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Comment: Re:Did he read it? (Score 1) 249 249

Also worth mentioning that 'good for the individual' is not the same as 'good for the species,' and nature selects the latter

Are you sure about this? Even though there are people who argue this is the case, saying that nature selects species and not individuals is a bit misleading. Selection of individuals is still probably the most commonly used level ("survival of the fittest" refering to individual organism), but if anything, the shift is downwards - to genes, or even beyond - to information and context.

Comment: Re:Were Hunter-gatherers doing better (Score 2) 92 92

Please define "better". For myself, the greatest achievement of humankind is the advancement of knowledge about the world. Depending on what your priorities are, you could argue that a different era was "better" (e.g. less polution, less stress [doubtful], more "natural", or whatever floats your boat). But if you give up on what makes us what we are, you could argue that the best way to live your life is to be in a coma. Yes, today sucks but it is still better than any day before. YMMV.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 3, Insightful) 261 261

You're missing the point. It's not that we should all get down to the lowest common denominator, it's about having useless visual bling (that is annoying and distracting even for a healthy person) that serves no useful purpose and CAN'T BE SWITCHED off making the phone unusable for people with a medical condition.

Again, the solution is not to force everyone to use a static UI, it's to give people the choice. Which is something Apple never does, I guess because then there would be people who switch it off and then complain that it does not work. I am an iPhone 5 user recently switched from Android and while the phone works just fine, I sorely miss the ability to actually customise anything.

Comment: Sensitivity vs. specificity (Score 4, Insightful) 81 81

It is very easy to make a test that detects 100% of patients who will eventually get a disease. Just make it always say "positive" and you're done. The hard thing is balancing the ability to detect a disease and avoid false negatives (sensitivity) with the ability to detect absence of disease and avoid false positives (specificity). Related to this are the positive predictive negative predictive values. Since Alzheimer's is very difficult to diagnose clinically and the only definitive proof is a biopsy/autopsy, I very much doubt a screening test would exist with a 100 % sensitivity and/or specificity.

Comment: Re:Good ol' Putin (Score 1) 285 285

Wait. These articles are able to glorify Putin in anyone's eyes? I thought by now every new piece about how he saved a puppy from a burning house serves only to further ridicule him and make fun of him. He tries so hard that it became a kind of comedy performance. With a lot of these articles, couple years ago, you could mistake them from something from He became a caricature of himself, an iron-fisted evil dictator who's trying so hard people laugh at him.

Comment: Re:should have been free? (Score 4, Interesting) 135 135

I am not so sure there is that much to be ticked-off by. Sagan's widow is quoted as saying that "...Sagan would have been thrilled to see his life’s work made available to the public." That does not sound like a greedy estate trying to get rich from selling stuff she inherited (not that there would be anything wrong with that). TFA is unclear on what the money went towards, I can imagine that transporting, sorting, filing and displaying the (large) collection is no easy feat and that the money is perhaps to be spent on that? Mrs. Druyan was not only Sagan's wife but also co-author, I don't see her as waiting for the highest bidder to auction off her inheritance.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.