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Comment: Sigh - a Slashvertortial (Score 1) 357

by crunchygranola (#48919265) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

We have gotten used to "slashvertisements", transparently thin submissions that hype some product or service.

Are now going to have to live with "slashvertorials", transparently thin submissions that hype some political viewpoint?

New York City was forecast to get 1-2 feet of snow, and got just under 10", while on the adjacent Long Island snow falls exceeding two feet have occurred. This is "scare mongering" based on "questionable models"? Really?

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 291

...he has a terrible track record on real world predictions of global financial events from the housing bubble to the state of the EU...

If by "terrible track record" you mean "extremely good" and "the best in the business" then yes, otherwise no.

Though humorously put this is a nice summary of his very good prognostication record.

I perused a number of sites claiming to show his "errors", but mostly they either (like you) have no specifics about these "errors", or else if consists entirely of made up stuff. Krugman is not always right about everything in economics, but when he is wrong he admits it and analyzes why he erred, and thus he learns from his mistakes (unlike so many others).

But he is an unabashed liberal, and you hate that - I get it. You've made an emotional commitment to hating him, and thus have no use for actual facts.

Comment: Re:No we are not them. Re:"They" is us (Score 1) 323

Odd - you forgot to include that other Federal tax schedule that collects as much money as does the "income tax", the "payroll tax" (just as much an income tax as the "income tax"). This tax is a flat 12.4% up to about $120,000 in income. I'm sure you just forgot.

Factoring that in you discover that every one in the Middle Class pays a higher tax rate than the capital gains tycoons.

Comment: Re:Regulation what a fucking joke (Score 1) 323

And Bill Gates comes up as number 4 on the list of modern super-rich.

Looking a tiny handful of individuals hardly presents a full picture. If you look at the wealth that the top 1% possesses you see that we are back up to the same level of inequality as the Gilded Age peak, which was in 1910 (note that the IMF charts are 4 years old and fail to capture the most recent wealth surge at the top). If we have not yet passed into a level of inequality greater than the 1910 peak, well, we are no more than months away.

Comment: Re:Good for Disney (Score 1) 420

by crunchygranola (#48888565) Attached to: Disney Turned Down George Lucas's Star Wars Scripts

After seeing a truly execrable trailer for "Strange Magic" (an upcoming animated movie, with the story provided by Lucas), I don't think there's anything JJ Abrams could possibly do worse than George Lucas.

Now you've done! Up until this moment not one person has referenced the infernal pestilence that issues forth from George Lucas's pen when he tackles a fantasy theme.

Now, by mentioning Strange Magic you have awakened my nightmares of Willow also written by George Lucas. The horror! The horror!

Comment: Re:I thought (Score 5, Insightful) 197

by crunchygranola (#48859365) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"

after reading the article, im still confused as there isnt enough info to really make anything of this

Yep. There is much less to this than meets the eye.

In addition, a list of most common passwords will always have defaults and obvious simple strings as the top candidates, this will never change. What would be more useful to know is whether the relative proportion of passwords fitting this description is declining (I doubt it, but we need to see the data).

Comment: Re:building municipal broadband is prohibited (Score 3, Informative) 160

by crunchygranola (#48852773) Attached to: A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

So if you support such nonsense, WHERE in the Constitution does it grant the Federal Government the power to regulate internet providers?

Its called the "commerce clause" and even "originalist" extraordinaire Anton Scalia has no problems with that (see his concurrence in Gonzales vs Rauch).

When you can show me an Internet system that only provides service within a state, and does not transmit packets across state lines, I will believe that that one particular system (but not others generally) should be free from Federal regulation. Otherwise the power to regulate interstate commerce in the Constitution provides the authority. This was uncontroversial in the 19th Century when the Interstate Commerce Commission was created (1886) to regulate railways, and did so within states, since they carried interstate commerce.

Comment: Re:Nothing has been lost! (Score 1) 290

by crunchygranola (#48824303) Attached to: Bitcoin Volatility Puts Miners Under Pressure

Could you imagine being a store that only sold their goods with Bitcoin? They would have to reprice their entire inventory every hour to insure that they are making a profit on what they're selling!

I can see it now. Target prices all of their merchandise in a fictitious store currency called "Target Dollars", and they have big marquee in the front of the store showing the current Target Dollar to Bitcoin exchange rate. And then when you checkout, you find out exactly how want bitcoins are required to walk out of the store with your purchase.

Comment: Re:Power Grab (Score 1) 417

by crunchygranola (#48814427) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

You can find an even more intrusive example, endorsed by none other than 'Mr. Originalist' Anton Scalia himself in Gonzales v. Raich (2005) in which the Supreme Court held that medical cannabis grown at home by a patient for her own exclusive private use (also at home) was properly regulated by the Federal Government (i.e. prohibition enforced), despite state law to the contrary, due to the interstate commerce provision.

