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Comment: Re:Debunking a myth (Score 2) 297

Did you realize what he did when you cited him?

Of course I realise what he's doing. He's trying to teach all the blithering idiots that are spouting facile astroturfed memes that the world is not as black-and-white as they are suggesting, that Muslims are not the moustache-twirling villains of Hollywood movies that some people like them to be, and that said idiots should not believe all the lies and propaganda that is produced on an industrial scale.

In other words, he is attempting the hardest task every teacher ever has, he is trying to make people think for themselves instead of just echoing groupthink.

It's a thankless task and probably a hopeless task, but I'm glad someone is at least trying.

Comment: Re:Debunking a myth (Score 0) 297

Oooh, wow, I think I'll add a new rule then to let everyone transfer 10% of their income to my bank account.

Or perhaps we have to return from your fantasy land, and realise that your blind mullah Wosisname perhaps doesn't have the automatic authority you're claiming he has.

Comment: Re: Debunking a myth (Score 1) 297

One of his "debunking" claims is that the Qur'an prohibits aggressive warfare, which is belied by just about every Muslim army ever.

Even if your claim about Muslim armies was true, how does that refute Prof. Cole's claim that Islamic law prohibits this? That people do not always obey the laws of their religion is hardly a new revelation, and is certainly not restricted to Islamic cultures.

You're using ad hominem attack, and you're moving the goalposts. Weak.

Comment: Re:Please.... (Score 1) 489

by mean pun (#49437073) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

If said authority shows absolutely no concern for the wellbeing of "those people", as demonstrated by incident after incident, including this one, it is pretty damn hard to respect it. Fear it, yes. Respect it, no.

And calling someone a thug for (a) having, allegedly, a broken light on his car and (b) being too afraid to obey orders, is more than spinning the truth, it is a violent assault on the truth.

Comment: Re:wildfires? (Score 1) 304

by mean pun (#49431629) Attached to: Obama Says Climate Change Is Harming Americans' Health

The difference is that there is well-documented evidence of climate change and its damage, and not of your made-up example.

Also note that the announced studies are to learn more about the exact damage. Thus, there is reason to believe there is a problem, but not enough is known, so the studies are trying to learn more.

To me this sounds like a pretty good investment of public money: useful science is done, and it is a defensive move against climate change. What's not to like here?

Comment: Re:NASA's Chief Scientist Wants More Funding (Score 1) 160

by mean pun (#49428663) Attached to: NASA's Chief Scientist Predicts Evidence For Life Beyond Earth By 2025
I fail to see what is so outrageous about her prediction. Let me repeat the quotes from the summary:

"I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years.

Is that really so implausible? There are hints that there is or has been life beyond Earth even in our own planetary system. There is solid evidence for many planets beyond our solar system, and although these discovered planets are usually too large to carry life similar to our own, they strongly hint that there are also smaller planets out there that could carry such life. Yes, Ellen Stofan is speculating, but if she's asked to speculate about the subject, this seems to me like a pretty solid reply.

We know where to look. We know how to look. In most cases we have the technology, and we're on a path to implementing it."

Again, pretty solid reasoning. What's the problem?

Of course she can still be wrong. Predicting the future is hard, and there are no perfect guarantees, but her prediction sounds pretty plausible to me.

Comment: Re:Isreal (Score 1) 383

Israel cannot be trusted to uphold peace, but I'm surprised they haven't used their nukes on Iran yet.

Why would they? Their own spies tell them Iran is years away from a bomb; their generals have been pretty open about that. And even it Iran were close, it is far better to let the US fight Israel's war for them. The US may even elect a fool that will give them that present. They got close with McCain and Miss Alaska.

Comment: Re:Not gonna happen (Score 3, Insightful) 383

MAD only worked because both sides of the conflict were rational and relatively sane. Iran has no such encumbrance.

There are no signs the Iranian leadership is irrational or insane; far from it. Considering the snake pit of the middle east, I would say that they have played the game about as well as they possibly could. That doesn't make them nice people, but being nice doesn't get you points in this game.

So yes, they know about MAD, and they are motivated by it. It is more their opponents I'm worried about.

Comment: Re:Woop Di Do Da! (Score 5, Insightful) 265

I'm curious. What is it about solar energy that spurs such surprising anger among this segment of Slashdot readers? What did solar energy do to you?

My theory is that admitting that solar energy works means admitting that those g_dd_mn hippies were right. After all, hippies are never right, so solar energy cannot work.
Q.E.D.

Replace 'hippies' with 'Al Gore', 'leftards', 'commies', 'alarmists' or a similar label according to taste.

Comment: Re:Khan? (Score 1) 145

by mean pun (#49384523) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

Did these "many people" ever look at the offerings of Khan academy? That's not academic stuff.

Kahn academy is early academic level at most, it is true. But it is good at what it does.

And Coursera lacks serious cohesion and supervision.

I'm not sure what you mean by that. Both Coursera and edX offer courses of a wide range of qualities. There are good to very good courses on both of them, there are very bland ones on both of them. Some of them even leave out the l and the n.

But university is about more than learning some formula by heart or reading a book. You need to get an understanding of the context of the theories, the process of discovery, and be guided through the history and current practices. It's not for everyone, but it's certainly not something an online course can provide.

Why not? Plenty of courses are close to identical to traditional courses taught at the university, going as far as using footage from those courses or even student discussions and exams. Good online courses provide lots of context, background, history, and development. I don't see what the problem is and why MOOCs would be inherently inferior in some way.

Ma Bell is a mean mother!

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