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Comment mockery? (Score 1) 43

Dear voxelman, sincere condolences for the loss of your uncle. However, I must say I'm a bit perturbed by your suggestion that his ailments later in life made his life or contributions a mockery. In fact, I feel that this idea is somewhat antithetical to the act of CPR itself which struggles to respect and aid those whose very life functions are failing them. It is the normal course of human life for ailment and illness to overtake the human body, but that by no means diminishes the life that was lived, especially such a one as your uncle's which benefited so many. May he rest in peace.

Submission + - Leading Cause of Global Warming is Uptown Funk (

eegad writes: It's too hot. And now we have conclusive, scientific evidence as to why. Apparently, uptown funk has been giving it to us every Saturday night. Standard strategic remedies involving police and firemen have not been able to quell the rising temperatures that threaten all humankind. We've said his name. We've broken it down. We've even tried to fill our cup with liquor. But when asked for comment, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chuck and Yves St. Laurent were unavailable. Unfortunately, the blistering heat from Harlem to Hollywood is undoubtedly going to keep giving it to us. Climate change doubters don't believe us. Just watch.

Comment symmetric relation (Score 1) 425

What bothers me most is the apparent symmetric relation of this word. For example, you can say the US comprises 50 states. Or you can say the 50 states comprise the US. It can mean "be made up of" or "make up". I don't get it. Are there any other words like this where the order of articles doesn't matter? Isn't this a transitive verb? What's the object? Fill in the blank: Alaska and Alabama are two of the states ______ the United states is comprised. Isn't the answer "of which"?

Comment Re:Just tell me (Score 1) 463

I'd say as long as the info we keep hearing is self-contradictory, the answer is yes. Obama says to the African nations, go ahead and ride the bus. The CDC advises against this. We're hearing that the mortality rate is 70% yet these are the numbers being reported: And then of course there is just gross incompetence and stupidity. Who thought it'd be a good idea for health care workers treating an Ebola patient in Dallas to fly around on commuter planes with the rest of us? Maybe we could organize a community potluck with the rest of them for moral support?

Comment Re:In lost the will to live ... (Score 1) 795

Non-violence can be derived from any ethical position that views others as equal to yourself in all ways.

Actually, I don't think I agree with this. If everyone is equal and there are a limited amount of resources, why isn't everyone allowed to compete (or fight if necessary) for those resources? To the victor go the spoils? On the contrary, I think it is only when we have some sense of the dignity of the human person or a sense of self-sacrifice for another "equal" that we could hope for non-violence. Not all ethical positions contain a sense of this dignity. Certainly not all contain a sense of self-sacrifice. Ayn Rand's objectivism is all about self-interest. When the interests of the totally self-interested collide with one another, violence is possible and probable. What ethical systems teach self-sacrificial concern (or might I even proffer the word love) for others?

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 961

A few thoughts...

Human dignity isn't results based. It doesn't depend on whether someone recovers or not. It also isn't dependent on how someone is treated. When someone is mistreated, we understand that it's mistreatment *because* of their inherent dignity. Nobody can take away that dignity - they can only respect or ignore it.

How we treat the suffering and dying has importance and implications for the rest of us too, not just those suffering. It affects how *we* view and treat everyone else and how we view the gift of life and the human person in general. Ditto for the treatment of the unborn.

Suffering can be redemptive. Even if you don't believe in any religious significance, it's clear that suffering can radically change a person's outlook on their life and the purpose of life and the relationships in their life. Those things are important. To them and us.

Comment Why not? (Score 1) 961

Because human life has a dignity and purpose far beyond that of a cat. And because suffering can be meaningful and important even though it's difficult. If you want an example, look at a crucifix.

It's interesting that someone who's supposedly so concerned about the sufferings of a person can wish a slow and painful death on someone else. Nobody who believes in and fights for the dignity of the human person *wishes* for your dad to suffer, Scott. Don't let your sorrow and grief turn into hatred and malice.

Comment Actually, the tea is... (Score 3, Informative) 104

... a strong Brownian Motion producer, which is essential for the Infinite Improbability Drive which powers Zaphod's stolen spaceship, the Heart of Gold.

So Adams must have mentioned tea in more than one body of work, which isn't too surprising for an Englishman.

BTW, editors, it's Douglas Adams' birthday, not Douglas Adam's birthday. Although, according to infinite improbability, there is probably a Douglas Adam whose birthday it is today as well. Oh dear...

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Time for Optional Pay Business Models? 1

eegad writes: I've been thinking a lot about how much information I give to technology companies like Google and Facebook and how I'm not super comfortable with what I even dimly know about how they're handling and selling it. Is it time for major companies like this that offer arguably utility-like services for free in exchange for info to start giving customers a choice about how to "pay" for their service? I'd much rather pony up a monthly fee to access all the Google services I use, for example, and be assured that no tracking or selling of my information is going on. I'm not aware of how much money these companies might make from selling data about a particular individual, but could it possibly be more than the $20 or $30 a month I'd happily fork over to know that my privacy is a little more secure? Is this a pipe dream or are there other people who would happily pay for their private use of these services? What kinds of costs or problems could be involved with companies implementing this type of dual business model?

Comment potential problem: activist targeting (Score 1) 325

So, let's say that a lot of facebook users are so ticked off at a company that they organize a campaign to spam the owner. The owner suddenly has hundreds of thousands or millions of facebook communications, all costing $1 to each sender. And yes, this can and has been done with postal mail, but it's a lot more likely to happen if it's a click of a button away.

In fact, I suggest we all write to Mark Zuckerberg right now and complain...

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal