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Comment: First Among Equals (Score 1) 138

In a deliberative body that's chock-full of dumb sonsabitches, Louis Gohmert stands head and shoulders above them all.

Here's my favorite Louis Gohmert quote.

On gays in the military:

"I’ve had people say, ‘Hey, you know, there’s nothing wrong with gays in the military. Look at the Greeks. Well, you know, they did have people come along who they loved that was the same sex and would give them massages before they went into battle. But you know what, it’s a different kind of fighting, it’s a different kind of war and if you’re sitting around getting massages all day ready to go into a big, planned battle, then you’re not going to last very long. It’s guerrilla fighting. You are going to be ultimately vulnerable to terrorism and if that’s what you start doing in the military like the Greeks did as people have said, ‘Louie, you have got to understand, you don’t even know your history.’ Oh yes I do. I know exactly. It’s not a good idea."

Want another?

Regarding caribou and the oil pipeline:

"So when caribou want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. ... So my real concern now is if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?"

Comment: Re:The 30 and 40-somethings wrote the code... (Score 1) 301

by PopeRatzo (#49614567) Attached to: Recruiters Use 'Digital Native' As Code For 'No Old Folks'

I remember my father having to get out the suitcase of a portable computer that work had assigned him, set it up on the dining room table, and dial-in to the mainframe to fix broken batch jobs on weekends occasionally.

I had one of these.

Still have it, out in the garage next to dried up paint cans and copies of Argosy magazine. And before you ask, no, "dried up paint can" is not a euphemism for my first wife's corpse.

Comment: Re:Looks like the prophet's gunmen (Score 1) 849

by gstoddart (#49614551) Attached to: Two Gunman Killed Outside "Draw the Prophet" Event In Texas

What, you mean like the crazy Christians who have been attacking abortion clinics like the Army of God?

Sorry, but moronic Christians have every bit as much capacity for violence as moronic Muslims. Stupid and crazy isn't dependent on a specific religion.

So take your own stupid, shove it up your ass, and fuck off. Because there most certainly are examples of violence perpetuated by Christians.

And you can bet your ass that if an atheist set up the "Holy Mary Mother of God Gangbang" ... some crazy bastard is going to lose his shit and do something insane.

Comment: Re:Article is total bilge water (Score 1) 131

by gstoddart (#49614409) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

You're not understanding what I am saying.

I am NOT saying Tolkien invented all of those things. I am saying, in the context of the fantasy genre, in which all of these things co-exist and have a specific relationship with one another ... that template is 100% based on Tolkien.

At which point, people will write scenarios which are kind of mostly similar to what Tolkien wrote .. or they consciously reject Tolkien and then go against what he laid out.

But if you write something which has humans, elves, dwarves, wizards and these other elements ... you do it either in homage to (ie being consistent with), or in opposition to (ie being explicitly different to) what Tolkien wrote.

What you can't do is whip up a story involving these elements without Tolkien being an underlying influence -- either as something you accept or reject.

But what we consider the modern fantasy genre simply cannot exist without Tolkien as a reference point. Because it was the first time these things all existed together.

Tolkien most assuredly did not invent literature, or the epic saga, or many many other things. What he did do it put together a coherent world in which all of these creatures and things coexist ... and thereafter all things which are rooted in this kind of world are all forever judged as being relative to Tolkien.

Comment: Re:Tolkien overexposure (Score 1) 131

by gstoddart (#49614257) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Or, alternatively, because I think people saying LoTR was about socialism, or the left/right, or whatever -- to be largely bullshit by academics making claims about Tolkien which may or may not be founded in reality.

It's like art people sitting around discussing the metaphysical and cultural significance of a can of shit. I find most of this stuff to be something you could generate by algorithm, which means I tend to view it as meaningless drivel and fluff.

Comment: Re:Plot Hole (Score 1) 131

by gstoddart (#49614073) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Hmmm .. it isn't not not true because we can't not retroactively make it not untrue by leveraging bad grammar and sophistry to decree that it was true when it may well have not have been at the time we said it wasn't?

You shouldn't not don't write sentences which aren't like that, unless you don't not want people to not understand you. ;-)

Comment: Re:Plot Hole (Score 1) 131

by gstoddart (#49613925) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Honesty, the nerd tendency to reject the statement "but at the end of the day we know we're rationalizing it" is sad, pathetic, hilarious, and fascinating.

This is collective hand-wringing about the mechanics of the good guys and the bad guys, and how to make everything self consistent.

The collective wedgie which seems required by this scenario would be completely epic.

Please, do carry on. This shit is funny. All I can think of is Comic Book Guy saying "it clearly shows here that the fell beasts are autonomous, and capable of performing mayhem without oversight, and your lack of understanding demonstrated you clearly haven't fully read Smith's treatise on the metaphysical nature of non-Elven magic".

Do the ladies swoon over this stuff? Because my wife won't stop laughing at me. ;-)

Comment: Re:Reality (Score 1) 51

by gstoddart (#49613581) Attached to: Accessibility In Linux Is Good (But Could Be Much Better)

The reality is, most OSS developers aren't making a product.

They're working with a piece of software as a hobby. If it was a product you'd likely be legally required to implement these features.

Which is one of the many many reasons OSS doesn't always get taken seriously in business -- because the attitude of "just RTFM", or "figure it out for yourself" generally means "some guy bodged together something and can't understand why you won't give up commercially supported software to use it".

As long as the attitude of "I don't care if you need this feature" exists, the corresponding attitude of "why would I run software written by unaccountable, whiny punks?" will continue.

You don't have a product. You have a collection of parts left as an exercise for the reader.

Comment: Re:Who will win? (Score 3, Insightful) 158

Spoken like a true Social Justice Warrior

Spoken like a true drooling idiot who has lost all critical thinking skills.

Look, I drank the Ayn Rand Koolaid for a while. Which means I'm now good at spotting the lies and bullshit associated with it. If you want to continue to be an idiot who falls back to ad hominem attacks when people disagree with you ... go ahead. But fuck off and leave me alone.

Don't fucking pretend it's because you have some natural laws and facts on your side.

I say again, Capitalism is NOT a law of nature, and Uber deciding laws don't apply to them is nothing more than a corporation deciding they should play by different rules. But Capitalism isn't a law of physics, it's a school of economics -- or more accurately, it's an observation that "people own stuff".

Yes, choice is a strong aspect of the market. But if you think the market achieves perfect outcomes in the long run just simply because it's the market ... you're delusional.

Pure capitalism is based on as much fantasy and bullshit as pure communism -- neither can exist on their own as claimed, and neither ever will. Both of these systems of though assume perfect outcomes will happen once everyone is forced to follow the irrational claims laid out in them. Oooh, the magic unicorns on my side say this must be true so it is.

Such bullshit.

If you think removing all government regulations will produce anything except anarchy, you really need to step back and look at reality, and what the actual evidence is for your ideology, instead of just thinking your ideology is 100% complete and infallible.

Then it just becomes an appeal to higher authority, and exactly like any other religion -- full of zealots who just keep repeating things they don't comprehend as if it's magic.

The free market as moral ideal is as full of shit as Karl Marx ever was. Which means between those two extremes might be some truth in both camps.

Taken to their extremes, both of these ideologies collapse under their own crap. Neither is, in fact, an innate and natural fact.

Stop pretending otherwise.

Comment: Re:Tolkien overexposure (Score 3, Informative) 131

by gstoddart (#49613217) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

Or, alternately, Lew Rockwell and others are poncy, pretentious literati who deem themselves the arbiters of what it and isn't true, and nobody gives a shit what they think?

Tolkien himself said:

I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history â" true or feignedâ" with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse applicability with allegory, but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.

So, maybe the people who are saying "it is or it isn't this" are largely full of shit?

(Which, I think, is what you said in your last paragraph before the quote).

Comment: Re:Article is total bilge water (Score 2) 131

by gstoddart (#49613043) Attached to: Why Scientists Love 'Lord of the Rings'

LOL ... heresy!! Turn in your nerd badge!! Burn the witch!

Honestly though, you don't have to like Tolkien, but you also can't say anything about the modern fantasy genre without in some way referencing him ... wizards, elves, dwarves, hobbits, and dragons ... you either have these things in the idiom of Tolkien, or you consciously have them not in the idiom of Tolkien.

But you can't have any of these things without either following his roadmap, or explicitly rejecting it. You certainly can't have those things independent of what he did.

So, from D&D to Skyrim, and pretty much everything in between -- none of it happens without in some way referencing Tolkien.

In that regards, the significance of his work is impossible to underestimate. The quality as literature at this point is overshadowed by it's significance as literature.

Comment: Re:Who will win? (Score 2) 158

Nature abhors a vacuum, and Uber is filling that vacuum.

Look, you're way abusing that metaphor.

See, "the market" isn't "nature", and "undercutting competition by ignoring laws and regulations" isn't a vacuum. That is a complete lie.

Capitalism isn't a natural law of the universe. It's a belief system which came out of observations about how things were structured. This whole crap about "yarg, let teh companies do as they please" is basically being stupid and ignoring all of the reasons why we have these laws in the first place.

And we have those laws because in the past greedy, shady douchebags with little regard for the welfare of others have decided to act like greedy, shady douchebags. And this whole crap of "people are free to not buy from greedy, shay douchebags" is so so much garbage it isn't funny.

In the same way that melamine laced baby formula in China (and pet food in North America) wasn't a choice where someone could say "hey, gee, I know, I'll save a few bucks and buy the toxic stuff". By the time people know about the corners greedy, shady douchebags have cut ... it's simply too damned late, and people can die to pad the profits of greedy, shay douchebags.

The notion that the market works because people have access to information is a complete lie ... because the people in that market will always be trying to figure out how to fuck over their customers.

The 'market' is an abstraction. It sure as hell isn't some noble construct which achieves perfect outcomes in the long run. The 'market' is amoral, and doesn't give a sweet damn if people die.

Because in the long run it devolves to scams, fraud, collusions and cartels.

Your previous 'market' is a complete lie which has never existed, cannot exist, and will never achieve the perfect outcomes you blindly believe it will.

The rest of us don't want to live in a world where all of the advantages are in the hands of greedy, shady douchebags. And we certainly don't want to live in one predicated on the bullshit lie of consumers making "choices" among lying bastards giving them false information.

Honestly, you have so little understanding of the real world if you really think crap like safety regulations come down to consumer choice and intrusive government. You're romanticizing something which has never existed as you imagine it to be, and which simply can't exist as you imagine it.

Sorry, but you can't run a society on the fucking Ferengi Rules of Acquisition -- which is what the laissez faire capitalists think we should have.

The free market is bloody lie, and especially all of those wonderful outcomes people attribute to it. The market is the collective behavior of a bunch of sociopaths, that's it.

I'm a Lisp variable -- bind me!