Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 461

There are countless more recent examples I could have written about.

So go ahead then, because I think it's really silly whenever a new Muslim atrocity occurs, especially when it comes to women, that some apologist comes along and talks about things Christians did centuries ago.

Are you obtuse? Did you read what I wrote? I am criticizing monotheism as a whole. I probably despise extremism more than you do. I just see the historical context, and I see aspects of extremism in America that are similar to Islamic extremism. That is not being an apologist. It is being a realist.

Comment: Re:edu-babble (Score 4, Interesting) 326

by catchblue22 (#49557799) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

Sounds like dystopia to me. Something about a bunch of kindergarteners staring at a giant screen seems very 1984.

I think the truly intractable problem is that such a system would centralize control of the educational system. Centralize it right down to every single word that is presented. The true power of the public education system is that it gives teachers a great deal of independence in what they say in the classroom. Imagine a situation when something terrible happens in our democracy. Someone seizes control. The system gets even more perverted than it already is. Then imagine an educational system where children only received "approved" resources. No independent human teacher. Just video and text. If the children don't get information from the media, then they will effectively be blind to reality.

I know this is hypothetical, but I think it demonstrates my point, that independent teachers are an essential buffer against tyranny emerging in our democracy.

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 461

DON'T pretend that "all religions are equally wrong"; they are not.

I don't say that. I assert that mono-theistic religions have shown themselves capable of equally vile fanaticism, most especially when they are combined with the levers of power of the state.. See my post above.

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 3, Insightful) 461

Yes, Christians did that 1500 years ago.

Muslims killed Sabeen Mahmud yesterday.

Pray forgive me if I see the Muslims as a significantly larger threat.

There are countless more recent examples I could have written about. However, Hypatia is in my opinion more relevant. Before 400AD or so, Roman and Greek society was based around classical foundations of rationalism and philosophy. Yes they worshipped gods, but there was tolerance for the worship of many different gods, and by extension tolerance for fundamentally different world-views. Classical civilization created great art, great philosophy, great mathematics, great architecture. We owe our systems of laws, of money, of art/drama to classical Greco-Roman civilization. And the fact that Greco-Roman civilization had flaws (e.g. slavery) does not change the greatness of what they accomplished.

In the early-mid 300AD's Constantine came to power as emperor of the Roman empire. He made Christianity the state religion of the empire. Christianity spread like wildfire, snuffing out anything that opposed it. The instance I referred to earlier, Hypatia's murder, is commonly thought of as the end of the Classical Era. In Hypatia's school, it is possible that astronomers theorized that Earth travelled around the Sun. If an astronomer had thought this, the idea would have been discussed and possibly accepted. In the new christian world, to suggest an such an idea would be blasphemy and would result in the suggester being executed in some gruesome manner.

The adoption of Christianity in as the state religion in Europe led to what is commonly known as the Dark Ages, a period of about 1000 years in which European civilization stagnated. Progress in the arts, in knowledge of the world (what we would call science), in philosophy largely came to a halt. Europeans largely forgot how to build great buildings. This era is thought to have begun to come to an end when European intellectuals began re-discovering Greco-Roman rationalism during the Renaissance, and is exemplified in Florence, when the architect Filippo Brunelleschi re-discovered Roman dome building techniques in order to build il Duomo.

When I see these stone-age islamic fanatics trying to hack away at the edifice of modernity, I cannot help but thinking about what christianity did to European civilization during the Dark Ages. I also cannot help thinking of those in America who so resemble these stone-age fanatics, the christian dominionists and those who can best be described as the American taliban. If you think it is only muslims who are capable of fanaticism, you are fooling your self.

Comment: Remember Hypatia (Score 5, Informative) 461

"Hypatia (born c. AD 350 – 370; died 415[1][3]) was a Greek mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher in Egypt, then a part of the Byzantine Empire. She was the head of the Neoplatonic school at Alexandria, where she taught philosophy and astronomy."

"One day on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt, in the year 415 or 416, a mob of Christian zealots led by Peter the Lector accosted a woman’s carriage and dragged her from it and into a church, where they stripped her and beat her to death with roofing tiles. They then tore her body apart and burned it. Who was this woman and what was her crime? Hypatia was one of the last great thinkers of ancient Alexandria and one of the first women to study and teach mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. Though she is remembered more for her violent death, her dramatic life is a fascinating lens through which we may view the plight of science in an era of religious and sectarian conflict."

