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Comment: Re:The real problem... (Score 1) 185

by Pfhorrest (#48655567) Attached to: Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

False dichotomy. You're assuming the only source of morality is a possible God, and that in the absence of said God anything goes. There are plenty of possible ways of grounding morality in something other than the edicts of a God, and those may all have different things to say about how humans ought to treat other animals. (There are also many possible conceptions of God and claims as to what he may or may not have said and what any such things may mean, so in either case it's not open-and-shut like you say).

Comment: Re:they really are talking, we just can't hear (Score 1) 390

Even if aliens are using radio waves, even we generally aren't broadcasting unencrypted analog signals. Most of our communication now is directed, encrypted, and digitally encoded, to the point that you'd only pick it up if you were lucky enough to pass directly between sender and intended receiver, and even if you did get it you'd have great difficulty discerning it from noise, and even if you knew already that it wasn't noise, you'd have a hell of a time making any sense of it would knowing the encoding and encryption.

For all we know, a lot of "random" gamma ray bursts and things we pick up are the Earth just happening to pass across some kind of interstellar communication channel, but we can't discern the message from noise and so have no idea there's even a message there.

Comment: Re:Life form? (Score 1) 390

Life is self-productive machinery: physical systems that transform flows of energy through them in a way that reduces their own internal entropy.

Everything traditionally considered life meets this formal definition, and essentially nothing else doesexcept computers, because the storage and processing of information constitutes a reduction of their internal entropy.

Robots, computers with fancy peripherals, are therefore alive.

(Doesn't mean we have to worry about the ethical treatment of computers though, because the bacteria all over your kitchen countertop that you happily exterminate every time you clean house are also alive, and we don't have to worry about ethical treatment of them. TFA is talking about sapient and therefore sapient robots though, and we would have to care about them.)

Comment: Re:How about ignoring it? (Score 1) 482

by HangingChad (#48633765) Attached to: Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

I can't believe anyone can be stupid enough to think cannabis is dangerous enough to merit criminalization.

Not only that but to then turn around and whine about the neighboring state, which adopted a smarter policy, making your life difficult. That's not just being stupid, it's being stupid and a big whiny cry baby

Comment: Re:The Future is Surreal (Score 2) 279

by Pfhorrest (#48629851) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

People like her often develop a problem with the world after the world repeatedly demonstrates that it has a problem with them.

Someone who transitioned over two or three decades ago like she did, back when the world was even less accepting and understanding than it is now, probably even more so than someone just starting the process today.

Comment: No judgement-free options? (Score 1) 279

by Pfhorrest (#48629823) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

At 40 a person is statistically close to the middle of their probable lifespan, and that's neither inherently good nor inherently bad. I'm disappointed that there is no option for that. You're neither a younger nor elderly, you're middle-aged, but that's neither "in a good way" or derogatory, it just is. Anything good or derogatory there might be to say about you would have nothing to do with your age.

Comment: Re:Sounds like they should ban the cabbies (Score 3, Informative) 295

by jcr (#48596967) Attached to: French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

That's what they would do if they had a functioning police department or legal system in France, but they haven't had that for many years. You might remember that they had a plague of thugs setting cars on fire a year or so ago, and the cops didn't even try to arrest any of them.

-jcr

Comment: That has always been the case. (Score 1) 465

by jcr (#48590173) Attached to: Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

Greenpeace is not, and has NEVER been an environmental organization. From the very beginning, they have been a marketing organization abusing the public's sympathy to environmental concerns to suck up contributions that would otherwise have gone to people doing real work to improve the environment.

If you care about pollution, deforestation, preserving wildlife, etc, contribute to Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, and your local environmental organizations.

-jcr

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener

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