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Comment: Re:I have problems with this (Score 1) 1319

by iangoldby (#38204912) Attached to: Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

That's a fair point and quite a common situation - a conflict between what someone believes or claims and testable reality.

But I think what we were talking about is conflict between what person A believes, and what person B thinks person A believes. That's very different. I'd always give the benefit of the doubt to person who owns the belief, unless there is good evidence that person is being disingenuous.

Comment: Re:I have problems with this (Score 1) 1319

by iangoldby (#38199892) Attached to: Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

You are making too many assumptions.

In any case, let me please be the counter example - I believe God has a purpose for my life but I certainly don't believe that only I and those I know have free will. That's a direct statement about my beliefs and it directly contradicts your original assertion about what people like me believe.

That's the trouble with these kinds of discussions. The assertions by non-believers about what believers believe seem to carry more weight in the minds of the non-believers than what the believers do actually believe. ;-)

Comment: Re:I have problems with this (Score 2) 1319

by iangoldby (#38192558) Attached to: Muslim Medical Students Boycott Darwin Lectures

The interesting thing I've found is that people who believe God has a purpose for their life, tend to believe that they and the people they know are the only people who have free will.

I have never come across this attitude.

As to your contention that if someone says "It was God's will" then the human agents involved could not have had free will, I think you've fundamentally misunderstood either what it means to say that something was God's will, or indeed what is meant by free will (which is understandable – philosophers down the ages have long argued this one).

Suffice it to say for now that from my own perspective as a Christian, to say that God willed something does in no way undermine the free will of the human agents involved. It can do, but only in exceedingly rare circumstances where God obliges the human agent to act in a certain way. Humans are perfectly able to do God's will through their own free choice, and often without even knowing it.

(Having said all that, I doubt that it is ever God's will that people should lose their lives in car accidents.)

Comment: Re:Not even sure why people want to be managers (Score 1) 247

by iangoldby (#35878244) Attached to: Promotion Or Job Change: Which Is the Best Way To Advance In IT?

Depends where you work.

I think there are still a few places where you can reach the top of the ladder in a purely technical role.

There are probably others where you clearly have to become a manager and this is explicitly stated.

But the current thinking seems to be that certain universal 'behaviours' or 'competencies' are required for more senior grades, and these always include things like being able to provide examples of where you have dealt with performance issues in others - even if your particular job isn't management.

So the official line is that, yes, you can get to the top in a purely technical role, but in practice if you don't have examples of all the standard corporate 'behaviours' then you won't get anywhere.

Comment: Re:Sure, if it includes EVERYBODY (Score 1) 467

by iangoldby (#35502748) Attached to: Scott Adams Says Plenty Would Choose Life In Noprivacyville

If every law on the books was enforced tomorrow by police with 100% visibility of everything everyone was doing all the time, then Western nations would collapse within a week.

Or more likely, it would become painfully obvious that many laws need to be repealed or modified.

Or do you really like it that law enforcement is a lottery? You get held to account but other people seem to get away with the same thing with impunity.

In a society where law enforcement is uncertain, it is generally the bad guy who gets away with it, and the good guy who slipped up who is brought to book.

Comment: Re:HP is the worst (Score 1) 243

by iangoldby (#35199106) Attached to: Recent HP Laptops Shipped CPU-Choking Wi-Fi Driver

But if we're talking about the Pro or Semi-Pro models, then ... for most brands the only other option is to manually copy the RAW format images from the memory card using a cardreader, as opposed to connecting the camera to the computer directly.

My Pentax DSLR appears as a USB mass storage device, and I would be most surprised if this wasn't also true of virtually every other DSLR. I certainly would be very wary of buying a camera that didn't do this. I regard it as a standard and essential feature.

My wife's Canon Powershot isn't a USB mass storage device, but it does implement PictBridge, which can be read directly by Mac OS X and Windows without installing any additional drivers.

RAW format is not standardized, so unless your editing software (or OS) supports it natively you're going to have to use their drivers and conversion software.

Mac OS X can read most RAW formats natively and I assume Windows can do likewise. If you are serious about using RAW format, you'll probably use a decent RAW image processing application anyway, such as Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture (or possibly Bibble). The free software bundled with the camera is usually inferior and not worth bothering with.

(I agree with the parent's other points though.)

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 220

by iangoldby (#35071460) Attached to: Are Gamers Safer Drivers?

I certainly don't claim you shouldn't have those skills. If you do get into a bad situation, then being able to keep your car under control in an extreme manoeuvre is obviously going to be better than losing control.

My point is simply that we should never think of such skills as a substitute for driving in such a way as to avoid getting into those extreme situations in the first place.

The thing I found surprising when I did a short defensive driving course is just how much you can do to avoid emergency situations. If a child runs out in front of you it is not inevitable that you will have almost no time to react. A really good defensive driver will have seen the signs that a child was going to run out before it even happened.

Really good drivers all have one thing in common: Whenever an accident happens, or nearly happens, they are somewhere else. They are always calm and never seem to have to do anything suddenly. It is a real skill, and I'm nowhere near attaining it, though it is something I aspire to. Really got to work on that concentration ;-(

Comment: Re:No (Score 2) 220

by iangoldby (#35066364) Attached to: Are Gamers Safer Drivers?

Car physics are largely irrelevant when you are driving courteously, paying attention, and using sensible defensive driving techniques.

Car physics become important when you take a corner too fast, overtake in the wrong place, don't allow sufficient stopping distance, become distracted, or someone cuts you up and you haven't planned an escape route. The trick is not to get into that situation in the first place.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach

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