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Comment: Re:Weakness (Score 1) 284

by bledri (#49684607) Attached to: Third Bangladeshi Blogger Murdered In As Many Months

Why would you respect the spread of ignorance? Which is all religion is, ignorance... that's why Islam is growing so fast, they target uneducated youth. When religion gets to shape young minds everyone suffers.

Sadly this is not true. Extremely intelligent people can be and are religious. Assuming otherwise is hubris and ignorance on your own part. The 9/11 hijackers were by and large well educated and successful.

I agree that religion can be a vector of incredibly bad ideas. Unfortunately intelligence does not inoculate people against bad ideas. It's worse than that, intelligent people are better at constructing complex justifications to support their bad ideas. The sooner that secular people (myself included) admit this and stop talking down to the religious, the better.

Comment: Re:Lies! Lies! All lies! (Score 1) 284

by bledri (#49684489) Attached to: Third Bangladeshi Blogger Murdered In As Many Months

If Islam is like American-style Christianity, its followers actively ignore the words of their own prophet so they can do whatever atrocious shit they wanted to do anyway.

For Christianity, that means hating gays, subjugating minorities, and living a selfish, materialistic life while judging others.

Not only is there no biblical basis for those things, the RED words in the bible point the exactly opposite direction.

The Bible is very vague on whether you should still hate gays, have slaves, stone people, etc... Pretending that

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

obviously means the old law can be ignored is moderate apologetics. All the Abrahamic religions have plenty of fire and brimstone, and killing in the name of God. Ignoring that is just as much an act of cherry-picking as is ignoring the more love and tolerance passages. The fact that it takes a "bible/koran scholar" to make a plausible argument other than "just ignore the old stuff" is problematic at best. Hell, the Bible ends with Revelations, which is seriously lacking in "turn the other cheek" and "love thy neighbor."

I could be totally wrong, but I'm pretty confident in this. The Bible is easy to use to justify misogyny, hating gays, having slaves, etc... My understanding is that the Koran is more so. Maybe the people doing that are "reading it wrong," but the fact that these "holy books" are so easily misinterpreted makes it hard to say that Christian/Muslim fundamentalists are not following the religion. They are doing what the books say to do.

Dear God, next time you inspire a holy book please leave out "allegories" that seem to promote killing, enslaving, stoning, beheading and burning people at the stake for victimless crimes. Someone might think you meant it. Actually, please stop being a lazy bastard that outsources all killing, enslaving, stoning, beheading and burning people at the stake do do it yourself.

Comment: Time to Godwin this shit (Score 1) 525

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” - Joseph Goebbels

Yes, I know that this is what both sides think. Now as far as the discussions of conspiracies by rich environmentalists go, please go to wikipedia and look up the wealthiest 100 companies. Then go and look at all the money being pumped into politics and explain to me how 90% of all the money and (and therefore power) is opposed to AGW and yet the conspiracy is supposedly about all the money being made by scientists and the potential green industries. Seriously, if you're going to claim a fucking financially motivated conspiracy, please explain the fact that all the real money in this game is in the anti-AGW camp. Conservative governments are passing laws opposing research and passing gag-rules on scientists. And the most likely conspiracy is a cabal of middle-class scientists sworn to unite the world under a UN world government? Un-fucking-believable.

Comment: Re:Why have all the major English speaking... (Score 1) 525

countries, the major ones anyway, gone completely mad? Well, I guess I shouldn't include Canada, or should I? This is in reaction to something, but I just don't understand what it is. This so-call fiscal conservative + anti-reason + racist + I've got mine so fuck you mind set really needs to go.

Actually Canada has gone mad too. Canadian weather forecasters forbidden discussing climate change. Basically Canada has enacted a bunch of laws preventing government funded scientists from speaking to the public without consent, especially on environmental issues. They never get consent. They've also defunded a bunch of environmental research.

