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Comment: Re:Stop trying to resolve them! (Score 1) 536

by g4c (#34918178) Attached to: Cosmological Constant Not Fine Tuned For Life
I agree. Instead of wasting our energy on some counterproductive "war" between science and religion (a war that exists only in people's heads), we should instead seek to help both become better at what they are about. We should strive to make science accessible and successful at solving the problems it can solve, and at answering the questions it can answer. Similarly, we need to help religion "grow up" into a fully beneficial force for motivating people to treat others and the environment well, and for helping them deal with the difficulties of life in healthy ways. I honestly believe they can help each other achieve these goals.

None of this will happen very easily, though, if both "sides" feel under attack. When we feel threatened, we typically do not respond with the kind of insightful self-reflection that helps us overcome our flaws. I believe both science and religion have spoken to this fact using their respective vocabularies.
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Corporations Hiring Hooky Hunters 610

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-a-personal-detective-day dept.
No longer satisfied with your crinkled doctor's note, a growing number of corporations are hiring "Hooky Detectives." Private investigator Rick Raymond says he's staked out bowling alleys, pro football games, weddings and even funerals looking for people using sick days. From the article: "Such techniques have become permissible at a time when workers are more likely to play hooky. Kronos, a workforce productivity firm in Chelmsford, Mass., recently found that 57 percent of salaried employees take sick days when they're not sick — almost a 20 percent increase from statistics gathered between 2006 and 2008."
Medicine

One Night Stands May Be Genetic 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-in-your-genes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "So, he or she has cheated on you for the umpteenth time and their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.' According to researchers at Binghamton University, they may be right. The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA. In a first of its kind study, a team of investigators led by Justin Garcia, a SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has taken a broad look at sexual behavior, matching choices with genes and has come up with a new theory on what makes humans 'tick' when it comes to sexual activity. The biggest culprit seems to be the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism, or DRD4 gene. Already linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling, DRD4 is known to influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior."
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Denver Bomb Squad Takes Out Toy Robot 225

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-feel-safer-already dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A robot met its end near Coors Field tonight when the Denver Police Department Bomb Squad detonated the 'suspicious object,' bringing to an end the hours-long standoff between police and the approximately eight-inch tall toy. From the article: "'Are you serious?' asked Denver resident Justin Kent, 26, when police stopped him from proceeding down 20th Street. Kent said that he lived just past the closed area, but was told he would have to go around via Park Avenue.'"

Comment: Re:Where are the espionage charges? (Score 1) 1020

by g4c (#34401106) Attached to: Interpol Issues Wanted Notice For Julian Assange
The reason I think the elimination of these secrets will be a good thing is that there are a lot of people who earnestly believe that "we" are the "good guys" who don't do things like that. The government maintains its apple pie home-baked goodness image, insisting that it's always the other guys that are the bad-people-du-jour who are out to kill us because they hate our freedom or something like that. When you reveal the kinds of evil the government does to other people, then folks can start to see why (or even if) "they" are actually fighting "us" instead of what the propaganda machine spouts all the time. The more people get to see reality, the more they will no longer be able to hide in their fantasy worlds that help them sleep soundly at night. But I'm confused. Are you trying to say that you don't know all the crap the U.S. government has done (if this is the case, read a history book; no wacky conspiracy theories necessary), or are you simply trying to say that you don't care, or that you think it is pointless to publicize it regardless of if it's right or wrong? (Honest question. I really don't know exactly what you were trying to get at in your comment.)

Comment: Re:scary (Score 1) 1020

by g4c (#34398754) Attached to: Interpol Issues Wanted Notice For Julian Assange
The more vague, the better, IMO. It leaves plenty of room for people's uninformed imaginations to run rampant, it's more plausible, and people aren't really going to ask for evidence before they consider him guilty. Murder, though, still requires a certain amount of evidence in people's minds (means, motive, opportunity), so a baseless accusation would not be nearly as effective. It's easy to imagine a guy like Assange as a perv, since he doesn't "look normal" to the average idiot.

Comment: Re:Where are the espionage charges? (Score 5, Insightful) 1020

by g4c (#34398426) Attached to: Interpol Issues Wanted Notice For Julian Assange
The way I see it, governments kill all kinds of people directly and indirectly in secret--and the U.S. has a particularly rich history of this. As such, I want every government's secrets to be plastered everywhere. The number of people that may conceivably die as a result of these leaks is absolutely nothing compared to what has been done in secret for decades. Of course, I'm a pacifist and an anarchist, so I consider the idea of having to balance secrecy and disclosure so that the state can continue to exist in its preferred form (I believe it's called "national security") kind of moot. YMMV.

Comment: Re:scary (Score 2, Insightful) 1020

by g4c (#34398272) Attached to: Interpol Issues Wanted Notice For Julian Assange
I don't think the goal is to make him go away. I think the goal is to publicly discredit him so Ma and Pa Amerkin will never listen to the information he releases that paints the U.S. government in a negative light. Given the stigma attached to sex crimes in the U.S., I think it is the perfect vehicle to try to discredit somebody. You never have to be charged or convicted to be considered guilty of sex crimes here. It is enough to be accused.
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British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the sound-of-silence dept.
itwbennett writes "British pizza chain Pizza Express is installing iPod docks and soundproof domes in booths of their new iPizzeria stores. 'The idea is that you can plug in your iPod and play whatever music you like without disturbing other diners,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'But I'm sure it'd work for talking about government secrets and other spy stuff, too.'"

Comment: Re:I chose negative (Score 1) 750

by g4c (#34028290) Attached to: Excitement about U.S. mid-term elections:
I understand your point that my abstinence from voting isn't much of a statement unless I actually state my reasons. I'll be honest, though... I believe that the world is a bit more complicated than that. There are a million reasons why me showing up with a bullhorn and a sign is going to accomplish nothing more than perpetuating various mentalities that I believe are contributing to the perpetuation of this whole system, but I am honestly not in the mood to try to explain them all.

Comment: Re:I chose negative (Score 2, Insightful) 750

by g4c (#34026050) Attached to: Excitement about U.S. mid-term elections:

By not voting you are just agreeing with the majority of those who voted. So yes, by not voting you are endorsing whoever wins the election.

Not true. By not voting, you are stating that _neither_ candidate or party represents your interests (or, if you are an anarchist like me, that the whole system runs counter to what you believe in). You are no more responsible for the outcome than you would be for refusing to answer a sadist who asked you to choose which of two strangers he should murder.

Look, I know that this goes against everything they taught you on MTV's Rock the Vote ("Choose or Lose" bus, anyone?), but you have bought into a brilliantly engineered false dilemma that perpetuates the system as it stands.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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