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Comment Re:Why care? (Score 1) 235

This isn't how you are programmed to work.

Biologically nothing makes any sense. I mean this in the full nihilistic sense, nothing matters to cells and DNA and enzymes, they just follow the rules of physics and chemistry and nothing is better or worse, it's just a bunch of atoms bumping together.

However, evolution has programmed you to care *a whole lot* about your own children, and their children, and so on (but really it's just words past grand children for the most part, there is no biological programming to care about your 125,000 35th generation grandchildren, how could there be)

But then the beauty of the emergent behavior comes in, caring doesn't have to be global, because it is inductive. You care about your children, and they care about theirs, and so on down the line. Everyone is cared for, nobody has to manage to care about all the unborn generations to do a good job of ensuring their progeny will be among them.

This is also where people like Hawking aren't going to make a lot of headway, since we aren't really programmed to automatically feel anxiety about risks to the future of our race. Quick experiment (sorry in advance): Imagine the last ship of humans on it's way to Alpha Centari, the last hope of all of humanity; now imagine it exploding. Now imagine your kid on their way to school tomorrow, and a guy pulls up to them in a van and tells them he needs them to come help find his puppy. Which one made you feel really worried (assuming you have kids)? Now, it turns out he really did lose his puppy, but your kid does the right thing and runs into the school and tells a teacher. There, I let you off the hook, but if you are anything like me, just the thought of someone approaching my child makes me very anxious, but imaging humanity being wiped out in the distant future is the fodder of feel good sci-fi romps.

Comment Re: Note if we can stop.. (Score 1) 428

Gatorade is strictly bad for you, with the exceptions of dying in a famine, dying of insulin overdose.

Even if you are an endurance athlete, drinking sugar water is bad for you. It can improve performance, but it isn't good for you at all.

Any empty calories are bad for you, unless you are eating too few calories. So if you are in a famine, eat empty calories to top up. You aren't dying of famine, you are overweight. Any empty calories are worse for you than just not eating those empty calories. So any empty calories are too many, for you.

Sugar beverages, soda, gatorade, etc, are only bad for YOU. There is no point in YOUR life where drinking sugar water or eating candy is better for you than not doing so.

I look forward to your next rationalization.

Comment Re: Note if we can stop.. (Score 1) 428

I don't know them, but I do know they took the time to have and transcribe a little fit, lashing out at someone for suggesting what is just factually true, that there are better and worse foods in grocery stores and you will be more healthy if you buy and eat the healthy foods.

Having a little fit and lashing out at someone for something so totally non-controversial is coming from something emotionally charged. And I was right, he was in fact overweight and wasn't able to stop eating unhealthy foods, so he ended up basically skipping meals instead.

Comment Re: Note if we can stop.. (Score 0) 428

I don't know you, but you seem to get really angry that someone would suggest that it is obvious that you can get healthy food, and that pre-packaged food isn't healthy.

So I am totally with you, if you exercise, you can eat food that is not good for you and lose weight. I mean look at soldiers in basic training, or swimmers, or cyclists, or rock climbers, or anyone who engages in intense physical activity regularly. You'll never find someone who is fat, and lots of people in those groups eat a whole lot of junk food.

That's pretty much besides the point. You are getting really angry at people for saying to "eat healthy food". The fact that you lost 100 pounds tells me that you struggled with being heavier than you wanted. You probably didn't lose the weight on your first try. You probably tried to do things like cut out soda and fast food and other junk food, but you couldn't stick to it. This probably made you upset and led to feelings of shame, as it would for anybody who truly wanted to do something that requires will power, but didn't succeed. You later lost the weight another way, and pretty much there are only two ways to lose weight, healthy diet, or exercise (or both of course).

Anyway, the point is, when you are feeling this anger at people who advocate healthy food, you are really just trying to avoid feeling the shame at failing to have the willpower to control what you consumed. To avoid feeling that shame, you are basically getting worked up at people who advocate eating healthy food, because they are 'stupid douchebags', and "who would want to just eat healthy food that is stupid and pointless and if I can get upset enough about someone suggesting it I can stay focused on that and not be hard on myself."

It's ok, nobody has perfect self control, and good for you for finding a way to get to your goal that fit with your personality.