Comment: Re:Last time one was used? (Score 1) 55

by bledri (#49626615) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

People often make that statement but there is no proof that a LES would have been of use in the Challenger incident. There were no indications of a problem right up until the ET exploded, if a capsule had been on top of the ET stack there is every chance that it could have been crippled/destroyed in the explosion much as the shuttle was. And yes I am well aware that the at least one of the astronauts was alive after the explosion, in the shredded remnants of a useless cockpit. The only way to be reasonably certain of a successful escape would have been to have sensors to detect the issue and activate the escape system before the ET went up, and if such sensors had been available to even the shuttle it would have been possible to have detached from the ET and possibly (though it would have been quite risky) steer the shuttle around for a landing or at least a ditch in the ocean.

LAS on the shuttle was impractical for a number of reasons. One of the lessons of the Challenger incident was that LAS was more important of a requirement than they thought when making design trade offs when developing the shuttle. So part of post-Challenger requirements for new designs is to include LAS.

Comment: Re:Last time one was used? (Score 4, Informative) 55

by bledri (#49626587) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

<quote><p>I suppose its not a bad thing to have just in case but I don't see the reasoning behind the fixation on it as a design requirement and their ranting about its "importance" in press releases. In almost 300 manned space launches a Launch Escape system has only been of verifiable use in a single incident(Soyuz T-10-1).</p></quote> Marketing. This is a joyride for the rich - they want some danger but they also want to feel that there's a safety mechanism in case of failure. I imagine it'll help sell a lot of tickets, no matter how little use it gets or whether it prevents any deaths.

You really should learn about a topic before posting. The Dragon 2 is being developed as part of NASA's commercial crew program. Launch Abort is a NASA requirement. NASA will be using Dragon to transport astronauts to and from the ISS.

Comment: Re:Last time one was used? (Score 5, Insightful) 55

by bledri (#49625727) Attached to: SpaceX Testing Passenger Escape System Tomorrow

I suppose its not a bad thing to have just in case but I don't see the reasoning behind the fixation on it as a design requirement and their ranting about its "importance" in press releases. In almost 300 manned space launches a Launch Escape system has only been of verifiable use in a single incident(Soyuz T-10-1).

The Challenger incident reminded us that rockets are still dangerous. Especially newer rockets, and everything US crew flies on will either be a new-ish rocket (F9), or a rocket with new engines (Atlas V flying Blue Origin's engine as a replacement to Russian engines.) Also, SpaceX has done something rather clever. The abort propellent and engines will eventually be used for propulsive landings instead of coming down under canopy. So their abort system isn't a total waste.

Comment: Re:Indicative of A Problem At NASA (Score 1) 136

by bledri (#49625391) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission

John Carmack's a smart guy, way smarter than I am. Of course his rocket company failed. He was building small sounding rockets and he failed. There's nothing wrong with failing, that's part of life. On the other hand SpaceX is succeeding. ...

To clarify on this, one of the reasons Armadillo Aerospace was put into hibernation was because it took risks it could not afford. And one crash and a hard landing later they had to close down. I feel bad for Armadillo and Carmack and I wish Slashdot allowed editing of posts since my real target was the AC that assumes to know that Opportunity was over engineered, rather than just being well built and frankly a bit lucky.

Comment: Re:Indicative of A Problem At NASA (Score 1) 136

by bledri (#49625287) Attached to: Opportunity Rover Reaches Martian Day 4,000 of Its 90-Day Mission

If you designed something to last for 90 days and it lasts for 4000 you've over-engineered the solution. Time and money could clearly have been saved in the development and construction of the rover.

Now in this case, the fact that it has lasted far beyond its intended life has been a positive think. However, in much of the other work NASA does it is simply wasting money. NASA has a problem delivering projects on budget because it's focusing too much on reliability and safety and trying too hard to account for every eventuality. They're also too scared of failure and bad press.

Should they have spent time and energy making it last less long? You have no idea why it's lasted as long as it has. You have no idea if it was over-engineered, or just built well with the most appropriate components and technologies available. Millions of dollars were spent just to get the rover to Mars. If it failed do to being under-engineered, THAT would be a complete waste. Seriously, explain to me what parts should be engineered to fail in exactly 90 days? How much time should be spent creating solar panels that fail sooner? Should they make intentionally bad welds?

