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Comment: Re:Well, isn't this nice (Score 1) 961

by n dot l (#45536769) Attached to: Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

Suicide is illegal, as well.

Which is such a ridiculous situation...

You suffer until you die naturally.

What the fuck is a natural death, anyway? If a human kills you, it isn't "natural". If you're mauled by an animal, well, maybe it's natural? Maybe not? It probably depends on the animal, like maybe an ape could murder you but if a mountain lion did it it would just be manslaughter. If you're shredded apart at the molecular level by microbes then yeah, that's totally natural and nobody takes issue.

The only difference between the human and the microbes is that the human has a choice, and it should not be a crime to do choose to do to a person of sound mind what they themselves have wholeheartedly and freely asked of you.

Comment: Re:I beg to differ. (Score 1) 961

by n dot l (#45536703) Attached to: Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

I can see where they can worry that such a system could be abused against a rather vulnerable population.

I see it too. They think that people will get away with murder by claiming (falsely) that the victim wanted to die. That's why suicide must remain illegal - forbidding vulnerable populations the right to choose their own death protects them from this fate in the same way that forbidding people to have accidents makes it impossible for murderers to (falsely) claim that their victim just happened to have a bout of fatally bad luck. If we didn't have laws against being in an accident, then nobody would investigate deaths which look like accidents, and countless murderers would remain at large.

The suffering of clearly terminally ill patients is a small price to pay for the safety of all other elderly, ill, and disabled persons, just as prosecuting everyone who suffers an accident is worth the protection we enjoy from being killed by people who would try to cover up the deed.

Comment: Re:Should be legal, with caveat (Score 1) 961

by n dot l (#45536627) Attached to: Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

And as for the talk of torture, if he truly was as far gone as the article claims it's unlikely that he was actually experiencing any of that pain.

I have close friends who lost family members to cancer. I got to hear all about the way they suffered, and I saw it myself a few times. People dying slow, lingering deaths often aren't all there, I'll grant you that. But what's left of their minds is often thoroughly capable of suffering, even right at the end. And no non-lethal dose of anything can block that sort of pain.

It's difficult to describe just how profoundly offensive your statement is to anyone who's stared into the eyes of a terminally ill friend or relative with multiple failed organs and two impossibly long weeks to live.

Comment: Re: Calories (Score 2) 440

by n dot l (#45410993) Attached to: Soylent: No Food For 30 Days

It does not mean low carb per se, it means: low sugar combined with low fat!

That right there is absolutely key. Complex carbohydrates and small amounts of sugar consumed with lots of fiber are perfectly healthy. Starchy low-fiber foods are almost as bad as sugar (they're broken down into sugar very rapidly by the digestive system) for you, and sugar is outright terrible if it isn't properly moderated.

If you eat carbs that can easy be converted into sugar *plus* a lot of fat, the fat is not digested but stored in your fat cells.

It's worse than that. If your insulin levels spike high enough your fat cells will happily draw in sugar and make it into fat for long-term storage. Eat all sugar all the time and you'll get just as fat as if you eat a mix of fats and sugars.

You're actually better off eating more fats than carbs (all things in balance, of course, carbohydrate-rich foods are great sources of the nutrients we need) since our bodies have evolved better regulatory systems to deal with fats than starches. And if you're going to eat a lot of carbs, make sure they're in a form that comes with a good amount of fiber, since it slows down digestion and reduces the sock of sugar your system would otherwise receive.

That is a simple matter of insulin level in your blood.

Insulin is probably the most important hormone when it comes to regulating hunger (I've heard this extended to mood in general, though I think that's reaching), metabolism, fat production and storage, and some stages of digestion. Fuck up your insulin levels bad enough for long enough and you'll become fat, lethargic, and eventually diabetic.

Avoid foods which are high in sugar (or starch) and low in fiber. That combination is very common in modern cuisine, but it's been exceedingly rare for the bulk of our species' history, and we're not equipped to gracefully handle it. The digestive system processes the carbs too quickly, and that makes the pancreas overreact with insulin production. The hour or so following the sugar rush gets spent in a state of mild starvation since blood sugar has dropped faster than the body can remove the absurd amount of insulin it had to make (which means that the fat cells spend that time hoarding energy instead of releasing it for consumption) to deal with the sugar spike. The brain notices the low level of energy available in the bloodstream and response by switching hunger back on, despite the fact that the body's energy reserves would soon be released for consumption as insulin levels fall off.