Comment Oh the tales you'll tell... (Score 1) 410

You can't not have culture, and honestly I would much rather live in Silicon Valley than in London. London is just as expensive as SV, and I guess if you're easily impressed by stuff just because it's man made and old, then that counts as 'culture'? London has two symphonies, which I guess is pretty nice, but also SF has one too and one is plenty.

What I really think is that Jimmy is just talking shit and probably couldn't really explain what he means when he says 'culture', beyond the usual american garbage about 'oh, Europe has so much culture'. This is just an American Abroad's incredibly insightful (and not at all obsequious) little musings about how *amazing* European 'Culture' (old property) is. I hope he gets licked by a Chav.

Comment Re:The good thing is (Score 2) 50

The mantra that our liberties have been going away gradually is often repeated but not at all, or in any way, true.

If you want to talk about domestic spying, how about:


Plus, I guess you are only talking about white people, because the liberties of every other kind of people are very obviously less eroded than they were in the recent past. I think things like being allowed to marry a white person, or being allowed to buy a house is a pretty important liberty that some groups were denied, by the government, and now the government doesn't deny them those liberties. So that's a pretty big win for liberty.

Blah blah blah, right do not come from governments, blah blah blah. The government can't 'create' rights, I guess, but it sure as hell is the only thing between you and the army of goons that would swoop in and deprive you of your life and property. I'm sure you think that you don't need the government to protect you, right? I mean you could just join together with your neighbors and protect yourselves without the government. But guess what? The 'government' is just all of us joining together to protect ourselves, that's literally all it is. So you can whine about the faceless 'them' coming along and stealing all 'yer liberty', but it's just a bunch talk-show-talking-point agitation propoganda bullshit that has been spoon fed to you and you are just puking back out onto the world without bothering to think about it critically.

Humans long ago decided it was better to band together, because the alternative is to get robbed, murdered, or exploited by whatever gangsters happen to show up and defeat us in detail. We've developed fairly sophisticated ways of getting the good parts of government (protection, contracts, regulated externalized costs) without the bad parts (explicit oligarchy, autocracy, large scale warfare for the personal enrichment of leaders).

Comment Re:Perhaps a Dyson Sphere? (Score 1) 142

I doubt it because we would be deluged with holidaying spherians every long weekend. Earth beaches are the best. Also the construction process would have generated a lot of debris. Seriously, it is too close not to be noticed as such. If they were humans there would be trillions of them in there. Even if it was a ringworld sort of thing with a collapsed civilisation, there would be ships coming past and making radio noise, exhaust, etc.

Why do you think you have any idea what we would see or not see?

Imagine you were living with circa 1800 AD technology, and were looking for evidence of another civilization with circa 2014 technology. Keep in mind that this 200 year difference is nothing compared to the difference between modern technology and the technology of a race capable of building a Dyson sphere.

Perhaps you would use a rudimentary telescope to look out to sea. You would rule out any ships, since the weird objects you see don't have sails. If those giant things were ships, the sails would have to be miles across! So of course they are just some other phenomena, but they can't be ships.

Seeing a highway, you would know, obviously, that the things you saw weren't vehicles. Where are the horses? Plus, they are going far too fast. Besides, it couldn't be a road because there aren't any seams, and any road would have to be built from cobble stones. Clearly these are some other phenomena.

Besides, how could cities that far apart communicate effectively without Semaphore Towers? The lack of Semaphore Towers proves there is no way those big things on the horizon are cities. An envelope calculation shows that civilizations of that huge of a size would have to have at least 45000 semaphore towers between them just to negotiate the marriage of members of the royal families! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

Plus, if you have a Dyson Sphere, why would you need to send any ships anywhere? To trade? Trade what? Communicate? Why would you use a ship to communicate? If you did send ships, why would they go through our solar system?

Comment Because it's the best way.. (Score 2) 876

For the same reason we still write text-based stories, send text-based emails, text based text messages, etc etc.

There isn't a way to express tree structures directly, without jumping back and forth, so we have settled on (or evolved to) a standard way to linearize such structures, which is called grammar.

There's no advantage to any other representation, but rather there is a huge disadvantage to other representations because our brains have spent the last million or so years evolving to be adept at manipulating language in this way.

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