I remember John Carmack saying he thinks SpaceX should be destroying more rockets. Instead of trying to make a rocket that's 100% guaranteed to work (as NASA would) they should make a good enough solution and work out the problems by having some of them fail. After destroying a few the issues will be worked out and you'll have a working rocket in the time it would take NASA to complete a paper study for the rocket design.

It was probably the Challenger incident that destroyed NASA. Since then they've developed a culture of, "no matter how much this costs or how long it takes it can't be allowed to fail." You'll never achieve your big goals with an attitude like that.

John Carmack's a smart guy, way smarter than I am. Of course his rocket company failed. He was building small sounding rockets and he failed. There's nothing wrong with failing, that's part of life. On the other hand SpaceX is succeeding. They are delivering satellites to LEO, GTO and even one BEO. They are delivering cargo to the ISS. They are testing the abort system on a crew capsule that will be used to transport astronauts. I think SpaceX knows how to build real rockets better than John Carmack does...

On that note, SpaceX is totally willing to loose rockets in experiments. What they aren't willing to do is knowingly risk loosing a rocket prior to completing the mission. It's important to know when to take risks. If you spent $200 million to get a rover to Mars (made up, but realistic number), it's not a waste to spend a few bucks to make sure it will work when it gets there. And if you're building a rocket to put people and $500 million satellites into orbit, it's important not to kill the passengers or destroy the satellites.

Comment: Re:Actually, it makes sense (Score 1) 553

by bledri (#49613769) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Announces Bid For White House

In general the GOP wants to reduce the size of government. She was very successful at reducing the size of HP. Clearly she is the perfect choice.

The GOP has been in control of both congress and the presidency more than once in the past. That equals the ability to do whatever the hell they bloody want. When was the last time you saw them use that situation to reduce the size of government? Republicans are really good at lowering taxes but they suck at reducing the size of government or the extent of government expenditure which is not surprising since they seem to have a pronounced fetish for fighting expensive land wars in Asia.

The GOP's primary tactic for reducing the size of government is completely in line with Ms. Fiorina's techniques used to reduce HP's size. Starve it of income and cut funding for developing future sources of income. This is exactly the GOP strategy. All the while they give the "base" what they want to keep getting re-elected. They keep sending out the social security checks, because not doing so is political suicide. They cut taxes, borrow money from social security and run up the deficit. It's intentional. When the whole system collapses under the weight of financial mismanagement, you "have to" cut programs and you get to blame it on the fiscal irresponsibility of the Democrats.

Like I said, Carly is the perfect GOP candidate.

P.S. Yes, the Democrats suck too. But not in ways compatible with Ms. Fiorina's skill set.

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 1) 1097

by bledri (#49612343) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

Osama bin Laden was western educated and quite smart. al-Zawahiri is a surgeon. Mohammad Atta was an architectural engineer. 12 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 had a college degree. In fact, one study showed that 60% of terrorists born/raised in the west had engineering backgrounds and terrorists in general are wealthier and more educated than their countrymen. These are not dumb people. Sure there are goat fuckers mixed in there, but it is an epic mistake thinking these people are backwater hicks. http://www.slate.com/articles/...

Excellent point. Many people that are not religious have trouble understanding that someone can be religious and intelligent (I suffered this blind spot for a long time.) Actually, I think the blind spot goes further, I think that intelligent person of religion X frequently fails to understand that a follower of religion Y can also be intelligent. But the truth is that the more intelligent someone is, the better they are at rationalizing their own beliefs. Regardless of how rational the beliefs actually are.

Comment: Re:All the devout know.. (Score 1) 1097

by bledri (#49612135) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

you guys know its a several hundred year old typo, right?

the corrected script actually says "72 YEAR OLD virgin". and you get one of them, just one.

now, if that's worth killing yourself over, hey, its your [after]life, not mine!

Well, played. Now excuse me while I clean the coffee off my screen...

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