Desserts are awesome, of course, and not much is going to go wrong with you if you indulge in moderation. But if you do this constantly (constantly eating lots white breads, pastas, cookies, drinking sweetened drinks, etc), then you'd better be getting a ridiculous amount of exercise to offset the damage you're doing yourself.

(Of course, people get fats for lots of other reasons besides sugar consumption. I'm not your doctor, I'm just some guy who's had to take care of diabetic friends and family members. If this advice doesn't work for you, see an actual doctor or dietitian. Imagine some other standard disclaimers here.)

Comment: Re:Good plan, but not for those results (Score 1) 470

by n dot l (#42385941) Attached to: Specific Gut Bacteria May Account For Much Obesity

The alternative (well, the complement) to low carb is high fiber. Carbs mainly do their damage by spiking up your blood sugar, which causes your body to overreact with the insulin. This puts your fat cells in storage mode, where they'll stay until insulin levels drop (which can take hours), even if the rest of your body has burned through what's available in the blood and is dying for some calories to burn. Eating your carbs with lots of fiber slows down their absorption, preventing the nasty sugar spike and subsequent hormonal insanity.

So, you don't need to give up bread entirely. The stuff you need to give up is anything that's been sweetened with any kind of sugar (which actually includes some bread - particularly fast food burger buns) or anything that's had the fiber removed (so stick with whole grains). The rest is all fine in moderate amounts.

Comment: Re:Support C/C++/OpenGL, make porting easier (Score 1) 345

by n dot l (#40860851) Attached to: Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8?

Sorry, I wasn't entirely clear (should have had more coffee).

I wrote "port" when I meant "rewrite in another language with a fundamentally different memory model and performance profile", which is what I'd have to do with my engine to get it running on WP7. It'd be bad enough rewriting the core engine code which I wrote and understand, but then having to also rewrite Lua, LZMA, and the WebP libraries (not an exhaustive list) on top of that? Yikes...

Comment: Re:Support C/C++/OpenGL, make porting easier (Score 1) 345

by n dot l (#40840447) Attached to: Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8?

C & C++ will be there, but I wouldn't hold your breath over OpenGL.

That's not much of an issue, so long as the 3D API they expose is available in C/C++.

Porting one isolated subsystem isn't that big of a deal (already have to do it with audio when going between iOS and Android). Porting an entire engine (including embedded libraries like Lua) is another matter entirely. And that's doubly true when you'd be forced to convert between a language that compiles to native code and one that runs in a VM.

Comment: Re:To be fair (Score 1) 484

by n dot l (#38163400) Attached to: Lego Bible Too Racy For Sam's Club

Personally, I do not understand how someone who is an atheist lives believing that nothing has any meaning and will inevitably end in the heat death of the universe.

The word "meaning" describes a sort of mental state, so of course nothing intrinsically "has" any of it - not, that is, until I make some and attach it to its object. And even then that meaning still only actually exists within me.

Personally, I don't understand how those who do believe that there is some intrinsic or higher meaning manage the strain of living in a universe so apparently intent on proving them wrong.

Comment: Re:Don't let facts get in your way (Score 1) 523

by n dot l (#38133802) Attached to: Bradley Manning's Court Date Finally Set

The only possible way this had anything to do with the drawdown would be if Obama had been planning to keep the troops there despite the Bush agreement, but decided not to after this got out.

That or if Obama had been trying to amend the Bush agreement in order to keep the troops there longer, but failed to do so because leaked information convinced the Iraqis to refuse Obama the terms he wanted:

The current Status of Force Agreement had called for U.S. troops to leave by the end of 2011. But lengthy negotiations in recent months had led some to expect that American troops -- roughly 40,000 of which are in Iraq -- would remain there into next year.

These talks, however, broke down over the prickly issue of legal immunity for U.S. troops in Iraq, a senior U.S. military official with direct knowledge of the discussions told CNN this month.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top brass have repeatedly said any deal to keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the withdrawal deadline would require a guarantee of legal protection for American soldiers.

But the Iraqis refused to agree to that, opening up the prospect of Americans being tried in Iraqi courts and subjected to Iraqi punishment.

The negotiations were strained following WikiLeaks' release of a diplomatic cable that alleged Iraqi civilians, including children, were killed in a 2006 raid by American troops rather than in an airstrike as the U.S. military initially reported.

Comment: Re:Unfortunate (Score 1) 507

by n dot l (#38088764) Attached to: Occupy Flash?

What issue is that? That a bunch of idiots are having a street party calling it a 'movement' when all they really need to do is actually fucking vote rather than being whiney little bitches?

