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Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 87

if a disease can spread because it can find enough vectors since not enough vaccinate, you are also giving the disease time and space to tinker, and perhaps evolve a new strain that existing vaccines don't protect against

so: yup. but that's less superrich killing and more superstupid killing us

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 87

i always thought it would make a great conspiracy dystopian story where the superrich, with everything automated, don't need us anymore

so they simply kill us all off

the earth reduced to 700,000 souls from 7,000,000,000 in a matter of days (some sort of highly infectious agent?)

Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score 1) 56

by ScentCone (#49558729) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies

There is nothing in there constraining SizeA or SizeB relative to anything else, just the size relative to each other.

No, no constraints in that sense. Just the larger constraints introduced by the fact that the purpose of saying anything at all, in that context, is to communicate something meaningful about A's size. And by choosing the "ten times more" construction, part of what you're communicating is the fact that B, the thing to which you're comparing A, is by implication already considered small. That format (rather than saying, "A is a tenth B's size") is a choice of words that communicates the understand that B is small, and A is even more small. The phrase "ten times smaller" is using the word "smaller" in the sense of "more small."

The words "ten times" is a multiplier. It's used, in a comparison, to say that one value is LARGER than another. In this usage, the smallness of A is ten times larger than the smallness of B. Trotting out that multiplier is a deliberate choice made to focus on smallness in both A and B, with A having ten times more of it. That doesn't describe the size of B, but it communicates that notion that B is already - in the scheme of things - considered small, and A more so.

Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score 1) 56

by ScentCone (#49558713) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies
It's a shame that your own literacy is so limited, and that your own ability to parse the differences between words is disabled by a lack of vocabulary breadth. That's got to be frustrating. Or maybe not, since perhaps ignorance is bliss in some way, right?

Saying that something is "ten times smaller" is like saying "ten times more small." The phrase "ten times" is a multiplier. It means that you're describing an aspect of something, and saying that there is ten times as much of that aspect. In that usage, the aspect you're describing and comparing is the smallness.

By choosing that construction ("A is ten times smaller than B"), you're deliberately focusing on B's size, and implying that the smallness of B is the thing that's being multiplied ... that B's smallness is important in what you're communicating, and that it's of note because A's size is even more so (small, that is). If we're not trying to convey B's smallness as part of the concept being communicated (perhaps B isn't really thought of as small at all, in the scheme of things), a different construction makes more sense. Makes for better communication: "A is tenth of B's size." We're still describing the relationship, but doing so without including words that suggest B's size is already considered small.

That you don't have the cognitive and communication skills to understand the difference, or that you DO, and prefer to have communication dumbed down and muddied, and require more back and forth to clarify what you mean, says a lot about you. Which is unfortunate. That you think you have to insult someone else in order to feel better about it is just kind of pathetic, really.

Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score 1) 56

by ScentCone (#49557675) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies

That has nothing to do with the wording people are arguing over

No, that's EXACTLY what people are arguing about. You say "A is ten times smaller than B" when B is already understood to be small compared to something else. The implication in that sentence is that B is already known for its smallness, and A is even smaller. Except, people use that same construction even when B isn't considered small. They use that incorrect connotation when what they're really trying to say is, "B is big, but A is only a tenth as big."

Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score 1) 56

by ScentCone (#49557213) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies

Just like every time someone says, "Product A is $2 cheaper than Product B," I have to guess that, "Product B is $2 more than Product A." Maybe we shouldn't have slept through math class.

Math doesn't help in the absence of context. If Product A is $2 cheaper than Product B, but Product B costs $10,000 ... does it really matter? That's a little different than Product B costing $3, right? Right. In real life, context actually matters, or you're just wasting people's time.

Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score 0) 56

by ScentCone (#49557205) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies

There is no confusion that it might mean something else.

Yes, there IS confusion. Are we supposed to infer that the thing that the new 10-times-smaller version is being compared to was already considered small? That's what implied, but nobody knows for sure because the person saying it is lazily using a common, and poorly thought out, construction that doesn't actually tell us that.

No, you're not. It is perfectly reasonable for someone to say something like, "The Small Magellanic Cloud is the smaller of the two Magellanic Clouds," without implying it is smaller than a breadbox or even small in general.

OK. But let's say you don't know how big the Small Magellanic Cloud is, relative to, say, the Milky Way, or Andromeda, or anything else. And then someone says, "We've just found a new galaxy, hiding behind a dust cloud, and it's three times smaller than the Magellanic Cloud." What are you supposed to gather from that use?

Fine, you don't like the wording

No, I don't like people conveying information in a way that forces you to go research something they mentioned without providing any useful context. When somebody cites a comparative size, but doesn't explain why (or if) that comparison is meaningful, then it's a waste of time. Especially when the communication is theoretically about science and/or technology.

Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score -1) 56

by ScentCone (#49556201) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies

even though everybody knows what it means right away

You're missing the point.

When someone says, "The new battery is ten times smaller than the old battery," yes ... we can guess that part of what's meant is, "The new battery is a tenth the size of the old battery."

But there's a reason those are TWO DIFFERENT SENTENCES.

When you use the word smallER in that context, you're communicating that the old battery is small, and the new battery is even smaller. Why? Because you're saying that the new battery has time times the smallness of the old one. That has a completely different connotation than a sentence that suggests that the old battery was what it was (or was large), and the new battery is comparatively small.

The reason we have lots of vocabulary words, adjectives, and constructions is so that we can be nuanced and more precise in simple communication. When you use a sentence that essentially forces the audience to go find out what you actually meant by "ten times smaller" (was the old one small, or huge?) then you've done the opposite of providing useful information. All of that in order to avoid using slightly different words that we also all know?

This is pure laziness, that's all. It's mimicking a sound or phrase without thinking about what's actually being communicated. It's no different than people who say, "I could care less," when they mean exactly the opposite. They are uttering sounds without thinking about the actual words they're using. One small, lazy spoken step for man, part of one cumulative giant leap towards dumbing everybody down.

Comment: Re:Seems to be OK all around then (Score 1) 606

but they still don't seriously threaten our society

exactly because we have vaccines, you fucking moron

and if not enough vaccinate, the diseases find vectors to proliferate again, AND they have a chance to get lucky and develop new strains that can get around our exisitng vaccines, threatening everyone period

everyone has to get vaccinated. if not, the person is ignorant, irresponsible and dangerous to all of our health. if you don't agree with that statement, you don't know what the fuck you are talking about and/ or you are blindly selfishly irresponsible

you have no freedom to choose something that threatens other people's lives (nevermind your own)

Comment: Re:Unfortunatly... (Score 1) 90

by circletimessquare (#49549491) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

i see it as the genius of biochemical warfare by plants

our livers have been in an evolutionary arms race with plants for hundreds of millions of years. they make a substance that kills, maims, disorients, or deters us. one up plants. our livers do their best to mop it up. one up animals. rinse repeat

perversely, we've developed a taste for some of those substances. like cayenne pepper or horseradish, as a paradoxically enjoyable taste. or heroin or cocaine, as a disorienting drug

in a way, the plant still wins when we get addicted to them, like these bees. drug use is just slow motion suicide. it might not kill us immediately, but it brings us back for more, and more and more, to finish the job

Comment: Re:Common sense here folks (Score 1) 115

Sometimes common sense is just wrong, particularly when it comes to predicting the behavior of other people who might not agree with what you consider "common sense". If you check his publications in Google Scholar, this guy's been publishing surgical neuroscience papers in real journals since around 1990. I think he really intends to try this.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27