus.

Bread and circuses. Bludgeon the population into bovine acceptance of government intrusion by constantly providing salacious distraction. It's a tragedy.

Comment: Re:Harm to consumers (Score 2) 558

by awrowe (#41547909) Attached to: Advertisers Blast Microsoft Over IE Default Privacy Settings

"Those who don't object to tracking probably don't care".

This is incorrect and a horrible abuse of knowledge.

Those who don't object in all likelihood are people who don't pay much attention to tech news, because they use their computers as tools and for social networking. They don't object because they aren't aware they can.

This objection by the advertisers is purely and simply a case of them saying "Oh noes, if Microsoft put DNT on by default and we actually follow it, all our current data mining techniques will be useless!"

It is mind boggling that the question needs to be asked at all. Why should someone have to assert the desire to be mindful of their privacy?

You sir, are part of the problem.

Comment: Re:Why did he have them in his address book? (Score 2) 547

by awrowe (#41487351) Attached to: The Text Message Typo That Landed a Man In Jail

Wow, you would be absolutely terrified to find out that I have my both stepson's girlfriends on Facebook, Google Talk AND in my mobile phone contacts.

What you are doing is applying a paradigm from decades ago topped by an unhealthy amount of fear to the modern world.

30 years ago, you are correct, a parent would have had the telephone numbers of the other parents in the kid's social group, because 30 years ago, the kids didn't have their own phone. No both my stepsons, for all the fact they are nice kids, are absolute dildos when it comes to remembering basic administration like keeping their phones charged. It's happened enough that rather than have to rely on smoke signals and hope, I and my wife now have the phone numbers of the people they are most likely to be around so we can get in touch if we have to.

Besides that, both of the girls are really nice kids. Personally, I'm glad I got the opportunity to see them grow up a bit as well.

I have to agree with some of the posts above - it is entirely possible - common even, since I think it's safe to say that pedophiles are a minority - for an adult male to have a non-creepy, platonic and non-romantic relationship with minors. It's called friendship.

Comment: Re:Not vision (Score 1) 52

by awrowe (#41190509) Attached to: Bionic Eye Lets Blind Woman Experience Vision

I have to comment here, a lot of what you are saying is coming across as "not invented here" syndrome, which is a bit of a shame.

I'm convinced beyond all doubt that there are qualified people working on this. I'm also convinced they have more than a basic understanding of biology.

I couldn't find anywhere in the article or the linked videos where they had made promises to Ms Ashworth. On the contrary, she seems fully aware, as do the researchers themselves not surprisingly, that this exercise is experimental.

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

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