I hate these islamic extremists at least as much as anyone here. But it isn't just islam that is capable of such things.

Comment: Re:A first step (Score 1) 283

by catchblue22 (#49551575) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Since Pacific Gas and Electric is actually subsidizing the batteries in the pilot program, which is for solar users, it would seem to demonstrate that the power companies aren't lying when they say grid feed-in is a problem.

I'm talking about states like Arizona, which has enacted a $50/month fee if you want to feed solar electricity back into the grid. If you install a solar panel and a battery system that has absolutely no interaction with the grid, you can they justify charging a fee for your system. They might as well charge you for installing high efficiency appliances, bulbs, or for simply using less energy.

Comment: Re:A first step (Score 1) 283

by catchblue22 (#49550575) Attached to: Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Actually, I think one of the biggest results of this will be to allow homes with solar energy to store ALL the energy they capture with their panels, instead of feeding that energy back into the grid. This will effectively neuter the arguments of power companies who say that grid feed-in is making the grid unstable, thus reducing the impetus for putting punitive fees on houses with solar panels.

Comment: "It's a Wonderful Life" was in the public domain (Score 4, Informative) 301

Frank Capra's classic "It's a Wonderful Life" was largely forgotten in its time. In 1974, possibly due to an error, its copyright lapsed. TV networks, eager for low cost holiday fare, basically had this film running on a loop during certain times of the year. Then, Paramount managed to pull the movie back into copyright. And low and behold, the showings of this great movie slowed to a trickle once again. Public interest indeed. These media industry slime-balls are evil. Literally evil.

The Internet

Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled 389

Posted by samzenpus
from the that-has-made-all-the-difference dept.
alphadogg writes The writing's on the wall about the short supply of IPv4 addresses, and IPv6 has been around since 1999. Then why does the new protocol still make up just a fraction of the Internet? Though IPv6 is finished technology that works, rolling it out may be either a simple process or a complicated and risky one, depending on what role you play on the Internet. And the rewards for doing so aren't always obvious. For one thing, making your site or service available via IPv6 only helps the relatively small number of users who are already set up with the protocol, creating a nagging chicken-and-egg problem.

Comment: Re:Video from the barge (Score 2) 113

by catchblue22 (#49490813) Attached to: An Engineering Analysis of the Falcon 9 First Stage Landing Failure

Is there a reason the rocket has to land upright unassisted? What about some sort of bungee-mesh around the edges to catch it if it topples?

Parachutes are too heavy for a nine engine rocket, and would either land in corrosive seawater or on land with a hard damaging landing. To be truthful, they have already accomplished the most difficult part, namely bringing a rocket from 140km altitude to a tiny location in the middle of the ocean. They have also already demonstrated the landing part several times. If you notice, those landings come down at pretty much the exact location they began at.

Comment: False Dichotomy (Score 4, Insightful) 365

by catchblue22 (#49470147) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

I believe global warming and ocean acidification is a serious threat. I also believe that solar energy has great potential as an energy source. However, I think the question being framed here creates a false dichotomy. Is it not possible that we might have a world where we have renewable, nuclear, and fossil fuels? Just because we reduce the use of something doesn't mean we have to eliminate it. The fact is that modern civilization needs plastics, mechanical lubrication, and other fossil fuel bi-products. Even if we reduce fossil fuel use by 80%, we can still have these things.

Comment: Re:"worst ever" (Score 1, Troll) 173

"worst ever drought"

It might be the worst drought since the area became a state (though there were others that were close if not worse) but it is far from the worst drought ever in the region. On at least 5 occasions over the past 1000 years there have been droughts that make this one seem mild in comparison.

Exhibit A: A freshly minted climate denier talking point. It was likely created by a "PR" company and focus group tested. It sounds like it comes from an expert...someone who has studied the climate history of California. However, no references are given. It merely relies on the confident tone to reach its target audience...the sector of society that has little scientific expertise and that doesn't want to believe that the truck in their garage is likely to make the lives of their grandchildren quite difficult.

Really, this all reminds me of Grima Wormtongue in Lord of the Rings. Seriously, watch Petropolis, and tell me you can't see Mordor in the Canadian tar sands.

Nothing succeeds like excess. -- Oscar Wilde

Working...