This case was rather similar to the Wickard case, which Scalia also explicitly endorsed in his concurrence.

Comment: Re:Power Grab (Score 1) 417

by crunchygranola (#48813685) Attached to: Obama Unveils Plan To Bring About Faster Internet In the US

The internet, like TV, radio, telephones, telegraphs, etc., is prima facie a medium for interstate commerce,

No, it's not. The wires crossing state lines are "prima facie" a medium for interstate commerce. The wires within a state have nothing to do with interstate commerce because no products or services move across state lines over them.

Wow! Which state is it that has no 'products or services' from other states moving over its wires? That's as bad an Internet connectivity as North Korea, maybe worse!

Or perhaps it is because they reach an asymptotic limit at the state line, and become undefined? And are created ex nihilo upon entering the state? There are no wires that only exist between states but not within any of them.

Of course, logic has been thrown out the window since Wickard v. Filburn. After that, picking your nose in your basement might be considered "interstate commerce".

Based on the above, I would say 'logic' is not your strong suit here. And the bone you have to pick is with the 19th century, during the heyday of laissez faire, not 1942 and the New Deal (Wickard v. Filburn). Regulation of 'local lines' owned by companies that use them for interstate commerce has uncontroversial when the Interstate Commerce Commission was created in 1882 - it did exactly what you claim is illogical.

Comment: Re:Islamists don't need the internet (Score 1) 319

Catholic church went through a reformation otherwise they'd be burning Muslims at the stake.

Know your history before you pass judgement.

Look up the Reconquista. The Catholics drove the muslims out of Spain and through the inquisitional killed all muslims that did not convert to Catholicism on the spot.

You should brush up on your own history. As much as I despise the Inquisition, the Crusades (where massacres were indeed common), and other depravities of Christendom which are real - I must protest when imaginary depravities are added to the list.

The Catholic Church never burned Muslims at the stake. They burned Christian heretics at the stake. Thus self-proclaimed Christians, suspected of being Muslims or Jews in secret, were burned alive (if they confessed to being secret Muslims or Jews, then they received the 'mercy' of being strangled before being burned). But the execution was not for being Muslim or Jew, it was for practicing Christianity in a heretical manner. The Inquisition had no authority over non-Christians.

Also the assertion that "through the inquisitional killed all muslims that did not convert to Catholicism on the spot" is flatly untrue. Muslims were actually permitted to stay for a time after the Reconquista's completion, then once the monarchy (not the church Inquisition) decided that Muslims would no longer be tolerated, they were given the choice of conversions* or expulsion. The mass executions of Muslims you imagine never happened.

*A bad choice as it turned out. Any self-proclaimed Christian in the lands controlled by the Iberian monarchies who had Jewish or Muslim ancestors was perpetually suspected of heresy, and in danger of persecution/prosecution by the Inquisition.

Comment: Re:Umm, no. (Score 5, Interesting) 187

The nice Indian mathematician does bring up some nice cogent and logical things.

But he also leaves out some points which are fairly damning to the argument that the Indians had much to do with this. Many/most non-Indian historians of mathematics seem to believe that the key Indian document here was very likely based on earlier (non-Indian) traditions. In other words, it was just a copy of stuff from Mesopotamia.

I'll quote the wikipedia article on the Theorem (which in turn supplies full quotes from the scholarly document if you hate wikipedia):

"Van der Waerden believed that "it was certainly based on earlier traditions". Boyer (1991) thinks the elements found in the ulba-stram may be of Mesopotamian derivation."

That makes any claims that India "discovered" the theorem really really weak by any definition I would think.

I have actually read Van der Waerden's books on Mespotamian mathematics and astronomy (I have copies of them at hand). His "belief" is not evidence of any kind. He is simply supposing, without any supporting evidence.

And Boyer, who wrote his history of mathematics 50 years ago (1991 is a reprint, he died in 1976), was no expert in ancient mathematics. He has been called the "Gibbon of Mathematics" which is a very good analogy, since Gibbon's work represents a compilation of everything known and believed about the Romans, written from the perspective of an 18th century European, complete with moral interpretations drawn from contemporary cultural viewpoints. It was a work that says at least as much about Gibbon and Europe of the time, as it does about the Romans. Similarly Boyer's beliefs represent the assumptions of a western scholar trained in the 1930s.

No one has yet shown any evidence at all that the suryas actually draw from Mesopotamian sources. Saying it doesn't make it true.

If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. -- Douglas Jerrold