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Comment: Re:How about ignoring it? (Score 2) 463

by guises (#48636805) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot
The first part is true - marijuana has more carcinogens than tobacco does. The fact that a marijuana smoker smokes far less in quantity than a tobacco smoker makes a much bigger difference though. There's was also a suggestion, at one point, that THC might slow the growth of tumors.

So that's certainly something, but absolutely not 100% bullshit. "Mostly bullshit," perhaps.

Comment: Re:To be entirely fair... (Score 1) 465

by guises (#48592291) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site
It's unlikely that Peru really cares about them. These sorts of situations are usually more about political posturing than about the actual people or event.

It's funny... there's one picture showing a huge amount of damage caused by their footprints, even deeper and more visible than the landmark lines in places, and in the rest of the pictures you can't see any damage at all.

Comment: Re:Its own editors said so (Score 2, Informative) 346

I don't know anything about The New Republic, but I do know that the opposite of conservative is progressive, not liberal. A liberal conservative isn't an oxymoron, nor is such a person necessarily a moderate - some of the most strongly partisan conservatives are also liberals.

Comment: Re:Innaccurate (Score 3, Insightful) 310

What you've described is sex (for which you gain health) followed by violence. I'm familiar with both of those things, they've been in previous GTA games, but the point is that they're unrelated. For the sake of the video the player has chosen to do one right after the other, but they could have just walked away after the sex or committed the violence without the sex.

Your suggestion that sex should render the NPC invulnerable is... odd. Before the sex she's an NPC just like any other, after the sex she's an NPC just like any other.

All right, lets look at this another way: in Halo players have the ability to crouch, this serves a functional purpose. There's a rather juvenile tradition in Halo of killing another player in a multiplayer match and then standing over their corpse and crouching. The existence of the corpse and the ability to crouch are entirely separate from one another, each there for a good reason, but when the player decides to combine them in this way they do so with the intent to suggest a humiliating sexual act. There are ways that Bungie could prevent this one particular act if they chose to do so - they could eliminate corpses, they could make the areas around corpses impossible to crouch in, they could remove the ability to crouch entirely - but the act exists because the players wanted it and created it themselves. So in other words: 1) The fact that people use the game as a medium for their expression, and that expression in undesirable, does not mean that there's anything wrong with the game. 2) Any attempt to censor this sort of thing is likely to get worked around. 3) Free expression isn't always nice, it doesn't always make you feel good about humanity, but it is always valuable.

So how does that relate to a single player game like GTA? Ultimately what I'm saying here is that the player makes the game what they want it to be.

Comment: Innaccurate (Score 4, Informative) 310

I haven't played GTA 5, but I've played all the others and this: "incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points." is bullshit unless things have changed dramatically. Violence, yes. Plenty of violence, but the player never commits sexual violence. That would be thematically way out of line with the series. And you don't get 'health' points by abusing or killing women either. You can certainly rob them of their money... Is that supposed to be the same thing?

Comment: Re:Have't looked at one at all. (Score 2) 101

by guises (#48490517) Attached to: Forbes Revisits the Surface Pro 3, Which May Face LG Competition
This is inevitably what goes through my head whenever I see a device with some clever hardware tchotchke - "That nice." I say, "But it'll only work as long as the device is using their software, which ties me to their OS and possibly configuration, limits my privacy options, etc." So a laptop with a second screen, like the Razer Blade Pro, or a phone like the Yota, is ultimately pretty useless.

Comment: Re:Any AMD equivalents out there? (Score 1) 78

by guises (#48481647) Attached to: Intel Core M Notebooks Arrive, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Tested
There isn't anything this thin and light, there aren't any AMD CPUs that can run at a decent speed at such low power, but on larger notebooks they're competitive at the low end if you factor in the GPU. An A10 is both faster and cheaper than Iris Pro.

Trouble is, most people who care about that want something discrete. But for a cheap notebook which is actually gaming-capable an A10 is a good choice.

