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Comment: Re:I can't blaspheme?! (Score 1) 845

by dosowski (#30650396) Attached to: Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect
Well, I was working on an in-depth reply on where I think you went wrong, but it really just came down to two simple things:

1. EVIDENCE IS NOT PROOF - they cannot be used interchangeably. Evidence suggests (and supports) that something may be true, while proof, uh, proves that it is true.

2. Please don't be so offended by analogies. An analogy (the way I was using it) is a communication tool to help you understand my argument from a different context. I wasn't trying to use the analogy to prove anything, only to expand on what I was saying. All analogies break down at some point, but that doesn't make them bad analogies. In this case, the analogy was used only to demonstrate another example of "If X is evidence of Y, then X suggests Y, but does not prove Y. Reading any more into my analogy than that simple logic is incorrect use of the analogy and your ridiculous arguments against the analogy only reflect poorly on you. I apologize for the car analogy, though. I know they are looked down on around here, but it was the first example that came to my mind. There are certainly plenty of other examples of the same "evidence vs. proof" logic, such as wet grass being evidence (but not proof) that it rained.

Depending on your understanding of #1, your ideas may have some merit, but it'll turn into a longer discussion and I'm not really that interested in spending more time on this topic, so I'll just say... Have a nice day, and thanks for your time.

Comment: Re:I can't blaspheme?! (Score 1) 845

by dosowski (#30633006) Attached to: Ireland's Blasphemy Law Goes Into Effect

[2] Richard Dawkins in "The God Delusion": "Atheists should be proud, not apologetic, because atheism is evidence of a healthy, independent, rational mind"

Which ironically is a rather delusional and self-contradicting remark. If the remark really is true, doctors should just convince people with unhealthy minds to be atheists and voila they'll have healthy, independent, rational minds.

Your comment makes no sense. Do you not know what "evidence" means, or do you not understand the basic logic behind the statement? He said that one is evidence of the other, not that you can't have one without the other, and he certainly didn't say (or even imply) that atheism causes minds to be independent and rational. Evidence is also not the same thing as proof.

Driving a Lamborghini is evidence of being rich, so does that mean that if you get somebody to drive a Lamborghini it'll cause them to be rich? No, driving a Lamborghini is something that can result from being rich, just as Dawkins was implying that atheism is something that can result from having an independent, rational mind.

Turn an unhealthy mind into a healthy, independent, rational mind and they might turn into an atheist, but it doesn't work the other way.

Comment: Re:heating element (Score 1) 839

by dosowski (#30602186) Attached to: Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

I was up in Fargo, ND visiting family for Christmas (yah shoor ya betcha) and a traffic light was out on a 6-lane intersection. Guess what? Everyone was calmly proceeding as if it was a 4-way stop. No drama, no retardation.

That's fine if the light is out in all four directions. It's a completely different story if it's only out in *one* of the four directions.

Comment: Re:whatever happened to being careful? (Score 1) 839

by dosowski (#30602142) Attached to: Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

Consider this situation... This is hypothetical but entirely possible, and *every intersection and driving situation is different in some way*, so please don't be so quick to judge with limited knowledge of what actually happened. It's entirely possible to do everything right and still get into an accident.

Hypothetical situation:
The side that is covered in snow has a red light, and the cross traffic has a green light. Perhaps this is at an intersection where the traffic lights were installed specifically because it is a difficult and low-visibility intersection. The traffic with the green light may assume everything is normal with the lights and may be traveling *at full speed*. A car on the "red" side treats it as a 4-way-stop situation, stops at the light, looks and doesn't see any traffic, and then goes. Remember that if it's a limited visibility intersection and the cross traffic is going full speed (and is therefore some distance away from the intersection when the "red" car commits to going through the intersection), it's certainly possible that this driver could not possibly see the other car coming before it's too late. Also consider that it recently snowed (or is still snowing), meaning the road is likely to be extremely slippery. Even after the two cars see each other, the "green" car will have difficulty slowing down sufficiently to avoid hitting the "red" car.

I think this is a fairly realistic and possible situation, and in such a situation, the "green" car that had full visibility to the lights would be more to blame than the "red" car that can't clearly see the lights. Obviously the "green" car would have now real way of knowing something was wrong with the lights on the other side, but in such a situation (recent snow, slippery roads, etc.), they drive slower and more cautiously as they approach intersections.

On your comment about making sure the other guy will yield, it's entirely possible that at the time you're starting to go through the intersection, there might not even be "another guy" to consider until you're already in the middle of the intersection, if the "other guy" is driving at full speed.

Comment: Re:Liar. (Score 1) 431

by dosowski (#29248631) Attached to: We're In the Midst of a Literacy Revolution

Posessive pronouns consistently don't have apostrophes:
he/him -- his (not he's, him's or hi's)
she/her -- hers (not she's or her's)
they/them -- theirs (not they's, them's or their's)
we/us -- ours (not we's, us's, or our's)
it/it -- its (not it's)

If it's truly a typo, sure I can forgive it. But I believe that most of the time it's not a typo or being in a hurry, it's simply not knowing what's correct. Most people who make such a mistake probably wouldn't be embarrased when it's pointed out because they don't even realize it's wrong.

People who use the "language evolves" excuse for their own lack of language skills don't understand that the evolution of language refers to the rules of the language changing over time (in terms of human generations - the rules I learned in school are a bit different than the ones my grandparents learned). It does not mean that you can ignore the current rules. The current rules are the current rules and until they change at some point in time, they still apply.

The word "ironic" for many people has come to mean nothing more than "weird" or to refer to a coincidence (e.g., "How ironic, I was there, too!"). I've heard the "language evolves" excuse for that, too. If the word "ironic" actually changes definition (evolves) to mean "weird", how am I supposed to describe something that actually *is* ironic? (just an example -- I don't really need an answer to that)

Comment: Re:Liar. (Score 1) 431

by dosowski (#29238721) Attached to: We're In the Midst of a Literacy Revolution

Literacy may seem worse, but only because we're frequently exposed to the productions of people who would otherwise rarely write anything for others to read.

I think that that actually causes writing quality to decline, simply because what you read makes its way into what you write. If you read a bunch of amateur writing, that's what you learn. I've heard it said that people who read a lot are also good writers, but I think that only makes sense if you read good writing.

In the past, most of what you read was professionally written and proofread. You would mostly see correct use of the language and would learn from it. Now, just about anybody can write and "publish" anything they want without any proofreading or understanding of proper use of the language. Since so much of what we read these days is this amateur writing, we are constantly exposed to bad writing (not to say that amateur=bad, it's just that you get everything, good and bad), which I think affects the way we write.

One thing I notice very frequently is the lack of understanding of the difference between "its" and "it's" and other apostrophe abuse. People seem to think that anytime a word ends with "s" you're supposed to use an apostrophe. The word "it's" is (mis)used so frequently in amateur writing as a possessive word that it almost seems odd to see "its" used correctly.

To make it worse, I've seen bad english make its way into supposedly professional writing and things like business names and signs/logos. Imagine a business named "Tire's Plus" (to give a semi-fictional example). What? There's a plus that belongs to tire? Or is that supposed to mean "Tire Is Plus"?

Air is water with holes in it.

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