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Comment: Re:times smaller,,, (Score 1) 20

by ScentCone (#49556201) Attached to: Cosmologists Find Eleven Runaway Galaxies

even though everybody knows what it means right away

You're missing the point.

When someone says, "The new battery is ten times smaller than the old battery," yes ... we can guess that part of what's meant is, "The new battery is a tenth the size of the old battery."

But there's a reason those are TWO DIFFERENT SENTENCES.

When you use the word smallER in that context, you're communicating that the old battery is small, and the new battery is even smaller. Why? Because you're saying that the new battery has time times the smallness of the old one. That has a completely different connotation than a sentence that suggests that the old battery was what it was (or was large), and the new battery is comparatively small.

The reason we have lots of vocabulary words, adjectives, and constructions is so that we can be nuanced and more precise in simple communication. When you use a sentence that essentially forces the audience to go find out what you actually meant by "ten times smaller" (was the old one small, or huge?) then you've done the opposite of providing useful information. All of that in order to avoid using slightly different words that we also all know?

This is pure laziness, that's all. It's mimicking a sound or phrase without thinking about what's actually being communicated. It's no different than people who say, "I could care less," when they mean exactly the opposite. They are uttering sounds without thinking about the actual words they're using. One small, lazy spoken step for man, part of one cumulative giant leap towards dumbing everybody down.

Comment: Re:This product reminds me of... (Score 2) 165

by Just Some Guy (#49547609) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

You know the famous quote.

This one?

"As a general thing, I have not 'duped the world' nor attempted to do so... I have generally given people the worth of their money twice told."

The one you're likely thinking of is irrelevant here, because I've spent more on dinners than I did on my Sport watch that's due for delivery today. You say "suckers", I say "people who don't mind spending $350 on a watch they'll be using every day and that's easily worth the money in sheer entertainment value".

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 1) 331

by Zordak (#49542719) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

Careful what you wish for, the flip side of war being declared is that all the war-time powers of the president, FEMA etc. are invoked. If you don't want that to happen, you have to somehow define it as non-war military action and then it wouldn't be in violation of the Constitution, you can't have it both ways. And the amendment says only Congress can declare war, but the President is commander-in-chief of the military and there's really nowhere that explicitly states he can't commit acts of war without approval by Congress. It seems implied, but technicalities might matter.

By the way, if you're arguing the person at the top is violating the law then that naturally flows down the chain of command and as we learned in the post-WWII trials, following orders is no excuse. So if the President should go on trial for violating the constitution, the soldier shooting should go on trial for manslaughter. Possibly even murder, because you clearly meant to kill and that you happened to kill a few that weren't the target is like an assassin's collateral. I doubt that goes under manslaughter, really.

The whole military system is so turned on its head now that it has become a distinction without a difference. But it didn't start out that way. The the Framers were very leary of standing armies, and so restricted military appropriations to two years, assuming that major military appropriations would happen only in times of declared war. In the meantime, states could keep militias that could be called up in times of war. That's not how it has worked out, though. We now have a huge standing army, and while we technically follow the rule that military appropriations have a two-year life, we renew them like clockwork every two years. So in effect, we have become exactly what the Framers hated (and had just overthrown).

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 1) 331

by Zordak (#49542693) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

Ron Paul for example suggested that we could not and recommended we use letters of marque instead. (which while still allowed are considered antique and haven't be actually used in a long time) In the US

I'm in favor of this, mainly because "privateer" is a cool word, and it would be all swagger and swashbuckling to have them. Also, it would probably be an excellent way to stop African piracy. And paying bounties for capturing/killing terrorists would probably be cheaper than our current war effort.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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