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Comment Re:How long till... (Score 2) 248

Yeah, that was the point I was trying to get at. Most people take the privacy of their most intimate secrets for granted - they keep it in their email, on their mobile devices etc. And while these things are pretty well guarded, from a technological standpoint a single bug can lead to the mass subversion of a whole ecosystem. It seems to me that the day all of Gmail - or some other major email provider, or private data on everyone's iPhones, etc. is hacked and made public, will be an historic event "The day privacy died." IT should be alarming, but it's one step away, like many posted in this thread, bugs happen...

Comment "To the best of our knowledge" (Score 2) 263

> Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited.

Cleverly worded sentence intended to leave the reader with the impression:

"We don't know that there has been a breach, therefore there hasn't been a breach"

when it really means...

"We don't know squat about whether there has been a breach. Maybe all hell has broken lose, and there's no evidence to contradict that either."

Comment In a nutshell... (Score 4, Interesting) 187

-- In India there is an undeniable and strong tendency to construct narratives of how everything good in the world was discovered in India. All Indians don't share this perspective, in fact it is shared by a minority, but er, that amounts to 150 million people or something.

-- This tendency is inward, not outward looking. This politician Harsh Vardhan is a fuck up, like a lot of Indian politicians. But generally this thinking is not directed at bragging to the rest of the world about how great India is, rather it is to nurse, heal, revive people's connections with their own trampled culture and history -- one that in recent times is increasingly being supplanted by a pseudo-western culture and western lifestyle. It's a way of telling people in India to give their intellectual heritage another chance.

-- Honestly, most rational people don't give a damn about where the Pythagorus theorem was invented. I mean if it were an easily provable fact, then it might be an interesting piece of historical information, but given that it's ambiguous who cares, unless to stoke one's nationalist ego.

-- The Princeton mathematician who won the Fields Medal... which is like a Nobel prize except that it's given once every 4 years... is a reference because of his grasp of mathematics, not because he's Indian. If you think of him as "some Indian guy trying to pocket a laurel for his fatherland" then that's a strong statement about you, not about him.

Comment Re:Check your math. (Score 1) 880

The point I made (conservative Christians, comparable surveys etc.) was in response to the statement "a large fraction of practicing muslims have opinions contrary to the principles of modern society", which in turn was somebody's rebuttal to the point "a minuscule fraction of muslims are violent, the vast majority are non-violent".

The surveys did not conclude that the large fraction -- 40% or whatever were violent suicide bombers. This is NOT about the few fuck ups who kill and destroy. It's about the overwhelming majority that doesn't.

You conflated the two and extrapolated my message to sound like I was comparing violent suicide bombers with people who disagree with gay marriage or abortion laws. NO - if you have trouble grasping logical statements with multiple clauses -- AGAIN, I was comparing peaceful muslims who are influenced by their religion with conservative [christians, jews, hindus, ...].

Of course, there's a good chance that you do understand this but would rather not acknowledge it, preferring to wriggle into a nook of defective logic to spread your message of hatred.

Comment Re:Check your math. (Score 1) 880

Can you find and post comparable surveys for other religions? Or if they aren't any, then what meaning do surveys of this type have? If you carried out a survey amongst practicing Christians, "Jesus or Nation" then is it not conceivable that many would pick the former?

Oh, and by the way, such conservative Christians not only wish for Christian law, they lobby and work for it to be applied and are frequently successful. Anti-abortion laws, and anti-gay marriage, and the fact that these issues are highly politicized are outcomes of such thinking.

Religion, and letting religion govern how you think is the problem, not any specific religion. The reason Islam shows up on the radar with terrorism so often is because it happens to be the religion mixing badly with explosive geopolitical crises around the world.

Comment What goes around comes around... (Score 1) 438

These kids, and other kids around the world who cheat or otherwise beat the system are only damaging their own careers. University diplomas don't have the face value they used to -- it's what they do to you, how smart, capable and competent they make you that matters. If you're incapable then it doesn't matter if you have a diploma from MIT (or the Indian equivalent) you're not getting hired. Or fired unceremoniously soon after getting hired.

With online courseware growing at the rate it is, some day, exams are likely going to become a form of self-evaluation. You work hard to get the scores that convince you that you know enough, and then you take the plunge into real life and see how convincing you are.

Comment So fucked up... (Score 1) 485

Small businesses in which entrepreneurs put their sweat, blood and devotion into their work continue to get sued by patent trolls... just because the attorneys who get a commission in such cases pass it on to a guy in a position of power in the form of donations.

How can people be so pettily selfish, while realizing that there are others out there willing to take bullets so that their countrymen can continue to live comfortably.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton

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