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Comment: He made being a geek cool in the 70's (Score 1) 129

by goblank (#42399031) Attached to: Gerry Anderson, Co-Creator of <em>Thunderbirds</em>, Dies

Many of Gerry Anderson's TV shows were about the ascendency of the well prepared geek over the muscle bound jock. Joe 90, Captain Scarlett, Thunderbirds, Stingray and Fireball XL5 were hard favorites through most of my childhood. (Doctor Who of course being the other show that celebrated the thinking hero). While geek culture has become much more mainstream, I think that the Gerry Anderson brand of action never found a serious parallel after his shows went off the air. Ryker's (sic) version of Thunderbirds was sad - it was great to see the ships come to life with CGI; but none of the old "feel" of the shows carried over.

Comment: 21st century version of compulsive hoarding (Score 1) 172

by goblank (#42398351) Attached to: As 2012 comes to a halt, my data takes up ...

Over the years, have been upgrading my data as each media format goes end of life. Have converted from floppies, to iOmega disks, to CD's and now DVD's. Once Blu Ray disks drop below $4 a disk, I guess I will convert again. I have original application software for platforms like the Sinclair ZX 128, DOS, Windows version 1, NextSTEP, OS/2, Amiga and OS 9 - stuff that just will not work on any modern hardware. Every once in a while, I will track down an emulator and actually tinker with it till I can coax at least a load screen out of the software. And as I am doing it, I will stop myself and ask what possible use it is. I keep telling myself that this is the equivalent of people who have kept elegant cars from the 1910 era running - people who are preserving human history. However. a lot of the software is honestly pure crap. (E.g. I still have about a 100 of the crapware filled CD's that used to come with computer magazines in the 80's). I guess the nice thing about having the 21st century version of this is that it's relatively less visible than the kind where you turn your house into a fire hazard and the reality shows pay you a couple of thousand dollars to film you being humiliated and embarrassed by a bunch of pushy pretend psychiatrists.

Comment: Tax cuts by Obama ... some links (Score 5, Informative) 342

by goblank (#41256401) Attached to: Re: the recent U.S. party conventions ...

Screw the press - go read the actual source. The democrats did cut taxes. Ignoring the Bush tax cut extensions, the other three big tax cuts:

The stimulus bill is here:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr1enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr1enr.pdf
Go through the whole of section B that talks about Tax cuts

The affordable care act is here:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ148/pdf/PLAW-111publ148.pdf
Check Part E / Section 1 for details of the tax cuts

The HIRE act tax breaks are detailed better on the site than on the bill. Here:
http://hireact.org/

Comment: Hare Krishna != Hinduism (Score 2) 1226

by goblank (#40148301) Attached to: Debate Over Evolution Will Soon Be History, Says Leakey

Clarification for anyone who may be interested ...
In Hindu scripture the supreme god is an embodiment of energy; not a human.
Very interestingly, Vishnu (the preserver of the universe) is supposed to take different forms or Avatars to help keep the universe running (and that's the origin of the term Avatar). The first form was a fish, the second a turtle, the third a lion (more specifically half line / half man). Amazing how that parallels evolution ...
The rest were humans, but with increasingly subtle differentiations of what is right and what is wrong. Krishna (the Krishna in Hare Krishna) is the 7th or 8th avatar based on who is counting, and is a God for our times if you will.
Just like nearly every other religion, hinduism has "populist" stuff, which the more politically minded (who get to run temples and run their own sects or cults) use to control the population. Thats how most folks in India see the Hare Krishna movement. In India, as education has spread, the hold of these folks has got weaker, and you can see that in the changing norms and standards in India. 10 years ago you could be spat on for wearing a bikini. Today Bollywood heroines can't make it big without at least one swim suite scene in their movies.
Hinduism is about 5,000 to 7,000 years old depending on whose reckoning you follow. If you want to see the future of Christianity and Islam, and to understand how the Church and State use religion to control folks - go study Indian history. You will see parallels everywhere. Institutionalized ignorance to control the populace. The aggregation of wealth into the hands of the a few claiming to control the gates to the Gods and heaven. Extreme factions united by a single extreme belief pushing their agenda over that of the majority. The use of religious fanatism to win wars.
Been there; done that.

Comment: The Lizard Brain Leader Identification Routine (Score 1) 1276

by goblank (#39249311) Attached to: Scientists Say People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish

I've been in a couple of situations where things went bad very quickly, and a leader had to emerge to get us out of trouble. The leaders were NEVER the smartest people in the room - it was the person we intuitively understood as being able to get us out of a bad situation and make our condition better.
Movies show this all the time. In everything from the Braveheart to every single disaster movie ever made, to the Avengers to Sky Captain - we see the same pattern - the leader is the one who takes charge and listens to the smart people, but takes the tough decisions. And I am sure this is not a human thing. You see it every pack out there. Natural selection of leaders goes all the way back to the cretaceous from the study of foot prints of pack hunting behavior of carnivores (e.g. Raptors in Jurassic Park).
What politicians seem to be doing consistently is make us panic and subvert our lizard brain processes for identifying a leader. I can't remember the last democratic election where we were not seeing this in action. Each time I read or watch V for Vendetta the message gets reinforced.
I have lived in Dubai and Singapore for short stints - and seeing "benevolent dictatorships" at work. I have watched up close the slow motion train wreck that is the European parlement. I cringe as I watch the legal corruption based system in the US. Sometimes democracy does not see to be the cut and dried choice I was taught it was all my life.

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