Comment: All right, allow me to expose my ignorance (Score 1) 647

by guises (#48481601) Attached to: Debian Forked Over Systemd
I used to be a sys admin, but that was years ago and currently I only use Linux on the desktop. I don't suppose that someone could explain to me (or just give me a link to an explanation): what is systemd exactly, what does it change, and why do people both love and hate it so much?

I've seen enough of these stories now to kind of get the feeling that it's mostly admins who hate this, and they mostly hate it because it's change and it screws up their configs. Is that right? Is there any other reason to hate it? I have no idea what the motivation is on the other side.

Comment: Re:Gay Sex! Agenda 21. (Score 2) 186

by guises (#48447729) Attached to: How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles
Because that wouldn't actually reduce the number of babies, it would just make them poorer and less educated. We certainly do need to reduce the population, but there's no evidence to suggest that welfare programs, daycare, foodstamps, etc., are contributing to the birth rate. Even when the payouts of those programs are tied to the number of children that the recipients have. In fact there's some evidence for the opposite, that using welfare to alleviate some of the very worst effects of poverty can lower the birthrate.

Not enough though, clearly, welfare isn't the magic bullet that's going to bring the population down. Unfortunately, a lot of people use the fact that greater prosperity goes hand-in-hand with lower birth rates as an excuse to ignore the problem... I suspect that this is something that isn't going to be even widely acknowledged, let alone solved, until an awful lot of people have died violently.

Comment: Re:Why giving ? (Score 3, Insightful) 92

by guises (#48443777) Attached to: How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development
There's some kind of cognitive disconnect here.

Question: "Why then the West wants to give out money to help those "poor" countries?"
Answer: "China didn't receive any fucking foreign aid from nobody" "Tens of millions of people perished"

Question: "they never got any "Western aid" at all, and still, they survived, right?"
Answer: "Tens of millions of people perished"

Look, the survival of the country doesn't mean shit. Countries are just organizational tools. The aid has the objective of improving the lives of the people, not the country, and it does work - it has been rigorously demonstrated to work when it's done a certain way under certain conditions. All that the article is trying to do is point out that those conditions are very idiosyncratic and that aid organizations need to take that under consideration.

Comment: Re:For those who found TFA to be TLDR (Score 4, Informative) 92

by guises (#48443349) Attached to: How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development
For anyone who makes the mistake of believing this AC, the actual TL;DR is: Ideas that work well, even ideas that have been demonstrated to work very well through rigorous study, oftentimes only apply to the specific area which was studied. For this reason charitable development needs to stop thinking big and start working incrementally, village by village. Nothing and nobody can pull an entire country or continent out of poverty in a timeframe that isn't counted in decades.

He gives examples - a rigorous four-year study found that giving deworming pills to children in a particular area in Kenya had a larger impact on school attendance than giving them textbooks, even though they were very short on textbooks. A deworming program has subsequently been rolled out to cover millions of children in Africa and India, with a hope for similar results, but they've stopped with the rigorous testing with the feeling that they've sufficiently demonstrated the program's usefulness. The author points out several reasons why, for some areas, textbooks might still be a better answer and makes the claim that grand programs like this one can be both ineffective at their goals and have pretty crazy unforeseen consequences. There's a funny example of unforeseen consequences with a group of teenage latina girls who went through a workshop intended to keep them out of gangs, a successful workshop: not one of them was arrested for violence within six months of the end of the program. However, within those six months every one of them had become pregnant. Apparently gang membership was fulfilling a need for them that found they had to satisfy in some other way.

Comment: Re:Sounds reasonable (Score 1) 243

by guises (#48434545) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant
That is indeed funny, since he repeatedly said that he would return to Sweden for trial in they promised not to extradite him. Given there are several items on that list which should, in principle, make extradition impossible, this should have been a dead easy promise to make. And yet they refused to make such a promise.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten