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Comment Re:Using X's power? (Score 1) 128

'remote windowing feature'? That's like saying http has a 'remote web page download feature' because you can connect to an http server from another machine. The whole point of X is that it is a network protocol from the ground up. It's designed for environments where applications are run over networks; unfortunately nowadays the PC model of computing has won, which is why 'remote windowing' looks like an extra 'feature'.

Comment RTFA (Score 1) 258

The article specifically cites evidence for an important genetic component of handedness, and the model is constructed around that evidence. The authors didn't have to 'show' this, as it has already been shown.

Comment Missing the point (Score 1) 258

Perhaps you are confusing evolutionary modelling (a mathematical technique which describes very general processes of information transfer) with theorising about human origins (an empirical investigation which sometimes uses evolutionary models, along with other sorts of models and lots of physical evidence).

This paper is an example of the former, not the latter. It argues that, because there is a process of 'selection' involved in athletic try-outs, it may be possible to apply some evolutionary models to explain the outcomes of that process. It then shows that the data are indeed consistent with the predictions of that model.

It has absolutely nothing to do with cave men, or Neanderthals. Neither does the vast majority of the field of mathematics which we call evolutionary theory.

Comment RTFA (Score 1) 258

The model in the paper specifically allows for two possible equilibria: one in which right-handed people dominate, and one in which left-handed people do. We just happen to be in the right-handed equilibrium (by chance).

Comment Re:real life frogger = rest of the world (Score 5, Insightful) 43

I think you'll find that outside North America, most of the Western world does walk extensively, and makes extensive use of public transport. There are even a few enclaves of civilisation in the US itself, like New York City, where this exotic practice can be seen without leaving your sacred soil.

Comment Re:Insensitive Barbarians (Score 2) 234

No, no, how can they have been telling us for thousands of years? Every Chinese person knows China has 5000 years of history, while the West has approximately 5 years of history. There were some reported sightings of Westerners once in the Ming dynasty, but this has since been discovered to have been a hoax, constructed from a bearded monkey on stilts.

Comment Re:exactly, and it's unscientific (Score 1) 211

That's exactly the main problem with conspiracy theories, which makes them unfalsifiable and thus unscientific.
(basically, if there's no way to prove it wrong, there's no way to prove it right either)

Wow, in the course of two lines, you've managed both to invoke Popper's long-discredited theory in the philosophy of science (falsificationism) and to misunderstand it completely.

If you want to know why your second line makes no sense, read the work you are (possibly unknowingly) referencing: Popper's 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery'. lf you want to know why no philosopher of science is a falsificationist anymore, read any philosophy of science written since 1965 (and a good deal before then too). I recommend Wesley Salmon, Bas van Fraassen, or an introductory textbook.

Or you can just go on mindlessly spouting this nonsense about scientific theories having to be 'falsifiable'. Popper's ghost will thank you--he's lonely these days.


Submission + - Space Elevator Update: Going Down (

TropicalCoder writes: "The LiftPort Space Elevator, founded four years ago with the lofty dream of building a stairway to heaven, has reached the end of its tether. The dream was to develop a ribbon of carbon nanotubes 100,000 km long, anchored to the Earth's surface at the LiftPort Station and with a counterweight in space, providing a permanent bridge between earth and space. Elevator cars would be robotic "lifters" which would climb the ribbon to deliver cargo and eventually people to orbit or beyond. Now Liftport has all but run out of funds, and the Securities Division entered a Statement of Charges and Notice of Intent to Enter an Order to Cease and Desist, Impose Fines and Charge Costs against Liftport Inc. dba Liftport Group and founder Michael Laine.

Will Michael Laine go down in history as visionary, ahead of his time, or as a scam artist who raised at least $117,000 from some 85 investors and did not market a single product in four years?"

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux