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Comment: Re: And GOD said (Score 1) 115

by mark-t (#49503327) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

... free will without any downsides

If you seriously think about that for even a moment you should realize how inherently self-contradictory that notion is. If there are no down-sides, then in reality, you aren't really free to do anything that is bad for you in the first place, so you don't actually have the capacity to actually act on your so-called free will, defeating the entire point of having any alleged free-will in the first place.

Comment: Re: And GOD said (Score 3, Insightful) 115

by mark-t (#49501211) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe
If God were to stop it, and supposedly he could, it would mean that he would have to override the consequences of what are supposedly freely willed human decisions, making the very point of giving us free will in the first place moot.

As you say.... you can't have it both ways. Either we are free willed or not...

Comment: Re:What if... (Score 1) 115

by mark-t (#49500383) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

I'm not sure why you were flagged as a troll, because most of those are actually pretty good questions. Ultimately, however, most of those questions cannot reasonably be answered at this time because no experiments have been designed to address them, either because nobody knows how to design experiments that could practially address such questions, or else simply because of our own incomplete understanding of the universe.

It is, however, a far cry to suggest that simply because we do not yet (or will ever) know everything there is to know about the universe is somehow sufficient to probabilistically suggest that the things that we *do* believe that we know about it at any one time are actually entirely wrong... which I suppose someone may have interpreted your post as, and why it may have been flagged as a troll. To be fair, there are plenty of things that we don't even know about the universe that we actually *CAN* observe, while trying to conjecture about aspects of the universe that we have absolutely no technological means to objectively observe (nor based on our current understanding, are we ever likely to) can only be the subject of conjecture, and not science.

Long story short, you aren't liable to find any scientifically sustainable answers to those questions here, and because of how short a period of time that humans ordinarily live compared to the age of the cosmos, you are probably also not likely to find such answers to them in your lifetime. So while you can ask those questions, you shouldn't be surprised when you don't receive helpful answers.

Comment: Wow.... just wow. (Score 1) 587

Their conclusion.... "An all girls environment is reasonably necessary for the school to improve the self-confidence of girls in their academic abilities" is flawed... while there may be some statistical evidence that students in segregated education perform better academically than those in schools where the genders are together, they are completely mistaking correlation as causation. Demographically, there is a very strong correlation between family income and the school that one attends in the first place, and somehow they completely overlook that this might in any way be a contributing factor to improved academic performance rather than the academic environment itself. I don't argue that the academic environment may contribute to a small extent, but I'd bet its significance comes in at a distant second place compared to the environment in which the child was actually raised. I don't know of any study that shows that sexually segregated education performs statistically any better than conventional public education except to the extent that the people who usually go to those kinds of schools usually have a higher income and can in turn often afford a higher quality of education in the first place.

Comment: Re:Let's see how long that lasts (Score 1) 471

by mark-t (#49487749) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries
If I am being paid fairly for work I am actually doing, why should I care whether or not somebody who may happen to have a lesser education than I happens to be getting paid the same amount or something very similar? In my opinion, wasting anything more than a passing thought on the matter is just being childishly petty, and I think would amount to blaming other people for one's dissatisfaction with their own life. In fact, if one ever feels they are worth more just because somebody else that *they* think should be a lower pay grade is making just as much as they are, then I might suggest they actually have self-esteem issues that are entirely tied to how much they are making, which is a very very sad way to live one's life. Who, after all, am I to decide how much anyone else should be worth to someone else?

Comment: Re:Let's see how long that lasts (Score 2) 471

by mark-t (#49485451) Attached to: Seattle CEO Cuts $1 Million Salary To $70K, Raises Employee Salaries
the summary stated that everyone *would* be getting a raise... indicating that perhaps many employees were not being paid fairly for the amount or types of work they were doing. Oh, and giving formerly underpaid employees fair compensation henceforth *IS* generally about the most an employer can do to provide incentive for them to work harder.

Comment: Re:This will unfortunately only matter... (Score 1) 309

by mark-t (#49482075) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly
Nothing wrong with their driver *NOW*.... Their suckage comes from the fact that they could, at any time, stop making any real effort to support Linux with drivers of comparable quality to what they have for Windows, and it would leave the Linux community without any good options.

Comment: This will unfortunately only matter... (Score 1) 309

by mark-t (#49480267) Attached to: NVIDIA's New GPUs Are Very Open-Source Unfriendly

... after it is too late.

If (or when) NVidia stops putting effort into supporting Linux enough to produce drivers that are of a comparable quality to their larger markets is when you'll really start to hear an outcry. People are complaining now, but that's nothing compared to what will happen if or when NVidia decides that Linux is just not worth any effort to put any quality amount of effort into.

Of course, as I said... by that time it will be too late.

So... AMD or NVidia... it reminds me of an election where there are are really only two viable candidates and both of them suck.

Comment: Re:Because beating up the clergy always works so w (Score 1) 245

by mark-t (#49475177) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

The problem is the way that they covered up the cases and protected the abusers.

And the way this was done was identical to how child abuse can remain undetected in a family for years....

My point is that the real problem is not with the church or how it is organized, it is more deeply rooted in a type of social disfunction that can occur in any environment where there is implied element of trust. Such trust is not typically associated with public organizations outside of a church or similar setting, which is why it appears to happen more frequently in churches than elsewhere. In truth, it unfortunately happens more than an order of magnitude more frequently in families and people's own homes, often without anyone else being the wiser. Should we abolish families because of that?

While certainly religions of all kinds, including Catholicism, have been used to condone absolutely abhorrent behavior in the past, it is all that anyone can do to realize that mistakes have been made, and to at least try to avoid repeating the same ones, which is the policy that the Catholic church attempts to utilize.

Comment: Re:Because beating up the clergy always works so w (Score 2) 245

by mark-t (#49471651) Attached to: Turkish Hackers Target Vatican Website After Pope's Genocide Comment

You do of course realize that the frequency with which pedophilia occurs with clergy has been overblown by the media, right? I'm not excusing it or saying that it's ever going to be in any way acceptable, but the entire reason it that pedophilia in churches was ever such big news is not because of how frequently it was occurring, but because of the emotional response that such news effectively creates. Per capita, in fact, it is not any more probable in a church setting than what statistically occurs elsewhere... far less, in fact... it considerably more likely, for example, to be occurring inside one's own home, but because spinning the story in this way provokes a much stronger emotional response because it is something outside of one's own immediate control that people can get angry about, creating a sensationalistic media haven, and a veritable breeding ground for people to have passionate rather than well-reasoned responses, while just talking about pedophilia in homes, while certainly not any less wrong, would tend to produce a much more defensive response such as "well that doesn't happen in *MY* home", and thus are more dismissive of it.

Of course, none of this should be taken to ever *excuse* the clergy, or anyone for that matter, who abuse children in this way... my point is only that focusing only on how clergy commit pedophilia can take focus off of the fact that it is actually the crime that is truly abhorrent, and not the institution itself. Again, the institution was far less likely to harbor pedophiles than a home itself would be.

So perhaps that's actually part the problem, because the institution has a very communal flavor to it and there tends to be a stronger sense of trust, similar to what one might encounter in one's own home, among the people affiliated with such organizations than what may otherwise occur in a more contemporary public setting, it can conceivably make it statistically more likely to happen in that kind of organization than other types, and may be a contributing factor. Still it happens with disturbingly far more frequency in homes and in family settings than in a church.

Most churches today, owing in no small part to the sensationalistic news that was created about them when stories about them abusing children first broke out in a big way, now have a *LOT* of checks and balances in who they have in positions of authority and how they treat other people, small children or otherwise, and it is thankfully far safer in such environments in that respect now than even what it used to be. Is it perfect? No... but it's getting better, and that shouldn't be ignored.

As they say...The more you know

Comment: Re:Religious Exemption (Score 1) 212

by mark-t (#49470359) Attached to: Legislation Would Force Radio Stations To Pay Royalties

Why, exactly, do you think religious radio stations don't play any music?

I'd suggest that the reason religious radio stations are excluded is not because they don't play music, but probably has to do with which music labels they can actually arrange to pay royalties to, and the fact that many religious music artists do not deal with those labels.

Comment: Re: I'm not a troll (Score 1) 278

by mark-t (#49464619) Attached to: Researchers Developing An Algorithm That Can Detect Internet Trolls

If one has an opinion, especially if it is backed by facts, that goes against mainstream or even what is politically correct, then that is a different story.

And yet, quite routinely, I have seen people getting flagged as trolls right here on slashdot, myself included, for doing no less and no more than precisely what you are describing here.

Unfortunately all too often on social media sites, expressing one's own opinion can get you ganged up upon and removed.

Clearly what matters is not so much what actually makes one a troll as much as whether other people, particularly people with power, inflluence, or control actually *believe* a person is a troll... Any non-trollish intent of the poster is entirely irrelevant.

Comment: Re:Color blindness is useful though (Score 3, Funny) 137

by mark-t (#49461317) Attached to: UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure For Colorblindness
If you saw a red light as green, then the speed you must have been approaching it at to induce an effective doppler shift from what was about 680 nm wavelength photons which are normally seen as red, to about 540 nm, or the green portion of the visible spectrum would suggest that you were speeding by no small margin.

Comment: I remember suggesting this years ago.... (Score 2) 35

by mark-t (#49451145) Attached to: BitTorrent Launches Beta of Torrent-Based Browser Project Maelstrom
.. almost as long ago as when biittorrent was invented, as a means to abate so-called

flash crowds

on the internet... more colloquially known in these parts as the slashdot effect... If everyone visiting a web page with a large quantity of multimedia content helped to distribute the data that would otherwise have to be supplied by the website, the web server would be generally able to tolerate larger numbers of people simultaneously accessing it.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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