Vote? You still believe in voting? Where the fuck have you been living these past ten years, and what's the immigration process like?

Comment: Re:No Such Agency (Score 1) 197

by n dot l (#36789442) Attached to: Judge Says You Can't Know If Google Spies For NSA

Our government has been eavesdropping on us since the telegraph. Accept it, get over it. I don't worry because I am a "good ole boy". If they watch the likes of me with an iota of interest, the world must indeed be safe and boring. 99.99999999% of us are boring as hell.

We may all be safe from official government sanction, but that data isn't just being thrown away, and you don't know who has (or will have) access to it. The people who work at the NSA are people like all others, subject to corruption and incompetence like everybody else. That can, in the absence of proper oversight (which doesn't exist for the NSA) situations like the following:

I have (well, had) a friend who grew up in the USSR. She told all sorts of lovely stories about how the guys running the archives where the secret police dumped the files of people they weren't interested in any more would skim through the data and then go around blackmailing people (including stuff like having young teens rob their own families for them if they didn't want all their embarrassing secrets told to all their peers - you can imagine what that did to some families), or selling blackmail material to neighbors with a grudge. They got so notorious for the actual secrets they'd revealed that they could walk up to people they had nothing on and get money out of them with remarks like, "Say, that's a lovely reputation you have there, it'd be a shame if something were to happen to it..."

Wikileaks (which you reference in your sig) has already shed light on some of the modern-day shenanigans our public "servants" are getting up to, as has the UK tabloid fiasco, and those are just two very recent examples. Do you seriously trust those people with all that data, even if you aren't breaking any laws? Could you trust your friends, family, and neighbors if all that data were to suddenly start "leaking" and it became trivial for others to blackmail them?

Comment: Re:I Am Not Surprised (Score 1) 542

by n dot l (#36788796) Attached to: Mass Psychosis In the USA?

This is all external, and nothing is an internal. Your privacy? Who cares...the problem is that you think someone does care.

Seriously? You honestly believe that people's emotional responses are on handy little switches? That anyone who has a problem with losing privacy or freedom is just needlessly torturing themselves or a compulsive whiner? If that's the case then let's teach people to like being robbed as well - I mean who cares...the problem is that you think that you and you alone should get to enjoy having your grandfather's wedding ring. Stop worrying about who's that property is and just go take someone else's dead relative's wedding ring if you absolutely need to have one. And just think of all the misery and anxiety we could eliminate!

The gov't is corrupt? The gov't has always been corrupt.

Diseases kill people? Diseases have always killed people. Nothing can, has, or will ever be done about this, so stop getting all worked up about it...

How are you defining success? Money? Power over others? These shouldn't determine your success. You are allowing it to determine your success and you have defined success in a way that allows the unjust to get the upper hand in your world.

So when salaries go disproportionately to idiots who proceed to collapse my once-thriving industry, putting me out of work, I'm supposed to react by changing my life goals to "slowly starve as student loan repayments eat up all my revenue while the price of food continues rising" so that I can consider myself a success?

I get that attitude plays a huge role in personal happiness, but there are some pretty basic limits on what normal people can happily accept - a fact to which you seem oblivious. It must be nice living on a world where you could never conceivably run into them. Or where it's rational to ignore problems so as to not get upset when you can't seem to solve them. You'll have to let us know what color the sky is there.

Comment: Re:I am a Silverlight Developer (Score 1) 580

by n dot l (#36391650) Attached to: Silverlight Developers Rally Against Windows 8

When Microsoft told everyone for years that they shouldn't keep user settings in C:\Program Files back in the Win9x days, because of roaming user profiles and due to expected security enhancements down the road, and developers ignored them (despite how ridiculously easy it is to simply put that data in a different folder), it was Microsoft's fault that apps broke on XP's non-admin accounts, right? And when Microsoft published tons of advice on how to make software work in limited accounts during the XP days, it was still their fault that apps which should have nothing to do with UAC would trigger UAC prompts under Vista, even though all they had to do to avoid that is follow the rules as laid down since the days of Windows 95? To keep things on topic: the only time I've heard of a VB to VB.NET port being anything but trivial is when the automated upgrade tool chokes on exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about here.

If the reason you got screwed over is that you avoided best-practices or used undocumented "features" against explicit advice to the contrary for no good reason, then yeah, you're a fool. Microsoft didn't force you to write the code that they told you not to write. And you should be glad that MS goes as far out of its way as it does to support your shit when you do it anyway, despite the fact that they warned you and offered free examples on how to do whatever you want done without being an idiot.

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